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: Tyler Webb
Season stats: 1-1, 1 SV, 2.08 ERA, 21 G, 21.2 IP, 17 H, 2 HR, 7 BB, 19 K, 3.61 FIP, 1.108 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 0.4 bWAR
Postseason stats: 13.50 ERA, 1 H, 1.500 WHIP
Statcast: 3.3% barrel %, 85.7 exit velocity, 36.1% hard hit %, .297 xwOBA
Best Statcast category: Barrel % (92nd percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Curve Spin (19th percentile)
Hero/Goat: Hero 1, Goat 1
On COVID IL: No
Overview: On August 17th, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cubs, Tyler Webb gave up three runs in less than one inning, blowing the lead in the sixth on the way to a 5-4 Cubs win. There were plenty of disgruntled folks, pointing out how Webb was a run of the mill reliever, nothing special and certainly not someone that needed to be trusted in such a situation. With the three batter minimum rule, it looked like whatever value Webb had for the Cardinals was likely to have been left in 2019.
Funny thing. After that game, Webb threw 17.2 more innings. He allowed just two runs (a 1.02 ERA) and limited batters to a .542 OPS. In fairness, he was used mainly in low leverage situations–the Cards went 5-11 in his appearances after that blowup in Wrigley and, for the season, only 24 of the 87 plate appearances he was involved with were more than low leverage–but he still did quality work in the situations he was put into. Webb might not have one of the more crucial arms in the Cardinal bullpen, but he did have a role and he fulfilled it well. The playoff game wasn’t a good night for him but, in fairness, it wasn’t really a good night for everyone.
Outlook: There are a lot of left-handed possibilities for the Cardinal bullpen and, depending on the roster size, there might not be a real good place for Webb next year. Then again, if Austin Gomber moves to the rotation, maybe there would be a spot for another lefty. Overall, I would expect Webb to start with the Cardinals next year, but there’s no guarantees that he’ll make it to the end of the season with them. That’s the life of the fungible reliever, though.