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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: 03/26

On Monday, the Cardinals’ two lower-level clubs, Palm Beach and Quad Cities, traveled to the New York Mets’ home at Port St. Lucie while Memphis and Springfield remained home at the Roger Dean Stadium complex to face the Mets’ Triple-A and Double-A clubs (along with their MLB counterparts).

Memphis, Springfield and Palm Beach were victorious but Quad Cities fell. The Cardinals spring record against external minor league competition is now evened up again at 12-12-3.

Monday’s Pitcher of the Day: In a day with a number of very solid pitching performances – there were eight different scoreless outings of two innings or more – this decision was my toughest all spring. The winner is Palm Beach’s Jonathan Cornelius, who spun three perfect innings while fanning two.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Memphis’ Amaury Cazana, who since being drafted in 2006 has played in the Mexican League every season from 2007-11, reminded us that he can still hit. The 33/37-year-old walked, singled and homered in five plate appearances, driving in two.

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

Don’t read too much into which rosters on which players are appearing as spring assignments are especially fluid.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals’ five clubs entertain the Miami Marlins on the Cardinals side of the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

The Cardinal Nation subscribers can check out the full minor league schedule and spring training working rosters. The entire system view by level and position is available via the Roster Matrix, right here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

Memphis 7, Buffalo 5

Memphis pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Brandon Dickson 4 3 0 0 3 Had a quiet spring until now but will be ready
Sam Freeman 2 0 0 1 1 Has a chance to become the 1st lefty called up
Adam Ottavino 1 0 1 2 1 Control seems to be an issue lately
R.J. Swindle 1 1 2 1 2 Veteran-ness is good; results better
Maikel Cleto 1 3 2 1 1 Hasn’t thrown a lot of zeroes this spring

Memphis hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Amaury Cazana 4 1 2 2 1 1 Our Player of the Day
Zack Cox 5 2 1 Pulling for Matt Carpenter to stick in St. Louis
Ryan Jackson 1 2 Ready to start at SS every day
Steven Ramos 1 1 1 Nice opportunity to play up for 2011 JC OF
Jonathan Rodriguez 1 1 Proven hitter
Pete Kozma 1 1 Will he start at second or be utility man?
Chris Swauger 1 1 Outfielder quietly keeps on hitting

Springfield 3, Binghamton 0

Springfield pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Scott Gorgen 4 1 0 1 3 Fantastic spring so far for the TJS returnee
Deryk Hooker 2 2 0 0 3 Often overlooked SP was TL Pitcher of Week 2x in 11
Scott Schneider 2 0 0 0 0 Had a 5.98 ERA for Springfield last year
Adam Reifer 1 0 0 0 1 Maybe he’s getting the kinks worked out

Springfield hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Kolten Wong 4 2 1 Has hit all spring long and seems ready for AA
Niko Vasquez 4 2 1 3B looking for career resurgence
Jermaine Curtis 4 1 2 1 1 Career bests in BA (.315) and HR (5) in 2011
Adam Melker 2 1
Xavier Scruggs 1 1 1 Blog entry delayed this week at TCN.com
Oscar Taveras 1 “Minor League Guy” poised to make AA leap
Audry Perez 1

Palm Beach 2, St. Lucie 1

Palm Beach pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Carlos Martinez 5 3 1 4 4 Delivery a concern, so may start back in Palm Beach
Boone Whiting 2 1 0 0 1 0.89 WHIP last season was best in all of MiLB
Jonathan Cornelius 3 0 0 0 2 24th rounder in 2011 fanned 9.6/9 IP for Batavia

Palm Beach hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Alan Ahmady 1 1 1 1 2 Perfect day at plate for guy who plays all over
Ronny Gil 1 1 Can the SS keep hitting enough?
Rainel Rosario 1
Starlin Rodriguez 1

