Welcome back to our eighth year of providing results and much more from St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training games here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Our notebooks will include eyewitness commentary as soon as I arrive in camp, details you likely will not find elsewhere. Even more specific spring training reports will be available to members of The Cardinal Nation.
Following are the highlights from the Cardinals first minor league games of 2016 against external competition, held on Friday on the Miami Marlins’ side of the in Jupiter, Florida baseball complex.
The Cardinals’ higher-level clubs fared best with Memphis winning big and Springfield playing to a draw. Palm Beach lost a one-run game and Peoria was shut out. For the spring, the Cards are 3-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 against external foes.
Once again this spring, Cardinals Baseball Operations Coordinator for Player Development Tony Ferreira will be sharing highlights from minor league spring training contests.
The raw data is his, but the comments and awards are mine. However, be aware that only minimal pitching and hitting results are being shared. 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 24 players have yet to be cut from Major League camp.
When players are members of The Cardinal Nation Top 40 for 2016, their rankings are noted.
Friday’s Pitcher of the Day: Derian Gonzalez
Sometimes lost in the praise for Junior Fernandez and Sandy Alcantara is another right-hander in Gonzalez, all teammates with the 2015 Gulf Coast League Cardinals. The 21-year-old Venezuelan has control to go with the one-per-inning strikeouts, as his 2.9:1 strikeout to walk ratio last season indicates. On Friday, the right-hander tossed three shutout frames for Palm Beach.
Friday’s Hitter of the Day: C.J. McElroy
The switch-hitting center fielder will likely move up to Double-A this season and had a good day Friday. McElroy had three singles in five at-bats, stole two bases and scored a pair of runs for Memphis.
For more, The Cardinal Nation members can check out the complete list of minor league spring training attendees and full minor league spring training game schedules. Also exclusively for TCN members is my annual pre-camp series in which I predict the opening rosters for all four full-season minor league affiliates and explain why. Memphis was posted Thursday and Springfield went up Friday, with the others to follow this weekend. 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 system 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 (2-0) 9 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|
|Arturo Reyes||#33||3||1||0||2||0||2015 Texas League All-Star||C.J. McElroy||CF||5||2||3||1||Also two stolen bases for switch hitter|
|Jayson Aquino||2||0||0||1||2||Waiver pickup is on 40-man||Nick Martini||RF||4||1||3||1||1||Another 2015 Texas League All-Star|
Springfield (0-1-1) 3 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|
|Jack Flaherty||#2||2.1||4||1||1||3||T6th in system with 97Ks in 2015||Blake Drake||RF||2||1||1||1||Batted just .209 bet. Peo and PB in 2015|
Palm Beach (1-1) 1 at Jupiter 2
|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|
|Derian Gonzalez||3||0||0||2||4||Just 1 HR allowed in 151 career IP||Orlando Olivera||RF||3||1||1||1||1||Hit in 39 of 52 games in rookie year|
|Sandy Alcantara||#17||2||0||1||1||2||9Ks per 9 IP in 2015 Gulf Coast Lg.|
Peoria (0-2) 0 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|
|Brennan Leitao||2||1||1||0||2||26th rdr started at JC, bullpen at SC||Ricardo Bautista||RF||3||1||1||7 OF assists, but batted just .202 at JC|
Saturday’s games: The Mets are the Saturday opponent, with Memphis and Springfield riding buses to Port St. Lucie. Palm Beach and Springfield will take on the New Yorkers in Jupiter. If you are planning to attend, be aware that the game times have been moved up to 10 a.m. at both locations.
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