GCL Cardinals 2012 Relief Pitcher of the Year

Anderson Gerdel

The bullpen was a key cog in the playoff-bound Gulf Coast League Cardinals machine this season. Five relievers each had a good case to receive this award, but there can be just one winner.

Our selection as The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Gulf Coast League Cardinals Reliever of the Year both pitched well and helped his team establish important momentum in the process.

Four wins in early-season games by Anderson Gerdel were key in the club establishing its identity. Three were among the Cards' first eight wins, including the second in a crucial 10-game winning streak in early July that was the season's difference-maker.

Gerdel
The Cardinals were sparked by that streak and ended up achieving the first GCL playoff berth in the six years since the organization returned to the short-season rookie-level league.

The 19-year-old right-hander allowed an earned run in just two of his 19 outings all summer long. Ironically, they were back to back appearances on August 5 and 8. One was during the second of Gerdel's two brief fill-in periods with the local A-Advanced Palm Beach club, so could be excused. After all, the level is four steps higher than the GCL. Still, it is worth noting the organization thought enough of his work to give him those aggressive assignments.

Focusing on the Gulf Coast League, while there, Gerdel went 4-2 with one save. His ERA was 1.23 and he fanned 18 and issued just three passes in 22 innings. That translated into a team-best 0.73 WHIP. GCL hitters batted a collective .168 against the Venezuelan native.

2012 was his first season pitching in the US, after he spent 2010 in the Venezuelan Summer League and 2011 in the Dominican Summer League. This award is Gerdel's second consecutive top reliever honor as he took home The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com DSL Reliever of the Year last season as well.

Though Gerdel did not pitch with Johnson City, he was rewarded with an end of season promotion to the Appalachian League club for their playoff push. He originally signed with St. Louis in November 2009.

GCL Cards relievers W L ERA G SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP HLD GF
Josh Renfro 0 1 0.36 20 2 25 19 4 1 0 5 31 0.96 5 10
Cole Brand 2 0 0.51 15 3 17.2 12 2 1 0 2 10 0.79 3 7
Chris Thomas 1 0 0.68 12 4 13.1 6 1 1 0 5 15 0.83 0 11
Norge Paredes 1 2 0.75 17 4 24 15 5 2 0 7 24 0.92 2 9
Anderson Gerdel 4 2 1.23 17 1 22 13 4 3 0 3 18 0.73 4 8
Burny Mitchem 3 0 2.53 14 0 32 29 13 9 1 5 20 1.06 1 1
Juan Caballero 2 0 3.05 16 0 20.2 19 9 7 2 8 20 1.31 3 3
Javier Machuca 3 0 5.16 17 0 29.2 31 19 17 0 9 22 1.35 1 2
Ramon Ulacio 2 4 6.81 15 0 39.2 60 38 30 0 26 29 2.17 1 1

Honorable mentions

The relief corps was an extremely strong element of the 2012 GCL Cardinals club. The other four bullpenners on the roster with at least one save each logged an ERA and WHIP under one. A case could have been made for any of them to receive this award as well. They are Josh Renfro, Cole Brand, Chris Thomas and Norge Paredes. See their stats in the table above.



Link to master article with all 2012 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series.



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.

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