Cardinals Winter Notebook 2: DR, PR, NIC, COL

Winter ball results from St. Louis Cardinals prospects competing in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Colombia this past week. Anthony Garcia is swinging a hot bat in Puerto Rico.

Dominican (Winter) League

Stats through November 10th.

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Record for the Period: 5-1, one postponement
Overall Record: 11-7
- Audry Perez (Memphis): Perez declared for Minor League free agency since the last report so our time tracking him is over.

Gigantes de Cibao -
Record for the Period: 3-3
Overall Record: 10-8
- Xavier Scruggs (Memphis): Scruggs is in the midst of a tough slump, mustering just three hits in his last 23 at bats over the last week. Two of his three hits went for extra bases, an RBI double and two-run home run that accounted for his three driven in for the period. Playing mainly first base, Scruggs managed just two walks while fanning seven times, batting clean-up exclusively. His only error came in his only start in left but the 27-year-old recovered for an assist at third to minimize the damage in what was a 5-4 win for Cibao. To date, Scruggs has a line of .288/.369/.534/.903, 21-for-73 in 19 games, all starts.

Puerto Rico League

Criollos de Caguas –
Record for the Period: 3-2, one postponement
Overall Record: 4-4
- Luis Mateo (Memphis): Mateo became a Minor League free agent since the last report.

- Justin Wright (Memphis): Wright relieved three times in Caguas’ five games, twice inheriting runners aboard. He pitched a clean eighth on Thursday, working around a lead-off walk and wild pitch to maintain his team’s 3-1 advantage via a swinging K and two groundouts. On the 9th, the southpaw retired four of five faced, keeping the Criollos’ deficit to a single tally. Wright replaced San Francisco right-hander Rayan Hernandez with a runner on second, two outs and again walked his first batter faced. He fanned the next batter swinging. - Wright was on a very short leash on Monday, facing one batter with Caguas down 3-2. He gave up a single that moved an inherited runner to second and was immediately yanked. Both runners subsequently scored. Wright has tossed five innings in five appearances, giving up on run on one hit and two free passes while striking out six.

Gigantes de Carolina –
Record for the Period: 3-2, one postponement
Overall Record: 5-3
- Juan Caballero (Johnson City): Caballero made his 2014 Puerto Rican League debut in a November 6th start, a game which Carolina won 5-4 in 11. The righty had a good showing, holding Santurce to three hits through four. Caballero escaped a one-out triple in the first with one of his two strikeouts on the day. After retiring nine straight, he allowed a one-out single to fellow St. Louis farmhand Jonathan Rodriguez who was then caught stealing. Another single ensued but Caballero got the force at second to finish his outing.

- Anthony Garcia (Palm Beach): Carolina’s clean-up batter continues to swing a hot bat this week, going 7-for-20 with two doubles, a triple and one bomb that produced four runs scored and seven knocked in. Garcia worked four free passes, raising his on-base percentage to .486, tops in the league. The right fielder fanned five times. Garcia has a cumulative line of .345/.486/.690/1.176, 10-for-29 in eight games with a .400 BABIP and .310 ISO.

Cangrejeros de Santurce –
Record for the Period: 2-2, two postponements
Overall Record: 4-2
- Jonathan Rodriguez (Memphis): After going hitless in his first six at bats, the third baseman went 3-for-14 this week with three base-on-balls, touched home once and drove in two. Rodriguez fanned six times, giving him nine K’s overall, an average of once every 2.2 at bats. Defensively, he committed a fielding error that did not end up costing his team. Rodriguez’ line: .150/.320/.150/.470, 3-for-20 in six games, all starts.

Nicaraguan League

Indios del Boer -
Record for the Period: 2-3
Overall Record: 7-6
- Jhonny Polanco (Peoria): It was not a good week for Polanco, who allowed the opposition to score in each of his three appearances. The righty got the save on the 4th despite giving up a run on a hit and walk. On Saturday, he pitched the eighth with his team down 7-5 and yielded another tally on two hits and an intentional free pass. The next day, Polanco had his worst outing, retiring just one batter while allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. Overall, he has surrendered seven runs on eight hits and four walks, one intentional, while fanning seven in 6 1/3. Polanco has a 9.95 ERA, 3.83 FIP with a 1.90 WHIP.

Columbian League

The four-team Columbian League got underway on November 7th and the regular season finishes on January 7th with the play-offs following. An All-Star Game will take place on December 13th.

Peoria outfielder Ronald Castillo is playing for Toros (Bulls) de Sincelejo instead of in the Dominican Winter League as was earlier indicated. The Toros, which are 2-1 so far, are managed by Neder Horta, who was previously a coach and manager for the Cardinals in the Venezuelan, Dominican and Gulf Coast Leagues.

Pitcher Jonathan Escudero (Johnson City) is competing for Las Caimanes de Barranquilla and took a loss on Sunday after yielding all 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief against the Toros.

Specifics are still a bit sketchy at this point and more detail will be provided as available.

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