Friday, August 22, 2003
Hitchcock to join Cards' rotation
ST. LOUIS -- The contending St. Louis Cardinals made a pair
of trades for pitchers Friday night, getting Sterling Hitchcock
from the New York Yankees and reliever Mike DeJean from the
Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said his team may not be
done dealing yet.
"We've still got a couple of other things we're working on,"
he said. "We still have payroll flexibility."
The Cardinals began the day in the thick of the NL Central race
with Houston and the Chicago Cubs. St. Louis has stayed in
contention this season despite a staff that has been both
inconsistent and injured.
Hitchcock went from a spare arm in the Yankees' bullpen to a
starter in St. Louis. The Cardinals sent minor league pitchers
Justin Pope and Ben Julianel to New York.
DeJean was acquired for two minor league pitchers to be named.
Hitchcock, 32, was 1-3 with a 5.44 ERA in 27 games. The
left-hander is in the final year of a two-year, $12 million
contract, but has made only one start.
"It's an opportunity to go and start," Hitchcock said. "I
missed it. It's clear to me that's what I wanted to do."
Jocketty said the plan calls for Hitchcock to join the rotation
"at some point."
"He comes to us with great experience," Jocketty said. "He's
done well in the National League throughout his career and he has
tons of postseason experience. I think he's got a lot left in his
Hitchcock, the MVP of the 1998 NL championship series with San
Diego, was limited to 20 games last year because of a lower back
injury. He was squeezed out of a deep rotation this season.
"A long guy doesn't get a lot of work on a staff with maybe
four future Hall of Famers," Hitchcock said. "I love New York, I
love the city, I love the guys on the team. Unfortunately, it just
didn't work out."
Hitchcock left the Yankees' dugout in the fourth inning of
Friday night's game against Baltimore after shaking hands with
several teammates and hugging third base coach Willie Randolph.
The Cardinals had tried to get Hitchcock from the AL East
leaders last month.
"It worked out favorably for us," Yankees general manager
Brian Cashman said. "It's always good to replenish the system."
About an hour earlier, the Cardinals announced the deal for
DeJean, 32, was 4-7 with a 4.87 ERA and a team-leading 18 saves
in 58 games for the Brewers. The right-hander was 2-0 with a 3.63
ERA in 14 appearances since the All-Star break.
Last year, DeJean had a career-high 27 saves.
"He's got nasty stuff," Jocketty said. "I told a few of the
guys before the game that we had traded for him and they were very
DeJean was napping in the trainer's room before the Brewers'
home game against Pittsburgh when manager Ned Yost summoned him.
"I was still trying to shake the cobwebs off," DeJean said.
"I was still trying to wake up a little bit, but it's a really
good opportunity with the Cardinals."
DeJean said he would fly out of Milwaukee on Saturday morning to
get to St. Louis for the Cardinals' afternoon game against
The righty likely be used in a setup role with St. Louis.
Jocketty said DeJean also could close on the days that Jason
Isringhausen can't pitch.
"He's a proven closer and he's a quality bullpen guy,"
Jocketty said. "He definitely will help our bullpen."
Gord Ash, Milwaukee's assistant general manager, said the
Brewers get to choose two among three pitchers in the Cardinals'
minor league system. He would not name them, but said they would
join the Brewers' organization no later than Sept. 15.