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Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/25/14

Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals minor league games on Tuesday, March 25. Dodging raindrops, the Cardinals’ five clubs played on the Marlins side of the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter.

Memphis tied, while the other four clubs – Springfield, Palm Beach, Peoria and State College – all won. The Cardinals’ clubs collective mark versus external competition this spring is 17-9-5 with their overall record 24-16-9.

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).

Tuesday’s hitter of the day: It is easy to continue with Rowan Wick (pictured) as Player of the Day again. After all, two extra-base hits, a double and a triple, and a walk is even more impressive than his Monday results. Unfortunately, his State College teammate Richie Pedroza just fell short with two singles, a double and a walk.

Tuesday’s pitcher of the day: Perhaps his start with State College means Chase Brookshire is going to remain behind in extended spring training. If so, it did not deter the 23-year-old left-hander. His perfect four innings with seven strikeouts is the top performance by any Cardinals pitcher this spring.

The Cardinal Nation subscribers can check out the minor league spring training invitees, full minor league spring training game schedules and more. Seven-day free trials are always available.

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 (3-4-4) 0 at New Orleans 0

Memphis pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Tim Cooney #12 4.0 2 1 4 Strongest outing of spring Tommy Pham LF #23 3 2 Several chances to hit for StL this spring
Eric Fornataro #39 2.0 1 1 Impressive to go multiple innings Joey Butler RF 1 1 1 Fighting for his 40-man spot
Lee Stoppelman #18 0.2 2 1 Three runners; just two outs
Heath Wyatt 0.1 Relief for the reliever

Springfield (8-1-2) 5 at Jacksonville 3

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Seth Blair #37 3.0 4 3 3 3 Seems destined for AA return Aledmys Diaz DH 2 1 1 1 Will be most-closely watched AA player
Aidan Lucas 2.0 2 Getting back into form Cody Stanley C 2 1 1 1 Recapturing career mo lost 2 years ago
Iden Nazario 1.0 Last two years at Palm Beach

Palm Beach (5-5-1) 2 at Jupiter 0

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
Cory Jones #14 3.0 1 4 Crime he isn’t Pitcher of Day Breyvic Valera 2B #31 3 1 3 Likely among highest average this spring
Anthony Ferrara 3.0 2 2 Lefty made 20 starts in AA in ’13 Casey Rasmus C 3 1 1 1 Catcher has 4 triples in 3 seasons
Joe Scanio 1.1 2 Posted 3.95 ERA at Peoria in ’13

Peoria (6-5) 2 at Greensboro 1

Peoria pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Alex Reyes #7 4.0 4 2 3 Ready for jump from rookie ball? Mason Katz 2B 4 1 2 1 4th-rounder in 2013 from LSU
Kevin Herget 2.0 1 3 Just 1.4 BB / 9 IP last summer Carson Kelly C #9 4 2 Learning catching not hurting his hitting
Nick Lomascolo 1.0 1 1 12.5 K / 9 IP at JC  in 2013

State College (2-1-2) 3 at Batavia 0

State College pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes State College hitting TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Chase Brookshire 4.0 7 Pitcher of the Day Rowan Wick RF 3 1 2 1 1 1 Repeat Player of the Day
Jeff Rauh 2.0 2 1 1 Next non-drafted FA standout? Richie Pedroza 2B 3 1 3 1 1 1 A most honorable runner-up
Norge Paredes 1.0 9.6 K / 9 IP at JC in 2013
Jonathan Escudero 1.0 1 11.5 K / 9 IP at GCL in 2013

Wednesday’s games: Yet another camp day is scheduled on Wednesday, with the Cardinals’ clubs again facing off against each other.

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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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23 Responses to “Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/25/14”

  1. CariocaCardinal says:

    Pham with a phenomenal Spring yet most likely not earning a starting spot with Piscotty, Taveres, and Grichuk also in Memphis.

    • Brian Walton says:

      True. Not to mention Mike O’Neill, James Ramsey and Joey Butler.

      • Lou Schuler says:

        One weird thing I’ve noticed this spring: Several sportswriters seem convinced Piscotty will start at Springfield.

        Can’t see why the Cards would do that. In a completely open competition (which I know ST never really is, nor should be), he would’ve beaten out Jay for a spot on the 25-man. No way he’s not in Memphis playing every day.

        But it will be interesting to see what the Cards do with that logjam of OF. I would guess Ramsey is the one who starts in Springfield, with Pham as Memphis’ 4th OF and O’Neill mainly a DH/5th OF. No idea what they do w. Butler.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Really? Which sportswriters? Ones that cover the team directly? 😉

          Why would the Cards slow the progress of their second-best prospect (some think first, though I disagree) for the advantage of lesser players? I agree with you 100 percent. Piscotty has to start in Memphis.

