Editor's Note: Two years ago, Site Manager Ben Humphrey asked readers to provide predictions for Cardinals baseball players. Last year, he renewed that request, and although Ben is in blogger retirement, we at VEB are re-renewing the request to predict how the Cardinals will do.
I have to say that Seth Maness has become one of my favorite relievers these last few seasons. He certainly hasn't been the best reliever on the team by any means, but I enjoy the way he does things. The last few years we have grown accustom to teams accumulating multiple relievers throwing high-90's heat and striking out more than a hitter an inning. Seth does his thing with a 90 mph fastball that has less than stellar K rate over that time frame.
How does he survive? By minimizing walks and maximizing ground balls. Among 169 pitchers with a qualified amount of innings from 2013-2015, Maness ranks 7th lowest in BB% and 15th highest in GB%, which both help make up for having the 14th lowest K/9 over that span. Here's his stats from last year:
His Fangraphs profile and steamer projection can be found here, and the Cardinals' ZiPS projections can be found here.