Dominican Summer League Cards Notebook Week 1

The 2011 DSL Cardinals fought bad weather and misfortune in week one, starting the season 0-5.

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals had a poor start to the 2011 season, losing all five games they played and had two postponed due to weather. The team is 0-3 at home and 0-2 on the road and five and half games out of first place, in last, in the Santo Domingo North Division.


Week One: May 28-June 5 Round Up

The Cardinals opened up the 2011 season hosting the Athletics on May 28th.  The A's took an early lead scoring three runs in the first two innings off newly-signed Nicaraguan Fidencio Flores.  RBIs by Leobaldo Pina and Daniel Barbuena put the Cards back in the game to tie things up at three.  The Cardinals bullpen failed to keep the club in the game giving up five runs in the sixth.  The Redbirds tried to come back, with the help of a three-run shot by Fernando Baez, but fell short, losing 8-7 to the A's.


May 29th was the regular scheduled day off for the Cardinals.


The Cardinals went on the road for the May 30th contest at the Mariners.  The Redbirds scattered five singles but could not get a run across the plate the entire game despite Silfredo Garcia's solid start.  The M's put a run on the board in the fourth and five more in the fifth for a 6-0 over the Cards.


The Brewers came to town on May 31st to take on the Cardinals, for what would be the longest game played in the time I have been following the team. The Redbirds got things started with a run in the first on a double by Daniel Barbuena. The Brewers tied it up in the top half of the only to give up the lead to the Cardinals who scored two over the third and fourth inning.  The Brew crew took advantage of an error by the Cardinals and scored a couple runs in the fifth to tie it up.  Then both teams went scoreless over the next ten innings until the top half of the 16th.  An error by Amaury Capellan and struggling pitcher Fidencio Flores came together to give up five runs up to the Brewers in the 8-3 loss.


The Cardinals visited the Athletics in the June 1st contest.  The Redbirds got things started as Fernando Baez drove in Rafael Medina in the first for a 1-0 lead. The A's answered back with a run in the third and the Cardinals then doubled up their score in the fifth on errors for a 3-2 lead.  The Athletics scored four runs over the next three innings to the Redbirds one and won the game 6-4 even on committing five errors during the game.


The Cardinals home game on June 2nd vs. the Mariners and June 3rd game at the Dodgers were both postponed due to weather.


The Cardinals hosted the Athletics on June 4th hoping to end their season opening losing streak. The A's got to the Cards first, scoring two in the first but the Cards answered back with three in the bottom half taking advantage of an error, wild pitches, and good base running.  That was the last time the Redbirds would see home plate however, as three A's relievers combined for eight shutout innings after their starter was knocked out.  The A's plated three more runs and won 5-3.


Regularly scheduled day off for the Cardinals on June 5th.



Who's Hot


Daniel Barbuena opened the season with a four-game hitting streak, which has ended, but has a five-game on-base streak to continue.  The 18-year old switch-hitter went 7-for-21 (.333) with one double, four RBIs, two runs, six walks, one stolen base, six strikeouts, and grounded into one double play.  He played two games at shortstop, one at second base (assisted in one double play), and two games as designated hitter.


Fernando Baez hit a three-run homer in the first game and leads the team in RBIs. The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 4-for-14 (.286) with one home run, five RBIs, three runs, two walks (one intentional), one hit by pitch, one strikeout, and grounded into one double play.  He played all five games at catcher where he threw out four of nine base runners, picked one runner off, had two passed balls, and committed one missed catch error.


Anderson Gerdel didn't allow a run in a combined 5 1/3 innings in his two appearances this past week.  The 19-year old right-hander made his first relief appearance on May 28th allowing no hits or runs, and striking out two over two innings.  On May 31st, he pitched 3 1/3 giving up three hits, no runs, one walk, and striking out three.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 3-to-5 and kept his only inherited runner on base.


Addelin Ceballo also wasn't scored upon in his two relief appearances during this report period.  The 19-year old right-hander made his 2011 debut on May 28th, tossing one hitless and scoreless inning and striking out one.  Then on May 31st, he went an extensive 4 1/3 only giving up three hits, no runs, and three walks.  His ground out-to-fly out ratio was 6-to-4 and he kept both inherited runners on base.


Hector Salazar made his professional debut on June 4th giving up no hits or runs, and striking out four over 3 2/3 innings.  The 17-year old right-hander had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 3-to-3 and kept the bases loaded.



Who's Not


Jose Pena picked up where he left off last season in the strikeout department.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 1-for-13 (.077) with one run, two walks, and eight strikeouts.  He played all five games in right field for the Cardinals.


George Araujo also had a long week at the plate striking out more that getting on base.  The 17-year old left-handed hitter went 2-for-13 (.154) with one RBI, two runs, three walks, five strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He played two games in centerfield and two in left.


Alberth Almeida was the hardest hit of the relief staff for the Cardinals during this period.  The 19-year old right-hander made his 2011 debut on May 30th coughing up three hits, five earned runs, one home run, one wild pitch, and striking out two over 1/3 of an inning.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 0-to-1.


