This Week in the Minors

The most comprehensive weekly snapshot of the Cardinals minor league system anywhere.

This Week in the Minors

August 30, 2005

There are big changes coming in baseball's minor league system, as you may have heard. Major League Baseball proposes a slate of changes among which are ones that would eliminate the Rookie-level Arizona and Gulf Coast leagues; move the draft from the beginning to the end of June with a goal of creating an August signing deadline in the future; lengthen and move the New York-Penn, Northwest and Pioneer Leagues' seasons; and make instructional leagues both longer and mandatory for all teams.

While I am not going to go into depth here on the ramifications of these changes, the Cardinals would be affected as follows: the Rookie-level Johnson City team would likely go co-op with a number of teams feeding a limited number of their players onto one team as the Arizona Fall League now operates and the New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League would become a full-season team. In general, more new draftees would get their first professional experience in an instructional league rather than at the current rookie level. As fans we might not see most June draftees until the following spring.

On August 23rd the General Managers voted 23-7 to adopt the changes with another vote by the owners to be forthcoming. Clubs that have drafted more college-age players tend to support the changes while those that have developed their players more in-house and from a younger age are in opposition. The Cardinals, Athletics, Blue Jays and Rangers were mentioned in the former group while the Braves, Twins and Cubs are in the latter faction.

This is the last report that will include a full week of games for all six minor league teams. The regular season ends for Johnson City on Tuesday, the 30th and for Springfield and Palm Beach next Sunday, the 4th. Memphis, Quad Cities and New Jersey all have schedules that will spill into the week ending September 11th.

Here are the changes in standings for the week – Memphis had a losing week, what else is new, and remained in third place. They did, however, gain another game on first-place Nashville. Springfield had an excellent week and jumped from last to second place. They did not gain any ground on Arkansas, however, as Arkansas also had an excellent week. Palm Beach broke even but gained another half game on second-place Vero Beach. Quad Cities had yet another losing week and fell into a tie for first place with Wisconsin. New Jersey had another losing week and remained in fourth place. They dropped an additional two and one-half games behind the Staten Island Yankees. Johnson City had a winning week but dropped out of their tie for fourth and into last place in their division. They remain nineteen games behind Elizabethton. The DSL Cardinals' season ended on August 26th. They finished in fourth place, eight games behind Oakland 2.

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AAA – Memphis Redbirds
League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division
Overall Record – 65 - 70
Weekly Record – 2 - 5
Current Standing – Third, five and one-half games behind the Nashville Sounds (Brewers)

Current Week Team Batting - .265/.321/.404
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 4.19 ERA and 1.44 WHIP: twenty earned runs, fifty-one hits and eleven walks in forty-three innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 6.00 ERA and 1.53 WHIP: ten earned runs, twenty hits and three walks in fifteen innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .261/.329/.432, last in the league
Cumulative Pitching - 4.36 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, second in the league

Who's Hot – C Mike Mahoney went .391/.462/.565 or 9-for-23 in six games; LHR Tyler Johnson who has not been scored upon in his last seven game appearances. His line: 7 G, 0 GS, 1 SV, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 10 SO, 0.00 ERA and 0.625 WHIP
Who's Not – INF Bo Hart went .172/.250/.276 or 5-for-29 in seven games; RHR David Lee. His line since his signing on August 18th: 4 G, 0 GS, 0-1, 2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 1 SO, 23.18 ERA and 4.29 WHIP

Transactions – None

Of Note - Overall -
While they have not yet been mathematically eliminated, the Redbirds show no signs of life and are just playing out the season. On Monday they begin their final home stand of the season with four games against first-place Nashville before finishing their season with four games against second-place (American South) Albuquerque.

Of Note – Offense/Defense -
Mike Mahoney must have been saving all of his hitting for Memphis ‘cause he exploded when he returned, earning a "Who's Hot" this week. That only goes to show you how transitory the "Hot and Not" notices are. Outfielder Chad Allen went .333/.355/.533 or 10-for-30 in seven games. Milko Jaramillo hit over .400 with an OBP of .529 in four games and fourteen at bats. John Nelson played an inning in right field during Sunday's game against Albuquerque. Skip Schumaker saw limited action this week as he hurt his knee trying to make a diving catch in Wednesday's game. He did not appear in the balance of the week's games but was not put on the disabled list.

