On Friday the St. Louis Cardinals promoted rookie lefty Dean Kiekhefer to the major league roster. He lost no time getting into action, throwing 1.2 innings of relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving up a hit and a run but fanning four. Kiekhefer was little-known outside of Cardinals circles until his promotion, so let's take a quick look at what he offers.
Kiekhefer was drafted by the Cardinals in the 36th round back in 2010 from the University of Louisville. A starting pitcher in college, he moved to the bullpen in pro ball and made a slow but steady rise up the farm ladder, reaching Triple-A in 2014. He's been very effective at that level, posting a 2.35 ERA in 130 Triple-A innings over the last two years for Memphis, with a 98/12 K/BB and 128 hits allowed. This is all in the Pacific Coast League, not known for its friendliness for pitchers.
Kiekhefer is a 6-0, 175 pound lefty, born June 7, 1989. Age 26, he profiles exactly like you'd expect from his numbers: he does not throw hard at all, his fastball peaking at 89 MPH, but he mixes in a hard breaking ball against lefties and a decent change-up against right-handers. He gets a lot of ground balls and he always throws strikes; his walk rate has been minuscule since reaching Triple-A.
In general this is a LOOGY profile, Kiekhefer coming in for short exposure outings. He held lefties to a mere .105 average in Triple-A this year but was less dominant over a full season in '15 at .267. He slaughtered them in 2014 at .125; it is fair to say they often have trouble picking him up.
Mike Trotter grabbed this from the TV Broadcast of the 2015 Triple-A All-Star game.