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Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/26/16

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.

Following are the highlights from the Cardinals minor league games held on Saturday in Jupiter, FL. It was another camp day with two games scheduled – Memphis vs. Springfield and Palm Beach taking on Peoria.

Behind very high-powered pitching, only four runs were scored across the two contests. Memphis defeated Springfield while the A-ball teams fought to a scoreless tie. For the spring, the 1-1-2 day means the Cards are now 14-15-4 overall, including 7-8-2 against external competition.

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. However, be aware that only pitching and hitting results selected by the organization 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, more 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.

Saturday’s Pitcher of the Day: Ryan Helsley, Palm Beach

From the pitching plan I saw earlier in the week, it looked like Marco Gonzales would pitch for Memphis and Alex Reyes for Springfield. As it turned out, the two pitched back-to-back instead.

It seems our number three and one prospects in the system, respectively, put on a show. Pitching first, Gonzales yielded one run over four innings, with Carson Kelly collecting the RBI against him.

Reyes allowed no runs on three hits over his four frames and struck out five, the same number of Ks as Marco. Unfortunately, once the full season clubs break camp, Reyes will have to stay behind and face the youngsters in extended spring training.

Yet, neither is my Pitcher of the Day. That honor goes to Ryan Helsley, who held his opposition to a lone hit over four innings and fanned four. The Cardinals’ fifth-round draft pick last June from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma posted a strong 2.01 ERA over nine starts and two relief appearances for State College.

Saturday’s Hitter of the Day: Alex Mejia, Memphis

Back from the World Baseball Classic qualifier, where he competed for Team Mexico, the shortstop had a very nice afternoon, with a single and triple in three at-bats and added a stolen base, an RBI and a run scored.

With Aledmys Diaz set to play every day at short for Memphis and Juan Herrera out, it will be interesting to see if the Cards press Mejia into a return to Springfield to stabilize their middle infield. The Triple-A Redbirds should have Dean Anna, Jacob Wilson, Patrick Wisdom and Jonathan Rodriguez as other infielders on their roster.

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, Springfield and Palm Beach are posted, with Peoria to follow on Sunday. 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 (6-2) 3, Springfield 1

Memphis pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Marco Gonzales #3 4 2 1 5 With Cooney slowed, StL’s clear #6 starter Patrick Wisdom 3B #24 3 1 2 1 1 AFL All-Prospect Team, AFL Fall Stars Game
Alex Reyes #1 4 3 5 Top prospect seems upbeat and looking ahead Alex Mejia SS 3 1 2 1 1 1 34 games at Sgf, 59 games with Mem in 2015

Springfield (1-6-1) 1 vs. Memphis 3

Springfield pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Deck McGwire 4 4 1 5 26 y/o released by A’s, joined Dodgers in 2015 Bruce Caldwell 2B 4 2 1 FSL All-Star DH before Springfield promo
Ronnie Shaban 1 1 Top AA RP with 46 appearances last season Carson Kelly C #12 3 1 1 1 1 Won 2015 Minors catching Gold Glove Award

Palm Beach (3-3-2) 0, Peoria 0

Palm Beach pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Palm Beach hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Matt Pearce 4 3 4 2015 Midwest League ERA champion at 2.43 Magneuris Sierra CF #10 2 1 1 1 1 2014 system-wide Player of the Year
Ryan Helsley 4 1 4 In 40.1 IP at SC in 2015, 35 Ks, but 19 walks Darren Seferina DH #26 3 2 All-star in both 2014 (NYPL), 2015 (MWL)

Peoria (3-3-1) 0 vs. Palm Beach 0

Peoria pitching TCN IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting Pos TCN AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR SB BB K Notes
Austin Gomber #4 4 3 6 Co-system Pitcher of the Year with Reyes Jose Martinez SS 4 2 1 Same exact line as Friday – solid results
Estarlin Arias 1 1 2 Missed 2014 (inj), came to GCL after DSL in 2015

Sunday’s games: The Marlins will be the Easter opponent, with four games only on the Miami side of the Jupiter complex, starting at 10:00 a.m.

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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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3 Responses to “Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Notebook: 03/26/16”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Pitcher of the day Helsley is Cherokee. Of Native American heritage, like Kyle Lohse.

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