This Week in the Cards Minors–05/19– Pitchers

Every other week, Leonda Markee analyzes pitching performances across the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league system in our new stats-based report.

Looking over the stats this week, it is clear that sometimes whether a player is  ‘Hot' or ‘Not' depends more than bit on either luck or the lack thereof.  So far this season it has been rare that a ‘Hot' and ‘Not' recipient has dERA's and BABIP's that agree with the results.  Pitchers and hitters that perform well within the standard BABIP range will be recognized when possible.


It is also important to remember that this is a stats-based report and, as such, it is only a part of the entire performance picture.  Opinions about the professional upside of players should be based on as complete of a picture as is available.  Stats are an element in forming that opinion.  




How Are They Doing?  (Standings as of May 18, 2007)

Memphis Redbirds – 19-22, Third place, four and one-half games behind the Iowa Cubs

Springfield Cardinals – 17-20, Tied for second place with the Wichita Wranglers (KC), three and one half-games behind the Tulsa Drillers (COL)

Palm Beach Cardinals – 22-18, Second place, two games behind the Brevard County Manatees (MIL)

Swing of the Quad Cities – 22-17, Third place, two games behind both the Beloit Snappers (MIN) and Clinton LumberKings (TEX)



Up, Down and Out

Here are the transactions since the last report:

05/11/07 - Memphis (Springfield) - LHP Chris Narveson placed on the 7-day Disabled List (strained oblique);  LHP Ryan Meaux, C Matt Pagnozzi:  called up from Double-A Springfield

05/11/07 - Springfield (Palm Beach) - LHP Zack Zuercher called up from A-Advanced Palm Beach

05/11/07 - Springfield (Extended Spring Training) - C Henry Guerrero called up from Extended Spring Training

5/12/07 - Palm Beach (Quad Cities/Extended Spring Training) - RHP Matt Trent activated from the 7-day Disabled List at class A Quad Cities and called up to A-Advanced Palm Beach (Trent had been rehabbing at Extended Spring Training and was assigned to the Quad Cities' roster)

05/13/07 - Quad Cities - OF Jim Rapoport placed on the 7-day Disabled List (hamstring), INF Jared Schweitzer activated from the Disabled List

05/13/07 - Memphis (Springfield) - 1B Tagg Bozied placed on the 7-day Disabled List (hamstring);  UT Mike McCoy called up from Double-A Springfield

05/13/07 - St. Louis (Memphis) - OF Skip Schumaker optioned to Triple-A Memphis;  OF Juan Encarnacion activated from the 15-day Disabled List

05/14/07 - Memphis - CF Rick Ankiel placed on the 7-day Disabled List (Achilles tendon injury), retroactive to May 11th;  OF Skip Schumaker activated

05/15/07 - Springfield - OF Cody Haerther activated from the 7-day Disabled List

05/15/07 - St. Louis (Kansas City) - RHP Todd Wellemeyer claimed off waivers.  He will be activated on Friday, May 18th

05/17/07 - Memphis - RHP Dennis Dove (shoulder), C Ryan Christianson (right hand):  placed on the 7-day Disabled List; OF/C Eli Marrero, RHP Mike Sillman: activated from the 7-day Disabled List 



There were no less that six trips to the Disabled List this week but only one resulted in players changing levels.  Memphis starter Chris Narveson's DLing on May 11th sent lefty reliever Ryan Meaux from Springfield to Memphis.  Meaux's Triple-A debut came with the San Diego organization last season and he was released by San Francisco this year.  Meaux's promotion to Memphis left Springfield without a lefty in their bullpen which meant Zack Zuercher returned to Springfield from Palm Beach.  Righty Matt Trent took Zuercher's spot at Palm Beach.


Separately, outfielder Cody Haerther saw his first action of the 2007 season as he was activated from the Disabled List on May 15th.  He went 2-for-5 on the 16th and 17th.




