This season didn’t go like most seasons. The Cardinals were terrible. I stopped writing here very much, with nothing after the blog anniversary. However, some things must go on and that includes the Exit Interview series! Now in its 12th year, it’s our look back at each player that made an appearance in a game for the St. Louis Cardinals. We’re approaching it a little different this season, a little more literary and a little less statistical, but hopefully you enjoy it just the same. As always, I am grateful that cardinalsgifs has agreed to use his talent for the header image!
Player: Kyle Leahy
Stats: 0-1, 3 G, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 1 HR, 5 BB, 2 K, 21.60 ERA, 19.46 FIP, 5.400 WHIP, -0.3 bWAR
Statcast: 28.6% barrel, 42.9% sweet spot, 104.3 max exit velocity, .660 wOBA, .541 xwOBA, 13.3% K, 33.3% BB
You know when people do those Sporcle quizzes and they ask you who were all the members of a certain team? I don’t think you even have to wait a few years to already whiff on Leahy in one of those. Here’s a guy that’s been in the organization since 2018 and except for people like Kyle Reis and Brian Walton nobody’s going to come up with his name. When I was making out this list, I had him down as Ryan Leahy until I double checked things. Leahy kept getting bumped up even as his numbers were….well, pedestrian is probably overstating them. It got him to Memphis, though, which meant he was right there when the worst disaster of a team in 30-plus years happened and he got his shot.
He treated that shot much like you’d expect from a man with a career 5.60 ERA in the minor leagues. He got to face the White Sox, the Nationals, and the Cubs–not exactly powerhouses–and couldn’t get through any of his outings without walking at least one or allowing a run. He was up for roughly two weeks, coming up when Matthew Liberatore got sent to Memphis and returning to the Redbirds when Drew VerHagen was activated from injury. He was never heard from again and it was unlikely the club ever seriously considered having him return to the bigs no matter how the season was going.
What’s in store for 2024: I thought there was a shot that the club might keep Leahy given he was just 26, but looking at his minor league track record it’s not surprising that they waived him off the 40-man. He’s still in the system and should pitch for Memphis next year but it’s hard to imagine there’s a path for him returning to the big leagues.