Minor league starter Brian Broderick, a surprise Rule 5 pick by the Washington Nationals after a solid season at the St. Louis Cardinals’ AA affiliate, was returned Monday after two months of sparing use in the Nats’ bullpen. Broderick appeared in 11 games and finished with an ERA of 6.57; his groundball tendencies were out in full force, but he had trouble getting his high-80s fastball past Major League hitters.
Broderick was nowhere near the Cardinals’ Major League picture despite both matching Dave Duncan’s standing eHarmony personal ad for heavy-fastball pitchers and going 11-2 with a 2.77 ERA in his first exposure to the high minors. With a strikeout-per-nine of just 4.9 in Springfield he simply doesn’t miss enough bats yet, at least as a starter.
The Nationals fans at Federal Baseball did not seem especially concerned by the news, at first glance. With Mitchell Boggs being moved to the Memphis rotation on the same day it’s not immediately clear in what role Broderick will pitch; left-handed equivalent Nick Additon, who was recently promoted from Springfield, might be headed back down.