Of Note – Pitching -
On Memphis lefties - Tyler Johnson appears to be the closer since Ricky Stone left. I say "appears to be" because there has not been many save opportunities recently. Carmen Cali had a good week. He made two appearances and pitched two perfect innings. I am not quite ready to give up on Cali just yet. Armando Almanza improved from his recent double-digit ERA weeks by posting a 3.85 ERA this week. He allowed two earned runs in four and two-thirds innings. Bill Pulsipher returned to Memphis and the rotation, starting two games this week. He was superb in his first outing, allowing only one earned run in seven innings and picking up the victory. He was the losing pitcher in Sunday's game as he allowed four runs, three earned in six innings. Overall he had a 2.77 ERA and 1.38 WHIP for the week.
On Memphis righties - The week after Jimmy Journell was removed from the Cardinals' 40-man roster and cleared waivers, he did not appear in a single game. The Redbirds still went 2-5. It was good to see Adam Wainwright win his outing this week and, better yet, pitch better while so doing. Adam gave up three runs, two earned, in seven innings for a 2.57 ERA but his WHIP was 1.43. He allowed nine hits but did not walk a batter.

Upcoming Week – vs. Nashville Sounds (Brewers) 29th through 1st, vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (Marlins) 2nd through 4th

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AA – Springfield Cardinals
League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division
Overall Record 30 - 32 (65 - 67)
Weekly Record – 5 - 1
Current Standing – Second, five and one-half games behind the Arkansas Travelers (Angels)

Current Week Team Batting - .293/.354/.489
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP: twelve earned runs, thirty-five hits and five walks in thirty-six innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 0.00 ERA and 0.76 WHIP: zero earned runs (two unearned), nine hits and four walks in seventeen innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .269/.332/.422, sixth in the league
Cumulative Pitching - 4.49 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, fifth in the league

Who's Hot – LF Cody Haerther went .563/.563/1.375 or 9-for-16 in five games; The Memphis bullpen of Alan Benes, Andy Cavazos, Cory Doyne, Josh Kinney and Kevin Ool who merged this talents to create a 0.00 ERA for the week while striking out eighteen
Who's Not – C/1B Gabe Johnson went .182/.250/.182 or 4-for-22 in six games; LHS Randy Leek took the only loss absorbed by the Cardinals this week. His line 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 4 SO, 9.00 ERA and 1.60 WHIP

Transactions - 08/22/05 – C Matt Pagnozzi optioned to Palm Beach; 08/23/05 – OF Tyler Minges to disabled list (shoulder); 08/26/05 – RHP Jeremy Cook activated from disabled list, RHP Joe Nelson to disabled list;

Of Note - Overall -
The Springfield Cardinals' play this week was a textbook formula for success: Excellent hitting backed by equally excellent pitching. They took three-of-four from Tulsa and then the first two games of a five-game series with Wichita. This coming week sees the Cardinals wrapping up a series with Wichita before coming home to play five games against first-place Arkansas. These are the teams they need to beat to even think about a play-off spot. While it may well be a case of waiting too late, at least the Cardinals are going out with a bang and not a whimper.

Of Note – Offense/Defense -
Tyler Minges' season is done due to a shoulder injury that requires surgery. Minges spent the entire season at Double-A Springfield, hitting .324/.392/.564 in 116 games and 429 at bats. He will likely explore other options at the end of the season. While Minges certainly does not qualify as a prospect at age 25, he will turn 26 in November, his offensive numbers appeared to merit a look-see by Memphis.
Speaking of prospects, Cody Haerther is really turning it on, offensively. Haerther is batting .407/.439/.778 in fifty-four at bats during August. He turned 22 in July.
Speaking of players that might get called up (although I actually doubt it), Rick Ankiel went .368/.455/1.000, 7-for-19, in six games this week. I read conflicting reports about his defensive play this week. One poster said he played defense the way he pitched – all over the place – (Ouch! That was cold!) while another said he looked solid. They were talking about the same game too.
In the spirit of catchers "catching fire" with their bats (see Mahoney, Mike – Memphis section), Brad Cresse went .375/.375/.563 or 6-for-16 in four games. Probably was so thrilled to get some playing time again that he went bonkers with the bat.

