Today's recap is meant to point out the highlights, though. To select a Reliever of the Year, I used the following criteria:
* At least 50 innings pitched
* ERA less than 3.50
* Primary role was as a reliever instead of a starter
* WHIP less than 1.40
Jonathan Cornelius came to the Quad Cities as a starter replacement for Todd McInnis. Jon did a good job in the starting position, but was quickly transitioned to the bullpen. He had eight starts and fifteen appearances from the pen. The left-hander carried an ERA of 3.27 and a WHIP of 1.31. Jon had a good head for the game, threw hard and exhibited good control while keeping batters off balance with a mix of pitches. While carrying a record of just 1-2, he kept the Bandits in many games that would have otherwise been blowouts. I'll keep him on my personal watch list.
Ethan Cole was one of the unofficial designated closers this year. He has shown good power and control from the mound. The right-hander averaged just less than two innings per outing and had an ERA of 1.98. Late in the game, it was sometimes easy to miss the pitching change but it was east to tell that Ethan had come in because he quietly made his presence known as he controlled the final innings. With a record of just 4-1, it shows that he was called on when his team already had the lead in the game. Cole only recorded one save - more evidence that his job was to hold the lead.
The rest of the bullpen was eliminated by these four categories, but I think that one more pitcher deserves an honorable mention. Robert Stock came back to the Quad Cities under very challenging circumstances to transition from catcher to pitcher. He didn't have a stellar year, but he did well in his first season of pitching since college. I'm sure that he would have preferred catching in Palm Beach instead of pitching here, but he had an all-star attitude all summer. Kudos to Rob!
My congratulations go to Ethan Cole as The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Quad Cities Reliever of the Year. I've spent a month trying to decide between Ethan and Heath and it could have gone to either of them. But in the end, Ethan's stats were just a little better. I don't expect to see any of these guys back in the Midwest League next year.
Link to master article with all 2012 award winners, team recaps and article schedules.
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