(BaseballStL) - The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that 22-year-old Marco Gonzales, currently on the Cards’ Double AA Springfield minor league club, will start Wednesday in place of Jaime Garcia.
Gonzales was a first round pick (19th pick overall) in last year’s amateur draft out of Gonzaga University and will start against the Colorado Rockies in the final game of the three-game series at Coors Field.
Ironically the Rockies drafted Gonzales originally in 2010 (29th round) out of Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins, Colo.
Gonzales has advanced rapidly through the Cardinals system, moving from the Cardinals rookie league team to upper A in Palm Beach, Fla. where he posted a 1.62 ERA. He started this year again in Palm Beach and moved quickly to AA Springfield where he posted a 2.33 ERA in seven games. He threw 38 innings there, fanning 46 and walking just 10 in posting a 3-2 record. Over his two years in the Cardinal organization, he has averaged better than a strikeout an inning in posting a 5-4 record.
The Cardinals had to reach down to AA because other candidates like rapidly advancing Zach Petrick of AAA Memphis was slated to pitch Monday. Other pitchers in the system would have been throwing on short rest. The Cards did promote Eric Fornataro from Memphis to bolster the bullpen.
St. Louis is hoping Joe Kelly will be ready to return in time for what would have been Jamie Garcia’s next start.