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

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/18

Highlights from Thursday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games from Jupiter, Florida.

On Thursday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers had their first games against external competition. Their opponents were the Florida Marlins, their Jupiter, Florida complex co-habitants.

As he has been doing the last few seasons, Cardinals director of minor league operations John Vuch is sharing game highlights with this site and several others with interest in Cardinals prospects. As always, the raw data is his, but the comments mine.

It was the first of ten spring dates in which all five clubs play, compared to just seven dates ahead in which there will be no fifth contest.

Team summary: The Cardinals bookended the Marlins as Memphis at the top won, their first “W” of the spring in two tries, and both Quad Cities teams took victories. Springfield and Palm Beach were defeated.

My Pitcher of the Day: Springfield’s Scott Gorgen – two perfect innings, two strikeouts.

Tommy Pham (Brian Walton photo)My Hitter of the Day: Springfield’s Tommy Pham – 3-for-4 with a triple, HR and also walked. On base six times between Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday’s schedule: In a rematch of Wednesday’s action, the Cardinals’ top two minor league clubs, Memphis and Springfield will meet, as will Palm Beach and Quad Cities 1. Quad Cities 2 squad will face a traveling team, the Long Island Storm.

The Storm field travel teams of various age groups from the Long Island and New York City area. They compete in various invitational leagues and tournaments nationwide. Former Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year Reid Gorecki, now in the New York Yankees system, and his brother Ryan are among the Storm’s instructional staff.


New! Player links:
For more player information, click on the highlighted player names to head over to TheCardinalNation.com. There, you can view the detailed player profile pages for each of these players and several hundred more Cardinals farmhands.

Who else’s Cardinals spring training report offers that kind of integration and depth?


Memphis (1-1) defeated New Orleans, 6-5


Memphis Pitching

Trey Hearne – 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 K’s

Brandon Dickson – 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Chuckie Fick – 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K’s

Matt Meyer – one perfect inning. Meyer was taken from the Cleveland Indians in the Rule 5 draft. Because he was taken in the minor league phase, the Cardinals can roster him anywhere they choose and would have no motivation to return him.

Matt Scherer – earned the win with a scoreless inning, allowing one hit. Once highly-thought of enough in the organization to have been placed on the 40-man roster, Scherer’s fortunes dropped since. He did not even score an invite to big league camp as an NRI.

Rich Rundles – picked up the save with a scoreless 9th, allowing one hit with a strikeout. A professional since 1999, Rundles pitched for Springfield for part of the 2006 season. After that, he made his MLB debut with a total of nine appearances for the 2008 and 2009 Indians.


Memphis Hitting

Daniel Descalso – 2-for-5 with an RBI and run scored. Texas League All-Star, Team USA Olympian and Arizona Fall League invitee would have to do a lot this season to top his 2009.

Tyler Henley – 2-for-4 with a walk and run scored. One of my dark horses in the system will need another good season to fight through the crowded outfield scrum to start for Memphis.

Daryl Jones – singled, scored a run and had two walks. His 2009 was wrecked by injury. It is time to step forward. Drafted in the same 2005 class as Colby Rasmus.

Donovan Solano – 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBIs. Quietly gets the job done.

Colt Sedbrook – singled and walked in his two plate appearances

Mark Hamilton – walked, scored a run and had an RBI. Waiting to see if he gets time in the outfield as first base is nowhere to play in this system.

Kevin Howard – walked and singled and made a key tough play at 3rd.

Amaury Cazana – go-ahead triple and walked. Will he play in Mexico for a third straight year? Nothing against him personally, but why do the Cardinals keep him around? He can hit, but they obviously don’t have much in the way of plans for the 30-something Cuban native.

Jose Martinez – 1-for-4. Nice to see the former top prospect back in action after a long period of personal tragedy followed by shoulder problems.


Springfield (1-1) lost to Jacksonville, 12-7


Springfield Pitching

Scott Gorgen – two perfect innings, two strikeouts. Didn’t set the 2009 Arizona Fall League on fire, but was one of the more inexperienced pros there.

Brad Furnish – 2 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 2 ER, 1 K

Arquimedes Nieto – 1.2 IP, 5 hits, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s

Blake King – 0.1 IP, 3 hits, 3 unearned runs, 2 BB, 0 K’s. Discouraging to see the walks return. Hopefully, it won’t become a 2010 pattern.

