Exit Interview: Jerome Williams

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 Talking About Birds, the only Cardinal podcast that….well, whatever Nate wants to make up this week.  Nate and Ben break down the week that was with humor and insight.  Plus they have me on sometimes, which I enjoy.  Find them on iTunes or check out their site!

Player: Jerome Williams

Season stats: 0-0, 5.71 ERA, 11 games, 17.1 IP, 22 H, 6 BB, 8 K, 1.615 WHIP, 6.61 FIP, -0.2 bWAR

Hero/Goat: None

Overall grade: C

Positives: Had a shutout in Memphis….only allowed earned runs in two of his 11 outings….only allowed one run (and it was unearned) in 6.1 innings at Busch….had a .528 OPS against in July….if batters took the first pitch, they hit .229….batters had just a .652 OPS with nobody out….if he faced batters twice in a game (18 PA in these situations), they hit just .188….all the runs allowed came with four or more days of rest….had a .242 BAA in night games.

Negatives: Gave up four unearned runs, which would have led to a higher ERA had they been earned….allowed six runs against the Cubs and five against the Reds….did not pitch in anything but low leverage situations….had a 4.89 ERA in Memphis….batters had a 1.004 OPS against him the first time they faced him in a game….they had a 1.138 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position….he allowed a .994 OPS with runners on….batters hit .360 against him with two outs in an inning….the first batter he faced in a game hit .455….batters had a .818 when they hit the first pitch….if they swung at the first pitch, their OPS was 1.292.

Overview: “Hopefully, we don’t need Jerome.”  When your manager makes a comment like that when you get promoted, that’s probably pretty telling.  Matheny may have meant it as he hoped the starters would go deep enough into games that a long man like Williams, who was promoted around the time Tyler Lyons was having knee problems that we as fans didn’t really know about.  The move seemed strange, but in retrospect the thought process was sound, you just wish there’d been someone better than Williams to get that call.

Williams pitched in five of the club’s first 13 games after he was promoted, but then only saw the mound six more times, only four in the entire month of September.  He did finish his season with a four inning scoreless streak, which means that if he never plays again, at least he went out on a little high.

Outlook: Williams was a free agent at the end of the season and there is no conceivable situation that would see him back in St. Louis, at least not on a major league deal.  He’s actually younger than players like Adam Wainwright–he won’t turn 35 until the first week of December–but it feels like this was his last stop.  Some other team might want a veteran innings eater to be minor league insurance, but there would seem to be a lot better options out there than Williams for that role.

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