DENVER, Colo. – Former Elon University right-handed pitcher John Brebbia has accomplished what every Little League player dreams about. On Saturday, May 27, Brebbia got the call from the St. Louis Cardinals that he would be joining the team in Denver, Colo., for the squad’s series against the Colorado Rockies.
Brebbia is the first former Elon player to reach the majors since right-handed pitcher Joe Winkelsas did so in 2006 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Winkelsas appeared in the majors in two seasons, also seeing time with Atlanta Braves in 1999.
Brebbia pitched for the Phoenix from 2009-11 and was drafted in the 30th round by the New York Yankees in the 2011 MLB Draft. He joined the Cardinals organization for the 2016 season. This year, Brebbia had been pitching for the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of the Cardinals. He had compiled a 1-1 record with three saves and a 1.69 ERA. In 26.2 innings of work he struck out 29 and walked just five hitters while holding opponent to a .172 batting average.
In five minor league seasons (Brebbia also played two years of independent baseball), he has gone 9-13 with a 3.67 ERA in 223.0 innings in 126 games. He has struck out 207 hitters in that time.
In three seasons with the maroon and gold, Brebbia went 9-1 with three saves. He struck out 72 hitters in 98.0 innings. His best season came in 2011 when he earned Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year accolades after going 7-1 with three saves and a 1.76 ERA. He allowed just eight walks while striking out 35 in 41.0 innings over 27 appearances out of the bullpen that season. An all-league pick, Brebbia held opponents to just a .171 batting average in 2011.
The Cardinals are currently 23-22 and in third place in the National League Central. St. Louis is four games back of the division-leading Chicago Cubs.