St. Louis Cardinals: With two weeks left, who’s in negative WAR?
Andrew Miller: -0.5 fWAR, -0.2 bWAR
Andrew Miller’s multiple All-Star career in the American League, plus World Series performance, is well known. He would seem to be the exact kind of guy that you would want adding wisdom to a Cardinals’ postseason clubhouse that contains few players who were with the team during the 2015 playoff run and even fewer who are left from 2013, the Cardinals’ last dance in the World Series.
But Miller’s WAR doesn’t lie: -0.2, after a meager 0.2 in 2018, seems to be a trend. Miller’s negative WAR is surprising given the number of games (65) and the number of innings (47.2) that he has been used. Indeed, he has appeared in more ball games than any other pitcher.
Of course much of that heavy use is due to the Cardinals’ perennial problem of not having a strong left-hander out of the bullpen to follow-up an all-righty starting staff. Ever since the overuse of Kevin Siegrist, the Cardinals have been trying to get by with such southpaw figures as Tyler Lyons, Chasen Shreve and Austin Gomber (who has been hurt), and Tyler Webb.
The other factor is that Miller has a two-year contract, and so… a sunk cost factor. And Miller has not looked as bad on the eye test as his negative WAR would indicate. Miller does well in some conventional statistics like holds (26), saves (5) and blown saves (only 3). But on Andrew Miller the dogs of WAR have been slipped. By both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference!