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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: 03/30

Highlights from Tuesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games in Florida as the Memphis Redbirds hammered Mets ace Johan Santana.

After a rain-soaked day on Monday in which the pitchers were able to throw on the side, but the five games against the Marlins were washed out due to wet grounds, the St. Louis Cardinals again faced their New York Mets counterparts on Tuesday.

Just like the major league Cardinals, the Memphis and Springfield teams boarded buses for Port St. Lucie while the two A-level clubs entertained the Mets in Jupiter.

As always, Cardinals director of minor league operations John Vuch shares game highlights. The raw data is his, with the comments mine.

Johan SantanaTeam summary: Any time any club can hang seven earned runs on a two-time Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star, it is a great day, let alone when it is a Triple A club doing the damage. That’s right – Memphis inflicted that pain on the Mets’ Johan Santana, assigned to Triple A Buffalo for the afternoon to get his work in prior to starting for New York on opening day.

(I readily admit that this photo of Santana was from another spring game, but it seemed too appropriate to let pass.)

Mets star Jose Reyes joined Santana as a Bison-for-a-day on Tuesday. Out the entire spring to-date due to a thyroid condition, the two-time All-Star shortstop managed just one hit, a double that could have been a triple, in five plate appearances.

The other three Cardinals teams ran into some good pitching, managing just three runs among them. Springfield encountered a two-hitter by the opposition and was shut out, Palm Beach collected two tallies while Quad Cities scored just once.

Combined records: The Cardinals records on the day were 0-3-1. Spring totals are now 18-29-8 overall and 13-24-4 versus external competition. None of the five clubs, including Quad Cities 2 at 2-4-1, currently has an above-.500 record.

My Co-Pitchers of the Day: Springfield’s Brian Broderick and Quad Cities Scott Schneider each allowed just three baserunners in three scoreless innings.

My Hitter of the Day: Memphis Tyler Henley tripled, walked, scored twice and had two RBI, but I could easily give the award to his entire offense as eight different Redbirds collected and RBI and eight of them scored.

Wednesday’s schedule: The Cardinals have a camp day in which intersquad games will be held. I am hearing there will be an 11 a.m. start.

Memphis (2-7-3) tied with Buffalo, 9-9

Memphis Pitching

Adam Ottavino – 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – First outing since being sent down from St. Louis could have been better.
Rich Rundles – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K – Veteran lefty was the only Redbirds pitcher to keep Buffalo off the board.
Tyler Norrick – 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Josh Kinney – 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – Continues to get beaten up. If he is healthy, there could be a real problem.
Fernando Salas – 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER – Needs to stand out in case he is under consideration to replace Blake Hawksworth due to injury. A shutout inning would have been better.
Matt Scherer – 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – Once was on the 40-man roster, but was never called up.

Memphis Hitting

Bryan Anderson – 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI – Remember him? Injuries in St. Louis could open the door a crack after he received just one at-bat in MLB spring training.
Amaury Cazana – 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and run scored – Where will he play this year? I am not talking position, I mean which country?
Daniel Descalso – 2-for-5 with a double, run scored and RBI – Had the game-winning walkoff home run for St. Louis on Monday.
Shane Robinson – 2-for-4 with a run scored – Just keeps producing. Seeing some time at second base.
Tyler Henley – tripled, walked, scored twice and had two RBIs – Hitter of the Day
Mark Shorey – doubled, walked, scored a run and had an RBI – Not giving any ground in outfield battle.
Tony Cruz – doubled and had an RBI – Catcher is having a nice spring and may get to stay in Triple A for awhile to continue to prove his mettle.
Kevin Howard – RBI single – Minor league veteran may be playing a lot at third for the Redbirds this season.
Tyler Greene and Jon Jay – singled, scored a run and had an RBI

Check out the following video of the Memphis battery of Adam Ottavino and Tony Cruz doing battle against Reyes.

Jose Reyes doubles off Adam Ottavino

Springfield (4-5-3) lost to Binghamton, 1-0

Springfield Pitching

David Kopp – 3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K – Comeback from injury continuing well.
Brian Broderick – 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB – Co-Pitcher of the Day.
Blake King – 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K – The walks didn’t stay away long.
Adam Reifer – 1 IP, 1 BB – Not sure if we should read anything into the order with Reifer apparently pitching the eighth and Sanchez the ninth.
Eduardo Sanchez – 1 IP, 1 BB – Identical line to Reifer. Francisco Samuel out with shoulder pain.

Springfield Hitting

Adron Chambers – singled and stole a base – Has stolen 40 but caught 25 times over three professional seasons.
Aaron Luna – had the only other Springfield hit
Pete Kozma, Matt Carpenter, Daryl Jones, Andrew Brown and Jim Rapoport – all walked – A’s for effort

Palm Beach (5-6-1) lost to St. Lucie, 4-2

Palm Beach Pitching

Rich Hill – 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K’s – Major leaguer facing A-level hitters. Hmmm…
Ramon Delgado – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K’s
Joel Pichardo – 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K
Matt Frevert – 1 IP, 2 K’s – 28th rounder in 2009 quietly ranked in the top ten in the system in WHIP (6th at 0.99), strikeouts per nine innings (6th with 11.21) and strikeout to walk ratio (tied for 9th at 4.40). Sleeper alert!
David Carpenter – 1 IP, 2 K’s – Only starting his second full season on the mound and doing nicely.

Palm Beach Hitting

Tommy Pham – 2-run HR – Owner of one of the Cardinals hottest sticks this spring.
Osvaldo Morales – 2-for-3 with a double
Jose Garcia – tripled and scored a run – Had five of his career eight triples in four pro seasons last summer.
Ryan Jackson – singled in his only AB

Quad Cities 1 (5-7) lost to Savannah, 8-1

Quad Cities 1 Pitching

Deryk Hooker 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K’s – Not terrible, but I keep expecting Hooker to dominate at this level.
Scott Schneider – 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 K – My Co-Pitcher of the Day was our Batavia Pitcher of the Year for 2009.
Zach Russell – 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1BB – Bumpy outing for the former 49th rounder in 2007.
Michael Thompson – 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K
Aaron Terry – 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER

Quad Cities 1 Hitting

Jon Edwards – 2-for-2 with a double – Has always been streaky, but needs longer, more consistent play to realize great potential.
Ted Obregon – doubled – An oft-forgotten middle infielder.
Michael Swinson – walked twice and scored a run – Keep an eye on him…

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