This Week in the Minors – 6/24 - A-Advanced/A

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 Cardinals A-Advanced affiliates in Palm Beach and the Quad Cities.

This Week in the Minors – A-Advanced and A

June 24, 2006

With mid-season here and most leagues' first-halves being completed by the end of the June 18th reporting period, it is time to rev up the St. Louis system shuttle and move some players. No moves were more newsworthy than the promotion of Blake Hawksworth to Springfield and Jaime Garcia to Quad Cities. Hawksworth's promotion satisfied the clamoring of some fans who have been wanting it since shortly after he proved he was not going to go back on the DL immediately. Garcia's promotion was only a surprise in that this is his first professional season and he is young. But he proved that he can dominate at the A level so it is on to A-Advanced. The best of luck to both of them.

As of the end of this reporting period, Palm Beach was making a push towards their league's first-half title while Quad Cities' first half came to a close with them making it back to a .500 won/loss record. Palm Beach was one game behind the St. Lucie Mets with three games remaining. Quad Cities finished the first half with a .500 record which is an accomplishment considering the hole they dug for themselves.


High-A – Palm Beach Cardinals
League Affiliation - twelve-team Florida State League, six-team East division
Overall Record – 37 - 30
Biweekly Record – 9 – 3
Current Standing – Second, one game behind the St. Lucie Mets

The Roster
Transactions - 06/08/06 - OF Terry Evans called up to Springfield; 06/10/06 - OF Wes Swackhamer activated from the DL; 06/12/06 - LHS Chris Narveson re-called to Memphis from his rehab assignment, OF Amaury Marti (18th Rd) signed to a minor league contract and assigned A-Advanced Palm Beach; 06/16/06 - OF Ty Parker given his unconditional release
On the DL front – OF Matt Lemanczyk (swelling in arm)

Current Team Batting – .248/.329/.358/.687
Cumulative Team Batting – .247/.321/.379/.700, tied for fourth in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation*Mitch Boggs, Eric Haberer, Blake Hawksworth, Mark Michael, Chris Narveson, Nick Webber
Current Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.63 ERA and 1.16 WHIP: 30 earned runs, 70 hits and 16 walks in 74.1 innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Tyler Adamczyk, Troy Cate, Dennis Dove, Jose Garcia, Matt Scherer, Mike Sillman, Zack Zuercher
Current Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 2.02 ERA and 0.87 WHIP: 8 earned runs, 18 hits and 13 walks in 35.2 innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 3.65 ERA and 1.28 WHIP, tied for fourth 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 Mitch Boggs
Boggs gets his first mention in this category for the season. How could he not when he took a perfect game against into the ninth inning on June 14th. Boggs retired every Jupiter Hammerhead (Marlins) he faced until J.T. Restko came to the plate at the top of the ninth. Restko's soft single to center broke up the perfect game/no-hitter but Boggs went on to strike out the next three batters for a complete game victory. Overall, he struck out eleven. In his other start Boggs allowed just one run, earned, on six hits and two walks in seven innings as the Cardinals defeated the Vero Beach Dodgers. Boggs, unfortunately, did not get the win himself. For the period Boggs held opposing batters to a .125 average while compiling a 0.58 WHIP.

Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Nick Webber
Webber gets the ‘Not' mention for the second consecutive report. He is just getting hammered right now as he has given up eight runs, all earned, on fifteen hits and two walks in seven and two-thirds innings pitched over two starts. His WHIP for the period was 2.22 while opposing batters hit .455 against him. Hopefully the All-Star break that occurred from the 16th through the 18th will give him some time to recoup.

Who's Hittin' Hot – OF Joe Mather
Mather followed up the week ending June 4th in which he went .381/.409/.429/.838 in twenty-one at bats but lost out to Terry Evans on ‘Hot' honors by going 15-for-46 in twelve games over the past two weeks. That translates to .326/.380/.565/.945 with three doubles, one triple and two home runs. His twelve RBIs led the team for this period. Palm Beach will need an increased offensive effort due to Evans' promotion and Mather had certainly done his part.

Who's Hittin' Not – 1B Mike Ferris
Sigh. Mike Ferris is really struggling right now and that is an understatement. He strained his groin during a game on May 4th and while he did not officially go on the disabled list, he did miss some games at the time. At that time he was hitting .298 with a .376 on-base percentage and a .919 OPS. He is now hitting .222/.323/.370/.693 for the season. Ferris was practically invisible the past two weeks, going .081/.209/.081/.290, 3-for-37 in ten games with fourteen strikeouts and two errors. If Ferris is not physically right then he clearly needs to be shut down until he is healed because the way things are currently going helps no one.

