McClellan honored as Cards' top rookie
Righty's 68 outings rank third among club's first-year pitchers
ST. LOUIS -- Kyle McClellan, who burst onto the scene and helped fortify the Cardinals' bullpen this year, had his moment in the spotlight prior to the St. Louis-Arizona game on Wednesday night.
McClellan was presented the 2008 Cardinals Rookie of the Year Award in a vote of St. Louis media. The award was sponsored by Hamilton Jewelers and Baume and Mercier Watch Company.
"A lot of people helped me," McClellan said. "Veteran guys in the bullpen like Ron Villone and Russ Springer showed me how you deal with the ups and downs of a long season. They helped me with the downs and kept me on an even level with the highs."
McClellan also cited the confidence that manager Tony La Russa showed in him and the daily tutelage of pitching coach Dave Duncan and bullpen coach Marty Mason.
"Tony put me in some tight spots early on and stuck with me," McClellan said.
Through Tuesday, McClellan was 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 68 appearances, which ranks as the third most among St. Louis rookie pitchers. Mike Perez had 77 appearances in 1992 and Todd Worrell had 74 in 1986.
St. Louis-area high school baseball coaches had to be smiling on Wednesday as Hazelwood West graduate McClellan received his award, and Parkway Central product Max Scherzer started for the Diamondbacks.
"Max and I played together on the same Fall League team," McClellan said. "There aren't that many of us from St. Louis. Other than tonight, you can't help but pull for him."
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.