NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk native Matt Iannazzo was promoted to Class High-A Daytona in the Chicago Cubs minor league system late Thursday night, according to Matt's father, Jeff.
The promotion is the latest example of the 5-foot-9, left-handed relief pitcher defying expectations, despite not being selected in Major League Baseball's First Year Amateur Player Draft in June.
Iannazzo was promoted from Chicago's short-season single-A team, the Boise Hawks. The move was somewhat of a surprise, according to his father, as Iannazzo skipped over one level of single-A and leapfrogged several other relief pitchers on the Cubs' depth chart.
Iannazzo was signed as a minor-league free agent by the Cubs in June after he was not selected in baseball's amateur draft. He reported to the rookie-level Arizona Cubs, but was promoted to Boise after posting a 1.12 ERA and striking out 12 in eight innings.
He struggled at first after his promotion, allowing 11 earned runs in his first four appearances with Boise. But according to Iannazzo's father, when Cubs scouts came to watch him in three recent appearances, he suddenly was unhittable.
Since the beginning of August, Iannazzo has not allowed a run in seven innings of relief, striking out eight batters during that span. He also earned his first professional win Aug. 9.
Iannazzo was in the dugout for the Daytona Cubs' game Friday night, but did not pitch.
Iannazzo, a Norwalk High graduate, is the University of Pittsburgh's all-time leader in career pitching victories.
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