In five June starts, Dove went 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 32-2/3 innings, holding opposing hitters to only 20 hits and a .175 batting average. On June 29, he pitched the first nine inning complete game of the season for a Cardinals minor leaguer, needing only 95 pitches and allowing three runs on six hits while walking only one and striking out seven.
Dove also had a stretch in late April and early May when he won four consecutive starts, posting a 0.83 ERA with 18 strikeouts and only five walks in 21-2/3 innings. The last of those four wins came on May 11 when Dove tossed a two-hit, complete game shutout in a rain-shortened, five inning start. Overall, in 17 starts, Dove has a 3.53 ERA, a 69/27 K/BB ratio, and has allowed only 85 hits in 97 innings.
Dove was given a $400,000 signing bonus after being selected in the third round of the 2003 draft out of Georgia Southern University; ahead of some of the Cardinals top prospects, including Anthony Reyes, Brendan Ryan, and Mark Micahel. He was rated as the 67th best college prospect by Baseball America and was considered to be one of the true power arms in the draft with a blazing 95 mph fastball. Due to his lack of a second useable pitch, BA called him a "project" for whoever drafted him and projected him as a reliever, saying that he "has a hard slider but throws it in the dirt more often than he does in the strike zone" and that it would be crucial for him to develop his slider.
In 2003, Dove went 1-3 with a 3.51 ERA in seven starts for short-season New Jersey. In 25-2/3 innings, he allowed 29 hits while walking 15 and striking out 15. In what should have been his first full season, Dove battled an injured right ankle in 2004 and was limited to only nine starts between New Jersey and Low-A Peoria. He spent most of the first half in extended spring training, but did make a few spot starts for Peoria, going 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA while walking 10 and striking out only four in 12-2/3 innings. He made six starts for New Jersey in the second half, posting a 0-5 record with an 8.06 ERA and a 24/13 K/BB ratio in 22-1/3 innings. Dove had surgery in the offseason to correct his ankle problem.
• Anthony Reyes, the Cardinals top prospect, was activated from the disabled list and made his first start since June 13 on Monday night.
Scheduled to throw 60 pitches or three innings, whichever came first, Reyes needed only 54 pitches to get through three innings. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out six and walking only one.
Reyes struck out the side in the first inning, and the lone run came on a home run by Calvin Pickering to lead off the second inning. According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Reyes "looked sharp for most of his stint, with his fastball touching 93 mph, but occasionally let pitches drift over the middle of the plate."
His next start is scheduled for Saturday at Albuquerque.
• Mark Michael started playing catch this past week and hopes to start throwing bullpens soon. If all goes well, he hopes to be back in 2-3 weeks. He did throw a bullpen about a week and a half ago, but he had to be shutdown after his tendenitus flared up again.
The 22-year-old right-hander was removed after two innings in a start on May 25 because of soreness in his shoulder and was placed on the disabled list the next day. He was also removed from a start on May 8 after hearing a "click" in his elbow.
Michael, one of the Cardinals top pitching prospects, was 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA and a 32/23 K/BB ratio in 43 innings for High-A Palm Beach before going on the disabled list.
• Blake Hawksworth made his first start since April 15 of last season on Saturday in a rehab assignment at short-season New Jersey.
On a strict pitch count, Hawksworth threw 37 pitches, 19 for strikes and 18 for balls. In two innings of work he allowed only one hit and one unearned run. He walked three and struck out one and hit 91 mph with his fastball. His next start will be on Thursday.
• Jason Motte, the best defensive catcher in the Cardinals system, was placed on the disabled list after he took a foul ball off his throwing hand on June 28 and broke his thumb. He has since had surgery to repair it.
Motte, who is not known for his hitting, is batting only .172 for Palm Beach. The 23-year-old has also spent a little time at Double-A Springfield, where he has one hit in three at bats this season.
• Buddy Blair was placed on the disabled list for the Palm Beach Cardinals on Wednesday with a strained left oblique muscle. This will be the second stint on the disabled list for Blair since being demoted from Double-A Springfield. He also went on the DL on June 2 with a sore shoulder.
Blair went 1-6 with an 8.50 ERA in 8 starts for Springfield before being sent down. In six starts since then, the 24-year-old lefty has went 2-3 with a 6.10 ERA.
To fill his roster spot, Palm Beach activated outfielder Brian Martin from the disabled list. Martin, 25, had been on the disabled list since April 16 with a broken left wrist that occurred when he tried to make a diving catch. He was batting .400/.432/.543 in 35 at bats before suffering the injury. In his return on Wednesday night, Martin went 3-4 with two doubles and two RBI while serving as the designated hitter.
• Draft Pick Updates: First round pick (28th overall) Colby Rasmus is batting .298 with six doubles in 57 at bats for Johnson City.
First round pick (30th overall) Tyler Greene is batting .364 (4-11) since being activated and added to the New Jersey Cardinals roster on Monday.
Mark McCormick was activated and added to the New Jersey roster on Wednesday. He is expected to make his professional debut soon.
Third round pick Daryl Jones is batting .295 in 54 at bats for New Jersey. He has stolen three bases.
Seventh round pick Nick Stavinoha, the only 2005 draft pick to be sent directly to Quad Cities, is batting .412 in 34 at bats. He has two home runs, seven RBI, and a 6/5 BB/K ratio.
Eighth round pick Jason Cairns, who began his career at New Jersey and had not allowed a run in three innings, was promoted to Quad Cities on July 2 and in four innings since has only allowed one unearned run.
23rd round pick, A.J. Van Slyke, the son of Andy, is batting .391/.400/.674/ with two doubles, three triples, two home runs, and leads all Cardinal draft picks with 14 RBI in 46 at bats.
• Following is a list of the Cardinals draft picks through the first 10 rounds and their signing bonuses, according to Baseball America: Colby Rasmus ($1,000,000), Tyler Greene ($1,100,000), Mark McCormick ($800,000), Tyler Herron ($675,000), Josh Wilson ($515,000), Nick Webber ($425,000), Daryl Jones ($450,000), Bryan Anderson ($250,000), Mitchell Boggs ($150,000), Wilfrido Pujols ($120,000), Nick Stavinoha ($15,000), Jason Cairns ($15,000), Zach Zuercher ($50,000), Randy Roth ($2,000)
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