This Week in the Minors – July 5 - 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 - AAA and AA

July 5, 2006

This past week saw Memphis continue its recent hot streak and continue their push towards respectability. They gained three games on Nashville but still have a very big hole of which to get out. Springfield is mirroring the parent club. They are basically failing in all levels: offense, defense, pitching. The best thing that can be said for them is that they are only four games out of first, even with the dismal way they are currently playing.


AAA – Memphis Redbirds
League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division
Overall Record – 35 - 47
Weekly Record – 5 - 2
Current Standing – Third, eight games behind the Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee)

The Roster

Transactions – 06/27/06 - RHP Alan Benes activated from the disabled list, INF Kevin Estrada optioned to Double-A Springfield; 07/02/06 - RHR Josh Kinney: purchased contract from Triple-A Memphis and added to 40- and 25-man roster, OF Timo Perez optioned to Memphis

On the DL front – C Michel Hernandez (recurrence of prior strained oblique injury), OF Brian Martin (left hamstring)

Current Week Team Batting – .274/.357/.380/.737
Cumulative Team Batting – .247/.322/.372/.694

Current Rotation*Randy Leek, Chris Narveson, Travis Smith, Dennis Tankersley, John Webb
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 2.66 ERA and 1.43 WHIP: twelve earned runs, forty-seven hits and eleven walks in forty and two-thirds innings pitched

Current Bullpen* – Alan Benes, Andy Cavazos, Brian Falkenborg, Josh Kinney, Ober Moreno, Matt Perisho, Rich Scalamandre
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 2.31 ERA and 1.07 WHIP: six earned runs, nineteen hits and six walks in twenty-three and one-third innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 4.02 ERA and 1.37 WHIP
*Those pitchers contributing to the current stats. Pitcher may appear in both rotation and bullpen.

Who's Pitchin' Hot – RHS Travis Smith
Since signing with Memphis on May 30th, Smith has held opposing batters to a .186 average. This week he held them to a .105 average. Smith has allowed forty-one hits and fourteen walks in forty-seven and one-third innings for a 1.16 WHIP. Yes, he is a contact pitcher with just twenty-seven strikeouts but he is getting the job done for the Redbirds.

Who's Pitchin' Not – LHS Chris Narveson
Although he picked up a win against Nashville, Narveson's peripherals say that he was one lucky pitcher. He gave up seven hits in five and one-third innings for a .400 batting average against. Narveson walked two with only one strikeout for a 1.69 WHIP.

Who's Hittin' Hot – First Baseman Brian Daubach
There were several very worthy possibilities for ‘Hot' honors this week but Brian Daubach is the choice. Daubach is doing his best ‘Hey, look at me!' to the St. Louis decision-makers by going .400/..419/.500/.919, 12-for-30 in seven games, with three doubles. He tied with Chris Duncan and John Nelson for the team lead in runs batted in with five and struck out only four times during that span. If he only played the outfield.

Who's Hittin' Not – Third Baseman Rico Washington
Washington went just .105/.227/.105/.333, 2-for-19 in seven games with three walks, five strikeouts, two stolen bases in three attempts and no errors. His spot in Memphis is likely safe for now but he will not remain a Redbird if Travis Hanson gets himself straightened out down in Springfield.

Of Note – Overall
Memphis traveled to Nashville on June 26th to take on the first place team in a four-game series. In a sign of the team's improved play, they took three-of-four from the Sounds to move to ‘only' eight back by week's end. The Redbirds split the first two games which were low-scoring pitching duels. Travis Smith allowed only one unearned run in six and one-third innings in what turned out to be a ten-inning 2-1 win. Dennis Tankersley pitched well enough to win the next night when he allowed three runs, two earned, in six innings, but took a loss instead. The Redbirds got their bats swinging on Wednesday with fifteen hits on their way to a 11-4 victory behind John Webb's seven-inning, three-run quality start. Chris Narveson picked up a victory in the series' finale by allowing only a solo home run in five and one-third innings as the Redbirds won 5-1.
Nashville visits Memphis for a three-game series starting July 4th.

