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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

On Saturday, the Cardinals had yet another camp day, their sixth of the spring. Memphis faced Springfield while Palm Beach and Quad Cities matched up on the George Kissell Quad behind Roger Dean.

Springfield and Palm Beach were victorious. The Cardinals’ spring record against external minor league competition remains at 21-16-4.

Saturday’s Player of the Day: Shortstop Matt Williams had two doubles in four at-bats for Quad Cities, but no one drove him home.

Saturday’s Pitcher of the Day: Springfield’s Scott Gorgen has made his second consecutive appearance in this space. On Saturday, the returnee from Tommy John surgery allowed just three hits and no runs in four scoreless innings. Gorgen fanned five.

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.

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.

Springfield 4, Memphis 0

Memphis pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Brandon Dickson 4 9 4 3 Will open in Memphis’ rotation again
Adam Reifer 2 1 0 1 Is he getting back into form?

Memphis hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Chris Swauger 2 1 1 7th in Texas League with .296 average in 2011
Sam Tuivailala 2 1 1 Cards 3rd-rounder in 2010 draft
Pete Kozma 2 1 1 Still on the 40-man roster
Jermaine Curtis 2 1 Even pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings last summer

Springfield pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Scott Gorgen 4 3 0 0 5 Career ERA of 2.97 over three seasons
Nick Greenwood 1 1 0 LHR was non-roster MLB camp invitee

Springfield hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Jake Shaffer 4 1 1 First Cardinals hit – just signed
Xavier Scruggs 3 1 2 Yesterday’s Player of the Day keeps hitting
Niko Vasquez 3 1 2 Two-run single
Kolten Wong 2 1 1 Top-ranked second baseman in the system
Greg Garcia 3 1 1 1
Rainel Rosario 3 1 1 1 Led PB in hits, doubles and RBI in 2011
Nick Derba 2 1
Jose Garcia 1 1 1 Second in system with .320 BA last year

Palm Beach 6, Quad Cities 1

Palm Beach pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Drew Benes 4 4 1 2 Four starts, 34 career relief appearances
Chase Reid 2 1 0 3 2.28 ERA in 19 pen G for Palm Beach
Zack Russell 2 1 0 2 1 Made 23 starts for Quad Cities in 2011
Jose Pasen 1 0 1 OBA of .252 was 5th-best for Appy SPs in 11

Palm Beach hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Ronny Gil 4 1 2 1 1 Fifth in system with 18 stolen bases last year
Starlin Rodriguez 3 1 1 2011 Midwest League All-Star
Mike O’Neill 3 1 1 1 1
Luis De La Cruz 1 1 1 1 C was non-roster spring training camp invitee
Nick Longmire 3 1 1
Alan Ahmady 3 1 1 1 Drew 71 walks last season in 110 games
Vance Albitz 2 1 1 Signed last August 24 from independent ball
Jonathan Rodriguez 2 1 2 4th in MWL with 20 HRs, 5th in OBP at .389
Packy Elkins 0 1 1

Quad Cities pitching IP H ER BB K Notes
Todd McInnis 4.2 4 1 1 3 2011 NY-Penn League All-Star
Robert Stock 1 3 4 1 There are going to be some bumps in road
Iden Nazario 0.2 1 1 2 2 Fanned 39 in 33 1/3 innings
Danny Miranda 1 2 0 15 saves led the 2011 NY-Penn League

Quad Cities hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Matt Williams 4 2 2 .845 OPS for Johnson City in rookie 2011 season
Colin Walsh 1 1 1
Anthony Garcia 1 1 1
David Medina 4 1 2011 NY-Penn League All-Star
Roberto De La Cruz 4 1 Signed for $1.1 million in Dominican in 2008

Subscribers to the main site, TheCardinalNation.com, should continue to check out my extensive spring training content over the upcoming days. Today’s addition is an in-depth interview with minor league hitting coordinator Derrick May.

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26 Responses to “Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/31”

  1. blingboy says:

    The Cards have such a logjam of righties no reason to have Swagerty wearing out his arm this year. Better do the performance enhancing preventative TJ and let him come back better, stronger with the bionic elbow that is better than the original.

    Will he accrue minor league service time?

