The Cardinal Nation May Pitcher of the Month
Richard Castillo
Richard Castillo
Publisher and editor
Posted Jun 3, 2012


Richard Castillo edges out Trevor Rosenthal as our choice as the top pitcher across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system last month.

Normally, the Texas League is the source of some of the lustiest hitting numbers in all of minor league baseball. For the Springfield Cardinals in 2012, however, the Double-A league has featured some of the best pitching performances across the Cardinals system.

In selecting The Cardinal Nation Pitcher of the Month for May, Springfield pitchers figured prominently. Some were coming onto the roster, while others were going during that period.

Lefty John Gast made three starts for Springfield prior to his promotion to Memphis, logging a 2.25 ERA. Seth Maness (two starts) and Richard Castillo (three starts) looked right at home after joining the S-Cards from Palm Beach with Double-A ERAs of 2.57 and 1.33, respectively.

Rosenthal
Of course, we can’t forget the one hurler who has been in Springfield all along, Trevor Rosenthal. Our #12 Cardinals prospect coming into the season has already been named the Cardinals organizational Pitcher of the Month for May.

I could have stopped right there and echoed the organization’s worthy selection, but in the past, I know I have short-changed players changing levels mid-month. With so much of that activity this time around, I felt the urge to dig deeper.

We also need to remember one other high-performing pitcher that didn’t change addresses. Palm Beach’s Anthony Ferrara logged a 2.56 ERA in May and was named a Florida State League All-Star, along with Maness.

A bit surprisingly, Maness and Castillo each posted better May numbers at Springfield than at their lower stop in the FSL. Gast also pitched better in Springfield than at Memphis.

Gast May W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Memphis 1 0 4.76 3 3 0 0 0 17 21 11 9 2 7 8
Springfield 1 0 2.25 3 3 0 0 0 20 15 5 3 1 6 12
Castillo May W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Springfield 2 0 1.33 3 3 0 0 0 20.1 18 3 3 0 3 11
Palm Beach 1 0 2.77 2 2 0 0 0 13 8 4 4 1 3 9
Maness May W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Springfield 1 0 2.57 2 2 0 0 0 14.2 14 3 2 1 1 10
Palm Beach 0 1 4.26 3 3 0 0 0 19 24 9 9 3 1 8

Now let’s put the full-month totals for the five contenders together.

May W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Gast 2 0 3.89 6 6 0 0 0 37 36 16 12 3 13 20
Rosenthal 3 1 1.65 5 5 0 0 0 27.1 21 6 5 0 11 21
Castillo 3 0 1.90 5 5 0 0 0 33.1 26 7 7 1 6 20
Maness 1 1 3.25 5 5 0 0 0 33.2 38 12 11 4 2 18
Ferrara 1 3 2.42 5 5 0 0 0 26 21 9 7 1 13 26

Castillo
Gast having a bit rougher time initially at Memphis is not surprising, but it eliminates him from consideration here. Maness has the amazingly low walk totals, but his ERA suffered from a five-run outing in the Florida State League earlier in the month. That removed him from potentially winning back-to-back monthly awards. Ferrara’s numbers are very good, though his strikeout to walk ratio of 2:1 lags several others.

In my view, this race is a photo finish between Rosenthal and Castillo. Both pitchers made five starts with ERAs under two, with Rosenthal logging a slightly lower ERA. Castillo went over an inning deeper into each game on the average and his strikeout to walk ratio was superior to Rosenthal. The latter two factors are what broke the tie for me.

Congratulations to Richard Castillo, The Cardinal Nation Pitcher of the Month for May.

Showing relievers respect
Before I close this report, I want to acknowledge one relief pitcher per level. Though bullpenners’ number of innings pitched always put them at a disadvantage for the Pitcher of the Month award, there was some very noteworthy performances up and down the system last month.

May RPs W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Cleto 0 1 2.70 12 0 0 0 0 16.2 12 5 5 1 5 22
Fornataro 0 0 1.00 13 0 0 0 2 18 8 2 2 0 5 8
Kiekhefer 1 1 0.64 10 0 0 0 3 14 12 2 1 1 1 16
Wyatt 1 2 2.08 11 0 0 0 5 13 10 10 3 1 6 8

Maikel Cleto’s May line with Memphis indicates why he is with St. Louis now. 22 strikeouts in 16 innings can accomplish that. In his first season as a reliever, Springfield’s Eric Fornataro has become perhaps the most dependable option in the Double-A club’s pen. The right-hander allowed just two runs in 18 innings of May work.

If Dean Kiekhefer walked up and asked me why he isn’t the Pitcher of the Month, I would have a hard time looking him in the eye. The lefty logged 16 strikeouts to just one walk and allowed just one run all month while dominating for Palm Beach. Heath Wyatt had a solid May for Quad Cities, with five saves and a 2.08 ERA.



Previous winners: Click on the highlighted links to be taken to earlier articles about the monthly award selections by both The Cardinal Nation and the Cardinals organization.

Player of Month   Pitcher of Month  
2012 The Cardinal Nation Cards organization The Cardinal Nation Cards organization
April  Oscar Taveras Oscar Taveras Seth Maness Seth Maness
May Colin Walsh Colin Walsh Richard Castillo Trevor Rosenthal
June        
July        
Aug        





Coming Monday: Our next monthly update to the Cardinals prospect rankings, exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation, followed by our 2012 Draft coverage kicking into full gear Monday evening.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2012 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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