Cleat Geeks

Former Navy Lieutenant brought to majors by Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals will play in Washington D.C. for the next 3 days which is our nations capital. While Mitch Harris has been serving our nation in the Navy as a 2nd Lieutenant.

The 29-year-old Harris rejoined the Cardinals’ organization in February 2013, after filling his mandatory service time in the Navy, during which he sailed aboard the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf, conducted drug stings in South America and served on diplomatic assignment in Russia.

Mitch Harris throwing in Spring Training earlier this season.

Mitch Harris throwing in Spring Training earlier this season.

But Harris, a 13th-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, returned hardly in baseball form. With a fastball velocity hovering around 80 mph when he reported to his first Spring Training, Harris wondered if the Cardinals would even want him. But the organization gave him a chance and watched as Harris slowly started to more closely resemble the kid they once scouted.

Harris posted a 0.81 ERA that summer with the short-season club in State College. He then climbed three levels in 2014, setting himself up to be a non-roster invitee in Spring Training this year. There, Harris impressed with his cutter, split-finger fastball and improving breaking ball. His velocity has crept back up to the low-90s, and he allowed only two runs on three hits in 9 2/3 Grapefruit League innings.

St. Louis placed outfielder Peter Bourjos on the paternity leave list Tuesday and selected the contract of Harris from Triple-A Memphis. The right-hander had two saves and a 2.45 ERA for Memphis this year. St. Louis designated outfielder Gary Brown for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

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