Having a pitcher who can start but can also eat innings in the middle of a game? Sounds like what the Cardinals are needing. It’s exactly what they could get in Collin McHugh.
McHugh pitched 37 games in 2021, starting seven of them. He threw 64 innings for the Tampa Bay Rays going 6-1 on the season with one save. He threw 74 strikeouts and had a 33.5% called strike out rate.
McHugh relies on a slider, a cutter, a four-seam fastball and a curveball. The fastball averages 90.6 mph with an active spin of 88%. The cutter averages 87.5 mph with a 36% active spin. The slider, his most used pitched, averages 79.5 mph with an active spin at 59%. The curveball averages 74.3 mph with an active spin of 81%.
He does have a 44.5% groundball rate. The Cardinals Gold Glove defense should definitely help McHugh in being effective with his off-speed pitches getting outs in later innings.
McHugh, 34, had a bit of an off year with the Rays after some success with the Houston Astros for many years. It should be interesting to see what his offseason entails and what he could be expected to bring his new team in 2022. Due to this drop in production, McHugh may be an acquisition a team make closer to the season starting.