Of Note – Pitching -
Over his last four starts Stuart Pomeranz has gone 3-1, compiling a 2.42 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Better yet he is averaging slightly over 6.1 innings per start and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is almost 2:1 (fifteen strikeouts and eight walks).
Lefty Kevin Ool's first couple of weeks in Double-A were rather rocky as he amassed a 12.00 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in six innings over five games. Since August 8th Ool has done a 180 with a 1.04 ERA and 1.38WHIP in eight and two-thirds innings over six games. Kevin has given up less than a hit an inning in that time but has walked five. However, it is a good trend.
I was curious how the Springfield closer situation would shake down with Josh Kinney's return to Springfield. Kinney was the Cardinals' closer for most of the season before his promotion to Memphis at which time Cory Doyne took over the closer role. Now that Kinney is back it appears that Doyne remains the closer and Kinney has slipped into the set-up role. Kinney has not allowed an earned run since his activation from the disabled list on August 20th. Doyne has not allowed a run in two weeks.

Upcoming Week – at Wichita Wranglers (Royals) 29th (DH) and 30th, vs. Arkansas Travelers (Angels) 31st through 4th

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High-A – Palm Beach Cardinals
League Affiliation - twelve-team Florida State League, six-team East division
Overall Record 37 – 26 (67 – 66)
Weekly Record – 3 - 3
Current Standing – First, one game ahead of the Vero Beach Dodgers

Current Week Team Batting - .255/.326/.352
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 5.16 ERA and 1.48 WHIP: seventeen earned runs, thirty-two hits and twelve walks in twenty-nine and two-thirds innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 5.64 ERA and 1.75 WHIP: fourteen earned runs, thirty-one hits and eight walks in twenty-two and one-third innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .246/.319/.366, last in the league
Cumulative Pitching - 4.01 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, seventh in the league

Who's Hot – CF Reid Gorecki went .375/.423/.583 or 9-for-24 in six games; LHP Oscar Alvarez who was perfect in his start this week: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA and 0.57 WHIP
Who's Not – 3B Matt Dryer went .150/.227/.200 or 3-for-20 in six games; RHP Dennis Dove was dismal: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 HR, 4 BB, 1 SO, 94.03 ERA and 10.45 WHIP

Transactions - 08/22/05 – C Jose Mendez optioned to Quad Cities; 08/23/05 – OF Tony McQuade activated from disabled list, OF Ty Parker promoted to Springfield

Of Note - Overall -
With the high weekly pitching stats combined with the low batting average, how did Palm Beach win a game this week? Well, they did somehow, taking two-of-three from Daytona before losing two-of-three to Brevard County. Losing the latter series may turn out to be key because second-place Vero Beach was in the midst of a losing week and the Cardinals squandered an opportunity to put some space between the two teams. The space may be badly needed as they face Daytona again for three games before ending their regular season at home against Jupiter. (Jupiter is also at home since they are the Marlins' farm team and share the facility with the Cardinals.) Daytona has owned the Cardinals this season, winning eleven of the fifteen games contested while the Cardinals own a 10-to-6 edge on Jupiter. Vero Beach plays Brevard County (7-to-7 split) and St. Lucie (7-to-6 edge).
Speaking of Daytona, they batted out-of-order during Monday night's game against the Cardinals which cost them two runs but that was not a difference-maker as the Cardinals won 11-2. Only the Cubs.

Of Note – Offense/Defense -
Reid Gorecki has hit above .300 in five of the last six weeks and is now hitting .297/.373/.472 for the season at Palm Beach. He hit .273 the only week that he hit below .300.
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir almost got the "Who's Hot" nod over Gorecki with his .438/.526/.438 perfomance in five games this week. Gorecki got the nod because he accomplished his numbers in eight more at bats. Hoffpauir got off to a slow start after his promotion to Palm Beach in late June but is batting .301/.389/.350 (37-for-123) since July 15th.
Catcher Matt Pagnozzi did not continue this week's "Catchers Going Nuts Offensively After They Are Demoted" theme. He hit .133/.278/.200 in fifteen at bats over five games. But how great was it to see his Uncle Pags tear down the number at Busch recently and be interviewed afterward?

