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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cards minors spring game reports – March 24


Tuesday’s opponents:
Camp day as the MLB team was off, too. Games began early, about 10:15 a.m.

Wednesday’s opponents: Florida Marlins on the Cardinals side of the complex.


Memphis
defeated Springfield, 6-0

Memphis pitching

Clayton Mortensen, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K’s

Richard Castillo, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K’s

Ryan Kulik, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K’s

Hector Cardenas, 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K

Memphis hitting

Tyler Greene 2-for-4 with a run scored

Brandon Yarbrough had an RBI triple and scored two runs

Brian Barton singled, stole second and scored a run

Jarrett Hoffpauir singled, walked twice, scored a run and had a sac fly

Casey Rowlett doubled, scored a run and had an RBI

Mark Shorey had a single and RBI

Springfield pitching

Mitchell Boggs, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K

Trey Hearne 1.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB

Chuckie Fick, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

George Brown two perfect innings, 1 K

Sam Freeman, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Mark McCormick threw a perfect inning with a K

Springfield hitting

Steve Hill 2-for-2

Daryl Jones, Andrew Brown and Donovan Solano all singled and walked

Brandon Buckman doubled


Quad Cities defeated Palm Beach, 4-3

Palm Beach pitching

Nick Additon, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 unearned runs, 1 BB, 3 K’s

Mark Diapoules, 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K’s

Kevin Thomas, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s

Andres Rosales 1 IP, 1 BB

Kristhiam Linares, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 unearned run, 1 BB, 2 K’s

Palm Beach hitting

Tommy Pham 2-for-4 with an RBI

Curt Smith RBI double and two walks

Jermaine Curtis doubled

Colt Sedbrook and Jon Edwards singled

Quad Cities pitching

Eric Fornataro, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB

Brett Zawacki, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Anthony Ferrara two perfect innings with a K

Daniel Richardson one perfect inning with a K

Jorge Rondon struck out two in a perfect inning

Senger Peralta, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB

Quad Cities hitting

Edwin Gomez 2-for-3 with a run scored

Ryde Rodriguez, 3-for-4 with two runs scored

Xavier Scruggs and Jose Garcia doubled

These above reports are provided through the courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals by Director of Minor League Operations John Vuch.


“FOM” = Friends of the Minors

The term “FOT” has become familiar to fans as the Post-Dispatch writers coined the term to offer comment on the numerous dignitaries that flow in and out of camp, invitees of Tony La Russa.

With Tuesday bringing the day off for the major leaguers and a shorter day than usual for the minor leaguers, one would think the St. Louis Cardinals camp would have been quiet. Surely the major league clubhouse was closed and neither Tony nor Bill Parcells or his kind were anywhere in sight.

That didn’t stop a number of Cardinals luminaries from making game-long appearances on the back fields on Tuesday.

Friends of the Minors, aka the minor league “A” list included GM John Mozeliak, Assistant GM John Abbamondi, Director of Minor League Ops John Vuch, plus the analytics gurus Mike Giersch and Sig Mejdal. Even Head Trainer Barry Weinberg plopped down on the Palm Beach bench.

Memphis President of Baseball Operations Dave Chase was also in the house, undoubtedly sizing up his prospective 2009 club. The Post’s always hard-working Derrick Goold and I, representing the media constituency, had ample opportunity to talk baseball with the bigwigs.

In the photo, Mozeliak grabbed a stool and camped out past the Memphis dugout. As is standard GM attire, he is clothed with cell phone!

As I noted yesterday, Tuesday is a camp day due to the fact the only organizations within reasonable driving distance are the New York Mets (Port St. Lucie) and the Florida Marlins (right next door in Jupiter). As such, about every third day, the Memphis and Springfield teams square off against each other as do the Palm Beach and Quad Cities clubs.

On the other fields, pitching drills went on business as usual, under the watchful eyes of a cadre of Cardinals coaches. All the events are expertly orchestrated daily by second-year camp coordinator Mike Shildt.

On a personal note, I left Derrick and Joe Strauss behind in the Cardinals media room so I could work on this article in a more comfortable environment. Just as it has all week, the wind is blowing in from the east at a clip that I would estimate in the 15-20 mph range. The flags at the beach (giving away my secret location) are red and purple – high wind plus dangerous marine life in the area. I think I will stay clear of deep water!

Mortensen vs. Boggs!

For the Memphis-Springfield contest, the Double-A club was given a ringer to start the game, Mitchell Boggs. With Memphis pitching Clayton Mortensen, we were rewarded with two Cardinals top 15 prospects facing off. Neither yielded a run.


