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Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/23/13

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals top four clubs walked over to the Miami Marlins’ side of the Jupiter complex for game action. The fifth clubs from each organization met on one of the Cardinals’ diamonds.

Four wins in five tries represents the Cardinals’ best showing in 10 days so far this spring. All of the highest level clubs outscored their opposition, despite Palm Beach and Peoria yielding a total of five unearned runs. Peoria 2 was shaded by a lone run. The Cardinals’ spring record against external minor league competition is now 12-14-6.

As he has been doing the last few seasons, Cardinals farm director John Vuch is sharing game stats. As always, the raw numbers are his, but the comments and players of the day are mine.

Saturday’s Player of the Day: Springfield’s Xavier Scruggs (pictured) not only plated a day-high four runs, but the big first baseman also legged out both a double and a triple.

Saturday’s Pitcher of the Day: After a full college season at the University of Arizona, Kurt Heyer only pitched six innings last season after being taken in the sixth round of the 2012 draft. In four scoreless innings Saturday for Peoria 1, the 22-year-old right-hander allowed just two hits and fanned five.

The Cardinal Nation subscribers can check out the newest spring training working rosters posted Thursday, the full minor league spring schedule and more.

The entire system view by level and position as last season ended is available via the Roster Matrix, free, right here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

Memphis (6-3-1) 5, New Orleans 2

Memphis pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Tyler Lyons 3 5 2 3 Lefty just down from big league camp this week Brock Peterson 4 2 2 3 2 Two long balls are usually Player of Day worthy
Victor Marte 2 1 1 Pitching much better away from limelight and MLB hitters Jamie Romak 4 2 Has appeared in two StL games this spring
Justin Wright 2 1 Colin Walsh 4 1 2 1 1 6th in system with 16 home runs last season
Eduardo Sanchez 2 2 No walks = good performance Jake Lemmerman 2 1 1 1 Joined organization in Skip Schumaker trade
Geoff Klein 2 1 1 1 Haven’t seen the Aussie winter ball C here lately
Ryan Jackson 2 1 1 Getting hits each day
Tommy Pham 1

Springfield (3-4-3) 12, Jacksonville 7

Springfield pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Boone Whiting 2.2 2 0 3 Only 34 walks in 208 2/3 career innings Xavier Scruggs 4 2 2 4 1 1 Power and speed make a lethal combination!
Travis Miller 2 0 3 Patrick Wisdom 4 2 2 2 2 More MLB games this spring than some invitees
Kevin Thomas 1.2 4 4 3 4 Plus one unearned run Nick Longmire 4 3 2 1 Would like to have a rebound year
Iden Nazario 2 2 0 1 Plus two unearned runs Stephen Piscotty 1 1
Neal Pritchard 1 1 Also HBP in other plate appearance
Luis Mateo 2 1 1 1
Matt Williams 1 1 1 1
Nick Martini 3 1 2 2 128 hits last season tied for 6th-most in system
Danny Stienstra 1 1

Palm Beach (5-2-3) 7, Jupiter 5

Palm Beach pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Palm Beach hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Dail Villanueva 2.1 7 3 1 Plus one unearned run Carson Kelly 3 2 3 1 Continues to hit for average this spring – encouraging
Lee Stoppelman 2 2 0 1 4 Continues a nice spring Matt Young 4 2 3 3 1 Most exciting play in baseball – inside the park HR
Jonathan Cornelius 2 2 0 1 Plus one unearned run Adam Ehrlich 4 3 2 Catcher continues to show a nice bat
Heath Wyatt 2 1 0 1 Steven Ramos 4 1 2 1 Had 12 doubles each of last two seasons
Jacob Wilson 4 1 2 1 7 doubles in 160 ABs for Batavia last summer
Breyvic Valera 1 1 1

Peoria1 (2-7-1) 3, Greensboro 1

Peoria 1 pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria 1 hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Kurt Heyer 4 2 0 5 Our Pitcher of the Day Anthony Melchionda 5 2 2 1 Thursday Player of the Day keeps hitting
Hansel De Los Santos 3 2 0 4.57 ERA over 8 GCL starts in 2012 Adam Lewis 2 1 1
Willy Paulino 1.2 3 1 1 Lance Jeffries 1 1 Also hit-by-pitch and stole two bases
Michael Swinson 1 1
David Washington 1 Cooling down a bit

Marlins team5 5, Peoria2 (1-3) 4

Peoria 2 pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria 2 hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Nick Greenwood 3 2 3 Down from Memphis for the outing Rafael Medina 4 1 2 1 2 1 17 doubles in 429 career at-bats
Jacob Booden 2 2 Fanned 29 in 28 2/3 IP at JC last season Amaury Capellan 4 2 1 Dropped from .305 in DSL to .233 in GCL
Steve Sabatino 1.1 5 5 2 2 Very rough day Jose Godoy 3 1 2 2 1 First appearance in this report this spring
Dixon Llorens 2 2 1 Brett Wiley 1 1 1 1
Jhohan Acevedo 1 1

On Sunday, the Cardinals’ Memphis and Springfield clubs will remain in Jupiter, while Palm Beach and Peoria again take the bus ride to Port St. Lucie, with the New York Mets their opponent as well.

