Dotel’s come long way from brief stint with Pinstripes


St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa and pitching coach Dave Duncan have drawn rave reviews for their use of the team’s pitching staff this postseason.

That includes journeyman reliever Octavio Dotel, who has allowed just three hits and two runs (one earned) in nine innings over nine appearances. Dotel, whose career has been marred by wildness (396 walks in 888 1-3 innings) has been terrific with 11 strikeouts to just one walk in this playoff run.He also didn’t allow a run in three appearances vs. the Phillies or his first two trips to the mound vs. the Rangers.

It’s a far cry from his brief stint with the Yankees in 2006, when he allowed 18 hits, 12 earned runs and walked 11 batters in 10 awful innings. He didn’t last long in Yankee Universe, pitching for the Royals and the Braves the next season.

The 37-year-old Met product started out his career well enough in 1999 with an 8-3 mark in Flushing, but the success was a bit deceiving due to a 5.38 ERA and 12 homers with 49 walks given up in just 85 1-3 innings.

After a total of 12 stops, tying an MLB record for pitchers, flash forward to 2011 and Dotel was a fantasy baseball player’s dream. Outside of his 3-3 record, he fanned 32 batters and allowed just 21 base-runners (5 walks) in 24 2-3 innings.

If the St. Louis Cardinals win their 11th World Series, Dotel won’t be the main reason. But the thrower who became a pitcher will be “a” reason.

UPDATE: This was posted before Monday night’s game in which Dotel took the loss after allowing a pair of runs and recording just one out. LaRussa’s also taking some knocks for mishandling his pitchers in game 5, indicating he had trouble communicating with the bullpen. Either way, a bad time for a shaky outing for the pitcher, manager and poor timing on this blog post praising both!