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: Adalberto Mejia
Season stats: 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 2 G, 3.0 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 2.88 FIP, 3.000 WHIP, 6.0 K/9, -0.1 bWAR
Statcast: 10.6% barrel %, 89.7 exit velocity, 45.7% hard hit %, .384 xwOBA
Overall grade: D
Positives: Retired nine of the 17 batters he faced as a Cardinal….didn’t allow a home run wearing the birds on the bat….threw almost 60% strikes for the Cards….was the quickest Cardinal roster decision since Preston Guilmet….got to return to Anaheim so quickly he probably didn’t even have to pack or get his stuff shipped, which is a real convenience for a ballplayer.
Negatives: Spent both games on the West Coast and, as such, never got to experience Baseball Heaven as a Cardinal….allowed half of his two inherited runners to score….batters hit .500 against him over the two games….50% of balls hit were line drives….his BABIP was .571, which is a little high….was DFAd three times in the span of a month and another time later on.
Overview: How will you remember the Adalberto Mejia era? I’ll remember it as you spell his first name Ad then Albert then O. When someone creates a Sporacle quiz about the 2019 Cardinals roster, Mejia and Joe Hudson are going to be the ones nobody will ever get. For as short and rough as Mejia’s time in St. Louis–well, again, he never actually GOT to St. Louis–was, it made some sense for the Cards to claim him when the Angels put him on waivers. The Angels were only doing so because of their own roster crunch and he did have a strikeout rate of over one an inning. Figure a move to the NL, maybe a little tinkering, and he could at least give some of the other arms in the bullpen a break. It didn’t pan out and the Cards decided to look at Junior Fernandez instead, but Mejia did go back to Los Angeles and put up a 4.15 ERA the rest of the way (with, it appears, a minor league stint mixed in there after he was DFAd for the last time–he was the Angels’ version of Mike Mayers) while batters hit .156 against him. The Cards couldn’t really gamble he improve (and those numbers aren’t necessarily overwhelming anyway) but luckily for him he found a team that could let him figure it out somewhat.
Outlook: The Angels seem to like Mejia and, as of the moment, are carrying him on their 40-man. They also cut him loose twice last year (though the last time he slid through and went to their AAA team) and if something better comes along this year, he’ll probably be looking for a minor league deal again. The addition of Mayers to the Angels’ roster might not be a great thing for him, as they both may be competing for a similar role next spring.