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: Drew Rom
Stats: 1-4, 8 G, 33.2 IP, 51 H, 7 HR, 19 BB, 32 K, 8.02 ERA, 5.75 FIP, 2.079 WHIP, -1.0 bWAR
Statcast: 12.6% barrel, 37.0% sweet spot, 112.4 max exit velocity, .431 wOBA, .373 xwOBA, 18.8% K, 11.2% BB
For the first three or so years of Saturday Night Live, the cast was referred to as the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” While that was a bit tongue-in-cheek, it’s true that all of these actors were just starting out and beginning to make a name for themselves. They weren’t polished, they weren’t established, they weren’t at the height of their powers. They just went out every week and did a show.
If the name was still in use, Rom could have joined them this season. Acquired in the Jack Flaherty trade, Rom was the one closest to the majors even if he was the one with the least potential. Still, once all the trades happened, innings had to be filled, and in mid-August he wound up coming to the big leagues more out of necessity than actual promise. His two starts for Memphis went well, including dominating his own team, but it was only two starts. In a normal season, Rom would have finished out the year in AAA to prepare for a 2024 callup. Of course, in a normal season Rom probably isn’t acquired at all.
You can see the numbers above to see how well this experiment with. The Cards had nothing to lose with running him out there every fifth day, of course, and he had a couple of interesting outings, including 5.1 scoreless innings against the Orioles. Still, he allowed four runs or more in five of his eight games and only twice, that Baltimore game and his second outing against the Phillies, did he get past the fifth inning.
That initial cast of SNL has names we all know, like Dan Ackroyd and Chevy Chase. There are also names that have been somewhat lost to the mists of time like George Coe and Laraine Newman. We’ll have to wait and see which category Rom fits into, though it’s going to take some work for him to avoid the latter.
What’s in store for 2024: Rom will likely spend most of the season in Memphis, perhaps getting a spot start here and there. A strong season down there might have the organization take a fresh look at him in the majors, but I don’t think he’ll get more than the eight games he got in 2023.