Cards minors pitching coord Leveque speaks

Tim Leveque is well-prepared for his newest assignment, coordinating Cardinals minor league pitching.

As is most always the case, a memorable situation with a pair of individuals could not be scripted. It just happens by chance. Such was the case in St. Louis Cardinals spring training camp recently.

To conduct our interview that follows, Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator Tim Leveque suggested we step outside the crowded coaches' room and into the area between the clubhouse and the right field wall at Roger Dean Stadium.

As we did that, who was walking by but Brent Strom, looking a bit odd in his orange Houston Astros uniform. Of course, Strom has joined Houston for 2014 as their major league pitching coach. As coincidence, his club was in Jupiter to play the Marlins that afternoon.

The two embraced – mentor and mentee - the Cardinals former minor league coordinator in Strom and his replacement in Leveque. I was happy to wait a few moments to begin the interview as the two set plans to catch up with each other.

Strom, a former pitcher who modestly stakes his major claim to fame as being the second pitcher to ever undergo Tommy John surgery, was long a successful teacher of young arms even before joining the Cardinals system in 2007.

Leveque brings a strong portfolio of experiences to his new assignment, as well. Though still in his early 30's, he has held a variety of roles from scout to minor league pitching coach to rehab coordinator to mechanics analyst and more.

In the following interview, Leveque discusses the balance necessary to maintain continuity while putting his own touches on a most-important job.


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

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