This Week in the Minors

A weekly snapshot of the Cardinals minor league system.

This week sees me back from a road trip to watch the New Jersey Cardinals and about to depart for a real vacation for ten days or so. Therefore, this report is a day late coming out, my apologies, due to the road trip and the next one will not appear until late in the week of July 18th. I should be back to my regular schedule after that point.
The changes in standing for the week - Memphis broke even this week and dropped two more games behind Nashville. Springfield went 3-2 this week and are tied with Tulsa for second place, a game behind Wichita. Palm Beach had a very good week that saw them move from fifth to second place, one and one-half games behind Brevard County. The Swing remain first place, two games ahead of Cedar Rapids. Both New Jersey and Johnson City had losing weeks. New Jersey is in fifth place in a six-team division while Johnson City is in last place so far this season. The DSL Cardinals remain in first place in their division.

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AAA – Memphis Redbirds
League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division
Overall Record – 41 - 42
Weekly Record – 3 - 3
Current Standing – Second, four and one-half games behind the Nashville Sounds (Brewers)

Current Week Team Batting - .244/.321/.472
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.73 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 41 innings pitched;
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 11.10 ERA and 2.29 WHIP in 11.1 innings pitched;

Cumulative Team Batting - .265/.335/.443
Cumulative Pitching - 3.96 ERA and 1.33 WHIP

Who's Hot – CF Skip Schumaker went .350/.350/.700 (7-for-20) in six games; RHS Adam Wainwright bounced back from some sub-Wainwright recent performances – 1 GS, 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1.13 ERA and 0.875 WHIP
Who's Not – OF Raul Gonzalez went .083/.185/.083 (2-for-24) in six games; The entire Memphis bullpen of Messrs. Johnson, Journell, Kinney and Pearce

Transactions – 07/01/05 - Traded INF Wilton Guerrero to Chicago White Sox; 07/02/05 – RHP Vladimir Nunez requested and was given his release; 07/03/05 – LHP Randy Flores assigned for rehabilitation assignment, RHP Anthony Reyes activated from the disabled list;

Of Note -
Cody McKay went .364/.462/.727 (4-for-11) in three games and John Rodriguez went .333/.333/.810 (7-for-21) with 9 RBIs and 5 runs scored in five games.

Game-Of-The-Week Highlight -
Outfielder John Rodriguez defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs 7-5 Monday evening and the rest of the Redbirds just came along for the ride.
Rodriguez' 2-for-4 night was capped by a seventh-inning grand slam that broke a 3-3 tie. Additionally, he accounted for every run scored by the Redbirds with a two-run home run in the sixth inning for a total of six RBI's. Rodriguez scored the remaining Redbirds' run in the fourth inning when he reached on a throwing error by the Zephyrs' third baseman and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Chris Duncan then singled Rodriguez home to tie the game at one all.
Starter Kevin Jarvis (W, 6-2, 2.76 ERA) allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings on nine hits, including a home run to lead off the fourth inning, and two walks. He struck out four. Jarvis was active at the plate as well, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Vladimir Nunez (3.05 ERA) picked his sixth save as a Redbird and tenth save overall by striking out four of the five batters he faced.

Upcoming Week – vs. Omaha Royals 4th through 7th, at Albuquerque Isotopes (Marlins) 8th through 10th

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AA – Springfield Cardinals
League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division
Overall Record – 4 – 5 (39 – 40)
Weekly Record – 3 - 2
Current Standing – Tied for second with the Tulsa Drillers (Rockies), one game behind the Wichita Wranglers (Royals)

Current Week Team Batting - .285/.328/.479
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 2.32 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 31 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 7.62 ERA and 2.31 WHIP in 13 innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .266/.331/.408
Cumulative Pitching - 4.15 ERA and 1.42 WHIP

Who's Hot – 3B Travis Hanson went .476/.500/.952 (10-for-21) and 2B Aaron Herr went .444/.474/1.000 (8-for-18), both in five games; RHS Jeremy Cummings and Jordan Pals both had excellent starts this week – each went 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 R, 0 ER for a 0.00 ERA, balance of Cummings' line was 4 H, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.57WHIP. Balance of Pals' line was 2 H, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0.43 WHIP
Who's Not – OF Tyler Minges went .111/.190/.167 (2-for-18) in five games and OF Papo Bolivar went .133/.188/.133 (2-for-15) in four games; Messrs. Doyne, Ferrari, Mears, Rawson and Cook of the Springfield bullpen

Transactions - 06/29/05 – RHP Evan Rust to disabled list; 07/01/05 – Signed RHP Chris Mears;

Of Note -
Cory Doyne ( 2.45 ERA and 1.40 WHIP) has been anointed the Cardinals' latest closer. Josh Kinney was the Cardinals closer for most of the first-half before his promotion to Triple-A. Evan Rust took a shot at the role with uneven results so now it's Doyne's turn. Rust was subsequently put on the disabled list this week.

