Former AppleSox pitcher (’06), Blaine Hardy, made his MLB debut on Monday night for the Detroit Tigers. With the appearance, Hardy becomes the sixth AppleSox player to make it to the professional level.
Hardy threw for two innings out of the bullpen on Monday against the Royals and only allowed one hit while keeping the Kansas City squad scoreless. He also struck out two batters.
Hardy is from Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington and played college baseball at Lewis-Clark State College.
The Kansas City Royals made Hardy a part of their organization in 2008, when they took him with a 22nd round pick in that years’ draft.
He was later released by the Royals during the 2013 spring training camp. The southpaw got his second opportunity when the Tigers picked him up in April of 2013. He started with the AA affiliate Erie Seawolves.
He eventually worked up to play for the AAA Toledo Mud Hens, where he stayed until being called up to the Tigers roster two days ago.
In his first major league start, he got to face the same Kansas City Royals team that released him a little over a year ago. In his first appearance he was strong, getting out of a first and third jam while in relief of Justin Verlander.
“As a young pitcher, Blaine was a guy that was athletic and had good stuff,” said the head coach of the AppleSox Ed Knaggs. “He just kept playing and playing and playing to work his way to the bigs. He had size and he wasn’t a soft left-hander by any stretch. He was like a lot of our guys just trying to find his way and had a lot of good tools to work with. For him, I’m sure his ability to hang in there and persevere has to be his story.”