Before last night’s game against the Mets, I checked out some sites on my computer to see who the starting pitcher would be for the Cards. I’m not sure if the shock registered correctly in my brain about who the starting pitcher was that was listed. The name listed was John Gast. Yep, John Gast. Now, I owe an apology to those of you who follow the minor league teams in the Cardinals’ organization, but I had zero clue as to who this John Gast was.
So, what did I do? I went to the googler. Yes, my old friend the googler. Not being sure what I would find, I found out this guy was a painter. Oh, wait, wrong John Gast. Back to the googler. Honestly, I found little to nothing about this poor soul, other than he got the call up for last night’s game.
Before I get into any of his previous stats and teams and all that nonsense, I have to share with you my surprise as to him being called up from Memphis. During Spring Training, it was my understanding that it was a three man race for the fifth starting spot in the rotation, you know, between Rosenthal, Miller, and Kelly. We all know that Miller got the 5th-man starting job, but what about the other two? Are they pretty set in the relief spots in the bullpen? I guess I just figured that one of them would end up getting the call when Westbrook went on the DL. Guess that’s why my last name isn’t Mozeliak or Matheny.
Back to Gast, a left-handed pitcher who was born in Florida–he was first drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 5th round of the 2007 draft out of high school. He decided to go to Florida State, and was drafted by the Cardinals in the 6th round in 2010. He has managed to come up solely within the Cardinals’ farm system, beginning in 2010 with the Batavia Muckdogs (A-) with a 6-0 record, 35 innings pitched and a 1.54 ERA. From there, he was with the Palm Beach Cardinals (A+) in 2011, where he went 5-4 in 82 innings pitched and an ERA of 3.95. Also in 2011, Gast came up to the Springfield Cardinals (AA) and went 4-4 in 79.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 4.08. His second year with Springfield, 2012, he was 4-2 in 51.1 innings pitched with an ERA of 5.10. 2012 also took him to Memphis with the Redbirds (AAA) where his record was 9-5 in 109.1 innings pitched and an ERA of 5.10. Previous to his call up last night, he was with Memphis this season and had a record of 3-1 in 32.2 innings pitched and an ERA of 1.38.
For his debut last night at Busch, Gast shut out the Mets through 5, allowing 4 runs in the 6th. He threw 71 pitches, striking out three and walking just one, while earning the win. Successful debut!
So, in a nutshell, this is what I could find about Mr. John Gast. Only one question remains: when Westbrook comes off the DL, will he just go straight back to Memphis? Only time will tell. In the meantime, let’s hope his stay is a good one!