Summer Baseball Update

Summer action continues around the country for all the current Cardinal baseball players. John Mayberry, Jr. had a strong week with the bat for Team USA as they get ready for the World Championships in Taiwan. Meanwhile, a pitcher in the Cape and a pair of hitters in Alaska are red-hot and we've got all the latest. Read on for updated news and statistics.

HITTERS

US National Team
Team USA concluded their 18-game exhibition game schedule on Sunday as they get set for the FISU World Championships in Taiwan (this is the big event of the summer for the US team).  The Red, White, and Blue opens the tournament versus Japan on Saturday.  John Mayberry, Jr. had an excellent past week with the bat that included the game-winning home run for Team USA in their ballgame last Monday.  Mayberry, Jr. primarily hits fourth in the lineup for the US team and his current batting average sits at an impressive .294 (15-for-51).  He's clubbed two home runs (tied for second on the team) to go with seven RBI.

Jed Lowrie will bring a .255 (12-for-47) batting average into the World Championships this weekend.  Starting at second base and hitting second in the order, Lowrie is having a successful summer with five doubles, a home run, and ten RBI.  He's also drawn nine walks and is a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen base attempts.

Cape Cod
Chris Lewis continues his solid summer as his batting average is at .232 (22-for-95) for the year.  He's also smoked two home runs and driven home eight (for reference, none of the Stanford players in the Cape last summer - Fuld, Mayberry, Hall, Lucy, Carter, and Lewis - hit more than one home run).  Lewis has started every single one of his game's at second base and usually hits sixth in the order for his ballclub.  Lewis' position on the field will be a hot topic during fall ball as second base seems unlikely unless Coach Marquess decides to shift Lowrie over to shortstop and Minaker to third.

Jim Rapoport looks to be settling in as well.  Rapoport put together a few nice games with the bat last week to get his average up to .191 (17-for-89) for the summer.  Rapoport has driven home ten to go with seven stolen bases.  He's batting either first or ninth in the lineup for his team and starting every game in center field. 

Adam Sorgi's summer in the Cape has concluded with a .162 (6-for-37) batting average.  Sorgi finished with one home run and one RBI.  Reportedly, Sorgi is now playing closer to home in the California Coastal League.

Alaska
A pair of Cardinal hitters are swinging hot sticks up in Alaska right now.  Chris Minaker has been hammering the ball since day one of the summer season.  The shortstop, who bats anywhere from third to fifth in the order for his team, is currently hitting a whopping .325 (27-for-83) with seven doubles, two home runs, and 13 RBI.  Minaker surprised many this past spring by taking hold of the starting shortstop position and he doesn't appear to be looking back.

Meanwhile, John Hester had been hovering around the .200 mark during the first couple weeks of the summer, but a string of solid games in the last few days has his average up to .258 (24-for-93).  Hester has smacked eight doubles and one home run to go with 13 RBI.  And like Minaker, Hester hits anywhere from third to fifth in the batting order for his ballclub.

Texas
Ryan Seawell has slowed down a bit since a hot start with the bat.  Seawell is now hitting .208 (11-for-53) with one home run and seven RBI.  He's now seeing all of his playing time in either left or right field which should help him considerably in preparing for fall ball as he aims for increased playing time in the Cardinal outfield.

California Coastal
Ben Summerhays continues to play in this league and is putting together a solid summer campaign with a .297 (11-for-37) batting average.  Summerhays has hit one home run to go with five RBI.  He starts at either first base or DH.

New England
Josh Corn is hitting .146 (6-for-41) with no home runs and one RBI.


PITCHERS

US National Team
Mark Romanczuk had an interesting week out of the Team USA bullpen.  The lefty was hammered for four runs in one inning on Thursday which severely inflated his summer ERA.  Romanczuk was tagged for the loss in that contest.  He did come back with a pair of scoreless innings over the weekend (over two appearances) though to get his earned run average down to 5.79 in 9 1/3 total innings pitched.  Romanczuk has walked four and struck out ten.  Romanczuk will likely continue to be used as a short reliever for the Red, White, and Blue at the World Championships.

Cape Cod
Greg Reynolds is pitching very well in the Cape right now.  He's been moving back-and-forth between a starter and a reliever, but should remain in the role of a starting pitcher after his most recent appearance.  Reynolds fired five innings without allowing an earned run while he surrendered just two base hits.  His season ERA now stands at 2.45 in 22 innings pitched (3-1 record).  Reynolds has allowed only 15 hits, walked ten, and struck out 14.  Reynolds' strong summer thus far is a good sign as he looks to gain momentum going into next season when his role on the team should improve dramatically.

Blake Holler struggled some early on this summer, but appears to have settled into his role as a short reliever for his ballclub.  In eight appearances (two starts - both came early in the summer), the southpaw has an 0-1 record and a 3.94 ERA.  Over 16 innings, Holler has yielded 12 hits and 11 walks to go with 13 strike outs.

Alaska
Jeff Gilmore's masterful summer continues as a closer for his team up in Alaska.  Gilmore has now totaled four saves and has a sparking 1.54 ERA in 11 2/3 innings pitched.  He's allowed just seven hits, walked only three, and struck out a whopping 17.  Gilmore has really owned this high-profile league the last two summers.  He burst onto the scene last year with a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings thrown.

Teammate Matt Manship continues to start as his season numbers now stand at 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in 14 innings.  Manship has walked only two and struck out 12.

Jeff Stimpson's last start saw him throw six innings without surrendered an earned run.  And to top it off, the right hander struck out 10.  For the season, Stimpson has made five starts (and one relief appearance) and has a 2-1 record and an impressive 2.73 ERA.  In 33 innings, he's walked 16 and struck out 29.

Finally, Matt Leva has made four starts and a relief appearance for his team.  He's compiled a 3-1 record and a 3.91 ERA over 25 1/3 innings.  The Texas native has walked only five and struck out 16.

Texas
Pete Duda continues to start for his team down in Texas.  In five starts (and one relief outing), Duda has an even 2-2 record and a 3.89 ERA.  In 34 2/3 innings, Duda has walked nine and struck out 24.

California Coastal
Logan Ardis, in 16 innings pitched, has a 1-2 record and a 4.41 ERA.  Ardis has walked 16 and struck out 16.


PROS

Three players from the draft class of 2004 are really standing out right now.  First and foremost, Danny Putnam has already earned a promotion in the Oakland A's organization.  He was hitting .289 with a pair of home runs in 11 games at the short-season A level before a call-up to the Class A Midwest League.  Putnam has three hits in his first 11 AB's in that league with a home run already.

Meanwhile, at the short-season A level, Chris Carter (.303, 5 HR, 17 RBI) and Brian Hall (.292, 4 HR, 16 RBI) are both playing well.

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