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

DSL Cardinals Report: June 29, 2009

By Josh Jones, Cardinals Best News Links

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals strayed a little off track this period splitting their six-game schedule.  The Cardinals are now 13-12, six games out of first (second place), and on a one-game losing streak.  The Redbirds are 8-4 at home and 5-8 on the road.

The Cardinals opened the week hosting the Mariners and were blasted in this game.  The game was tied up heading into the sixth when the M’s opened fire and tore up the Redbirds bullpen.  The Mariners plated 15 runs on the Cardinals’ bullpen in the final four frames and five errors by the team also didn’t help.  The Mariners destroyed the Cardinals 18-7.

The Cardinals went on the road to play the Athletics in the next game.  The Redbirds took an early lead in the first and were able to hold on to it until the sixth when the Cardinals bullpen coughed up four runs with some help from the fielders behind him.  The Redbirds put four on the board in the next two frames and held off the A’s for a 6-5 victory.

The Phillies visited the Cardinals next and this game had to roll into extras to get a winner.  The Cardinals had the lead and the first two pitchers of the night for the team gave up a combine eight runs in the fifth and handing a six-run lead over.  Fear not the Redbirds came back with six of their own in the final three frames to send it into extras.  The Cardinals and Phillies dragged it out for another two innings and the Cards scored the game winner in the bottom of the 12th for an 11-10 win.

The Cardinals visited the Mariners in the following game and were scored on right away.  The M’s plated five runs in the first two frames and held the Cards scoreless for six innings.  The Redbirds scored four but were still short as the M’s took the game 6-4.

The Cardinals hosted the Athletics and came out swinging in the first four innings.  The Redbirds took an early lead and even slapped on seven runs in the fourth.  The A’s made strides but still came up short as the Cardinals’ final pitcher shut the team down for a 10-6 victory.

The Phillies welcomed the Cardinals in for the final game of the period and it turned out real bad in the field for the Redbirds. The Cardinals had as many errors in the field as runs that were scored by both teams combined.  All the errors by the Redbirds factored in and cost the Cardinals the game, as they lost 6-2 to the Phils.

Who’s Hot

Grabiel Hernandez will carry a four-game hitting streak into the next week and has drove in a run in each of his last five games.  The 17-year old switch-hitter went 9-for-26 (.346) with three doubles, one triple, five RBIs, seven runs, three walks, one hit by pitch, two stolen bases, and six strikeouts.  He committed four fielding errors in the five games he played including three in the final two.

Jesus Montero got back to connecting with the ball after having a slow week.  The 18-year old right-handed hitter went 8-for-21 (.81) with one double, four RBIs, two runs, two walks, and one strikeout.  He had a 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs performance on June 24.  Montero played two games at first base, one as designated hitter, and two as the backstop.  As the catcher the second-year Cardinal prospect threw out three of seven base runners and had one pick off error.

Roberto Reyes continued to show his power this period clubbing third home run of the season and his career.  The 20-year old left-handed hitter went 8-for-27 (.296) with two doubles, one home run, four RBIs, five runs, one walk, and five strikeouts.  He began the week with a hitting streak that extended five games and was broke up in the final contest.  Reyes showcased the cannon with three outfield assists (playing all three outfield positions) and committed one fielding error while playing first base.

Jose Pasen had one great start at the beginning of the period and so-so one to round it out.  The 19-year old right-hander started on June 23 pitching five innings and allowing one hit, one earned run (home run), three walks, and striking out a season-high eight.  On June 27, he was saddled with three hits, four unearned runs, four walks, threw one wild pitch, and struck out six before being pulled in the fourth.  He earned his third loss of the season in the second start and has struck out five or more in his last four of six outings.

Charllan Jimenez had two of the most impressive appearances of the week.  On June 22, 19-year old right-hander started and pitched five innings allowing five hits, three runs (one earned), and struck out six.  He then continued the game started by Rosalin Rudecindo, on June 26, holding his opponents to three hits, one earned run, one hit batter, and striking out a new season-high nine over the final six frames for his second winning decision.  Jimenez has struck out four or more in his last five of six outings and a total of 31 over 22 innings for the season.

Who’s Not

Victor Encanacion is really having trouble at the plate as he hasn’t had a hit in his last six games with a plate appearance.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 0-for-11 with one RBI, two runs, one walk, three stolen bases, and three strikeouts.  He has gone 3-for-25 (.120) with seven strikeouts in his last ten games.

Jose Pena is another really struggling at the plate only picking up one hit in his last six games.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 1-for-10 (.100) with five walks, one stolen base, five strikeouts, and hit into one double play.  Pena is hitting .132 (7-for-53) with three extra base hits this season.

Angel Tapia was hit hard in his latest start coming June 24.  The 19-year old right-hander was tagged for ten hits, seven earned runs, two walks, threw one wild pitch, and struck out two over four innings.  Tapia has had only one troubling outing of the five he has pitched all season.

Alejandro Pinard was drilled just as hard as Tapia.  On June 25, the 20-year old made his only start, pitching four innings and surrendering seven hits, five earned runs, hitting two batters, and striking out four for his first losing decision of the season. This latest start ends a two game streak in which he hadn’t allowed an earned run and his strikeouts continue rise as the season goes on.

Luis Mata was slapped around in his only relief appearance of the week.  The 18-year old right-hander coughed up one hit, five runs (four earned), walked four and struck out one for his only out before being yanked on June 22.  This is Mata’s second game of the season, so no reason to get flustered just yet.

The Happenings

Adriano Uribe hasn’t pitched since June 11.

Wader Perez and Ramon Urena haven’t played/pitched since June 16.

Victor Ferreira hasn’t played since June 20.

As everyone has pretty much heard the St. Louis Cardinals and Dominican prospect Wagner Mateo have come to a verbal agreement, which could land Mateo with $3.1 million in bonus money.  According to one of Jorge Arangure’s sources, Mateo will sport the #4 and play centerfield, eventually making a possible move to one of the corners.  This means the the Cardinals are pretty much out of the running for Miguel Angel Sano, who really wasn’t the ‘main’ target of the Cardinals’ organization this coming July 2nd signing period.  The San Francisco Giants were the number two bidders who pulled out late after unknown concerns.

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost out to the Kansas City Royals in the bidding for Nicaraguan prospect Cheslor Cuthbert.  The Royals went the distance for a $1 million bonus and the Pirates held off at $500,000.  Cuthbert was also looked at by the Cardinals’ organization last fall when the team was scouting Jem Argenal, who was signed and is playing in the Venezuelan Summer League.

Dominican Summer League Stats

The Cardinals’ team batting improved from .234 to .s42 on the season.  The team is fifth in runs, second in doubles, fourth in triples, tenth in RBIs, eighth in total bases, eighth in stolen bases, and eighth in SLG.  Continued improvement across the board, something we didn’t see from this rookie club last season.

The Cardinals’ pitching went in the other direction jumping from 3.73 to 4.28 and their WHIP went up three notches to 1.56.  The team is fifth in strikeouts.

Luis Pimentel is tied for eighth in doubles.

Grabiel Hernandez is tied for second in triples.

Roberto Reyes is tied for tenth in home runs.

Eduard Estalis is tied for seventh in saves.

Jose Pasen is seventh in strikeouts.

Up Next (Overall, vs. Cardinals)

June 29: Mariners (19-6, 5-3)

June 30: @ Athletics (7-18, 3-5)

July 1: Phillies (11-14, 4-4)

July 2: @ Mariners (19-6, 5-3)

July 3: Athletics (7-18, 3-5)

July 4: @ Phillies (11-14, 4-4)

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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