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Wellemeyer’s season stacking up among worst ever

Earlier today, Ian Walton offered a very insightful analysis as to why Todd Wellemeyer should be bounced from the St. Louis Cardinals rotation in favor of Brad Thompson.

That was posted even before Wellemeyer struggled mightily in his one-third inning of relief on Sunday as he was pulled with the bases loaded and one out. Two reached base via walks and one via a hit. As the Cardinals’ defense failed them, all three runners came home, turning a tight, one-run contest into the game-ending four-run edge for Chicago as the Cubs won 7-3.

For what is it worth, on this day, the runs were unearned. Overall, that hasn’t been the case most often as Wellemeyer has allowed 62 earned runs in 100 1/3 innings for a 5.56 ERA this season.

The following offers a perspective of the end result, not the means to that end as Ian more interestingly explained. Yet it is still very telling to me and supports the same conclusion.

In the storied 128-year history of the St. Louis Cardinals franchise, Wellemeyer has joined a most dubious group – the top dozen worst ERAs for a pitcher given at least 18 starts in a season.

Amazingly, four of the bottom 12 have been added to the list in the last four years alone – Jason Marquis in 2006 plus Anthony Reyes and Kip Wells in 2007. In case you didn’t break the code, none of those three remain with the Cardinals today.

In other words, Wellemeyer has been given more than enough rope.

While there remains almost a half-season for him to improve, odds are at least as likely Wellemeyer would move further up this list – if he is given the opportunity, that is.

St. Louis Cardinals highest ERA in a season (18 or more starts) – club history

Rank Pitcher ERA GS Year Age
1 Andy Benes 7.38 19 2001 33
2 Nelson Briles 6.24 19 1970 26
3 Anthony Reyes 6.04 20 2007 25
4 Jason Marquis 6.02 33 2006 27
5 Bill Sherdel 5.93 22 1929 32
6 Danny Jackson 5.90 19 1995 33
7 Jose Jimenez 5.85 28 1999 25
8 Jesse Haines 5.71 25 1929 35
9 Kip Wells 5.70 26 2007 30
10 Leo Dickerman 5.58 20 1925 28
11 Todd Wellemeyer 5.56 18 2009 30
12 Bill Doak 5.54 29 1922 31
13 Allen Watson 5.52 22 1994 23

Thanks to Tom Orf for the data pull.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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