Exit Interview 2017: Miguel Socolovich

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: Miguel Socolovich

Season stats: 0-1, 1 SV, 8.68 ERA, 15 games, 18.2 IP, 27 H, 4 BB, 14 K, 1.661 WHIP, 5.41 FIP, -0.7 bWAR

Hero/Goat: Goat 1

Overall grade: D

Positives: Opened the season with two scoreless innings against the Cubs….also threw three innings of one-run ball against the Marlins in May, picking up his only save….strangely, had a 0.00 ERA in the 2.2 innings he threw in his only loss….batters had a .640 OPS when there was one out….had a .143 BAA (1-7) in high leverage situations….had a 2.45 ERA in the ninth inning….had a .200/.200/.400 line on three days’ rest (four games)….Cubs had a .393 OPS against him….had a 1.20 ERA in July for Memphis….his ERA was 3.09 in night games for the Redbirds.

Negatives: His last three games for the Cardinals: 2.1 IP, 7 ER, though he did strike out five in that span….allowed five runs without recording an out against the Yankees….had three appearances allowing four or more runs….batters hit .338 against him….lefties torched him at a .406/.472/.750 rate….evenly split his innings between home and away but his away ERA was 10.61….batters had a 1.078 OPS against him in May….in nine plate appearances against fifth-place hitters, allowed .286/.444/.714….batters hit .282 on the first pitch….had trouble even when ahead, allowing a 1.039 OPS in those situations….batters hit .438 to lead off an inning against him….on zero days rest (2 games): .889/.909/1.333, with 10 of the 11 batters he faced reaching.

Overview: I’ve been a proponent of Socolovich for a couple of years but it became obvious quickly this past season why the club had never really committed to him.  When you look at 2015 and 2016, both at the big leagues and the minors, it looked like he could be a decent part of a bullpen.  I don’t know that we were talking about the late innings but he seemed capable.  Of course, those were small samples and especially last year, when he had a BABIP of .073, some of the numbers could be a bit deceiving.  It all caught up with him in 2017, though.  Even at Memphis he struggled at times, putting up a 5.68 ERA in August in route to a 4.15 mark overall.  It’s probably best summed up by the fact that he faced 87 batters at the big league level this season and 15 of them touched him for an extra base hit.  That’s not real sustainable and he was sent back to AAA never to return.

Outlook: The Cardinals allowed Socolovich to become a minor league free agent after the season and while I guess you couldn’t rule out him returning on a minor league contract as a depth piece, it would seem pretty unlikely.  There are a lot of arms in the system that the big club would like to see pitch over a return by Soco.

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