The Johnson City Cardinals were
4-3 this week (42-23 overall). They
clinched their second consecutive Appalachian League Western Division
Championship on Thursday night in
The Elizabethton Twins have
clinched second place in the West but the East is a tie with three games
left. The Bluefield Blue Jays have
been in first place virtually all year but the Danville Braves caught them
Saturday night. The Blue Jays visit
the Braves in the final series of the year between the two clubs with the winner
(best 2-out-of-3) taking the East Division Championship. The Cardinals were 2-4 against
I was able to attend the only home
game of the seven games this week.
I listened to all six of the road games on the radio. The games in
In case you missed a previous 2011 report, you can review them here:
Juan Bautista (Johnson City Cardinals in the
News) has joined
the club from the Dominican Summer League.
Bautista, a right handed pitcher from
Charlie Tilson (Tilson: Moving
Ahead) has joined
the Cardinals after just four games and 12 at bats in the Gulf Coast
League. Tilson, who is also
18-years-old, was the Cardinals second round pick (79th overall pick)
in this year's June draft. He
signed on the August 15 deadline for a reported $1.275 million dollar signing
bonus. Tilson turned down a
scholarship from my alma mater, the
On Sunday afternoon, when this article was written, the Cardinals added three more pitchers from the Gulf Coast League Cardinals.
Brandon Creath, the Cardinals' 44th round pick in this year's June draft, is a right handed pitcher from California who went to college at Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach, FL. Creath pitched 21 games as a reliever in the GCL, striking out 32 and allowing no home runs over 24 and two thirds innings pitched. Creath recorded one save and three holds. Creath will make his first professional start on Tuesday night.
Tyler Melling, the Cardinals' 39th round pick in this year's June draft, is a soon-to-be 23-year-old left handed pitcher from Ohio who attended Ohio University. Melling also worked out of the GCL bullpen, striking out 28 and walking just seven over 30 and one third innings pitched. Melling led the GCL Cardinals in holds (7) and wins (5). He recorded an impressive 0.92 WHIP while allowing three home runs. Melling will work out of the bullpen on Tuesday night.
Willy Paulino is a 21-year-old
right handed reliever from
With the five additions, the roster has increased from 31 to 36 active players (max of 35). Although this appears to be a problem, David Bergin, Trevor Martin, and Josh Lucas have all left the team due to season ending injuries and could be placed on the disabled list to bring the active roster down to 33.
Injuries and Playing Time
Overall, the Cardinals seem to be pretty healthy heading into the playoffs. Several regulars may see extra rest this week to heal nagging injuries.
SS Matt Williams missed three games this week (Tuesday through Thursday) with a sore elbow. Williams didn't miss a beat with the extended rest though as he extended his hitting streak to nine games on Friday night and ten games on Saturday night. That streak is the longest active hit streak on the team right now.
2010 Appalachian League All-Star Team
The Johnson City Cardinals received two All-Star selections this year (Johnson City Cardinals in the News).The list of winners for each position is shown below. Tyler Rahmatulla won for second baseman and Kyle Hald won for left-handed pitcher.
2011 APPALACHIAN LEAGUE ALL STAR TEAM
C: Cam Maron -
1B: Chase Davidson - Greeneville
2B: Tyler Rahmatulla –
3B: Brandon Drury -
SS: Taylor Motter -
U-INF: Miguel Sano - Elizabethton
OF: Eddie Rosario - Elizabethton
OF: Jamal Austin - Pulaski
OF: Kevin Pillar -
U-OF: Chris Hawkins -
DH: Art Charles -
RHP: Tim Shibuya - Elizabethton
LHP: Kyle Hald -
RELIEF P: Madison Boer - Elizabethton
CO-PLAYERS OF THE YEAR: Eddie Rosario - Elizabethton
Brandon Drury -
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Tim Shibuya – Elizabethton
OF THE YEAR:
Dennis Holmberg -
Of the twelve non-Cardinals selected, I voted for eight. The major problems I had with the selections were DH and SS. Art Charles played 52 of his first 55 games as a first baseman (not a DH) and had the worst batting average (.236) of all twelve first baseman I considered for the award. I certainly hope that Charles didn't get voted in just because of his RBI total. Apparently he was a "DH" because he was listed as a DH by position. Taylor Motter got my vote as a utility infielder and was worthy of an All-Star selection. It just shouldn't have been as a SS. Motter played just 18 of his 33 games at the premium position. Matt Williams deserved the selection at SS.
