This Week in the Minors – July 12 - 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 15, 2006

One of the events of note currently is Larry Bigbie's 20-day minor league rehab assignment which began Wednesday, July 12th, when he joined the Swing of the Quad Cities. The July 12th game was the first of six he will play before moving onto another team. The assignment to the Swing came at Bigbie's request and was based on a prior rehab assignment when the Orioles sent him to the Gulf Coast League to begin a rehab assignment. Bigbie feels starting at a lower level assists him get back to hitting fastballs which is the first step in getting his hitting stroke back. Another noteworthy event came on July 5th when Springfield outfielder Terry Evans was traded to the Angels for pitcher Jeff Weaver and cash. More on that in the Springfield section.

Here are the changes in standings for the week ending July 9th: Memphis remained in third but dropped another game behind first-place Nashville and are now nine back while Springfield went from fourth to third and gained a game on Wichita.

Note: The stats listed in this report are for the week ending July 9th.


AAA – Memphis Redbirds
League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division
Overall Record – 35 - 47
Weekly Record – 3 - 4
Current Standing – Third, nine games behind the Nashville Sounds (Milwaukee)

The Roster

Transactions – 07/03/06 - RHR Brad Thompson optioned to Memphis, OF/1B Chris Duncan re-called to St. Louis; 07/06/06 - LHS Randy Leek placed on the 7-day disabled list (sprained ankle)(subsequently broke his right wrist and out for 8-to-12 weeks), OF Brian Martin activated from the 7-day disabled list

On the DL front – C Michel Hernandez (recurrence of prior strained oblique injury), LHP Randy Leek (broken right wrist)

Current Week Team Batting – .214/.324/.333/.657
Cumulative Team Batting – .240/.316/.361/.677, last in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation* – Randy Leek, Chris Narveson, Travis Smith, Dennis Tankersley, John Webb
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.68 ERA and 1.23 WHIP: eighteen earned runs, forty-one hits and thirteen walks in forty-four innings pitched

Current Bullpen*Alan Benes, Andy Cavazos, Brian Falkenborg, Orber Moreno, Matt Perisho, Rich Scalamandre, Brad Thompson
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 3.79 ERA and 1.53 WHIP: eight earned runs, twenty-one hits and eight walks in nineteen innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 3.97 ERA and 1.36 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 Dennis Tankersley
From his May 31st start through July 9th, Dennis Tankersley has accumulated the following line: 8 G, 8 GS, 0 CG, 3-4, 50.2 IP, (6.1 IP/start), 41 H, 17 R, 13 ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 14 BB, 46 SO, 2.31 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 3.29:1 K/BB ratio, 8.2 K/9 IP, 2.5 BB/9 IP, 0.53 HR/9 IP, .229 BAA

Who's Pitchin' Not – None
None of the starters warranted notice here for the week ending July 9th and, as a general rule, relievers have to ‘Pitch Not' for more than one week to get listed here due to the small time sample. Therefore, the staff gets a pass this week.

Who's Hittin' Hot – OF John Gall
After being mired in a hitting slump for most of June, Gall's bat has heated up the past two weeks. This week Gall went .370/.414/.667/1.080, 7-for-27 in 7 games, with two doubles and two home runs. He also stole a base and committed no errors. For the season, Gall has walked twenty-seven times and struck out thirty-five time in 274 at bats.

Who's Hittin' Not – OF Timo Perez
Perez is not off to an auspicious start in his return from St. Louis. He went .087/.125/.217/.342, 2-for-23 in 6 games, with one home run and one walk.

Of Note – Offense/Defense
A close contender for ‘Not' recognition for the week ending July 9th was Derek Wathan who went .174/.208/.304/.513, 4-for-23 in 6 games with a double and triple. Rico Washington's .071/.278/.071/.349 performance would also have put him in the running but Washington's stats were compiled in only 14 at bats over 7 games so he did not make it to the final group of ‘contenders'.
You can add the following players to the ‘Not Seeing Much Playing Time' list: outfielder Jason Conti (12 plate appearances), catcher Brian Esposito (7 plate appearances), infielder Bo Hart (14 plate appearances), second baseman Junior Spivey (13 plate appearances). Although outfielder Brian Martin had only 10 plate appearances this week, he should not be on this list because his were a result of coming off the disabled list on Jul7 6th. Look for his playing time to increase

Of Note – Pitching
Despite a year's experience in the St. Louis bullpen, Brad Thompson is the youngest player on the Memphis roster. He turned 24 on January 31st which makes him younger than Chris Narveson by a little over one month.
While his performance did not get a Pitchin' Not notice again this week, Chris Narveson continues a pattern of uneven pitching from start-to-start since his first Memphis start on June 12th. Narveson made his 2006 Triple-A debut by shutting out Oklahoma through six and two-thirds innings. Although he won his next start against Omaha, he did not make it into the sixth inning and tossed only four innings while taking a loss in his subsequent start on June 24th. Narveson rebounded in his June 29th start to hold first-place to one run, earned, in five and one-third innings but was assisted by Josh Kinney, who stranded Narveson's two baserunners in the sixth inning. Nashville returned the favor on July 4th by chasing Narveson after five innings during which he gave up four runs, all earned, on eight hits. Then Narveson's pitching see-saw tilted to the other side as he earned his first quality start since June 12th by allowing only one run, earned, in six innings pitched on July 9th. Overall, Narveson has allowed less than a hit an inning, thirty hits in thirty-two innings pitched over six starts, while walking ten for a 1.25 WHIP. He has held opposing batters to a .259 average but has struck out only 17 for a K/BB ratio of 1.7:1. Uneven.

Prospect Watch - Hitters
Chris Duncan – re-called to St. Louis on July 3rd
Brian Martin - .125/.300/.250/.550, 1-for-8 in 3 games, with one double and a hit-by-pitch. Activated from the disabled list on July 6th

Prospect Watch - Pitchers
Andy Cavazos – 4 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 1 SV, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HB, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 3:1 K/BB, .273 BAA
Chris Narveson – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 1-1, 11 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 2 BB, 9 SO, 4.09 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 4.50:1 K/BB, .302 BAA
Rich Scalamandre – 2 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 0.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 1 SO, 80.60 ERA, 11.94 WHIP, 1:1 K/BB, .500 BAA
Brad Thompson – 3 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 0 SV, 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 2 HB, 3 BB, 5 SO, 0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 1.67:1 K/BB, .188 BAA


AA – Springfield Cardinals
League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division
Second-Half Record – 7 - 10
Overall Record – 49 - 50
Weekly Record – 5 - 2
Current Standing – Third, three games behind the Wichita Wranglers (Kansas City)

The Roster

Transactions – 07/03/06 - Springfield - 1B/C Gabe Johnson placed on the 7-day disabled list, CF Reid Gorecki activated from the 7-day disabled list; 07/05/06 - OF Terry Evans traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for RHS Jeff Weaver and cash considerations acquired from the Los Angeles Angels, RHP Jose Garcia called up from Palm Beach; 07/06/06 - LHP Eric Haberer called up from Palm Beach, RHP Jose Garcia re-assigned to Palm Beach; 07/08/06 - LF Amaury Marti called up from A-Advanced Palm Beach, RHS Stuart Pomeranz placed on the 7-day disabled list

On the DL front –1B/C Gabe Johnson (7/03/06 – sprained left wrist), RHS Stuart Pomeranz (7/08/06 – strained left oblique) SS Brendan Ryan (season's start - left wrist)

Current Week Team Batting – .248/.329/.329/.658 with nine errors
Cumulative Team Batting – .259/.333/.401/.735, sixth in the league, by OPS

Current Rotation*Carmen Cali, Eric Haberer, Blake Hawksworth, Chris Lambert, Jordan Pals, Mike Parisi
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 5.06 ERA and 1.71 WHIP: twenty-one earned runs, forty-five hits and nineteen walks in thirty-seven and one-third innings pitched

Current Bullpen* – Carmen Cali, Cory Doyne, Jose Garcia, Justin Garza, Kevin Ool, Chris Russ, Mark Worrell
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 1.40 ERA and 1.01 WHIP: four earned runs, eighteen hits and eight walks in twenty-five and two-thirds innings pitched
Cumulative Pitching – 4.20 ERA and 1.42 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 Mike Parisi
Parisi turned in the best performance among the starters this week and it was a beauty. He found himself in a pitching duel with Tulsa's Emmanuel Ulloa and came out on top, winning 2-1 on July 6th. Parisi held the first-half division winners to one run, earned, on five hits and one walk in seven innings. His complete weekly line is found in the ‘Prospect Watch'.

Who's Pitchin' Not – RHS Blake Hawksworth
Hawksworth is still trying to find his Double-A footing, so-to-speak, and his performance during the week ending July 9th did not get him any closer to that goal. Hitters blasted him at a .409 average and he issued five walks in ten innings over two starts. Check the ‘Prospect Watch' for his weekly line.