Of Note – Pitching -
On Palm Beach lefties - Oscar Alvarez has been a real boost since his arrival in Palm Beach. He is unscored upon in two starts over fourteen total innings. His cumulative line is: 5 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 3-0, 21.1 IP, 15 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 16 SO, 1.27 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Lefty Eric Haberer struggled again in his most recent start since coming off the disabled list on August 21st. He had a 1-2-3 first inning including two strikeouts but allowed four runs, all earned, in the second inning. Haberer did not allow a run in his last two innings pitched as he may reached his pitch limit after four innings.
On Palm Beach righties – Mark Michael won his game on Monday, allowing only one run, earned in six innings. He lost his Sunday start when he gave up four runs, three earned, in six innings. He walked only three batters in the twelve innings while striking out eight. RHR Anthony Rawson has a 1.37 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in nineteen and two-thirds innings over fifteen appearances since being demoted to Palm Beach.

Upcoming Week – at Daytona Cubs 29th through 31st, at Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) 1st and 2nd, vs. Jupiter 3rd and 4th

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Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities
League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division
Overall Record 34 – 28 (70 – 61)
Weekly Record – 2 - 3
Current Standing – Tied for first place with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Mariners)

Current Week Team Batting - .257/.335/.474
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 6.87 ERA and 1.83 WHIP: fifteen earned runs, twenty-two hits and fourteen walks in nineteen and two-thirds innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 5.24 ERA and 1.52 WHIP: thirteen earned runs, twenty-five hits and nine walks in twenty-two and one-third innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .265/.345/.406, fifth in the league
Cumulative Pitching - 4.26 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, tied for eighth in the league

Who's Hot – CF/LF Matt Lemanczyk went .400/.429/.600 or 8-for-20 in five games; RHS Phillip Andersen's line this week: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 8 SO, 2.84 ERA and 0.79 WHIP and a no decision in a game the team won
Who's Not – INF Matt Shepherd went .125/.300/.125 or 2-for-15 in five games; RHS Matt Scherer's line: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 2.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 HR, 2 BB, 2 SO, 11.54 ERA and 3.42 WHIP

Transactions – 08/23/05 – C Spencer Wyman to disabled list; 08/26/05 – C Jose Mendez (fractured ankle) and LHP Bo Dickerson to disabled list, C Richard Cormier signed as a previously released free agent; 08/27/05 – OF Simon Williams activated from disabled list

Of Note - Overall -
The Swing compiled yet another losing week this week and wasted their strong second-half start as they now find themselves in a tie for first with all their regular season home games finished. This week they go on the road for four games against fourth-place Cedar Rapids and three of their four-game series against third-place (Eastern Division) Southwest Michigan. Way to make it tough on yourselves, guys.

Of Note – Offense/Defense -
Centerfielder Simon Williams came off the disabled list with a bang, going .500/.571/1.333 in three games and six at bats. Sure hope he keeps up the hot hitting because the Swing needs it.
Rightfielder Nick Stavinoha hit .333/.429/.667 in eighteen at bats over five games. That brings his cumulative totals to .344/.399/.561. I have read posts on several boards questioning why Stavinoha has not been promoted since he clearly has that hitting thingie down. While Swing eye-witness accounts are not plentiful, those that I have read suggest Mr. Stavinoha may be able to use a tad more time refining his right field technique, shall we say.
The big story on the catching front here is that they have a hard time keeping them healthy. On August 16th Spencer Wyman aggravated a hand injury that landed him on the disabled list on August 23rd. The Swing then got Jose Mendez from Palm Beach but he played a whopping three innings before fracturing his ankle. On Friday they signed Richie Cormier, a 22-year-old who most recently played for the Brewers' Low-A squad before being released on August 24th but they didn't let him play. (I'm beginning to think that position is like Spinal Tap's drummer.) As a result, Cody Palmer has caught 84 of the last 87 innings played.

Of Note – Pitching -
After anchoring the Swing rotation since the promotion of teammates Dove, Haberer and Parisi, Matt Scherer has fallen into a recent mini-slump. Over his last two starts Scherer has allowed nine earned runs on eighteen hits, including five home runs, over eight and one-third innings for a 9.71 ERA and 2.76 WHIP. He also walked as many as he has struck out, five. Since he did not pitch during the week ending August 14th, Scherer's last quality start came on August 7th when he tossed seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball. As the Swing's most experienced pitcher at this level, they need Scherer to right himself if they hold much hope of first getting to the play-offs and then going far in them. Phillip Andersen has been a rock but he is only one starter. Mark McCormick's performances to this point have been uneven and neither Michael Cooper nor Nick Webber has adjusted to this level so far.

