The Jason Scott Prospect Report

We have already seen seven players that started the season in Memphis make their way to St. Louis in the first half. Expect to see several more new faces do the same in the second half.

Carmen Cali, Kevin Jarvis, Jimmy Journell, Skip Schumaker, and Scott Seabol have all been called up for short stints this season, and it's possible they could see more time in St. Louis before the season is over. Jarvis was outrighted, meaning he was removed from the 40-man roster, when he was sent down in May but he has pitched well enough to deserve another chance. The 35-year-old righthander ranks third in the PCL with his seven wins and his 3.00 ERA ranks sixth best. He even touched 94 mph with his fastball on Wednesday night at the Triple-A All Star game.

Bill Pulsipher, who began the season with the Cardinals and was outrighted to Memphis in May, is less likely to get another chance with the big club. His numbers are not horrible (3-4, 4.37), but the Cardinals don't believe that he can consistently retire major league hitters by working up in the zone like he does with his not so dominant stuff.

Following are five players that might make their Cardinals debut in the second half of the season.

John Rodriguez – Acquired on June 9 as the player-to-be-named in the trade that sent catcher Javier Cardona to the Cleveland organization, Rodriguez has been a monster since joining Memphis. The 27-year-old outfielder already leads the Redbirds in home runs with 15 and is hitting .337/.420/.808 with 41 RBI.

A young left-handed hitting outfielder with power. Sounds just like what the Cardinals have been searching the market for. Rodriguez might not be the long-term solution the Cardinals are looking for but with an 11 ½ game lead in the division, why not give him a chance?

Chris Gissell – The starting pitcher for the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All Star Game on Wednesday night, Gissell ranks second in the league in strikeouts (104) and innings pitched (113-1/3), and third in ERA (2.62).

The 27-year-old righthander spent the past two seasons in the Colorado organization pitching primarily as a reliever for Colorado Springs, which is even worse than Denver. In 2003 he was 8-4 with a 3.55 ERA and opponents batted only .232 against him in 109 innings pitched. Last season he led the PCL in wins with 14, despite starting only eight games. Overall, he appeared in 24 games for the Sky Sox and lost only twice while posting an ERA of 3.67 and holding batters to a .237 average. That earned him a promotion to the big club in August, where he would even make a start against the Cardinals at Coors Field.

He got shelled in his short major league stint, allowing 14 runs on 20 hits in only 8-2/3 innings, but hasn't he has earned another chance with his performance at Memphis this season.

Adam Wainwright – Wainwright, one of the Cardinals top pitching prospects, might get his first taste of the big leagues in September. Acquired along with Ray King and Jason Marquis in the trade that sent J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero to the Atlanta Braves, Wainwright has struggled a bit lately but still has pretty good overall numbers. Coming into Thursday nights game he was 6-6 with a 3.60 ERA and an 89/27 K/BB ratio in 120 innings. One cause for concern, however, is that he has allowed more hits (127) than innings pitched.

Wainwright might have received a September call-up last season had it not been for an elbow strain that cause him to miss most of the season.

Anthony Reyes – It is appearing less likely that we will get to see the Cardinals top prospect in September this season.

Durability is a big question with Reyes and his most recent stint on the disabled list, when he missed almost three weeks with a sprained right AC (acromioclavicular) joint in his throwing shoulder, has some fans questioning whether or not Reyes can handle being a starting pitcher. In 2004, his first professional season, Reyes missed six weeks early in the season with shoulder inflammation. Reyes has also been bothered by elbow injuries in the past, which is the reason that he fell from a projected first round draft pick to Detroit in the 13th round in 2002 (he didn't sign) and to the Cardinals in the 15th round in 2003.

On top of the durability issue, it appears that Reyes does not agree completely with the coaches. The Cardinals believe that he needs to start getting the ball down in the strike zone more often and that it might require changing his mechanics.

"I don't think he's throwing the ball down enough," Dyar Miller, the Memphis Redbirds pitching coach, recently told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I don't think (Cardinals pitching coach Dave) Duncan is going to stand for that."

The Cardinals believe that adding a sinker to his pitching arsenal might be the solution, but Reyes refuses to change his mechanics just to incorporate another pitch.

"It will have to work with my arm angle," Reyes told the St. Louis Cardinals Gameday Magazine for the latest issue. "I'm not changing arm angles. I'm not changing my style of pitching.

"The pitch is going to have to change to me."

Despite all of this, Reyes is still having a very good season. In 14 starts he has a 6-3 record with a 3.32 ERA and a 76/18 K/BB ratio in 78-2/3 innings.

