As is tradition around these parts after the season is over, we’re taking a look at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. That’ll range from someone that didn’t record an out to someone that played almost every inning. Treat it like they are stopping by the manager’s office (umm, also imagine this was before the managerial change) on their way home for the winter for a performance review. Stats listed are ones generated during their time with the Cards and the grade is based not only on their performance but on the expectations for them going into the season. As he has the past few years, the legend that is cardinalsgifs has provided our excellent header image!
Player: Seth Elledge
Season stats: 4.63 ERA, 11 G, 11.2 IP, 13 H, 1 HR, 7 BB, 11 K, 10 inherited runners, 8 inherited runners scored, 4.46 FIP, 1.714 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 0.0 bWAR, 0.0 fWAR
Statcast: .344 xwOBA, 9.1 barrel %, 89.9 exit velocity, 39.4 hard hit %, 21.2 K %, 13.5 BB %
Best Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (62nd percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (62nd percentile)
Hero/Goat: Hero 1
Positives: Got another cup of coffee in the big leagues, pitching about as many innings as he did in 2020….was not charged with a run in seven of his 11 appearances….ended his major league season with 1.2 scoreless innings….had a 2.57 ERA in his last seven games at Memphis….had a 3.00 ERA in 12 Memphis July innings.
Negatives: Gave up more than a hit an inning in the big leagues….seven walks in 11.2 innings isn’t exactly great either….did not pitch in a St. Louis win….had a 6.56 ERA at Memphis for the season….was designated for assignment after the season so Juan Yepez could be added to the playoff roster.
Overview: Sam Tuivailala hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2019 and he’s still had a better two years than Elledge. That’s not fair (and an exaggeration) but so far Elledge isn’t showing that he’s ready for the big time. It’s remarkable how similar his two major league lines are–both in 2020 and 2021 he had a 4.63 ERA and pitched 11.2 innings, with strikeout and walk numbers almost identical. You hate to completely write him off but 2021 was his Age 25 season. The clock is ticking very rapidly and being removed from the 40 man roster is a step in the wrong direction.
Outlook: Elledge will still be under Cardinal control next season, as far as I know, so he’ll get another chance to improve his Memphis numbers. Since the team is familiar with him, it’s possible that he’d get a call back up if an arm was needed, but dropping off the 40-man definitely doesn’t help his chances. He’ll need a real strong start (or have developed something over the winter) to be in a spot where the club would consider adding him against.