Yoffri Martinez – 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Recent free agent signee was not lights out in his Cardinals debut. The 24-year-old had been released by Pittsburgh last August and has yet to reach Double-A.

Jason Buursma – two scoreless innings, one hit


Springfield Hitting


Adron Chambers – 2-for-5. Coming off a big 2009 and finished third in the Colombian Winter League in average (.365), first in triples (6), second in hits, and fourth in slugging (.529).

Curt Smith – 2-for-3 with a run scored. That makes him 4-for-6 in his first two days. Was the 2008 Applachian League Most Valuable Player.

Chris Swauger – homered

Tommy Pham – 3-for-4 with a triple, HR and also walked. On base six times between Wednesday and Thursday.

Francisco Rivera – singled, homered and two RBIs

Matt Arburr – hit a solo HR


Palm Beach (0-2) lost to Jupiter, 10-0


Palm Beach Pitching


Adam Veres – took the loss, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Jonathan Gonzalez – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Pedro Rodriguez – 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 unearned run. His first outing as a Cardinal. The 22-year-old Venezuelan was signed in late October as a minor league free agent. The right-handed Tommy John veteran pitched in winter ball for Caribes and inked his first deal with the Red Sox as a 16-year-old in 2004.

Houston Summers – 2 IP, 1 H, 1 unearned run, 1 BB, 1 K. Another veteran free agent signee. The 22-year-old former catcher converted to pitching in 2007 and features the knuckleball, so I imagine there may have been a wild pitch or passed ball or perhaps some of both behind that unearned run.

Ramon Delgado – 2 IP, 1H, 1 ER, 2 K’s

Matt Frevert – 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER


Palm Beach Hitting


Rich Racobaldo – 2-for-4 with a double. A 2009 Appalachian League All-Star with Johnson City.

Xavier Scruggs – doubled

Osvaldo Morales – 2-for-2 with a double

Jason Stidham – doubled

Ivan Castro and Frederick Parejo – singled. Parejo will be a player to watch this year after he followed up his solid 2008 (New York-Penn League All-Star) with a quiet 2009. Still just 19 years old.


Quad Cities #1 (2-0) defeated Greensboro, 5-0


QC1 Pitching


Five pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout.

Mike Blazek – 2 IP, 2 hits, 4 K’s

Deryk Hooker – 2 perfect IP, 2 K’s. Could have been pitcher of the day along with Gorgen, but I expect Hooker to be able to handle this level of play.

Chris Notti – 2 IP, 1 hit, 2 K’s

Zach Russell – 2 IP, 1 hit

Andres Rosales – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K


QC1 Hitting


C.J. Beatty and Travis Tartamella – each doubled and scored a run. From what I hear, if Beatty is half as charismatic on the field as he is off, the Cardinals really have something here. Too early to tell on the field as he missed 70 percent of his games with Johnson City in 2009 due to elbow and wrist ailments.

Ross Smith – singled and walked in his two plate appearances

Travis Mitchell – singled and scored a run

Robert Stock and Devin Shepherd – RBI singles. Stock, the Cardinals’ second-rounder in 2009, was the All-Star catcher in the Appalachian League before his late-season promotion to Quad Cities.

Luis Mateo – bases-loaded walk

Niko Vasquez, Edwin Gomez, Yorbel Alcala – singled


Quad Cities #2 (1-0) defeated Marlins 5th team, 3-0


QC2 Pitching


Five pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout.

Reynier Gonzalez – 2 IP, 1 H, 1BB, 2 K’s

Pat Daugherty – 0.2 IP, 1 K

Randy Santos – 1.1 IP, 1 H

Kyle Heim – 2 IP, 2 H

Tyler Lavigne – 2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K


QC2 Hitting


Edgar Lara – 2-for-4 with a double and run scored. Ranked in the top ten in the 2009 Appy League in these categories: 1st in games (64), 7th in doubles (16), 5th in home runs (9), 10th in walks (26).

Hector Alvarez – 3-for-4 with a run scored

Rainel Rosario – singled and had two RBIs. Great bounceback candidate after missing half the 2009 season with Johnson City due to a blood clot or cyst above his right knee.

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