Freeman trying to take next step in big league career -

Freeman trying to take next step in big league career

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

 ( - Ever since he came into the Cardinals system out of the University of Kansas, Sam Freeman has been billed as an athletic pitcher with a big arm who can be a late inning reliever.  The stuff is there (he can hit the mid-90s regularly with his fastball) and his mechanics are sound.

 But for some reason consistency with his fastball command has been lacking.  A 5.40 ERA in just 20 innings in 2012 showed all involved that Freeman needed more time to develop.  Yet here we are two years later and it appears the lefty is adapting.

Through four appearances the 26-year old is yet to surrender a single hit, let alone a run.  He’s struck out five batters as well.  Could Freeman be turning a corner in his career?

 “I think so,” Freeman said. “Mainly I just try to keep things simple. The objective is to just keep getting outs.  I don’t see myself as a lefty (specialist).  I see myself as a guy that can go in and get anyone out, lefties or righties.  I just think I can get outs.”

“Having success usually leads to having more confidence. He’s done a really nice job and we needed the help,” Mike Matheny said.

With Kevin Siegrist on the disabled list Freeman could get some extended time in the big leagues before possibly heading back to AAA.  But it’s clear with his success he’ll be the first person back up if some either gets hurt or starts to struggle so much they need to be demoted.

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