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: Greg Garcia
Season stats: 133 G, 290 PA, 27 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 2 SB, 37 BB, 64 K, .253/.365/.332, 87 OPS+, 0.7 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Hero 3, Goat 1
Overall grade: B-
Positives: Had a career high in games and plate appearances….hit .282 against right handers….hit .294 in the second half….hit .300 or better in three of the six months….hit .286 playing second base….hit .311 in August when he made a season-high 11 starts….in his 20 plate appearances hitting first, had a .412/.450/.529 line….had a .306 average when he was ahead in the count….had an .805 OPS in high leverage situations….hit .317 against starting pitchers.
Negatives: Hit .086 against left-handed pitchers….hit .238 away from St. Louis….the first half had just a .220 average….hit .133 in June when he made 10 starts….hit .222 as a pinch-hitter….had a .593 OPS on the first pitch….had a .501 OPS with one out in an inning….hit .209 with runners in scoring position….hit .192 in late and close situations….had just a .524 OPS against relievers.
Overview: I think Adam Butler of The Redbird Daily summed it up pretty well on a recent Bird Law podcast–Greg Garcia was perfectly fine. He wasn’t great, but he was serviceable and filled the hole that he needed to fill. It is probably a little telling that he got into 133 games, which is just about 25 more than his career total coming into this season. He got some starts when injuries or ineffectiveness hit and did OK. My general thought has always been Garcia is fine in small doses and gets exposed when he plays too much, but we saw a lot of him in August and he did OK. He’s…fine. Not exciting, not interesting, just….fine.
Outlook: As Adam said on the show, when Garcia’s your 25th man that’s OK, but it’s also an easy upgrade. Given that he’s still under contract and seems to be a favorite of the manager, I’m not sure that they will do that, though hopefully other moves will limit the need to see Garcia out there much. Most likely we’ll find him on the bench in 2018 given his ability to play second, third, and short. Hopefully he just won’t be the first alternate at any of those spots.