This season didn’t go like most seasons. The Cardinals were terrible. I stopped writing here very much, with nothing after the blog anniversary. However, some things must go on and that includes the Exit Interview series! Now in its 12th year, it’s our look back at each player that made an appearance in a game for the St. Louis Cardinals. We’re approaching it a little different this season, a little more literary and a little less statistical, but hopefully you enjoy it just the same. As always, I am grateful that cardinalsgifs has agreed to use his talent for the header image!
Player: Jose Fermin
Stats: 21 G, 61 PA, 2 R, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 CS, .235/.339/.255, 0.1 bWAR
Statcast: 0.0% barrel, 35.6% sweet spot, 104.5 max exit velocity, .281 wOBA, .326 xwOBA, 13.1% K, 9.8% BB
The purchase of Fermin last winter had the same sort of feel as this year’s pickup of Buddy Kennedy. A young guy, not good enough to be worth keeping once the team control runs out but good enough to be intriguing and worth taking a look at on a minor league contract for another team. The Cards weren’t ready for Masyn Winn to be the first option should something happen in the middle infield and so they took a flier on Fermin, who I continue to call Felix Fermin because I am an old guy that defaults to old players. (Hey, both played for Cleveland. That’s something, right?)
However, Fermin was injured to start the year and didn’t get to Memphis until the latter half of June. With Paul DeJong scuffling, he might have had a shot had he been healthy and ready to go. Instead, he wasn’t called up until the first part of July when Tommy Edman went down and Brendan Donovan was already banged up. That lasted a couple of weeks until the club realized they were missing Taylor Motter, who got another chance after his second DFA. He came back up in August when Donovan hit the injured list and, save for a brief Memphis return, remained on the roster the rest of the way. (A roster that was a shell of what it had been, especially by the end, but a major league roster nonetheless.)
Fermin didn’t really show anything that made you think he was more than organizational depth though. Only one extra base hit (granted, in pretty limited time) and his Memphis numbers weren’t anything outstanding either. The defense is solid and he’ll just turn 25 right before Opening Day next year. There’s still just enough intriguing parts at minimal prices to keep him floating around, but it seems unlikely that he’ll have a Richie Palacios-like splash anytime soon.
What’s in store for 2024: Again, he’s got team control and the shortstop depth behind Edman and Winn isn’t all that great. He’ll get more time at Memphis with the occasional call-up when someone is injured but likely this time next year he’ll be off on his next great adventure.