  2. blingboy says:

    Brian, you mentioned that Rasmus will likely go to EST. What would be a likely reason? I notice he is hardly ever in the minor league notebooks. Is he bunged up or something?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Other catchers ahead of him on the depth chart.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        In the 2011 draft, the Cards signed left swinging catchers Erlich and Byrd in the 6th and 13th rounds, well before they got down to Rasmus is about round 35. Also this spring, the Cards added left swinging college senior catcher Adam Lewis out of Mars Hill College, near Asheville, NC. Rasmus is going to have to fight for playing time. Unlike two of his older brothers, he is not a premium signee.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        In the 2011 draft, the Cards signed left swinging catchers Erlich and Byrd in the 6th and 13th rounds, well before they got down to Rasmus is about round 35. Also this spring, the Cards added left swinging college senior catcher Adam Lewis out of Mars Hill College, near Asheville, NC. Rasmus is going to have to fight for playing time. Unlike two of his older brothers, he is not a bonus baby

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    A new season in the offing. One of the strengths of the Cards looks to be depth stationed at Memphis. Guys who could be called up include relievers Sanchez and Marte; CF Chambers; catcher Anderson; infielders Kozma and Jackson.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Marte and Jackson are not on the 40-man roster, putting them a notch lower. One reliever you should also have mentioned is Maikel Cleto. Brandon Dickson would also be in the mix, especially if an emergency starter is needed. Mark Hamilton could offer corner OF and 1B pop.

      • T8Ball says:

        I see Ottavino is still on the 40 man, though he’s on waivers (DFA’d). If not claimed and he’s retained by the Cardinals, is the plan to keep him on the 40 man? They’ll be able to remove him right? If so, who does this make room for? Someone like Jackson? To give us adequate infield security? Or another starting pitcher like Joe Kelly, to compete with Dickson?

      • T8Ball says:

        Also, you mentioned Hamilton and the word “pop” in the same breath. 2 HR’s last season in Memphis, didn’t that open some eyes? I know he gained .050ish on his OBP, but lost .100ish on his Slugging, but still…..if Berkman were to go down to injury, I would hope that the Cards would bring up Matt Carpenter (currently a 25man) to back up Craig. Further, I’d like to see Adams take his slot. That’s just me.

        • Brian Walton says:

          I don’t know if you subscribe, T8Ball, but if you do, you should listen to my recent John Vuch interview. He explains in detail about Hamilton’s 2011.

          It is a good idea to take into account who is on the 40-man roster and who is not when talking about who should come up. (As a reminder, the Roster Matrix can give you a quick view of that.)

          Carpenter should make the 25-man roster to open the season, but his status could change when Skip is ready. Most likely Adams will not be added to the 40-man until needed. Let’s see him get some Triple-A at-bats under his belt.

          • crdswmn says:

            I would imagine Robinson would be the first down when Craig comes off the DL. When Skip comes off one of Carpenter or Komatsu will have to go. Do you think Komatsu’s Rule 5 status gives him the edge there?

          • T8Ball says:

            Of course, I used the Matrix before typing my thoughts and questions. I guess, I didn’t word them well enough.

            My preference was Adams over Hamilton, but I understand who is on the 40man and who isn’t, and the ramifications of tinkering with it.

            My fear is proper depth, but then I run into the problem of what exactly is “proper depth”. I’m still learning and changing opinions :)

      • JumboShrimp says:

        The bigger point is we are in much better shape at AAA than in 2006, when it was Junior Spivey, Timo Perez, Rico Washington, John Nelson, Dennis Tankersley, Travis Smith, and their friends.
        http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&cid=235&y=2006

  4. crdswmn says:

    Interesting article by Strauss in the PD today. Boggs found out he got sent down to Memphis last year on the Internet. Ouch.

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/matheny-we-have-to-win/article_0a43e13c-0fcb-5298-b599-36c099bdf62d.html

  5. blingboy says:

    I found out the secret to Swaggery’s success. He’s a switch hitter. I’m talking baseball, here :) Who knew? How many switch hitting pitchers has anyone ever heard of?

    • DizzyDean17 says:

      Most NL teams have at least one. Romero is the Cards’switch-hitting pitcher.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Here is the first photo I ever took of Swagerty. It was in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was working on his bats outside the clubhouse. He takes his hitting very seriously.

      Jordan Swagerty (Brian Walton photo)

    • blingboy says:

      Appreciate the info DD and Brian. I was thinking it was rare indeed. I guess converted former position players would account for nearly all.

      Surely Swaggerty just carries those bats around to look like a ball player. How long since he’s had a PA?

  6. JumboShrimp says:

    Swagerty used to be a catcher.

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