The St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Notebook
Games Played Sunday
Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A): Lost 2-1 to the Isotopes
Memphis starter Blake Hawksworth gave up just one run on four hits with two strikeouts in five innings, one of his better starts of the season, but didn't factor into the decision. Reliever Matt Ginter came into the game in the sixth inning and yielded an unearned run on two hits in two innings pitched and was tagged with the loss on Sunday.
RECORD: 16-15, 1.5 GB
Springfield Cardinals (Double-A): Lost 11-6 to the Travelers
The Travelers travelled across home plate 11 times on Sunday as they defeated the Springfield Cardinals 11-6.
Springfield got four hits from Sean Danielson, who finished the day 4-4, with an RBI and a run scored raising his batting average to .444 in seven Texas League games.
Springfield starter Jose Garcia pitched well in his first start, making a spot-start out of the bullpen. Garcia allowed three runs on five hits over five innings, leaving with a 5-3 lead.
OF Colby Rasmus went 3-for-5 on the day to include two doubles and an RBI, raising his batting average to a more respectable .277.
The Cardinals made four errors Sunday, SS Tyler Greene 2 (6, fielding, throw), RP Nick Webber (1, throw), Colby Rasmus (3, fielding), that didn't help the cause. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Juan Encarnacion will apparently have an extended stay in Springfield, after hitting just .146 (6-41) through his first 10 rehab games. He is expected to be with the club through the entire eight-game homestand.
RECORD: 11-15, 3rd Place, 2.0 GB
Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A): Lost to Sarasota 4-2 in 11
The Palm Beach Cardinals played a good game Sunday just coming up short to Sarasota 4-2 in 11 innings. A good game in terms of the pitching staff holding Sarasota to just two runs for 10 innings and the defense not committing an error in an 11 inning affair.
Each club had 11 hits on the day and while they each bended from time to time, neither side was able to get the other side to break until the 11th inning when Sarasota came through with two runs in the top half of the inning to take one from the Cardinals.
Starter Gary Daley surrendered two runs on seven hits and two walks in seven frames, striking out two for the Cardinals (16-13). Scott Vander Weg (2-1) took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in one inning.
Allen Craig played first base on Sunday and homered for Palm Beach, his eighth on the season while maintaining an amazing .364 batting average.
RECORD: 16-13, 1st Place
Swing of Quad Cities (A): Rained Out – Doubleheader Scheduled for Monday
Heavy rains across Iowa washed away the scheduled match-up between the Swing of the Quad Cities and the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Sunday. The game will be made up as part of a series-ending doubleheader on Monday.
Game one of Monday's doubleheader will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will consist of two seven-inning contests with a 30-minute break in between.
The Swing will look to improve to a season-high four games over .500 while guaranteeing themselves no worse than a series split with the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
RECORD: 16-13, 3rd Place, 2 GB
Batavia Muckdogs (SS)
Season opens on Tuesday June 19th, against the Auburn Doubledays.
Johnson City Cardinals (R)
The Cardinals will open the season on the road in Greenville on Tuesday, June 19th.
Minor League Pitcher of the Day
He didn't factor into the decision for the Memphis Redbirds on Sunday, but Hawksworth pitched five solid innings, giving up just one run on four hits with two strikeouts in five innings. Hawksworth came out of the game after the fifth inning with the score tied at one.
Minor League Player of the Day
Sean Danielson, finished the day 4-4 for the Springfield Cardinals, with an RBI and a run scored raising his batting average to .444 in seven Texas League games.
Medical Watch Update from Jason Scott
Correction: RHP Kenny Maiques did not undergo "Tommy John" surgery for a second time in 2006.
In a March 29 article, I inaccurately wrote that right-hander Kenny Maiques had underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time in two years after being limited to just one start in 2006. It is true that he underwent the operation shortly prior to being drafted in 2005, but, in 2006, he was not "limited to one start due to a right elbow injury that led to ‘Tommy John' surgery" as the Cardinals' media guide states.
The truth is that Maiques had some tightness flare up in his forearm after his first start for short-season class A State College last season and he returned to Florida in July, knowing that rest was the only cure, and spent the remainder of the season rehabbing. The injury did not require surgery.
Maiques, 21, fell to the 37th round in the 2005 draft due to the surgery. After spending his freshman season at Long Beach State on a pitching staff that included Jered Weaver, Jason Vargas and Cesar Ramos (all first and second round picks), Maiques moved on to Rio Hondo Junior College in 2005 and led all California junior college pitchers with a 0.66 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 82 innings, while walking just 16.
With a fastball that can touch 96 mph, Maiques is serving as the closer for Low-A Quad Cities in 2007. Through his first 10 appearances, he is a perfect 7-7 in save opportunities, and leads the Midwest League in that category. He has allowed just one run (0.90 ERA) on eight hits, striking out 10 and walking three in 10 innings. Opponents are hitting just .222 against him.