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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: 03/21

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

On Sunday, the St. Louis Cardinals’ five minor league squads hiked over to the western part of the Jupiter complex to the home of the Marlins’ minor leaguers.

Cardinals director of minor league operations John Vuch continues to share game highlights. As always, the raw data is his, but the comments mine.

Team summary: Completing a rough weekend on the diamonds, the Cardinals clubs trudged back to their clubhouse after picking up just one win, by Springfield in a slugfest. Three of St. Louis’ clubs yielded double digit run totals.

This was on the heels of a 0-4 Saturday. For the weekend, the Cardinals were outscored 88-39 in their nine games. In other words, the pitching staffs yielded an average of 9.8 runs per game! Even so, there were again a number of notable individual pitching performances on Sunday.

Combined records: 1-4 on the day, 7-14-2 on the spring.

Richard Castillo (Brian Walton photo)My Co-Pitchers of the Day: Memphis’ Richard Castillo (pictured). playing up at least one level at the age of 20, had an impressive two-inning stint as Springfield’s Matt Frevert closed the one Cardinals win of the day in style.

My Hitter of the Day: Springfield’s Andrew Brown isn’t letting his new defensive assignment at third base get in the way of his hitting with three doubles on the day.

Monday’s schedule: It is a repeat of Saturday, as the top four clubs face off against their New York Mets counterparts on the same fields. Hopefully, the results will be better as Memphis and Springfield will entertain their New York opponents in Jupiter, while Palm Beach and Quad Cities again take the short trip to the Mets’ home in Port St. Lucie.

Memphis (1-3-1) lost to New Orleans, 7-5

Memphis Pitching

Brandon Dickson – 2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB
Brad Furnish – 2.1 scoreless IP, 1 H, 2 K’s – A very solid outing for an often overlooked hurler who struggled at Springfield in 2009 but excelled at Palm Beach.
Richard Castillo – two perfect innings on just 14 pitches – See above.
Matt Meyer – loss, 1 IP, solo HR, 1 BB, 1 K – Minor league Rule 5 lefty has a career 12-10 record with a 3.86 ERA in 148 games, all in relief.
Rich Rundles – 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K – Minor league journeyman also added for lefty relief help.

Memphis Hitting

Amaury Cazana – 2-for-4 with an RBI – Also 2-for-3, both doubles, for St. Louis this spring with three MLB RBI.
Steven Hill – 2-for-4 with double, run, 2 RBIs – No matter how well he hits, will likely get bumped down to Springfield when Matt Pagnozzi is optioned out.
Mark Shorey – 2-run double, scored – Solid outfielder couldn’t score a big camp invite due to competition despite a career .799 OPS.

Springfield (2-2-1) defeated Jacksonville, 12-11

Springfield Pitching

Arquimedes Nieto – 0.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER
Yoffri Martinez – 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K’s – Doesn’t look as if control was the concern for the new Cardinal.
Adam Veres – 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Ramon Delgado – 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K – Deserves some credit for slowing the bleeding. Durable reliever led the entire system with 82 innings out of the pen in 2009.
Matt Frevert – save with 1, 2, 3 ninth and a called third strike to end game – Bravo! Has a total of five saves in 52 career relief appearances across 2008 and 2009.

Springfield Hitting

Andrew Brown – three doubles, 2 RBIs and two runs – The line of the day.
Chris Swauger – tripled, homered, two RBIs and a run – Seven bases isn’t so bad, either. Quietly finished in the top ten in the system in 2009 in runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI and slugging. Dangerfield alert!
Oliver Marmol – 2-for-3 with double, walk, two runs, RBI
Curt Smith – tripled, singled, scored and drove in a run – His .286 average was eighth-best in the Florida State League last season.
Francisco Rivera – two hits, doubled, walked, scored, drove in two
Charles Cutler – doubled and walked
Pete Kozma – singled, walked, two RBIs, run – Made a tough play in the hole with two outs and a runner on third base.
Blake Murphy – singled and walked – Nice day, but numbers game probably has his Springfield days numbered.

Palm Beach (1-4) lost to Jupiter, 11-5

Palm Beach Pitching

Houston Summers – loss, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K’s – Another knuckleball fail.
Jonathan Gonzalez – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K – Stepped back from Palm Beach to Quad Cities during last season, but had attempted a huge leap from 2008 Venezuelan Summer League.
Andrew Moss – 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB
Pedro Rodriguez – two scoreless innings with 2 K’s – Newcomer hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since 2006!
Josh Squatrito – 3 hits and 3 ER with 2 K’s in 1 IP – Second tough outing in a row but impressed in relief for Batavia in his first pro season in 2009.

Palm Beach Hitting

Rich Racobaldo – 2-for-5 with a run and RBI – May need to return to Quad Cities after tearing up the Appalachian League at age 24.
Ryde Rodriguez – 2-for-5 with an RBI
Alex Castellanos – 2-for-5 with double, homer, two RBIs – Made the highlights list again. Was the Cardinals’ 10th round pick in 2008.
D’Marcus Ingram – singled and walked – His 25 stolen bases in 32 attempts last season placed him fourth in the system.
Xavier Scruggs – doubled
Domnit Bolivar – singled in his only AB
Jason Stidham – RBI single
Roberto Espinoza – singled and scored

Quad Cities 1 (2-3) lost to Greensboro, 10-2

Quad Cities 1 Pitching

Chris Notti – 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K’s – Has a 3.50 ERA across his first two pro seasons.
Zach Russell – 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s
Deryk Hooker – 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K’s
Tyler Lavigne – two perfect innings, five groundballs, 1 K – In any other day, could/should have been the Pitcher of the Day.
David Kington – 1 IP, 2 hits, no runs – His eight saves in 2009 led the Appalachian League.

Quad Cities 1 Hitting

Michael Swinson – 2-for-4, scored – One of my potential breakout candidates for 2010.
Travis Mitchell and C.J. Beatty – RBI doubles
Ryan Jackson – singled twice
Yorbel Alcala – 2-for-2 – 20-year-old catcher making his first USA appearance. Was second in the 2009 Dominican Summer League with 52.4 percent caught stealing rate (44 of 84).

Quad Cities 2 (1-2) lost to Marlins 5th club, 6-4

Quad Cities 2 Pitching

Pat Daugherty – 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 unearned run – 21-year-old lefty joined the Cards in the 12th round of the 2009 draft.
Reynier Gonzalez – 2 IP, 2 H, no runs
Randy Santos – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Kyle Heim – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Keith Butler – 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 K
Jason Novak – 1.2 IP, 1 H, no runs – 48th-rounder in 2009 draft shines.

Quad Cities 2 Hitting

Edgar Lara – 3-for-5 with a double, run, 2 RBIs – Outfielder dropped 30 points of average in second tour with Johnson City in 2009, but kept OPS in the .750-.760 range. Dominican just turned 21 this month.
Romulo Ruiz – 2-for-3 with a double, walk, RBI – Infielder has lots of potential but slowed by injury since 2007.
Hector Alvarez – 2-for-4 with walk, run, RBI
Yunier Castillo – singled and stole a base – Is he the shortstop in the system with the most upside? Some think so.

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