This Week in the Minors - May 16, 2005

A weekly snapshot of the Cardinals minor league system.

Last Monday's report listed Scott Seabol as the offensive "Who's Hot". On Tuesday Scott was named the Pacific Coast League "Player of the Week". This week also saw a series of catcher roster moves when Yadi Molina injured his ankle. Up a level went Mahoney, Moylan, Motte and Marcelli. (Do we only draft catchers whose last names begin with "M"?) Yadi did not have to go on the DL so down a level they all came. The St. Louis Cardinals named Swing of the Quad Cities closer Mike Sillman their April Pitcher of Month and Springfield Cardinals outfielder Tyler Minges their Player of Month. As far as the league standings went this week – Memphis remained in first place; Springfield gained a half game on the leader but fell from third to fourth place; Palm Beach remained in fourth place but lost two and one-half games to the leader; Quad Cities gained a half game on the leader and moved from fourth to a tie for second place.

AAA – Memphis Redbirds
Overall Record – 20 - 16
Weekly Record – 3 - 4
Current Standing – Tied with Nashville Sounds (Brewers) for first place
Current Week Team Batting - .238/.313/.397
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 2.87 ERA in 37.2 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 4.97 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched
Who's HotBo Hart is hitting .313/.333/.438 in sixteen at bats, playing primarily at third base this week. RHS Chris Gissell has a 0.69 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 2:1 K/BB ratio in 13 innings pitched this week
Who's Not – Shortstop John Nelson hit .063/.211/.063 with 10 strike outs in sixteen at bats. The Memphis bullpen except for Evan Rust and Tyler Johnson. Messrs. Borland, Cali, Journell and Nussbeck combined to give up 24 hits and 14 earned runs in 14.1 innings pitched for a 8.79 cumulative ERA. Yikes!
Transactions – 05/09/05 – C Mike Mahoney called up to St. Louis, LHP Bill Pulsipher outrighted to Memphis; 05/10/05 – Acquired C Craig Ansman from Tucson Sidewinders; 5/11/05 – Announced C Craig Ansman was retiring rather than reporting to Memphis; 5/12/05 – INF Scott Seabol called up to St. Louis, RHP Jeremy Cummings placed on restricted list due to violation of minor league baseball's drug enforcement policy regarding performance-enhancing drugs; 5/13/05 – C Mike Mahoney optioned from St. Louis, RHP Kevin Jarvis optioned from St. Louis, LHP Gabe White called up to St. Louis, C Dan Moylan optioned to Springfield, RHP Josh Pearce activated from DL and assigned to Springfield.

Summary -
Monday saw the Redbirds finish a very successful eight-game road trip by defeating the Iowa Cubs 3-2. Jeremy Cummings (2-0, 3.86 ERA) got his first start of the 2005 season and came away with the decision. Cummings was moved from the bullpen into the rotation and replaced Nerio Rodriguez, who was previously released. He pitched five scoreless innings on only one hit but did walk five and hit two Cubs batters. John Gall was the decisive offensive force in the game when he doubled in Chris Duncan for the game's first run and subsequently hit a sacrifice fly that scored Scott Seabol. Bo Hart, the emergency back-up catcher, proved that he likes to live dangerously by warming up Jimmy Journell without wearing any catching gear. (O.K., maybe it proves that Bo is not very bright but I prefer to think Bo has a wild and crazy streak.)

The key play or non-play in Tuesday's game was when third baseman Scott Seabol was unable to come up with a slow roller. This error lead to four unearned runs by the Tucson 51s and eventually to the Redbirds' 5-4 defeat. Trailing 5-3 going into the ninth, Seabol's double scored Hector Luna to pull the Redbirds within one. But Raul Gonzalez was out at home plate when he tried to score from first on the play. Gonzalez easily beat the throw but his slide was well short of home plate. Chris Gissell (3-3, 3.27 ERA) took the loss, tossing six innings while giving up five runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks. Gabe White pitched two scoreless innings in his last appearance prior to his call up to St. Louis. He was unscored upon in seven and one-third innings pitched while in Memphis. Skip Schumaker went 4-for-5. Bo Hart had a pyrrhic victory when he became the first minor leaguer to put the ball into play against Dodgers' closer Eric Gagne during his rehab stint. Hart flew out to left.