Savannah 5, Quad Cities 2

Quad Cities pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Drew Benes 3 0 0 2 3 St. Louisan had 5.40 ERA at Quad Cities last season
Brandon Creath 2 0 0 1 3 11.84 K/9 IP was 2nd-best for RPs in the 2011 GCL
Stalyn Lopez 1.2 4 2 1 1 K:BB ratio in 11 GCL was 31:24 in 47 2/3 IP
Willy Paulino 1 2 3 2 2 Led GCL with 12 saves and was all-star in 11

Quad Cities hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Luis Mateo 3 2 2 2 Struggled in PB trial in 11, but may be ready now
Geoff Klein 1 1 1 1 Big catcher had one very productive AB
Anthony Garcia 1 1 1 .407 OBP in 11 was 2nd-best in Cards system
Matt Williams 2 1 1 Coaches seem impressed wth 15th-rdr in 2011
Nick Martini 3 1 Needs to show 7th-round pedigree
Roberto Reyes 1
Virgil Hill 1

Subscribers to the main site, TheCardinalNation.com, should continue to check out my extensive spring training content over the upcoming days.

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26 Responses to “Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/26”

  1. blingboy says:

    Is Drew Benes related?

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Its good for Carlos Martinez to pitch at Palm Beach. He pitched one summer in the Dominican, then last year got lifted up 4 rungs to the Quad Cities and was soon promoted. What’s the big rush? Let him settle in at Palm Beach this year, pitch AA in 2013.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I’d be happy to see Shelby Miller assigned to AA. And Kolten Wong and Minor League Oscar assigned to Palm Beach. If they do well, they can earn a promotion in-season. John Vuch is a smart guy, so he may decide this for himself, even without having to read this post.

      • Brian Walton says:

        And here I thought the Cardinals speak to you directly… ;-)

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Brian, I do need to make a correction. I got muddled and thought Brad Thompson was pitching for the Madoff Mets, along with Miguel Batista.
          No, Brad is helping the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have Jason Marquis as a starter for $3MM. They have P J Walters, a good pitcher. Also Luis Perdomo (Anthony Reyes incarnate). And Brad Thompson, a not good pitcher.
          What Twins pitcher is undefeated at a ML level? Perdomo.
          Good luck for 2012 to Jason, PJ, Luis, Brad, and Twins fans!

          • JumboShrimp says:

            It would be nice to have a poll inviting us to vote on the least effective Cards during the past decade, before the pain that they once inflicted fades away in our collective memories.
            This will allow us to celebrate their good intentions, even if these went awry. Among many contenders, who have been the worst of the worst? Too much time is devoted to thinking about Hall of Famers and other lists of the best. Yet the guys who really motivate fans are not the best (who are sadly too often taken for granted), but the worst. There are many deserving candidates.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              For instance, consider SS. There was the Mitey One, Cesar Izturis, who OPS’d 630. But then there was Khalil Greene, who went nuts and we paid him $6.5MM to do so. I would have to vote for Khalil as the handsdown loser or winner of the loser contest.

            • Brian Walton says:

              That suggestion seems very odd coming from you, the first to complain when the topic is perceived as anything but happy talk.

              • blingboy says:

                But think of it like this. If Jumbo thinks a player has no redeeming qualities, he must have been profoundly bad. ie. If Batista is good among pitchers, Khalil must have been worse than bad among shortstops. Not that I completely agree. Khalil was good before infirmity felled him.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  It was most odd. Greene batted well over .400 that spring and became the opening day cleanup hitter. I spoke with him a long time in camp and did not sense anything. Goes to show…

                  • JumboShrimp says:

                    As a Card, Khalil was an epic fail. Nice guy, drove himself hard to win, then finally snapped. He’s probably happy today, sitting around counting his money. No big tragedy, but it taught Mo a lesson.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                Most fans are moved to complain and vent. It makes sense to harness this emotion. Sportswriters often issue Bottom Tens. Let Cards fan in on the fun of deciding among their very least favorite players during the past decade.
                Aaron Miles used to be disliked, but after three years, little Aaron proved himself and landed a big payday at Wrigley, hence may have played too well for the Cards to be voted into the elite of bad. However, Tallet, Mo’s find for 2012, was pretty bad, so seems a strong contender.
                Anthony Reyes had a 6.2 ERA during 2007, one of the highest by a starting pitcher in the history of the franchise.
                How about Matt Clement, who we paid $1.4MM and he was so bad, they never put him on the ML roster?
                How about Matt Mulder? Jason Simontachhi? And a little minor league vet pitcher Walt had to dredge up during 2003.
                Reyes, Clement, Simontachhi, and Mulder give us a great start on a rotation. We have had some lulus during the Walt and TLR era.

