On the eve of his Cardinals’ debut Tekoah Roby pondered the changes since he last took the mound on June 3 – a sore shoulder sidelined the 21-year-old righthander for 12 weeks and while rehabbing Roby was traded to St. Louis by the Texas Rangers.

Then he remembered what remained the same.

“Just reassuring myself the night before that what I love to do is go out there and compete and try to beat the guy in the box,” Roby said. “Pretty much everything else takes care of itself.”

Roby struck out six batters in three innings against Corpus Christi at Hammons Field on Saturday night and said his shoulder felt good after tossing 47 pitches and reaching upper 90’s on the radar gun. Roby is ranked No. 5 on the Cardinals’ prospect list by MLB.com thanks to a four-pitch arsenal that can “attack in any direction.”

With his primary weapons giving Hooks’ hitters fits, he left one on the shelf.

“I didn’t even throw a changeup, I just threw fastball, curveball, slider but they were all working really well which was a pleasant surprise,” Roby said.

“He was impressive; he was in command and control of his body and his pitches,” Springfield manager José Leger said.

“He reeled it up to 98 (mph) with good vertical movement and the breaking ball was outstanding – his curveball was great; his slider was too. Faced a righty-heavy lineup and he just cruised through them.”

Roby’s traditional pitching stats don’t jump off the page – after Saturday’s outing he’s 7-16 with a 4.45 ERA in 176 minor league innings – but his advanced numbers and pitch data demonstrate dynamic swing-and-miss stuff that’s produced 217 career strikeouts (11.1 per nine innings).

When the Rangers’ 2020 third-round pick arrived in Jupiter, Florida after the trade, he spoke with Cardinals’ minor league pitching coordinator Tim Leveque who endorsed the work-in-progress that Roby was making with Texas – sharpening his secondary pitches.

“My fastball and curveball are my front-runner pitches,” Roby said. “I’ve been throwing those as long as I can remember, so those are come pretty natural.

It’s the changeup and the slider that need a little bit of work. Just really trying to understand where those pitches play best and what they play best off of – I know the changeup works best when I throw arm-side down, and the slider works best when I throw it glove-side down.

I’ll watch my video today, I’ll pick out the sliders, if I got the slider glove-side down that’s something to build on.”



Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll

Andy Carroll is a freelance sports writer living in the Ozarks with his wife and four great kids. He loves St. Louis, toasted ravioli and minor league baseball. You can follow him on Twitter @carroll_sgf and Instagram @andycarroll505