It was a day for home runs on Wednesday as the Redbirds blasted the Las Vegas 51s out of Autozone Park 15-4. The first home run came off the bat of the 51s' third baseman, Antonio Perez, who hit Adam Wainwright's second pitch of the day over the right field wall. That was the last run Mr. Wainwright (4-1, 1.90 ERA) gave up in the six innings he pitched. The rest of the home runs belonged to catcher Javier Cardona, solo shot in the sixth inning, and the newest Redbirds sluggers – shortstop Hector Luna and right fielder Pete Zoccolillo. Luna went 2-for-4 with a walk and his hits were a two-run home run in the first, which gave the Redbirds the lead, and a grand slam in the seventh. Zoccolillo's solo shot was back-to-back with Luna's grand slam. He then hit his own grand slam in the eighth to put the game totally out of reach. Zoccolillo was 3-for-4 with a walk. Carmen Cali tried to add to the "Catchers on the DL" list by plunking his own catcher during his stint on the mound. Cali actually threw some very effective change-ups in the game, a pitch that he had not used in Memphis prior to his St. Louis call up.

Thursday saw the second of Eric Gagne's two rehab appearances against the Memphis Redbirds and in both games he held the lead given to him perfectly although the back-up catcher, Dan Moylan, almost took him yard. The Redbirds went on to lose both games, this one 10-3. Shawn Sedlacek (1-2, 9.00 ERA) continued his string of dismal starts by giving up six runs, all earned, on nine hits and two walks in only three and two-thirds innings pitched. The lone pitching bright spot was Tyler Johnson's scoreless, hitless two innings pitched in which he fanned three batters and walked only one. All three of Memphis' runs scored via the long ball. Pete Zoccolillo hit his third home run in the last two games, a two-run shot in the fifth that followed John Gall's third inning solo shot.

The rally caps were working in Memphis on Friday as the Redbirds scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory over the Las Vegas 51s. Carmen Cali (1-1, 4.50 ERA) picked up the victory in relief of Anthony Reyes by pitching a scoreless ninth. Reyes did not have a sharp night, going five innings while allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits and three walks against only two strike outs. The big inning started with a pinch hit walk by John Gall. Left fielder Brandon Berger's line drive single to center sent Gall to second. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and Gall then scored on Chris Duncan's ground out. John Nelson's walk put runners at the corners with one out for Mike Mahoney. Mahoney came through with a double to left that scored Berger and tied the game. Bo Hart then sent a fly ball deep enough to center for Nelson to score the game-winning run.

Bill Pulsipher started Saturday's game against the Tucson Sidewinders and pitched well enough for a win. Pulsipher went five innings and allowed only two hits, one of them a solo shot home run. He struck out four and walked one. Although a number of the outs were hit hard, Pulsipher was the pitcher of record when John Gall hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to give the Redbirds the lead, 2-1. (While the Memphis announcers did not give a final pitch count for Pulsipher, he was at 36 pitches through three innings and 56 pitches through four and one-third innings. Matt Nussbeck (BS, 1)(L, 0-1) could not hold the lead as the Sidewinders scored three runs in the top of the seventh and went on to defeat the Redbirds 4-2. Bo Hart, playing his second game at third base, went 2-for-4 as did catcher Mike Mahoney. Pete Zoccolillo, playing his first career game at first base, handled his first throw well. It was a throw from Bill Pulsipher which smacked into the dirt.

Chris Gissell pitched a beauty on Sunday when he went seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out five. Unfortunately, the Redbirds' bats remained in the deep freeze as they were shut out by the Tucson Sidewinders 4-0. Carmen Cali (L, 1-2, 6.39 ERA) came into the eighth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced. Everything went downhill from there as Cali then gave up a solo shot home run followed by a single and a walk. Toby Borland relieved Cali and gave up a single and a bases-clearing triple for a total of four runs. Borland's ERA now stands at 5.82 and he is a prime candidate for replacement. Bo Hart, playing third base, was 2-for-3 with a walk and Hector Luna was 2-for-4. John Gall was robbed of a three-run home run in the first inning when right fielder Carlos Quentin scaled the wall to snag the ball.

