Cardinals Young Arms Giving Starting Rotation a Boost
The St. Louis Cardinals are back atop the National League Central thanks to their fine pitching staff.
Youth has appeared on the scene for the Cardinals in the form of pitchers. The plan for St. Louis goes back to the draft of 2008 and the results are finally showing.
This season the Cardinals have used 12 pitchers that are 25 years of age or younger, the most by any team in baseball. Houston is second with 10, while only one other team played more than seven.
The youth of the Cardinals pitching staff has a combined 31 wins over 489 2/3 innings pitched, with an ERA of 3.31 and has struck out 468 batters.
Joe Kelly was drafted in the third round back in 2009 and the 25-year old when drafted had a 95 mph sinker to go along with a four-seam fastball. However, since the draft he has perfected a changeup and curveball.
He started as a reliever this season, but entered the starting rotation and as a starter is 5-1 with an ERA of 2.25 over nine starts.
Shelby Miller is a starter for the Cardinals. The rookie has received a great deal of attention, more so than any of the other young guns on the team. This is due to having a record of 12-8 with an ERA of 2.90. In six of his starts this season, he has held his opponent scoreless.
Like his fellow teammates, he credits the instruction he received while in the minors with his success today.
Michael Wacha, picked last year in the first round made his debut in the majors in May. He too praised the help in the Double and Triple A with helping him become successful.
Developing young strong arms to be successful in the majors is about not only movement on the ball, velocity, good mechanics or health.
The idea St. Louis has in their organization is to make good pitchers into great pitchers who are gifted and will be productive over the long term.
Adam Wainwright the team’s ace hopes he can give some knowledge to his younger teammates. The right-hander said he learned from the best like Chris Carpenter and Dave Duncan. Wainwright says it is very important for the pitching staff to watch the bullpen work of fellow starters, as it helps the rotation become closer as a unit and not just five guys.
The young arms have proven they can play at the top level and are now proving how important they are to the success of the Cardinals.
With only 30 games left on the regular season schedule, the Cardinals are coming into crunch time and want to make sure they win the division and do not have to play in a wildcard playoff.
The young pitching arms will help them get there, if they have any say in the matter.