Cardinals’ pitcher VerHagen enjoying rehab stint in Peoria, gearing up for return to big leagues

The Cardinals pitcher is set to make another rehab appearance Friday
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 6:48 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - If you wanted to see Cardinals pitcher Drew VerHagen on Wednesday night at Dozer Park, you better have gotten there early. The righty made quick work of Beloit in his first rehab appearance in Peoria. Six pitches, all strikes in a 1-2-3 solo inning of work.

“Yeah it was a quick night but it felt good,” the rehabbing reliever said. “I was pounding the zone with fastball, slider. I really wanted to work on getting a breaking ball over for a strike first pitch to a hitter and I did that and other than that I just wanted to pound the zone down with my fastball and I did that so overall really happy with it.”

While some fans may have missed VerHagen, who is working his way back from a shoulder ailment, his new Peoria teammates certainly did not. The young Chiefs were glued to his every move and trying to learn everything they could from the Major Leaguer.

“You know, I was trying to put myself in their shoes,” VerHagen said. “I remember being in High-A with big league rehabs and I was watching them like a hawk. I was watching their every move. I think that’s awesome. If they can take anything from me this week then that’s awesome and who knows maybe I’ll pick up a thing or two here.”

VerHagen is set pitch again on Friday and after having soaking in the experience of Dozer Park on Wednesday, he’s excited for round two

“Yeah, minor leauge baseball is fun,” VerHagen said. “I have a lot, a lot of good memories playing at every level just the fans and the atmosphere. It’s a whole different vibe from a major league game but it’s good in it’s own way.”

He’s enjoying his time in Peoria, but VerHagen is still focused on the ultimate goal of this rehab assignment... get healthy and get back to the Big Leagues to help the Cardinals make a run at a World Series title.

“Obviously not happy with having a couple of stints on the IL but all I can do at this point is just get my mind ready and my body ready for the second half because we’ve got a lot of games coming up and we’re hoping to finish strong.”

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