Cards Minors Fly, Ground & K Pitchers: Part 1

What types of outs are the St. Louis Cardinals minor league pitchers getting? What is the breakdown by pitching level? With more than half of the season over for the full-season squads, we take an in-depth look in the first of an exclusive two-part series.

There are three types of outs:  ground out (GO), fly or air out (AO) and strike out (SO).  Pitchers that average at least one strike out per inning pitched (K/9 IP of nine or greater) categorized as strike out pitchers.  Those that had a K/9 IP average between eight and nine were classified as "borderline strike out pitchers".  All of the rest were placed in an "Other" group and sorted only by their pitching tendency.


A pitcher's pitching tendency falls into three classifications:  ground ball, neutral or fly ball, depending on their ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.  It breaks down as follows:


Ground ball = >1.08 GO/AO ratio

Neutral = 0.83 to 1.08 GO/AO ratio

Fly ball = <0.83 GO/AO ratio


Therefore, there were nine possible combinations for pitching type:

Strike Out/Ground Ball Tendency (SO/GO)

Strike Out/Neutral Tendency (SO/N)

Strike Out/Fly Ball Tendency (SO/AO)


Borderline Strike Out/Ground Ball Tendency (BSO/GO)

Borderline Strike Out/Neutral Tendency (BSO/N)

Borderline Strike Out/Fly Ball Tendency (BSO/AO)


Other/Ground Ball Tendency (GO)

Other/Neutral Tendency (N)

Other/Fly Ball Tendency (AO)


Wake Up!  Now that you are back with me, the final thing worth mentioning that pitchers with less than 10 innings pitched were not included.  There is nothing statistically valid about that break off point, just that it seemed silly to look at anyone pitching so few innings.  It is silly to look at someone who has only pitched 10 innings but at least it is a double-digit number.  Finally, all of this is way too small of an n size to be an indicator of future pitching tendencies.  It merely shows our minor league pitchers' tendencies for this particular period.


In today's article we will look at the pitchers by their current/most recent pitching level, beginning with:


Triple-A Memphis

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Castellanos, Hugo* 47.1 2.27 7 Relief GO
Cate, Troy 53.1 0.78 6 Swing AO
Cavazos, Andy 31.2 0.85 9 Relief SO/N
Dove, Dennis 15.1 1.27 6 Relief GO
Falkenborg, Brian 35.1 1.78 8 Relief BSO/GO
Ginter, Matt 51.2 1.14 6 Swing GO
Hawksworth, Blake 91.1 1.10 5 Start GO
Jimenez, Kelvin 19.1 3.67 7 Relief GO
Keisler, Randy 95.2 1.20 6 Start GO
Lambert, Chris* 59.2 0.97 7 Relief N
Parisi, Mike 105 1.67 6 Start GO
Reyes, Anthony 32.2 1.20 8 Start BSO/GO
Sillman, Mike 10 6.00 8 Relief BSO/GO
Smith, Mike 103.2 0.99 7 Start N
Worrell, Mark 42 0.93 9 Relief SO/N

If you are looking for strike out starters do not look at the Memphis rotation.  None of the fifteen pitchers listed here average nine or more strike outs every nine innings.  Ground ball tends to be the name of the game.  Four of the five members of the current rotation have some ground ball connection.  An interesting point is that Anthony Reyes has gone from a strike out pitcher with extreme fly ball tendencies in 2005 to a borderline strike out pitcher with fairly solid ground ball tendencies so far this season, in a very limited amount of innings pitched.  There is only one, count ‘em one, pitcher for whom Memphis was his last minor league uniform and qualified as a fly ball pitcher and that is Troy Cate, who has worn a St. Louis uniform for several stretches. 


Double-A Springfield

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Boggs, Mitchell 100 1.51 7 Start GO
Daniels, Adam* 102 1.82 7 Start GO
Garcia, Jaime 97.1 2.18 8 Start BSO/GO
Haberer, Eric 100.1 1.67 4 Start GO
McClellan, Kyle* 39.1 1.93 8 Relief BSO/GO
Motte, Jason* 43.2 1.33 9 Relief SO/GO
Perez, Chris 37.1 0.51 14 Relief SO/AO
Rauschenberger, Cory 91.1 1.59 5 Start GO
Scherer, Matt 47.2 1.18 10 Relief SO/GO
Stitt, Brian 17.1 1.28 6 Relief GO
Webber, Nick* 42.2 1.85 6 Relief GO
Zuercher, Zack* 29.1 0.53 6 Relief AO
*Springfield/Palm Beach

There are not many make ‘em swing-and-miss guys in the Springfield rotation either.  Lefty Jaime Garcia has averaged around nine strike outs every nine innings and he also has very solid ground ball tendencies which is an excellent combination.  But Garcia is the only starter that even flirts with the magic 9 K/9 IP number.  The other four starters are all ground ball pitchers that strikeout can strike out the opposition to varying degrees.  However, the Springfield bullpen counters the lack of strike out starters with four strike out options.  Only two active relievers, Nick Webber and Zack Zuercher, were categorized strictly by their pitching tendencies.


