Most watchers of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system are familiar with one complicating factor in selecting a Starting Pitcher of the Year, the tandem starting rotation, used for roughly the first half of the season from the A-ball level and down.
Another phenomena experienced in 2008 was the rapid, aggressive promotions of players from level to level. One by-product is that in their 138 regular-season games this past campaign, 20 different Palm Cardinals starting pitchers took the mound at Roger Dean Stadium for the A-Advanced Florida State League club.
Being the site of the
Still, even without them, the
revolving door of player movement may have been spinning harder in
Six pitchers started a total of 84 of those games, led by Brad Furnish with 20 and Brandon Dickson and Shaun Garceau with 17 each. Kyle Mura, Mark Diapoules and Tyler Herron brought up the rear with 11, ten and nine, respectively.
Herron is disqualified for further
consideration here because he pitched a majority of his innings this season with
Let's look at the 2008
Garceau paced the group with a
3.42 ERA, was co-leader with eight wins and his opponent batting average was
lowest, both in total innings and as a
In addition to his regular season results, the 21-year-old Garceau won the most important at the time and what would be the only victory of the post-season for the Cardinals on September 4.
Down 1-0 and having lost home
field advantage to the Daytona Cubs,
For those contributions and more, Shaun Garceau is our 2008 Scout.com Cardinals Starting Pitcher of the Year for the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Garceau, who was 20 years old for most of the season, put together his second consecutive solid season of work after having missed the entire 2006 schedule following two leg surgeries. The Floridian was taken as a high-schooler by the Cardinals in the 20th round of the 2005 draft.
As much due to congestion in the
starting pitching ranks in the system as anything, Garceau was returned to Quad
Cities to start the 2008 campaign. To his credit, the right-hander pitched so
well, he was named the Starting Pitcher of the Month of April with the River
Bandits. Soon, the promotion to
In a recent interview here at The Birdhouse, Cardinals farm director Jeff Luhnow made it clear that he believes Garceau deserves the chance to compete for a berth in the Double-A Springfield Cardinals 2009 rotation. Due to his career-high in innings pitched this season, 127 1/3, Garceau was ordered to take the winter off from competitive pitching, however.
I contacted Garceau to
congratulate him on his recognition and while I had him on the phone, we
discussed a variety of other topics. They include pitching at home in front of
family and friends and with his fellow
Other topics are his start to the season, his workload and health, his velocity and secondary pitches, his improvement in home runs yielded over 2007, his off-season plans and much more.
Additon earned Florida State League Player of the Week (week ending August 24) and the Cardinals August organizational Player of the Month awards while with the Cardinals as well as being named our Quad Cities Starting Pitcher of the Year.
Mura (w/e June 1) and Herron (w/e
August 3) each picked up FSL Pitcher of the Week recognition this season. Todd,
who ended the season in Triple-A, also took the organizational Pitcher of the
Month honors in April while starting for
Congratulations to our
Master article with all 2008 Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Players of the Year and the schedule for daily announcements: link. (This link is also permanently located at the lower left of The Birdhouse home page.)
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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