Time for Saturday’s news from St. Louis Cardinals extended spring training camp in sunny Jupiter, Florida.
As is the custom during EST, Saturday workouts are shortened with games scheduled at 10 a.m. The White team (more experienced players) walked over to the Marlins’ side of the complex while the Red squad was in a camp day – meaning they played each other in a short, sim game on Field 1.
Due to the distance between the sites, I could not watch both fields at once. Because the sim game had a total of just 2 1/2 innings of scheduled pitching and no set lineups, I decided to stick with the White game, which was arranged to be a full nine innings.
The early start meant there was not much time to collect news, so let’s get right to game action.
Saturday batting order
The Cards used both a designated hitter and an "extra hitter," so more players could receive at-bats.
Saturday pitching plans and velocities
|Red sim game||IP/#P||White||IP/#P||Velo|
White game notes
The Marlins came away with a 7-5 win, though the Whites made it interesting until the end.
T1st. The Reds went down in order.
B1st. Steven Farinaro, who is moving from relief last season (in GCL and Johnson City) worked deliberately. The right-hander used his three pitches extensively – in fact about half of his 25 first-inning offerings were curves or changeups. Singles struck by the first two batters led to a sacrifice fly and a 1-0 lead for the Fish.
T2nd. Ricardo Bautista walked leading off, but was picked off first.
B2nd. Farinaro was greeted with a ringing double into the right field corner. That runner came around to score on another sac fly. The righty issued a walk, but the runner was erased in the inning-ending twin killing.
T3rd. Elier Rodriguez singled up the middle. It looked like the Cards would be retired, but the Marlins' center fielder dropped a popup off the bat on Anthony Ray. The outfielder, running hard the whole time, ended up at second as Rodriguez touched home. That closed the gap to 2-1 in favor of the Marlins. Conveniently, Miami then rolled the inning, stranding Ray in scoring position.
B3rd. Farinaro had more trouble, as a walk and a single put two on with one out. On a double steal, catcher Riley Drongesen fired the ball over the third baseman’s head, as the lead runner scored. Miami went up, 3-1. Farinaro yielded one run in each of his three frames.
T4th. Ryan McCarvel singled and Josh Swirchak drew a free pass, but they were stranded after a late-call strikeout on a close full-count pitch to Bautista.
B4th. Max Almonte took over on the mound and was done in 12 pitches. He walked a runner, who was erased. His first 11 pitches were all fastballs before his final offering, a curve.
T5th. Bladimil Franco was drilled with a pitch in the center of the back and seemed unhappy about it. Danny Martin served as pinch runner. He moved up to third on a pair of wild pitches, but neither Joey Hawkins nor Rodriguez could get him home.
B5th. The new White pitcher was Estarlin Arias. He had the top velocity of the day on his fastball, but it did not seem to have a lot of movement. I saw at least one changeup. Arias walked his first batter then allowed a single to center. Via a pair of ground outs, Miami scratched out another run to open up a 4-1 lead.
T6th. Dylan Tice walked and was balked to second. Sparkplug Anthony Ray shot a double into the right field gap to bring Tice home. Though there was just one out, Ray was stranded as DeAndre Asbury-Heath and Jose Martinez grounded out on the infield. Miami 4-2.
B6th. In his second inning, Arias had two fly outs to center, a single and finished his day with a strikeout.
T7th. Swirchak drew his second walk of the day and took two more bases on wild pitches. Bautista plated the run with a long triple to dead center. When he hits the ball, it goes a long way. Drongesen scored Bautista on a single to center to tie the game at 4-4. The Marlins again rolled the inning.
B7th. The tie did not last long as Julio Mateo became the new White pitcher. The right-hander was not fooling many, as he yielded a single and double into the left field corner that scored one. An RBI single followed that put the Fish back ahead by two, 6-4.
T8th. Martinez just missed a long home run to left that went foul before perhaps getting too aggressive and striking out on what looked like a low pitch. Rodriguez collected his second single of the day, but was stranded.
B8th. Mateo did not fare too much better in his second frame. A walk and a pair of singles gave Miami their seventh run. This time, manager Johnny Rodriguez rolled the inning, likely due to Mateo reaching his 35-pitch limit.
T9th. McCarvel reached on a missed catch by the second baseman and Cole Lankford singled to left. Asbury-Heath popped up a bunt attempt and the trouble began. The pitcher dropped the popup, then the third baseman dropped the throw, allowing all three runners to be safe. Martinez’ sac fly brought in a run to make the score, 7-5. After Swirchak coaxed his third free pass of the day to re-load the bases, Miami again cried “Uncle” and rolled the inning, even though it was White’s last at-bat.
B9th. Since the game was scheduled for a full nine, Luke Harrison needed to get in his work. It was quick work, as the demoted Peoria reliever collected three outs on a fly ball to the first baseman, a strikeout and nifty 3-1 play. On the latter, first baseman Lankford leapt high to stab a chopper and tossed to Harrison covering for the final out. Miami won, 7-5.
For both hustle and results, I am naming outfielder Anthony Ray my Player of the Game.
Red game notes
The only scheduled pitchers to go were relievers – Jacob Schlesener, Silas Bohannan, Bob Wheatley and Gerwuins Velazco. Velazco is in his second year of pitching after dropping the tools of ignorance and Bohannan is coming back from injury.
Pitchers Velazco and Wheatley were singled out as having impressed per coaches after the game. A fresh arrival from the DSL, outfielder Sanel Rosendo, “launched a couple of rockets” including a double, according to one coach.
Among the assembled coaches was Cardinals Hall of Famer and special assistant Willie McGee, who often works with players on their baserunning approach.
Herrera getting closer
In another important piece of news, rehabbing Palm Beach shortstop Juan Herrera had his first opportunity to both hit and run in the Red sim game. While not yet cleared to play in full games, this was an important first step. Herrera is coming back from a pair of shoulder surgeries.
Monday pitching plans
After the day off Sunday, Monday will bring another camp day with the White and Red teams squaring off. Here are the White pitching plans.
Earlier related articles
Cardinals Extended Spring Training Camp Report – 5/8/16. Sightings of Lance Lynn and Dennis Martinez, starters and rehabbers news, photos and game details.
Cardinals Extended Spring Training Camp Report – 5/7/16. Details of Alex Reyes’ five-inning outing on Thursday, injury updates on a half dozen players and much more!
What is next
Look for in-depth interviews coming next week with both managers, White/State College skipper Johnny Rodriguez and Red/Johnson City/EST camp coordinator Chris Swauger as they discuss standouts on their respective EST rosters.
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