The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 06/09

Tyler Norrick is 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 26 strikeouts in his last five starts.



Games Played Friday


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A): WIPP by Albuquerque 7-4

If nothing else this week, I'm learning to spell Albuquerque and the meaning of Isotopes.

The lost Friday night 7-4 to the Albuquerque Isotopes and if you are like me you have to wonder how a team gets a name like Isotopes. According to Wikipedia, the name was chosen by fans in a name-the-team contest, and is taken from an episode of the Simpsons (episode number CABF09: "Hungry Hungry Homer") in which Homer Simpson discovers that the local baseball team, the Springfield Isotopes, are secretly planning to move to Albuquerque. The "Isotopes" name is appropriate, since New Mexico has a number of well-known scientific/military facilities dealing with nuclear technology, such as Los Alamos, Sandia National Laboratories, and the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP), as well as hosting the first nuclear weapons test, the Trinity Test.

FYI – the team's mascot is Orbit a big fuzzy electron.

Back to the game, Redbirds starter Blake Hawksworth (L, 3-8) as he gave up five runs, three of them earned, on eight hits, striking out three and walking three over five innings.

OF Rick Ankiel, hit his 14th home run leading off the fifth, as his stock is rising faster than gas prices did this spring and catcher Brian Esposito, smacked a three-run shot, in the eighth inning after being sent down after his cup of coffee in the Majors.

In related news, The Cardinals signed right-handed reliever Troy Percival who has 324 Major League career saves to a Minor League contract Friday and assigned the 37-year-old to Memphis, where he will continue his attempt at a comeback.


RECORD: 27-35, 4th Place, 10.0 GB


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A): Winners 5-3 over Tulsa

The Cardinals move to a half game back of Tulsa Friday night, reaching the .500 mark with a 5-3 win over the Drillers.

Cardinal's starter Eric Haberer (W, 3-2) gave up three runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts over six innings. Closer Christopher Perez struck out the side in the ninth for his 14th save.

LF Sean Danielson and RF Joe Mather each had a stolen base, three hits and an RBI. Third baseman Juan Richardson went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI as this trio lead the Cardinals offense to a big win.

The Springfield Cardinals have not been to the .500 mark yet this year, coming within one game of the "break-even" point on seven different occasions.

Who's Hot: Jarrett Hoffpauir picked up his first four-hit game of the year, going 4-5 on Thursday in Springfield's 10-3 win. Hoffpauir has collected at least one hit in each of his last nine starts. His average entering Friday's action (.320), is the highest since he was hitting .343 on 4/21. Hoffpauir is just one plate appearance shy of qualifying for the Texas League's top ten in hitting, which requires 2.7 plate appearances for each team game. His .320 average would put him at #3, behind Chase Headley of San Antonio (.352) and German Duran of Midland (.323).


RECORD: 28-28, 2nd Place, 0.5 GB


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A): Shutout Tampa 2-0

Palm Beach starter Tyler Norrick (W, 6-4) from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (we're so proud) combined with two relievers on a two-hitter Friday as the Palm Beach Cardinals shut out the Tampa Yankees, 2-0, at Roger Dean Stadium.

Last night Norrick allowed just two singles and three walks while striking out six over seven innings to lower his ERA to 2.76 and picking up his sixth win of the season.

What little offense the Cardinals needed Friday came from SS Jose Martinez who went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, his second, in the seventh and 2B Dan Nelson had an RBI groundout for Palm Beach in the third to give the Cardinals the early lead.

Closer Luke Gregerson earned his 13th save with a scoreless ninth to close out the game.


RECORD: 32-28, 2nd Place, 1.5 GB


Swing of Quad Cities (A): Lost 2-1 to Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids had 10 hits Friday night but could only get two runners to score, but unfortunately for the Swing and their fans, two runs was enough.

The Swing took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning but couldn't hold on with the Kernels scoring the tying run in seventh and the winning run in the bottom of the ninth off of Quad Cities reliever Kyle Sadlowski (L, 0-3).

Swing starter Brandon Dickson scattered six hits over five scoreless innings, striking out one without issuing a walk.

Catcher Chris Grossman and DH Christian Reyes hit back-to-back doubles in the fifth inning to drive in the only run for Quad Cities.


RECORD: 34-26, 4th Place, 3.5 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)

The Cardinals will open their season on Wednesday, June 20th.


VSL Cardinals (R)

Updates from the VSL were not available by our deadline. The Cardinals currently have a record of 6-17 and are 13 games back of first place Houston.



Minor League Pitcher of the Day

Tyler Norrick

The Palm Beach Cardinals starter allowed just two singles and three walks while striking out six over seven innings Friday night to lower his ERA to 2.76 and picking up his sixth win of the season.


Minor League Player of the Day

Jose Martinez

Palm Beach shortstop Jose Martinez went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, his second of the season Friday to lead his club to a 2-0 win over the Tampa Yankees.



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