May 12, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcherEric Fornataro
(67) throws to a Chicago Cubs batter during the fifth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Fornataro was originally drafted from Miami Dade College by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2008 First-Year Player draft. The right-hander has spent the bulk of his career in the minors, where he is 28-48 with a 3.90 ERA in parts of seven professional seasons.
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The 26-year-old reliever made his major league debut for the Cardinals this season, appearing in eight big league games and posting a 4.66 ERA with three strikeouts, a walk and 11 hits in 9 2/3 innings. Fornataro spent most of the 2014 season at Triple-A Memphis, where he recorded 15 saves while boasting a 2.57 ERA.
Fornataro relies on a 93 mph fastball that induces plenty of ground balls. While the right-hander could make the Nationals’ bullpen out of Spring Training, he will most likely start the 2015 season in the minors. Nevertheless, Fornataro is a good addition to the Nationals as he’ll add pitching depth that could definitely come in handy late in the 2015 season.
With the addition of Fornataro, the Nationals’ 40-man roster stands at 40, but that number should change soon as the team will have to add several of its top prospects to the roster in order to avoid losing them in next month’s Rule 5 draft.