Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 4/12/16

The Cardinals minor league system was 2-2 on Monday. Our Player of the Day is Springfield second baseman Bruce Caldwell.

Results for games played Monday, April 11.

Memphis Redbirds 0, Oklahoma City Dodgers 4

The Redbirds (2-3) went up against the Dodgers’ top prospect, Julio Urias, and the phenom came away the winner. Urias struck out nine Redbirds in fine innings. Memphis starter Arturo Reyes nearly equaled the exploits of Urias with five innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts of his own against just one walk. Reyes needed 84 pitches to get through the five innings, but was effective, throwing 60 of them for strikes.

John Church, the 29 year-old former Mets prospect, came on in relief and sat down the side in the sixth inning. He was followed by two southpaws, Justin Wright, who gave up a home run, and Dean Kiekhefer, who allowed a leadoff double, but retired the side after that. Sam Tuivailala was roughed up in the ninth inning, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk.

On offense, the Redbirds managed just six hits and no walks on the night against Urias and the Oklahoma City relief corps. Michael Ohlman (.200 BA) and Patrick Wisdom (.083 BA) each had a double, which were Memphis’ hitting highlights.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Oklahoma City, Deck McGuire (0-0, 1.69 ERA) 6:35 CT

Springfield Cardinals 4 at Corpus Christi Hooks 5, 12 innings

Springfield (3-2) took the Hooks into the 12th inning Monday night, but came away the loser after Joey Donofrio gave up a walk-off home run from Astros top prospect, Alex Bregman, his second of the night. Cory Baker started for the Cardinals on the road and didn’t fare all that well. He went four innings, surrendering three runs on three hits, including two home runs. One bright spot for the Cardinals was Chris Thomas. The 28 year-old pitched three innings in relief, striking out five. This is Thomas’ third year playing for Springfield.

The Springfield offense contributed 12 hits on the night, leading to four runs, although none came after the sixth inning. Top prospect Harrison Bader went 2-for-6. Offensively, the night belonged to second baseman Bruce Caldwell, a 2012 draftee, who went 3-for-5 with 2 home runs. C.J. McElroy added a stolen base.

Tuesday’s game: at Corpus Christi, Mike Mayers (1-0, 0.00 ERA) 7:05 CT

Palm Beach Cardinals 7, Daytona Tortugas 3

Matt Pearce made his first start for High-A Palm Beach (4-1) after pitching 144 2/3 innings for Peoria in 2015, with a 2.43 ERA. Pearce pitched an effective six innings, allowing one unearned run, and getting eight groundouts to go along with eight strikeouts. Cody Schumacher yielded no runs in his two innings of relief, while Silfredo Garcia, who received some mentions during our top prospects vote over the off-season, allowed two runs in his one inning of work.

The Palm Beach offense came to life in the eighth inning against the Reds’ top draft pick in 2014, Nick Howard. Oscar Mercado went 2-for-5 on the day with a double and two stolen bases. Danny Diekroeger, the #3 hitter for the Cardinals and playing the hot corner, added two doubles in four at-bats. Catching prospect Steve Bean was also productive going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, while new second baseman Dylan Tice went 2-for-4.

Casey Grayson, Diekroeger, and Bean all had fielding errors on the day, while Blake Drake got an assist nailing Brian O’Grady of the Tortugas at home after a single in the fourth.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Daytona, Ian McKinney (0-0, 0.00 ERA) 5:30 CT

Peoria Chiefs 8, Quad Cities River Bandits 4

Chiefs starter Junior Fernandez came in with a lot of offseason hype after a fairly dominating performance in the Gulf Coast League last year. In his full-season opener for 3-1 Peoria, Fernandez allowed four runs, three earned, over six innings, striking out four. Fernandez, just 19 years old, gave up two walks, five hits and hit a batter on the windy night.

Steven De La Cruz pitched well in his two innings of relief, striking out four River Bandits, while another Steven, Steven Gallardo, a 2012 draftee who missed all of 2013-2015 with injuries, closed the door on Quad Cities in the ninth inning, allowing no runs on a double.

Peoria, like the Cardinals of Palm Beach, came to play during the sixth inning, plating six runs in the frame. Peoria’s trio of top prospects at the top of the batting order, Eliezer Alvarez, Edmundo Sosa, and Magneuris Sierra, went a combined 5-for-12 on the evening. Sosa and Sierra went 2-for-4, with Sierra getting a double in the seventh inning. Sosa was caught stealing and also made a throwing error in the fifth inning off the bat of speedy Astros prospect, Johnny Sewald.

R.J. Dennard was the catalyst for the Chiefs, going 2-for-3 with a long three-run home run to right in the sixth inning and a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning. Casey Turgeon also had a nice 2-for-3 night as the DH.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Quad Cities, Brennan Leitao (0-0, 0.00 ERA) 6:30 CT

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