Of Note – Overall
Palm Beach's first-half did not end with the All-Star break but includes the first three games after the break.

Of Note – Offense/Defense
Sean Danielson, who moved back to centerfield after Evans departed for Springfield, hit .310 with a .408 on-base percentage in forty-two at bats for the two-week period.

Of Note – Pitching
Note: The pitching stats for this period includes those from the completion of a rain-suspended game started on April 22nd. This impacts both Mitch Boggs' and Eric Haberer's pitching lines for the period as shown under the ‘Prospect Watch'. Boggs made only two starts during this period but his third abbreviated start (1.1 IP) is included here as well. Haberer started the resumed game during this period but it shows as a relief appearance in his line for the period. All stats were included in the rotation data for this report.

Chris Narveson's expected call-up to Memphis on the 12th sends Palm Beach back to a five-man rotation. Narveson's first start at Palm Beach was piggybacked with Nick Webber but the Cardinals subsequently went to a six-man rotation.

The other news is Blake Hawksworth's promotion to Springfield and Jaime Garcia's promotion from Quad Cities to fill his slot in the rotation. Neither move came as a surprise to readers of the Scout message board.
Eric Haberer has recently turned in several strong performances after really struggling for most of the season. Beginning on May 30th, Haberer picked up just his second win of the season as he shut out Jupiter on six hits and one walk in eight innings pitched. He struck out six. Haberer picked up his third win in his next outing when he started the suspended game from April 22nd against first-place St. Lucie. He allowed just one run, a home run, on four hits while not walking a batter in seven and one-third innings. Win number five came in his next outing on June 10th when he went six innings against Vero Beach and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and three walks. Haberer stuck out nine batters. Finally, on the 15th he held Jupiter (again) to one run on six hits and no walks with six strikeouts in eight innings but did not figure in the decision as the Cardinals won 4-1 in seventeen innings.

Prospect Watch - Hitters
Mike Ferris – .081/.227/.081/.308, 3-for-37 in ten games with three runs scored, 2 RBIs, 6 BB, 14 SO, 2 E. Hittin' Not
Tyler Greene - .244/.333/.333/.667, 11-for-45 in twelve games with one double, one home run, eight runs scored, 6 RBIs, 5 BB, 13 SO, 4 SB, 0 CS, 1 E
Juan Lucena - .314/.327/.373/.699, 16-for-51 in eleven games with one home run, six runs scored, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 3 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, 1 HBP, 1 E
Amaury Marti - .222/.300/.444/.744, 4-for-18 in four games with one double, one home run, five runs scored, 4 RBIs, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 SO, 0 CG, 0 E
Brandon Yarbrough - ,115/.258/.115/.373, 3-for-26 in seven games with three runs scored, 2 RBIs, 5 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 0 E

Prospect Watch - Pitchers
Mitch Boggs – 3 G, 3 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 1-0, 17.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 16 SO, 0.52 ERA, 5:1 K/BB, .125 BAA, Pitchin' Hot (see ‘Note' in the ‘Of Note – Pitching' section, above)
Eric Haberer – 3 G, 2 GS (actually 3), 0 CG, 2-0, 21.1 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 17 SO, 1.69 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 5.7:1 K/BB, .190 BAA, would have been Pitchin' Hot except for Boggs' near perfection. (see ‘Note' in the ‘Of Note – Pitching' section, above)
Blake Hawksworth – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 12 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 4 SO, 3.75 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 1:1 K/BB, .277 BAA. Off to Springfield
Mark Michael – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 9 IP, 15 H, 13 R, 10 ER, 1 HR, 2 HB, 3 BB, 8 SO, 10.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 2.6:1 K/BB, .385 BAA. Needs to get moving
Chris Narveson – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 5 SO, 2.57 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 5:1 K/BB, .192 BAA. Stats for his last Palm Beach start prior to his Memphis call-up
Mike Sillman – 6 G, 0 GS, 1 BS, 5 SV, 0-1, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 6 BB, 8 SO, 1.80 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 1.3:1 K/BB, .167 BAA. Poor control for the period
Nick Webber – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 7.2 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 4 SO, 2.2 WHIP, 2:1 K/BB, .455 BAA, Pitchin' Not


Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities
League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division
Overall Record – 34 - 34
Biweekly Record – 8 – 6
Final First-Half Standing – Sixth, six and one-half games behind the Kane County Cougars (Oakland)

