St. Louis Cardinals: Positives of Mike Leake Signing


With the St. Louis Cardinals’ signing of Mike Leake, Cardinals’ Nation has done a little research and found out that maybe this was an unpromising signing.

For $80 Million, was Mike Leake really worth it? Is he THAT good?  Well here’s the thing, for a projected fifth starter he doesn’t have to be THAT good. But, he will offer nice production that the St. Louis Cardinals may have lacked.

One thing that is promising about Mike Leake is he typically stays pretty healthy. We found out this past season that health is one very important aspect of the game. Last season Leake made 30 starts between the Reds and Giants, just four starts shy of the most in the league. In fact this year marked the fourth consecutive year Leake made 30 or more starts.

So the guy starts a lot of games, so what? Well the thing with Leake is when he starts he always has the potential go deep into the game. He pitched six innings or more in all but seven of his starts last season; eight of those starts went eight innings or more. His most notable start was his last start of the season, pitching a two hit shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Obviously his ERA isn’t going to blow people away, a 3.88 career ERA. His fastball that’s a shade over 90 MPH isn’t going to strike many people out. But, everyone knows the Cardinals do a good job with developing pitchers. At 28 years old, he’s still got some solid years ahead of him.

His ERA isn’t flashy, but his WHIP began to improve last season. Posting a 1.16 WHIP, which ranked him in the top 25 in the league, showed he’s moving in the right direction.

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Another important aspect of Leake’s game is he’s fairly good at hitting the ball for a pitcher. In 364 career at bats he possesses a .212 batting average. Not too bad for a pitcher. Adam Wainwright is typically thought of as the best Cardinal’s hitting pitcher and he has just a .198 career batting average. Sure Waino has over 150 more at bats than Leake, but it’s still something to be noted.

I think one of the best takeaways we can take from this is it seems John Mozeliak finally came out of hibernation. After missing on David Price, failing to re sign John Lackey and Jason Heyward, and completely shooting down the option of Chris Davis, we wondered if our GM would ever wake up. Well now he’s signed a decent pitcher and is potentially looking at trading for outfielders like Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon

No, this is not a big name signing. No, Mike Leake will not be a superstar pitcher. Yes, there are certain things he lacks. But nothing can be taken away from this guy. Health is extremely important. Production is extremely important.

Next: Cardinals Chasing Rockies Outfielders?

A decent hitting pitcher can be very underrated in certain aspects of a game. If you’re still not convinced, look at the biggest factor of them all. We’re still the St. Louis Cardinals.