Game-Of-The-Week Highlight
Jordan Pals turned in his best performance of the season as the Cardinals defeated the Corpus Christi Hooks 7-3 Monday evening to stop a three-game losing skid.
Pals (W, 4-5, 3.71 ERA) shut out the Hooks over seven innings on just two hits and one walk while striking out five. Pals did not allow a baserunner after a double to lead off the second inning until a single led off the seventh inning. "Good movement, great command, the best game of the year for him," pitching coach Blaise Ilsley told the Springfield News-Leader. Anthony Ferrari and Cory Doyne pitched the final two innings, combining for three runs allowed on two hits and two walks. Doyne also struck out three on his way to his third save of the season.
The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when both Robinson Cancel and Aaron Herr scored on a throwing error by shortstop Wade Robinson. Cancel and Herr reached base on back-to-back singles. Travis Hanson's home run to lead off the fifth inning upped the score to 3-0. Leading 3-1 the Cardinals put the game away by scoring four runs in the eighth inning on back-to-back home runs by Aaron Herr and Milko Jaramillo. Herr's was a two-run shot. The other run scored when Juan Diaz singled in Tyler Minges who had an infield single to lead off the inning.

Upcoming Week – at Wichita Wranglers (Royals) 4th and 5th, vs. Tulsa Drillers (Rockies) 6th through 10th

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High-A – Palm Beach Cardinals
League Affiliation - twelve-team Florida State League, six-team East division
Overall Record – 7 – 5 (37 – 45)
Weekly Record – 5 - 2
Current Standing – Second, one and one-half games behind the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers)

Current Week Team Batting - .271/.380/.430
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 5.08 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 39 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 3.37 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 21.1 innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .239/.309/.364
Cumulative Pitching - 4.10 ERA and 1.37 WHIP

Who's Hot – OF Joe Mather went .360/.467/.680 (9-for-25) with 5 runs scored and 7 RBI's in seven games; RHS Mike Parisi's follow up to his Florida State debut went better – 1 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 SO, 3.00 ERA and 0.83 WHIP
Who's Not – OF Terry Evans went .087/.192/.174 (2-for-23) with 2 walks in six games but he made those two hits and walks count as he scored two runs and had 5 RBIs; RHS Josh Axelson's conversion back to starter hit a speed bump this week – 1 GS, 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 2 SO, 10.80 ERA and 2.40 WHIP

Transactions - 07/01/05 – C Jason Motte to disabled list; RHP Blake Hawksworth activated from disabled list and optioned to New Jersey;

Of Note -
Palm Beach had their hitting shoes on this week. In addition to Joe Mather, Mr. "Who's Hot", here are some of the other main contributors: 1B/DH John Santor went .417/.563/.1.083 (5-for-12) with 5 runs scored and 3 RBIs in four games, C Matt (I still want to type "Tom") Pagnozzi went .375/.444/.438 (6-for-16) with a run scored and 3 RBIs in five games, SS Rayner Laya went .357/.333/.429 (5-for-14) with 3 runs scored and an RBI in four games, 1B Andy Schutzenhofer went .333/.481/.333 (7-for-21) with 6 runs scored, 2 RBIs and a whopping 6 walks in six games, SS Brendan Ryan went .333/.333/.467 (5-for-15) with a run scored in four games and Mr. I Play Everywhere – Mike McCoy – went .313/.421/.500 (5-for-16) with 4 runs scored, 5 RBIs and 3 stolen bases in four games. I will also note that while Matt Dryer did not hit for average this week, .222/.370/.455, he did get on base and really contribute by walking five times, scoring four runs and driving in six runs.
Eric Haberer's missed start turned out to be merely pushed back a day. He started Monday's game and did fine, allowing two runs on seven hits over six innings. He did not figure in the decision.
Lefty Kevin Ool's line so far since his promotion – 6 G, 9.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 11 SO, 1.86 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Righty reliever Rich Scalamandre's season-to-date line – 26 G, 32.1 IP, 25 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 2 HR, 10 BB, 28 SO, 2.51 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Scalmandre's K/BB ratio is almost 3:1, batters are hitting just .221 against him and he is striking out a respectable 7.8 batters for every 9 innings pitched. Springfield needs bullpen help so they sign 27-year-old Chris Mears who compiled a 5.20 ERA in 45 innings with the Triple-A Richmond this season instead of giving 24-year-old Scalamandre a decent chance. Clearly this must be a case of the stats not telling the entire story. End of rant.

