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.
If we’re talking about 2019, we’ve got to highlight the brand that made the most impact this season: Primos and their partnership with Jose Martinez. Throughout the span of these interviews (today through Dec. 5) you can get 10% off your order of that sweet, sweet Cafecito coffee (well, I guess you probably have to doctor it to make it sweet) or anything else at their site. My wife is a coffee snob and we’ve bought multiple bags of the medium roast. It’s a great stocking stuff or Christmas gift as well, especially when you expand your order to pick up the Jose Martinez coffee mug. So use code C70SAVE10 at checkout and show your support of their ties to the Cardinal fanbase!
Player: Luke Gregerson
Season stats: 0-0, 7.94 ERA, 6 G, 5.2 IP, 11 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.04 FIP, 2.118 WHIP, 3.2 K/9, -0.1 bWAR
Statcast: 0.0% barrel %, 90.3 exit velocity, 33.3% hard hit %, .288 xwOBA
Overall grade: D
Positives: Didn’t give up a home run, which actually surprised me….had a much better FIP, though what that means in such a small sample I don’t know….gave up two runs in 12 minor league innings during his rehab….struck out 10 in that rehab stint….nobody barreled a ball on him in the majors.
Negatives: Spent less than two weeks on the active roster before the Cardinals cut bait….never good when you give up a hit total that is double your innings pitched….had a 17.5 hits per nine rate….started the season on the DL and didn’t make his debut until early May….his next-to-last outing was his only perfect one, though the one before that he faced the minimum because of a double play….the only win he pitched in was a 14-3 pounding of the Braves, which was his next-to-last outing.
Overview: When John Mozeliak joked at the blogger event this year about his track record with relievers, Gregerson is one of those that he was referring to. (Brett Cecil, who doesn’t get to take part in this series due to not pitching all year, was another, but the list goes on.) Mo signed Gregerson to a two-year, $11 million contract in December of 2017 and got for his troubles 18.1 innings with a 7.36 ERA. Gregerson spent a lot of time injured, which is not terribly unexpected in a reliever’s Age 34 and 35 seasons, and was pretty ineffective when he did pitch.
It’s possible Gregerson might have gotten his legs under him, but he came up right as the team started to spiral and they couldn’t afford to let him work out any kinks with everything else going to pot. He was designated for assignment so Ryan Helsley could get a spot on the roster and even though he wanted to continue to pitch, nobody picked him up even on a minor league deal. Gregerson’s probably always going to be a what if, but more what if he didn’t get traded for Khalil Greene years ago rather than this time in the Cardinal organization.
Outlook: Hard to see how Gregerson becomes more appealing having not pitched since May. Baseball being what it is, someone might give him a flyer in the spring, but it would be very surprising if he made camp. If he is done, he had a solid career and for a while was one of the best non-closer options in baseball. Just too bad the Cardinals didn’t get that Gregerson instead of the one that didn’t have anything left in the tank.