Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals minor league games on Sunday, March 23. The Cardinals’ five minor league clubs faced their Miami Marlins counterparts on St. Louis’ side of the Jupiter, Fla. complex.
Memphis, Springfield and Peoria won while Palm Beach was defeated. Note the label for the fifth club has changed from Peoria 2 to State College. That is an important designation. Peoria is a full-season club, while the players on State College at the end of spring training will remain in Florida for extended spring training.
All four Memphis pitchers on the day began the spring in major league camp and two of the Springfield pitchers appeared there briefly, too.
After the 3-1-1 Sunday, the Cardinals’ clubs collective mark versus external competition this spring is now 13-9-4 with their overall record 18-14-8.
In 2014, Cardinals baseball operations assistant Tony Ferreira is sharing highlights from minor league spring training contests. As always, the raw data is his, but the comments and awards are mine. Unfortunately, while all pitchers are accounted for, only some of the top hitters’ data is shared.
When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2014, their rankings are noted (TCN). 12 members were in action on Sunday.
Sunday’s hitter of the day: The competition was tough on a day when Tommy Pham homered, Patrick Wisdom had two extra-base hits and Oscar Taveras and David Washington plated two each. Yet, my two finalists are outfielders with Peoria. Ronald Castillo plated three on two hits, including a home run.
But C.J. McElroy had two singles, a double and a triple in five at-bats and scored twice, snagging the daily honor against these worthy candidates. The speedster has continued to experiment with switch-hitting, though I don’t know if/how many at-bats he took from the left side on Sunday. (McElroy is batting left-handed in this photo I took earlier in the week.)
Sunday’s pitcher of the day: With four strikeouts in two perfect innings, Peoria’s Juan Perez is my choice as having the top pitching line of the day. The 18-year-old Venezuelan right-hander struck out 40 in 40 Gulf Coast League innings last season, but walked 37. No free passes issued on Sunday, though.
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 (3-3-3) 6, New Orleans 3
|Memphis pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Memphis hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||BB||K||Notes|
|Zach Petrick||#16||4||6||1||1||4||1.99 ERA for Pitcher of Year in 2013||Tommy Pham||CF||#23||5||2||1||1||1||Home runs would be gravy|
|Boone Whiting||#30||3.2||6||2||3||Should be in Memphis rotation||Oscar Taveras||DH||#1||4||1||2||1||1||Always good to see Oscar here|
|Jose Almarante||1.1||3||Too bad he was late for MLB camp||Patrick Wisdom||3B||#15||5||2||1||1||Ripping more extra base hits|
|Sam Freeman||#17||1||1||2||1||Too many men on base||Jonathan Rodriguez||1B||3||2||1||1||Should be ready for Springfield|
Springfield (6-1-2) 5, Jacksonville 4
|Springfield pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Springfield hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||BB||K||Notes|
|Kurt Heyer||4||1||1||1||3||Strong outing||Adam Melker||DH||4||1||2||1|
|Nick Greenwood||3||3||1||4||Has started and relieved||Breyvic Valera||3B||#31||2||1||2||1||A regular in these reports in 2014|
|Thomas Lee||1||3||2||7.8/1 K/BB ratio last season||David Washington||1B||3||1||2||1||One of best power threats in lower minors|
|Logan Billbrough||1||1||1||Adam Ehrlich||C||2||1||1||1||Working on staying healthy|
Jupiter 5 at Palm Beach (4-4-1) 1
|Palm Beach pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Palm Beach hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||BB||K||Notes|
|Jimmy Reed||3||6||2||Just 2.1 BB / 9 IP in 2013||Anthony Garcia||LF||4||2||Comeback season starting well|
|Chris Thomas||2||2||Dante Rosenberg||EH||2||2||1|
|Sam Tuivailala||#36||2||1||1||3||Multiple innings is intriguing|
|Victor DeLeon||1||2||1||1||8.8 K / 9 IP at SC last summer|
|Robert Stock||1||2||1||1||Throwing 90-91 last time out|
Peoria (4-5) 8, Greensboro 2
|Peoria pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||Peoria hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||BB||K||Notes|
|Rob Kaminsky||#5||4||4||1||1||3||Will top HS draftee move up to JC?||C.J. McElroy||CF||5||2||4||1||1||My Player of the Day|
|Juan Perez||2||4||My Pitcher of the Day||Jimmy Bosco||LF||4||1||2||1||1||Having a nice spring|
|Zach Loraine||2||2||Attended HS in O’Fallon, MO||Ronald Castillo||RF||4||1||2||3||1||Has at least three spring home runs|
|Kyle Grana||1||1||Quietly getting job done||Oscar Mercado||SS||#22||5||1||2||Spring hitting very encouraging|
|Steve Sabatino||1||1||1||12.7 K / 9 IP last season|
State College (1-1-2) 4, Batavia 4
|State College pitching||TCN||IP||H||ER||BB||K||Notes||State College hitting||Pos||TCN||AB||R||H||RBI||2B||3B||HR||BB||K||Notes|
|Ian McKinney||#25||2||2||2||0.89 ERA in Gulf Coast League||Luis Perez||LF||2||2||2||1||1||Hit well at JC, not at State College|
|Max Foody||2||2||Lefty’s comeback trail looking good||Jesus Ustariz||1B||3||1||1||1||Newcomer from Detroit organization|
|Norge Paredes||1||1||Edmundo Sosa||SS||#32||2||1||1||1st season in US for our DSL Player of Year|
|Isaac Silva||1||1||88-91 mph last week|
|Josh Lucas||1||Three up, three down|
Monday’s games: The Cardinals will face the Mets on Monday. Memphis and Springfield will bus to Port St. Lucie, while Palm Beach and Peoria will remain home to take on their New York counterparts.