For the fifth straight year, we’re taking some time in that time between the end of the season and the winter meetings to discuss each player that made an appearance on the St. Louis roster this season. Whether they played almost every day or never actually got into a game, they get covered in this series. All stats are exclusively their time in St. Louis. Just think of this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a quick evaluation before heading home for the winter.
This year’s Exit Interview series is “being brought to you by” some of the various Cardinal podcasts that are out there for your listening pleasure. Our focus this time is Talking About Birds, the only Cardinal podcast that….well, whatever Nate wants to make up this week. Nate and Ben break down the week that was with humor and insight. Plus they have me on sometimes, which I enjoy. Find them on iTunes or check out their site!
Player: Michael McKenry
Season stats: 3 games, 2 PA, 1 K, .000/.000/.000, -100 OPS+, -0.1 bWAR
Overall grade: C
Positives: Was available when the Cardinals needed a catcher….hit .341 with five homers at Memphis….had a 1.126 OPS at Memphis.
Negatives: Wasn’t Eric Fryer, much less Yadier Molina….played on four minor league teams but only got the three games with St. Louis for major league time.
Overview: Really not much to say about McKenry, though there was a lot of confusion about him around the time he was called up. It was expected that, after Fryer was released and Brayan Pena got hurt again, the club might go with McKenry. Instead, they called up Alberto Rosario, a good glove, no hit guy. Which, fine, they didn’t want to lose McKenry to waivers when Pena came back. Except then they called him up a couple of days later, so the club had three catchers, two of which they weren’t really going to use. The idea seemed to be that they could use McKenry as a regular pinch-hit bat and not worry about the backup catcher bit, but that obviously didn’t happen. He came up on July 7 and was gone 12 days later. While he never made the Cardinals pay for it, going to Atlanta and then being traded to Milwaukee, it still seemed a very strange way of using assets, especially a guy that had been hitting in Memphis.
Outlook: McKenry did have a strong season at AAA, which probably will get him a shot somewhere along the way as organizational filler. It may well be that the Brewers will keep him and we might see him next year on occasion, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he continued to bounce around looking for a break.