Cards Winter League Notebook 5: AFL, DR, MEX

Winter ball news from Cardinals prospects playing in Arizona, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Trey Nielsen is suiting up for Team Italy in the WBSC Premier12 tournament to be held in China this month.

Stats are through November 3rd.

Arizona Fall League

The Surprise Saguaros won only one of six contests since the last report but maintained their one-game lead in the West because Glendale (CHW, Hou, LAD, PHI, PIT) was equally as bad.

The Pitchers

Dean Kiekhefer (Memphis): Kiekhefer was truly dreadful on the 28th, absorbing both his first blown save and first loss. The lefty entered the eighth with three runs already across and his team clinging to an 8-6 lead. He could not get the final out of the frame before giving up a two-run double that scored both inherited runners. Kiekhefer served up a three-run bomb in the ninth that proved to be the difference in the game. On the 31st he bounced back, retiring all six batters faced, fanning two.

Kiekhefer, who has yet to issue a free pass to any of the 36 batters faced so far, has not permitted a hit to a lefty batter – four innings – but righties are batting .333 against him – 5 1/3 frames. His cumulative line: 1-1, 5 G, 1 S, 3.86 ERA, 3.31 FIP, 0.86 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R/ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 6 SO, .222 BAA, .241 BABIP

Alex Reyes (Springfield): Reyes started the contest that Kiekhefer blew on the 28th, blanking the opposition through four despite allowing four hits and three walks. He fanned three. Reyes followed that up with a poor outing on Tuesday in which he was charged with his first loss. The New Jersey native walked more (three) than he struck out (two), allowing five runs on five hits in just 3 1/3. Reyes’ next start will be in Saturday’s Fall Stars Game.

For the season, Reyes has issued 10 free passes in 15 innings, an average of 8.4 walks for every nine innings pitched. He continues to garner attention and win praise for his pure stuff and potential. His season-to-date numbers: 0-1, 4 G/GS, 3.60 ERA, 6.13 FIP, 1.60 WHIP, 15 IP, 14 H, 6 R/ER, 10 BB, 14 SO, .333 BAA, .500 BABIP

Robby Rowland (Springfield): Rowland tossed a clean frame on Tuesday, issuing a base-on-balls and striking out two, in his only appearance this week.

Overall, the righty has tossed five innings in five relief efforts, striking out six and walking two. All four runs permitted by him came via a grand slam in his only sub-par outing on the 22nd. Rowland has yielded seven hits, including the one long ball, and has two saves. His line: 0-0, 2 SV, 5 G, 0 GS, 7.20 ERA, 8.20 FIP, 1.80 WHIP, 5 IP, 2 BB, 6 SO, .500 BAA, .857 BABIP

Luke Weaver (Palm Beach): Weaver relieved on Halloween, his shortest and least effective outing of the fall campaign. The right-hander faced the minimum in the fifth, Salt River’s nine, one and two batters, but surrendered a lead-off bomb plus a walk, and two singles accounting for another score. Weaver fanned two, giving him 12 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.

He is scheduled to make his first start on Friday, November 6th against division rival Peoria. His line to date: 1-0, 4 G, 0 GS, 2.61 ERA, 6.49 FIP, 0.77 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 HB, 3 BB. 12 SO, .192 BAA, .308 BABIP

The Hitters

Aledmys Diaz (Memphis): Diaz accumulated just two hits in 11 at bats over three starts this week. Both of those hits went for extras – a triple and two-run home run. He committed a throwing error, his third miscue overall. One positive is Diaz has five walks to only three strikeouts, an average of one strikeout every 11.7 at bats. Cumulative line: 229/.325/.514/.839, 8-for-35, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 BB, 3 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 3 E, .200 BABIP in 11 games, 10 starts

Michael Ohlman (Springfield): Ohlman caught in his two games this week, going 1-for-7 with three strikeouts. Cumulative line: .200/.292/.350/.642, 4-for-20, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 SO, 4 RBI, 0 E, .231 BABIP in six games

Charlie Tilson (Springfield): Tilson started three times, once in left and twice in center, managing just two hits in 11 at bats with three bases-on-balls, a run scored and an RBI. He whiffed three times and swiped two bags. Cumulative line: .250/.379/.333/.713, 6-for-24, 2 2B, 5 BB, 6 SO, 6 R, 3 RBI, 3 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .333 BABIP, in six starts

