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 STL CardGals. Laura and Holly recap most every series and usually bring a very positive approach to whatever is going on with the Birds. Find them on iTunes and check out their website for some totally biased baseball.
Player: Alberto Rosario
Season stats: 20 games, 41 PA, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, .184/.225/.237, 24 OPS+, -0.2 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Goat 1
Overall grade: C
Positives: Made his major league debut July 9 with a pinch-hit RBI single….had hits in his first two games….hit .250 on the road….hit .250 in August….hit .400 (2 for 5) as a pinch-hitter….hit .333 (1 for 3) in late and close situations….hit .267 against finesse pitchers….did not make an error behind the plate….hit .281 in Memphis, but with no home runs.
Negatives: Was pretty much the forgotten man in September, with Brayan Pena and Carson Kelly available….did not get a hit (0-7) against left-handed pitchers….allowed 75% of base stealers to be successful….hit .147 in the second half….had a .368 OPS with one out in an inning….hit .167 (1 for 6) with runners in scoring position….hit .091 against power pitchers….hit .111 at night….the defensive metrics didn’t seem to care for him, even though he was a glove-first player.
Overview: Rosario was always an interesting choice for promotion. Granted, it came somewhat out of necessity when Pena went down again after Eric Fryer had been lost on waivers, but even then Michael McKenry could have been the catcher selected. Even though some of the defensive metrics don’t agree (and, to be fair, it’s a very small sample size for them to work with), Rosario seemed to be a fairly good defensive catcher, which probably led to his promotion. However, if they aren’t going to rest Yadier Molina on occasion with Fryer (who actually was hitting), they surely aren’t going to do it for Rosario. Even in August, when he was the only option, he played just seven games and got just two starts. Yadi was hitting then, ’tis true, but even if he wasn’t it’d have been hard to justify letting Rosario have much more time on the field.
Outlook: Rosario was removed from the 40-man during the offseason, but no one else claimed him and he will be back at Memphis to start 2017, most likely backing up Kelly. It would seem to take a lot of dominoes to fall for him to see St. Louis again, but it was a pretty convoluted chain in 2016, so you can’t rule anything out.