Upcoming Week – at Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) 29th through 1st, at Southwest Michigan Devil Rays 2nd through 4th

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Short-A – New Jersey Cardinals
League Affiliation - fourteen-team New York-Penn League, six-team McNamara division
Overall Record – 31 - 34
Weekly Record – 2 - 3
Current Standing – Fourth, fourteen games behind the Staten Island Yankees

Current Week Team Batting - .224/.309/.317
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.62 ERA and 1.13 WHIP: eleven earned runs, twenty-one hits and ten walks in twenty-seven and one-third innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 7.10 ERA and 1.81 WHIP: ten earned runs, thirteen hits and ten walks in twelve and two-thirds innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .263/.337/.365, third in the league
Cumulative Pitching - 3.85 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, eighth in the league

Who's Hot – LF Sean Dobson went .357/.471/.429 or 5-for-14 in four games; LHP Adam Daniels. His line since August 15th: 3 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 8.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 8 BB, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA and 1.08 WHIP although the walks need to come down
Who's Not – So many offensive choices (double entendre intended) but 3B Randy Roth stands out. He went .105/.150/.263 or 2-for-19 in five games; RHP Blake Hawksworth's line: 2 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 2 SO, 15.38 ERA and 2.56 WHIP

Transactions – 08/26/05 – LHP Buddy Blair promoted to Quad Cities

Of Note - Overall -
I have been empathetic to New Jersey's "mediocrity" (they are basically a .500 team) as they have acted as a feeder team this season for first-place Quad Cities (Class A) and, to a more limited extent, first-place Palm Beach (Class A-Advanced). New Jersey has seen eight pitchers and four position players promoted off the team. Contrast this to the first-place Staten Island Yankees which has promoted one position player and saw their first pitcher promoted on August 27th. The Yankees' Class A and Class A-Advanced teams could use the help as they are currently in fifth place in their respective divisions. At the start of the season I did a study that compared Staten Island's roster with that of New Jersey. At that point in time, the rosters had an almost identical age and experience level as well as draft level (position within the draft).

Of Note – Offense/Defense -
Twenty-one players compiled the .263/.337/.365 average that is third in the New York-Penn League behind only Tri-City (Astros) at .283/.349/.395 and Oneonta (Tigers) at .271/.350/.409. (Oneonta leads the Stedler division with a 41-23 record and Tri-City is third in that division with an identical record to New Jersey's of 31-34.) Thirteen of them are in their first season of professional baseball. Two more are in their first year of American professional baseball. Three more were drafted in 2004 although one of them has since retired, Brandon Marcelli. The 2003 draftee on the team, Brandon Yarbrough, is still considered a prospect. My point in all this is that there appears to be some promise at this level. How much remains to be seen.

Of Note – Pitching -
The bedrock of any pitching staff is its rotation and its ability to consistently produce quality results. A key component of positive results is stability. Michael Cooper, Mark McCormick, Nick Webber, Jason Cairns, Bo Dickerson, Kevin Gross, Cory Meacham, and Matt Trent. All of those pitchers have been promoted from New Jersey to Quad Cities with the first three now comprising three-fifths of the Swing's first-place rotation. In return New Jersey received two relievers from Johnson City, Ashley Hooks and Kyle Sadlowski, a rehabbing reliever in Buddy Blair (who has now gone on to Quad Cities) and three free-agent signees in Chris Clem, Michael Schellinger and Daniel Stevens. Mitch Boggs and Zach Zuercher anchor a rotation in which the names of other three starters have been ever revolving. (Currently Chris Clem, Quinton Robertson, Adam Daniels and Blake Hawksworth – as health permits – rotate into the three slots.) That makes winning particularly challenging, especially when contrasted to the Staten Island Yankees' example as discussed above.

Upcoming Week – vs. Williamsport Crosscutters (Pirates) 29th and 30th, vs. Hudson Valley Renegades (Devil Rays) 31st through 2nd, at Williamsport 3rd and 4th

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Rookie – Johnson City Cardinals
League Affiliation - ten-team Appalachian League, five-team West division
Overall Record – 27 - 38
Weekly Record – 4 - 3
Current Standing – Fifth and last place, nineteen games behind the Elizabethton Twins

Current Week Team Batting - .253/.314/.395
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 5.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP: twenty-two earned runs, thirty-seven hits and fifteen walks in thirty-six and two-thirds innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 1.16 ERA and 0.99 WHIP: three earned runs, fourteen hits and nine walks in twenty-three and one-third innings pitched

