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: Josh Lucas
Season stats: 0-0, 3.68 ERA, 5 games, 7.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 7 K, 1.500 WHIP, 6.84 FIP, 0.1 bWAR
Overall grade: C
Positives: Made his major league debut in August….threw 3.1 scoreless innings in September to end the season….went two innings in three of his five appearances….righties hit .222 against him…batters hit .133 against him at Busch Stadium….if the batter took the first pitch, he wound up with a .211/.318/.368 line….batters had a .544 OPS with two strikes….batters hit .182 with runners in scoring position, albeit with a triple and a homer….had a 3.15 ERA with 17 saves in Memphis….went 3-0 with four saves and a 0.73 ERA in July.
Negatives: Never pitched in any high leverage situations in the bigs….lefties had a 1.205 OPS against him, as he allowed three hits and three walks in 13 plate appearances….batters had a 1.015 OPS against him in his first two outings….in eight plate appearances that ended with zero strikes, opposing hitters went .429/.500/1.286….hitters got him for a .333 average when nobody was on….the Pirates hit .417 against him….had three months in the minors where his ERA was over 4.00.
Overview: Lucas was another fairly unknown name coming into this season and he didn’t really do anything that stood out during the regular season. He pitched well in Memphis and did strike out roughly a batter an inning there and in the majors, but otherwise he was just kinda there. He wasn’t going to pitch in the big innings, he wasn’t going to be the savior of the bullpen, he was just an organizational soldier that got his time in the spotlight. It’s always good to see people make their dream come true and get to the big leagues, but it doesn’t feel like this is going to be a name we’ll remember for years to come.
Outlook: Since he’s on the 40-man, he’ll probably stick around and start the 2018 season down in Memphis, available for a callup should some middle innings need to be covered. Of course, if the front office goes as full-throttle as they have talked about, it could be that he’ll be placed on waivers. He’s probably done enough that, given his minimum salary, someone would pick him up and give him another shot, but I don’t know that if he left the system there’d be much regret later. Lucas feels pretty much like a replacement level arm.