Of Note– I learned this week that Adam Wainwright arrived for Spring Training a couple of weeks early and found that only Chris Carpenter and Matt Morris were in Jupiter. Both major leaguers worked with Adam. They helped him get away from the mentality of trying to strike out every batter and avoid putting the ball in play. They preached the benefit of lower pitch counts by putting the ball in play. Carpenter also suggested a change in Wainwright's delivery of his sinking fastball from the far side of the rubber to the middle. That alteration allows Wainwright to throw the pitch to both sides of the plate. Scott Seabol had an eighteen-game hitting streak through the 12th when he was called up. His promotion to St. Louis means Bo Hart and Peter Zoccolillo played third base for the first time this season. It's been learned that one of the areas of focus for John Nelson is for him to cut down on his strike outs. Nelson has struck out forty-two times in one hundred ten at bats or once every 2.6 at bats. This is by far the worst ratio on the Memphis club. The Redbirds' offense has been out-of-synch and struggling recently due to Scott Seabol's promotion to St. Louis and Chris Duncan's absence with a tweaked groin. (The Memphis Commercial Appeal erroneously referred to it as a hip injury.) Duncan has been working out in right field recently with the idea of getting some experience in the outfield.

Upcoming Week – vs. first-place (Pacific South division) Tucson Sidewinders (Diamondbacks) 16th and 17th, at fourth and last-place (Pacific North division) Portland Beavers (Padres) 19th through 22nd

AA – Springfield Cardinals
Overall Record – 16 - 20
Weekly Record – 3 - 3
Current Standing – Fourth, six games behind Tulsa Drillers (Rockies)
Current Week Team Batting - .265/.307/.409
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 6.03 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 1.66 ERA in 21.2 innings pitched
Who's Hot – Utility infielder Kevin Estrada hit .417/.440/.833 in twenty-four at bats. The Springfield bullpen with a 1.15 WHIP to go with their exceptional ERA. Only two of the eight pitching relief this week were scored upon, Josh Kinney and Tony Ferrari. Hats off to Messrs. Axelson, Rawson, Scalamandre, Nussbeck (prior to his promotion) and Pearce.
Who's Not – Center fielder Reid Gorecki hit .133/.188/.200 but did not strike out in fifteen at bats.
Transactions - 5/9/05 – RHR Nick Stocks released outright, Signed LHP Anthony Ferrari, C Dan Moylan called up to Memphis; 5/11/05 - RH Mark Nussbeck called up to Memphis; 5/13/05 – C Jason Motte optioned to Palm Beach

Summary
Monday's game against the San Antonio Missions turned into a battle of the bullpens as neither starter was around for the finish. The Cardinals' bullpen of Josh Axelson, Anthony Ferrari, Mark Nussbeck and Josh Kinney combined to pitch five and two-thirds scoreless innings and prevailed as the Cardinals won 7-5. Starter Jeremy Cook lasted only three-plus innings, giving up five runs on eight hits. Axelson (1-0, 2.76 ERA) picked up the victory in relief and Kinney picked up his ninth save by pitching the final two innings. The Cardinals scored five of their runs in the fourth inning in a truly team effort as seven different Cardinals were involved in the scoring.

Hitting overcame pitching in Tuesday's 9-6 victory over the Missions but it took twelve innings to do it. Closer Josh Kinney (BS 1, 1.19 ERA) suffered his first blown save of the year when he walked the lead-off batter in the ninth inning and then gave up a home run which tied up the game at 6-6. That tie lasted until the Cardinals strung together some hits and capitalized on a throwing error to score three runs. With one out, Shaun Boyd and Andy Schutzenhofer hit back-to-back singles, creating a first-and-third situation for Tyler Minges. Minges hit a high chopper to third which was thrown into the Cardinals' dugout. Both Boyd and Schutzenhofer scored on the play and Minges ended up on third base. Travis Hanson's sac fly to left scored Minges for the final run of the game. Anthony Rawson (1-0, 4.61 ERA) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season.

Wednesday's 4-1 loss was a game of missed opportunities as the Cardinals both stranded runners and ran themselves out of scoring opportunities. Four Cardinals were left in scoring position to go with two additional runners caught stealing. Another Cardinal was doubled off his base. Jordan Pals (1-4, 5.03) took the loss when he gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits and two walks in five and two-thirds innings. Pals struck out three. Josh Axelson and Anthony Ferrari combined for two and one-third scoreless innings to close out the game. The sole Springfield run was scored by Tyler Minges on a ground out by Papo Bolivar. First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer, third baseman Travis Hanson and catcher Robinson Cancel each had two hits.