Patrick Wisdom (Springfield): Wisdom started twice at third and twice at first for the week, going 3-for-15 with a double, two home runs, two runs scored, three RBI and three strikeouts. Cumulative line: .229/.245/.479/.724, 11-for-48, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 9 SO, 8 R, 9 RBI, 0 SB, 1 CS, 2 E, .243 BABIP, in 13 games, 12 starts

Dominican (Winter) League

Six-team league
Season runs from October 15th through December 21st

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Weekly Record: 3-2
Cumulative Record: 5-9
Standing: Tied for fifth, 4 ½ back

Robelys Reyes (Palm Beach): Reyes, who is hitless in 10 at bats, saw his time dwindle to zero at bats for the period. He subbed into one game, playing an inning at short, and pinch ran in another contest.

Estrellas de Oriente –
Weekly Record: 3-1
Cumulative Record: 9-4
Standing: First, one game up

Alberto Rosario (Springfield): Rosario started once, going hitless in two at bats before being replaced at the plate. He appeared late in two more games, first taking over in the eighth inning on Wednesday and scoring the winning run in extras after reaching on a hit-by-pitch and lastly going behind the plate in the ninth inning of an eventual 4-3 win. Overall he has a line of .231/.286/.231/.516, 3-for-13 in nine games with two runs scored and two strikeouts. Rosario was unsuccessful in his only stolen base attempt and has committed one error.

Gigantes del Cibao -
Weekly Record: 3-3
Cumulative Record: 6-9
Standing: Fourth, four back

Xavier Scruggs (Memphis): Scruggs remains a fixture in the Gigantes’ line-up despite not being an offensive threat. Cibao’s first baseman hit a bit better this week but that is not saying much as he went 4-for-21 with his first two long balls that were part of his three runs scored and four knocked in. Scruggs was dropped in the order from fourth to seventh which helped a bit, generating two multi-hit games out of four played. His cumulative line: .176/.263/.314/.577, 9-for-51, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 13 SO, 5 R, 4 RBI, 3 E

Leones del Escogido –
Weekly Record: 3-1
Cumulative Record: 8-5
Standing: Tied for Second, one back

Heath Wyatt (Memphis): Wyatt has yet to be scored upon in six relief appearances, three of them this week. His most exciting outing was on the 28th when he entered the fifth with runners at first and second, two outs and his team holding a slim 3-2 lead. A fly out to right ended the threat but more adventures awaited the next frame. A lead-off single was erased when the runner was caught stealing then back-to-back singles should have put two on. Instead the lead runner was nailed trying to take third. Wyatt’s successor recorded inning’s final out. Those were the only hits yielded by the righty for the period. Wyatt faced the minimum on the 30th, maintaining Escogido’s 2-0 lead and stranded an inherited runner at second to preserve a 2-1 advantage the next day. His cumulative numbers: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 0.90 WHIP, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, .208 BAA, .227 BABIP

Mexican Pacific League

The eight-team Mexican League got underway October 9th and the regular season concludes December 29th.

Najanjeros de Hermosillo –
Weekly Record: 2-4
Cumulative Record: 6-15
Standing: Eighth, two back

Ronnie Shaban (Springfield): After compiling a dismal record with one blown save in one game, a loss in another and three of four inherited runners crossing home, Shaban did not appear in a game this week. Overall, he has given up seven hits and three bases-on-balls in 5 2/3 frames over six appearances for a 1.76 WHIP and .304 BAA, .389 BABIP. Shaban has been charged with only two runs, giving him a misleading 3.17 ERA and 3.02 FIP.

Tomateros de Culiacan –
Weekly Record: 3-3
Cumulative Record: 7-15
Standing: Seventh, 9 ½ games back

Irving Wilson (DSL): Wilson received his first two starts this week, catching and batting eighth on both Saturday and Monday. Both times he was hitless in two at bats and was pinch hit for in the eighth. On Friday, he caught the ninth inning in a walk-off loss. To date, Wilson is 0-for-6 with two bases-on-balls and three strikeouts in six contests.

Premier 12

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 is comprised of 12 countries and regions, including the USA. Their inaugural world baseball championship tournament, to be held every four years, will take place in China, beginning November 8th.

Team Italy -

Trey Nielsen (Palm Beach): The right-handed pitcher is on Italy’s roster and played in Tuesday’s 9-5 victory in pre-tournament action. No other information is immediately available.

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