The Cardinal Nation May Reliever of the Month

Among many contenders, Steve Sabatino is our choice as the Cards’ top minors relief pitcher in May.

Much like I mentioned in the Starting Pitcher of the Month article, there are several considerations when selecting a Relief Pitcher of the Month. The level of competition vs. stats come into play. Should a reliever at a higher level receive greater consideration over a reliever at a lower level who has better stats? Also, should more innings count as somewhat of a “bonus”?


With all of these items in play, Steve Sabatino has been selected as The Cardinal Nation’s Reliever of the Month for May. Sabatino, in his second stint with the Palm Beach Cardinals, did not allow an earned run in 10 2/3 innings during the month. In that time, the Cardinals’ 2012 26th rounder from Notre Dame struck out 10 while allowing a .143 batting average against.

Sabatino, 25, is in his fourth season as a Cardinals farm hand. In 2014, the left-hander pitched at two different levels, with the majority of his appearances coming with the Peoria Chiefs (17). Sabatino received a late season promotion to Palm Beach last season where he appeared in three games.

May Stat Leaders

Earned Run Average (less than 20 IP, but more than 10 IP)

Steve Sabatino – 0.00
Marcus Hatley – 0.55
Chris Perry – 0.73
Robby Rowland – 1.17
Iden Nazario – 1.42

Strikeouts (less than 20 IP)

Jhonny Polanco – 24
Chris Thomas – 23
Corey Baker – 21
Tyler Bray – 21
Nick Lomascolo – 18

WHIP (less than 20 IP, but more than 10 IP)

Chris Perry – 0.50
Robby Rowland – 0.80
Steve Sabatino – 0.98
Marcus Hatley – 0.99
Jhonny Polanco – 1.05
Iden Nazario – 1.07

Honorable Mentions

It was a tough call between Sabatino and Marcus Hatley, who pitches at the highest minor league level, Memphis. Hatley had more innings, but had a higher ERA. I consulted with The Cardinal Nation editor Brian Walton and he agreed with the Sabatino pick, but Hatley was a close second. The first year Cardinal is having a strong season at Triple-A, with a 1.30 ERA in over 27 innings pitched.

Several other relievers did not allow a run in May, but each had less than 10 innings pitched. Kender Villegas (Peo), Kyle Barraclough (Sgf), and Oneiver Diaz (DSL) all had 0.00 ERA’s with more than five innings pitched.

Coming Soon

The Cardinal Nation’s new monthly review looking at team results, hot/cold players, and key roster moves throughout the month of May will be up next, followed by our 2015 MLB Draft coverage.

Prior Winners

Listed below are The Cardinal Nation’s Starting Pitcher of the Month, Relief Pitcher of the Month and Player of the Month selections and links to those earlier articles. The St. Louis Cardinals organizational winners are included, as well.

  Pitcher of Month Starter of Month Reliever of Month  
2015 Cards organization The Cardinal Nation The Cardinal Nation 2015
April  Alex Reyes Daniel Poncedeleon Kyle Grana April 
May   Luis Perdomo Steve Sabatino May
June       June
July       July
Aug       Aug
  Player of Month      
2015 Cards organization The Cardinal Nation   2015
April  Xavier Scruggs Xavier Scruggs   April 
May   Ed Easley   May
June       June
July       July
Aug       Aug

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John Nagel can be reached via email at Follow John on Twitter @CardinalsFarm.

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