Of Note – Offense/Defense
The big move here is Chris Duncan's re-call to St. Louis on July 3rd. Even with his prior time in St. Louis, Duncan is among the team leaders in both runs scored and batted in. His bat will be missed in the Memphis line-up.
Of particular note is John Nelson's performance this week. Nelson went .320/.393/.840/1.233, 8-for-25 in seven games with one double, four home runs, six runs scored, five runs batted in, three walks, nine strikeouts and two errors. Put an outfielder's glove on Nelson and stick him in left.
The Stanford Hitting Machine is back on track this week as well. Gall went .389/.500/.444/.944, 7-for-18 in six games with a double and four runs scored. Fellow outfielder Skip Schumaker hit .387, 12-for-31, but with zero pop

Of Note – Pitching
I am a major rooter of the underdog and Josh Kinney certainly qualifies. Kinney, the Indy League guy, the former River City Rascal, gets the call to The Show and it is well-deserved. In his last full week with the Redbirds he appeared in three games for a total of four and one-third innings pitched. Kinney did not allow a run, gave up one hit and one walk while striking out six for a .040 batting average against and 0.46 WHIP. Go get ‘em, Josh!
Speaking of not allowing a run three other relievers were not scored upon this past week: Ober Moreno, Matt Perisho and Rich Scalamandre. The trio tossed ten and two-thirds innings over seven games with only five hits and five walks. Each of them struck out at least a batter an inning, twelve in all.

Prospect Watch - Hitters
Chris Duncan - .240/.406/.440/.846, 6-for-25 in seven games with two doubles, one home run, five runs scored, five runs batted in, seven walks, seven strikeouts and no errors
Brian Martin – on the disabled list

Prospect Watch - Pitchers
Andy Cavazos – 3 G, 0 GS, 0-1, 1 SV, 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 4 SO, 9.00 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, .261 BAA
Josh Kinney – 3 G, 0 GS, 0-0. 0 SV, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.46 WHIP, 6:1 K/BB, .040 BAA
Chris Narveson – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1.69 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 0.50:1 K/BB, .412 BAA
Rich Scalamandre – 3 G, 0 GS, 1-0, 0 SV, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2:1 K/BB, .154 BAA


AA – Springfield Cardinals
League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division
Second-Half Record – 2 - 8
Overall Record – 42 - 40
Weekly Record – 1 - 5
Current Standing – Fourth (last), four games behind the Wichita Wranglers (Kansas City)

The Roster

Transactions – 06/27/06 - INF Kevin Estrada optioned from Triple-A Memphis, CF Reid Gorecki placed on the 7-day Disabled List, retroactive to 6/19/06 (bruised right heel); 06/30/06 - C Iker Franco activated from the disabled list, INF Rayner Laya re-assigned to A-Advanced Palm Beach

On the DL front – CF Reid Gorecki (bruised right heel), SS Brendan Ryan (left wrist)

Current Week Team Batting – .221/.286/.284/.570
Cumulative Team Batting – .263/.337/.414/.751

Current Rotation*Blake Hawksworth, Chris Lambert, Jordan Pals, Mike Parisi, Stuart Pomeranz
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 6.53 ERA and 1.58 WHIP: twenty-three earned runs, thirty-six hits and fourteen walks in thirty-one and two-thirds innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Carmen Cali, Cory Doyne, Justin Garza, Kevin Ool, Chris Russ, Mark Worrell
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 3.73 ERA and 1.40 WHIP: eight earned runs, nineteen hits and eight walks in nineteen and one-third innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 4.25 ERA and 1.42 WHIP
*Those pitchers contributing to the current stats. Pitcher may appear in both rotation and bullpen.

Who's Pitchin' Hot – No one. Absolutely no one
For the second straight report, there is not a single Springfield pitcher that merits a mention here.