                • JumboShrimp says:

                  And how about the chubby pitcher from Curacao, Sir Sidney Ponson, the great hope for 2006, after Walt was spurned by elite free agents? Sidney did not like to run laps.

                  • JumboShrimp says:

                    Kip Wells came unglued under pressure after Carp was injured at the beginning of 2007. Just when we needed him to step up, he checked out. Brett Tomko, another candidate. He disappointed a lot of teams and their fans, but laughed all the way to the bank.
                    Lots of great candidates.

  3. crdswmn says:

    Cody Stanley is suspended for 50 games for Minor League Drug policy violation.

    Jason Motte is now on Twitter.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Here is the link to my article about Stanley (free).

      Motte’s timing is especially odd and potentially problematic for him when he inevitably has a bad day. I guess he needs thick skin to close, but anonymous hyenas on Twitter are an entirely different animal.

      • crdswmn says:

        I posted this on the Scout board, but why in the heck would Stanley take Tamoxifen? It’s a breast cancer drug that blocks estrogen.

        Love the anonymous hyena reference. You must follow some of the same people I do. ;)

        • Brian Walton says:

          Why did Manny take a womens’ fertility drug? I am far from an expert on the subject, but perhaps there are exotic cocktails, weird supplement ingredients or masking agents involved.

          As much as I’d like, I can’t avoid many of those who use the #stlcards hashtag.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Its too bad for Cody Stanley. The lesson for ballplayers is to stay away from health supplement products. They are legally available for sale in many places, but buyers should be wary, because they cannot know what molecules may be contained within the products. Health supplements are not regulated by the FDA, since they do not claim to be medicines. Manufacturers can throw who knows what into their formulations. Ballplayers being sampled for molecules deemed to be naughty need to be careful about what they ingest. Stay away from supplements.

            • crdswmn says:

              Tamoxifen is not a health supplement. It is a prescription drug for the treatment of breast cancer and other diseases. I have to wonder how he got it. A friend of mine was on it for treatment of her breast cancer and I know it has some nasty side effects.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                I do not know what ingredients are contained within products that are marketed as health supplements. I am also confident Ms. Green has no better information on their molecular ingredients. Health supplements are an open frontier. Some could harbor as much flim-flammery as Bernie Madoff, Bernie Ebbers, and Stanford Investments.

                Its unlikely Cody Stanley was getting treated for breast cancer. He more likely went to a health store, liked the look of a label, and bought a mixture that harbored methylhexamine and tamoxifen. He can sit out 50 games as a useful life lesson in looking after yourself and not innocently accepting the claims of advertisers. Caveat emptor.

                • crdswmn says:

                  If Cody Stanley got tamoxifen from a supplement in a health food store, then somebody better call the DEA or the FDA or the CIA or whatever government agency has jurisdiction over such a highly illegal act.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                Quinine, which provided the human race with enormous relief against the once terrible scourge of malaria, hails from a S. American tree.
                Similarly the molecule that makes aspirin bio-effective hails from Nature, in this case from the Willow tree.
                :Likewise, tamoxifen comes from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree (even though it would nowadays be manufactured by chemical engineers when supplied commercially as a pharmaceutical).
                Nature harbors a treasure trove of chemical miracles.

                • crdswmn says:

                  Tamoxifen does not come from the bark of the Yew tree. Taxol comes from the bark of the Yew tree. Completely different drug compounds though they are both used to treat breast cancer. Tamoxifen is taken orally and Taxol is a chemotherapy drug that is given intravenously.

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