Canadian born Blake Hawksworth was drafted in the 28th round of the 2001 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.
He would take a slow, methodical path to the major leagues, but would realize the dream of a major league career on June 6, 2009 in St. Louis in the middle of a Cardinals 10-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies. It was an inauspicious start to his career, as he would last two innings in cleanup duty giving up four earned runs and one home run in the eighth and ninth innings.
The first outing would not define the season of Blake Hawksworth, however. He would settle into a role that would see him appear in 30 games, finishing 10, and pitching 40 innings. He would strike out 20, walk 15, and post a 2.03 earned run average. By the end of 2009, Hawksworth was considered a solid option in the bullpen, a possible solution in the rotation, and a productive member of the big league club.
The following year would see Hawksworth appear in 45 games, this time starting eight of them and finishing nine. His earned run average would balloon to 4.98, mostly due to rough outings while being used as a spot starter. He would take the mound in 90 innings, striking out 61 batters and walking 35. His versatility had many figuring that the bullpen would be built around him for years to come.
On November 30, 2010 the Cardinals, in an effort to provide a boost to the struggling middle infield, traded Hawksworth to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Ryan Theriot. Theriot projects as the Cardinals starting shortstop while Hawksworth has been told that he is squarely in the bullpen plans for the Dodgers.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
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