The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 07/20

Johnson City starter Tyler Leach faced the minimum number of batters in his five innings, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out six to pick up his first win since since August 23, 2005. In other news; Beau Riportella raised his batting average to .402 after a 3-for-4 night, Chris Perez records his 25th save, and Kenny Maiques closes in on a saves record with his 22nd save...



Games Played Thursday


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A): Lost to Oklahoma 8-1

Memphis starter Mike Smith (L, 8-9) gave up seven runs on nine hits and four walks with six strikeouts over 5.2 innings.

Catcher Matt Pagnozzi hit an RBI double in the third inning to drive in Jarrett Hoffpauir, for the Redbirds only run. As a matter of fact, Pagnozzi's hit was the only Memphis hit on the night.

The Cardinals activated OF Jim Edmonds from the disabled list and optioned reliever Andy Cavazos to Triple-A Memphis. The Redbirds will go with 13 pitchers for the immediate future, with just 45 games to go on their schedule.

LHP Chris Narveson is scheduled to start against the Royals on Saturday after recovering from a strained left oblique, the Redbirds now have six starting pitchers for five slots. Last night's losing pitcher Mike Smith is the most likely candidate to be moved to the bullpen. Narveson, who made just seven starts before injuring his side in a May 9 game at Salt Lake, made three starts for High Class-A Palm Beach before being sent back to Memphis.

RICK ANKIEL watch: Ankiel went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.


RECORD: 41-57, 4th Place, 18.5 GB


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A): Winners 1-0 over Wichita

The Wichita Wranglers racked up 10 hits Thursday night but, left 11 runners stranded on the bases, to suffer a 1-0 loss to the first place Cardinals.

Starter Cory Rauschenberger scattered nine hits and two walks while striking out three over seven innings, but didn't get a decision.

Reliever Kyle McClellan (W, 1-0) shook off a leadoff double in the eighth for his first win and closer Christopher Perez hit a batter and walked one in the ninth, but struck out the final two for his 25th save on the season.

First baseman Mike Ferris, a second-round pick was back in the Cardinals starting lineup Thursday night, batting ninth. Ferris who has lost playing time due to the emergence of Mark Hamilton, went 0-for-3 with one strike out last night, as his batting average dropped to .224.

WHO's HOT: After being promoted from Palm Beach in June, appearing in his first game for the Cardinals on the 22nd, reliever Kyle McClellan has appeared in nine games, posting a record of 1.0 with an ERA of 0.00, In 12.1 innings pitched, he has given up only four hits, walked and struck out a remarkable 16 batters.

INJURY UPDATE ON GREENE AND HAERTHER: Shortstop Tyler Greene's season is most likely done, as he'll be having right knee surgery on July 26th. Greene injured the knee while swinging in Wichita on 6/16. After a brief stint on the DL, he attempted a return to the lineup on July 8th against Frisco at Hammons Field, but re-injured his knee while swinging in his first at-bat. Cody Haerther will be heading to the Gulf Coast League on Friday and is expected to rehab there for approximately two weeks. Haerther, who's been out of action since 5/27 with surgery on a broken hamate bone in his right hand, is expected to rejoin Springfield after his stint in the Gulf Coast League.


FIRST HALF RECORD: 36-31, 1st Place
SECOND HALF RECORD: 16-10, 1st Place


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A): Lost 4-2 to Jupiter

Palm Beach starter P.J. Walters held Jupiter to one run on six hits in seven innings and struck out nine as he looked in line for his 10th save on the season, his fourth for the Cardinals. A three-run rally by the Hammerheads in the ninth sent the Cardinals to the showers, a game and a half out of first place behind the idle Brevard County Manatees' whose game was postponed Thursday. For the second day in a row the Cardinals missed a golden opportunity to pick up ground in the standings.

Reliever Luke Gregerson (L, 1—4) was tagged with a blown save and his fourth loss on the season, giving up the three runs in the ninth, on three hits and a walk.

The Cardinals scored their two runs in the first inning on a two-run, RBI double, off the bat of catcher Brandon Yarbrough.

WHO's HOT: Reliever Jon Mikrut has given up only one run in his last 10 appearances, posting a record of 2-0, 0.59 ERA during that 10 game span. In 15.1 innings pitched, he has given up only 10 hits, four walks and one earned run, while striking out 14.

JON JAY watch: The Cardinals second-round pick in the 2006 draft, went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Jay was activated of the DL on the 19th after spending the minimum seven days due to the aggravation of a shoulder injury that he originally suffered on May 3 with Double-A Springfield.


FIRST HALF RECORD: 36-34, 2nd Place, 5.5 GB
SECOND HALF RECORD: 13-13, 2nd Place, 1.5 GB


Swing of Quad Cities (A): Winners 4-3 over the Loons

Despite being outhit by the Great Lake Loons 10-8, the Swing scored four runs in the third and held on to a 4-3 win Thursday.

