The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#46 Matt Morris SP

Matt was one of those guys who when he was on, every fifth day was a joy. You knew he was going to bring his A game and that the Cardinals were likely going to win that day. However, the problem for Matt was his his consistency. Morris had a stellar rookie campaign, when he went 12-9 with a 3.19 ERA (3.51 FIP) in 1997, making him worth a 4.6 fWAR.

However, the next season Matt went down with an injury in April that kept him out until July and limited him to making just 17 starts that year, finishing with an ERA of 2.52 and a fWAR of 2.1. Morris then went down to a torn elbow ligament in spring training in 1999, limiting him to not only missing the entire season, but also limiting him to just 31 appearances out of the bullpen in the 2000 season.

Morris returned to the rotation in 2001, making 34 starts and finishing 22-8, with an ERA of 3.16 (3.05 FIP). Morris also finished with his best K/9 totals of his career at 7.70. All of these numbers led to Morris finishing with his best fWAR of his career at 6.1.

Unfortunately for Morris, his effectiveness went down from there, finishing with a 4.2 fWAR in 2002 and 2.8 fWAR in 2003. Morris went under the knife again after the 2004 season that saw him post an ERA of 4.72 in the Cardinals World Series year. Morris saw a rebound in his numbers in 2005 with a 4.11 ERA and 3.99 FIP, giving him a 2.7 fWAR.

However, this just wasn’t good enough for the Cardinals to keep him around as he followed his catcher Mike Matheny to the Giants after the 2005 season. Morris really only had three good seasons with the club, and is often though of as a pitcher that could have been better had it not been for all of the injuries in his career.

However, his 24.6 fWAR ranks 13th best among all starting pitchers in Cardinals’ history, which is what puts him on this list.

Next: The dead ball era

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