The Underperformers: Part 2
For a career that has been riddled with injuries, Jack Flaherty has finally been healthy this year. However, health alone won't build up his trade value. Once a top-four Cy Young candidate in 2019, Flaherty has faced numerous struggles on the mound this year. For his career, he has a 3.57 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 1.172 WHIP, and he averages 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
The story this season has been much different. Through 86 innings, Jack has walked 46 batters and has a 4.60 ERA, 4.13 FIP, and 1.558 WHIP. He is also striking out only 8.8 batters per nine innings. His fastball this year (92.9 MPH) is significantly slower than his fastball at his peak in 2019 (94.2 MPH).
Perhaps the biggest detriment to Flaherty's trade return potential would be his expiring contract at the end of the year. Volatility, a lack of control, and minimal contract duration are all impediments to Flaherty's trade value.
Matthew Liberatore has been worth -0.7 WAR. Need I continue? Liberatore will always be known as the pitcher the Cardinals got in exchange for Randy Arozarena, a fun, athletic, powerful outfielder. While it was never an idea to trade Liberatore this season, he could have been used as a supplementary piece in a bigger deal. That possibility has since faded.
For the season, Liberatore has a 6.75 ERA, 1.844 WHIP, and gives up 12 hits per nine innings. He has, however, done a good job at limiting home runs this year (0.6/9 innings). His stats last year weren't strong, but the hope was that he would get over the rookie hump and show signs of improvement this year. He pitched very well in AAA, leading to his call-up last month. He has struggled mightily in the majors and has not shown signs of correction lately.