If I can keep it up all month, 31 days of positive posts! There's going to be enough negativity going around with the Cardinals not in the post-season.
John Brebbia turned in his second great performance in as many years...and for the second year in a row he was not used as much as he should have been by his manager(s). John Brebbia over the past two years has been the type of pitcher the Cardinals have needed in the pen and the Cardinals have been hesitant to use him.
If I had left off the name, and quite frankly the pitcher, and said that the Cardinals could acquire a guy with 102 1/3 innings pitched in the last two years who has struck out 111 guys and only allowed 112 to reach base, wouldn't you jump on that?
What if I said that in the past two years he's allowed just 7 hits per nine innings, just 13 homers total, and had a 4.11 K:BB?
What if I told you that he struck out 26.6% of the 418 batters he's faced in the past two years (league average around 22%) while walking just 6.5% of the batters he's faced over that time (league average of 8.5%)? That means his K%-BB% of 20.1% is about 6.5% higher than league average. That's about 49% better than league average on the K%-BB% scale.
What if I told you this same pitcher had an ERA of 2.81 over those 102 1/3 innings? What if I said he backed that up by a FIP of 3.58 (league average about 4.30)? What if I said his SIERA was better than that? - click on those links for definitions of those two run estimation tools.
What if I told you this same pitcher had (out of 505 pitchers with at least 100 batted balls against them) finished 133rd in all of baseball? That's nearly in the top quarter of the league...well, that was 2017. This past year (out of 517 pitchers with at least 100 batted balls against them), this pitcher finished 42nd in expected wOBA based on batted ball outcomes? That's top 8.2% in the entire league.
Who is the pitcher that did all of this? John Freakin' Brebbia. That's who. Just pitch him, Shildt. Throw him 65 innings this year. Let it fly. The Cardinals have let him waste bullets on 40 1/3 minor league innings over the past two years by yo-yo-ing him up and down I-55 from STL to MEM. Not this year. The Cardinals NEED him in the pen. I'm POSITIVE of that.
My favorite stat on John Brebbia from 2018 is this. Despite throwing a below league average percent of his pitches around the edges of the zone (37.6% compared to 39% league average), he got swings and misses on 29.6% of swings when league average is just 24.9%. That's pretty remarkable.
Positive October Day 17, in the books!
In case you missed them: