Manager Rodriguez on his State College Spikes

State College Spikes manager Johnny Rodriguez discusses his first-place New York-Penn League club, a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate.

Through 24 games, the parent St. Louis Cardinals and manager Johnny Rodriguez have to be pleased with the results from the State College Spikes. The organization’s short-season Class-A affiliate has won at a .750 clip (18-6), building up a six-game division lead.

The club is delivering a balanced performance. Pitching, a usual strength of Cardinals clubs, has a collective ERA under 3.00 despite giving up the second-most hits in the 14-team league. They are not beating themselves, with the fifth-fewest walks and tied for the least long balls given up.

After a couple of blowout wins in the prior series, the offense is tied for the league lead in run scored and is second or third in all the slash categories of batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.

In the following interview, Rodriguez discusses how his new club has come together and highlights a number of individual standouts, including a sleeper or two.

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