Cardinals Winter Notebook 3: 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. Johnson City’s Juan Caballero is pitching well in Puerto Rico.

Stats through November 17th.

Dominican (Winter) League

Gigantes de Cibao -
Record for the Period: 1-4
Overall Record: 12-12
Standing: Fourth, two games behind Aguilas
- Xavier Scruggs (Memphis): Scruggs’ horrid slump continues with him going 5-for-37 in his last 10 games with 14 strikeouts and just five walks, .135/.256/.324/.580. After going 1-for-7 as the clean-up hitter on the 12th and 13th, he was dropped to fifth on Friday where he responded with a 1-for-3 performance, scoring three times. Back to clean-up on Saturday and back to an 0-fer day at the plate. Scruggs sat on Sunday. That drops his cumulative numbers to .265/.363/.506/.868 in 87 at bats with 27 strikeouts, 12 free passes and a .321 BABIP. Scruggs is striking out an average of once every 3.2 at bats.

Puerto Rico League

Criollos de Caguas –
Record for the Period: 2-2
Overall Record: 6-6
Standing: Fourth, two in back of Santurce
- Justin Wright (Memphis): Wright made two appearances this week with mixed results. He tossed a clean eighth on Friday, maintaining his team’s 4-2 advantage despite issuing a free pass in an eventual win. The eighth was not nearly as productive on Sunday when the lefty was charged with his first blown save although Caguas did pull out the victory in 10. Wright permitted a ground-rule double plus two singles in just 2/3 of an inning, departing with a run already across and two in scoring position. His successor allowed both to score, knotting the game at six all. Although that was his first truly bad outing in seven games, it is the second time in his last three appearances the 25-year-old has been scored upon. Wright’s seven relief efforts cover 6 2/3 frames with four hits and three walks resulting in four runs. He has fanned six and has a 5.40 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 1.05 WHIP and .222 BABIP. Runners are hitting just .167 off him.

Gigantes de Carolina –
Record for the Period: 2-3
Overall Record: 7-6
Standing: Tied for second with Mayaguez, 1 ½ back
- Juan Caballero (Johnson City): Caballero followed up his November 6th start with a three-frame relief effort on the 11th, entering with a runner on first and none out in the fifth. The righty maneuvered around a single and sac bunt, stranding the inherited runner via two strikeouts. He was dinged for an unearned tally the next frame after hitting the lead-off batter then committing a two-base throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt followed by a sac fly. Two more swinging K’s finished off the inning. Caballero worked around a two-out single plus base-on-balls with yet his sixth strikeout of the day. He has now pitched seven innings in two games, giving up five hits and a free pass for a 0.86 WHIP, 1.77 FIP and .313 BABIP.

- Anthony Garcia (Palm Beach): Carolina’s clean-up batter cooled off a tad this week, garnering four hits in four starts in right. Two of those hits went for extra bases, a double and home run in 15 at bats for a line of .267/.368/.533/.902. Garcia worked a pinch-hit free pass before taking over in center in his team’s other game, giving him nine walks versus nine strikeouts in 56 plate appearances, an average of once every six plus. A fielding error on Saturday was his second to date. He has a cumulative line of .318/.446/.636/1.083, 14-for-44 in 13 games with a .333 BABIP and .295 ISO.

Cangrejeros de Santurce –
Record for the Period: 4-2
Overall Record: 8-4
Standing: First
- Jonathan Rodriguez (Memphis): Rodriguez had his best offensive week so far, going 6-for-23 in six starts with three doubles, a base-on-balls, six runs scored and three knocked in: .261/.292/.391/.683. The 25-year-old remained in the clean-up spot, acting as the designated hitter three times and splitting the remaining three starts between third and first. Rodriguez struck out six more times which actually raised his average from once every 2.2 to once every 2.8 at bats. Rodriguez’ overall line: .209/.320/.279/.599, 9-for-43 in 12 games, all starts.

Nicaraguan League

Indios del Boer -
Record for the Period: 2-0
Overall Record: 9-6
Standing: Tied for first with the Tigres, a game in front of the Gigantes
- Jhonny Polanco (Peoria): The Nicaraguan League is in the midst of a 10-day siesta with play set to resume on November 22nd. Polanco did not pitch in either of Boer’s final two games before going into the break. Overall, the 22-year-old has tossed 6 1/3 innings over seven games, permitting seven runs on eight hits and four walks, two intentional, while fanning seven and garnering four saves. Polanco has a 9.95 ERA, 3.83 FIP with a .571 BABIP. The opposition is batting .381 off him.

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