Ottavino told The Springfield News-Leader that he believes that he began having problems with his shoulder, with what has been described by the team as shoulder inflammation, when he tweaked it, in a scheduled batting practice session two days before the season-opener.
Ottavino was obviously having some issues, averaging just less than five innings per start, and having problems finding the plate, walking 13 batters in just 19.1 innings pitched, giving up 15 earned runs in the process.
The 6-foot-5, 210 pound right-hander, missed his turn in the rotation earlier this week, with the Cardinals going with long reliever, right-hander Cory Rauschenberger, in his place, hoping that Ottavino could avoid going the disabled list if he was given a week to 10 days of rest. It became apparent within the last 48 hours that the Cardinals would have to reluctantly place him on the DL and call up reenforcement from Palm Beach.
Ottavino, the Cardinals top pick in the 2006 draft (30th overall), spent the entire ‘07 season at Palm Beach (A), earning midseason and postseason Florida State League All-Star honors.
After wrestling with his mechanics and delivery in spring training, Ottavino finished the 2007 campaigned ranked 2nd in the Florida State League with 12 wins and 3rd with a 3.08 ERA and 128 strikeouts. His 27 starts ranked T-3rd in the FSL. He went 9-3 with a 2.73 ERA (82.1 IP / 25 ER) in 14 starts after the FSL All-Star break (6/15-17). His 12 wins and an ERA of 3.08, both of which were record setting for the Palm Beach Cardinals organization.
In a corresponding move Friday, RHP Marco Gonzalez is being called up to Springfield from Palm Beach and RHP Brandon Garner is being called up to Palm Beach from Extended Spring Training. Gonzalez will work out of the bullpen and Cory Rauschenberger will take Ottavino's spot in the rotation.
Ottavino was the Cardinals' 1st round selection (30th overall) in the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft, out of Northeastern University. He has been ranked by the Birdhouse, as the Cardinals #5 prospect, in 2007 and 2008.
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