Quad Cities Relief Pitcher of the Year: 2009

Former catcher David Carpenter is our top relief pitcher on the 2009 Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League.

My selection for Relief Pitcher of the Year for the Quad Cities River Bandits is David Carpenter. Last year I agonized over each selection. This year's choices are much more cut and dried. I'm pleased to name Dave for this recognition.

Regular readers here know that I value a man's character as much as I value his baseball skills. Dave has both. In 2008, he was in the Quad Cities as a catcher. He returned in 2009 as the go-to guy for closing pitcher and he certainly rose to the challenge. He was called to the mound in 52 games this summer and posted a 5-3 record with 12 saves. Dave's ERA was not stellar at 4.28 but he was always under pressure. He gave up 61 hits in 67.1 innings and struck out 77 while walking only 36 opponents. In the clutch, David Carpenter is the guy I want to close my game.

Beyond all of his skills on the mound, I've said before and I'll say many times again, David Carpenter is simply the nicest guy I've ever known. He is an unwavering competitor, but he leaves his game face at the stadium. Away from the game, I fully believe that if I needed a pair of shoes, Dave would go home barefoot. If I needed a ride, Dave would drive me across the country and wait for me so he could give me a ride home. At the end of the season he proposed to the luckiest woman in the world. Congratulations to he and Brittany!

When I first started considering the Relief Pitcher of the Year recognition, I really only thought about Dave. Aside from him, I would also like to note a few who would have been nominated if Dave had been promoted before he qualified. I considered pitchers who were here long enough to become "part of the team" but were not promoted early in the season.

My "also considered" list is as follows:

Ramon Delgado had stats that were very similar to Carpenter's; I would have nominated him as well if he were also a closer—the closer always gets more attention. He gets my vote for a long reliever, though. He pitched 82 innings in 53 games, posting a 2.41 ERA.

Matt Frevert also makes the list. He threw 35.1 innings in 28 games, allowed only 25 hits and struck out 44. His ERA was 1.78.

Joel Pichardo, with an ERA of 2.95, took the mound for 39.2 innings in 28 games. He allowed only two more hits than K's (37-35).

Adam Veres was one of our "tandem" starters at the start of the season and was transitioned to the bullpen later in the season. He made the move with ease and proved to be a good reliever when needed. His stats don't reflect the addition he made to the team this summer.

Jason Buursma and Casey Mulligan would both have been nominated for this recognition but they were both promoted quickly.

Once again, I am honored to name David Carpenter as our Scout.com Cardinals Quad Cities River Bandits Reliever of the Year for 2009.

Note: To follow our entire series of Players of the Year at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system, check back here daily. To see the roster of winners and article schedule, click here.

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