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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: 03/31

Highlights from Wednesday’s St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games in Florida as Shelby Miller stars.

On Wednesday, the Cardinals had a camp day in Jupiter in which intersquad games were held. As always, Cardinals director of minor league operations John Vuch shares game highlights. The raw data is his, with the comments mine.

Shelby Miller (Brian Walton photo)Team summary:  As one would expect, the two higher-level clubs defeated their little brothers, though the Memphis-Springfield game was tight as the Redbirds barely picked up their third win of the spring. Palm Beach had their way with Quad Cities pitching.

Combined records: The Cardinals records on the day were of course 2-2. Spring totals are now 20-31-8 overall and 13-24-4 versus external competition.

My Pitcher of the Day: Shelby Miller (pictured), pitching for Quad Cities, tossed three perfect innings at Palm Beach, fanning six.

My Hitter of the Day:  Quad Cities’ Francisco Rivera collected a triple, home run, scored twice and added three RBI.

Thursday’s schedule: The Cardinals five squads will remain home as the Marlins walk across from their side of the complex.

Memphis (3-7-3) defeated Springfield (4-6-3), 4-3 (7 ½ innings)

Memphis Pitching

Brandon Dickson – 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Ryan Kulik – 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s

Memphis Hitting

Ruben Gotay – 3-run home run – Batted just .200 (4-for-20) in MLB camp but one of those hits was a home run, too. Has 12 MLB home runs in 811 career plate appearances. Also, he lost his #3 jersey to Felipe Lopez.
Daniel Descalso – RBI triple and a walk in his two plate appearances – Then went over the to MLB game where he was hit by a pitch and scored a run.
Mark Shorey – doubled
Tyler Henley – tripled and scored a run – Was a late-game substitution in the MLB game in centerfield but did not get an at-bat.
Kevin Howard – 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored – 28-year-old has a career .287/.354/.421 line in seven minor league seasons for CIN, NYY, LAD, PHI, SEA, TOR and SD. That would make StL his eighth organization.

Springfield Pitching

Scott Gorgen – 4 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K’s – His strikeout to walk ratio has eroded at each stop.
Chuckie Fick – 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K’s – On a non-Shelby day, this outing was good enough to be the Pitcher of the Day, so here’s an honorable mention for the son of Cardinals professional scout Chuck.
Matt Meyer – 1 IP, 1 H – Minor league Rule 5 signee from Cleveland serves as left-handed relief

Springfield Hitting

Jim Rapoport – 3-for-4 with a triple, stolen base and run scored – Has stolen 90 and caught 24 times in 398 career games. Lifetime batting average is just .245, but on-base mark is .322. Slugs less at .317. Surely knows what he needs to do.
Charles Cutler – 2-for-3 with a double and run scored – Catching opportunity upward right now. His combined .322 average last season between Palm Beach and Quad Cities was second highest in the Cardinals system and fifth highest among all minor league catchers.
Mike Folli – solo HR
Aaron Luna – doubled

Palm Beach (6-6-1) defeated Quad Cities 1 (5-8), 10-2

Palm Beach Pitching

Scott McGregor – 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K’s – In two seasons, the Cardinals’ 15th round pick in 2008 is 11-11, 4.55.
Jason Buursma – 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER
Casey Mulligan – 1 IP, 1 K – Not a closing situation, but didn’t let down. Good.

Palm Beach Hitting

Francisco Rivera – 2-for-3 with a triple, homer, two runs scored and 3 RBIs – The Hitter of the Day.
Tommy Pham – 2-for-2 with a double, walk, 3 runs scored and two RBIs – I guess I should create a Hitter of the Spring Award just for Pham. Amazing consistency.
Rich Racobaldo – 1-for-3 with a single, RBI and a run scored
Matt Carpenter – 1-for-4 with an RBI
Osvaldo Morales – singled, scored a run and had an RBI

Quad Cities 1 Pitching

Shelby Miller – three perfect innings with 6 K’s – He doesn’t want to pitch in the Quad Cities early spring cold and is making his case for a Palm Beach assignment on the mound. Impressive.
Chris Notti – 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – Ouch. Career 6-5, 3.50 ERA in two seasons.
Jose Rada – 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K’s
Chris Corrigan – 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER – Fanned 28 and walked 20 in 47 1/3 innings in his pro debut with Batavia last season.

Quad Cities 1 Hitting

Frederick Parejo – 1-for-2 with a triple, run scored and RBI – Was the starting centerfielder in the 2008 New York-Penn League All-Star Game, but had a quieter 2009 at Quad Cities. Still just 19 until July.
Niko Vasquez – doubled and scored a run – Third round selection in 2008 wants to put a rough 2009 behind him.
Travis Tartamella – singled in his only AB

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