Former Canaries Pitcher Gets Big-League Shot

Posted: 5/27/2017



SIOUX FALLS, SD –The St. Louis Cardinals selected the contract of former Sioux Falls Canary pitcher John Brebbia from Triple-A Memphis. Brebbia spent two seasons in the American Association, playing for Sioux Falls in 2014.

With the Canaries in 2014, Brebbia went 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 76 Ks in 34 appearances. 

“The entire Sioux Falls Canaries organization would like to congratulate John on reaching the highest level,” Canaries GM Duell Higbe said, “It's a well-deserved promotion and wish him the very best. We are extremely proud to say he was a part of the Canaries family.” 

Brebbia also played for the Laredo Lemurs the following season under pitching coach, and current Canaries’ manager, Mike Meyer. There Brebbia complied 19 saves, a 7-2 record and a 0.98 ERA in 51 appearances, en route to the Lemurs’ American Association championship. 

“I'm so happy and proud of John getting called up to the big leagues today,” Meyer said, “In my 10 years as a pitching coach nobody work harder or competed better than Brebbs. It's truly a great feeling for me as his pitching coach to have played a small role in he's career.” 

Brebbia is the second former Canary to make it to the majors. Eddy Rodriguez spent the 2010 season in Sioux Falls before signing with the San Diego Padres, earning a call to the MLB in 2012. 

John Holdzkom, who pitching in nine games for the Pirates in 2014, also appeared in two exhibition games with the Canaries in 2014 before signing a contract with Pittsburgh. 

A native of Sharon, Mass., Brebbia was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Elon University. He spent three seasons in the Yankees’ organization before joining the Independent ranks. 

After the 2015 season in Laredo, Brebbia signed a minor-league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. But before he could play a game for Arizona, the Cardinals’ selected Brebbia in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft. 

Brebbia spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons with the Cardinals’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates before being called up to the majors. Brebbia, who complied a 1.69 ERA in 15 relief appearances this season for the Memphis Redbirds, is expected to give St. Louis some bullpen help.

The Canaries return home on Friday, June 2nd when they open up a three-game series against the Kansas City T-Bones. Be sure to stick around after the game for the first Friday Night All-Star Fireworks Spectacular, presented by the Orthopedic Institute and Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital.

For more information about season tickets and corporate opportunities, call the Canaries ticket office at (605) 336-6060 or visit