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: Tyler Webb
Season stats: 0-0, 13.22 ERA, 22 G, 16.1 IP, 22 H, 1 HR, 19 BB, 14 K, 20 inherited runners, 10 inherited runners scored, 5.74 FIP, 2.510 WHIP, 7.7 K/9, -1.4 bWAR, -0.1 fWAR
Statcast: .369 xwOBA, 5.1 barrel %, 86.4 exit velocity, 33.9 hard hit %, 15.2 K %, 20.7 BB %
Best Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (54th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: Fastball Velocity (16th percentile)
Hero/Goat: Goat 3
Positives: Had nine scoreless outings….had a run of four straight scoreless outings in April….second place hitters had a .400 OPS against him….kept batters to a .472 OPS on the first pitch….it was a .327 OPS when the count was even….did OK with nobody out (.688 OPS) and two outs (.691 OPS)….with two outs and runners in scoring position, batters hit .222….got out the only batter he faced in a ninth inning.
Negatives: Whenever you have four digits in your ERA, things have gone well off the rails….gave up eight runs (six earned) in his last two major league appearances….eight of his appearances had him giving up two runs or more….his only homer was from a lefty….had a 22.85 ERA and a 1.028 OPS in Busch Stadium….had an ERA over 15 for the month of May….leadoff batters went 4-7 with a homer and three walks….when batters were ahead they had a .429/.700/.571 line….he faced a pitcher twice and allowed two hits, one of them a double….allowed a 1.223 OPS with one out in an inning….gave up a .995 OPS with runners in scoring position….his late and close slash line was .500/.632/.714….the Cubs had a 1.167 OPS against him in 1/3 of an inning….had a double digit ERA in day games and night games….cleared waivers and went to Memphis in June where he put up a 5.82 ERA until he went on the injured list in August, ending his season.
Overview: I’ve often said that Tyler Webb’s contributions to the Cardinals were very underrated. The last couple of years he’s been a very dependable if not overly dominant lefty arm that usually was good against those of the same side. 2021, though, it all went up in smoke. There seemed like a few times where he might be righting the ship only to see it all blow up again. Not finding the strike zone on the regular, which was a major issue for a lot of Cardinal pitchers in the first half, definitely didn’t help because he doesn’t have the stuff to blow people away. The fact that he struggled at Memphis as well led credence to the idea that it wasn’t just a small sample size or a few rough days.
Outlook: Webb elected free agency after the season, which was probably a smart idea as it would be difficult for him to return to the bigs with the Cardinals. Somebody will probably give him a minor league deal–I mean, he’s a lefty with a heartbeat, right?–and maybe he can figure out how to get back to the levels he was at previously. He’s also getting later in his baseball life, though, so he may have had his last turn around the majors.