Triple-A – Memphis Redbirds

League Affiliation - sixteen-team Pacific Coast League, four-team America North division

Overall Record – 19-22 

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=0.91, H=0.94, 2B=0.93, HR=1.08, BB=1.01, SO=1.04


Roster Link

Current RotationTroy Cate, Blake Hawksworth, Randy Keisler, Mike Parisi, Mike Smith

Current Bullpen Hugo Castellanos, Andy Cavazos, Matt Ginter, Chris Lambert, Ryan Meaux, Mike Sillman, Mark Worrell


Current Two-Week Pitching – 6.08 ERA, 3.83 dERA, 1.53 WHIP, .308 BAA, .358 BABIP

Pitching Year-to-Date – 4.75 ERA, 4.03 dERA, 1.43 WHIP, .281 BAA, .328 BABIP


Who's Pitchin' Hot 

RHP Blake Hawksworth has put together three consistent good starts, with the most recent two qualifying as quality starts.  (He only went five innings in the other start which does not meet the definition of quality start.)  During that time, he went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA (3.52 dERA) and 0.94 WHIP in 17 innings pitched.  He allowed 12 hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts for a 2.75:1 K/BB ratio and held opposing batters to a .194 BAA (.220 BABIP).


Who's Pitchin' Not

RHP Mike Parisi is ice cold right now with one quality start on May 5th followed by two subsequent poundings.  Parisi's line: 3 G, 3 GS, 0-2, 11.49 ERA, 4.91 dERA, 15.2 IP, 32 H, 20 R, 20 ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 9 SO, 2.17 WHIP, .457 BAA, .500 BABIP.  It is hard to walk anyone when you are giving up that many hits.


Of Note –   

Blake Hawksworth's 3.52 ERA is 13th in Pacific Coast League.


The Memphis Redbirds 1.43 WHIP is in a three-way tie for sixth place in the league with the Omaha Royals (last place in their division) and Iowa Cubs (first place in their division).


It is a mixed bag with reliever Andy Cavazos.  He has struck out eight in eight and one-third innings over six games but has allowed nine hits and four walks for a 1.68 WHIP and .273 BAA.  His .360 BABIP says some of those hits should have been outs.




Prospect Watch

Dennis Dove – has been nursing a sore shoulder for most of the two weeks (only one inning pitched over two appearances).  He finally went on the Disabled List on May 17th.

Chris Narveson – a question has arisen about the exact nature of his injury.  The Post-Dispatch reported it as an oblique strain but said it was a shoulder injury.  Anyway, he is not pitching.

Blake Hawksworth – over his last three starts, there has been a direct correlation between his strikeouts and walks.  In two starts, he struck out very few and walked no one, but in the last start he struck out a batter an inning (six strikeouts in six innings) yet walked four.  See ‘Hot' for the rest.

Mike Sillman – returned to action on the 17th and pitched a scoreless inning, walking one but allowing no hits.




AA – Springfield Cardinals

League Affiliation - eight-team Texas League, four-team East division

Overall Record – 17-20

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=1.03, H=1.02, 2B=0.98, HR=1.16, BB=1.02, SO=1.10


Roster Link

Current RotationMitch Boggs, Jaime Garcia, Eric Haberer, Kevin Ool, Cory Rauschenberger

Current BullpenMichael Cooper, Jose Garcia, Jason Motte, Chris Perez, Matt Scherer, Brian Stitt, Nick Webber, Zack Zuercher


Current Two-Week Pitching – 4.00 ERA, 4.80 dERA, 1.44 WHIP, .259 BAA, .296 BABIP

Pitching Year-to-Date – 4.59 ERA, 4.92 dERA, 1.50 WHIP, .279 BAA, .315 BABIP


Who's Pitchin' Hot

RHP Cory Rauschenberger strung together two very good starts and received two wins for his efforts.  Rauschenberger tossed 12.2 innings, allowing only five hits but six walks for a 0.87 WHIP.  He struck out only seven batters but did hold opposing batters to a .119 batting average.  Rauschenberger's BABIP is .091 so he is not nearly this good.


Who's Pitchin' Not

LHP Jaime Garcia is struggling. He gave up 17 hits and nine walks in 16 innings over three starts for a 1.63 WHIP and .293 BAA.  Garcia struck out 11.  His ERA was 6.19, 6.37 dERA, with a .318 BABIP.  His K/BB ratio was 1.22.


Of Note –

Outfielder Jon Jay returned to the line-up on Sunday, May 13th but was removed after one at bat during the game on Thursday, May 17th.  One unconfirmed report said it was an injured neck/shoulder.


The Springfield Cardinals 1.50 WHIP is tied for last in the Texas League with the Corpus Christi Hooks (HOU).


