Nabil Crismatt and Craig Stammen were the ultimate team players for the 2021 Padres. They were the ones who usually had to come in games where the starter got hurt or got shelled early on. Both did a good job eating innings and limiting the damage in those situations.
As for Stammen, one game in particular stands out to me that shows how valuable he is to this team. It was April 11 in Arlington. Adrian Morejon got hurt in the first inning and Jayce Tingler had to bring Stammen in to eat some innings. Not only did Stammen eat some innings, but he didn’t give up a single run in 3.1 innings of work. The Padres ended up winning that game 4-1. Who knows, had Stammen not pitched as well, maybe the Padres end up losing that game.
Stammen would go on to make 20 appearances of two or more innings this season. He led the bullpen in innings pitched and finished eighth on the club in WAR (1.5), ahead of Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Tommy Pham.
One interesting accomplishment he made this year was striking out four batters in an inning, which he did against the Atlanta Braves on September 24 (Ozzie Albies reached on a drop third strike). That was just the third time a Padres pitcher had done that in franchise history. Luke Gregerson (2004) and Miguel Diaz (2018) were the first two Friars to accomplish that feat.
Stammen finished his fifth season in a Padres uniform (it’s been that long?!) with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.042 WHIP—his best since 2018. His ERA in the first and second half was under 3.40.
The former National is under contract for one more season before being an unrestricted free agent before the 2023 season. He will be 39 years old at that time.