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June 23, 2008 at 12:28 am ET
Rookie Fever, I Think It’s Goin’ Around

He was going to be an astronaut if he didn't play baseball.  True story.By starting rookie Nick Stavinoha at DH yesterday, the St. Louis Cardinals set a season record for rookies started at nine. If you’d like to appreciate the Rookie Hotness, take a gander over here. For a report on how each of them have done so far, look no further.

Brian Barton, OF: I like what I’ve seen of this Rule Five Draft pick so far. His .336 OBP is 6th-best on the team of the guys who have 100+ at-bats. He’s got decent speed and he doesn’t strike out much; once every .53 games so far. I wouldn’t put him as a starter every day yet, but he’s good off the bench. B so far for Barton. I think he has the potential to improve considerably. A+ for his hair.

Mitchell Boggs, P: I think this guy could be really solid. He’s probably not ready to be one of the starting 5 just yet, but he certainly could be down the road. And who knows what’s going on withour DL’d pitchers. Maybe we’ll see quite a bit more of him this season. I do know he’ll compete for a rotation spot in 2009. So far he’s 2-0 with a no decision, but has gotten good run support in all his starts. I’m curious to see how he does when the Cards don’t put up 8 runs in the first two innings against a crimson-stockinged team, handing their pitcher his first loss and taking him out in the 2nd inning before he’d even retired a batter. Ahem. Just for example. Boggs has a cautious B+ so far.

Joe Mather, OF: Mather got off to a solid start, hitting .280 in his first 8 games. He then hit .067 over his next 6 games. He feels like a cupcake taken out of oven too early: all runny and half-baked. When your team is held together with twigs and bubble gum, sometimes you gotta grab whoever you can from AAA. Mather just needs some more time down there, but could be a good big league hitter eventually. C+ for his performance, B+ for his potential.

Kyle McClellan, P: I love McClellan. After the 5 main starters, he has the most IPs of any of the pitchers and sports an anemic 2.58 ERA. He also has 35 strikeouts in 34 games, and his K/BB ratio is almost 7 to 2. This guy is great, he will absolutely be competing for a starting spot in 2009. In fact, since I’m starting to wonder if there are Ten Little Pitchers dolls in the clubhouse that have disappeared one by one, McClellan could get a chance as a starter this season. A- for McClellan.

Mike Parisi and Mark Worrell, P: These guys haven’t seen much action, but they’ve both managed to have 7.00+ ERAs. I’ve seen enough of Parisi (he’s got 22 IP) to know that he needs some more time in the minors. Worrell’s ERA is largely due to the fact that we threw him to the wolves in that 20-run beatdown by the Phillies; he’s only seen about 6 innings total. I’d give Parisi a solid C. Worrell has a hesitant B- with the potential to get better.

Chris Perez, P: Perez has been a pleasant surprise. In his first 13 games he had an ERA of 1.58, only giving up 2 earned runs total. He’s given up 5 earned runs in his last 3 games, inflating his ERA to 4.20. He also walks a lot of batters because his control isn’t quiiiite there yet. Either way, this is the future of St. Louis closers. Izzy’s back and he got out of a helluva jam yesterday at Fenway (he also got INTO a helluva jam), but Perez is looking poised to take the Izzy crown eventually. B+ for Perez.

Nick Stavinoha, OF: I can’t really grade a fella who had his first game yesterday. He went 1-6, but at least he got a hit, right? His nickname is Nick the Stick, so A+ just for that.

Rico Washington, OF: Rico is the feel-good story of 2008. He paid his dues in the minor leagues for 11 seasons until he finally got his shot. He had an average that even Mendoza laughs at, but A+ for working at it until he got his shot.

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3 Responses to “Rookie Fever, I Think It’s Goin’ Around”
  1. I think you’ve severely underrated the best pitcher in the Cardinals’ bullpen to date for this season. :)

    McClellan has been off the charts good as a rookie.

  2. Andrea says:

    There’s ALWAYS room for improvement, PHE. But yeah, McClellan is awesome.

  3. Well, I’ll give you that. That said, he’s certainly been the only guy out of that ‘pen that doesn’t give me cardiac issues when he enters the game.

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