2013 Johnson City Cards Reliever of the Year

21-year-old Fernando Baez rose to the top of the short-season rookie level club's bullpen.

For the 2013 season, The Cardinal Nation has selected 21-year-old Fernando Baez as the Relief Pitcher of the Year for the Johnson City Cardinals. It was just his second season on the mound after converting from catcher.

The Cardinals missed out on an Appalachian League postseason berth late in the season but received consistent results from the right hander all season long. Baez had stiff competition among the ranks to be our top JC Cardinals relief man, but had a team-leading six saves to help his cause.

Baez
In 26 appearances during the season, most by anyone the JC Cardinals bullpen, Baez finished the season with a 0.82 ERA - lowest on the squad. He allowed just 15 hits and three runs over 33 innings.

Baez' 33 innings was ninth among Johnson City pitchers, including starters, but he tied for second on the team with fellow relief pitcher Zach Loraine in total strikeouts with 47. Starter Alex Reyes led the staff with 68 on the season.

The month of August belonged to Baez coming out of the pen. In his 11 games that month, Baez pitched 14 2/3 innings and allowed no runs. The stretch also included Baez recording his team-high six saves, with the last save of the year coming in the Cardinals' August 27 victory over the Danville Braves, 2-0.

Baez had a record of 1-0 to go along with his six saves. He recorded the 5-4 win over Danville on June 23 in an extra-inning affair at Johnson City. Baez pitched 2/3 innings with two strikeouts and no hits that night.

Johnson City Cardinals relief pitchers

Reliever  W ERA SV IP  ER HR BB SO
                       
** Fernando Baez 1-0  0.82 26 6 33 15 3 3 0 23 47
                       
Zach Loraine             3-1  2.04 24 3 39.2 29 10 9 1 11 47
Norge Paredes         2-2  3.58 19 1 37.2 34 19 15 5 21 40
Anderson Gerdel      3-1  3.78 21 0 33.1 39 22 14 4 7 30
Michael Holback       2-0  2.18 16 1 33 24 11 6 1 17 44
Nick Lomascolo        2-3  2.90 13 1 31 21 15 10 2 22 43
Steve Sabatino       3-2 4.84 11 0 22.1 21 12 12 0 12 33
Brandon Lee            1-1 2.91 12 0 21.2 27 11 7 1 6 16
Stalyn Lopez            1-0  3.86 15 0 21 15 10 9 0 25 29
Kyle Grana               1-0  2.45 7 0 7.1 4 2 2 0 1 9
Ismael Brito              0-1  4.76 5 0 5.2 8 3 3 0 3 9

Loraine, Norge Paredes, Michael Holback and Nick Lomascolo were the other Cardinals that recorded saves during the regular season. Loraine was second on the team with three and pitched the most, 39 2/3 innings in 24 games, while recording a 2.04 ERA. Holback proved to be a solid relief man before making the move to being a starter in mid-July.

There were many viable nominees for Johnson City Relief Pitcher of the Year, but Baez proved to be the most consistent throughout the season.



Link to master article with all 2013 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. Of course, that will include our selections as the Johnson City Cardinals Starting Pitcher and Player of the Year.



Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter: @ERecordSports

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