Cardinals Winter Notebook 5: 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 continues to hit well in Puerto Rico.

Stats through December 1st.

Dominican (Winter) League

Aguilas Cibaenas -
Record for the Period: 5-0
Overall Record: 21-13
Standing: Tied for first with Estrellas

Aguilas’ current five-game winning streak followed a four-game losing skid and propelled them into a first-place tie with Estrellas Orientales, three games ahead of the Toros del Este.

- Carlos Martinez (St. Louis): St. Louis’ talented right-hander debuted for Aguilas on November 30th, a game that marked the team’s return to their home stadium after a fire forced their departure 12 days prior. The 23-year-old displayed some rust in the first, surrendering a single-double-single combination with one out that plated two runners. Martinez alertly threw to second on the third hit, nailing the trail runner trying to stretch his single into a double for the second out. He finished the inning by catching the batter looking at strike three. Martinez retired his final eight batters faced, recording four strikeouts (three looking), three ground- and one fly-ball out. According to, his winter ball stint is being restricted by the Cardinals to 25 innings.

Gigantes de Cibao -
Record for the Period: 2-3, one postponed
Overall Record: 17-16
Standing: Fourth, 3 1/2 games behind Aguilas and Estrellas

Cibao’s losing record for the period dropped them another half-game out of first, leaving them still in fourth.

- Xavier Scruggs (Memphis): As the Dominican Winter League season gets underway for one Cardinals’ player, it ends for another. Xavier Scruggs completed his contract with Cibao after the game on November 30th, finishing his season there. Scruggs went out on an offensive upswing, going 4-for-10 in three starts at first with two doubles, two walks, a run scored and three knocked in. His line of .400/.500/.600/1.100 raised his overall numbers to .257/.352/.476/.829, 27-for-105 in 28 games with eight doubles, five home runs, 14 free passes, 28 strikeouts and a .301 BABIP.

Puerto Rico League

Criollos de Caguas –
Record for the Period: 5-1
Overall Record: 15-8

Standing: First, a game in front of Mayaguez

Caguas’ showing moved them from a half game behind Mayaguez to a game up on them as the Criollos took possessing of first in the standings.

- Justin Wright (Memphis): After sitting for nine days, Wright was thrown right into the fire on the 25th, given the task of holding a 3-3 tie in the home half of the 10th. The lefty’s lack of use was apparent as he retired only one of four batters faced. Wright loaded the bases on two singles and a base-on-balls, all with one out, but was bailed out when his successor induced a double play. Four days later Wright was given another very tough task, entering the seventh with his squad up 3-1 and a runner at third with one out. Despite retiring both batters faced, the runner scored on a ground out. He had mixed results on Monday, first escaping an inherited bases-loaded jam by tossing a 4-6-3 double play ball, maintaining Criollos’ 7-4 lead. Wright fanned his first batter in the eighth before surrendering a solo shot and double that finished his day. That was the first home run allowed so far. Overall, his 10 relief efforts cover 8 2/3 frames with eight hits and four walks resulting in five runs. He has fanned eight and has a 5.19 ERA, 4.24 FIP, 1.38 WHIP, .242 BAA and .292 BABIP.

Gigantes de Carolina –
Record for the Period: 1-5
Overall Record: 9-12
Standing: Fourth, five in back of Caguas

Carolina is in the midst of a five-game losing streak that has dropped them from third to fourth and another 3 ½ games out of first.

- Juan Caballero (Johnson City): Caballero provided long relief on the 26th when Carolina’s starter was chased after recording just five outs. The right-hander gave up a run-scoring single to the first batter faced before retiring five straight. A free pass and double ended that string, putting two in scoring position. It appeared that Caballero might escape the jam after recording a line out but he wild pitched a run in then fanned one looking. Caballero has now pitched 10 innings in four games, one start, yielding three runs, two earned, on nine hits and three free passes with 11 strikeouts for a 1.80 ERA, 2.20 FIP, 1.20 WHIP and .346 BABIP. The opposition is batting .250 against him.

- Anthony Garcia (Palm Beach): The Gigantes’ current slide cannot be attributed to their clean-up hitter’s performance as Garcia had a very strong week in six starts. Carolina’s right fielder went 7-for-21 with two doubles, two bombs, three walks and four strikeouts, .333/.417/.714/1.131 with a .333 BABIP. He touched home five times and drove in three. Garcia has a cumulative line of .297/.404/.608/1.013, 22-for-74 in 22 games with six doubles, a triple and five home runs. Garcia has worked 12 free passes versus 15 strikeouts and has a .309 BABIP and .297 ISO.

Cangrejeros de Santurce –
Record for the Period: 2-3
Overall Record: 10-11
Standing: Third, Four behind Caguas

Santurce’s results moved them from fourth to third but that was more because of Carolina’s horrid record than their own positive one.

- Jonathan Rodriguez (Memphis): In a tale of contrasting performances by a team’s clean-up hitter, Rodriguez compiled a sorry 1-for-10 effort in four games, three as the starting first baseman and number four bat. He worked two free passes, fanning four times for a line of .100/.250/.100/.350. One of his strikeouts was as a pinch hitter. Rodriguez’ overall line: .154/.286/.200/.486, 10-for-65 in 20 games, 19l starts with three triples, 11 walks, four runs scored and five knocked in. He has fanned 23 times and stole one base in three tries.

Nicaraguan League

Indios del Boer -
Record for the Period: 3-1, one cancelled
Overall Record: 12-7
Standing: First, a half game up on the Tigres

After a nearly two week hiatus, the Nicaraguan League resumed play on the 25th but Boer’s game that day was cancelled due to inclement weather. Their subsequent performance moved them a half-game ahead of the Tigres with whom they were tied going into the break.

- Jhonny Polanco (Peoria): Polanco’s only appearance was on the 26th when he tossed the ninth inning of a 6-2 Boer victory. The righty worked around two walks, striking out one, for a scoreless frame. Overall, Polanco has tossed 7 1/3 innings over eight games, permitting seven runs on eight hits and six walks, two intentional, while fanning eight and garnering four saves. Polanco has a 8.59 ERA, 4.29 FIP with a .400 BABIP. The opposition is batting .286 off him.

Colombian League

The league runs from November 7th through January 7, 2015 with a postseason following through January 25th. It is comprised of four teams and has a Home Run Derby scheduled for December 12th with the league’s All-Star Game the next day.

You may remember the last notebook mentioned the data out of Colombia was sketchy, at best. Well, the current numbers available for both Castillo and Escudero are lower than previously recorded in some interesting areas. Castillo has two fewer at bats and Escudero has recorded two fewer outs.

Toros de Sincelejo –
Record for the Period: 3-3
Overall Record: 10-7
Standing: Second, a half-game behind Caimanes

Toros played .500 ball in their most recent six games, resulting in a game’s change in the standings and a slide from first to second.

Ronald Castillo (Peoria): Castillo has singled three times in 21 at bats with three walks, two runs scored and four RBIs. The 22-year-old has struck out five times and is one-for-one in stolen base attempts. Castillo has committed a fielding error. His line: .143/.250/.143/.383.

Caimanes de Barranquilla –
Record for the Period: 4-2
Overall Record: 11-7
Standing: First, a half-game ahead of Toros

Jonathan Escudero (Johnson City): The right-hander has given up five runs, two earned on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 frames. Escudero has fanned three and has a 5.41 ERA, 3.20 FIP, 1.50 WHIP, .200 BAA and .250 BABIP.

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