One of our regular offseason traditions is the Exit Interview, where we look back at each player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals in the past season. This is the 11th season we’ve done this and it’s a good way to get a view of the whole year, not just a short stretch of games. It’s sort of like a performance review before the players went off to their offseason work, spending a little time with Oli Marmol and going over what went right, what went wrong. Stats and grades are only for a player’s time in St. Louis, though splits numbers may include other teams. As always, my sincere thanks to the legend of cardinalsgifs for providing the header image!
Player: Jose Quintana
Season stats: 3-2, 2.01 ERA, 12 G, 12 GS, 62.2 IP, 54 H, 1 HR, 16 BB, 48 K, 2.60 FIP, 1.117 WHIP, 6.9 K/9, 1.5 bWAR, 1.8 fWAR
Statcast: .305 xwOBA, 5.5 barrel %, 86.5 exit velocity, 35.8 hard hit %, 20.2 K %, 6.9 BB %
Best Statcast category: Avg Exit Velocity (89th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Fastball Spin (13th percentile)
Hero/Goat: Hero 1, Goat 1
Positives: Acquired with Chris Stratton at the trade deadline and immediately set to work righting the Cardinal rotation….did not give up more than two earned runs in any of his starts wearing the birds on the bat, though twice he gave up four runs counting the unearned variety….wound up being the starting pitcher for Game 1 of the playoffs and threw 5.1 scoreless innings….left-handers hit .219 against him….had a 2.24 ERA in home games….was dominant in the second half, putting up a 1.97 ERA and limiting hitters to a .230 average….put up a 0.81 ERA in September….struck out 28 and walked four in the final month….had a 1.01 ERA in games he got the win….had a 1.58 ERA in games where he got two or less runs of support….fifth place hitters had a .360 OPS against him….allowed a .419 OPS when ahead in the count….the first batter he faced had a .446 OPS….batters hit .231 with two outs….had a 1.41 ERA in the first inning….had a 2.45 ERA against the Cubs.
Negatives: All of his homers came from righties….eighth and ninth place hitters combined to hit .331 against him….batters had a .901 OPS on the first pitch….allowed a .308 average in high leverage situations….had a 4.04 ERA on four days of rest.
Overview: Pittsburgh signed Quintana as a free agent last winter hoping that he would have a good enough season that he could be moved for prospects at the deadline. That’s exactly what happened, as Quintana had a 3.50 ERA at the trading deadline and the Cardinals had a need for some good solid starting pitching. With a superb defense behind him, Quintana took his game to another level while a Cardinal, allowing one run or less in seven of his starts. At the time of the trade, Quintana seemed to be the odd man out of a playoff rotation but his strong run, along with some issues with others like Adam Wainwright, led to him not only making the rotation but heading it up.
Outlook: Quintana is a free agent and while the Cardinals have a full rotation, there’s been some indication that they’d like to have him return. However, that wouldn’t help with their stated desire to get more swing-and-miss stuff on the staff. It’s also fair to say that Quintana’s 2022 was out of line with some of his recent years, so there’s no guarantee he’d be able to repeat it or necessarily come close to it. Eventually, I think some team with more of a need will sign him as the Cardinals drag their feet and let him go.