Memphis
notes

It seems that each day, there are surprises in the Triple-A lineup. On the day that Tyler Greene returned to man his familiar shortstop position, Casey Rowlett stayed at second. The mystery third baseman was Jarrett Hoffpauir. Apparently, the coaches want to broaden him defensively as they have done with Greene over the last year.

Another interesting play was Nick Stavinoha at first base. Perhaps Allen Craig has a chance to remain at his natural third base position after all. Andrew Brown gets another start in right field.

With Trey Hearne on the mound throwing to Steven Hill, Brian Barton swiped second base – on a pitchout!

Brandon Yarbrough came in after starting catcher Bryan Anderson and shot an RBI triple into the right field corner. Who says backstops can’t run?

As was already noted elsewhere, former Cuban outfielder Amaury Cazana Marti is now going by Amaury Cazana. “Cazana” is what he wears on his uniform.

Released on Tuesday, veteran left-hander Joe Rogers already has a job lined up to pitch in Mexico where he resides, if he can’t catch on with an affiliated organization.


Springfield
notes

Though he was listed on the Memphis squad, oft-injured Mark McCormick made his first appearance of the spring as the final pitcher of the day for Springfield. He made quick work of his three hitters, including a final pitch strikeout of Stavinoha swinging. If McCormick can just stay healthy, he has the stuff to become a very interesting closer.


Palm Beach
notes

Back from the Netherlands WBC squad, Curt Smith continues to hit the ball well. I saw him shoot a double into right field. Jack Cawley really got a hold of one, but it was to left field directly into the teeth of the wind. Any other time, it would have been out.

Paul Cruz and Jermaine Curtis each joined the doubles brigade with RBI two-base hits of their own.


Quad Cities notes

Several posters have wondered whether there was something more behind the scenes in the release of Miguel Flores, the 16th round pick in 2008. I was assured that was not the case. The player was not projected to be competitive to make a full-season club.

Further I was told to expect more such moves in the future as the organization is not going to keep players around based on draft position if they don’t produce up to expectations. As I mentioned yesterday, cuts may occur later this week and again early-midweek next.

Adron Chambers stole at least two bases and I saw D’Marcus Ingram swipe one, too.

I had to get to the bottom of this, so I walked up to the player formerly known as Angel Tapia and asked him if he is going by Angel or Miguel. He replied “Miguel”. That is actually a good thing, as there is another Angel Tapia lower in the system. On the other hand, there are databases to be changed.

Trivia question: Who is the only player to have begun, ended and spent the entire time in between as a member of the 2008 Quad Cities River Bandits? (answer below)

Lineup Memphis Springfield Palm Beach Quad Cities
1 Robinson cf Folli 2b Kozma ss Garcia 2b
2 Barton lf Jones lf Sedbrook dh N Vasquez ss
3 Jay rf Wallace 3b Smith 1b Castellanos 2b
4 Stavinoha ib Hill c Pham cf Morales 1b
5 Greene ss Henley dh Luna 2b P Cruz dh
6 Hoffpauir 3b Solano ss Curtis 3b Gmoez lf
7 Anderson c Buckman 1b Cartie dh Rodriguez rf
8 Rowlett 2b Brown rf Kingrey lf Cawley c
9 Knoedler dh De Jesus cf Edwards rf Ingram cf
10 Shorey dh P Vasquez c Scruggs dh
Pitchers Mortensen Boggs Additon Fornataro
Castillo Hearne Diapoules Zawacki
Kulik Fick Thomas Ferrera
Cardenas Brown Rosales Richardson
McCormick Freeman Linares Rondon
Peralta


The lighter side of the news

An inquisitive reader wanted to see what Arquimedes Nieto looks like. He didn’t pitch on Tuesday, but I caught him filming the proceedings.

What had to be one of the weirdest sights I have seen, Tyler Herron walked through the middle of the complex pulling a weighted sled pulled from a shoulder harness. In the following photo, Herron is being kept company by Kenny Maiques.

Herron made one pass through the area and ten minutes later, reappeared heading in the other direction. While there were plenty of stares from fans, players and coaches alike, I didn’t hear any comments directed his way.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t puzzlement. In an aside, one veteran Cardinals coach said to me, “I have never seen anything like that!” I agreed whole-heartedly.

It is a good thing the grounds crew member at the right decided to give way to the even slower-moving vehicle!

Trivia answer: Adron Chambers

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