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Scott Bittle finally makes his debut, two years after being drafted

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I was about to make this a fanshot, but then I realized that nobody on earth wanted to read a recap of that particular game. So instead, some not-quite-timely news. This happened a while ago, but I didn't realize it until tonight, when I was looking through the minor league transactions for tomorrow's post: Scott Bittle, the Cardinals' fourth-round pick from the 2009 draft, finally made his professional debut on July 2, walking two and recording two outs for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals more than two years after he joined the system.

Bittle, as you'll recall, was an incredibly dominant college closer, a first-round type with a hard fastball and a brilliant cutter, who signed for worse-than-fourth-round money because his right arm was so terrifying to team doctors. (The Yankees had picked him in the second round the year before and, after having a look at his shoulder, decided to get as far away as they could.) From the moment he was drafted the Cardinals knew he'd torn his shoulder capsule, but they decided to gamble on his ability to pitch through it.

His ability to pitch through it lasted just long enough to cause some excitement in Spring Training last year, whereupon he had shoulder surgery and it looked like he might never pitch in professional baseball.

Now, to no excitement at all, he's in the GCL, which is as far as you can get from the Major Leagues while remaining in the United States. The Cardinals' gamble on Bittle still makes sense to me, whether it works out or not, but I'm glad to see they haven't quite lost it yet.