2010 Palm Beach Cardinals Team Review

Alex Castellanos and Kevin Thomas led the Palm Beach Cardinals at the plate and on the mound, respectively.

It had to be a frustrating season for the Palm Beach manager Luis Aguayo. The minor league vet had his initial Cardinals ball club in position for a playoff spot but the team failed to make the postseason.

The Cardinals sat a game and a half out of first place coming into action on August 6. The Cardinals swept a doubleheader with Dunedin on its way to a 10-game winning streak. Palm Beach had a three-game lead at the end of the streak and looked playoff bound as the end of the season was in sight. But, the team went on to lose 14 of 18 and be eliminated from postseason play.

During the 2010 season, 32 players took at-bats while 26 pitchers took the mound for the Cardinals.

Kevin Thomas (pictured) led the team in wins, 10, and strikeouts, 94, and would have been first in team ERA if he had enough innings to qualify. Richard Castillo led the staff in innings with 133 while since-traded David Carpenter had the most appearances with 49. Carpenter topped the team in saves with 20 while Casey Mulligan finished with 12.

At the plate, Alex Castellanos led the charges. The 24-year-old was first among Cardinals in average, RBI, on base percentage, slugging, and tied for the club lead in home runs and steals. Even more impressive is the fact he hit .182/.276/.258 with no home runs and only five RBI during the month of April.

Streaks

The team's longest winning streak of the season was 10 games while the Cards put together one six-game winning streak. On the other side, they had two five game losing streaks along with a four-game skid.

At the plate

Tied for the team league in home runs, Xavier Scruggs hit 13 long balls before being promoted to Double-A Springfield. At the time of his promotion, the former UNLV Running Rebel ranked among the league leaders in home runs, RBIs, and slugging percentage.

On his way to a promotion and up Cardinals prospect lists, Matt Carpenter reached base at a .441 clip in 28 games. Also, the steady-handed third baseman made only one error while manning the hot corner at Roger Dean Stadium.

Another player that saw only limited action before a promotion was Chris Swauger. The outfielder posted an OPS of .814 while also spending time on the team's disabled list.

On the Mound

Before Thomas joined the rotation, Mark Diapoules anchored the staff. The right-hander posted a 5-1 record to go along with a 2.44 ERA. For his effort, he received a well-deserved promotion to Double-A.

Two relievers really shined for the Cardinals. Casey Mulligan posted an incredible 0.30 ERA in 29 2/3 innings for the Cards. His time was split by a trip to Springfield but he still was able to manage 12 saves and 47 strikeouts.

Ramon Delgado caused a buzz with super breaking pitches that lead to his posting of a very stingy 1.42 ERA. The 24-year-old struck out 51 in 50 2/3 innings while walking only 10.

It was a rough, rough season for Richard Castillo. The previous year's breakout prospect struggled to finish with a record of 7-12 and an ERA of 5.20. The 20-year-old allowed 169 hits in a team-high 133 1/3 innings. His hits allowed were the fifth-most in the circuit while his walk total ranked as the seventh-highest total.

Around the League

In the first half of the season, Palm Beach finished 39-31 which tied for the second best record in the Florida State League South division. That put them 4.5 games behind first-place Charlotte.

The Cardinals finished the season with a second half record of 37-33, two games back of first place Bradenton. Overall for the year, the team was 75-65, the fifth-best record in the 12-team FSL.

With a team ERA of 3.52, the team ranked fifth in the league in the category. They were tied for third on the circuit with 39 saves and fifth in walks allowed. Palm Beach tied for the best in allowing the fewest home runs but ranked dead last in strikeouts.

On offense, the Cards ranked ninth in average, tied for sixth in on base percentage, and seventh in slugging. They were sixth in home runs, ninth in total bases, fifth in walks, and were the fourth worst in team strikeouts.

All-Stars

The Cardinals were well represented at the Florida State League All-Star Game. Catcher Tony Cruz, DH Xavier Scruggs, and outfielder Rich Racobaldo were starters for the South. Scruggs collected three hits including a home run and also drew a walk.

Palm Beach pitcher Mark Diapoules was named the South's starter and turned in a scoreless inning. Relievers Matt Frevert and Ramon Delgado combined for 1 2/3 shutout innings. Infielder Jose Garcia was also named a member of the squad.

No Cardinals were selected to the post-season All-Star team, though Aguayo was named as a coach.



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