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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: 03/23

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

On Tuesday, it was a camp day as the St. Louis Cardinals’ Memphis and Springfield clubs were scheduled to face off while the Palm Beach and Quad Cities 1 clubs worked out but did not play.

In addition, Quad Cities 2 had external competition in Gildea’s Raiders. Gildea’s is a traveling team that regularly makes the rounds of Florida spring camps. They have visited the Cardinals yearly for at least the last decade.

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: Springfield’s hitters got healthy, but it was at the expense of Memphis’ staff. Quad Cities 2 were victims of the traveling Raiders.

Curt Smith (Brian Walton photo)Combined records: Records on the day were 1-2. Spring totals are now 9-17-2.

My Pitcher of the Day: Quad Cities 2’s Hector Hernandez spun two perfect innings, striking out three.

My Hitter of the Day: Springfield’s Curt Smith (pictured) drove in six runs on three hits, including a grand slam. What? No triple?

Wednesday’s schedule: The Cardinals’ five clubs have a walking road trip over to the Marlins’ side of the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Memphis (1-4-1) lost to Springfield (3-2-1), 15-4

(this game went 11 ½ innings to enable all scheduled pitchers to get their work in)

Memphis Pitching

Evan MacLane – 3 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K’s – First outing in minor league camp since being sent down. Allowed four runs on 4 2/3 innings with St. Louis and a rough “B” game outing.
Gary Daley – 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K – Continues to exhibit steady progress and was the only Memphis hurler on the day to put a zero on the scoreboard.
Trey Hearne – 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Santo Maertz – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB
Matt Meyer – 1 IP, 2H, 1 ER, 1 K
Matt Scherer – 1 IP, 3H, 2 ER, 2 K’s
Rich Rundles – 1 IP, 2 H, 1 unearned run
Adam Reifer – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB – Rough outing for our 20th-ranked Cardinals prospect. Also had an up and down Arizona Fall League stint in which his control was shaky and his ERA was 7.59.

Memphis Hitting

Steven Hill – 2-for-2, HR, 2 RBIs – Can’t do much better than that, but where could he play defensively for a Memphis roster that appears set at his positions?
Kevin Howard and Colt Sedbrook – doubled
Bryan Anderson – RBI single

Springfield Pitching

Shaun Garceau – 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – The comeback continues…
Mark Diapoules – 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER
Kevin Thomas – 3 IP, no hits, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K – Has walked 50 in 153 1/3 professional innings in 2008 and 2009.
LaCurtis Mayes – 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB – 21-year-old reliever fanned 33 and walked 13 in 25 1/3 Batavia innings last summer.
Jason Buursma – 1 IP, 1 K

Springfield Hitting

Tommy Pham – 3-for-4 with triple, RBI, two runs, two walks – Extending his strong hitting this spring.
Curt Smith – three hits including 2-run double, grand slam = 6 RBI – Player of the Day!
Andrew Brown – 2-for-5 with double, two walks, two runs, RBI – Continues to produce and will be especially intriguing if third base experiment is successful.
Charlie Cutler – two doubles in 3 ABs, 4 RBI – All the catcher does is hit, but has Pags, Anderson, Hill and Cruz blocking him.
Matt Carpenter – double – 24-year-old 3B slowed considerably after mid-season arrival in Palm Beach. It was his third level in 2009.
Pete Kozma – single and two walks – Stole a base and scored a run in major league camp despite getting just one official at-bat.

Palm Beach (2-4) and Quad Cities 1 (2-4)

Both clubs worked out Tuesday, but did not play a game.

Quad Cities #2 (2-5) lost to Gildea’s Raiders, 8-3

(this game went 12 innings to enable all scheduled pitchers to get their work in)

Quad Cities #2 Pitching

Hector Hernandez – 2 perfect innings with 3 K’s – Pitcher of the Day
Travis Lawler – 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 K’s
Trevor Rosenthal – 2 IP, 3 H, an unearned run, 2 K’s – Fanned 26 in 24 innings in pro debut in Gulf Coast League pen in 2009.
Cale Johnson – 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s

Pitching then combined for four perfect innings with 10 K’s to finish the game.

Jason Novak – 1 IP, 2 K’s
Miguel Tapia – 1 IP, 2 K’s
Casey Mulligan and Blake King – each struck out the side in their inning of work – I don’t know about you, but I think these two are definitely ringers!

Quad Cities #2 Hitting

Jason Stidham – 2-for-2 with double, two walks, run – Middle infielder posted a .700 OPS with Quad Cities in his professional debut in 2009. Was the Cards’ eighth-round pick.
Romulo Ruiz – two-run double
Cesar Valera – double, run
Jesus Montero – double – 18-year-old making first US appearance after two VSL and one DSL seasons. Challenge is .605 career OPS.
Edgar Lara – single, walk, run – Starting fifth year in the system and should contend for Quad Cities after two seasons with Johnson City.
Anthony Garcia – RBI single in only AB – Puerto Rican catcher was taken in the 18th round last June. Batted .235 in 51 GCL at-bats.

Releases: Earlier in the day, the Cardinals released seven minor leaguers, pitchers Justin Fiske, Andres Rosales, Jonathan Gonzalez, Reynier Gonzalez and Marco Gonzalez, first baseman Matt Arburr and catcher Blake Murphy.

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