For the fifth straight year, we’re taking some time in that time between the end of the season and the winter meetings to discuss each player that made an appearance on the St. Louis roster this season. Whether they played almost every day or never actually got into a game, they get covered in this series. All stats are exclusively their time in St. Louis. Just think of this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a quick evaluation before heading home for the winter.
This year’s Exit Interview series is “being brought to you by” some of the various Cardinal podcasts that are out there for your listening pleasure. Our focus this time is the Viva El Birdos podcast. John and Heather break down all the recent happenings in Cardinal Nation with the skill and approach you’d probably expect if you are a VEB reader. Find them on iTunes or check out the site!
Player: Mike Mayers
Season stats: 1-1, 27.00 ERA, 4 games, 5.1 IP, 16 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 3.563 WHIP, 11.96 FIP, -0.8 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Goat 1
Overall grade: D
Positives: Made his major league debut after three years in the minors….picked up a win with a scoreless inning against Pittsburgh early in September when the Cardinal offense rallied with three homers with two out in the ninth….went two innings and only allowed one run in his last outing against the Reds….put up a 2.30 ERA in nine starts in Springfield before moving up to Memphis….struck out close to a batter an inning at Memphis while putting up a 3.73 ERA in sixteen starts….limited batters to a .229 mark while in AA.
Negatives: Had perhaps the worst debut of any pitcher, allowing nine runs in 1.1 innings against the Dodgers, including a grand slam before recording an out….bombed again after returning in September, giving up six runs in an inning against the Brewers….allowed three home runs in 5.1 major league innings compared to just 12 in 144 minor league frames….had almost a full win below replacement in just over five innings, which is really tough to do, it feels like.
Overview: It’s going to be hard for Mayers to shake off the taint of this season. When you retire as many batters on the season (16) as runs you allow, that’s not a great first impression. Mayers’ minor league numbers aren’t that bad, obviously (because nothing besides my quality post to total post ratio really could compete with his major league stats), but nothing about them seems to scream that this is a pitcher of the future for the Cardinals. When you miss the playoffs (or at least a tiebreaking game) by one game, the decision to run him out there against the Dodgers instead of Carlos Martinez on a little shorter rest (or make the early promotion of Alex Reyes, which turns out would have just been two weeks early) tougher to swallow. Again, you can point fingers a lot of places and there’s no telling whether the Cards would have won that game anyway, but seeing that sort of ugly outing makes you wonder.
Outlook: Mayers is still on the 40-man, though given his major and minor league record it would be believable that he’d pass through waivers if the Cards wanted to remove him. He’ll provide depth in the organization again next season, though it’s doubtful he’ll be the first one that the club calls upon if there is a need. It’s possible that he can still make more positive memories in the big leagues, but he’s going to have to work really hard at it.