Thursday off day

Rain was the order of the day on Friday as there was an 83-minute rain delay before the game started. Unfortunately for the Cardinals the game did eventually start and they lost 7-5 to the Wichita Wranglers. Buddy Blair (1-5, 6.75 ERA) was hammered for five runs, all earned, on ten hits in five innings pitched. In what ended up being the difference in the game, Anthony Ferrari gave up a two-run double in the eighth inning. Josh Pearce was activated from extended spring training and pitched a scoreless ninth. Shortstop Kevin Estrada went 3-for-4 with a home run and first baseman Andy Schutzenhofer added a two-run single for the Cardinals.

Saturday evening saw Randy Leek leaving the ball up in the zone and he paid the price for it as three of the four runs he allowed came via the long ball. The Springfield Cardinals went on to lose the game 4-2. Leek (2-2, 2.91 ERA) took the loss, going seven and two-thirds innings and giving up only five hits and two walks. Both of the walks came in the second inning and the lead-off one came around to score as the Wranglers scored three runs in that inning. Josh Kinney pitched a scoreless ninth to get in some work since he has not been called upon in a game situation for awhile. Designated hitter and Mr. I Play Everywhere Kevin Estrada accounted for both Swing runs when he singled in catcher Robinson Cancel in the second inning and hit his third home run of the year in the eighth inning. Through Saturday Estrada has fourteen hits in his last thirty-eight at bats to raise his average to .304.

Travis Hanson was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday when he went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, two singles and a two-run homer as the Cardinals defeated the Wichita Wranglers 6-2. Hanson drove in four runs and has raised his average 61 points in just twelve days. Tyler Minges was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. Andy Schutzenhofer was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Starter Jeremy Cook (W, 2-1, 3.24 ERA) had one of his good games this outing, going six and two-thirds innings while allowing two runs, both earned, on four hits. Cook did not walk a batter and struck out four.

Of Note - Center fielder Reid Gorecki has a tender left ankle and saw limited action this week. He sat out Friday's and Saturday's games and played left field for the first time this season on Sunday. Personnel from Memphis radio station WHBQ spoke with the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league pitching coordinator Mark Riggins and were told that Josh Kinney is being considered for promotion due to his excellent work. Cory Doyne continues to impress. His Double-A line is 8.2 innings pitched, six hits, zero runs, and a .167 BAA. The one area on which he needs to is his control as he has walked six batters so far. Travis Hanson had an excellent week offensively, going .375/.370/.583 with six rbi's in twenty-four at bats.

Upcoming Week – vs. third-place Wichita Wranglers (Royals) 16th & 17th, vs. second-place Arkansas Travelers (Angels) 18th through 22nd

High-A – Palm Beach Cardinals
Overall Record – 15 - 20
Weekly Record – 1 - 5
Current Standing – Fourth, five games behind Vero Beach Dodgers
Current Week Team Batting - .205/.237/.295
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 5.69 ERA in 31.2 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 4.50 ERA in 20 innings pitched
Who's Hot – Right fielder Terry Evans hit .375/.375/.417 in twenty-four at bats. RHP Jose Garcia made his first start of the season, the GS stat for him in Baseball America is incorrect, and pitched five scoreless innings for a 0.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
Who's Not – Most of the rest of the team, but all-round utility player (he's played five different defensive positions so far this year) Mike McCoy hit .133/.188/.133 in fifteen at bats. The rotation was particularly bad and when they were not, the bullpen was. Just a stinky week.
Transactions - 5/10/05 - C Jason Motte called up to Springfield; 5/11/05 – Acquired OF Tony McQuade, fifteenth round – 2003 Draft by Cubs

Summary
Stuart Pomeranz started Monday which means the Palm Beach Cardinals lost, 2-1 in eleven innings. However, Pomeranz did not get saddled with the loss as he went eight innings, scattered eight hits while allowing no runs, no walks and struck out eight. He left with a 1-0 lead which lasted long enough for Mark Worrell serve up a solo shot home run to the lead-off batter in the ninth on the very first pitch. At least Worrell did not waste time. It was Worrell's second blown save of the season. Andy Cavazos (0-1, 4.50) took the loss. John Santor singled in Mike McCoy for the Cardinals' sole run.