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

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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40 Responses to “Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/23/13”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Xavier Scruggs had 33 games at Springfield during 2010 and is still assigned there, perhaps owing to a .235 batting average last season. Scruggs must have graduated high school during 2005, in the same year with Bryan Anderson and Colby Rasmus. Anderson reached AAA fast and plateaued there, a rung higher higher than Scruggs, who is entering his 8th full year of baseball above high school.

    For contrast, David Washington is year group 2009 from high school. If Dave were to spend 2013 at low A, 2014 at high A, and 2015 at AA, this would complete 6 full years post high school, putting him about 2 years ahead of Scruggs.

    Nice to see Kurt Heyer off to a good start, bonus baby Carson Kelly collecting some hits, and Stoppelman doing his thing.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Stoppelman went to the Univ of Central Missouri, as did lefty Josh Outman, who pitches for Oakland. Outman is an even better name for a pitcher than Stoppelman!!

      It would make sense if Stoppelman makes the Palm Beach roster, given he completed 4 years of college ball. Let him bully hitters his own age.

      Back in 2005, during the rookie draft for Jeff Luhnow, we invested a late second round pick in tall UCM pitcher Nick Webber, a closer in college. Webber was supposed to throw a great sinker. The Cards assigned him to the Florida State League in 2006 as a starting pitcher and this did not turn out super. Webber did not maintain velocity deep into a start. Happily we got lucky with Joe Kelly, a college closer, signed in 2009. Kelly throws a power sinker and maintains it deeper into games.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Back in 2002, veteran Japanese baller So Taguchi struggled in spring training going 6 for 41. He got assigned to AA, though under a ML contract. Could do the same with old Wiggy, who is 4 for 43, send him to AA?

    There is a pretty good chance no other team would claim Wiggy if he was put on waivers, because who would want his contract? Mo would jump for joy if another team took Wiggy.

    Old Wiggy may not have any options remaining or be too senior in terms of ML service to be sent to the minors. To get rid of him, we probably would have to eat the $5MM/2 year contract. At some point this year, we may do this, but we fans shall probably have to suffer for a while before things finally reach an unacceptable point.

    • crdswmn says:

      With 9 years of ML service time, Wiggy cannot be sent to the minors without his consent.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Furcal will be collecting $7MM this summer for contributing little. We are used to these ridiculous situations, however, regrettable they are.
        Wigginton will probably be given a couple of months to establish whether he can offer useful contributions. If he cannot, we do not like to keep mistakes sitting around on the pines, to remind us. Every roster slot is precious, so Wiggy is going to need to get something done or make way for someone better.

  3. crdswmn says:

    Yuniesky Betancourt was just released by the Phillies. Quick, somebody hide Mo’s phone!

  4. blingboy says:

    Even though Freese is fine, he could go on the DL. So does Greg Garcia make the opening day roster? And who starts at third? Wiggy, DD, Carp?

    Will Beltran’s sore foot, which is fine, get un-sore, or will Robinson get the start? Or Craig with Adams at first?

    And what if our loogies never retire another batter?

    • crdswmn says:

      I think the answer to your first two questions is it depends on how long they are out.

      The answer to your second is I don’t think that will happen, but if it does, we may be up the proverbial creek.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Yes, perhaps Garcia, though bringing Jackson back is also a possibility since he is on the 40-man and Garcia is not. Carpenter would start, I imagine.

      I would hope Adams-Craig would play if Beltran cannot.

      I don’t know about the left-handed relievers. Hopefully, 2013 will not be a repeat of Trever Miller-Brian Tallet in 2011.

    • blingboy says:

      And I suppose there is no longer any question that Wacha will make the Memphis rotation.

      Which gives rise to the question of what happens if a starter, say Garcia, goes down. There will not be a Kelly or a Miller stretched out and waiting in Memphis. Surely there will be somebody on the 40 man in the Memphis rotation, but who?

      • Brian Walton says:

        If Wacha has enough time to pitch well in Memphis’ rotation, I could see him added to the 40-man and given a shot. He has been that impressive.

        • blingboy says:

          Yes, but I was giving some thought to service time. The Cards would rather not do that until after a certain point in the season. Prior to that, it gets problematic, unless I am forgetting about someone.

          • Brian Walton says:

            Interesting how perceived rotation depth doesn’t necessarily mean instant flexibility.

            Service time would really only matter if Wacha would remain in the majors. My assumption would be a short-term fill in, then back to Memphis. If one of the veterans goes down hard, then bringing in someone from the outside would seem more possible.

            In terms of who is on the 40-man, Siegrist is the only starter. His future may be in the pen, plus he has just 32 innings above A-ball. Not ready.

            Carlos Martinez has to be one very unhappy camper about now.

            • blingboy says:

              Right, we may need a loogey even worse.

              Maybe the ghost of Carlos Matias is rattling his chains. Who knows.

            • jj-cf-stl says:

              my sleeper pick would be richard castillo being promoted short term. i don’t believe his efforts vs venezuala’s all-star lineup were missed by our F.O.

              • Brian Walton says:

                While Castillo did a nice job in the WBC, I would think what he does in Jupiter matters far more. He has been ok, but not lights out in camp this spring. I think a realistic hope for him is to again make Springfield’s rotation. Too much Memphis competition.

  5. blingboy says:

    In the never say never dept., I guess Jackson will likely make the opeing day roster. Unless Freese takes a turn for the worse and will be out a long time. In which case Mo would probably scrape someone’s desiccated remains off the bottom of a dumpster. Or defecated remains, which is even worse.

  6. jj-cf-stl says:

    Koz being Koz

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