Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Keith Butler From The Dominican League Blogpost #1

Up and coming reliever Keith Butler, who was recently added to the 40-man roster, has agreed to update St. Louis Cardinals fans on his adventures in the Dominican while pitching for Leones del Escogido.

This past season, Butler made 53 relief appearances posting a 5-1 record, 2.76 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, three holds, and 25 saves.  He allowed 53 hits, 22 runs (18 earned), five home runs, 23 walks, hit two batters, and struck 59 out over 58.2 innings.  The right-handed pitcher finished second in the Texas League in saves and was named midseason All-Star during his 2012 campaign.

The Cardinals' 2009 24th round selection out of Wabash Valley College is not new to fall or winter offseason ball as he hurled for Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League in 2011.


Keith Butler: Dominican League Blogpost #1

Ok, from the beginning. This is my first time ever being out of the country. I was really excited to come over here. When I first landed walking through the airport I saw a bunch of people lined up like a parade. I had no clue what was going on. Then I see the teams driver holding a card with my name. I walk to him and we head on our way. We get in the car and he started speaking Spanish. And I know very little if hardly any. So you can imagine that conversation. But on the drive to the field I was seeing how completely different Dominican Republic is from USA. The traffic, the way of living, and how amazing the scenery is. 

After a couple of days being here I threw a bullpen to try to get the feel for things. Next day I threw a live bp to four batters. The next two days we had off, so those were my rest days. I was then activated on the roster. 

Going out to the first game I wasn't prepared for the atmosphere of these games. It's kinda like a soccer game in a sense. There's always music playing and both teams fans have a gang of people with instruments and play music and chants back and forth towards each other. It's really cool and it keeps the fans into the game the entire time.

I finally got my first call to throw. I went in walked the first guy, hit the next, then the next guy was a force bunt. Then I was taken out of the game. I was upset at first because that's not normally how I'm used to performing. So I told myself I need to get more prepared for my next outing.

Everyday after that, while playing catch, I always had the other pitcher get down and I'd throw a short bullpen. I notice my first outing I was pulling off on the ball and also cutting them off.  I figured it was just me not being fully ready and I got myself ready before my next outing.

It was about a week later when I got my next call. I went two innings, no hits or walks and two strikeouts. I was happy with the results because of my first outing. I knew I had tweaked the right things to be myself and to pitch better. Then two days later I got the call again. This time one inning, one walk with no hits. I was fine with that outing because it's still early and no one is perfect. 

My arm feels good which is the most important thing. I really like it here, amazing weather, and I'm doing what I love which is pitching. It's also really neat meeting and talking to some past and present big leaguers. Overall the experience is great and can't wait to get back in the next game.

No comments:

Post a Comment