Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 2

The Florida State League Cardinals scored only two runs total in four games, but broke out in the fifth.

The Palm Beach Cardinals' offensive troubles hit a season low, as the club was shut out twice last week. In two other games, they were held to one run before they exploded for nine runs in the finale. While last week was not good for the Cardinals, it is the continuation of a trend, as they are last in runs scored (36) in the Florida State League.

However, it was not all bad as Seth Maness and Chris Edmondson contributed to the lone win in the past week. Maness continued his dominance on the mound as he tossed six innings of one-run ball, while Edmondson exploded for a three-hit night, including a home run, to salvage an otherwise disappointing week for the Beach Birds.

Friday April 13th: St. Lucie Mets 2 at Palm Beach Cardinals 0
For the second time in the young season, the Cardinals were shut out 2-0. Sitting one game back of the St. Lucie Mets, the Beach Birds looked primed to get in the thick of the Southern Division race, but Chase Hutchingson had another thing in mind. The Mets' left-hander shut down the Cardinals lineup for the tune of zero runs on three hits over six innings. The bullpen then added three scoreless frames. The Mets' dominant performance overshadowed the Cardinals staff, as they threw nine innings of two-run baseball, while striking out a season-high 15 batters. Carlos Martinez led the way with six one-run innings and eight Ks.

Saturday April 14th: St. Lucie Mets 2 at Palm Beach Cardinals 1
The Cardinals shook off the shut out with back-to-back-to-back singles to open the game on Saturday night; however, they could only score one run, which came on a sacrifice fly by Edmondson. The lack of production in the first came back to haunt the Cardinals as they could not score the rest of the game. In fact, the Cardinals put only one runner in scoring position and had just three hits the rest of the way.

Sunday April 15th: Bradenton Marauders 10, Palm Beach Cardinals 1
The Cardinals hit the road for the first time in the 2012 campaign and were greeted rudely, as the Marauders beat down the Cardinals 10-1. After two scoreless frames, starting pitcher Anthony Ferrara ran into trouble in the third, as he gave up five earned runs. Ferrara, who had control issues in his first start, saw much of the same on Sunday night as he walked three hitters in the third inning and four in the game. Carlos Paulino delivered the big blow as he smacked a three-run homerun over the left field wall as the Marauders scored a season high 10 runs and collected a season-high 11 hits. For the Cardinals, starting shortstop Ronny Gil broke out of his offensive funk, as he went 3-for-4 at the plate despite making two errors in the field.

Monday April 16th: Bradenton Marauders 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 0
The Cardinals offensive woes reached a season-low, as they were shut out for the third time this season. Through 11 games, the Cardinals were held scoreless three times. Last season the Cardinals were not shut out for the third time until May 6th. Despite the loss, starting pitcher Drew Benes looked good, tossing five innings of three-run ball, while striking out four. Left-hander reliever Iden Nazario was even more impressive, as he went two innings of relief, striking out three. Offensively, Mike O'Neill continued his hot hitting, as his 3-for-4 performance extended his hitting streak to nine games.

Tuesday April 17th: Palm Beach Cardinals 9 at Bradenton 6
In need a victory, the Cardinals handed the ball to their ace Seth Maness. The right-hander out of Pinehurst, NC, baffled hitters for six-innings of one-run baseball to collect his second victory of the season. Thus far this season, Maness has given up two earned runs, both solo home runs, while he has yet to hand out a free pass - zero walks. Offensively, the Beach Birds erupted for a season-high 12 hits. Nick Longmire broke out of a 0-for-16 rut with a 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, 3 stolen base performance. He was joined by Edmondson who went 3-for-5 with home run and 3 RBI, while Jonathan Rodriguez added three hits, too.

Wednesday April 18th: Palm Beach Cardinals Day-Off

Consistent Edmondson
Chris Edmondson is putting together quite a fine start to the 2012 season. After being placed in the four-hole by manager Johnny Rodriguez, the outfielder has found his groove. Edmondson has connected for 11 of his 12 hits from the clean-up spot in the lineup.

In Safe Hands with Maness
Despite only making seven starts in 2011, Seth Maness has taken Palm Beach by storm. In three starts, the right-hander has given up a total of just two earned runs in 20 innings. His speedy delivery has stifled hitters for the tune of 18 hits, while collecting 14 strikeouts.

Fleet Footed Beach Birds
The Cardinals have been a nuisance on the base paths, as they have stolen 13 bases in 16 attempts. Nick Longmire leads the squad with three in three tries. Last season, the Cardinals tallied 93 bags in 138 games.

Nothing on Nazario
Cardinals left-hander Iden Nazario has yet to give up a run in four appearances. His 0.00 leads all Palm Beach relievers, while his .083 average against left-handers is among the FSL's best.

O'Neill Rakes
Mike O'Neill began the 2012 season with a 0-for-4 showing, but since then the lefty has put together a ten-game hitting streak. His .326 batting average leads the team.

Gil Misplays
Shortstop Ronny Gil has had his troubles from the middle of the diamond. In nine games, Gil has committed seven errors. That leads the league.

Lowly Offense Equals Poor Results
The Palm Beach offense has been shut out three times this season. They are dead last in Florida State League in runs scored with 36.

4/14/2012 C Luis De La Cruz added from Triple-A Memphis
4/14/2012 C Casey Rasmus sent down to Extended Spring Training
4/14/2012 OF Michael Swinson placed on the disabled list
4/15/2012 OF Kyle Conley activated from Double-A Springfield DL

Luis De La Cruz returns after a brief injury replacement stint with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. He will resume his duties as the starting catcher, while Kyle Conley will step in for Swinson as a starting outfielder. Both players spent a majority of the 2011 season with the Beach Birds.

On the Horizon
The Cardinals will face the St. Lucie Mets for a three-game set at Digital Domain Park in St. Lucie, Fla., April 19th-21st, before returning to the ‘Dean' to welcome the Charlotte Stone Crabs on April 22nd through April 24th. On the 25th, the Cardinals hit the road to take on the Fort Myers Miracle.

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