Eric Fornataro

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Eric Anthony Fornataro

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Biographical Information[edit]

Eric Fornataro made his major league debut in 2014.

Fornataro was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2008 amateur draft, one round after Jermaine Curtis. He split the summer between the GCL Cardinals (2-2, 1.74 in 9 G) and Johnson City Cardinals (0-1, Sv, 2.57 in 2 G). In 2009, he was with the Batavia Muckdogs (4-0, 2.15 in 8 G, .77 WHIP) and the Quad Cities River Bandits (0-5, 5.24 in 7 G). He struggled with the 2010 River Bandits (7-15, 5.26, .290 opponent average). He led the Midwest League in losses (two ahead of Trevor Feeney), led in runs allowed (104, 9 more than Trey Haley) and led in earned runs (82, one ahead of Ryan Shopshire). Among Cardinals farmhands, he had the most losses (three more than Richard Castillo), allowed the most runs (8 more than Lance Lynn) and was second in earned runs (5 fewer than Lynn). He tied Jose Ortegano and Jesus Castillo for the most losses in all of the minor leagues.

The Texan right-hander was 7-13 with a 3.67 ERA for the 2011 Palm Beach Cardinals. He was 6th in their chain in ERA, 9th in strikeouts (116), tied Jorge Rondon for the most losses, tied John Gast for 5th in hit batsmen (12) and tied Zach Russell for third in wild pitches (16). He was third in the Florida State League in defeats (trailing Edgar Olmos and Chad James), was 8th in whiffs, was 4th in hit batsmen, ranked 10th in ERA and tied Olmos and Shooter Hunt for second in wild pitches (one back of Kyle Allen).

Moving to relief in 2012, Fornataro was sharp for the Springfield Cardinals (3-3, 5 Sv, 2.39 in 57 G), setting up for Keith Butler. He was second in the St. Louis chain in games pitched (one behind Adam Reifer) and was also second in the Texas League (3 behind Josh Sullivan). He helped Springfield to the TL title, winning one extra-inning playoff game against the Tulsa Drillers then getting holds in two other games and in two games in the finals versus the Frisco RoughRiders. He missed over a month of 2013 with an oblique injury, going 1-4 with a save and a 6.02 ERA in 37 games for the Memphis Redbirds. On a rehab stint, he allowed two runs (one earned) in three frames for the GCL Cardinals.

He opened 2014 back with Memphis (1-0, Sv, 0 R, 1 H in 5 IP). He and Rondon were called up when Joe Kelly went on the DL and Butler was demoted. In his MLB debut, he relieved Pat Neshek in the bottom of the 8th of a 2-0 loss to the New York Mets. He retired Lucas Duda, Travis d'Arnaud and Ruben Tejada in order. He pitched 8 times with no decisions and an ERA of 4.66 in 9 2/3 innings in what was his only major league season.

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