Darren Seferina (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Insider news from the St. Louis Cardinals’ Florida State League affiliate in Palm Beach for the period of May 10-16.

The Palm Beach Cardinals went 3-3 for the week, including a sweep by first-place Bradenton in which the Cards were outscored 37-7. Leadoff man Darren Seferina is sparking the offense, batting .444 for the week.

Game Summaries

 

May 10th - Palm Beach Cardinals 5 at Fort Myers Miracle 0

Five early runs in the first two innings was more than enough offense for Zac Gallen and the Cardinals relief staff. Gallen was magnificent, picking up his third win of the season after pitching six scoreless innings. The right-hander allowed five hits, no walks and struck out nine, matching a season-high total.

Palm Beach jumped ahead in the first inning behind an RBI double from Randy Arozarena and an RBI single from Casey Turgeon. The lead expanded to five following an RBI double from Chris Chinea. Arozarena went 3-for-5, as did Darren Seferina, who doubled, drove in one and scored twice.

Anthony Ciavarella, Steven De La Cruz, and Landon Beck completed the shutout.

 

May 11th - Bradenton Marauders 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 1

Derian Gonzalez remains winless on the season, taking the loss after only getting through three innings. The right-hander from Venezuela was off the mark, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. A Gonzalez wild pitch allowed Bradenton to get on the scoreboard first in the second inning.

Meanwhile, Bradenton shut down the Cardinals offense, allowing just three hits. Seferina drove in Shane Billings with an RBI single for the only Palm Beach run.

 

May 12th - Bradenton Marauders 20, Palm Beach Cardinals 2

For the second time this season, a Palm Beach opponent put up 20 on the scoreboard. An eight-run fourth inning opened up the floodgates, with six of those runs charged to starter Ryan Helsley. The right-hander from Tahlequah, Oklahoma four hits and three walks in just 3 1/3 innings. Each of the four relievers allowed runs, which included position player Leobaldo Pina. Pina had the longest stint of the relievers, pitching two innings, allowing four runs, three hits, two walks and a pair of home runs.

Seferina and Luke Dykstra went 3-for-4 while Billings and Jeremy Martinez each drove in a run.

 

May 13th - Bradenton Marauders 12, Palm Beach Cardinals 4

For the second consecutive game, the Marauders bats were out in force against Palm Beach pitching as the Cardinals gave up five-spots in the first and third inning. Starter Connor Jones could not get out of the first inning, allowing five runs on three hits and two walks in 2/3 of an inning. In his professional debut, Sam Tewes did not receive much support. His five runs were all unearned, on four hits and two walks through two innings pitched. The lone bright spot on the mound for the Cardinals was Juan Perez, who allowed just one hit in two innings of scoreless relief.

The sloppy left side of the Palm Beach defense committed five errors, including three by shortstop Pina and two by Danny Diekroeger at third.

Leadoff man Seferina continued his hot streak, notching another two hits. A day after pitching two innings, Pina hammered a three-run home run to left field in the fourth inning.

May 14th – off day

May 15th - Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Jupiter Hammerheads 2

Pina’s RBI single scored Chris Chinea from third base for the team’s first walk-off victory this season.  Chinea went 2-for-4 with his ninth double and two runs scored. Arozarena also had two hits in four at-bats, including his third home run of 2017 and two RBI.

In his first game back from the disabled list, Brennan Leitao picked up the win in relief after pitching 1 2/3 innings, giving up just one hit. Starter Jake Woodford tossed five solid innings, allowing a run on six hits and three walks through 75 pitches.

 

May 16th - Palm Beach Cardinals 10, Jupiter Hammerheads 6

Palm Beach sent 10 batters in the plate in a seven-run fourth inning, highlighted by Seferina’s triple and RBI single, scoring newcomer Ricardo Bautista to cap the scoring. Seferina went 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Bautista reached after a three-run RBI triple. Pina went 3-for-4, driving in two.

Despite pitching with a large lead, Junior Fernandez did not pick up the win, only lasting 4 1/3 innings after allowing two runs on nine hits and two walks. Estarlin Arias scored his first win of the season after finishing the fifth and pitching the sixth inning. In an interesting move following his aborted 2/3 of an inning start on Saturday, Connor Jones threw two frames of scoreless relief.