Who's Pitchin' Not – The bullpen
Last week the Springfield rotation deserved to be mentioned here and this week it is the bullpen. While the rotation did not pitch very well, the bullpen coughed up no less than three leads. Justin Garza, Kevin Ool and Mark Worrell each ‘earned' a blown save and the resulting loss. Kevin Ool appeared in three games this week, inherited five base runners and allowed three of the five to score. Ouch.

Who's Hittin' Hot – OF Nick Stavinoha
Stavinoha may be back on track. Although only one of his eight hits for the week was for extra bases, he did stroke the ball to a .444 average. His four runs batted in tied with Cody Haerther for the team lead this week. Stavinoha also did not draw a walk. But this is another step back..

Who's Hittin' Not – SS Mike McCoy
McCoy went .063/.063/.063/.125, 1-for-16 in five games, with two runs batted in, no walks, six strikeouts and an error. This is McCoy's second consecutive ‘Not' notice. Sure hope that acupuncture treatment works on Brendan Ryan's hand.

Of Note – Offense/Defense
It is good to see the continued offensive improvement of Cody Haerther and Nick Stavinoha. Both have struggled mightily at the plate but have really come on recently. Stavinoha's recent numbers were outlined in the last report. Haerther is hitting over .300 the past two weeks. Both players are part of the outfield squeeze for playing time that Springfield is currently experiencing.
That outfield just got more crowded with Reid Gorecki coming off the disabled list on July 3rd. That gives Springfield five legitimate outfielders needing playing time: Shaun Boyd, Terry Evans, Gorecki, Haerther and Stavinoha. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Of course, what would be ideal is if one or more of them would get hot enough to merit a promotion to Memphis. Then the Springfield outfield crush would be eased and Memphis would get a replacement for Chris Duncan. I do not see Duncan returning to Memphis any time soon.

Of Note – Pitching
Chris Lambert was promoted to Springfield on May 30, 2005. He has now spent more than a year at Double-A and appears to be no closer to Triple-A than he was last May. Lambert appears to be incapable of putting together consistent performances. Reading the July 5th game write-up in the Springfield News-Leader, it appears as if the Cardinals are losing patience with him. Lambert has given forty-eight free passes so far this season which is third in the Texas League. Talent will only take a player so far. It takes a strong work ethic as well. There have been unsubstantiated reports that Mr. Lambert is not particularly devoted to baseball. It would be a real shame if he took St. Louis' considerable signing bonus and then did not put in the work needed to succeed.

Prospect Watch - Hitters
Terry Evans – .263/.333/.316/.649, 5-for-19 in five games, with one double, three runs scored, two runs batted in, two walks, six strikeouts and no errors
Reid Gorecki – on the disabled list
Cody Haerther - .300/.286/.450/.736, 6-for-20 in six games with one double, one triple, two runs scored, four runs batted in, no walks, four strikeouts and one error
Travis Hanson - .304/.360/.391/.751, 7-for-23 in six games with two doubles, three runs scored, two runs batted in, two walks, three strikeouts and one error
Jarrett Hoffpauir - .214/.267/.357/.624, 3-for-14 in four games with two doubles, three runs scored, one run batted in, one walk, four strikeouts two stolen bases in two attempts and one error
Nick Stavinoha - .444/.421/.500/.921, 8-for-18 in six games with a double, one run scored, four runs batted in, three strikeouts, one stolen base in one attempt and no errors

Prospect Watch - Pitchers
Blake Hawksworth – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-0, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 3 SO, 1.80 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 0.75:1 K/BB, .222 BAA
Chris Lambert – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 4.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 4 SO, 15.42 ERA, 2.36 WHIP, 1.33:1 K/BB, .364 BAA
Mike Parisi – 1 G, 1 GS< 0 CG, 0-0, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 2 SO, 4.76 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 0.67:1 K/BB, .227 BAA
Stuart Pomeranz – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 3 BB, 3 SO, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 1:1 K/BB, .222 BAA
Mark Worrell – 3 G, 0 GS, 0-1, 1 BS, 0 SV, 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1.71 WHIP, .333 BAA

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