The St. Louis Cardinals have a reliever who, despite not having many fans in his corner, has done a sneaky good job in his role.
This is not an article I would’ve guessed I would be compelled to write. Moreover, I never expected this to be an article I ever could write. But I’m here to say it, Tyler Webb has been a very solid reliever in the role he has been used in this year for the St. Louis Cardinals.
A bit of a journeyman, Webb has been on four teams already in his short career and has appeared in 77 career games with a 4.02 ERA. That isn’t bad but when you look closer, you can see it’s actually just been his time with the Cardinals that has brought down his career ERA.
Last year, Webb was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals and had a 1.76 ERA over 18 games, and with the bigger role he has been given this year, he has a 3.51 ERA in 46 games. The role that Webb has been given has been basically second-string lefty.
Andrew Miller has a great hold on the high leverage lefty role but looking at Baseball Reference, 38 of his 46 games have been in low leverage situations. Adding to that, 33 times the Cardinals were losing the game when Webb entered.
I have beat the drum over and over that Webb wouldn’t be a bad player to sacrifice off the 40-man roster if a spot was needed, but it might be time to change my mind over that.
Recently, Webb has been really good. In his last 30 appearances, he has a 2.63 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Moving that closer to his last 10 games and Webb has just a 0.96 ERA with 11 strikeouts and just a 0.429 WHIP. He really has been great.
The bullpen overall has been amazing, but a guy who in the past that has been a whipping boy for the team like Webb performing the way he has is a great sign moving forward. He won’t ever be a closer, but if he keeps performing in higher and higher leverage situations, that’s another good weapon to have.
Webb might not be good for long, but for the rest of this season where the Cardinals bullpen has been taxed heavily and still been a strength for this team, Webb is a big part of that. Not that I would’ve thought I’d ever say that…