Ottavino Battles Through Outing

Cardinals’™ 2006 first-round pick Adam Ottavino got hit around pretty good in high Class A Palm Beach’™s 5-2 loss to St. Lucie on Thursday, even though he had decent command of his fastball, which was up to 96 mph.

Ottavino, who is 0-2, 2.00 over his first two starts in the Florida State League, hasn’™t shown above-average secondary pitches in either outing, however.

“His slider looks a little short,” a scout from a National League club said. “Not a lot of depth to it (yesterday). His changeup was OK, though he left a few up in the zone. And then he has that in between pitch; that slurvy breaking ball that just doesn’™t show a whole lot of movement.

“His four-seamer was very good, but he didn’™t have real good command of his two-seamer either. He really battled himself at times, and when things went wrong behind him (the Palm Beach infield committed four errors), he didn’t show he could hit that next gear.”

Ottavino allowed four runs on four hits, struck out four and walked two against the Mets. Over his first nine innings, the 6-foot-5, 21-year-old righthander out of Northeastern has walked five and struck out nine.

“He pitched well,” Cardinals vice president of scouting and player development Jeff Luhnow said. “His fastball averaged 92 and he touched 96. He showed command of that pitch and it had late life. His offspeed stuff was mostly sharp. Defense hurt him a little bit last night but overall a solid performance his second time out.”