Garcia had a better year offensively than Kevin Pillar and is three years
younger. He would have received my
vote if I could have voted for Cardinals.
Right handed pitcher Tim Shibuya probably won due to his league leading
eight wins but Burlington Royal Matt Murray was better.
Sano was my choice for Player of the Year and Randy Ingle (Danville Braves) was my choice for Manager of the Year. Everyone else won at the position I voted for them. Logan Billbrough (relief pitcher) and Roberto De La Cruz (DH) were close to making the All-Star team by my statistical analysis but just missed the cut.
Team Statistical Review
The offense improved this week to
a .303/.353/.434 line after an extremely meager .220/.275/.369 line last
week. They hit 13 doubles, one
triple, and five home runs in seven games.
Their AVG/OBP/SLG line through 65 games this year is .278
(1st)/.339 (3rd)/.450 (1st). The Cardinals lead the league in runs
(398), hits (642), doubles (158), home runs (66), total bases (1038), average
(.278), slugging (.450), and on-base plus slugging or OPS (.788). They are fifth in the league in triples
(20), third in on-base percentage or OBP (.339), second in at bats (2309), and
second in RBIs (339). They fell one
spot to tenth (last) in the league in drawing walks (178).
The defense committed 12 errors that contributed to eight unearned runs and two losses this week. LF/CF Ronald Castillo (7 errors) made three more errors this week. Castillo had two more easy fly balls go in and out of his glove. SS Matt Williams had two throwing errors including one that allowed the eventual winning run to score in a one-run game. P Jose Pasen got an error for a missed catch of a pop-up that should have probably been caught by 1B David Washington or C Kolby Byrd. That error also allowed the eventual winning run to score in a close game on Saturday night.
The Cardinals pitching staff had a pretty good week (3.39 ERA) but remained second in team earned run average (3.54) for the season. Through 65 games, the pitchers now have the best walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) in the league (1.27), the most wins (42), the fewest losses (23), the most holds (31), the most saves (20), the fewest walks allowed (177), and the second fewest earned runs allowed (231). The starters were 2-3 this week while the relievers were 2-0 with two saves. The relievers inherited 9 runners this week and allowed just 2 runners to score (18% scored). On the season, the pitchers have allowed 35% of inherited runners to score.
Starting Pitchers and Pitch Counts
Starting Pitchers (6):
RHP Tyrell Jenkins (1)
LHP Kyle Hald (2)
LHP Nick Gillung (3)
RHP Eduardo Hiraldo (4)
RHP Jose Pasen (5)
LHP Ben Freeman (6)
8/21: Jose Pasen: 87 pitches, 47 strikes, 11-for-26 first-pitch strikes.
8/22: Ben Freeman: 81 pitches, 51 strikes, 8-for-21 first-pitch strikes.
8/23: Tyrell Jenkins: 80 pitches, 51 strikes, 11-for-20 first-pitch strikes.
8/24: Kyle Hald: 80 pitches, 54 strikes, 14-for-22 first-pitch strikes.
8/25: Nick Gillung: 72 pitches, 46 strikes, 13-for-19 first-pitch strikes.
8/25: Chris Costantino: 28 pitches, 19 strikes, 5-for-8 first-pitch strikes.
8/26: Eduardo Hiraldo: 80 pitches, 51 strikes, 9-for-24 first-pitch strikes.
8/27: Jose Pasen: 91 pitches, 55 strikes, 19-for-25 first-pitch strikes.
