Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Frascatore: He's Starting to Look like Good Finisher

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Frascatore: He's Starting to Look like Good Finisher

Article excerpt

Catch him in the right light and his usual mood, and John Frascatore just sort of oozes that tough-guy New York stereotype. Try taking a bite out of him, and you're liable to be scraping the skin of his knuckles off your face.

Born in Queens. Likes lifting weights. Loves to throw fastballs. Thought he was ready to pitch in the major leagues last year.

And he'll tell anybody.

So when Cardinals manager Joe Torre recently talked about grooming Frascatore as the team's closer of the future, it made perfect sense. If John Franco can do it, why not paesano Frascatore?

"As a closer, you need to be real confident," Frascatore said. "In a sense, you need a certain level bordering on cockiness if you're going to be a closer.

"I guess that means my personality makes me seem a lot like a closer more than anything else. I've been accused to having my share of cockiness."

But Frascatore is no bulldog like Franco in his prime nor an intense loon such as Randy Myers. His remains a rookie's cockiness, the subtle kind that makes him quite likable. Hard to imagine him glaring on the way in from the bullpen. He still has some learning to do, some experience to gather.

As of Saturday, he'll gather it as a starting pitcher. Frascatore will replace struggling Allen Watson, a fellow New Yorker, in the rotation when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers in his second big-league start.

"I'm excited," Frascatore said. "As long as I'm pitching, though, that's the big thing."

Frascatore, 25, made one emergency start for the Redbirds last season, when they had a stretch of six games in four days. He gave up seven hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings, losing 6-1 to the Braves and ace hurler Greg Maddux. But he went 15-6 while splitting time between Class AA Arkansas and AAA Louisville the rest of the season.

The Cardinals have toyed with Frascatore since his days at C. …

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