As is tradition around these parts after the season is over, we’re taking a look at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. That’ll range from someone that didn’t record an out to someone that played almost every inning. Treat it like they are stopping by the manager’s office (umm, also imagine this was before the managerial change) on their way home for the winter for a performance review. Stats listed are ones generated during their time with the Cards and the grade is based not only on their performance but on the expectations for them going into the season. As he has the past few years, the legend that is cardinalsgifs has provided our excellent header image!
Player: Brandon Dickson
Season stats: 13.50 ERA, 2 G, 2.0 IP, 5 H, 1 HR, 1 K, 8.67 FIP, 2.500 WHIP, 4.5 K/9, -0.1 bWAR, 0.0 fWAR
Statcast: .392 xwOBA, 22.2 barrel %, 102.3 exit velocity, 55.6 hard hit %, 10.0 K %
Best Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (94th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: None
Positives: Made it back to the majors for the first time since 2012….was part of the 2011 team and the 2011 anniversary year, just like Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina. Well, maybe not just like….honestly, there’s not that much else that went right for him this year.
Negatives: Had an 8.74 ERA in 11.1 innings in Memphis….gave up four homers in Memphis as well….allowed at least one run in both outings he had in the bigs….was sent back to Memphis after September 3 and pitched just one inning at Memphis the rest of the year.
Overview: If Daniel Ponce de Leon doesn’t pick a fight with Yadier Molina in New York, does Brandon Dickson even get promoted to the big leagues this year? My guess is probably not. The seemingly vindictive removal of Ponce led to Dickson, a person they could remove from the 40-man without incident when someone like Dakota Hudson or Jack Flaherty was ready, getting to come back to St. Louis. It was a good story, one of those stories that probably would have happened anyway in the old days, when you could bring up 15 extra people. The front office didn’t expect much from Dickson, this was just a hat tip for his perseverance. They gave him a couple of shots, realize that it was going to be really bad if he stayed out there (which they probably already knew) and sent him back on his way.
Outlook: Dickson made it back to the big leagues but the results there and in Memphis proved that he would be better served hanging up the spikes and looking for another way to make his money. If for some reason he does try to keep pitching, he’s probably not going to find an opportunity in the St. Louis organization. He might make his way back overseas, where he spent much of the last nine years, but I would expect retirement is going to be much more likely.