Upcoming Week – at Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) 4th, vs. Jupiter Hammerheads 5th, vs. Dunedin Blue Jays 6th through 9th

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Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities
League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division
Overall Record – 8 – 3 (44 – 36)
Weekly Record – 4 - 3
Current Standing – First, two games ahead of the Cedar Rapids Kernals (Angels)

Current Week Team Batting - .313/.387/.472
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 5.92 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 38 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 6.26 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in 23 innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .267/.345/.410
Cumulative Pitching - 4.27 ERA and 1.39 WHIP

Who's Hot – OF Nick Stavinoha went .545/.615/.909 (12-for-22) with 8 runs scored and 7 RBIs in seven games. Way to impress the new bosses!; RHS Phillip Andersen, 23rd round – 2004 draft, has the following line so far: 6 G, 6 GS, 35.1 innings pitched, 28 H, 14 R, 10 ER, 3 HR, 13 BB, 22 SO, 2.55 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and .215 batting average against
Who's Not – 2B Cal Hayes went .208/.259/.208 (5-for-24) in six games; RHS Tyler Adamczyk's line since being optioned from Palm Beach – 4 G, 3 GS, 14.1 innings pitched, 25 H, 22 R, 20 ER, 3 HR, 7 BB, 8 SO, 12.56 ERA, 2.23 WHIP and .385 batting average against

Transactions – 07/02/05 – RHP Kyle McClellan placed on disabled list; 07/03/05 – RHP Dennis Medina activated from disabled list and RHP Donnie Smith placed on DL;

Of Note -
While any other offensive performance pales in comparison to Nick Stavinoha's this week (and how did Stavinoha not get "Player of the Week" honors this week?), several other players merit mentioning: SS/3B Matt Shepherd went .407/.500/.519 (11-for-27) 4 runs scored, 5 walks and 4 RBIs in seven games, OF Eric Verbryke went .375/.500/.667 (9-for-24) with 4 doubles, 1 home run, 6 runs scored, 6 walks and 5 RBIs in seven games, 1B/DH Mike Ferris went .364/.481/.773 (8-for-22) with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 8 runs scored, 5 walks and 6 RBIs in six games and OF Matt Lemanczyk went .300/.364/.800 (3-for-10) with a triple, a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs in a limited three games played.
I am excited to see Dennis Medina come off the disabled list as he has done excellent work in limited action – 10 G, 17 innings pitched, 12 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 21 SO, 1.06 ERA, 0.823 WHIP and .188 batting average against. Medina is a 22-year-old Venezuelan signed by the Cardinals in December 2004 after being released by the Minnesota Twins.
Last week I speculated that Chris Patrick's limited playing time might be due to possible defensive inadequacies since he has been used primarily as a DH. However, I have now heard that Patrick is excellent defensively so the mystery of why he does not get more playing time continues.

Upcoming Week – vs. West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers) 4th through 7th, vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) 8th through 10th

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Short-A – New Jersey Cardinals
League Affiliation - fourteen-team New York-Penn League, six-team McNamara division
Overall Record – 5 - 8
Weekly Record – 2 - 5
Current Standing – Fifth, four games behind the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets)

Current Week Team Batting - .248/.346/.347
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 4.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 24 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 2.65 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 34 innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .223/.310/.308
Cumulative Pitching - 3.27 ERA and 1.22 WHIP

Who's Hot – 1B Adam Rodgers went .346/.433/.538 (9-for-26) with 4 runs scored and 5 RBIs in nine games so far this season; LHS Zach Zuercher's line so far – 3 G, 2 GS, 10.2 innings pitched, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB. 6 SO, 2.53 ERA and 0.66 WHIP with a .143 batting average against
Who's Not – There are eight players with at least 19 at bats that are hitting .226 or lower; RHS Chris Farley's line so far – 3 G, 2 GS, 11 innings pitched, 16 H, 9 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 9 SO, 6.55 ERA and 1.73 WHIP and a .333 batting average against

