Canaries sign ideal Birdcage "combo" pitcher in Gordon
Pitching in the hitter-friendly Birdcage can be a mighty challenge. So, too, can be finding the kind of pitcher suited for it.
Sioux Falls Canaries manager Mike Meyer appears to have struck gold in signing 4-year minor league reliever Robbie Gordon on Friday.
"Robbie has the rare ability to pound the strike zone and remain a high strikeout guy, which plays very well in The Birdcage," Meyer said. "He is a combo guy that has the rare ability to start or relieve. We look at Robbie to compete for a rotation spot this summer."
A 36th-round MLB Draft pick of his hometown St. Louis Cardinals in 2016, Gordon's highest ERA in four seasons as a minor leauger is 3.05. In three seasons of pitching in the Cards' organization from 2016-18, Gordon went 10-9 with a 2.18 ERA, giving up just 70 hits in 103 innings while striking out 59 and walking 32.
The 6'2 righthander struck out 11.4 batters per 9 innings during that time.
Gordon did not give up a single home run in a career-high 42 appearances last season while also setting career marks in strikeouts (59), strikeouts per nine innings (13), wins (5), and saves (12) with the Rockland Boulders of the independent Canadian-American Association.
Before turning pro, Gordon played played three seasons at Maryville University in Missouri, striking out 57 batters in his third and final season at the school in 2016. In 11 starts, he only surrendered 12 extra-base hits and pitched a perfect game against Hillsdale on March 13, 2016 -- the first no-hitter in program history -- before graduating in May and becoming the first player from the school's history to be selected in the MLB Draft.
"No doubt, he will be a big part of our staff moving forward," Meyer said.