Two "Pitchers of the Year" face off

Selected in the 28th round of the June 2001 free-agent draft, Blake Hawksworth, the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, will be facing the 2005 award winner, Anthony Reyes Friday night. Hawksworth is hoping for a good outing to remind St. Louis that while he's in Memphis, he is just a phone call away from the Major Leagues.

It's not often a 28th-round pick earns Pitcher of the Year honors, especially after missing most of two seasons because of shoulder surgery (2004) and discomfort relating to that surgery the following season (2005), but Blake Hawksworth bounced back from injuries in 2006 to post a solid season to earn the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors last season.

The 24-year-old, right handed pitcher combined to go 11-4 with a 2.92 ERA over 27 starts between Palm Beach (A) and Springfield (AA), ranking second among the Cardinals minor leaguers with a 2.92 ERA, third with 11 wins and fifth with 121 strikeouts.

Invited to spring training with the Major League club this season, Hawksworth appeared in three games in relief for the Cardinals, pitching a total of six innings, giving up seven hits and three runs, only two of them earned. He walked two batters and struck out two batters before being optioned to Triple-A Memphis from the Cardinals minor league camp on March the 16th.

In two games for Memphis, Hawksworth posted a 0-1 record with a 9.00 ERA, not the numbers that you would be expecting from the "Pitcher of the Year". In those two games he's pitched a total of seven innings, giving up 14 hits and seven earned runs.

Friday night, it will be Memphis vs. St. Louis, Blake Hawksworth the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year on the mound for the Triple-A club, facing the 2005 award winner Anthony Reyes, on the mound for the Major League club. Reyes has already made the jump to the majors. Hawksworth will be on the mound trying to remind the Cardinals he's just a phone call away.

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