Cumulative Team Batting - .255/.328/.399, eighth in the league
Cumulative Pitching - 6.05 WHIP and 1.62 WHIP, last in the league

Who's Hot – C Bryan Anderson went .348/.308/.522 or 8-for-23 in seven games; RHS Matthew Lane – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 2-0, 11.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, 11 SO, 0.77 ERA and 0.86 WHIP
Who's Not – 3B Adam Morris went .174/.296/.217 or 4-for-23 in seven games; RHS Sean Garceau (sometimes I feel like I am picking on the boy) – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 3.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 SO, 19.62 ERA and 3.00 WHIP

Transactions – None

Of Note - Overall -
As I may have mentioned previously, Johnson City has been one of the two most difficult teams for me to cover in the Cardinals' minor league system. (Palm Beach is the other.) That is because the media coverage is extremely poor for both teams, both internally and externally. Also, this team has the youngest players with the least polishing but some have tremendous upside. A knowledgeable poster over on the Scout board has cautioned that "stuff" not stats is what the club is looking for at this level. I understand that is the case but with very few eye-witness accounts or newspaper write-ups, I rely primarily on stats.
The babes swept last-place (East division) Burlington before being swept by first-place (East division) Danville. They ended the week by defeating Burlington again.

Of Note – Offense/Defense -
In the "Prospect Watch" - Rightfielder Daryl Jones had a good week at the plate, hitting .308 across the board in thirteen at bats over four games. Centerfielder Colby Rasmus batted .320/.414/.680 or 8-for-25 in seven games. Eighteenth-round 2005 draft selection Brandon Garner went .313/.389/.313 or 5-for-16 in five games. Garner turned 19 this past Saturday. Catcher Steve Gonzalez, eleventh round 2005 draft selection, hit .333/.357/.583 or 4-for-12 in six games. Gonzalez does not turn 19 until next Memorial Day. Both Garner and Gonzalez have had slow seasons to this point so maybe this is a sign they have adjusted to wooden bats.

Of Note – Pitching -
I think this is Matthew Lane's first mention in the "Who's Hot" category so here is some more information on him. Lane was drafted in the sixteen round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He turned 21 on August 17th and is a righty. He is striking out over eight batters every nine innings while walking about three and one-half (I guess the half batter gets to go only half-way to first). That gives him a K/BB ratio of 2.3:1.
Three of the four Johnson City wins this week were saved by Matt Weagle on consecutive nights. They are the first saves of his professional career.
This week also saw the pitching debut of third baseman Jon Mikrut. Jon appeared in two games with his professional pitching debut coming in a 10-6 loss to the first-place Danville Braves. He then threw two scoreless innings in a 13-1 blowout of last-place Burlington. All in all, he tossed three innings of one-hit, no-run ball. He also struck out five and did not walk a batter. The Johnson City Press reports that his fastball registered in the upper 80's while his curveball "looked sharp".

Upcoming Week – vs. Burlington Indians 29th and 30th

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Dominican Summer League

The Dominican Summer League is comprised of five divisions:
Santo Domingo East, Santo Domingo North, Santo Domingo West, San Pedro de Macoris and Cibao.

The divisions consist of the following affiliations:
Santo Domingo East - Arizona, Boston, Chicago (N), Cincinnati, Cleveland I, Cleveland II, Colorado, Minnesota and San Francisco.
Santo Domingo North - Los Angeles 2, Oakland 1, Oakland 2, Philadelphia, Seattle, St. Louis
Santo Domingo West - New York (N), New York I (A), New York II (A), Washington, San Diego
San Pedro de Macoris - Anaheim, Baltimore, Houston, Pittsburgh, Texas, Toronto
Cibao - Atlanta I, Atlanta II, Chicago (AL), Florida, Kansas City

St. Louis Cardinals
League Affiliation -six-team Santo Domingo North division
Overall Record – 36 - 35
Weekly Record – 1 - 3
Final Standing – Fourth, eight games behind the Oakland Athletics 2

Final team stats and leaders will be on next week's report

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The Stat Sheet
We are back to offense this week. Categories are combined so a more complete picture is given. The top three are listed. All statistics given are year-to-date with a minimum 3.1 plate appearances per game played needed to qualify. For reasons previously explained those players with 3.1 plate appearances per game played in the second half for Springfield, Palm Beach and Quad Cities (the three teams that split the season into two halves) are included. Qualifying players are listed. A player with 2.90 plate appearances or above qualifies for a "Close But No Cigar" listing. The "Close but No Cigar" players are listed once only and are not repeated by category unless new stats are introduced (such as "Runs Created"). Only players that were active for at least half of the current week are eligible.

