This Week in the Minors – June 9 - AAA/AA

One of our most popular features with the St. Louis Cardinals organization's minor leaguers' stats and news from the week past. This report focuses on the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) and Springfield Cardinals (Double-A).

This Week in the Minors

June 9, 2006

This week appeared to ‘Ejection Week' in the St. Louis system. The ejections began during Tuesday's game with Memphis manager Danny Sheaffer and first baseman Brian Daubach were tossed in the eighth inning of the Redbirds' win over Round Rock. Things remained calm until Friday when the eject button was pushed until it broke. Memphis second baseman Junior Spivey was kicked out during the ninth inning of their game with Round Rock, another win. Nick Stavinoha did not last through the fifth inning of the Cardinals' 5-1 loss to the Frisco RoughRiders. Tyler Greene capped off the evening by getting tossed in the eighth inning of Palm Beach's win over Dunedin. The only one not currently struggling with the bat is Brian Daubach. The regular minor league umpires are expected to return to duty shortly.

There is no good news in the standings of the two highest-level clubs. Memphis went from eleven games back at the end of May 21st to eight and one-half games back as of May 28th to eleven and one-half games behind Nashville through June 4th. Even worse, Springfield went from one game up to two games back of Tulsa with the first-half's end appearing on the horizon.

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AAA – Memphis Redbirds
League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division
Overall Record – 21 - 35
Weekly Record – 3 - 4
Current Standing – Last, eleven and one-half games behind the Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee)

The Roster
Transactions – 05/30/06 – RHS Anthony Reyes recalled to St. Louis, RHS Travis Smith placed on the active roster (exact signing date unknown but after May 19th); 06/02/06 – OF Timo Perez' contract purchased by St. Louis and added to the 40-man and 25-man rosters then called up, RHS Anthony Reyes optioned to Memphis but not activated there, 2B Junior Spivey activated from the DL; 06/04/06 – OF Chris Duncan recalled to St. Louis
On the DL front – RHS Rhett Parrott (shoulder)

Current Week Team Batting – .226/.321/.396/.718
Cumulative Team Batting – .246/.320/.367/.687, last in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation* – Will Cunnane, Randy Leek, Travis Smith, Dennis Tankersley, John Webb
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 4.68 ERA and 1.18 WHIP: 22 earned runs, 41 hits and 9 walks in innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Alan Benes, Carmen Cali, Andy Cavazos, Brian Falkenborg, Josh Kinney, Matt Perisho, John Riedling
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 3.66 ERA and 1.42 WHIP: 8 earned runs, 17 hits and 11 walks in 19.2 innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 4.35 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, eighth in the league, by WHIP
*Those pitchers contributing to the current stats. Pitcher may appear in both rotation and bullpen.

Who's Pitchin' Hot – RHS Travis Smith's 2006 debut as a Redbird (versus the last time he pitched for us): 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 1-1, 15 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 12 SO, 2.40 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 12:1 K/BB, .189 BAA
Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Will Cunnane's start this week was horrific: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 0 SO, 31.50 ERA, 5.50 WHIP, .583 BAA

Who's Hittin' Hot – SS John Nelson had his best week in quite a while, .346/.370/.654/1.024, 9-for-26 in seven games with two doubles, two home runs, five runs scored, two runs batted in, one walk, eleven strikeouts (he is still the strikeout king), one stolen base in one attempt and two errors
Who's Hittin' Not – Re-check the team's offensive numbers for the week. The competition is stiff for this category but the ‘winner' is C/LF (yes, they are playing him in left) Mike Rose who went .056/.190/.056/.246, 1-for-18 in seven games with one run scored, three walks, five strikeouts and no errors

Of Note – Offense/Defense
What can be said about a team that hit .226 for the week except that such underachieving should not be allowed to continue. As it stands, it is near miraculous that the team won three games this week. They are last in the league, offensively and a number of players are not getting the job done. Shaun Boyd, Mike Rose and Junior Spivey are all hitting below the Mendoza line for the season. Brian Esposito, Kevin Estrada and John Nelson are hitting under .250 so far. On the brighter side, after going .167/.253/.197/.450 in sixty-six April at bats, Travis Hanson went 291/.315/.398/.713 in one hundred three at bats in May. Another hitter that improved in May is shortstop John Nelson. Nelson hit a dismal .151/.195/.288/.482 in seventy-three at bats during April but rebounded for a .276/.291/.591/.883 May.
On Wednesday the 7th, the Cardinals signed infielder/second baseman Derek Wathan and assigned him to Memphis. That may spell the end of the Junior Spivey era. Wathan started at second Thursday night for the Redbirds.

Of Note – Pitching
Starter Will Cunnane, who sported a 7.20 ERA, 1.92 WHIP and .352 BAA, was released on Tuesday, the 6th. Since Anthony Reyes returned from St. Louis and started the June 5th game, there is no need for an additional starter. At least for now but Chris Narveson continues to rehab at Palm Beach.
One of the pitching stats being tracked this year is how relievers are doing with inherited base runners. This week Andy Cavazos inherited five runners in two games and three of them scored, at least one per game situation. Starters Dennis Tankersley and John Webb were the recipients. Alternately, Carmen Cali inherited a bases-loaded situation from Josh Kinney and got out of it. Alan Benes inherited two of Will Cunnane's runners and both scored. In two game appearances Matt Perisho inherited a runner put on by Andy Cavazos. He bailed Cavazos out once and did not the other time. Unfortunately, time constraints do not permit the tracking of which base the runners were on and the number of outs at the time. Both factors certainly impact where on the effectiveness scale each reliever falls.