Anthony De La Cruz had a fine performance to open the season and struggled in his second.  The 18-year old left-hander made his 2011 debut on May 30th tossing two scoreless innings and allowing one hit and striking out one.  His second appearance, on June 1st, was a different story as he gave up four hits, three earned runs, four walks (one intentional), and struck out one over 1 1/3.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 4-to-4 during the week.


Jonathan Escudero was one of two starters to get hit hard, and also struggled with his control during this period.  The 17-year old right-hander made his 2011 debut on June 4th allowing six hits, four earned runs, two walks, hit one batter, threw three wild pitches, and struck one out over 2 1/3 innings for the losing decision (0-1).  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 1-to-1.



Where Did Everyone Go?


As everyone should know by now, the St. Louis Cardinals have pulled out of the Venezuelan Summer League program as covered by Brian Walton.  All players on the 2010 VSL team were either invited to extended spring training to compete for jobs in the US, assigned to the Dominican Summer League or released. 


Luis Perez, Ronard Castillo, Victor Encarnacion, Willy Paulino, Victor DeLeon, Jose Almarante (formerly known as Eduardo Estalis), Arturo Toribio, Angel Tapia, Stalyn Lopez, Eduardo Hirlado and Carlos Oraa from the 2010 DSL squad received invites to extended spring camp.


Jean Carlos De La Cruz and Delvi Rodriguez will begin the season on the restricted list after failing mandatory drug tests.


Ariel Gonzalez is also on the restricted list for unknown reasons. He spent much of the 2010 season on the disabled list with an illness.

Carlos Martinez was promoted to Single-A Quad Cities after a short stint in extended spring camp.


Andres Beras, Jorge Lopez, Victor Ferreira, Luis Polanco, and Christian Concepcion were all released from the 2010 DSL team.


Jem Argenal, Breyvic Valera, Gerwuins Velazco, Roberto Canache, Fermin Montanez, Ramon Ulacio, and Dail Villenueva from the 2010 VSL team received invites to extended spring training.


Lainer Bueno, Kevin Gonzalez, Hayrich Martina, Tharick Martines, Limbert Rivas, Marlon Sucre, Angelo Echeverria, Geudy Guerra, Jose Perez, Edubray Ramos, Deimer Bier and Jackson Solarte were all released from the 2010 VSL squad.





Deimer Bier (VSL Rays) has made two relief appearances posting a 1-0 record, 1.42 ERA, and one save.  He has allowed five hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck seven out over 6.1 innings.


Lenny Rosario (DSL Mets Team 1) has made one start posting an 0-1 record and 3.86 ERA.  He's allowed two hits, three runs (one earned), two walks, and struck three out over 2.1 innings.


Eddy Rivera (DSL Padres) was released while Wagner Mateo (DSL Diamondbacks) and Vicente Campos (VSL Mariners) were invited to extended spring camps.


A new league may be opening up for free agents, with past professional experience, in the Venezuela called the 'Liga Central Independiente de Beisbol'.   Some of the former Cardinals farmhands that are expected to play are Orlando Munoz (GCL), Julio Castellanos (GCL), Sergio Nieves (VSL), Frederick Parejo (Quad Cities), Alberto Rivero (GCL), Anthony Fonseca (GCL), Dennys Abreu (Tennessee), Jose Martinez (Springfield) and Wilfred Vivas (GCL). David Brito (VSL) is also listed as a coach.  The league draft was supposed to be held last week, but things are currently on hold.


Jonathan Sivira (former Quad Cities) is playing for Liceo in the Venezuelan Beisbol Carora.


The Cardinals are rumored to be one of eight teams that might have interest in 25-year old Cuban third baseman Adonis Garcia.  


The Dominican Prospect League rolled out their top players by position with shortstops, more shortstops, outfielders, more outfielders, third baseman, and catchers.



Dominican Summer League Stats


The Cardinals are hitting .177 (32nd out of 33 teams) with a .320 OBP (19th), .210 SLG (33rd), and .530 OPS (31st).  The team ranks in the bottom tier of the league in offensive stats except for walks (8th) and strikeouts (6th).


The Cardinals have a combined 4.14 ERA (25th) and 1.62 WHIP (t-29th) on the season.  The team ranks in the top half (wrong side) in pitching stats.


Fernando Baez is tied for third in homers.


Daniel Barbuena and Amauris Capellan are tied, with others, for eighth in walks.


Jose Pena is tied for ninth in strikeouts.


Fidencio Flores is tied for fourth in runs allowed, tied for seventh in home runs allowed, and tied for eight in hit batters.


Alberth Almeida is tied for seventh in home runs allowed.



Up Next


June 6: @ Mariners

June 7: Brewers

June 8: @ Athletics

June 9: Mariners

June 10: @ Rays

June 11: Athletics

June 12: Off Day


* One of the newly added items to the 2011 season is that teams will face teams outside Santo Domingo North Division with the Cardinals taking on the Dodgers, Rays, Red Sox, Astros and Indians during the 2011 season.



Find Josh Jones blogging at Cardinals Best News Links or visit his Twitter account for occasional commentary.


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