Hawksworth Slated to Start First Spring Game

Blake Hawksworth, who is beginning his eighth season in the Cardinals farm system will start the Cardinals' first game of the spring Wednesday, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (Photo left: Hawksworth (front) working out with Chris Carpenter at spring training)

Hawksworth at one time was one of the Cardinals' top prospects. He took home the 2006 "Minor League Pitcher of the Year" honors from the organization and the Birdhouse and was ranked as high as #2 in 2007, in the Birdhouse's annual Top 40 Prospect Rankings, before a rash of injuries derailed his career.

Hawksworth, who turns 26 in March, made just 18 starts last season and two relief appearances last season due to a sprained MCL in June and never did really get on track or pitch to his potential in 2008. The Hawk finished the 08 campaign posting a 5-7 record and 6.09 ERA, between Triple-A Memphis and his rehab stint at Rookie-Level GCL. He allowed 113 hits, 71 runs (60 earned), 12 home runs, 40 walks, and struck out 89 over 95.2 innings.

Hawksworth has caught the eye of pitching coach Dave Duncan with his aggressive start to the spring, but he faces an uphill battle to even make the team. The most likely scenario is that Hawksworth will spend the bulk of this season at Triple-A Memphis with an opportunity to be a part of the Cardinals 2010 rotation.


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