Prospect Watch
Shaun Boyd - .167/.167/.167/.333, 2-for-12 in four games with one run scored and four strikeouts
Carmen Cali – 2 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 3:1 K/BB, .000 BAA
Andy Cavazos – 3 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 5 SO, 4.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 5:1 K/BB, .235 BAA
Chris Duncan - .412/.474/.765/1.238, 7-for-17 in five games with two home runs, three runs scored, five runs batted in, two walks, four strikeouts and no errors
Travis Hanson - .286/.400/.381/.781, 6-for-21 in seven games with two doubles, two runs scored, two runs batted in, four walks, four strikeouts, one stolen base in one attempt and no errors
Anthony Reyes – did not pitch at this level

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AA – Springfield Cardinals
League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division
Overall Record – 32 - 23
Weekly Record – 5 - 2
Current Standing – Second, two games behind the Tulsa Drillers (Colorado)

The Roster
Transactions – None
On the DL frontDan Moylan (right hand), SS Brendan Ryan (left wrist)

Current Week Team Batting – .246/.310/.371/.680
Cumulative Team Batting – .266/.345/.430/.775, fourth in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation*Chris Lambert, Jordan Pals, Mike Parisi, Stuart Pomeranz, Rich Rundles
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 4.22 ERA and 1.59 WHIP: 20 earned runs, 56 hits and 12 walks in 42.2 innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Cory Doyne, Justin Garza, Kevin Ool, Chris Russ, Rich Scalamandre, Mark Worrell
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 7.63 ERA and 1.76 WHIP: 13 earned runs, 21 hits and 6 walks in 15.1 innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 4.10 ERA and 1.43 WHIP, sixth in the league, by WHIP
*Those pitchers contributing to the current stats. Pitcher may appear in both rotation and bullpen.

Who's Pitchin' Hot – RHS Chris Lambert's line: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 7 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 6 SO, 3.86 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 6:1 K/BB, .200 BAA
Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Stuart Pomeranz's line: 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5.1 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 4 SO, 6.75 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, 4:1 K/BB, .423 BAA

Who's Hittin' Hot – 3B Rico Washington went .423/.483/.885/1.367, 11-for-26 in seven games with six doubles, two home runs, seven runs scored, seven runs batted in, two walks, four strikeouts and one error
Who's Hittin' Not – SS Mike McCoy went .115/.207/.115/.322, 3-for-26 in seven games with one run scored, two runs batted in, two walks, six strikeouts and one error

Of Note – Offense/Defense
Just as the Double-A season entered the home stretch (to borrow a term from horse racing) for the first-half title, Springfield's offense went south. The team has been carried recently by veterans Brian Martin, Juan Richardson and Rico Washington. But their contributions have been more than eclipsed by the lack of offense by several key players. Regulars Reid Gorecki, Jarrett Hoffpauir, Josh Pressley and Nick Stavinoha all hit below the .200 for the week. Hoffpauir had only fourteen plate appearances this week which is likely due to his on-going offensive struggles. Rayner Laya again made the most of his increasing playing time, this week by hitting over .300.
Washington's excellent week did not go unnoticed as he was named the Texas League ‘Player of the Week' for the week ending 06/04/06. Although he is putting up an excellent season so far, do not look for him to be promoted to Memphis any time soon. He is the Cardinals' regular third baseman and that slot is occupied in Memphis by Travis Hanson. Hanson's improved offense means he is unlikely to be demoted to Springfield to work things out. So Washington will continue in the role for which he was hired – to provide a veteran offensive presence in the Springfield line-up.
Speaking of promotions, outfielder Brian Martin received a well-deserved promotion to Memphis on June 7th. He has been playing in the shadow of higher-profile outfielders Reid Gorecki, Cody Haerther and Nick Stavinoha. But Martin has parlayed his Springfield performance of .293/.401/.466/.867 in one hundred thirty-three at bats into his first taste of Triple-A ball. Memphis was down to three outfielders with Chris Duncan's and Timo Perez' promotions to St. Louis so Martin fills a much needed role there.

Of Note – Pitching
Just like their offensive-minded teammates, the Springfield pitching staff is struggling down the stretch. Stuart Pomeranz has led the rotation thus far but is going through a rough patch right now. He is 1-2 in his last three starts with a 5.89 ERA and 1.64 WHIP in eighteen and one-third innings pitched. Springfield is in a downward slide and does not appear to have that ‘stopper' in the rotation to halt the skid.
Lefty reliever Kevin Ool continues his struggles. This week opposing batters hit .385 against him and he has not had an effective week, stats-wise, since April. Ool, 25, may find himself replaced by lefty Troy Cate, currently at Palm Beach, if their relative performances continue. Cate is holding the opposition to a .189 batting average and 0.73 WHIP. Cate, 25, has prior experience at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels, having pitched fifty-six innings in AA during the 2004 season and a one-game start in AAA in 2003.

Prospect Watch
Reid Gorecki - .179/.258/.357/.615, 5-for-28 in seven games with two doubles, one home run, three runs scored, three runs batted in, three walks, five strikeouts and no errors
Cody Haerther - .333/.320/.500/.820, 5-for-28 in seven games with one double, one home run, five runs scored, two runs batted in, one strikeout and no errors
Jarrett Hoffpauir - .182/.308/.182/.490, 2-for-11 in four games with three runs scored, two runs batted in, one walk, one strikeout and no errors
Chris Lambert – Pitchin' Hot
Mike Parisi – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 6 SO, 5.07 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, .333 BAA
Stuart Pomeranz – Pitchin' Not
Nick Stavinoha - .059/.158/.118/.276, 1-for-17 in six games with one double, one run scored, one walk, seven strikeouts and no errors
Mark Worrell – 2 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 1 SV, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .286 BAA

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You may contact Leonda Markee at uconncard@yahoo.com with any questions or suggestions on how to improve the report.


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