VSL Cardinals 2010 Relief Pitcher of the Year

Alberth Almeida is our choice as the top reliever on this year's Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals.

The 2010 VSL Cardinals relief pitchers had a rough season and it shows if you take a look at the graphs below. As the season rolled on, a handful of relievers were moved into the rotation to cover injuries that hit the starters. Hurlers such as Jonathan Escudero, Anderson Gerdel, Ismael Brito, and Dail Villanueva were moved into the starting role. Starters Silfredo Garcia and Jose Perez went down with injuries during the season and made the jump into the bullpen for rehab purposes. Injuries also took their toll on the bullpen, knocking out what looked to be a promising reliever in Douglas Planchart for an extended period of time.

The team as a whole had trouble keeping leads throughout a game and even struggled to hold on in the very end with pitchers racking up blown saves more often than earning the save.

May/June G IP H R ER HR BB SO HLD SV BS ERA
A.Almeida 8 19 17 9 8 1 4 12 1 0 1 3.77
D.Planchart 9 18 16 9 8 0 6 19 0 1 0 4.00
A.Gerdel 10 15 24 18 17 0 6 14 0 1 1 10.13
I.Brito 8 14 7 4 3 1 8 8 0 1 0 1.91
J.Solarte 6 11 14 10 10 0 7 7 0 0 0 8.03
J.Polanco 7 11 13 9 7 1 8 8 0 1 0 5.68
J.Escudero 8 11 5 4 4 0 10 7 0 0 1 3.27
K.Villegas 8 10 13 11 9 1 10 7 0 1 2 8.10
G.Guerra 6 9.2 14 8 5 0 2 3 1 0 0 4.89
K.Cueto 8 9.1 8 5 4 0 6 8 0 0 0 3.96
R.Canache 4 9 7 1 1 0 1 3 0 0 0 1.00

During May/June you can see Alberth Almeida logged the most innings with Planchart, Gerdel, and Brito close behind. Your strikeout artists were Planchart, Gerdel, and Almeida. Escudero and Kender Villegas had trouble keeping the ball over the plate as they racked up on walks. Villegas also had trouble closing out games when needed only turning one of three chances. Second and third year pitchers Jackson Solarte and Johnny Polanco had their problems, giving up a high amount of hits and runs.

July/August G IP H R ER HR BB SO HLD SV BS ERA
J.Polanco 7 16 13 7 4 0 11 11 1 0 0 2.25
A.Almeida 6 14 12 6 6 1 3 10 0 0 1 3.86
G.Guerra 8 14 12 10 6 1 11 7 0 0 2 3.86
E.Ramos 7 13 21 18 14 1 9 13 0 0 0 9.62
J.Perez 6 12 14 8 7 1 4 8 0 0 0 5.25
K.Cueto 7 10 9 14 9 1 13 8 1 0 0 7.94
K.Villegas 4 10 13 10 7 1 3 1 1 0 0 6.30
R.Canache 5 9.1 4 1 1 1 5 4 0 1 0 0.99
S.Garcia 3 7 3 1 1 0 0 6 0 0 0 1.29

In the second half of the season, Polanco tightened his belt and pitched wonderfully, showing he was growing into his role and maturing. Roberto Canache continued a strong rookie season and even earned a shot at starting late in the year. Edubray Ramos was the strikeout king for this time period with Polanco and Almeida following. Polanco, Geudy Guerra, and Kevin Cueto struggled with getting the ball over the plate with their high amount of walks. Guerra also got a couple chances to close out games and failed both times.

As you take a look at both months and see who was the steadiest throughout the season only one name sticks out, Almeida. Polanco made a good run at the end of the season, but started off horribly. Planchart would have been considered had injuries not sidelined him, keeping him from logging enough innings. Various others did not put in the innings to be considered. Polanco had a six walks/six strikeouts ratio per nine and is runner-up for the award. Almeida had a ratio of five strikeouts and one walk per nine and takes home The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com 2010 Venezuelan Summer League Reliever of the Year Award.

Note:
Link to article with all award winners across the system as well as 2010 team recaps, exclusively for subscribers!

Link to article with detailed writeups on each of the VSL Cardinals relievers mentioned in this article.



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