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Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/27/15

Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league games held on Friday, March 27. Another camp day occurred, which means the Cardinals had internal games.

With St. Louis playing split squad games in Jupiter and Viera, a number of minor leaguers were tabbed to be reserves in the MLB game in the main stadium. Perhaps that contributed to the decision for Memphis and Springfield to work out only on Friday. Palm Beach and Peoria 1 faced off again while Peoria 2, aka State College, took on the visiting Long Island Storm.

The decision made by the organization to move the games up to 10:00 a.m. for the second consecutive day proved to be wise as rain again returned to the area by 2:00 p.m. There had been hard rains off and on since late Thursday with more in the schedule for Friday afternoon.

In game action, it was a big day for Peoria as Peoria 1 defeated Palm Beach and Peoria 2/State College edged the Long Island Storm in a game shortened by a thunderstorm. The Storm, aptly named for the conditions, is a traveling squad of mostly former affiliated players.

Once again this spring, Cardinals Baseball Operations Coordinator for Player Development Tony Ferreira is sharing highlights from minor league spring training contests. The raw data is his, but the comments and awards are mine. Actually, the data comes from players and managers charting, so some inconsistencies are possible. Only partial pitching results are being shared this season to go along with the selected hitting highlights. So to find those struggling, you will have to look for names missing or make some guesses.

Remember these working team assignments are fluid by the day. In addition, another 13 players have yet to be cut from Major League camp. My guess is that the next batch of moves will be made on Sunday.

When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2015, their rankings are noted in the tables below in the “TCN” columns.

Friday’s Hitter of the Day: I readily admit that I admire the triple more than any other play in baseball. When I witness a player with two in one game – well, let’s just say that I had selected this photo in advance of preparing this report.

Palm Beach’s Brett Wiley is the honoree for his Friday performance. In the pictured play, the infielder helped force a wild pitch/passed ball from pitcher Kyle Helisek / catcher Frankie Rodriguez and scampered home standing up.

In three seasons, the left-handed hitter has 11 three-base hits in 121 games. At 23, Wiley will need to get going after a suspension cost him most of last summer at State College, but is definitely a player to watch.

Honorable mention goes to Kenny Peoples-Walls. The outfielder smacked a no doubter home run to left field with a runner on base and added two singles. Last season, Peoples-Walls had just three long balls in 349 at-bats and is looking to get his career back on track after a disappointing 2014.

Friday’s Pitcher of the Day: On a day with a lot of offense, Kevin Herget is our pitching selection. It appears the 23-year-old righty is being stretched out as a long reliever, a role in which he excelled at Peoria and Palm Beach last season. On this day, Herget held the Storm to one run on three hits in three innings while striking out four.

Honorable mention is given to Juan Perez. The right-hander, our 40th-ranked Cards prospect, kept Palm Beach off the scoreboard in two innings with three strikeouts, but also skirted trouble, having allowed four baserunners.

For more news from these games, including starting lineups, pitcher velocities and offerings, injury updates, news and my in-person observations, members should head over to The Cardinal Nation.

The Cardinal Nation members can also check out the complete list of minor league spring training invitees and full minor league spring training game schedules, posted earlier. Also exclusively for TCN members is my annual pre-camp series in which I predicted the opening rosters for all four full-season minor league affiliates and explain why: Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria. My St. Louis roster prediction article is free for all readers.

If you are not yet a member of The Cardinal Nation, seven-day free trials are always available.

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

Palm Beach (5-3-1) 4, Peoria1 (3-4-2) 8

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
Sam Tuivailala 8 1 1 1 Got K on curveball. Fb 96. Brett Wiley 2/3B 4 2 2 1 2 1 3B to left-center, 1 to dead center
Luis Perdomo 2.2 4 2 2 5 5.05 ERA in 11 starts at Peo Danny Diekroeger 3B 3 2 1 1 1 Finished 2014 with 22 game hit streak
Vaughn Bryan OF 2 1 2 1 Tied Tilson for most 3Bs in system (9)

Peoria1 (3-4-2) 8, Palm Beach (5-3-1) 4

Peoria 1 pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria 1 hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Pedro Echemendia 1 1 Cuban at 89-90 mph, Cb at 74 Kenny Peoples-Walls LF 5 1 3 2 1 Former SS took Dylan Hawkins deep
Juan Perez 40 2 2 2 3 Our #40 Cards prospect Julian Barzilli 3B 5 2 2 2 Stocky 3B has nice stroke

Peoria2/State College (2-0) 7, Long Island Storm 6

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
Kevin Herget 3 3 1 4 2.72 ERA as RP bet Peo/PB Ricardo Bautista RF 3 2 2 1 Decent .794 OPS in GCL at 18 years old
Bladimil Franco DH 4 2 1 Lost 2014 due to injury (just 6 games)

Overall this spring, the Cardinals are 17-12-6, including a 10-5-2 record against external competition (Mets and Marlins plus one game against the Long Island Storm).

Saturday’s games: On Saturday, the Cardinals are hosting the Marlins for five games starting at 1:00 p.m. local time.

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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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10 Responses to “Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/27/15”

  1. blingboy says:

    Seems like Mo couldn’t get an offer of anything much for Freeman. An alternative would have been to keep him on the roster for a while at the start of the season to see if somebody ended up needing a lefty.

    Mo must have had somebody in particular he wanted in the pen opening day rather than Freeman. Any thoughts who.

    • Brian Walton says:

      The answer to your last question is clearly Kevin Siegrist.

      My article on the Sam Freeman trade is here.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Smart to trade Freeman and get something in return. I read an article claiming Cards are the most profitable team in baseball. Trading Freeman is good asset management.

        Freeman is from the Dallas area, so gets to go home.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Regarding trade value, at this point, we don’t know for sure what the return will be. There could be some names on the PTBNL list from the 2014 draft, for example, who are ineligible to be traded until June. Or maybe the Cards want more time to evaluate the players. Or it could just turn out to be a small amount of cash. We’ll know which by the end of the season.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    I feel bad for young men like Wiley and Pierce, who get suspended from a short season roster. Their penalty approaches one full year.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Perhaps the stiff penalties will be a deterrent to others.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        I would respect the system more if it were more just, treating offenders equally, for the same offense.

        Right now, the most severe penalty applies to the short season guys. They are at the bottom, not the rich Ryan Braun type. I don’t recall when the toothless ML testing program suspended anyone based on samples, as trip up the lowly.

        The PR game seems to be to penalize the lowly players, so as to persuade the gullible to believe all big leaguers are clean. Seems absurd, though understandable. Financial might makes right, in many ways, within the sports industry, amateur and pro alike.

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