Qualifiers
Memphis
First baseman/outfielder Chris Duncan
Infielder Bo Hart
Shortstop John Nelson
Centerfielder Skip Schumaker

Close But No Cigar
Left fielder/first baseman John Gall (2.93 plate appearances/game)

Springfield
Outfielder Papo Bolivar
Centerfielder Shaun Boyd
Left fielder Cody Haerther
Third baseman Travis Hanson
Second baseman Aaron Herr
Catcher Dan Moylan

Close But No Cigar
Catcher/first baseman Gabe Johnson (2.90 plate appearances/game)

Palm Beach –
Third baseman Matt Dryer
Right fielder Terry Evans
Centerfielder Reid Gorecki
Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir
Outfielder/designated hitter Brian Martin
Outfielder Joe Mather
Utility player Mike McCoy
Catcher Matt Pagnozzi
Outfielder Tyler Parker
First baseman John Santor
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer

Quad Cities
First baseman Mike Ferris
Centerfielder Matt Lemanczyk
Shortstop Juan Lucena
Third baseman Jake Mullinax
Infielder Chris Patrick
Infielder Matt Shepherd
Right fielder Nick Stavinoha
Outfielder Wes Swackhamer
Outfielder Eric Verbryke
Centerfielder Simon Williams

New Jersey
Third baseman Adam Rodgers
Outfielder Yonathan Sivira
Catcher Brandon Yarbrough

Close But No Cigar
Outfielder Chad Gabriel (2.90 plate appearances per game)
Right fielder/designated hitter Matt Wilkerson (2.90 plate appearances per game)

Johnson City
Left fielder Charles Carter
Right fielder Daryl Jones
Centerfielder Colby Rasmus

By Batting Average
Memphis
Centerfielder Skip Schumaker at .290/.330/.407/.738
Infielder Bo Hart at .272/.335/.413/.747
First baseman/outfielder Chris Duncan at .267/.355/.466/.821

Close But No Cigar
Left fielder/first baseman John Gall at .276/.343/.450/.794

Springfield
Left fielder Cody Haerther at .306/.339/.517/.855
Second baseman Aaron Herr at .288/.326/.493/.819
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .282/.344/.462/.806

Close But No Cigar
Catcher/first baseman Gabe Johnson at .250/.330/.397/.727

Palm Beach
Outfielder/designated hitter Brian Martin at .302/.374/.446/.820
Centerfielder Reid Gorecki at .297/.373/.472/.845
Outfielder Joe Mather at .272/.342/.497/.839

Quad Cities
Outfielder Nick Stavinoha at .344/.399/.561/.960
Infielder Chris Patrick at .314/.394/.489/.883
Shortstop Juan Lucena at .298/.327/.348/.674

New Jersey
Catcher Brandon Yarbrough at .261/.344/.408/.752
Outfielder Yonathan Sivira at .261/.314/.351/.665
Third baseman Adam Rodgers at .259/.356/.386/.741

Close But No Cigar
Outfielder Chad Gabriel at .320/.356/.426/.782
Right fielder/designated hitter Matt Wilkerson .239/.321/.436/.756

Johnson City
Centerfielder Colby Rasmus at .301/.370/.522/.892
Left fielder Charles Carter at .285/.390/.453/.843
Right fielder Daryl Jones at .208/.309/.281/.590

By On-Base Percentage
Memphis
First baseman/outfielder Chris Duncan at .267/.355/.466/.821
Infielder Bo Hart at .272/.335/.413/.747
Centerfielder Skip Schumaker at .290/.330/.407/.738

Springfield
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .282/.344/.462/.806
Left fielder Cody Haerther at .306/.339/.517/.855
Centerfielder Shaun Boyd at .275/.336/.364/.700

Palm Beach
First baseman Andy Schutzenhofer at .263/.399/.298/.697
Outfielder/designated hitter Brian Martin at .302/.374/.446/.820
Center fielder Reid Gorecki at .297/.373/.472/.845

