The Cardinals used 46 players on their way to a World Series victory, and given recent precedent, every single one of them will be getting some bling.
Of course, some will deserve it more than others. Here’s a glimpse at a few of the lesser lights on the 2011 Cardinals…
Ryan Franklin: An effective, if underpowered, closer the previous couple of years, Franklin was the main culprit in an astoundingly awful bullpen early on, racking up an 8.46 ERA in 21 appearances. He was eventually released having converted just one of his five save chances.
Corey Patterson: The Cards felt they needed some extra outfield depth when they traded Colby Rasmus to Toronto, so the Blue Jays gave up Patterson as a throw-in. Patterson went on to hit .157 in 51 at-bats, and he nearly lost the Cardinals a key game with a ninth-inning drop against the Phillies on Sept. 16. Needless to say, he wasn’t included on the postseason roster.
Pete Kozma: At 23, Kozma was the youngest position player to appear for the Cardinals this season. The former first-round pick went 3-for-17 in a pair of first-half callups and was never heard from again. The Cards didn’t bother giving him another look in September after he hit just .214 in Triple-A.
Trever Miller: A formerly reliable lefty specialist, Miller had more walks (10) than strikeouts (nine) in his 39 appearances before being sent packing.
Miguel Batista: Also had more walks than strikeouts in his 26 appearances for the Cardinals. The 40-year-old Batista went on to finish the season with the Mets, but he’ll be getting his second World Series ring anyway.
Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.
Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.
The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.
Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.
While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.
Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.