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Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/31/15

Following are the highlights from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league games held on Tuesday, March 31. In five scheduled contests, the Cardinals faced the Marlins on the Fishes’ side of the Jupiter, Florida complex.

The Cardinals did not lose a game on the day, winning three and tying two. Memphis and Springfield took the draws as Palm Beach, Peoria and State College each claimed narrow wins.

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 seven players have yet to be cut from Major League camp. (You can read about who I believe they will be and why here.)

When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2015, their rankings are noted in the tables below in the “TCN” columns. Four top 40 members are among the list of standouts on Tuesday: Oscar Mercado, Mike Mayers, Patrick Wisdom and Ronnie Williams.

Tuesday’s Hitter of the Day: Mercado (pictured), performing as the designated hitter for Peoria, doubled twice and plated two. The 20-year-old has been alternating at shortstop with fellow prospect Edmundo Sosa this spring. The Peoria opening roster battles appear to be very competitive.

Honorable mentions include Blake Drake and Danny Diekroeger, both on base three times for Palm Beach, plus Anthony Ray, Jake Gronsky and Rafael Ortega, who each drove in two.

Tuesday’s Pitcher of the Day: For Springfield, Mayers spun five scoreless innings on just two hits and no walks. The 23-year-old righty, who opened the spring as a non-roster invitee to big-league camp, fanned three.

Honorable mention is given to Corey Littrell, acquired in trade from Boston last summer. The 23-year-old lefty tossed four shutout innings for Palm Beach on just one hit and a walk. Down at State College, 2014 prep draftees Williams and Bryan Dobzanski each allowed a lone baserunner in two scoreless innings of work.

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.

Memphis (7-3-2) 3 at 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
Ryan Sherriff 1 1 1 Starter turned valuable LH reliever Patrick Wisdom 3B 27 3 2 1 Good to see him getting untracked
Others 3 Luke Voit 1B 3 2 1 Consistent spring performer
Rafael Ortega CF 1 1 1 2 1 Hit two homers for St. Louis on Friday

Springfield (4-5-3) 2 at Jacksonville 2

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Mike Mayers 25 5 2 3 Could be ready for Mem but room? David Popkins LF 4 1 1 Making regular appearances here
Others 2

Palm Beach (8-4-1) 6 at Jupiter 5

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
Corey Littrell 4 1 1 1 Lefty was Bos’ 5th rounder in 2013 Blake Drake RF 3 2 2 1 STEP camper is a player to watch
Others 5 Danny Diekroeger 3B 5 2 3 Was State College’s Player of Year

Peoria (5-6-2) 4 at Greensboro 3

Peoria pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Matt Pearce 4 5 1 3 13th-rdr had 4.20 ERA in 10 JC starts Anthony Ray CF 5 1 2 2 A regular in this reports this spring
Others 2 Oscar Mercado DH 23 5 2 2 2 One of top-ranked SS in system

State College (4-0) 2 at Batavia 0

State Collete pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes State College hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K Notes
Ronnie Williams 31 2 1 1 Taken 68th overall in 2014 Eliezer Alvarez 2B 4 1 2 1 Switch-hitter batted .353 in 68 GCL ABs
Bryan Dobzanski 2 1 1 29th rdr given $600K to sign Jake Gronsky 3B 4 1 2 Free agent logged .783 OPS in GCL
Others 0

Overall this spring, the Cardinals are 27-18-8, including an 18-9-4 record against external competition (Mets and Marlins plus one game against the Long Island Storm).

Wednesday’€™s games: On Wednesday, the Cardinals are scheduled to take their last Florida road trip of the spring as Memphis and Springfield travel to take on the Mets while Palm Beach and Springfield entertain their Class-A Mets counterparts at home.

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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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5 Responses to “Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/31/15”

  1. crdswmn says:

    So no surprises on the 25 man roster front (despite what drama the media tried to create).

    I won’t get to watch the last two ST games. It’s too bad the exhibition game in Memphis won’t be televised, I would really enjoy that.

    Apparently there is rain in the forecast in Chicago on Sunday. Also on the following day. I wonder what happens if the game can’t be played either day?

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Rafael Ortega is a good fit with the needs of the Cards in 2015. Like Pham, he can play CF for Memphis. With the trade of Ramsay, Ortega becomes more helpful depth.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      We like left swinging CFers, illustrated by Jon Jay, Ortega, Tilson, McElroy, Vaughn Bryan, Magneuris Sierra, Ray, Jim Edmonds, Willie McGee, and even Oscar Taveras.

      Ortega made it thru the Rule 5 draft because not a big hitter at AA, but he has slugged 3 hrs lately, so has some bat speed.

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