Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 09/03/11

The Cardinals system went 6-1 on Friday as Shelby Miller and Eduardo Hiraldo both pitched gems. Our writer reports from Springfield's contest.

Results from games played Friday, September 2.


Memphis 7, Nashville 5


Andrew Brown hit a solo home run in the fifth (his 20th) and finished 2-for-4.


Tony Cruz also went 2-for-4 but had a double instead of a home run.


Matt Carpenter hit a three-run shot, which was the first of back-to-back homers in the fifth before Brown.


Adron Chambers hit ninth in the order and went 1-for-3 with a double.


Tyler Greene went 1-for-4 in the leadoff spot with a walk.  Expect him to receive a lot of playing time in St. Louis for the rest of the season.


Nick Punto continued his rehab and walked twice.  He also had a single.


Mark Hamilton walked twice, despite going hitless in two at-bats.


Mike Blazek was both wild and ineffective as he walked five and gave up four runs off four hits and just one strikeout in six innings.

Rich Rundles picked up the save with a perfect ninth inning.


Springfield 3 at Tulsa 0


Chris Swauger went 2-for-4 with a double as he was the only hitter between the two teams to get more than one hit.


Donovan Solano also had a double, but it was his sole hit.


Jose Garcia walked once in the leadoff spot, but he went hitless in three attempts.


Jim Rapoport had a single in three at-bats.


Shelby Miller was incredibly dominant and had his best start in two months.  He struck out nine over eight innings of shutout baseball.  He gave up just two hits and two walks.  In the small window that I was able to watch him pitch, he held his velocity (93-96 mph fastball) into the sixth and seventh inning and got several hitters to chase on his curveball.  If tonight is any indication, he's started to develop a much better feel for his secondary pitches.


Reliever-turned-starter-recently turned-reliever, Jordan Swagerty, pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his third save for Springfield.  Swagerty has started to gain more national attention over fellow college and Cardinals teammate, Seth Blair.  Expect him to begin next season in the starting rotation.


Palm Beach 2, St. Lucie 0


Luis De La Cruz started behind the plate and was the only Cardinals batter to record more than one hit as he finished 2-for-3 with a double.


Domnit Bolivar also had a double and went 1-for-3 with a walk.


Adam Melker stole his 10th base, despite going hitless in three attempts.


Edgar Lara walked once and had a single in two at-bats.


Arquimedes Nieto shut down the opposition in six innings of well-pitched baseball.  He struck out six, and gave up just two hits and three walks. He helped to limit the damage after 10 of his 13 outs were on the ground.


Jesse Simpson earned his second save for Palm Beach after he threw 1.2 perfect innings.


Quad Cities 4, Clinton 1


The Bandits won the Midwest League Western Division second half crown after making the playoffs by finishing second in the first half.


Our favorite second baseman, Kolten Wong, went 1-for-3 in the leadoff spot.  He stole two bases on the night, his eighth and ninth on the season.  He has a .933 OPS in a (still small) sample size of 186 at-bats.  If you drop down the qualifier to 180 at-bats in the Midwest League, Wong leads all second baseman in OPS, wOBA, and wRC+.  I think all questions about his bat translating from college ball can rest for the off-season.


Jonathan Rodriguez hit in the cleanup spot and went 2-for-3, both singles.  He also walked once.


Nick Longmire went 1-for-3 with a walk.  He's finishing a disappointing sophomore campaign in the minors.  He'll need to improve his patience and strikeout rate next season if he wants to jump back into view in the farm system.


Geoff Klein also went 1-for-3 with a walk.


Colin Walsh hit ninth and acted as a second leadoff hitter as he went 2-for-3 with a double.


Chris Edmondson had two singles in four plate appearances.


Anthony Ferrara was very wild with five walks in six innings, but he limited the damage to one run off four hits and three strikeouts.


Batavia 4 at Auburn 2 (7 innings - game one)


David Medina hit a solo-shot in the second and finished 2-for-3.


Reggie Williams also went 2-for-3 in the DH spot, but both were singles.


Nick Martini and Jeremy Patton both had a triple as their sole hit.


Garrett Wittels walked once but went hitless in two attempts.


Ryan Sherriff gave up just two runs off five hits in 5.2 innings.  He struck out two and didn't allow a walk, but he hit a batter.  Nine of his 12 outs recorded in the field came via the groundball.


Auburn 2, Batavia 1 (8 innings - game two)


Romulo Ruiz was the only Batavia batter to record more than two hits or an extra-base hit as he finished 2-for-4 with a double.


Philip Cerreto, Virgil Hill, and Kevin Moscatel all went 1-for-3.


Garrett Wittels, Kevin Moscatel, and Jeremy Patton each committed an error.


Jonathan Cornelius threw both a short and impressive game.  He struck out a dominating six batters over 3.1 innings and gave up just a single.  He neither allowed a run nor a walk.


Sean Watson relieved Cornelius to the tune of two shutout innings and three strikeouts.  He gave up one hit and didn't walk a batter.


Johnson City 10, Danville 1


The Cardinals moved on to the Appalachian League finals with this elimination game win.


Tyler Rahmatulla hit third and went 2-for-5 with a double.  Age appropriate for the Appalachian League, Rahmatulla ranks third (tied with teammate Anthony Garcia) in slugging percentage for all batters who qualify with at least 200 at-bats in the Appalachian League.  For the bigger stat geeks out there, he also ranks top five in both wOBA and wRC+.  As a second baseman, Rahmatulla is one young batter to keep an eye on next season.


Roberto De La Cruz went 1-for-4 with a double.  After slugging .542 during the regular season, De La Cruz has started to flash the power that was projected when he was signed as an international free agent.  However, his walk percentage of 2.9% is going to have to improve in a big way.  As a 19-year old, he has time to develop the patience needed.


David Washington and Steven Ramos both went 2-for-4, all singles.


Breyvic Valera led off and did an excellent job at that with a double, two singles, and a stolen base in five plate appearances.


Jonathan Keener started behind the plate and finished 2-for-3 with a triple and walk.


Eduardo Hiraldo hurled 7.2 innings of one-run ball.  He gave up just four hits (one homer), two walks, and struck out four.  He recorded eleven groundouts compared to five in the air.


Saturday's probables


Memphis vs. Nashville @ 7:05 P.M. – Adam Ottavino

Springfield vs. Arkansas @ 7:07 P.M. – John Gast

Palm Beach at St. Lucie @ 4:00 P.M. – Tyler Lyons

Quad Cities at Peoria @ 6:30 P.M. – Ryan Copeland

Batavia vs. Auburn @ 7:05 P.M. – Corey Baker

Johnson City vs. Bluefield (finals game one) @ 7:00 P.M. - Jose Pasen



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