          Your assessment of the back end of the Memphis OF is the same that I predicted (subscriber article) even before camp opened. One possible area of short-term relief would be if Taveras is reinjured badly enough to open the season on the DL. That might give Butler a reprieve, but as I mentioned in the Aardsma signing article on the main site, I think Butler’s 40-man roster spot could be in trouble, anyway.

          • Lou Schuler says:

            Right — not the guys who actually cover the team. I’ve seen it multiple times, most recently in Baseball Prospectus:

            “Piscotty finished strong in Double-A last season and is off to a hot start this spring before likely returning to Springfield. Piscotty is just a flat-out good hitter who controls the strike zone incredibly well. If the power develops, he could be extremely productive. Just don’t get caught in the group of people who think he’s better than Oscar Taveras. At least not yet.”

            Probably just boilerplate he mentally cut and pasted from something he wrote during the offseason. Other than some defensive bloopers, it seems pretty clear Piscotty isn’t overmatched. He may even benefit somewhat from all the attention Oscar gets. We only talk about what he does, not what anyone expected him to do.

            • Brian Walton says:

              Not being critical, but Piscotty’s performance in the Arizona Fall League should have changed their off-season view as well. They are the same guys who put Vaughn Bryan in the system’s top 10 – ahead of some very good players, including outfielders Ramsey, Pham, O’Neill, Peoples-Walls, etc. Covering 30 farm systems has to be substantially more challenging than just one.

            • Brian Walton says:

              During today’s telecast on ESPN, Doug Glanville quoted Mo as saying that all three of Memphis’ starting outfielders are good enough to be starters somewhere in the majors.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Grichuk and Ramsey were ok, but did not dominate at AA during 2013.
        If the roster is tight at AAA, they can begin 2014 at Springfield. At Memphis, Pham could start in CF, Taveras in RF, Piscotty in LF, with ONeill and Butler off the bench.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Did you notice that Grichuk remained in major league camp and was playing fairly regularly until the day before yesterday? Even before that, Mo announced Grichuk will be starting in Memphis.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            What I notice does not matter, but Mo could notice Grichuk led the team in strikeouts, 15 whiffs in 37 spring at bats (40 percent) and flexibly amend his earlier optimistic forecast based on new facts.

            • Brian Walton says:

              So you would make Grichuk repeat Double-A based on his spring strikeouts?

              • JumboShrimp says:

                I would like to believe Mo can revise an opinion in light of new data, yes.

                • Brian Walton says:

                  I was not confused about Mo’s judgement. It is yours I am questioning. 😉

                  • JumboShrimp says:

                    Not to worry, because I usually trust Mo’s judgment, as when I applauded the Cards wooing of Aledyms Diaz.
                    If Grichuk at Memphis best serves the Cards in Mo’s estimation, this is where he will be assigned. However there is also no great indignity in a second year at AA that can be constructively used to improve his game.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      I imagine Mo is signing off on the decisions made by the farm director (which of course are made with his coaches). Anyway, that kind of conversation is being held with many players this week, I imagine. Could be that Grichuk is among them and if not him, it will be others with at least as much experience, if not more.

                    • JumboShrimp says:

                      The Cards brought Grichuk to Busch for a workout before the 2009 draft, during which they selected Shelby Miller, another Texan. They also worked out Mike Trout, from New Jersey. It seems safe to think the Cards valued Grichuk coming out of amateur ranks. Given this, it is not surprising Mo wanted to include Grichuk in a Freese trade to the Angels.
                      Mo would have wanted to send a welcoming signal to Grichuk, if he predicted Grichuk would be assigned to Memphis.
                      Grichuk and Ramsey are in a similar tweener situation. They are plausible candidates for AAA, but they also did not dominate AA last year, so its not a slam dunk either has earned a promotion. Each man could be justly assigned to either level, AA or AAA. Since the Cards have a lot of OF talent, either man might have to begin 2014 at AA. If all goes well, if assigned to Springfield, Grichuk will continue to impress and earn an in-season promotion to AAA.

    • blingboy says:

      CariocaCardinal says:
      March 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm
      Pham with a phenomenal Spring yet most likely not earning a starting spot with Piscotty, Taveres, and Grichuk also in Memphis.

      We don’t yet know how healthy OT is or will be this season.

  2. Lou Schuler says:

    Also: What’s up with Charlie Tilson? Is he injured? Or just not doing anything to make it into these reports? I can’t recall seeing his name mentioned.

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