After an off day on Tuesday Palm Beach got back to their losing ways by dropping their sixth decision in seven games, 3-2 to the Dunedin Blue Jays. Tyler Adamczyk (2-4, 3.74 ERA) took the loss, going six and one-third innings while giving up three runs, all earned, on eight hits and three walks. Adamczyk's weekly numbers were a 4.27 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. Right fielder Michael (Terry) Evans scored one run and drove in the other, batting 2-for-4. Second baseman Cal Hayes went 2-for-3.

Even Palm Beach ace Chris Lambert could not stop the bleeding for the Cardinals as they lost again Thursday, 9-3. Lambert (5-1, 2.95 ERA) had his first poor outing of the season, going only three innings while allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits and two walks. At least one hopes Chris' performance was simply due to an off night and not a consequence of an injury. The Palm Beach batters managed to plate only three runs, two earned, against Dunedin starter Michael MacDonald who came into the contest with a 4.68 ERA in over thirty innings pitched. DH Cody Haerther went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and a rbi. Cardinals reliever Roberto Batista lowered his ERA to 2.95 as he pitched three effective innings and allowed only one hit and one walk.

The Palm Beach Cardinals broke their losing streak by defeating the Dunedin Blue Jays 4-0. In what can be termed a "bullpen-by-committee" start, reliever Jose Garcia (2-0, 4.40 ERA) started in Mark Michael's usual rotation slot and threw five strong innings to pick up the win. Garcia struck out six while walking two and gave up three hits. Relievers Wayne Lundgren, Andy Cavazos and Mark Worrell combined for four shut-out innings, allowing only one hit and two walks.
The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth when Tyler Parker legged out an infield single and stole second. After John Santor walked and Tony McQuade flew out, Terry Evans came through with a two-out infield single that scored Parker and moved Santor to third. Matt Pagnozzi duplicated Evans' effort with his own infield hit to score Santor and put the Cardinals up 2-0. The Cardinals added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings when Santor scored on a wild pitch and Cody Haerther had an inside-the-park home run on a fly ball to right field.

The Palm Beach Cardinals fell to the Dunedin Blue Jays on Saturday night by a 8-2 score. Starter Stuart Pomeranz (1-5, 3.83 ERA) took the loss with a poor outing. Pomeranz gave up six runs, five earned, on twelve hits and one walk in only five innings pitched. Roberto Batista and Jeff Randazzo each gave up an earned run while pitching an inning while Stephen (Scott) Schweitzer continues to impress by pitching a scoreless, hitless seventh inning and lowering his ERA to 2.19. The Cardinals' two runs scored in the fourth inning when second baseman Cal Hayes and shortstop Mike McCoy got aboard with back-to-back singles to lead-off the inning. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Hayes then scored on third baseman Matt Dryer's ground out. First baseman John Santor then lined a single to left to score McCoy. Right fielder Terry Evans went 3-for-4 but did not figure in the scoring.

Prior to Sunday's game the Clearwater Threshers' record was 8-27 and they have a solid hold on last place in the West division of the Florida State League. Palm Beach still managed to lose to them, 10-6. Mark Michael (L, 1-3, 4.76 ERA) returned to the rotation and lasted four and one-third innings while giving up seven runs, all earned, on four hits and five walks. Two of the four hits Mr. Michael allowed were the long ball. Reliever Wayne Lundgren allowed the other three runs on five hits and two walks in his two and two-thirds inning stint. Third baseman Matt Dryer, first baseman John Santor and right fielder Terry Evans all went 2-for-4 in a losing cause.

Of Note - During the WHBQ radio program, mentioned in the Springfield notes, Stuart Pomeranz' name came up as being considered for a possible promotion. Palm Beach "closer" Mark Worrell has some nice peripherals. (I put the word "closer" in quotes because he does not get much of an opportunity to save anything these days.) Anyway, he is striking out more than a batter an inning or eighteen strike outs in sixteen innings pitched. His cumulative numbers are: 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 18:8 (or 2.25:1) K/BB ratio and .182 BAA. Cody Haerther continues to DH for the Cardinals, presumably due to his sore shoulder. I look forward to his return to the outfield. Upcoming Week – @ sixth and last-place (West division) Clearwater Threshers (Phillies) 16th through 18th, vs. first-place (West division) Lakeland Tigers 19th through 22nd

Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities
Overall Record – 19 - 16
Weekly Record – 5 - 1
Current Standing – Tied for second with Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Mariners), four games behind Clinton LumberKings (Rangers)
Current Week Team Batting - .264/.348/.503
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.47 ERA in 33.2 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 1.10 ERA in 16.1 innings pitched
Who's Hot – Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir hit .389/.476/.722 with five runs scored in eighteen at bats. The Quad Cities bullpen who gave up two earned runs in 16.1 innings pitched. Their weekly WHIP was 0.61. Way to go, guys!
Who's Not – Third baseman Jake Mullinax went .200/.294/.333 in fifteen at bats. Kyle McClellan continues to struggle. His weekly numbers are three earned runs allowed in four innings pitched for a 6.75 ERA and 1.75 WHIP.
Transactions – 5/11/05 - C Brandon Marcelli activated from DL and called up to Palm Beach

Summary
The first ten games of the season saw the Swing dig themselves a hole by going 2-8. On Monday they evened their record to .500 by defeating the first-place Clinton LumberKings 10-5. The Swing took three of four games from the LumberKings and did it on the road which is a big boost to the team. The big blow was Matt Lemanczyk's bases-clearing double in the second inning that gave the Swing a 3-2 lead. The third inning saw four more runs score as Joe Mather hit a solo shot which was followed by Derry Hammond's 2-run shot and Simon Williams' single that scored Jake Mullinax. Mullinax got on base with a double to center. Reliever Justin Knoff (1-0, 3.31 ERA) picked up his first win of the season while Kevin Ool notched his first save.

The Swing got some extra rest after Tuesday's day off by playing a rain-shortened game on Wednesday. The Swing won 1-0 when the game was stopped after four and two-thirds innings. Matt Shepherd's one-out double that was followed by Derry Hammond's two-out single to left was the difference in the game. Dennis Dove (3-2, 3.55) struggled with his mechanics as he was unable to get his offspeed pitches over but still kept the Cedar Rapids Kernels off the board.

Thursday off day

The Swing salvaged a split of a Friday double header with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, when they dropped the opener 4-2 but won the nightcap 5-4. The Swing were basically shut down by Kernels' starter Bill Edwards (4-1, 2.68 ERA) in the first game when he gave up only one run, earned, and five hits in six innings pitched of a seven-inning contest. Mike Parisi (1-4, 4.89 ERA) was a victim of the long ball as three of the four runs he allowed came via home runs. Parisi lasted only three and one-third innings. Catcher Brady Toops' solo shot and back-to-back doubles by Toops and third baseman Jake Mullinax comprised the Swing's runs. The second game saw the Swing bat around in the fourth inning as they turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead. After a lead-off walk to left fielder Matt Lemanczyk and a hit-by-pitch of third baseman Chris Patrick, first baseman Joe Mather unloaded for a three-run shot to left which gave the Swing a lead they did not relinquish. Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir then doubled to left and scored on a two-out double by right fielder Wes Swackhamer. Short stop Juan Lucena singled up the middle to score Swackhamer. Kevin Ool (6-0, 1.89 ERA) picked up the victory in relief of Kyle McClellan while Michael Sillman, 0.54 ERA, picked up his eighth save. Ool is tied with starter Clay Hamilton of the Fort Worth Wizards, San Diego Padres, for the lead in wins in the Midwest League through Friday's games.

"I'm not a one-pitch pitcher anymore. I was getting my changeup over, and I was showing a first-pitch curve to give guys something to think about it." So said Eric Haberer to the Quad-City Times after his 4-1 win on Saturday. Haberer, (4-2, 2.55 ERA) was simply dominating as he got ahead of batters, kept the ball down and got good movement on his pitches – an excellent recipe for success. He scattered five hits over seven innings and allowed only one unearned run with five strike outs and one walk. Jaymes Torres (H, 2) and Mike Sillman (S, 9) did not allow a base runner in the final two innings. The Swing batters jumped on Kyle Waldrop, a first-round 2004 draft pick by the Twins, for two runs when Hoffpauir led off the second inning with a triple. That was followed by Derry Hammond's towering shot to left. Hoffpauir then doubled in Joe Mather who led off the fourth inning with his own double. Hoffpauir subsequently scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error.

