Cardinals pitching prospect Jack Flaherty flummoxes Brewers

Jack Flaherty was dealing on Tuesday, striking out nine Brewers over five frames. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Jack Flaherty just delivered the most dominant start by a Cardinals pitcher so far this season, striking out nine Brewers over five innings, allowing one walk and one run. He whiffed eight of the first 12 batters he faced. His terrific work became a footnote when Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun homered on back-to-back pitches in the ninth, giving Milwaukee a 5-4 win. But for fantasy purposes, Flaherty was the story.

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Flaherty’s slider is an evil thing that generally served as the finishing pitch for Milwaukee batters. His fastball has good velocity (93-ish) and he throws a respectable curve, but the slider is particularly cruel. Flaherty went 14-4 in the high minors last season, producing excellent ratios (2.18 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) and striking out 147 batters in 148.2 innings. He issued just 35 walks in the minors in 2017, so command was not an issue. Flaherty pretty clearly has the stuff to be a mixed league fantasy asset. He’s owned in only 34 percent of Yahoo leagues at the moment.

Adam Wainwright is returning soon from the disabled list, which complicates Flaherty’s short-term outlook. It’s hard to believe the Cardinals would ship the 22-year-old to Memphis after Tuesday’s excellence, but of course it’s possible. No matter where he makes his next start, he remains a pitcher of interest in our game. Flaherty is going to pitch plenty of big league innings this season. Add anywhere you need a pitching boost.

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