When the Cardinals signed Todd Wellemeyer off waivers in 2007 a year ago, I thought it was just another cheap move by the Cards to fill in a pitching spot. Especially, since he had been dropped by the Royals. Todd came to St. Louis after a slow start with the KC, but Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan thought he could do his magic-again-with a no name pitcher. Wellemeyer finished 2007 with the Redbirds 3-2, with a 3.11 ERA.
With his arbitration years ending, Wellemeyer got a new deal with the Cardinals over the off season. It has payed off so far. Todd was voted the May NL Pitcher of the Month. Todd went 4-0 in six starts with a 2.19 ERA, while giving up only 28 hits in 37 innings. Todd has gained a lot more confidence on the mound, and Tony has trusted him with more innings in games, rather than turning to the bullpen early as we saw earlier in the season. I remember specifically in the LA game. Though the Cards lost in extra innings, Wellemeyer stayed strong and didn't hit a wall in pressure situations. After the 2nd inning, he didn't again pitch with the lead, but he stayed cool. That has been a major reason why for his award this month. Todd only had 12 SOs, but only walked 12 too. Todd isn't a big strikeout pitcher, but as long as he gets outs, I'm happy.
Wellemeyer beat out six other players to win the award. Astros closer Jose Valverde (1-0, 1.20 ERA, 10 saves), Reds starter Edinson Volquez (3-2, 1.63 ERA, 50 strikeouts), Braves starter Tim Hudson (4-1, 2.25 ERA, 31 strikeouts), Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley (3-0, 2.45 ERA, 23 strikeouts) and Cubs starters Carlos Zambrano (3-0, 2.45 ERA, 23 strikeouts) and Ryan Dempster (3-2, 2.35 ERA, 41 strikeouts).
Yep, he beat out two Cubs. That's an even bigger victory. To all fantasy managers: If Todd Wellemeyer is a FA in your league, PICK HIM UP NOW! His percentage of ownership has jumped a lot after receiving this award, but in case if he isn't, check him out. He'll be a major help.