Jason Motte

Last updated
66+23 innings, he struck out 110, a rate of 14.8 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. [4]

St. Louis Cardinals (2008-2014)

2008–11

The Cardinals called Motte from the minor leagues on September 2, 2008. He recorded a total of 12 appearances, all in relief, with an ERA of 0.82 in his first month in the big leagues. In 11 innings, Motte struck out 16 batters, allowing three walks and five hits. He earned his first save on September 18 against Cincinnati in their ballpark, getting the final out in the ninth inning with a fly ball to left field. [6]

Motte during the 2011 World Series Parade. Mott2.jpg
Motte during the 2011 World Series Parade.

During the 2009 spring training camp, Motte competed with Ryan Franklin and Chris Perez in an attempt to earn the role as the Cardinals' 2009 closer; manager Tony La Russa later said he would not establish a closer. Instead, he would use a mix of relievers in the ninth inning. Motte was called on to save the first game. However, he gave up four runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth inning. Pittsburgh won 6–4. After this blown save opportunity, La Russa moved Motte into a middle reliever role. Despite the blown the save on opening day and occasional rough outings that contributed to a 4.59 ERA, Motte recorded 14 holds. Motte became the Cardinals' de facto closer late in the 2011 season – La Russa still had not named him as the closer – helping his team win the Wild Card. Motte pitched in two games against the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2011 National League Division Series (NLDS), in which the Cardinals won the series 3 games to 2. Motte also pitched in three games in the 2011 National League Championship Series (NLCS) against St. Louis' division rival, the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals won this series in six games. Motte was on the mound for the final out of the NLCS winning the Cardinals their 18th pennant. He was also on the mound when the Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in the World Series.

2012

He won the NL Player of the Week Award for the first time for his week of September 17–23, after picking up his fifth consecutive save out of five opportunities and league-leading 40th. [7] Motte finished the season with 2.75 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 76 innings, along with a National League-leading 42 saves. Motte is one of five pitchers in Cardinals history to reach 40 or more saves, joining Hall of Fame pitchers Lee Smith and Bruce Sutter, as well as Jason Isringhausen and Trevor Rosenthal. [8] [9]

2013

On January 22, 2013, the St. Louis Cardinals reached a two-year contract with Motte, the financial details of which were not disclosed. [8] The deal effectively bought out the final two years of Motte's arbitration eligibility. At the end of the contract he became a free agent. [8] Motte earned $1.95 million in 2012 and had filed for a salary of $5.5 million for 2013. The Cardinals' counter-offer was reported as $4.5 million. [8]

On March 29, 2013, the Cardinals placed Motte on the DL with a strained elbow. He and the team physician at first hoped that non-surgical rehab treatment could allow him to still pitch at some point in 2013. However, on May 3, the Cardinals announced that Motte would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his elbow. [10]

Manager Mike Matheny called upon Edward Mujica to replace Motte as closer. Eventually, rookie Trevor Rosenthal replaced Mujica by season's end and saved four games in the Cardinals' NL pennant-winning playoffs. [11] Like Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter before him – both of whom also rehabilitated through Tommy John surgery – Motte made himself available for the Cardinals relievers during games, especially for the rookies and inexperienced relievers. After the World Series, with Motte still recovering and Rosenthal's convincing finish as closer, Matheny announced Rosenthal would be the closer for 2014. Meanwhile, Motte continued to progress and was throwing off a mound by November. Due to Motte availing himself to the other Cardinals pitchers even while he was unable to pitch, his teammates voted for him to receive the Darryl Kile Good Guy Award. He is the first player to receive the award while not making a single game appearance in the season for which he was awarded. [12]

2014

On May 21, Motte made his return to the mound after missing 2013, pitching 1+13 innings of scoreless relief. However, he struggled for the rest of the season and was ultimately left off the Cardinals' postseason roster. In 29 games he was 1-0 with a 4.68 ERA. [13] He became a free agent after they were eliminated by the San Francisco Giants.

In six seasons with the Cardinals, Motte was 18-13 with 54 saves and a 3.03 ERA with 290 strikeouts in 285 innings. [13]

Chicago Cubs (2015)

On December 16, 2014, Motte and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a 1-year, $4.5 million contract. [14] In 57 games with the Cubs in 2015, Motte was 8-1 with a 3.91 ERA and six saves. [13]

Colorado Rockies (2016)

On December 8, 2015, Motte signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Colorado Rockies. [15] In 2016 for the Rockies, in 30 games he was 0-1 with a 4.94 ERA. [13] He was designated for assignment on March 31, 2017, to create room for Stephen Cardullo who had his contract purchased, and released on April 5. [16]

Atlanta Braves (2017)

On April 9, 2017, Motte signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. [17] He was called up on April 27 and had a 3.54 ERA in 46 games with 27 strikeouts in 40 innings. [18]

Return to St. Louis (2018)