The Roster
Transactions – 06/05/06 - RHS Mark McCormick placed on the 7-day DL retroactive to June 2nd, OF Rich Giannotti called up from Extended Spring Training; 06/12/06 - RHP Brian Stitt placed on the Disabled List, retroactive to 6/08/06, RHP Victor Moreno called up from Extended Spring Training; 06/15/06 - Quad Cities - 1B Adam Rodgers placed on the voluntarily retired list, RHR Brian Stitt activated from the disabled list; 06/17/06 - Quad Cities - CF Shane Robinson (5th Rd) assigned by St. Louis, per the [i]Quad-City Times[/i] (exact signing date unknown); 06/18/06 - Quad Cities - OF Rich Giannotti given his unconditional release
On the DL front – RHP Phillip Andersen (May 2006 Tommy John surgery), RHP Kyle McClellan (July 2005 Tommy John surgery), RHS Mark McCormick (right shoulder tendonitis), RHP Donnie Smith (August 2005 shoulder capsule surgery)

Current Team Batting – .265/.337/.404/.741
Cumulative Team Batting – .264/.328/.383/.712, third in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation*Adam Daniels, Jaime Garcia, Trey Hearne, Cory Meacham, Kyle Sadlowski
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 2.77 ERA and 1.17 WHIP: 26 earned runs, 82 hits and 17 walks in 84.1 innings pitched

Current Bullpen* – Danny Borne, Jason Cairns, Ashley Hooks, Jon Mikrut, Victor Moreno, Brian Stitt, Matt Trent, Scott Vander Weg
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 2.39 ERA and 1.33 WHIP: 11 earned runs, 39 hits and 16 walks in 41.1 innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 3.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, fifth 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 Cory Meacham
Meacham has been on a hot streak since coming off the DL in early May and he gets the nod for his most recent two-week performance. He also gets added to the ‘Prospect Watch' list. because this sustained success merits future attention. Since coming off the DL Meacham has made eight starts in which he has gone 5-2 with a 1.41 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in fifty-one innings. He averaging over six innings a start and allowed only thirty-nine hits during that span. Meacham is not ‘sexy' in that he has struck out only twenty-four batters during the eight starts, an average of four a game. But opposing batters hit just .223 against him as well. His two-week numbers can be viewed in the ‘Prospect Watch'.

Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Kyle Sadlowski
Opposing batters hit .355 in three starts during this period while he compiled a 1.53 WHIP with twenty-seven hits and one walk in eighteen and one-third innings pitched. The control is nice to see but you do not walk many when they are busy teeing off on you.

Who's Hittin' Hot – CF Colby Rasmus
Ramus gets ‘Hot' for the third time this season with sixteen hits in forty-eight at bats, including three doubles, two triples and three home runs. That works out to a .667 slugging percentage. Add in his six walks and you have a 1.085 OPS. Then Rasmus added a couple of stolen bases, scored nine runs and drove in ten. Good work.

Who's Hittin' Not – 2B/SS Jose Martinez
Martinez continues to struggle at the plate which can be attributed, at least in part, to his youth. (He joins Rasmus and Bryan Anderson as the only Swing players born in 1986.) He hit below the Mendoza line and made four errors. He did have more walks, four, than strikeouts, two.

Of Note – Offense/Defense
Outfielder Chad Gabriel was an All-Star for last season in the New York-Penn League's inaugural All-Star game. Gabriel did not make a roster as the 2006 season began but was called up to Quad Cities to take the slot vacated when Charles Carter was sent to Extended Spring Training. Gabriel is playing behind top talent Colby Rasmus and will not see his playing time increase with Shane Robinson's arrival. However, he is making the most of the time he gets. Gabriel went .417/.462/.500/.962, 15-for-36 in ten games which is certainly noteworthy.
The period also saw the surprise retirement of first baseman Adam Rodgers. Rodgers was a 25th-round draft pick last year and had recently found himself platooning with Randy Roth between first base and DH'ing. Rodgers finished the 2006 season with .244/.311/.341/.652 numbers, 43-for-176 in forty-nine games.

Of Note – Pitching
Looking at the Swing rotation it was noted that all were drafted in 2005. The highest round pick is clearly Mark McCormick but he is not part of the active staff. The highest round pick of the active five is 15th-rounder Adam Daniels and none of the others were drafted above the 22nd round. An immediate change to the rotation is Jaime Garcia's recent promotion to Palm Beach. The rotation is bound to further change as the 2006 draftees are evaluated in their current assignments.
Speaking of Mark McCormick, Trey Hearne has been moved into the rotation to fill McCormick's slot. Hearne, a 28th-round pick, has put together four excellent starts since that time and is also being added to the ‘Prospect Watch'. Check out his work for the past three weeks, which covers three of those four starts.

