St. Louis Cardinals: Tyler Webb should not be on the roster

ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 26: Tyler Webb #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after giving up the game-winning run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the tenth inning at Busch Stadium on May 26, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - MAY 26: Tyler Webb #30 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts after giving up the game-winning run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the tenth inning at Busch Stadium on May 26, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals have allowed the Tyler Webb experiment to go on for far too long. It’s time for Mo, Girsch, and the rest of the front office and management to realize that sometimes a lefty isn’t the best option if they aren’t at a major league level.

So, the St. Louis Cardinals have been losing quite a bit recently. The finger has been pointed at all sorts of places by fans, and the solutions they have presented have been even more scattered.

However, there is one thing that I hope that St. Louis Cardinals fans can agree with me on at this point: Tyler Webb simply cannot be on this team right now if they want to succeed. As Stephen A. Smith once said, “no disrespect whatsoever, but the man cannot play the game (at the highest level).”

When I am saying Tyler Webb is bad, what I am saying is that Tyler Webb isn’t quite good enough to be a major league pitcher at this point in time. It just comes out different because I am annoyed, and Webb’s face is the one I see during much of that annoyance.

But I am not even particularly mad at Webb himself. The man has made it farther in professional sports than 99.9% of humanity can say, and that requires talent, there’s no way around that.

No, the problems come from John Mozeliak, and his long running obsession with hoarding lefties that are fringe MLB talent. It is something that has gone on for years, something I have complained about for years, and something that needs to stop now.

When John Brebbia made the Opening Day roster over Webb, I penned a piece discussing how it was the correct choice because of how ineffective Webb was against lefties, despite him being a lefty himself.

When I look at these left handed pitchers that the Cardinals have had—guys like Chasen Shreve, Marc Rzepczynski, Randy Choate, and Tyler Lyons—I think one simple thought.

Would any of these guys have jobs in the major leagues if they didn’t throw left handed? If the answer is no, then they should not be on the St. Louis Cardinals. Simple as that.

I know what you are probably saying, we shouldn’t punish people for having an advantage and using it to get ahead, but that’s the wrong frame of mind to approach this from.

Here’s how I think about it: if you are a player that is only in the league because you are left handed and are just getting by, it just isn’t sustainable when you really get down to the tough games and situations. It just means your talent isn’t up to par with the majors, and the advantage you have just barely gets you there.

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Quite frankly, Webb hasn’t been anywhere near serviceable this season, and last night was just another display of that. Low 90’s fastball with flat breaking pitches and an inability to control lead to 3 walks in his brief appearance, and I am not sure how much longer the St. Louis Cardinals can afford to lose games off a pitcher who doesn’t have to be on the roster.

If the point of having Webb on the roster is to get lefties out, and he is allowing a 5.17 ERA this season with a career 4.91 ERA against lefties, then I have to ask. Why is he still on the roster? Why are guys like Austin Gomber, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Ryan Helsley still in the minors when they have already proven to be miles ahead of Webb.

It comes down to one simple fact: the St. Louis Cardinals cannot give up on their unreasonable need to always have a lefty in the bullpen, no matter how good or bad they may be. For me, this has been one of the most frustrating and straight up asinine things that the Cardinals do, and I am sure I am not the only one sick of it.

I will spell this out real nice and simple so that hopefully it will be understood this time. You ready St. Louis Cardinals management? Are you sure? Ok, here it goes.

Stop using up roster spots on lefties that aren’t good enough just because they are lefties. It hasn’t worked for the last decade and it won’t start working now.

When the Cardinals won in 2011, was it because they had good left handed relieving? Absolutely not, because the pair of Trevor Miller and Rzepczynski were straight up bad that year. As lefty specialists, Miller posted a 4.02 ERA and Rzepczynski was right behind with a 3.97 ERA.

Go back even further to ’06, and you see even less influence of the left handed reliever. The duo of Randy Flores and Tyler Johnson put up even more atrocious numbers than the 2011 duo, with ERA’s of 5.62 and 4.95 respectively

No, those teams didn’t have crazy left handed relievers, but they had guys who got people out. Despite their struggles with their lefties, the St. Louis Cardinals finished 10th in OBP, 14th in BAA, and 23rd in SLG allowed. These numbers may seem a bit high, but let’s remember that Fernando Salas was also the closer in the regular season for most of the season, so expectations on that front shouldn’t be too high.

The story is much the same looking at 2006. The Cardinals relief core was 12th in BAA, 10th in OBP, and 11th in SLG overall, and those numbers drop to 15th in BAA, 13th in OBP, and 20th in SLG against left handed batting.

Of course, that doesn’t quite prove my point, so let me show you one more enlightening stat. When you simply look at how right handed St. Louis Cardinals relievers did against left handed hitters in these two years, the results may be surprising to some, but not to me.

2006 LHP vs LHH.228.322.3755.36
2006 RHP vs LHH.268.347.4434.22
2011 LHP vs LHH.236.358.4414.32
2011 RHP vs LHH.245.325.4184.43

There are some differences made in using the left handed reliever to face the left handed hitter in these two situations, but the St. Louis Cardinals have proven they can be successful using right handed relievers against left handed hitting. If that’s the case, why not just have one more reliable right hander that can be more than just a LOGGY if need be, instead of someone who hasn’t even been able to do that?

You can turn this by saying that the Cardinals have proven that they can win with mediocre left handed pitchers, but that was after barely scraping into the playoffs with much better offenses than the ones we are seeing, and much tougher starting pitching to boot.

Without those two things, the Cardinals simply can’t afford dead weight, and Tyler Webb is just that. With what he has displayed, there is absolutely no reason that he should not be in the minors right now besides the need of the Cardinals management to fulfill their lefty fetish. If the St. Louis Cardinals really want to contend, Tyler Webb should be in the minors until he proves he can really play with the best.

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Blame can go many places during a tough stretch, and sometimes it is simply hinging on a player under performing. However, Tyler Webb has been an issue from the moment he touched the major league roster, and there are plenty of arms that the St. Louis Cardinals need right now that can and should replace him if the team wants to be as good as it can be.