Noel Gonzalez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Brian Walton’s Friday notes from St. Louis Cardinals minor league spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida.

Friday news from the back fields of Jupiter, Florida as the St. Louis Cardinals Class-A teams played their New York Mets counterparts.

For my arrival day in camp, the St. Louis Cardinals, Memphis Redbirds and Springfield Cardinals were all away for the day to take on their New York Mets counterparts at Port St. Lucie. I chose to watch the Palm Beach and Peoria clubs take on their Class-A Mets opponents on the George Kissell Quad in Jupiter, Florida.

 

Minor league starting lineups and pitching plans

Following morning workouts, the two 1:00 p.m. games were held in Jupiter. Here are the lineups. Note the second Peoria lineup was brought in at once for the sixth inning.

Palm Beach Pos Peoria  Pos Peoria 6th Pos
Franco 9 Machado 8 Sanchez 8
Martin 4 De Perez 6 Flores 6
Newman 3 Robbins 9 Rosendo 9
Balbuena 5 C Rodriguez 3 Bandes 4
Zavala 2 I Wilson 2 J Rodriguez 2
Tice DH Ynfante 7 V Garcia 7
Asbury-Heath 7 Whalen 5 Y Gonzalez 5
Figuera 6 Lopez DH Bautista DH
Billings 8 Murders 4 Young 4

Though I was unable to get the Memphis and Springfield lineups, I did see their pitching plans. Since the two clubs allowed just three and four runs, respectively, none of those hurlers could have been beaten up too badly.

I also include three team’s worth of pitchers throwing side sessions. They should be pitching in game action on Sunday.

Memphis   Springfield   Palm Beach   Peoria   
Pitchers Inn Pitchers Inn Pitchers Inn Pitchers Inn
Ellis 3 Woodford 3 C Jones 3 Kilichowski 2
Evans 2 Hudson 3 Leitao 2 Parra 2
Bard 1 Carter 1 Almonte 1-2 DeLorenzo 1
Rowland 1 Bray 1 Trayner 1-2 Siomkin 1
Hawkins 1 Bowen 1 Tomchick 1-2 Ciavarella 1
Perry 1     Medina 1-2 Tilley 1
            N Gonzalez 1
Sides              
Poncedeleon   Hicks   Harrison       
    D Martinez   Tewes      
    McKinney   Williams      
    Wheatley          

 

Velo time

Velocities from Friday’s Palm Beach and Peoria pitchers follow. The numbers are accurate but the offerings themselves are identified on a best-effort basis on my part. I saw a lot of “90”s on the guns this day.

Pitcher Fastball Other Ps Notes
John Kilichowski 88-91 C up 85  
    Sldr 81  
Connor Jones 93-94 C up 86  
Frederis Parra 84-88 C up 77-80  
Brennan Leitao 90-91 C up 85 Strong legs
Jordan DeLorenzo 90 Cb 72-73  
Max Almonte 90-91 C up 86  
    Cb 79  
Keaton Siomkin 90    
Spencer Trayner 90-91 T94   Good sinker
Greg Tomchick 90-91 Sldr 87  
Leland Tilley 82-84   Sidearmer
Yeison Medina 90-92 Sldr 80-81  
Noel Gonzalez 89    
Anthony Ciavarella 88-91    

 

My miscellaneous musings

Jose Oquendo looked fit and trim. The smiling coach ended up in a mini hot potato competition with Delvin Perez before the Peoria game.

Jose Oquendo and Delvin Perez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

I saw Venezuelan outfielder Victor Garcia for the first time and firmly believe that the 17-year-old is bigger than his listed 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. We will see if he hits, but he “looks” like a slugger. Garcia received a $1.5 million signing bonus and has yet to play in his first official game.

Victor Garcia (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

 

Tebow Mania II

Most people don’t get to experience Tebow Mania once, but for me on Friday, it was a second helping as he played left field for the Mets Triple-A club. For those who missed it, here is my report from last fall’s instructional league. This was not as much of a circus as before, but it was still crazy.

Oddly, Tebow’s home run victim in his first professional game, Cardinals lefty John Kilichowski, was pitching on this day, but he was in the other contest.

An estimated 30-40 fans lined up in an orderly fashion along the Mets dugout, hoping the quarterback-turned-outfielder would come out of the game and sign autographs. As it turned out, Tebow tried to walk out with his teammates, but was mobbed by fans. He did sign for some, but not all. (He is in the center of this photo.)

Tim Tebow (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

 

Palm Beach

On a couple of singles and an overthrow of third base, the Mets scored a run against Jones in the first. Mets 1-0.

After an error, a walk and an out to move the runners up, Dylan Tice tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the second. Soon the tie was broken by DeAndre Asbury-Heath, who shot an RBI single to left. Cards 2-1.

The Mets got two on against Jones, but after an error, the inning was rolled. Jones had the highest velocity marks of the day, but did not dominate. He allowed four hits in three innings but was charged with just one earned run.

In the third, Shane Billings stole second base.

Shane Billings (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

In Leitao’s second frame, the fifth, he yielded an RBI double that re-tied the game. The inning was then rolled. Tie 2-2.

Another RBI double, this one against Almonte, was hit hard into left to put the visitors ahead, 3-2.

Soon Stefan Trosclair’s two-run home run flipped the score in the Cardinals favor. In an only-in-spring training moment occurred when one #18, Carlos Talavera, scored just ahead of another #18 (Trosclair) on the same play. Cards 4-3. (Trosclair also homered on Thursday, when the first baseman was my Player of the Day.)

Outfielder Anthony Ray slammed a one-hop RBI triple off the center field fence. Cards 5-3.

Tomchick yielded a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, which cut the St. Louis lead to 5-4.  At some point, the Cards added a couple of more to win 7-4.

 

Peoria

The Mets got on the board first after Kilichowski yielded a triple and a run-scoring grounder in the second inning. With another runner aboard, the visitors increased their lead to 3-0 on a two-run home run to right. Mets 3-0.

Jonatan Machado brought the Cards to within 3-2 on a no-doubt-about-it home run to right field in the third.

Jonatan Machado (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Wadye Ynfante walked and swiped second.

With DeLorenzo pitching, an RBI triple was followed by a run-scoring ground out, which increased the Mets’ lead to 5-2.

The visitors added another tally on another run-scoring RBI double against Tilley. He allowed two more baserunners before a three-run long ball to right increased the Mets lead to 9-2.

The Cards answered with just one score after Luis Bandes doubled to right and came home on an RBI single. Cards 9-3.

In the final inning, Andrew Young’s double scored Ricardo Bautista to bring the Cardinals back to 9-4. The official game score was 11-4, so I missed a couple of Mets runs somewhere.

 

Umpire action

The Palm Beach game finished first with the three-man umpiring crew moving over to join Peoria spectators. One of the trio told me that since the upper levels of play use three-man crews, they were breaking in a new third umpire. The lower levels use just two arbiters, same coverage as the Peoria game had on this day. (Here the three-man crew met with Palm Beach manager Dann Bilardello before the game.)

Dan Bilardello (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

 

For more information

Much more from Jupiter ahead in the upcoming week.

Remember to check The Cardinal Nation Blog each evening during spring training for the day's minor league stat highlights and notes and for the Roster Matrix. The matrix has every transaction listed along with all players in the system by level and position, including the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and non-roster spring training invitees and more.

 

Prior related articles

Cardinals Minor League Spring Training Schedules

Cardinals Welcome 157 to 2017 Minor League Camp

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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