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: Tyler Webb
Season stats: 2-1, 1 SV, 3.76 ERA, 65 G, 55.0 IP, 33 H, 7 HR, 23 BB, 48 K, 4.49 FIP, 1.018 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 0.6 bWAR
Statcast: 6.1% barrel %, 85.9 exit velocity, 29.9% hard hit %, .286 xwOBA
Hero/Goat: Hero 1
Overall grade: B
Positives: Ended the year with 6.1 scoreless innings over his last seven outings….had a .172 BAA over all, but lefties were even worse, slashing .157/.252/.517….was in the top 8% of the league in exit velocity and hard hit percentage….had a 2.90 ERA away from Busch Stadium….had a 0.871 WHIP on the road….was better in the second half, putting up a 2.92 ERA and limiting batters to a .119 average….struck out 11 and walked just one in 11 August innings….had a 1.64 ERA for that month….fourth place hitters had a .571 OPS against him….whether they swung at the first pitch or took it, batters wound up with a .591 OPS….hitters managed a .160 average on the first pitch….batters had a .479 OPS when leading off an inning against him….gave up a .559 OPS with two outs….was touched for a .100 average in late and close situations….allowed a .560 OPS in high leverage situations….had a 0.77 ERA in the sixth inning….in 17 plate appearances after throwing 25 pitches, had a .077/.294/.077 line against him….had a 0.49 ERA on zero days’ rest….American League opponents had a .334 OPS against him….the Cubs hit .042 against him.
Negatives: Didn’t make the club out of spring training, though was called up early in April….gave up multiple runs six times….had a 5.40 ERA overall in the postseason….had a 4.88 ERA at Busch….allowed a .709 OPS in the first half….had a 7.11 ERA in April and a 5.79 ERA in September, though the latter was due to a rough outing to start the month….batters hitting leadoff had a .792 OPS against him….five of his seven homers came after a batter took the first pitch….on an 0-1 count allowed a 1.143 OPS….four of his homers came with nobody out….gave up a 1.010 OPS with runners in scoring position….that increased to 1.340 with two outs and RISP….had a 4.91 ERA in the seventh inning….four of his homers came with a day of rest, when he had a 6.75 ERA….had a 5.40 ERA against the Brewers….had a 4.19 ERA at night.
Overview: Was Tyler Webb a vital part of the bullpen? I don’t know if I’d go that far. Was he better than most people gave him credit for? I believe so. There was a lot of talk at different times of the season about cutting him to make room for other players, but Webb continued to go out there and do what the club wanted him to do, which was to get lefties out in situations where they weren’t quite ready to call on Andrew Miller. After putting together a 1.76 ERA for the Cardinals in the latter part of 2018, you wonder if the Cards were able to tinker with him enough to make him an effective pitcher.
Again, it didn’t feel like Webb should ever be promoted out of his mid-innings comfort zone, but let’s be honest, there were many times during the season where you would have trusted him against a lefty over Miller. Webb was a solid if unassuming part of a bullpen that was a strength of the club much of the year and that should definitely be noted.
Outlook: Webb is out of options next season which puts him in a precarious position. He’s probably done enough to make the Opening Day roster but if he scuffles, he could wind up with the DFA tag next to his name. As long as he continues being effective against lefties, though, he should have a spot in St. Louis.