Transactions – 06/28/05 – Signed RHP Jason Cairns (8th round – 2005 draft) and INF Kevin Richmond; 06/29/05 – Signed INF Tyler Greene (1st round – 2005 draft); 07/01/05 – Signed RHP Mark McCormick (1st round – 2005 draft) and C Craig Newton, C Brandon Marcelli called up to Palm Beach; 07/02/05 – RHP Jason Cairns called up to Quad Cities

Of Note -
The roles on the New Jersey Cardinals pitching staff are very fluid so far with seven different pitchers being used both as starters and relievers. Therefore, the rotation/bullpen pitching stats split out above do not carry the same weight as they do with other of the Cardinals' minor leagues teams where roles are far more defined.
The Cardinals have played thirteen games through July 3rd and have been involved in six one-run contests. Their record in one-run contests is 2-4 so with just a couple of timely hits the Cardinals' record could be a winning one.
One of the things that really struck me during my visit to see the New Jersey team last week-end was how the talent level of the pitching appeared to be beyond the umpires' abilities. There were several Cardinals' pitchers, Boggs, Hawksworth and Zuercher immediately come to mind, whose pitches moved enough that the umpires appeared to be fooled into thinking that they were not throwing strikes. Just another thing for me to keep in mind when I look at the boxscores.
You can file the following observation under "Well…O.K." – New Jersey played the Yankees and Mets minor league teams last week-end while I was there. Both the New Jersey and Yankee uniforms were clearly connected to the parent club in style, color and name, the New Jersey Cardinals and the Staten Island Yankees. The Mets' team had no obvious connection to their parent club. Their name is the Brooklyn Cyclones and their uniforms are red and gold. They have snazzy hats, though, that are red with a gold bill.

Upcoming Week – vs. Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) 4th, at Brooklyn 5th, at Williamsport Crosscutters (Pirates) 6th through 8th, at Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles) 9th and 10th

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Rookie – Johnson City Cardinals
League Affiliation - ten-team Appalachian League, five-team West division
Overall Record – 3 - 10
Weekly Record – 1 - 6
Current Standing – Last, seven games behind the Elizabethton Twins

Current Week Team Batting - .252/.292/.430
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 9.27 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in 22.1 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 5.83 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 41.2 innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .239/.286/.373
Cumulative Pitching - 6.56 ERA and 1.64 WHIP

Who's Hot – 3B Randy Roth, 10th round – 2005 draft, went .423/.429/.808 (11-for-26) with 7 runs scored and 8 RBIs in seven games; RHR Ryan Dixon, an undrafted free agent signee, has only given up one earned run so far this season. His line – 5 G, 9 innings pitched, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 10 SO, 1.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, .161 BAA
Who's NotColby Rasmus came back down to earth this week, going .115/.148/.154 (3-for-26) in seven games; RHS Sean Garceau (see "Of Note" for further remarks) has the following line so far this season – 2 G, 2 GS, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 4 BB, 3 SO, 16.63 ERA and 2.77 WHIP

Transactions – 06/29/05 – Signed INF Jonathan Mikrut; 07/01/05 – RHP Kyle Sadlowski called up to New Jersey;

Of Note -
Righty reliever Kevin Fitzgerald, 45th round – 2005 draft, has been a bright light in the bullpen as has lefty reliever Josh Schwartz, 42nd round – 2005 draft. Here's what they have done so far: Fitzgerald – 5 G, 4.1 innings pitched, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with 2 saves and a .077 batting average against, Schwartz – 6 G, 9.2 innings pitched, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1.86 ERA and 0.72 WHIP with a .152 batting average against.
Third-round 2005 draft pick OF Tyler Jones went .333/.375/.733 (5-for-15) with 2 home runs in seven games this week. 1B A. J. Van Slyke, 23rd round – 2005 draft, did even better, going .450/.476/.600 (9-for-20) with 5 runs scored and 4 RBIs in five games.
As noted in the "Who's Not" above, Sean Garceau, 20th round – 2005 draft, is finding the transition from high school to professional ball to be a bit rough. However, I should point out that Mr. Garceau does not turn 18 until late August. The Cardinals drafted and/or signed a fair number of high schoolers this year so remember to check a player's age when looking at their stats.

Upcoming Week – at Kingsport Mets 4th, at Bluefield Orioles 5th through 7th, at Pulaski Blue Jays 8th through 10th

Dominican Summer League coverage and The Stat sheet will return in the next report in two weeks.


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