Exit Interview 2017: John Brebbia

For the sixth straight year, we’re taking a look back at everyone that played for the St. Louis Cardinals this season.  Whether they were a major contributor or a bit player, here all year or for just a little while, we’ll look at their season and talk about what went right and what went wrong.  The stat line listed is just their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers in the discussion may be for the entire year.  Imagine this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a little review on their way home for the winter.  As always when you see incredible artistry in the blogs, all credit for the header work goes to @cardinalsgifs.

Player: John Brebbia

Season stats: 0-0, 2.44 ERA, 50 games, 51.2 IP, 37 H, 11 BB, 51 K, 0.929 WHIP, 4.13 FIP, 1.1 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Goat 1

Overall grade: A

Positives: As we’ve said before and will say a few more times, made his major league debut in 2017 (May 28)….was unscored on in nine of his last ten outings….was very good against righties, limiting them to a .575 OPS….held batters to a sub-.200 BAA against….threw 11 scoreless innings in July….batters had just a .476 OPS against him when there were two outs….hitters had a .177 average against him when the bases were empty….hitters hit .111 with a .439 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position….had an .065 BAA on two days’ rest….had a 1.83 ERA in the daytime.

Negatives: A noticeable gap in ERA and FIP indicates there may have been some luck involved this season….had a 3.95 ERA in August….had an OPS against of .769 in September, his worst month of the season in that category….batters had a 1.375 against him in a full count….the first batter he faced hit .244 against him….batters had a .747 OPS with runners on….had a 5.56 ERA in the eighth inning….had a 4.91 ERA against the Cubs.

Overview: Honestly, I’d never heard of Brebbia before he got the call.  I am no minor league prospect guy, of course, but I’m pretty sure Brebbia wasn’t on anyone’s radar even when he put up a 1.69 ERA in Memphis.  However, there’s a reason the front office is good at their jobs and this is one of them.  Brebbia wasn’t used as often as Matthew Bowman (though it was close) and had about two-thirds of his work in low level situations, but he still was a pretty reliable arm out there.  He wasn’t the guy you really wanted to see with the game on the line but as a middle inning arm he was plenty effective.

Outlook: I’m still a little hesitant on Brebbia, wondering if results are going to be more in line with his FIP next season.  I do think the league might figure him out a bit in 2018 but I also realize that there is going to be a need for league-minimum arms that can give you 1-2 WAR and Brebbia has a decent chance of being that.  As long as we aren’t seeing him often in the seventh or eighth, I think he’ll be a fine part of next year’s bullpen.

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