Prospect Watch - Hitters
Bryan Anderson – .286/.381/.343/.724, 10-for-35 in eleven games, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 2 HBP, 1 E
Jose Martinez - .196/.283/.261/.544, 9-for-46 in fourteen games, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 6 R, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SO, 2 SB, 2 CS, 2 HBP, 4 E, Hittin' Not
Colby Rasmus - .333/.418/.667/1.085, 16-for-48 in fourteen games, 3 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 9 R, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 11 SO, 2 SB, 1 CS, 1 HBP, 0 E, Hittin' Hot
Randy Roth - .294/.351/.412/.763, 15-for-51 in fourteen games, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 9 R, 10 RBI, 3 BB, 8 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 2 HBP, 2 E
A.J. Van Slyke - .207/.324/.241/.565, 6-for-29 in ten games, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, 3 E

Prospect Watch - Pitchers
Adam Daniels – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-2, 10.2 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 13 SO, 3.38 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2.6:1 K/BB, .268 BAA
Jason Cairns – 3 G, 0 GS, 0 SV, 1-1, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1.59 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 1:1 K/BB, .158 BAA
Jaime Garcia – 3 G, 3 GS, 1 CG, 1-1, 17.1 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 15 SO, 4.15 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 3.75:1 K/BB, .231 BAA
Trey Hearne – 3 G, 3 GS, 0 CG, 1-1, 18 IP, 14 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 23 SO, 1.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5.75:1 K/BB, .219 BAA
Mark McCormick – did not pitch
Cory Meacham – 3 G, 3 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 2-1, 20 IP, 15 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 12 SO, 0.45 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 4:1 K/BB, .205 BAA


Short-A – State College Spikes
League Affiliation - fourteen-team New York-Penn League, six-team McNamara division

The Roster

Transactions –06/12/06 - St. Louis - LHP Brad Furnish (2nd Rd) came to terms with and assigned to State College; 06/16/06 - LHP Ryan Hodinka, RHP Lance Marcum,:RHP Adam Ottavino (1st Rd), LHP Matt Sauceda: came to terms with Ottavino, signed Hodinka, Marcum and Sauceda as undrafted free agents and assigned all to the Short-season A State College Spikes; 06/17/06 - State College - announced the following 2006 draft picks have been assigned to their level: C David Carpenter (12th Rd), SS Allen Craig (8th Rd), RHP Gary Daley (3rd Rd), LHP Brad Furnish (2nd Rd), 1B Mark Hamilton (2nd Rd-Supp), RHP Kyle Mura (42nd Rd), LHP Tyler Norrick (6th Rd), RHP Adam Ottavino (1st Rd), C Christian Reyes (27th Rd), LHP Brian Schroeder (33rd Rd*), 3B Jared Schweitzer, CF Nathan Southard (17th Rd), C Scott Thomas (38th Rd), RHP P.J. Walters (11th Rd)


Short-A – Johnson City Cardinals
League Affiliation - ten-team Appalachian League, five-team West division

The Roster

Transactions – 06/12/06 - C Casey Mulligan (22nd Rd) signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Rookie League Johnson City; 06/16/06 - RHP Matt North (9th Rd) to sign w/the Cardinals after his graduation this evening and will travel to Johnson City on Sunday, the 18th, per the [i]Contra Costa Times[/i]


Extended Spring Training

Transactions – 06/12/06 - C David Carpenter (12th Rd), RHP Logan Collier (37th Rd), 2B Isais Garcia (34th Rd), LHP Matt Michael (39th Rd), OF Travis Mitchell (13th Rd), 3B Jared Schweitzer (30th Rd), RF Mark Shorey (31st Rd): came to terms with and sent to Extended Spring Training pending team assignment; 06/13/06 - 1B Brandon Buckman (19th Rd), C Garrett Bussiere (26th Rd), (SS Allen Craig (8th Rd), RHP Gary Daley (3rd Rd), OF Jon Edwards (14th Rd), RHP Luke Gregerson (28th Rd), RF Luke Gorsett (7th Rd), 1B Mark Hamilton (2nd-S Rd), RHP Kyle Mura (42nd Rd), LHP Tyler Norrick (6th Rd), OF Nathan Southard (17th Rd), C Christian Reyes (27th Rd), RHP P.J. Walters (11th Rd): came to terms with and sent to Extended Spring Training pending team assignment;

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