Cardinals' McClellan Shines After Long Wait

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ST. LOUIS - Kyle McClellan's professional baseball career has been filled with waiting. He waited until the 25th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft to go to the St. Louis Cardinals instead of Mizzou. He then spent six years in the minors before joining the big club in 2008. There, he served as a capeable setup man, waiting for his chance to start.

"I'm not a very patient person, so it wasn't very exciting for me, but you know it's part of it and you gotta wait it out."

However, the patience he has exhibited is paying off this season. Placed into the redbird rotation after Adam Wainwright's injury, McClellan has excelled and currently leads the national league with four wins.

Simplicity, it appears, has been a key factor in McClellan's success.

"I heard him say one time that some of that reliever experience has been good for him, because he knows even when he's in a little trouble he's one pitch away from getting two outs or getting out of it."

While McClellan still has some regrets over foregoing college, the Hazelwood native still enjoys taking the mound for his hometown club.

"[Mizzou's] program at the time that I would have been there - it was starting to turn around. They were at the top of the Big 12. But [pitching for the Cardinals] is something that I don't take for granted. Both me and my wife don't take it for granted. Every day I come in the park, I know it's a special thing."

It's certainly an experience that he hopes won't soon be finished.