Tyler Johnson – This is my sleeper pick. His numbers this season are not very impressive. In 34-1/3 innings the lefty reliever has a 6.29 ERA and has issued 21 walks, but he has also compiled 43 strikeouts. Confidence appears to be the biggest issue with Johnson. The Oakland A's liked him enough to spend $50,000 to take him in the Rule-5 Draft in December, though they later returned him for half that price.

"He's got a better breaking ball than anybody we've got in the organization," Miller told the Post-Dispatch. "He might be better than (Carmen) Cali, although Cali throws a little harder."

News and Notes • Chris Lambert pitched two-thirds of an inning in Sunday's XM Satellite Radio Futures Game. He got out of a jam created by Pirates prospect Paul Maholm in the 5th inning.

With one out and runners on second and third base with the World team leading 3-0, Lambert got Nationals outfield prospect Frank Diaz to swing and miss on three straight sliders. He then walked Jose Bautista (Pirates) on five pitches to load the bases, but got out of the jam by getting Russ Martin (Dodgers) to pop up to Daric Barton at first base on a 91 mph fastball.

Lambert, who last pitched for Springfield on Thursday, needed only 11 pitches to get the final two outs of the inning. He looked sharp, throwing only fastballs (5) and sliders (6) with his fastball registering at 91-93 mph and his slider at 77-80 mph.

Lambert was the only representative for the Cardinals, but Will Lingo of Baseball America told the Springfield News-Leader that the magazine had nominated Anthony Reyes but the shoulder injury that put him on the disabled list kept him from getting an invitation. Former Cardinals prospect Daric Barton struck out in his only at-bat.

Team USA lost the game 4-0.

Dennis Dove (featured in last week's Prospect Report) was promoted to high Class A Palm Beach on Monday.

In 18 starts for Quad Cities, Dove had a 7-5 record and a 3.88 ERA. He had a 72/30 K/BB ratio in 102 innings pitched.

Kyle McClellan has a partial ligament tear in his elbow that may require Tommy John Surgery.

McClellan was placed on the disabled list after he was removed from the game on July 1 hurt. After missing with a 1-1 breaking ball to the batter Mark Reynolds, he grimaced and clutched his elbow before being removed from the ballgame.

The 21-year-old had bounced between the starting rotation and the bullpen for Quad Cities. Having excelled since moving to the pen, the 21-year-old was making a spot start in place of Donnie Smith, who has is on the DL with a sore arm. McClellan left the team on July 7.

Blake Hawksworth made his second rehab start for short-season New Jersey on Monday. His first since July 3. He needed only 26 pitches, 18 of which were strikes, to get through two innings. He allowed no runs on one hit while walking one and striking out one.

The 22-year-old righthander skipped his last start to be reviewed medically and threw 11 fewer pitches on Monday than in his previous start, when he threw only 19 of his 37 pitches for strikes. Since being activated Hawksworth has allowed only one unearned runs in four innings.

• Draft Pick Updates: Colby Rasmus is batting .309 with with a .390 OBP in 68 at-bats for Johnson City.

Tyler Greene is batting .269/.375/.346 in 26 at-bats for New Jersey. He has stolen four bases without being caught once.

Mark McCormick made his professional debut on Sunday for the New Jersey Cardinals. He started and pitched two shutout innings allowing no hits. He walked two and struck out three.

Second round pick Nick Webber dominated on Wednesday night for New Jersey, pitching six shutout innings, allowing only three hits and walking none. He struck out seven. In 21 innings, Webber is 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA and a 19/6 K/BB ratio.

Seventh round pick Nick Stavinoha is hitting .385/.469/.635 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 52 at-bats for Quad Cities.

Eighth round pick Jason Cairns has not allowed an earned run in five innings since being promoted to Quad Cities on July 2.

Randy Roth (10th round) is batting .343/.356/.627 with four home runs and 16 RBI for Johnson City.

Michael Cooper (17th round) became the third player from this year's draft class to make it to Quad Cities when he was promoted on Monday. In 22 innings for New Jersey, Cooper had posted a 1-3 record with a 1.64 ERA. He had allowed only 13 hits and had a 20/8 K/BB ratio.

A.J. Van Slyke (23rd round) received a promotion to New Jersey on Tuesday after batting .380/.389/.640 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 50 at-bats for Johnson City.

33rd round pick Scott Vander Weg, who has not pitched since June 28, is expected to be back soon. In three innings prior to that, Vander Weg had only allowed a hit while striking out five.

Kenny Maiques (37th round) will spend the season at Johnson City rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent about three weeks ago. The usual recovery time for that type of surgery is 12-18 months, so it's possible that Kenny could miss all of next season as well.

You can contact Jason at jasonscott@thecardinalnation.com.


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