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Former Falmouth star Aardsma chooses Memphis over free agency

David Aardsma

     Right-handed pitcher David Aardsma (Falmouth, 2002) has decided to stay in Memphis.

      The Cape Cod League Hall of Famer (class of 2010) had an opportunity to opt out of his contract on Thursday, but he chose to remain with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A club -- at least for now.

      Aardsma, the Redbirds’ closer, has been effective and consistent in 16 appearances entering Friday’s action. He has fashioned a 1-0 record with a 1.59 ERA and three saves, allowing just three earned runs on 11 hits in 17 innings while striking out 15 and walking eight. His WHIP ratio is an impressive 1.12.

      Had the former Rice University pitching ace exercised his opt-out clause, he would have become a free agent, eligible to negotiate with any team in baseball. Apparently, he is confident that his continued success at the Triple-A level will earn him a promotion to St. Louis sometime this season.

      The 32-year-old Aardsma signed with the Cardinals late in spring training after asking for and receiving his release from the Cleveland Indians and has been solid for the Redbirds so far.

      Last season with the New York Mets, Aardsma pitched regularly in the majors for the first time since Tommy John surgery and labrum repair surgery cost him his closer’s job in Seattle in 2011. With the Mets, he posted a 4.31 ERA with 8.2 strikeouts and 4.3 walks per nine innings and a 32.8-percent ground-ball rate in 39 2/3 innings. Though his average fast ball velocity was down from his career mark of 93.7 mph, he still averaged 91.2 mph and his 11.7-percent swinging-strike rate was actually better than his career mark of 10.7 percent.

-ccbl-