November 13, 1973 |
Mountain View, California
|May 4, 2002, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 15, 2007, for the Washington Nationals|
|Earned run average||5.09|
Jason William Simontacchi (born November 13, 1973) is the pitching coach for the St. Louis Cardinals affiliated Minor League Baseball team the Peoria Chiefs. He was a baseball starting pitcher for four years in Major League Baseball, from 2002-2004 and 2007. He pitched in the minors from 1996-1999 and from 2001-2004, in the minor league organizations of the Kansas City Royals (1996-1997), Pittsburgh Pirates (1999), Minnesota Twins (2001), and St. Louis Cardinals (2002–2004), where he made his major league debut. He finished his pitching career in the independent leagues in 2008 and 2010.
After transferring from De Anza College, Simontacchi attended San Jose State University in the 1994–95 school year and pledged the Cal Iota chapter of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity as a member of the Alpha Theta pledge class. Simontacchi completed his collegiate baseball career at the College of Idaho.
Minor league career
He was pitcher of the year in 1998 for the independent Frontier League champions, the Springfield Capitals, going 10-2 with an ERA of 2.95. He also played in the Italian Professional League for Rimini Baseball Club and went 12-1 with a 1.17 ERA in 2000, where he played well enough to make the roster for Italy at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where he was the winning pitcher vs. South Africa, pitched in relief vs. USA and was the losing pitcher vs. The Netherlands with a 1.17 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.
Major league career
He had an ERA of 2.34 and a record of 5-1 in 2002 for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, a year in which he was mostly up with the 2002 St. Louis Cardinals as a 28-year-old rookie. Through his first 13 starts with the Cardinals, he went 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA. He finished the season with an 11-5 record in 24 starts, and ninth in Rookie of the Year voting. In 2003, he was 9-5, as a part-time starter with 16 starts, with an ERA of 5.56.
Simontacchi considered playing for Italy at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, but didn't. He signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago Cubs for the 2006 season, but his contract was voided. However, he pitched 10 games in the independent Atlantic League for the Bridgeport Bluefish with an ERA of 0.84. He then pitched for the Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter Baseball League and in his five starts went 3-1 with a 2.02 ERA over 27 innings.
In 2007, he was a non-roster invitee to the Washington Nationals in spring training, and was projected to be in the Nationals starting rotation, until a groin injury sidelined him. He rehabbed in Triple-A, and when starters Jerome Williams and John Patterson both went on the 15-day disabled list in the space of 10 days, he was called up and started against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 8, a game he pitched well until giving up a 3 run home run in the sixth inning and getting tagged with the loss. In his second start, on May 13, 2007, Mother's Day, he pitched 5-1/3 innings, and collected his first major league win since 2003. By mid-July, he was 6-7 with an ERA of 6.37. He experienced elbow soreness after a start on July 15, and five days later landed on the disabled list due to right elbow tendinitis. Simontacchi became a free agent at the end of the season.
He was a starting pitcher for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic Baseball League during the 2010 season.
In 2013, Simontacchi became the pitching coach with the Single-A St. Louis Cardinals affiliated Peoria Chiefs. In 2014, he was promoted to Springfield Cardinals AA.