Exit Interview 2021: Brandon Waddell

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: Brandon Waddell

Season stats: 0-0, 4.15 ERA, 4 G, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 6 K, 3.86 FIP, 2.077 WHIP, 12.5 K/9, 0.0 bWAR, 0.0 fWAR

Statcast: .441 xwOBA, 5.0 barrel %, 95.5 exit velocity, 54.3 hard hit %, 13.7 K %, 17.6 BB %

Best Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (61st percentile)

Worst Statcast category: None

Hero/Goat: None

Grade: C

Positives: Pitched more innings with the Cardinals than with any other major league team he was with in 2021….actually, 4.1 innings is his longest major league stint ever….had a 2.45 ERA in nine games at Memphis….become Patron Pitcher of the Blog TNG by donning #70.

Negatives: Was released twice before making his way to St. Louis….walked almost as many as he struck out and more than one an inning….came up in September solely (it seemed) for the purpose of getting rid of Daniel Ponce de Leon, as he didn’t pitch then or anytime after the All-Star Break.

Overview: If it wasn’t for him bringing seventy back it’d be real easy to blink and miss Waddell’s time in St. Louis.  You have to like the strikeout rate, but after starting out with 2.2 scoreless innings he allowed runs in his last two outings before going back to Memphis.  Waddell turned 27 in June so it’s not inconceivable that there’s a little more there but it might be a stretch to see him as anything more than a low leverage reliever at this point.

Outlook: The Cardinals kept him on the 40-man which either says something about what they believe he can do or speaks loudly to the fear of not having enough pitchers.  Hopefully we’ll see him again next year.  That number needs more major league time.

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