Mike Ferris broke out of a prolonged hitting slump on Sunday with two home runs as the Swing defeated the Beliot Snappers 5-3. Ferris accounted for all five runs scored by the Swing with a two-run shot in the second that put the Swing up 2-0. His second home run of the day was a three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth inning that erased a 3-2 deficit and proved to be the winning hit. Kevin Ool (W, 7-0, 1.77 ERA) is earning the title "King of the Vulture Wins", picking this win up in relief of starter Matt Scherer by pitching a scoreless one and one-thirds innings. Scherer went six and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, all earned, on seven hits and one walk. He struck out three.

Of Note - After some early season shuffling of personnel, the Quad Cities bullpen is settling into form and putting up some nice numbers. There are three relievers that have pitched double-digit innings while accumulating an ERA under 1.00 – Lefty Kevin Ool at 20.1 innings pitched, 0.84 WHIP and 1.77 ERA, Righty Dennis Medina at 10.2 innings pitched, 0.84 WHIP and 0.84 ERA and closer Mike Sillman at 17.2 innings pitched, 1.02 WHIP and 0.51 ERA. Catcher Brady Toops had an excellent week, going .444/.444/.889 in nine at bats. He did not get "Who's Hot" honors due to his limited at bats. Shortstop Matt Shepherd, who has played a few games at both second and third base this season, went .333/.444/.467 in fifteen at bats.

Upcoming Week – vs. fourth-place Beloit Snappers (Twins) 16th & 17th, vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) 18th, @ fifth-place Burlington Bees (Royals) 19th through 22nd

The Stat Sheet
We are back to offense this week. Since there are only a limited number of players with the 3.1 plate appearance minimum needed to qualify, all qualifying players are listed for each team, from top to bottom for Batting Average, On-Base Percentage, Slugging, OPS and Runs Created. For Strike Outs per At Bat – the top and bottom two are listed, minimum 75 at bats.

Batting Average
Memphis
Center fielder Skip Schumaker at .310
Shortstop John Nelson at .291
First baseman Chris Duncan .290
Outfielder Brandon Berger at .273
Second and Third baseman Bo Hart at .213

Springfield
Outfielder Tyler Minges at .331
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .294
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at .273
Outfielder Shaun Boyd at .252
Outfielder Papo Bolivar at .248
Outfielder Reid Gorecki at .177

Palm Beach
Outfielder Cody Haerther at .331
Shortstop Brendan Ryan at .327
First baseman John Santor at .256
Outfielder Tyler Parker at .247
Outfielder Terry Evans at .224
Third baseman Matt Dryer at .211

Quad Cities
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir at .330
Shortstop Matt Shepherd at .279
Outfielder Derry Hammond at .255
Outfielder Wes Swackhamer at .248
Third baseman Jake Mullinax at .216
Outfielder Matt Lemanczyk at .208
Outfielder Mike Ferris at .182

On-Base Percentage
Memphis
Shortstop John Nelson at .405
Outfielder Skip Schumaker at .361
Outfielder Brandon Berger at .348
First baseman Chris Duncan at .347
Second and third baseman Bo Hart at .269

Springfield
Outfielder Tyler Minges at .384
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at .359
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .351
Outfielder Shaun Boyd at .344
Outfielder Papo Bolivar at .297
Outfielder Reid Gorecki at .271

Palm Beach
Outfielder Cody Haerther at .391
Shortstop Brendan Ryan at .383
Outfielder Tyler Parker at .330
First baseman John Santor at .326
Outfielder Terry Evans at .298
Third baseman Matt Dryer at .265

Quad Cities
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir at .397
Shortstop Matt Shepherd at .396
Third baseman Jake Mullinax at .333
Outfielder Derry Hammond at .325
Outfielder Matt Lemanczyk at .313
Outfielder Wes Swackhamer at .287
First baseman Mike Ferris at .248

Slugging
Memphis
Shortstop John Nelson at .536
Outfielder Brandon Berger at .505
First baseman Chris Duncan at .430
Outfielder Skip Schumaker at .414
Infielder Bo Hart at .333

Springfield
Outfielder Tyler Minges at .581
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .485
Outfielder Papo Bolivar at .403
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at .327
Outfielder Reid Gorecki at .301
Outfielder Shaun Boyd at .287

