The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 05/19

In this report, a subliminal dig at Roger Clemens and his new contract with the Yankees, piggyback starter P.J. Walters pitches well in loss, 3B Allen Craig hits 10th Florida State League leading HR Friday night to lead his team to a win over Vero Beach.



Games Played Friday


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A): Lost to Round Rock 7-1

It was a rocky night for Memphis Redbirds' pitching as they gave up three home runs to the Round Rock Express getting beat 7-1 Friday night.

Memphis starter Tony Cate (L, 1-3) gave up three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five in four innings en-route to his third loss of the season.

The Redbirds scored only one run on the night, coming off an RBI single by C Eli Marrero scoring 2B Edgar Gonzalez from second. Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk on the night, leading the Redbirds sluggish offense.


NOTES: For the second time this spring, RHP Brian Falkenborg has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Class AAA Memphis. Falkenborg, who pitched a perfect inning in his last appearance Wednesday, was sent out to make room for Todd Wellemeyer. But manager Tony La Russa said, "I don't think that is the last time we'll see him with the Cardinals."

RECORD: 19-23, 4th Place, 4.5 GB


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A): Winners 5-1 over the Tulsa Drillers

The Cardinals won their third game in a row and pulled within two games of the coveted .500 mark on Friday night and within 2.5 games of the division leading Tulsa Drillers.

Mitchell Boggs, a/k/a Superman, at least for last night, did it all, allowing only one run on two hits over seven innings and hitting a two-run homer to even his record at 3-3.

LF Cody Hearther went 2-for-4 on the night with two RBI and his hitting .429.


NOTES: The Cardinals have a chance to pull within a half game of first place if they can take the next two games this weekend against Tulsa.

RECORD: 18-20, 2nd Place, 2.5 GB


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A): Winners 9-5 over Vero Beach

3B Allen Craig hit his league leading 10th home run on the season last night, a three-run shot in the third. Craig ending up going 2-for-3 with four RBIs to lead Palm Beach past Vero Beach 9-5.

Palm Beach starter Adam Daniels (W, 2-4) pitched five complete innings, allowing three runs, only one of them earned, on five hits and two walks. He struck out two and won for the first time since April 14th.

Luke Gregerson, entered the game in the ninth inning with runners on first and second and one out and got a double play to pick up his seventh save.


NOTES: Triple Crown threat, Allen Craig leads his team with 10 HRs and 33 RBI and his .342 batting average is second only to Sean Danielson's .355 BA.

RECORD: 23-18, 2nd Place, 2.0 GB


Swing of Quad Cities (A): Lost 4-3 to the Whitecaps

The Cardinals experimental tandem starting system continues in Quad Cities with the first starter Elvis Hernandez (L, 3-3) taking the loss after giving up four runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five in three innings. The second starter if you will, P.J. Walters pitched five scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and hitting two batters (which is not always a bad thing) while striking out six, but did not factor into the decision.

Tandem starters, what next? If you don't start the first half of the game do you have to be at the ballpark before your inning starts? Sorry just a subliminal dig at my once favorite ballplayer, Roger Clemens and his deal with the Yankees. Yo Roger, retire if you are too busy to be a fulltime teammate.

LF Mark Shorey went 3-for-4 on the night raising his batting average to .300 and scoring a run in the process.


NOTES: The Quad Cities roster features eight starting pitchers, utilizing the tandem starter system in order to give more pitchers the chance to start while keeping pitch counts low to reduce overexertion.

The eight starters have been paired into groups of two, and the four groups operate on a schedule similar to a four-man rotation. The two pitchers in each group switch off starting and relieving. The second "starter" in this system—or the "piggyback" pitcher—will enter the game at the beginning of an inning, so a reliever may be used between the two starters. Each starter is on a loose 60-70 pitch limit.

RECORD: 22-18, 3rd Place, 3.0 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.


Gulf Coast League Cardinals (R)

First game is Wednesday, June 20th



Minor League Pitcher of the Day

P.J. Walters

The piggyback starter (isn't anything in baseball sacred any more) for Quad Cities pitched five scoreless innings, giving up only one hit while striking out six batters.


Minor League Player of the Day

Allen Craig

3B Allen Craig hit his league leading 10th home run on the season last night, a three-run shot in the third. Craig ending up going 2-for-3 with four RBIs to lead Palm Beach past Vero Beach 9-5.



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