Blake Hawksworth to make MLB debut in Hollywood
By Editorial Staff
Blake Hawksworth has been through a lot on his journey to the major leagues. Baseball is a tough dream. Many players never get to feel the rush of being a professional ballplayer after finally making it to the show. Hawksworth has already experienced that feeling. And he’s made sure to stop and enjoy it along the way. His baseball career has been a trying one. It has forced him to fight for his dream and stay positive. His resilient attitude got him through injuries that kept him from reaching his potential. After all the surgeries, he wouldn’t let his dream die.
Last year, the dream became reality. Hawksworth became a dependable arm out of the bullpen. He went 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 30 game with St. Louis in 2009. The success made for excitement coming into 2010. The fifth spot in the rotation was up for grabs and Hawksworth was a darkhorse, but it wasn’t meant to be. He just kept moving forward, looking to help the team at all costs. He is very religious and keeps a positive outlook on life through scripture.
Beyond his character, Hawksworth has a four-pitch repertoire that makes him an intriguing starting option. He has a good fastball, a curve, slider, and changeup. He considers the changeup his go-to pitch and finds he’s at his best when he keeps the ball down for groundball outs. His pitches have a natural sinking action so keeping the ball down is a key to his success.
Despite a rough year so far in the ‘pen with a 5.14 ERA, I expect a quality start out of Hawksworth tonight. Players aren’t familiar with him as a starter and he should be able to keep the Dodgers hitters off balance with that element of mystery. The first start is nerve-racking but if he can get through the first, he may just run on adrenaline for a nice debut.
After all the road blocks prevented him from reaching his potential, a win in L.A. would certainly be a nice ending. It may not be the stuff of a Hollywood feature film, but for one night it would make for a great story.
Who knows, this may just be the beginning for Hawksworth.
More on tonight’s matchup after the jump.
-Randy Winn will get his first start in a Cardinals uniform tonight. He will man centerfield in place of Colby Rasmus. The NL Player of the Week gets the night off to rest after hurting his calf in the sixth inning Sunday.
-Jason La Rue will be behind the plate to catch Hawksworth’s debut. La Rue is experienced with young starters and should do a nice job making Hawksworth feel comfortable on the big stage.
-David Freese remains out with an ankle sprain. Felipe Lopez will play third.
-On the Dodgers side, Carlos Monasterious will make his third start in the majors. It will be an interesting matchup between young and inexperienced pitchers. Will they shrink under the pressure or will they baffle the bats in a pitcher’s duel. These games can go either way, but it always seems one hurler makes a splash even if only for a night. Monasterious has already enjoyed some success, throwing five scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks. Hawksworth’s best outing in 2009 came against the Dodgers in an extra-inning thriller. He threw three shutout innings.
3B Felipe Lopez
SS Brendan Ryan
1B Albert Pujols
LF Matt Holliday
RF Ryan Ludwick
CF Randy Winn
2B Skip Schumaker
C Jason La Rue
P Blake Hawksworth
Game starts at 9:10 CDT