Cards Winter League Notebook 7: AFL/DR/MX/P12

Winter ball news from Cardinals prospects playing in Arizona, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Premier 12. Luke Weaver is throwing well in the AFL.

Stats are through November 10th.

Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League had a short schedule this week due to the annual Fall Stars Game but the Surprise Saguaros made the most of it, winning all four contests and expanding their West Division lead from one to 3 1/2 games over Glendale (CHW, HOU, LAD, PHI, PIT). The Saguaros need any combination of four wins and losses by Glendale to clinch. The 2015 Fall Stars Game summary may be found here.

The Pitchers

Dean Kiekhefer (Memphis): Kiekhefer was a vital component of the Saguaros’ 1-0 victory on the 5th, striking out five of six faced. He received an assist from battery mate Michael Ohlman who nailed a runner at third after the southpaw permitted a double to his first batter. It was his only appearance of the period. Kiekhefer’s 11 1/3 total innings pitched are split evenly between right- and left-handed batters, all nine of his hits given up being generated from the right side of the plate, a .346 BAA. His cumulative line: 1-1, 6 G, 1 S, 3.18 ERA, 2.41 FIP, 0.79 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R/ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 11 SO, .214 BAA, .267 BABIP

Alex Reyes (Springfield): Reyes’ participation in the 2015 Arizona Fall League came to a screeching halt after the 21-year-old tested positive for a ‘drug of abuse’, marijuana. He received the mandated 50-game suspension, effective immediately. His final 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 came out of the bullpen twice, each time giving up a run in an inning of work. He finished Weaver’s start on the 6th, issuing a lead-off free pass, the runner coming around to score on defensive indifference, ground out and sac fly. Rowland was one of three Saguaros’ relievers charged with a blown save in Surprise’s extra-innings tie on Monday. The righty recorded two quick outs via a ground out to first and fly out before running into trouble with a single, stolen base, walk and RBI single. His line: 0-0, 2 SV, 7 G, 0 GS, 7 IP, 7.71 ERA, 7.63 FIP, 1.86 WHIP, 4 BB, 6 SO, .429 BAA, .533 BABIP

Luke Weaver (Palm Beach): Weaver made the most of his first start on Friday, tossing four shut-out frames, allowing just two base runners. The right-hander retired his first two batters via a fly out and 5-3 ground out before allowing a double to right. A wild pitch advanced the runner to third but Weaver coaxed a pop out to Diaz at second, stranding the runner. A single to left with two out in the third ended a string of six straight turned back by the 22-year-old. The Saguaros’ catcher nailed the runner in his attempted steal of second, ending the frame. Weaver’s stint finished with a one-two-three fourth, two swinging strikeouts sandwiched around a line out to right. 38 of the 62 pitches thrown by Weaver went for strikes. His line to date: 2-0, 5 G, 1 GS, 1.88 ERA, 5.71 FIP, 0.70 WHIP, 40.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 HB, 3 BB. 14 SO, .189 BAA, .273 BABIP

The Hitters

Aledmys Diaz (Memphis): Diaz’ bat heated up in 12 at bats over three starts this week, going 5-for-12 with three doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. That was good for a .417 batting average. On Friday, he was a perfect 3-for-3. Diaz followed that up with two doubles on Tuesday, giving up a .667 slugging percentage for the period. Cumulative line: 277/.340/.553/.893, 13-for-47, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 10 R, 7 RBI, 5 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, 3 E, .275 BABIP in 14 games, 13 starts

Michael Ohlman (Springfield): Ohlman caught Weaver’s start on Friday, his only action for the week. He doubled once in three at bats, batting ninth, with the aforementioned erasure of a baserunner at third. Cumulative line: .217/.296/.391/.688, 5-for-23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 SO, 4 RBI, 0 E, .250 BABIP in seven games

Charlie Tilson (Springfield): Tilson led off in three starts, playing center twice and left once. He managed just two hits in 12 at bats but worked three base-on-balls and scored four times while knocking in one. Cumulative line: .222/.364/.278/.641, 8-for-36, 2 2B, 8 BB, 10 SO, 10 R, 4 RBI, 4 SB, 0 CS, 0 E, .308 BABIP, in nine starts

Patrick Wisdom (Springfield): Wisdom started at third three times this week but has yet to hit consistently, going 3-for-12 with two walks, three runs scored, two knocked in and four strikeouts. He acquired his first two successful steals of the fall campaign, both in the same game. Cumulative line: .233/.270/.433/.703, 14-for-60, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 13 SO, 11 R, 11 RBI, 2 SB, 1 CS, 2 E, .267 BABIP, in 16 games, 15 starts

Dominican (Winter) League

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

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Weekly Record: 3-3
Cumulative Record: 8-12
Standing: Tied for fifth, 4 1/2 back

Robelys Reyes (Palm Beach): Reyes got to the plate for the first time since October 25th when he started Tuesday’s contest. The centerfielder singled once in two at bats, his first hit in 12 at bats so far, but was pinch hit for in the seventh.

Estrellas de Oriente –
Alberto Rosario (Palm Beach):
Rosario became a minor league free agent since the last notebook so drops off the report. His line through the most recent notebook: .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 -
Xavier Scruggs (Memphis):
Scruggs became a minor league free agent since the last notebook so drops off the report. His line through the most recent notebook: .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: 1-4
Cumulative Record: 9-9
Standing: Third, 2 1/2 back

Heath Wyatt (Memphis): Wyatt’s week began on an up note but finished on a sour one. He finished Escogido’s 5-0 win on the 4th, notching two strikeouts – one called, while issuing a free pass with two gone. On Monday the righty served up a two-run double to his only batter, saddling his predecessor with a loss. It was the first time in three instances that Wyatt permitted inherited runners to score. Unfortunately, the 27-year-old failed to come through in a similar situation the next day. Wyatt entered the eighth inning of a scoreless contest with a runner on first and one out. What proved to be the only tally of the game scored when he yielded a single, walk to load the bases and 5-4 force bringing the runner across. His cumulative numbers: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 7 H, 0 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 SO, .226 BAA, .259 BABIP, 6 IR/3 IRS

Mexican Pacific League

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

Najanjeros de Hermosillo –
Weekly Record: 4-2
Cumulative Record: 10-17
Standing: Seventh, 7 1/2 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 scoring, Shaban did not appear in a game this week… or last week either. Overall, he has given up seven hits and three base-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. Three of four inherited runners have scored.

Tomateros de Culiacan –
Weekly Record: 3-3
Cumulative Record: 10-18
Standing: Eighth, eight games back

Irving Wilson (DSL): Wilson came into the week looking for his first hit and he is still searching. The catcher saw ninth-inning action in three games, catching twice and going 0-for-2 as a pinch hitter. To date Wilson is 0-for-8 with two bases-on-balls and three strikeouts in seven contests.

Premier 12

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier 12 is comprised of 12 countries and regions. Their inaugural world baseball championship tournament, to be held every four years, got underway in Taiwan, on November 10th.

Trey Nielsen (Palm Beach): St. Louis farmhand Trey Nielsen is on Italy’s roster and played in Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to Puerto Rico. Nielsen began the fifth with Italy down 1-0 and basically put the game out of reach, considering how the offense was hitting. The right-hander fanned his first batter swinging but yielded a base-on-balls, single and two-run triple. A coaching visit to the mound resulted in a run-scoring wild pitch before the reliever notched another K and a 6-3 groundout.

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