Swauger on the Johnson City Cardinals: Part 2

The leader of St. Louis Cardinals Appalachian League team discusses player development on the way to a championship. Part 2 of a two-part interview focuses on the pitching.

In Part 1 of this exclusive, in-depth interview, Johnson City Cardinals manager Chris Swauger explained the development learnings with his hitters that occurred along the road to the 2016 Appalachian League championship.

Now, we move to the pitching.

The Cardinals were a pitch-to-contact pitching staff for the most part this season. Johnson City finished second in the rookie-level league in fewest walks allowed and were second to last in strikeouts. That led to them being fifth of 10 teams in ERA.

The rotation was very stable as only seven starters made six or more starts. Leading the group was Ian Oxnevad, who paced the staff in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts. The Cardinals also featured the Appy League’s ERA champion, Frederis Parra, who pitched at least seven innings in five of his 10 outings.

Johnson City’s primary closer was Estarlin Arias, who tallied six saves and four wins to go with a 2.15 ERA. Ross Vance, who made a few starts down the stretch, was dominant at times, striking out over 12 batters per nine innings.

In the following, the conclusion of a two-part interview, Swauger talks about his pitching in the framework of player development. Each segment is approximately 11 minutes.

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

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