St. Louis Cardinals: Jack Flaherty’s debut offers hope


The young St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher made his debut on Friday against the last place San Francisco Giants.

The St. Louis Cardinals decided to tap into the future once more this season by introducing young Jack Flaherty to Cardinal Nation. Throughout the year, we have seen the Cardinals bring up a number of their young prospects, but none more anticipated as Flaherty.

If you haven’t heard of Flaherty before this last weekend, let me fill you in on his year though the minor leagues. Flaherty began the 2017 season in Springfield with the double-A affiliate Cardinals. In his time in Springfield, Flaherty went 7-2 with a 1.42 ERA with sixty-two strike outs and a .916 WHIP. He posted a K/9 ratio of 8.8.

After ten starts in double-A, the St. Louis Cardinals promoted Flaherty to triple-A Memphis, putting him on the fast track to the big leagues sooner than most anticipated. Flaherty was able to continue his success in Memphis.

The St. Louis Cardinals were hoping to see Flaherty adjust well to stiffer competition. In fifteen starts, he posted a 7-2 record with a 2.74 ERA with 85 strike outs and a slightly higher WHIP at 1.137. He bested his K/9 ratio he posted in Springfield with a 9.0 in Memphis. In both of his stints in the minors, Flaherty impressed.

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While his numbers a slightly inflated in Memphis, Flaherty faced tougher competition as expected. The St. Louis Cardinals were certainly pleased enough with his performance as well.

After trading away starter Mike Leake to the Seattle Mariners, a spot opened up for Flaherty.

After going a combined 14-4 in the minors with a 2.18 ERA in twenty-five starts, Flaherty made his start for the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Flaherty completed four innings, giving up eight hits, including a home run, and five earned runs. He earned a no-decision for his effort on Friday, as the Cardinals went on to win the game 11-6.

While it wasn’t the most spectacular of starts, the offense picked Flaherty up when he needed it most. I think we all were hoping for a better line for the young, right-hander, but there is one thing I am more than happy to see.

For a better part of the second-half of the season, the starting pitching has not been good. What was once a strength for this team in 2017, has been the source of frustration for the team heading into the final weeks of the season. By trading Mike Leake, the Cardinals have firmly set their sights on the future.

If you are still questioning the call to trade Leake, I don’t blame you. A part of me still wants to believe Leake would have done well in St. Louis through his contract. But the simple fact of the matter is he wasn’t performing to what the Cardinals expected. The team found a way out of his contract by find a trade partner with Seattle, freeing up a potential larger invest for the future.

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I am happy to see the St. Louis Cardinals put their faith in Jack Flaherty and reward his hard work this season. I could say that for all of the young guys who have come up this season as well, but our starting pitching has been very sub-par as of late. Rewarding Flaherty for his performances makes me believe the Cardinals are heading in the right direction.