Eric Fornataro's six-year journey reaches MLB

St. Louis Cardinals reliever Eric Fornataro recaps his progression through the minor league system and his arrival in the bigs.

Right-hander Eric Fornataro ascended to the Major Leagues for the first time in his six-year professional career on Friday, but did not immediately pitch. The 26-year-old then had to wait to see whether it would he or fellow call up Jorge Rondon who would be returned to Memphis to make room for Monday's St. Louis Cardinals starter Tyler Lyons.

It had been pre-destined that Fornataro would remain, though that was not made clear until after the fact. The reliever had impressed in the early going at Memphis and St. Louis manager Mike Matheny indicated that had only one pitcher been called up, it would have been him.

Not only did Fornataro stay with St. Louis as they traveled from Washington to New York, he was called upon to make his Major League debut Monday night. After throwing a perfect eighth inning against the Mets, he had this to say.

"I haven't pitched in about a week," the reliever stated. "That was the biggest part not being on the mound in a week. I kind of just toned it down a little bit and tried to throw strikes, tried not to worry about throwing too hard or anything."

Before the game, the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder spoke about his six-year journey through the Cardinals minor league system and the big moment when he received "the call."

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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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