Reliever Jason Motte has recovered from his shaky Double-A beginnings.  Motte gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in one inning in his Double-A debut.  He is unscored upon since then, allowing four hits and three walks in nine and two-thirds innings over six appearances.  That is a 0.72 WHIP and .133 BAA, .200 BABIP, 1.95 dERA.  Better yet, Motte's strikeout rate has improved over his Palm Beach numbers.  In the past two weeks Motte struck out 10 for an average of 9.3 K/9 IP.  He even picked up a couple of saves when regular closer Chris Perez was not available.



Prospect Watch

Mitch Boggs – continues to search for consistency.  Boggs made two starts and they were at the opposite ends of the performance spectrum.  That gave him the following numbers for the two weeks:  4.63 ERA, 4.68 dERA, 1-1, 11.2 IP, 14 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 7 BB, 9 SO, 1.80 WHIP, .311 BAA, .371 BABIP

Jaime Garcia – see ‘Not'

Chris Perez – his mechanics are reportedly out of whack and that is affecting his pitching;  5 G, 0 GS, 0-0, 5 SV, 4.50 ERA, 6.66 dERA, 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 8 BB, 9 SO, 1.83 WHIP, .143 BAA, .182 BABIP




A-Advanced – Palm Beach Cardinals

League Affiliation - twelve-team Florida State League, six-team East division

Overall Record – 22–18

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=0.89, H=0.96, 2B=1.06, HR=0.71, BB=0.97, SO=1.07


Roster Link

Current Rotation – Gary Daley Jr., Adam Daniels, Trey Hearne, Tyler Norrick, Adam Ottavino 

Current BullpenLuke Gregerson, Kyle McClellan, Jon Mikrut, Fernando Salas, Donnie Smith, Matt Trent, Scott Vander Weg 


Current Two-Week Pitching – 3.87 ERA, 3.93 dERA, 1.36 WHIP, .254 BAA, .296 BABIP

Pitching Year-to-Date – 3.27 ERA, 3.27 dERA, 1.19 WHIP, .233 BAA, .284 BABIP


Who's Pitchin' Hot

LHP Tyler Norrick had the best stats among the starters this period with a 3.32 ERA, 3.02 dERA, 1.26 WHIP and .217 BAA in 19 innings pitched.  He struck out 16 but walked nine for a 1.78:1 K/BB ratio and an average BB/9 IP of just over four.  Norrick's BABIP was .283 so he was pitching at the low end of the standard range.


Who's Pitchin' Not

RHP Trey Hearne pitched 19.1 innings over three game starts, walked five and allowed 24 hits, including four home runs, for a 1.50 WHIP and .333 batting average against.  He gave up 13 runs, all earned, which gave him a 6.05 ERA, 6.68 dERA, and a .317 BABIP.  Hearne simply did not pitch well.


Of Note –

On Thursday, May 17th Palm Beach played a doubleheader.  The first game was a completion of one suspended on April 15th and the second game was the regularly scheduled game for that day.  Stat heads should take note as the stats for the April 15th game are now official and part of each player's line.


Tyler Norrick took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his May 17th start but it was foiled by Vero Beach's Neal Walton who singled to left with no one out.  Since Norrick's game was part of a double-header, he would only have had to complete seven innings for the no hitter but, alas, it was not to be.  Norrick ended up giving up just one run on two hits for the win.  His overall 1.13 WHIP is 13th in the Florida State League.


The Palm Beach Cardinals' team WHIP of 1.19 is first in the league and their innings pitched (355) is fourth, only three innings behind the league leaders.



Prospect Watch

Gary Daley Jr. – 4 G, 4 GS (including an April 15th start), 0-2, 21.1 IP, 23 H, 15 R, 12 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 18 BB, 14 SO, 5.06 ERA, 4.51 dERA, 1.92 WHIP, .311 BAA, .383 BABIP

Adam Daniels – only made one game start the past two weeks.  Last heard he had a blister but has not been placed on the Disabled List.

Tyler Norrick – see ‘Hot'

Adam Ottavino – Ottavino's 2.43 ERA is 13th in League but his 1.46 WHIP does not correspond to his Earned Run Average.




