Every year since 2012, we’ve spent some time after the season looking back at those that wore the Birds on the Bat. Whether it’s a bit player that got into just a couple of games or someone that played almost every day, we’ll look at their stats, their positives, their negatives, and grade them based on what we would have expected from them. The stat line is from their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers may include time with other teams, if applicable. Think of this as like the players packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter. Once again, our great header work comes to us from cardinalsgifs, who continues to be a master.
Player: Preston Guilmet
Season stats: 0-1, 22.50 ERA, 2 G, 2 IP, 7 H, 2 HR, 3 K, 13.16 FIP, 3.500 WHIP, 13.5 K/9, -0.3 bWAR
Overall grade: F
Positives: Returned to the majors after having not pitched there since 2015….struck out the side in his second outing against Miami, albeit after allowing two runs….had an excellent season at Memphis, putting up a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings….converted 11 of 12 save opportunities for the Redbirds….won a Triple-A World Championship ring, even as he finished the year in the Toronto organization….had a nice 0.69 ERA for the month of May down in Memphis….struck out 35 at AAA….went to Toronto after being waived by the Cardinals and quickly returned to the big leagues for six more appearances before returning to AAA for good after July 3.
Negatives: Put together possibly the worst Cardinal career in the history of the organization….faced 13 batters as a Cardinal and retired just six of them….almost gave up the cycle in his first inning of work, only missing the triple….for the season (including his time with the Blue Jays), both lefties and righties had an OPS over 1.300 against him….allowed a 1.503 OPS in home games in St. Louis and Toronto….did not merit a September callup after posting a 5.79 ERA for the Blue Jays’ AAA team.
Overview: If you have ever thought that AAA results are a great indication of MLB success, Mr. Guilmet quickly disabused you of that notion. When a player that has struggled in the past all of the sudden seems to be overwhelming folks at Memphis, there’s a good chance there’s a bit of age and experience (Guilmet was 31 this season) and a good bit of luck regarding those results. The law of averages was likely to catch up to Guilmet eventually anyway, but exposure to major league hitters hurried that along quite quickly. There’s a reason there is the Quad-A label, though to be fair Guilmet’s possibly not really that either, given how he struggled at Buffalo.
Outlook: Guilmet might show up in someone’s minor league system next year, but the odds of him ever returning to the major league are much longer than the odds of successfully navigating an asteroid field. It’s very likely that he’s seen the end of his major league career, but he did get 33 innings over four seasons in the big leagues, which is more than anyone reading this articles is going to get.