Former Morehead City Marlin's right-handed pitcher Shawn Armstrong made his major league debut Saturday, August 8th for the Cleveland Indians against the Minnesota Twins. Armstrong threw an inning of relief in the Tribe's 17-4 victory over the Twins.
The Cleveland Indians drafted the New Bern, N.C. native out of East Carolina University in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, where he has spent his entire professional career. In 206 2/3 innings in the minor leagues Armstrong recorded 260 strikeouts and posted a 2.40 ERA.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona called on the rookie to pitch the ninth inning for the Tribe. Armstrong was dominate in his debut not allowing a hit and striking out two. "He's kind of pitched his way into where he's really confident," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said prior to Armstrong's debut on Saturday. "He's been throwing strikes. Hopefully, he'll help us."
Armstrong became a Marlin in the inaugural 2010 season and in his second season was selected as a 2011 Coastal Plain League East All-Star. He finished his career as a Marlin throwing a total of 118 1/3 innings with 140 strikeouts and a combined 2.54 ERA while holding opponents to a .185 batting average.
His statistics weren't the only reason Armstrong made an impression during his time in Morehead City. "I could not be happier for Shawn. He was one of the hardest working players we have ever had. I am proud that he is a Marlins alum and made his dream come true with his major league debut. On and off the field Shawn represented what the Marlins organization is all about. His hard work and dedication has paid off and we could not be happier," said Marlins owner Buddy Bengel.
Armstrong's debut pushed the Coastal Plain League's Major League alumni total to 80, with five alone having debuted so far in 2015. He also became the second Morehead City Marlin to make their debut after Chris Taylor accomplished the feat in 2014 with the Seattle Mariners.
About the Coastal Plain League:
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 81 alums – including former AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut thus far; while another notable alum – Russell Wilson – won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at CoastalPlain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).