Who's Hittin' Hot – 2B Jarrett Hoffpauir
Hoffpauir was the only Springfield player to have over twenty plate appearances and hit over .300, for the week ending July 2nd. His five runs batted in placed him in a three-way tie with Mike McCoy and Nick Stavinoha as the weekly team leader. Hoffpauir also walked, five, more than he struck out, four, which has traditionally been one of strong suits.

Who's Hittin' Not – C Iker Franco
Franco went only .167/.167/.167/.333, 4-for-24 in 6 games, with six strikeouts and one error.

Of Note – Offense/Defense
The big news here is the trade between the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and St. Louis Cardinals that sent pitcher Jeff Weaver and cash to St. Louis for Springfield outfielder Terry Evans. This trade triggered fairly strong reaction, in some quarters, as to its relative merit. Since Jeff Weaver has yet to start a game for St. Louis, it is more than a bit premature to reach even a preliminary conclusion. However, ‘on paper' the Cardinals picked up a Major League starter and cash for a 24-year-old minor leaguer in his fifth year of professional ball who reached Double-A for the first time just recently. Yes, Evans is having a ‘break-out' year this season and it is entirely possible that he is a late-bloomer that has made adjustments and will take off. But reservations remain, given both his prior performance history and age, and that his Springfield offensive numbers declined each successive week after his debut. It is good to remember that he did not appear on The Birdhouse Top 20 Prospect list for 2005 and we at The Birdhouse watch the Cardinals' minor league system as closely as anyone.

Although he has not been played on the disabled list, so far, Nick Stavinoha is not currently playing due to an elbow strain. He has not appeared in a game since July 8th.
The Springfield ‘Not Seeing Much Playing Time' list includes: Shaun Boyd (10 plate appearances, utility player Kevin Estrada saw more time on the outfield through July 9th than did Boyd), Reid Gorecki (14 plate appearances, likely due to health issues as he went back on the disabled list with a hamstring injury on July 10th), C Dan Moylan (12 plate appearances, played right field for an entire game for the first time this year)

Of Note – Pitching
At this time Eric Haberer's promotion from Palm Beach appears to be temporary as he replaces Stuart Pomeranz in the rotation. Pomeranz went on the disabled list on July 8th but has not started since June 30th when he got a no decision. Of course, with the July 31st trading deadline approaching, some of the current Springfield rotation may well be in different organizations' uniforms shortly. The Springfield News-Leader reports that scouts from several different clubs have been there in the recent past. One of the scouts was for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and his visit was just before the Jeff Weaver-and-cash for outfielder Terry Evans trade.

Prospect Watch - Hitters
Terry Evans – .167/.286/.167/.452, 1-for-6 in 2 games, traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Reid Gorecki - .100/.308/.100/.408, 1-for-10 in 4 games, with three walks, four strikeouts, one stolen base in one attempt. Back to the DL on July 10th.
Cody Haerther - .227/.370/.227/.598, 5-for-22 in 7 games, with six runs scored (tie for weekly team leader), five walks, four strikeouts, two stolen bases in two attempts and no errors
Travis Hanson - .226/.250/.258/.508, 7-for-31 in 7 games, with one double, one walk, eight strikouts and three errors
Jarrett Hoffpauir - .353/.478/.471/.949, 6-for-17 in 6 games, with two doubles, four runs scored, five runs batted in (three-way tie for team leader), five walks, four strikeouts and two errors. Hittin' Hot
Nick Stavinoha - .250/.280/.375/.655, 6-for-24 in six games, with three triples, five runs batted in (three-way tie for team leader), one walk, seven strikeouts and no errors

Prospect Watch - Pitchers
Eric Haberer – 1 G, 1 GS< 0 CG, 1-0, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 1:1 K/BB, .238 BAA
Blake Hawksworth – 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 10 IP, 18 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 2 HR, 0 HB, 5 BB, 10 SO, 8.10 ERA, 2.30 WHIP, 2:1 K/BB, .409 BAA
Chris Lambert – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 0-1, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 5 BB, 7 SO, 6.75 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 1.4:1 K/BB, .238 BAA
Mike Parisi – 1 G, 1 GS, 0 CG, 1-0, 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 4 SO, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 4:1 K/BB, .192 BAA
Stuart Pomeranz – did not pitch
Mark Worrell – 4 G, 0 GS, 2 SV, 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 1 BB, 7 SO, 0.00 ERA, 0.40 WHIP, 7:1 K/BB, .059 BAA

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