A-Advanced Palm Beach

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Cooper, Michael* 47 1.06 7 Relief N
Degerman, Eddie** 61.2 1.18 12 Start SO/GO
Gregerson, Luke 43.2 2.83 10 Relief SO/GO
Hearne, Trey 92.1 1.12 5 Swing GO
Mikrut, Jon 42.1 0.43 7 Relief AO
Narveson, Chris*** 42.1 0.78 7 Start AO
Norrick, Tyler 111 0.70 7 Start AO
Ottavino, Adam 93.1 1.11 9 Start SO/GO
Ransom, Robert 26 1.96 2 Swing GO
Salas, Fernando**** 39.1 0.41 6 Swing AO
Smith, Donnie 36.2 1.11 7 Relief GO
Trent, Matt 24.2 1.45 7 Relief GO
Vander Weg, Scott 39.2 1.27 7 Relief GO
Walters, P.J.** 95.1 2.07 10 Start SO/GO
*Palm Beach/Springfield
**Palm Beach/Quad Cities
***temporary rehab assigment from Memphis
****currently on loan to the Mexican League

As this is written the Palm Beach rotation has three strike out/ground ball starters, two of whom are fairly new to the Palm Beach rotation, Eddie Degerman and P. J. Walters.  Hence, we will have to wait and see if they continue to strike out the opposition as they did in Quad Cities.  Another just promoted starter, Brad Furnish (data appears in the Quad Cities section), was a borderline strike out/fly ball starter while at Quad Cities.  Unlike the situation in Springfield, the Palm Beach bullpen has only one strike out option in closer Luke Gregerson.


A-Quad Cities

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Furnish, Brad 81.2 0.64 8 Start BSO/AO
Maiques, Kenny 34.1 2.19 8 Relief BSO/GO
Schellinger, Mike 41.1 1.03 8 Relief BSO/N
Dickson, Brandon 96.1 2.24 5 Start GO
Mura, Kyle 32.1 1.45 6 Relief GO
Sadlowski, Kyle 30.1 2.15 6 Relief GO
Gonzalez, Marco* 13.1 1.00 6 Relief N
Carrasco, Armando 21.2 1.53 11 Relief SO/GO
Hernandez, Elvis 73.2 1.16 10 Start SO/GO
Herron, Tyler 92 1.75 9 Start SO/GO
Garceau, Shaun 75 0.91 10 Start SO/N
*Quad Cities/Batavia

With Clayton Mortensen's arrival from Batavia (where his data appears), the Swing rotation has four strike out pitchers, three of whom that have ground ball tendencies.  It is no coincidence that the number of strike out pitchers increases the lower in the system you go.  Hitters' batting eyes tend to be less developed at the lower levels.  The bullpen has three strike out possibilities with another two pitchers being ground ball pitchers. 


Short-season A Batavia

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Long, Clay 18.1 0.61 8 Start BSO/AO
Riddle, Ryan 11 0.43 8 Relief BSO/AO
Garner, Brandon 19 1.47 4 Start GO
Stambaugh, J.D. 23 1.12 6 Start GO
Parise, Pete* 17 2.50 7 Start GO
Dew, Josh 10.1 0.75 10 Relief SO/AO
Eager, Thomas 17.2 1.62 9 Start SO/GO
Mortensen, Clayton 20.1 3.38 10 Start SO/GO
Todd, Jess 27.2 1.09 10 Start SO/GO
King, Blake** 68 1.49 10 Start SO/GO
*Batavia/Johnson City
*Batavia/Quad Cities

Batavia has the tandem rotation in place.  Eight of the ten qualifying pitchers at this level are part of that tandem arrangement.


Rookie Johnson City

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Mateo, Jose 22 3.09 8 Start BSO/GO
Leach, Tyler 10.1 1.00 8 Starter BSO/N
Broderick, Brian 26 1.81 6 Start GO
Diapoules, Mark 15 2.30 6 Start GO
Javier, Omar 17.1 1.17 7 Start GO
Mayes, LaCurtis 12.1 1.55 7 Relief GO
Arredondo, Jose 17 0.95 5 Start N
Additon, Nick 15.1 1.00 9 Start SO/N
Peralta, Senger 17.2 2.20 10 Start SO/GO

Johnson City also has the eight-pitcher tandem rotation in use.  Only nine pitchers have pitched ten or more innings.  LaCurtis Mayes has pitched more innings than some of those designated as starters but is listed as a reliever since he has not yet started a game.


Rookie GCL Cardinals

Name IP  GO/FO K/9 IP Role Type
Gonzalez, Reynier 18.2 1.71 8 Start BSO/GO
Daley Jr., Gary* 61.2 1.55 6 Start GO
Marquez, Fabian 16 1.06 6 Start N
Gonzalez, Carlos 19.2 0.77 9 Start SO/AO
Rosales, Andres 37.1 0.60 10 Start SO/AO
Cardenas, Hector 11.1 1.50 12 Start SO/GO
Samuel, Francisco 17.2 1.89 11 Start SO/GO
*GCL/Palm Beach

The GCL club has the eight-pitcher tandem rotation. 



In Part Two of this report, we will categorize the pitchers by their pitching type.



Leonda Markee may be reached at


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