Low-A – Swing of the Quad Cities

League Affiliation - fourteen-team Midwest League, eight-team West division

Overall Record – 22–17

Three-Year Weighted Park Factor – R=0.97, H=0.99, 2B=1.09, HR=0.93, BB=0.93, SO=0.98


Roster Link

Current RotationBrandon Dickson/Blake King, Elvis Hernandez/P.J. Walters, Brad Furnish/Tyler Herron, Eddie Degerman/Shaun Garceau

Current BullpenArmando Carrasco, Kenny Maiques, Kyle Mura, Kyle Sadlowski, Mike Schellinger


Current Two-Week Pitching – 3.15 ERA, 2.67 dERA, 1.03 WHIP, .206 BAA, .279 BABIP

Pitching Year-to-Date – 3.17 ERA, 3.14 dERA, 1.19 WHIP, .230 BAA, .296 BABIP


Who's Pitchin' Hot

RHP Blake King had a good two weeks.  King has faced 45 batters and allowed only four hits and two runs, one earned, in 13 innings.  His batting average against is .098 with a 0.62 WHIP and 13 strikeouts.  However, he has a .143 BABIP which means that he will come back down to earth at some point.    


Who's Pitchin' Not 

RHP Shaun Garceau made three game appearances in the past two weeks with one being very good, one being mediocre and one being dreadful.  That inconsistency led to the following line for the period:  3 G, 1 GS, 1-1, 8.68 ERA, 3.15 dERA, 9.1 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 5 BB, 15 SO, 1.82 WHIP, .316 BAA,  .500 BABIP.  Yet, there are things to like, such as his strikeout totals and .500 BABIP which means that he has been very unlucky on the mound.


Of Note –

Last week, Christian Reyes' hot bat was noticed and the question was raised as to why he has not received more playing time to this point.  A likely answer has been provided by several of those fortunate to actually see the players in action.  It seems that Mr. Reyes is defensively challenged at catcher which has resulted in limited opportunities for at-bats.  Some of those watching him think his future may be at a position other than catcher.


The Swing's team WHIP of 1.19 is fourth in Midwest League, .01 behind Beloit.


RHP Eddie Degerman was called up from Extended Spring Training on May 5th and is starting well.  He has allowed just nine hits and two walks in 14 innings pitched for a 0.79 WHIP and .180 Batting Average Against.  More impressive is that Degerman's BABIP is .310, which shows that he is pitching within the norm, and his 21 strikeouts.  At 23, Degerman is the oldest pitcher in Quad Cities' tandem rotation.  Additionally, he is a fourth-round 2006 draft selection so he should be able to dominate at this level.


Reliever Kyle Mura is quietly putting up some very nice numbers in the limited time given to the Swing bullpen.  Mura is unscored upon in nine and one-third innings pitched over nine appearances.  He has allowed only two hits and three walks for a 0.54 WHIP.  Mura is also striking out over a batter an inning (10).  However, his BABIP is .105.  But if you read Jon P's Quad Cities report this week you already knew to pay attention to Mr. Mura.



Prospect Watch

Brad Furnish – struck out 11 in 10.2 innings pitched the last two weeks but walked five.  Control is still an issue as he is walking over four batters every nine innings for the season.  He had a 1.03 WHIP and .162 BAA but his dERA is 5.44 with a .167 BABIP.  Furnish is not likely to sustain these positive stats.

Tyler Herron – had a good two weeks with 11 hits and only one walk with 13 strikeouts in 13.1 innings pitched.  That is a 3.38 ERA, 1.52 dERA, 0.90 WHIP, .229 BAA and .314 BABIP

Blake King – 3 G, 2 GS, 1-0, 0.69 ERA, 2.00 dERA, 13 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 13 SO, 0.62 WHIP, .098 BAA, .143 BABIP

P.J. Walters – missed out on ‘Hot' honors due to one less game appearance than King, hence only nine innings pitched.  2 G, 1 GS, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.35 dERA, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 0 BB, 8 SO, 0.56 WHIP, .161 BAA, .217 BABIP




NOTE:  The two sabermetric statistics being used in this report, as of now, are BABIP and dERA.

BABIP – Batting Average on Balls In Play.  It is used mainly to measure the luckiness or unluckiness of a pitcher on those balls put into play that involve fielders.  Hence, home runs are excluded.  The standard BABIP range is .280-.310 so pitchers with a BABIP above .310 are unlucky while those below .280 are lucky. 

dERA – the small ‘d' stands for the acronym DIPS (Defense Independent Pitching Statistics).  DIPS is used in many areas.  With regards to a pitcher's Earned Run Average, it tries to measure his effectiveness in those areas in which the pitcher has the most control:  walks and strikeouts.  This stat is not perfect but it does help gauge a pitcher's performance.



Leonda Markee may be reached at


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