Springfield Cardinals' right-handed reliever Casey Mulligan is expected to pitch for Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican League this coming winter.
Mulligan, originally drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals as a catcher in the June 2006 draft, made a huge impact on the farm system during the 2009 season including making appearances at three different levels during the year. The 21-year-old made the switch to pitcher during the 2008 season after reaching as high as A-Advanced Palm Beach in the position player chapter of his career.
He began the season with Single-A Quad Cities where he posted a 2-0 record, 0.45 ERA, nine saves, along with striking out 36 batters over 20 innings. Mulligan was named both the Cardinals Organization and Scout.com Cardinals Pitcher of the Month for April 2009.
The Valencia (CA) High School product was then promoted to Palm Beach and made 26 relief appearances posting a 1-2 record, 1.61 ERA, five saves, and struck out 34 over 28 innings.
As the final month of the season came in sight, the Cardinals organization shuffled players throughout the system and Mulligan again was promoted. He joined Double-A Springfield to help the team with a struggling bullpen that had been dealt a huge loss in Samuel Freeman's injury and the ups and downs of Francisco Samuel and Eduardo Sanchez.
Mulligan made 15 Double-A relief
appearances posting a 3-0 record, 2.21 ERA, two saves, and 27 strikeouts over 20
1/3 innings. While with
For a final tally, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder made 58 relief appearances posting a 6-2 record, 1.45 ERA, and 16 saves. He allowed 43 hits, 16 runs (11 earned), two home runs, 29 walks, and struck out 97 over 68.1 innings. At the plate, Mulligan went 0-for-4 with one ground into double play.
Last winter, Casey pitched for Toros de Sincelejo in the Colombian League under Cardinals minor league catching coordinator Dann Bilardello. He pitched in three games earning one save and posting an 8.31 ERA before being pulled due to fatigue.
The Puerto Rican League schedule has not yet been announced but is not expected to begin until late November or early December, much like last season. Yadier Molina, P.J. Walters, and Bryan Anderson all participated last season under the watchful eye of Cardinals' third base coach Jose Oquendo who managed them for the Gigantes de Carolina squad. Joe Thurston played for Leones de Ponce and earned himself a contract with the Cardinals. Rigoberto Lugo, who later quit the organization, pitched for Cangrejeros de Santurce.
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