Quad Cities
Centerfielder Simon Williams at .287/.409/.472/.881
Infielder Matt Shepherd at.290/.402/.372/.774
Outfielder Nick Stavinoha at .344/.399/.561/.960

New Jersey
Third baseman Adam Rodgers at .259/.356/.386/.741
Catcher Brandon Yarbrough at .261/.344/.408/.752
Outfielder Yonathan Sivira at .261/.314/.351/.665

Johnson City
Left fielder Charles Carter at .285/.390/.453/.843
Centerfielder Colby Rasmus at .301/.370/.522/.892
Right fielder Daryl Jones at .208/.309/.281/.590

By Slugging
Memphis
First baseman Chris Duncan at .267/.355/.466/.821
Infielder Bo Hart at .272/.335/.413/.747
Shortstop John Nelson at .243/.322/.410/.732

Springfield
Left fielder Cody Haerther at .306/.339/.517/.855
Second baseman Aaron Herr at .288/.326/.493/.819
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .282/.344/.462/.806

Palm Beach
Outfielder Joe Mather at .272/.342/.497/.839
Centerfielder Reid Gorecki at .297/.373/.472/.845
Outfielder/designated hitter Brian Martin at .302/.374/.446/.820

Quad Cities
Outfielder Nick Stavinoha at .344/.399/.561/.960
Infielder Chris Patrick at .314/.394/.489/.883
Outfielder Eric Verbryke at .286/.369/.481/.850

New Jersey
Catcher Brandon Yarbrough at .261/.344/.408/.752
Third baseman Adam Rodgers at .259/.356/.386/.741
Outfielder Yonathan Sivira at .261/.314/.351/.665

Johnson City
Centerfielder Colby Rasmus at .301/.370/.522/.892
Left fielder Charles Carter at .285/.390/.453/.843
Right fielder Daryl Jones at .208/.309/.281/.590

By OPS
Memphis
First baseman/outfielder Chris Duncan at .267/.355/.466/.821
Infielder Bo Hart at .272/.335/.413/.747
Centerfielder Skip Schumaker at .290/.330/.407/.738

Springfield
Left fielder Cody Haerther at .306/.339/.517/.855
Second baseman Aaron Herr at .288/.326/.493/.819
Third baseman Travis Hanson at .282/.344/.462/.806

Palm Beach
Centerfielder Reid Gorecki at .297/.373/.472/.845
Outfielder Joe Mather at .272/.342/.497/.839
Outfielder/designated hitter Brian Martin at .302/.374/.446/.820

Quad Cities
Outfielder Nick Stavinoha at .344/.399/.561/.960
Infielder Chris Patrick at .314/.394/.489/.883
Outfielder Eric Verbryke at .286/.369/.481/.850

New Jersey
Catcher Brandon Yarbrough at .261/.344/.408/.752
Third baseman Adam Rodgers at .259/.356/.386/.741
Outfielder Yonathan Sivira at .261/.314/.351/.665

Johnson City
Centerfielder Colby Rasmus at .301/.370/.522/.892
Left fielder Charles Carter at .285/.390/.453/.843
Right fielder Daryl Jones at .208/.309/.281/.590

Runs Created
Memphis
First baseman/outfielder Chris Duncan at 67.87
Infielder Bo Hart at 61.90
Centerfielder Skip Schumaker at 57.92

Close But No Cigar
Left fielder John Gall at 55.52

Springfield
Third baseman Travis Hanson at 81.87
Second baseman Aaron Herr at 61.79
Centerfielder Shaun Boyd at 58.67

Close But No Cigar
Catcher/first baseman Gabe Johnson at 19.58

Palm Beach
Third baseman Matt Dryer at 54.29
Centerfielder Reid Gorecki at 38.90
Utility player Mike McCoy at 34.23

Quad Cities
Infielder Matt Shepherd at 68.17
Centerfielder Matt Lemanczyk at 60.82
First baseman Mike Ferris at 52.90

New Jersey
Catcher Brandon Yarbrough at 25.43
Third baseman Adam Rodgers at 21.97
Outfielder Yonathan Sivira at 20.00

Close But No Cigar
Outfielder Chad Gabriel at 25.72
Right fielder/designated hitter Matt Wilkerson 23.25
Third baseman Adam Rodgers at 19.50

Johnson City
Centerfielder Colby Rasmus at 41.21
Left fielder Charles Carter at 32.80
Right fielder Daryl Jones at 13.67


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