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.
If we’re talking about 2019, we’ve got to highlight the brand that made the most impact this season: Primos and their partnership with Jose Martinez. Throughout the span of these interviews (today through Dec. 5) you can get 10% off your order of that sweet, sweet Cafecito coffee (well, I guess you probably have to doctor it to make it sweet) or anything else at their site. My wife is a coffee snob and we’ve bought multiple bags of the medium roast. It’s a great stocking stuff or Christmas gift as well, especially when you expand your order to pick up the Jose Martinez coffee mug. So use code C70SAVE10 at checkout and show your support of their ties to the Cardinal fanbase!
Player: Mike Mayers
Season stats: 0-1, 6.63 ERA, 16 G, 19 IP, 21 H, 3 HR, 11 BB, 16 K, 5.48 FIP, 1.684 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, -0.3 bWAR
Statcast: 8.3% barrel %, 90.0 exit velocity, 42.9% hard hit %, .395 xwOBA
Overall grade: C-
Positives: Worked his way back on to the 40-man roster after being dropped off of it in August….was only scored on in one of his first six outings of the year….was not charged with runs in the last two outings of the year as well….lefties hit .239 against him, though they walked five times in 36 plate appearances….had a 2.68 ERA at home….cleanup hitters went 1-7 against him….batters had a .582 OPS against him if they took the first pitch….allowed a .158 BAA when ahead in the count….the two times he pitches the ninth, he wasn’t scored upon….batters hit .100 after the 25th pitch….had a 3.86 ERA with six or more days of rest….the Cubs went 0-6 against him….had a 3.15 ERA at Memphis….allowed only two runs in 10 innings in AAA after being DFAd.
Negatives: Well, he got DFAd in the first place and was waived again after the season, with the Angels taking a chance and claiming him….was charged with two or more runs five times in his 16 games….lefties had a 1.111 OPS against him….had an 8.49 ERA away from Busch and allowed a .921 OPS on the road….had a 7.59 ERA in the second half….did not have a month in the major leagues when he had an ERA under 5.00….batters in the first two positions slashed .467/.579/.867 against him….if batters swung at the first pitch, they hit .423….if they hit the first pitch they had an OPS of 1.250….allowed a .414/.433/.724 mark when the count was even….walked six batters in 32 plate appearances with two outs….batters had a .940 OPS with two outs and runners in scoring position….they had a 1.569 OPS in tie games….only had seven high leverage plate appearances, but he gave up two homers and a walk in them (1.762 OPS)….batters hit .393 and he had a 9.00 ERA in the eighth inning….allowed a .962 OPS on the first 25 pitches….had a 9.53 ERA on one day of rest….had an 11.57 ERA against the Brewers.
Overview: After seven games, Mayers had a 2.35 ERA. He gave up three in his next outing, then went on the injured list with a shoulder lat strain. It was severe enough that he was eventually moved to the 60-day IL. From when he came back to when he was designated for assignment, he put up a 10.13 ERA. As noted, he cleared waivers, went to Memphis, and did fairly well down there. However, it was a bit of a surprise when the Cardinals then restored him to the 40-man roster for the September callups. It wasn’t all that effective either, as he gave up three runs over his first two outings to put up a 5.06 ERA in September.
How big a role did the injury and recovery play in unraveling Mayers’s season? That’s hard to know for certain, but even though his early career struggles are well-known, especially that disastrous first career start, Mayers had shown some potential in 2018 and the strong start to the 2019 season might have been him finally getting comfortable with his high-octane stuff. Or it could have been an early season fluke and the league would have caught up with him no matter. Guess it depends on how generous you want to be with the results.
Outlook: Mayers will get a chance out in Anaheim, I’d imagine, and if nothing else will have a spring training invite assuming the Angels don’t cut him loose to make room for some offseason acquisition. Hopefully he can continue to show improvement and the ballparks in the AL West might be conducive for some better results, but given how the AL typically is the more offensive league, he may have his work cut out for him.