Jason Simontacchi, The Simo Man, comes home

According to a report, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi has been hired by the organization as a minor league pitching coach.

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jason Simontacchi has been hired by the organization to be their 2013 pitching coach at Single-A Peoria, Brian Stull of 101 ESPN Radio in St. Louis reports.

The 39-year-old pitched in the majors for St. Louis from 2002-04 and later appeared with the 2007 Washington Nationals. In 355 2/3 innings over 96 Major League contests, Simontacchi logged a 26-17 record with a 5.09 ERA.

The right-hander was well-traveled in his professional playing career, which spanned the years 1996-2010. Simontacchi wrapped up his playing days with the 2010 Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League and previously pitched in indy ball in 1998, 2006 and 2008. He also competed for Team Italy in the 2000 Olympics after pitching in the Italian League that season.

Originally selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 21st round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, Simontacchi also pitched in the Pirates and Twins organizations prior to joining the Cardinals as a free agent prior to the 2002 season.

After his late-April 2002 promotion to St. Louis, Simontacchi logged 11 wins, second on the staff that year. He was named the team's Rookie of the Year. In 2003, he opened in the rotation, but was moved to the pen in July and logged a 5.59 ERA. Called "The Simo Man" by broadcaster Mike Shannon, he was released by St. Louis after the 2004 season, having suffered a torn labrum.

In the Midwest League, Simontacchi will be replacing Ace Adams, the pitching coach for Quad Cities in 2012. The Cardinals have not yet announced their 2013 minor league coaching assignments.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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