 

Three up

http://www.scout.com/player/191523-darren-seferina?s=321

Darren Seferina: For the last two weeks, Seferina has been the team’s hottest hitter. Raising his batting average 73 points in that stretch, the 36th ranked TCN prospect has collected hits in 11 of his last 12 games. In his last six games, the 23-year-old from Curacao is 12-for-27 (.444), picking up three hits in three games in this stretch.

http://www.scout.com/player/206199-zac-gallen?s=321

Zac Gallen: Arguably the most consistent starter on the staff through six weeks, Gallen is proving to be one of the best pitchers in the Florida State League. After his victory against Fort Myers, when he pitched scoreless six innings on five hits, no walks and nine strikeouts, the right-hander from Gibbsboro, NJ, currently ranked as the 16th TCN prospect, is now third in the league with a 1.80 ERA.

http://www.scout.com/player/152876-leobaldo-pina?s=321

Leobaldo Pina: Batting under .200 through much of the season, it seems Pina has found his groove as of late. Putting together a five-game hitting streak, the third-baseman from Venezuela is 8-for-19 during that stretch, including a walk-off RBI single on 5/15 against Jupiter. Pina is now hitting .254 overall.

 

Fernandez wins top FSL honors

Right-handed pitcher Junior Fernandez picked up his second Florida State League Pitcher of the Week honors in the still-young 2017 season, this time for the period of May 8-14. His earlier award covered April 17-23.

http://www.scout.com/player/192408-junior-fernandez?s=321

Last Tuesday, May 9, at Fort Myers, the 20-year old threw a nine-inning gem, allowing just one run on five hits and a walk. In his first career complete game, Fernandez fanned six, induced eight ground outs and seven fly balls. The Dominican Republic native threw 67 of his 95 pitches for strikes. Fernandez is The Cardinal Nation’s 11th-ranked prospect.

 

Three down

Jeremy Martinez: Martinez has struggled with his bat as of late. The 29th ranked TCN prospect has only one hit in his last 25 at bats, as his average has dipped to .196.

Anthony Ciavarella: A recent call-up from the Gulf Coast League, Ciavarella has gotten as many outs as hits allowed, possessing a hefty 21.60 after two appearances. After giving up four runs in 1/3 of an inning, Ciavarella was placed on the 7-day disabled list.

Steven De La Cruz: The right-handed reliever from the Bronx, NY allowed walks and hits in five of his six games while giving up earned runs in four. De La Cruz currently holds a 13.50 ERA. As was the case with Ciavarella, De La Cruz has been moved to the DL.

 

As we head into the transactions, there has been quite the revolving door, with 12 different players coming and going from the Cardinals’ active roster over the last week alone!

Injuries

May 10th - Palm Beach Cardinals placed CF Blake Drake on the 7-day disabled list

May 13th - Palm Beach Cardinals placed RHP Steven De La Cruz on the 7-day disabled list.

May 14th - Palm Beach Cardinals placed LHP Anthony Ciavarella on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to May 12, 2017

May 15th - Palm Beach Cardinals activated RHP Brennan Leitao from the 7-day disabled list


Transactions

May 10th - SS Juan Herrera assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from State College Spikes

May 13th - RHP Sam Tewes assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from GCL Cardinals

May 14th - RHP Ramon Santos assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Peoria Chiefs

May 15th - LHP Ian McKinney assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals

May 15th - RHP Landon Beck assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals

May 15th - RHP Estarlin Arias assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Peoria Chiefs

May 16th - IF Danny Diekroeger assigned to Springfield Cardinals from Palm Beach Cardinals

May 16th - OF Ricardo Bautista assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from State College Spikes


Team Stats

The Cardinals are 10th of 12 FSL teams in runs scored, with the same bottom-quarter ranking for the pitching staff’s ERA of 4.03. Considering that, the team’s overall record of 19-19 is fairly impressive.

Palm Beach pitchers have walked 146 batters, the most of any team in the Florida State League. The pitching staff ranks second to last in WHIP (1.41) and strikeouts (274). The Cardinals however remain the only team that has pitched a complete game through the first six weeks this season (Zac Gallen - 4/13/2017 vs. Clearwater, Junior Fernandez - 5/9/2017 vs. Fort Myers).

Offensively, Palm Beach batters have the fewest strikeouts (256), but also the fewest total bases (414) and walks (95).

 
Standings

  W-L PCT GB
Bradenton Marauders (PIT) 25-14 0.641 --
Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 19-19 0.500 5.5
Palm Beach Cardinals (STL) 19-19 0.500 5.5
Fort Myers Miracle (MIN) 19-20 0.487 6
St. Lucie Mets (NYM) 17-20 0.436 8
Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 15-24 0.385 10



Week Ahead

The Cardinals will continue their four-game series the Hammerheads through Thursday before taking on Florida in a three-game weekend set at Roger Dean Stadium. Starting next Monday, Palm Beach will hit the road for a three-game series against Lakeland followed by three more at Florida. Their next scheduled day off will be Memorial Day.

Follow Patrick Bernadeau on Twitter @PatBernadeau.

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