Scout Notebook - Josh Pearce

Right-handed reliever Josh Pearce was added to the Springfield Cardinals roster Friday, after spending the past month in extended spring training in Palm Beach, Fla.

Pearce was in Florida working to strengthen his right (throwing) shoulder after have surgery in September, his second surgery in just two years.

Pearce was 3-2 with a 3.56 ERA in 26 games at Triple-A Memphis last season, his first year as a reliever. He appeared in three games for St. Louis last season, going 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA. He says building velocity and arm strength is the main issue now.

Josh has appeared in 13 games for the St. Louis Cardinals in his six-year career.

Pearce was once ranked by Baseball America as the St. Louis Cardinals #4 minor league prospect, ahead of Yadier Molina, Dan Haren, Covelli Crisp, John Gall and Bo Hart.

Give the kid some credit. He's gone from being the Cardinals #4 minor league prospect in 2002 to not even being mentioned in the Cardinals Official Media Guide in 2005. In that time span he has fought his way back from two shoulder surgeries to get himself on the Springfield Cardinals roster, Friday.

A reliever now, Pearce began his career in the Cardinals system as a starter. A bulldog in college, the Cardinals figured Pearce pitched nearly 300 innings between college fall ball in 1998 through instructional league in 1999.

Pearce pitched 185 innings in 28 minor league games in 2001, never missing his turn.

Josh got his first taste of the major leagues in 2002 in an injury-shortened campaign. Starting the season at AAA he was recalled to St. Louis on April the 18th when injuries hit the Cardinals pitching staff. He appeared in three games for the Cardinals. His season came to an end when he had labral repair surgery on his right shoulder in May.

The Cardinals take on Pearce's injury that year was that they think that since Pearce is not a hard thrower, that his workload didn't contribute to his injury.

In 2003 he opened the season in A ball at Palm Beach and worked his way all the way back to the majors and appeared in seven games for the Cardinals, all in relief.

Last season Pearce appeared in 26 games for the AAA Memphis Redbirds with a record of 3-2 and a 3.56 ERA. He had shoulder surgery again in September to repair a problem from the earlier surgery.

SCOUTING REPORT

Pearce a right-hander reliever, stuff can be described as average at best.

Before his surgery last September he fastball was in the 88-91 mph range with good sink and command of it.

Among his other pitches, he has a slurve and changeup that are effective pitches for him and he also throws a slider and a changeup.

Like any pitcher without a definitive out pitch, his command and location of pitches is critical for his success. He has to keep the ball down in the strike zone.

He is one of those guys who will always take the ball and never miss his turn. He has excellent demeanor on the mound and will give you all he's got. He succeeds because he's an intelligent pitcher and knows how to make the pitches he needs to make to get the job done.

2005 OUTLOOK: Don't be surprised to see Pearce work his way all the way back to the majors. It may not be this season, but he could be back as early as 2006.

Heck, he once went from A ball to the majors in a single season, so don't count this kid out.

The Cardinals may have to put him back in their media guide.


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