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: Angel Rondon
Season stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 G, 5 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 4 K, 3.31 FIP, 0.800 WHIP, 7.2 K/9, 0.3 bWAR, 0.1 fWAR
Statcast: .290 xwOBA, 0.0 barrel %, 89.4 exit velocity, 30.8 hard hit %, 20.0 K %, 15.0 BB %
Best Statcast category: None
Worst Statcast category: None
Hero/Goat: Hero 1
Positives: Stepped up in a big way, throwing five scoreless innings in relief of Steven Matz, who threw four pitches against the Pirates and had to leave the game with an injury….got plenty of support, as the Cardinals scored six runs in the second on their way to an 18-4 win….struck out 52 in 49 innings for Memphis.
Negatives: Went back to Memphis the next day and never returned as a Cardinal….had a 4.04 ERA in 18 games (five starts) at Memphis….was designated for assignment when Genesis Cabrera returned from the COVID IL and was claimed by San Francisco.
Overview: I was really surprised at how things went for Rondon. When a player has done what he did, throw five scoreless in a pinch, you’d think the club would give him another opportunity or two. He had been on the prospect lists recently as well, so letting a guy like that just go without another look seemed strange for the club. Then again, the Giants took him on, soon DFA’d him to get him off the 40-man, he cleared those waivers and went to their AAA team only to pitch 2.2 innings and give up three runs, then was waived at the end of the season. Nobody seems to be beating down the door for him, so perhaps the Cardinals were wise and got out at the top of the market.
Outlook: Rondon’s just 24 so it wouldn’t be surprising if some team gave him a minor league contract and tried to recapture something, maybe make some adjustments. He’s playing winter ball so a good showing there could help revitalize his stock.