Palm Beach
Outfielder Cody Haerther at .621
Shortstop Brendan Ryan at .469
Third baseman Matt Dryer at .447
Outfielder Tyler Parker at .371
Outfielder Terry Evans at .360
First baseman John Santor at .359

Quad Cities
Outfielder Derry Hammond at .510
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir at .477
Shortstop Matt Shepherd at .378
First baseman Matt Ferris at .364
Outfielder Wes Swackhamer at .347
Third baseman Jake Mullinax at .333
Outfielder Matt Lemanczyk at .260

OPS
Memphis
Shortstop John Nelson at .941
Outfielder Brandon Berger at .843
First baseman Chris Duncan at .777
Outfielder Skip Schumaker at .775
Infielder Bo Hart at .602

Springfield
Outfielder Tyler Minges at .965
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .836
Outfielder Papo Bolivar at .700
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at .687
Outfielder Shaun Boyd at .630
Outfielder Reid Gorecki at .572

Palm Beach
Outfielder Cody Haerther at 1.012
Shortstop Brendan Ryan at .853
Third baseman Matt Dryer at .712
Outfielder Tyler Parker at .701
First baseman John Santor at .685
Outfielder Terry Evans at .658

Quad Cities
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir at .874
Outfielder Derry Hammond at .834
Shortstop Matt Shepherd at .774
Third baseman Jake Mullinax at .667
Outfielder Wes Swackhamer at .634
First baseman Mike Ferris at .612
Outfielder Matt Lemanczyk at .573

Runs Created
Memphis
Shortstop John Nelson at 22.62
Outfielder Skip Schumaker at 22.29
Outfielder Brandon Berger at 17.76
First baseman Chris Duncan at 15.12
Infielder Bo Hart at 9.54

Springfield
Outfielder Tyler Minges at 27.41
Third baseman Travis Hanson at 22.93
Outfielder Papo Bolivar at 15.16
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at 11.80
Outfielder Shaun Boyd at 11.29
Outfielder Reid Gorecki at 8.91

Palm Beach
Outfielder Cody Haerther at 30.49
Shortstop Brendan Ryan at 17.61
Third baseman Matt Dryer at 13.96
Outfielder Terry Evans at 13.05
First baseman John Santor at 12.57
Outfielder Tyler Parker at 12.03

Quad Cities
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir at 20.08
Outfielder Derry Hammond at 16.74
Shortstop Matt Shepherd at 16.28
First baseman Mike Ferris at 10.88
Third baseman Jake Mullinax at 10.76
Outfielder Wes Swackhamer at 10.12
Outfielder Matt Lemanczyk at 8.36

Strike Outs per At Bat – The Top (also known as the "Best Battin' Eye" or the "David Eckstein")
Memphis
Center fielder Skip Schumaker at 1:10.36 at bats (145 at bats taken)
Outfielder Pete Zoccolillo at 1:8.55 at bats (94 at bats taken)

Springfield
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at 1:10.00 at bats (110 at bats taken)
Outfielder Tyler Minges at 1:7.75 at bats (124 at bats taken)

Palm Beach
Shortstop Brendan Ryan at 1:10.89 at bats (98 at bats taken)
Utility In and Outfielder Mike McCoy at 1:6.69 at bats (87 at bats taken)

Quad Cities
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir at 1:12.11 at bats (109 at bats taken)
Shortstop Matt Shepherd at 1:8.54 at bats (111 at bats taken)

Strike Outs per At Bat – The Bottom (also known as "Biggest Windmills")
Memphis
Shortstop John Nelson at 1:2.62 at bats (110 at bats taken)
Outfielder Brandon Berger at 1:4.13 at bats (99 at bats taken)

Springfield
Center fielder Reid Gorecki at 1:3.90 at bats (113 at bats taken)
Shortstop Milko Jaramillo at 1:3.91 at bats (90 at bats taken)

Palm Beach
Third baseman Matt Dryer at 1:2.86 at bats (123 at bats taken)
First baseman John Santor at 1:3.55 at bats (117 at bats taken)

Quad Cities
Outfielder Simon Williams at 1:2.89 at bats (81 at bats)
First baseman Mike Ferris at 1:4.03 at bats (121 at bats)

Don't forget to check out Jason Scott's great weekly report on our minor league prospects. The latest one should arrive at any time.


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