ST. LOUIS -- Nick Hagadone has earned his manager's trust. Manny Acta trusts that he can call on the 26-year old left-hander in any situation and Hagadone will deliver.
Acta went to Hagadone in the ninth inning on Friday night with a four run lead over the Cardinals. Hagadone shut down St. Louis in order in the final frame.
"I think he's gone through the process," Acta said of Hagadone on Saturday afternoon. "You start putting guys out there in uncomfortable situations and see how they handled themselves. I think he's gone through all those steps and now I can trust him to throw strikes in any kind of environment. I think last night was a good example of that."
Hagadone owns a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched this season. He's holding left-handers to a mere .121, and is improving against righties, who are batting .216 off of him.
Acta pointed to Hagadone's hard work in the offseason on improving his command as one of the main reasons for his success. The Indians' coaching staff holds routine meetings with their players, and Acta said Hagadone took what they had to say to heart.
"We're pretty honest to them and give them good feedback on what they need to work on," Acta said. "If the guy trusts what we tell them, it gives them a pretty good idea of what they need to work on. He needed to work on his command. He knows that. And he's improved. You can tell. He's a guy that down the road should be able to pitch against righties and lefties because he's got the stuff to do it."
"He's not a finished product," Acta said of Hagadone. "But right now his heartbeat is pretty good along with his stuff."