The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Following are the highlights from the 14th day of St. Louis Cardinals minor league games in spring 2011, on Wednesday, March 30. Memphis and Springfield faced the Mets’ Triple-A and Double-A clubs at Port St. Lucie, while Palm Beach and Quad Cities took on their New York counterparts at home in Jupiter.

The 0-2-2 day was the Cardinals’ worst of the spring – their first winless day. The Cardinals system is a combined 27-23-8 this spring. That includes a 17-13-4 mark against external competition.

Today’s photo is of the Player of the Day, Quad Cities starting pitcher Zack Russell. The 21-year-old right-hander and former 49th round draft pick (not a typo) tossed five scoreless innings on three hits, walked no one and punched out six. Quad Cities third baseman Jonathan Rodriguez receives an honorable mention.

On Thursday, the Cardinals minor leaguers, all five rosters worth, will have their final games with their Marlins neighbors. Florida will be the home team, so the games will be on their side of the complex. For the full state of minor league spring training schedules, The Cardinal Nation subscribers can click here.

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

Memphis (4-5-4) 6, Buffalo 6

Buffalo outfielder Jason Pridie connected for a first-inning grand slam and the Bisons’ starter, Josh Stinson, shut out the Redbirds through five on just two hits. Memphis mounted a nice comeback in the later innings to pull even.

Memphis pitching

To get work and stay in routine for his Monday start for St. Louis, major leaguer Kyle Lohse remained behind in Florida and took the mound for the Redbirds. The right-hander did not have a good day to say the least, as he was gored by 11 Bison hits and a walk. All six runs Lohse allowed were earned. He fanned four in his five-inning appearance.

Jason Buursma yielded just one hit in two scoreless frames. He fanned one.

Blake King had a King-like outing. He was touched for two hits and walked a pair in two innings, but kept the opponent off the scoreboard. The 40-man roster reliever struck out one.

Memphis hitting

Andrew Brown singled and homered in four at-bats. The versatile corner infielder-outfielder collected three RBI.

Daryl Jones tripled and drove in a pair.

Adron Chambers, Freddie Bynum and Shane Robinson were each on base twice with a single and walk. They all scored one run.

Binghamton 3, Springfield (5-5-3) 1

Binghamton left-hander Robert Carson threw five shutout innings as the Cardinals scored their lone run in the sixth against reliever Ricky Brooks.

Springfield pitching

Nick Additon went 4 2/3 innings, yielding all three Binghamton runs on six hits and a walk. He fanned two.

Brett Zawacki had a nice two-inning stint, with no baserunners and a pair of punchouts.

Lefty Sam Freeman, returning from Tommy John surgery, walked one and struck out one in his scoreless inning.

Matt Frevert also tossed a shutout frame on one hit. He collected two strikeouts.

Springfield hitting

First baseman Matt Adams, fresh from some MLB face time Tuesday, singled and doubled in four at-bats.  He is bidding to jump from Quad Cities.

Back from his own Tommy John surgery, outfielder Tyler Henley doubled. Look for our interview to be posted for The Cardinal Nation subscribers later this week.

Tommy Pham was on base twice, having drawn a walk each time. The outfielder is The Cardinal Nation’s 19th-ranked prospect for 2011.

Jermaine Curtis walked and scored the lone Springfield tally.

St. Lucie 7, Palm Beach (9-5) 3

Palm Beach pitching

Major league camp invitee Joe Kelly was touched for four runs, three earned, in his four-inning start. Kelly allowed five hits and three walks. He also struck out four.

Jesse Simpson allowed a lone hit in his two shutout innings and fanned a pair.

Justin Wright gave up a walk in his scoreless frame.

Aaron Terry had a perfect inning of relief.

Jose Rada had a rough day at the office, giving up four hits and three earned runs while collecting just one out.

Palm Beach hitting

Alan Ahmady had two singles and double in four at-bats. He scored one and drove in one.

Ryde Rodriguez had a pair of singles in four at-bats and scored.

Jarred Bogany drew a pair of walks, scored one and drove in a run via a sacrifice fly.

Quad Cities (6-7-1) 4, Savannah 4

Quad Cities pitching

Zack Russell was sharp, tossing five scoreless innings on three hits. He walked no one and punched out six.

Chris Corrigan and Keith Butler each gave up a pair of hits and a run in their respective one inning stints. Corrigan’s run was unearned.

Cale Johnson allowed a harmless walk in his scoreless frame. He struck out two.

Hector Corpas yielded the final two Savannah runs on three ninth-inning hits.

Quad Cities hitting

Jonathan Rodriguez had a double, triple and walk in four plate appearances. He scored twice.

Packy Elkins homered. The infielder had just two in 169 plate appearances with Johnson City in 2010.

Oscar Taveras was on base twice in three appearances with a single and walk. Our #11 Cardinals prospect scored one run.

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