On February 16, 2018, Motte signed a minor league deal to return to the Cardinals, reuniting him with the team that drafted him. [19] He was given an invite to spring training [20] but was released by the Cardinals on March 22. [21] [13]

In nine major league seasons, Motte was 27-15 with 60 saves and a 3.30 ERA in 444 career games. In 19 career postseason games, all with the Cardinals, Motte was 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA and eight saves. [13]

Coaching career

On June 15, 2018, he joined the University of Memphis coaching staff, although he did not formally announce his retirement. [22]

Pitching profile

Motte's primary pitch is a four-seam fastball, which was clocked in the upper 90s during 2008. In 2012, it was clocked at 102 miles per hour (MPH). He also threw a cut fastball that reached 93 MPH and a sinking fastball that reached 96 MPH, and, rarely, an 85-MPH changeup. [23] His cutter has shown the widest variance of movement of all his pitches, to being anywhere from flat vertically to moving up to eight inches. He also regularly threw a curveball through the 2010 season, but has discontinued it since last throwing it in 2011. [24]

Personal life

Motte is a Christian. [25] Motte is married to Caitlin Motte. Together they have a daughter, Margaret, and a son, Sutter. The couple runs two foundations: the Jason Motte Foundation, and a cancer awareness foundation called "Strikeout Childhood Cancer." While recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2013, Motte disclosed that his encounters with numerous people stricken with cancer – from his grandfather to Cardinals fans, including many children – moved him to visit and encourage them. As a result, Motte and the Cardinals organized a pediatric cancer awareness day on September 23, 2013, to set aside 5,000 game tickets at the pavilion that cost $10.00 each, with $3.00 per ticket going to the Jason Motte Foundation. An additional 1,000 tickets were donated to pediatric cancer patients just released from the hospital. For those unable to go to Busch Stadium, Motte organized a group of several of his teammates to see the children in person. [26]

See also

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References

  1. Leach, Matthew (February 25, 2008). "St. Louis Cardinals news article on the status of Motte". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  2. McCarron, Anthony. "Former Iona College star Jason Motte playing major role in World Series for St. Louis Cardinals". nydailynews.com.
  3. "Jason Motte Stats, Fantasy & News". MLB.com .
  4. 1 2 3 "Jason Motte minor league statistics & history". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  5. 1 2 "Jason Motte profile". stlcardinals.scout.com. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  6. Leach, Matthew (September 18, 2008). "Cards paint the town Red in finale: Motte mops up first big league save; Pujols drills big blast". MLB.com. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  7. Meisel, Zack (September 24, 2012). "Motte named NL Player of the Week for first time". stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 4 Langosch, Jenifer (January 22, 2013). "Motte, Cardinals reach two year agreement". MLB.com via St. Louis Cardinals official team website. Retrieved January 23, 2013.
  9. "St. Louis Cardinals Top 10 Single-Season Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com.
  10. DiGiovanni, Joe (May 3, 2013). "Cardinals' closer Jason Motte will have season-ending Tommy John surgery". MLB.com . Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  11. "Trevor Rosenthal statistics and history". Baseball-Reference.com . Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  12. Goold, Derrick (January 1, 2014). "Motte continues comeback". St. Louis Post-Dispatch . Retrieved January 3, 2014.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Jason Motte Stats". Baseball-Reference.com.
  14. ESPN (15 December 2014). "Reliever Jason Motte joins Cubs" . Retrieved 17 December 2014.
  15. Todd, Jeff (December 8, 2015). "Rockies sign Jason Motte". MLBTradeRumors. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  16. "Rockies release Jason Motte". 5 April 2017.
  17. Cunningham, Michael (April 10, 2017). "Braves sign veteran reliever Motte to minor-league deal". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  18. Knobler, Danny (April 27, 2017). "Reliever Motte joins Braves; Recker optioned". MLB.com. Retrieved April 28, 2017.
  19. "Cardinals Sign Jason Motte To Minor League Deal". MLB Trade Rumors.
  20. "Cardinals reunite with Motte on Minors deal". MLB.com. February 19, 2018.
  21. "Cardinals Release Jason Motte; Reunion Still Possible". MLB Trade Rumors.
  22. "Jason Motte Joins University Of Memphis Staff". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  23. "Player card: Jason Motte". brooksbaseball.net. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  24. "Player card: Jason Motte's pitch types, velo and movement". brooksbaseball.net. Retrieved September 22, 2013.
  25. "Keep Fighting". Athletes For God.
  26. Goold, Derrick (September 22, 2013). "Motte is on a mission". St. Louis Post-Dispatch .
Jason Motte
Jason Motte 2008.jpg
Motte in 2008 with the Cardinals
Pitcher
Born: (1982-06-22) June 22, 1982 (age 39)
Port Huron, Michigan
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 3, 2008, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 2017, for the Atlanta Braves