After every season (dating back to 2012), we’ve spent time looking at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals that season. They might have gotten a couple of innings, they might have played every day, but if they played, they get a post. Usually, I like to term this like the players are packing up their locker and then seeing Mike Shildt before they head off for the winter. This year, of course, was anything but typical. So we’ll look at every player, we’ll take in some of their stats, but we won’t be giving out grades this season or delving too much into the positive/negative. There are just too many variables in the Year of COVID for that to be reasonable. As he has for the past few years, cardinalsgifs has lent his enormous talents to our header image and we thank him for it!
Player: Nabil Crismatt
Season stats: 3.42 ERA, 6 G, 8.1 IP, 6 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 8 K, 4.75 FIP, 0.840 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 0.0 bWAR
Postseason stats: DNP
Statcast: 4.5% barrel %, 91.3 exit velocity, 40.9% hard hit %, .261 xwOBA
Best Statcast category: Did not qualify
Worst Statcast category: Did not qualify
On COVID IL: No
Overview: There obviously isn’t much great about a season shortened by 2/3rds due to a global pandemic. If you wanted to find any sort of silver lining, though, take the case of Nabil Crismatt and others like him. There were players (mainly pitchers) all across the league that got a chance that they likely never would have gotten through conventional methods. When Crismatt signed as a free agent in the winter, nobody gave it a second thought. At most, he was going to be organizational depth (something that, with the reduction in minor leagues coming in 2021, might also be going by the wayside).
Then COVID took a hand, devastating the Cardinals and most notably knocking some of their pitchers out of the picture. As they returned to play with doubleheaders against the White Sox and Cubs, John Mozeliak was forced to scramble to have arms that would be able to pitch each day. Roster churn was constant and that churn brought Crismatt to the big leagues where he performed capably. It’s a ridiculously small sample and some of those numbers such as hard hit percentage make you believe that some regression was eventually coming, but as it was Crismatt never seemed to be one that was going to let the game get out of hand. That’s somewhat due to the fact that he only had five plate appearances that weren’t in low leverage situations, but you still didn’t feel like they were waving the white flag if he came into the game.
Outlook: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for Crismatt to be a regular part of the 2021 bullpen. With the strong arms that they have available (which will be supplemented by the return of Jordan Hicks), Crismatt is low on the totem pole. However, if he stayed at Memphis with occasional turns in the bigs, I don’t think that would be the worst thing. A pitching-starved club might go ahead and give him a shot, though, now that he is a minor league free agent and if that’s the case I hope that he’s able to succeed with it.