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Friday, June 08, 2007

Cardinals Sign Closer Troy Percival

By David

First it was starting pitcher Roger Clemens who attempted to make a comeback and now it's 37-year old reliever Troy Percival who signed a minor-league contract today with the St.Louis Cardinals.

During his 11-year career Percival racked up 324 saves, while posting an impressive 3.10 E.R.A. After retiring during the middle of the 2005 season due to arm injuries, the future Hall of Famer signed on to become a special assignment pitching instructor with the Angels.

He spent ten successful seasons with Anaheim before he signed with Detroit before the '05 season. His addition to a struggling St.Louis team will provide an instant boost in both the clubhouse and on the field.

Fortunately, he's one of the good guys in the game who has worked extremely diligently to get the point where he is in his career. Currently, he ranks 12th on the all-time saves list and he'll look to add onto that number during his time in the gateway city.

Surprisingly, the one strength of the Cards team this year has been their bullpen that ranks sixth in MLB with a 3.41 E.R.A. I figure that Percival was enticed by the fact that he has the opportunity to play with Albert Pujols and learn from people like Dave Duncan and Tony La Russa.

The only thing that scared me when I read about the signing was that Percival has never pitched in the NL and he will quickly have to adapt to facing different hitters.

It has been rumored for several weeks that Percival was ready to return from retirement, but the reigning World Series champions were not among the list of choices. Initially, the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins were mentioned as teams he was interested in.

He will report to triple AAA Memphis to begin his comeback return and in the coming weeks he will be making an impact on the major league level.


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