Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat. Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them. The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable. Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter. Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.
Player: Ryan Sherriff
Season stats: 0-0, 6.35 ERA, 5 G, 5.2 IP, 8 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K, 5.98 FIP, 1.765 WHIP, 4.8 K/9, -0.1 bWAR
Overall grade: D
Positives: Folks, we’re going to be stretching here….had two outings where he allowed no runs….got to be on the Opening Day roster….didn’t allow a single inherited runner to score (in part because he never came in with runners on)….limited lefties to a .200 average (2 for 10, with a walk)…his FIP was a bit better than his ERA….also had two scoreless outings in Memphis, three if you count his last appearance where he walked the only batter he faced.
Negatives: Threw less than 10 innings combined between Memphis and St. Louis….first went on the disabled list for a broken toe after taking a liner off of his foot….allowed 14 hits and three walks (plus hit a batter) over the two levels….allowed a home run for both the Cardinals and the Redbirds….batters hit well over .300 against him at both levels….allowed a 1.150 OPS at Busch Stadium….season ended in early June when he underwent Tommy John surgery.
Overview: Sherriff basically had a lost season in 2018. A guy that looked so good the previous season was bit by the injury bug and ineffectiveness, though it’s hard to know how much of that might have worked out had he been able to pitch more. I don’t know that anyone ever thought Sherriff was going to be a world beater, but given the problems the Cardinals had from the left side of the bullpen, you gotta figure he’d have gotten another chance or two if he hadn’t had to undergo surgery. It should also be noted that 1) Tara Wellman, patrolling the Instagram beat, was the first person to report the story and 2) the club didn’t realize that Sherriff was having the surgery. It did turn out that they knew Sherriff was probably going to need the surgery and that he was at the clinic to get a second opinion, but the timing seemed to surprise the organization. That said, they kept Sherriff on the 40-man much longer than expected, only finally cutting him loose at the end of August.
Outlook: Sherriff won’t be a factor in 2019, though he might be able to start making some mound appearances toward the end of the year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the club didn’t sign him to a minor league deal to see if there is something there. Given the small body of work Sherriff has put up, he might not have a lot of suitors, especially since he’ll be 29 in May. I do expect he’ll get a minor league invite somewhere, but you can’t completely rule out the possibility that his baseball life is done.