I will share more as I learn more.
|EST Red||EST White||Others|
|Stock||De Los Santos||B Freeman|
|L Cruz||J Gomez|
|IF||Caldwell||R Garcia||E Sosa|
|* visa issue|
I spoke with Robert Stock for awhile. He says he is healthy, but I will not be able to see him throw. The right-hander is on an every-Monday schedule that allows him to stretch out more. Stock joked that I should write a story about the role of the pitcher including so much waiting to pitch. I contrasted that to his former role as a catcher. I will be talking with pitching coordinator Brent Strom about Stock and others.
Another older pitcher in camp is former Navy hurler Mitch Harris, who is progressing, though not as fast as some might have hoped.
The Cardinals continue their English classes for their Hispanic players, with a change for 2013. Sandra Gomez, the instructor whose session with Carlos Martinez, Starlin Rodriguez and Ronny Gil I joined last May, is now teaching all the EST players as well. They have regular sessions at the team hotel late afternoons/early evenings.
The Cardinals are in a transition period in the Dominican. They are looking to move to a permanent new facility, but for 2013 will be sharing a complex with the Nationals at Las Americas.
I had a brief and pleasurable chat with Buddy Bates about the Cards old home, Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg. The longtime Cardinals equipment manager is now in semi-retirement, but still looks trim and fit as he helps out with the Jupiter activities.
Palm Beach notes
I will have a full report from manager Johnny Rodriguez later, but here are some miscellaneous notes from Tuesday.
Scott Gorgen is not completely pleased with his numbers from his last two Palm Beach starts, but is working on a new pitch. His cutter is in the 84-86 MPH range to go with his low-90's fastball. The right-hander is looking for an additional edge as his mid-90's heater days are past and new pitchers are joining the system each June. At 26, Gorgen is the oldest player on the Palm Beach roster.
The Cardinals bats were weak Tuesday night. In the field, I was disappointed by Stephen Piscotty in right. He made a throw home that was quite a ways up the third base line.
Sitting among the scouts in attendance were Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator Brent Strom and international operations assistant Luis Morales, known to all as "Lu-Mo". That initially took me some getting used to due to its similarity to "Luhnow".
Starter Travis Miller was really struggling but battled through three innings of two-run ball. The damage would have been far worse except for a pair of double plays that got him out of the first and third innings.
I had been looking forward to seeing reliever Lee Stoppelman pitch, but the lefty just didn't have any control whatsoever. He was pulled after 1/3 of an inning after walking two and giving up two hits. His fastball was just 87-88.
Red game action
The Mets 1 and 2 teams were the opponents for the noon Wednesday games held on Fields 1 and 2 at the Cardinals complex.
Oliver Marmol's Red squad had a very well-played 10-inning 2-1 win in about two hours 20 minutes. The teams both scored in the first and the Cards plated their second run in the bottom of the eighth. Jem Argenal doubled leading off and scored on a Kenny Peoples-Walls single into the left-field corner for the eventual game-winner.
Five pitchers carried the load for the Red. Brad Watson, coming back from a shoulder injury, went the first five innings, giving up just the one run on four hits. Steven Gallardo, another pitcher on the rehab list earlier, went two scoreless on one hit. Josh Renfro, Thomas Lee and Anderson Gerdel added a scoreless frame each.
I believe it was in the fourth that the Red had a good opportunity to get more. Luis Perez had a long blast to deepest center that the outfielder made a running catch into the fence to bring in. Steven Ramos, who had been on first base, drew a number of throws over. He moved to third on a Luis Cruz single, but the threat ended when Cruz was nabbed trying to take second base after the throw from the outfield went into third.
White game action
Manager Steve Turco's White team lost control of a close game in the sixth due to four errors and some shaky pitching, losing 8-5. However, the game ended with the tying run at the plate.
I was most anxious to see Alex Reyes, the White starter. Slated to go four innings, the much-celebrated new signee ended up issuing 65 pitches and exited after 3 1/3 frames. The right-hander threw 94-95 mph with seemingly little effort. He yielded three runs on three hits and two walks, but...
Two of Reyes' runners were still on base when Stalyn Lopez came on. But an RBI single off Lopez allowed both runs in. The left-hander went 1 2/3 frames total with no runs charged to him.
In the fourth, a Garcia double into right-field corner scored Leobaldo Pina and an Amauris Capellan sac fly had briefly brought the Red to within 3-2.
The game got away in the sixth as sloppy fielding and rough pitching led to the Mets pushing their run total to eight. Javier Machuca couldn't find the plate, with everything seemingly low and inside to right-handed hitters. With a couple of runs in and the bases loaded, he was taken out after just 1/3 of an inning.
Colombian Jonathan Escudero inherited the bases-loaded jam and induced a dribbler in front of the plate. Catcher Steve Bean alertly threw to third to get one runner and accepted the throw back to tag the runner from third trying to score. Unfortunately, instead of the inning ending there, Bean did not hold onto the ball. As the runner scored, Bean picked up the baseball, but fired widely to first as another tally crossed the plate, allowing the Mets offense to continue.
Hector Salazar tossed the seventh and eighth on one hit with Ismael Brito taking the ninth. Brito did not throw hard, but had good movement on his pitches and had an especially sharp curve on this day.
The White team fought back with a single run in the eighth as the Mets threw the ball around a bit, too. In the ninth, Rafael Medina made things interesting with an RBI triple. He came home on the overthrow, closing the score to 8-5. With two runners on, Leobaldo Pina, the potential tying run, took called strike three to end the contest.
In fairness, the Mets manager made a pitching change with two outs to bring in a Double-A pitcher. With the regular season closing in, an umpire watching the game observed the managers are managing more that way.
Lineups and pitcher velocities
|Lee||85-87 w/sink||78 offspeed|
|Gerdel||88, 73 CB||Escudero||88-89|
Link to earlier report
Cards extended spring camp report: 05/14/13
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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