Swing starter Clayton Mortensen allowed two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and a walk over four innings in his Quad Cities debut. Mortensen was the Cardinals first round supplemental pick (36th overall) in the 2007 draft and went 1-1 with a 1.77 ERA in six appearances for short-season Class A Batavia.

Reliever Kyle Sadlowski (W, 2-3) pitched two scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out two, to pick up his second win. Closer Kenneth Maiques worked around a solo homer in the ninth, only the 3rd home run he has given up this season in 36 appearances, for his 22nd save.

Shortstop Christian Lopez went 2-for-4 to include hitting a two-run homer in the third to lead the offense.

UNSUNG HEROES: Thursday, middle relievers Marco Gonzalez and Kyle Mura combined for two scoreless, perfect innings in relief, striking out three, to get the game to the closer.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Wednesday night's loss marked the end of an eight game winning streak for RHP Tyler Herron. During the stretch, which lasted from May 9-June 30, the 20-year-old right-hander from Florida went 8-0 with a sparkling 2.17 ERA and one save over 12 appearances. In 54 innings of work, the 46th overall pick in the 2005 draft posted a stellar 58-7 strikeout-to-walk ratio while allowing just 38 hits.

THE CLOSER: RHP Kenny Maiques has 22 saves this year, leaving him tied for ninth on Quad Cities' all-time single-season record list with Michael Walter (1996). The all-time mark stands at 26, set by John Huey of the Quad City Cubs in 1983. Trust me this record will be shattered if Maiques can stay healthy.


FIRST HALF RECORD: 39-31, Tied for 3rd Place, 5.5 GB
SECOND HALF RECORD: 13-11, 3rd Place, 1.5 GB


Batavia Muckdogs (SS) GAME CANCELLED

The Muckdogs avoided their seventh straight loss Thursday night as the game with Tri-City was cancelled due to rain. A makeup date has not been announced.

RECORD: 7-22, 6th Place, 10.0 GB


Johnson City Cardinals (R) Take Two from Greeneville


Starter Tyler Leach and reliever Chuckie Fick combined on a three-hit shutout as Johnson City beat Greeneville, 3-0, in the first game of a double-header.

Leach (W, 1-2) faced the minimum number of batters in his five innings, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out six. Leach missed all of the 2006 season due to injury, picked up his first win since August 23, 2005.

The Cardinals 10th round pick in the 2007 draft, center fielder Beau Riportella continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4, to raise his batting average up to .402, through his first 24 games for Johnson City.


Starter Brian Broderick who did not factor into the decision, allowed three runs on three hits while striking out three and walking one over five innings. Reliever Joel Pichardo (W, 1-0) in his first game for Johnson City picked up his first blown save and first win, pitching two innings, as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk while striking out one. LaCurtis Mayes struck out two over two scoreless innings for his first save.

First baseman Casey Mulligan provided the bulk of the offense with a three-run homer in the second.



RECORD: 10-16, 3rd Place, 10.5 GB


Gulf Coast League Cardinals (R) OFF DAY THURSDAY

On Thursday, the Johnson City Cardinals announced that RHP Joel Pichardo was promoted from the GCL Cardinals. The 19-year-old Dominican Republic native appeared in five games for the GCL club, allowing no runs on five hits, striking out six and walking four in 5.1 innings. Pichardo was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free agent in April 2006.

Springfield Cardinals' outfielder Cody Haerther will begin a rehab assignment with the Cardinals on Friday that is expected to last approximately two weeks. He will rejoin Springfield following his stint in the Gulf Coast League.

POWER RANGERS (sorry my grandson has been here this week) First baseman Osvaldo Morales and outfielder Egar Lara are leading the Gulf Coast League with six home runs each, at the start of Thursday's game.

RECORD: 7-15, 5th Place, 11.0 GB


VSL Cardinals (R) Lost to the Phillies 4-1

The Cardinals could only come up with five hits Thursday as they committed four errors in the 4-1 loss to the Phillies. Five hits and four errors is not a formula for success. The VSL Cardinals have made 122 errors through 56 games. How bad is that, their opponents have made only 87 errors.

Starter RHP Richard Castillo (L, 2-1) was tagged with his first loss, giving up three runs, two of them earned on six hits and two walks, while striking out three.

Castillo has been very effective this season, in 14 games, including seven starts, he's 2-1 with a save and a 1.20 ERA. To put his performance in perspective, in 52.2 innings he has struck out 51 batters and has given up only 32 hits and 17 walks.

Looking for something positive out of a team with a 17-39 record, keep an eye on Castillo.


RECORD: 17-39, 8th Place, 21.5 GB



RECORD: 20-18, 4th Place, 4.0 GB




Minor League Pitcher of the Day

Tyler Leach

The Johnson City starter faced the minimum number of batters in his five innings, giving up just one hit and a walk, while striking out six to pick up his first win since since August 23, 2005.


Minor League Player of the Day

Beau Riportella

The Johnson City center fielder Beau Riportella continued to swing a hot bat Thursday, going 3-for-4 on the night, to raise his batting average up to .402,



Ray Mileur can be reached via email at

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