On February 10th of this year, P.J. Walters and his wife brought their first born child into the world. Annabelle Faith Walters was born 14 weeks prematurely, weighed 3.6 pounds, and was born with a heart defect. Suddenly, making the Cardinals roster in Spring Training was the very last thing on Walters’ mind.
“That definitely put a new perspective on things,” Walters said. “When I reported to camp, making the team wasn’t even the first priority.”
On April 2nd, six days before Opening Day, Annabelle died. She was 51 days old.
Walters took the first month of the season off but is now back, pitching in AAA-Memphis. He vowed to play in memory of Annabelle, and that is exactly what P.J. is doing. In three starts this year, Walters is 1-0 with a 0.48 ERA. In 18 innings, he has struck out 23 and walked 3.
The one run that Walters has allowed this season came off of a home run in his first start. Since then, he has pitched 13 scoreless innings. Opposing hitters are batting .140 and he has not allowed more than four hits in any of his three starts this year.
Now that is pretty cool. And depending on how Kyle Lohse’s start goes tomorrow, Walters may find himself in the big leagues very, very soon.
I speak for Cardinal Nation when I say our thoughts and prayers are with the Walters family. Best of luck to you, bud. I’m your newest fan. See you in St. Louis soon.