Who's Hot (Hitters)
Eight different batters hit .300 or better this week. That list, in decreasing order of weekly batting average, included: Breyvic Valera (.500), Matt Williams (.438), Jonathan Keener (.385), Steven Ramos (.333), Ronald Castillo (.333), Charlie Tilson (.333), Gary Apelian (.320), and David Washington (.313).
SS Matt Williams (.292) was 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles over five games this week. Williams is tied for fifth in the league in runs (45), tied for sixth in doubles (18), and tied for seventh in stolen bases (18).
C/DH Jonathan Keener (.241) was 5-for-13 (.385) over three games this week.
CF Steven Ramos (.276) put together an improved week. Over seven games, Ramos was 9-for-27 (.333) with three runs, one double, one triple, and one stolen base. Ramos is fourth in the league in at bats (246), tied for fifth in runs (45), and sixth in stolen bases (19).
RF Gary Apelian (.300) was 8-for-25 (.320) with a double, two home runs, six runs, seven RBIs, and 15 total bases over six games this week. Apelian is tied for sixth in the league in doubles (18).
LF/CF Ronald Castillo (.245) was 4-for-12 (.333) with three runs over five games this week. Castillo is tied for ninth in the league in triples (4). Castillo struggled catching routine fly balls for the second week in a row.
LF/CF Charlie Tilson (.333) was 2-for-6 in his first two games in the Appalachian League.
1B/DH David Washington (.245) was 5-for-16 (.313) with two doubles and three runs over five games this week.
Despite slow but not cold weeks, Tyler Rahmatulla (.280 this week), Roberto De La Cruz (.276 this week), and Anthony Garcia (.250 this week) continue to lead the league in several categories.
2B/3B Tyler Rahmatulla (.322) is first in the league in doubles (27), tied for third in runs (47), fourth in OPS (0.964), fourth in slugging (.564), sixth in total bases (119), and tenth in OBP (.400).
|Roberto De La Cruz|
DH/3B Roberto De La Cruz (.274) hit three more home runs this week and is third in the league in home runs (16), fourth in total bases (123), fifth in slugging (.562), and sixth in RBIs (47).
LF Anthony Garcia (.309) is sixth in the league in OPS (.937), sixth in OBP (.407), ninth in slugging (.530), and tied for ninth in triples (4).
Who's Not Hot (Hitters)
3B/2B Neal Pritchard (.256) was 3-for-24 (.125) with three runs and five RBIs over six games this week.
3B/1B/DH Hector Garcia (.241) was 2-for-12 (.167) with three runs and two RBIs over three games this week.
Who's Hot (Pitchers)
Five pitchers either allowed no earned runs this week or had a WHIP of 1 or less over at least three innings pitched. In order of decreasing innings pitched, those pitchers were: Eduardo Hiraldo (0.83 WHIP), Kyle Hald (0.00 ERA and 0.50 WHIP), Ben Freeman (0.94 WHIP), Nick Gillung (0.80 WHIP), and Michael Santana (0.00 ERA and 0.82 WHIP).
Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)
Three pitchers posted ERAs of 5.4 or greater and/or WHIPs of 2 or greater this week: Jose Pasen (two losses and 6.96 ERA), Tyler Mills (8.11 ERA and 2.1 WHIP) and Tyrell Jenkins (5.40 ERA).
Week Eleven Schedule
The starters are my educated guesses. The team has not and will not announce the playoff starters. If both first round series end after two games, then the Championship series will start Friday night.
Game 66 (Sun): Freeman vs.
Game 67 (Mon): TBD/Bullpen vs.
Game 68 (Tue): Creath/Melling/Paulino vs.
1st Round (Wed): Jenkins @ Bluefield/Danville
1st Round (Thu): Hald vs. Bluefield/Danville
1st Round (Fri): Gillung vs. Bluefield/Danville (if necessary)
Champ. (Sat): Hiraldo vs. Elizabethton/Bluefield/Danville
Champ. (Sun): Pasen @ Elizabethton/Bluefield/Danville
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