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Blake Hawksworth

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Blake Edward Hawksworth

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[edit] Biographical Information

Blake Hawksworth spent three seasons in the majors.

Hawksworth was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 28th round of the 2001 amateur draft as a draft-and-follow and signed the next May by scout Dane Walker for $1.475 million after spending a season at junior college. He spent 2002 with the Johnson City Cardinals (2-4, 3.14) and New Jersey Cardinals (1-0, 0 R in 9 2/3 IP). He was 9th in the Appalachian League in ERA.

In 2003, the right-hander pitched for the Peoria Chiefs (5-1, 2.30, 57 K in 52 2/3 IP, 0 HR, .187 average in 10 starts) and Palm Beach Cardinals (1-3, 3.94, 32 K in 32 IP, .235 average in 6 starts). He was 7th among Cardinals minor leaguers in ERA (2.91) and 6th in opponent average (.205).

The Vancouver native pitched two games for Palm Beach in 2004 (1-0, 5.91) before a right shoulder injury; he had surgery done by Lewis Yocum. In 2005, he battled more shoulder problems and went 0-3 with a 7.98 ERA and .321 opponent average in 7 games for New Jersey.

In 2006, Blake pitched for Palm Beach (7-2, 2.47, 0 HR in 83 2/3 IP) and the Springfield Cardinals (4-2, 3.39). He was named the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He was 2nd among Cardinals minor leaguers in ERA (2.92 behind Trey Hearne), third in wins and 5th in strikeouts (121, just 10 behind leader Jaime Garcia). He also was one of the starting pitchers in the Florida State League All-Star Game. Had he qualified in terms of innings, he would have been second to Chase Wright in the FSL in ERA.

Hawksworth struggled in 2007, making his AAA debut for the Memphis Redbirds. He went 4-13 with a 5.28 ERA, allowing a .295 average and 24 home runs in 129 2/3 IP. He tied for the most losses in both the Pacific Coast League and in the Cardinals minor league chain. The Canadian split 2008 between Memphis (5-7, 6.09) and the GCL Cardinals (2 H, 0 R in 7 IP).

He was put on Canada's provisional roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final cut. He began 2009 with Memphis, going 5-4 with a 3.92 ERA. He was then called up to St. Louis to replace Jess Todd. He had a rough debut, pitching the final two innings of a 10-1 rout by the Rockies. He relieved Todd Wellemeyer in the 8th with a 6-1 deficit and retired Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe in order. In the 9th, though, Ian Stewart greeted him with a double. After a strikeout, Edwin Bellorin singled. PH Ryan Spilborghs hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice that resulted in two men in scoring position. Seth Smith hit into a force at home. Clint Barmes then cracked a 3-run homer. Hawksworth walked Helton on four pitches before getting Tulowitzki on an inning-ending grounder. He finished the year 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 30 games as a solid reliever, holding opponents to a .209 average. He tossed a shutout frame in the NLDS.

Hawksworth slumped to 4-8, 4.98 in 45 games for the 2010 Cardinals and his 3 balks tied Yunesky Maya and Zach Duke for the 2010 NL lead. He allowed an opponent batting line of .310/.370/.478. The Cardinals dealt him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Ryan Theriot. He was 2-5 with a 4.08 ERA in 49 games for the 2011 Dodgers, though his opponent batting line was vastly improved (.225/.286/.365). His career ended with two minor leagues for the 2012 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (1 R in 2 IP), though he did not officially retire until February 2014. He then worked for former agent Scott Boras.

Hawksworth was 10-13 with a 4.07 ERA in 124 major league games and 35-39 with a 4.00 ERA in 130 minor league contests.

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