After five weeks of play in the 2008 Venezuelan Summer League, the VSL Cardinals rookie-level club sits with a 16-12-1 record, tied for third, but only two games out of first place in the eight-team league.
Week five of the Venezuelan Summer
League Cardinals 2008 season has now passed, and it looks as if their rotation
is set (listed in no particular order):
RHP Javier Avendano
RHP Deimer Bier
RHP Geney Rios
RHP Carlos Noguera
LHP Moises Colorado (RHP Hector Corpas is
covering his starts for the time being)
The VSL Cardinals went 4-2 this
week, bringing them to a 16-12-1 record on the season. They began the week with a 4-2 loss to
the Mariners. The Cardinals went up
2-1 in the 7th and the bullpen and poor fielding gave it away in the
bottom of the inning. The team
would go on to claim a victory over the last place Tigers and fall very short to
the Mets in a 7-2 loss. In the Mets
defeat, the starting pitching was hot, but the bullpen blew the game wide open,
allowing seven runs in the Mets' final three frames.
After the slow start to the week,
the Cardinals would go on to win the next three games, even claiming their first
shutout victim of the season. The
team slid by the first-place Pirates with a 4-2 victory behind better pitching
than seen in the previous games.
The Cardinals closer blew the shutout but recovered to get the win. Next game, the Cardinals shut out the
Rays 8-0. The Rays committed five
errors and the Cardinals received some great pitching from the starter and
bullpen. The final game of the week
ended like most of the week, great pitching by the starter, the bullpen
struggled, but also the fielding had problems, committing five errors. The Cardinals barely slipped by with an
8-7 victory to roll into a three-way tie for 3rd place with the
Phillies and Mets, putting them only two games out of
Gerardo Mannbel slowed a little this week, but
still is a solid hitter in the VSL Cardinals lineup. The 18-year old 2B/SS carried over a
two-game hitting streak from last week into this one, extending it to just five
games. All five games were for one
hit each. But on June
14th, the right-handed swinging hitter went 3-for-5 with a double,
two RBIs, and scored two runs in a close 8-7 win over the Astros. For the week, Mannbel went 6-for-18
(.333) with one double, one home run, four RBIs, one walk, three runs, and
struck out twice.
Anthony Fonseca currently has a three-game
hitting streak heading into next week, two being multi-hit games. The 19-year old outfielder went 5-for-14
(.357) with one double, one RBI, one walk, five runs, and struck out twice.
Hector Garcia is also riding a hitting streak
into the next week, as his is currently on five games now. On June 12 vs. the Pirates, the 18-year
old third baseman was perfect at the plate going 4-for-4 with two RBIs. On the week, the right-handed swinging
hitter went 9-for-24 (.375) with one home run, three RBIs, two runs, one walk,
and struck out six times.
Alberto Rivero had one of the most explosive and
impressive weeks of all the Cardinals hitters. After hitting a slump the last couple
weeks, he tore the cover off the ball this period. The 19-year old outfielder went 9-for-21
(.429) with one double, one triple, one home run, nine RBIs, three walks, three
runs, one stolen base, and struck out only twice. The left-handed swinging hitter has an
RBI in his last four games (total of nine) and has collected seven in the last
Deimer Bier made two great starts this week
for the VSL Cardinals. The
17-year-old's first start was on June 9th, as he went four innings
allowing two hits, one (earned) run, two walks, one wild pitch and striking out
only two. The righty managed to
keep the ball down on the ground with a 6-3 ground out-fly out ratio. On June 14th, he made his
second start for the week, going five innings, allowing five hits, one
(unearned) run, one walk, one balk, and striking out an impressive six resulting
in a win. This time, his ground
out-fly out ratio flipped to 2-7.
In that game, the Cardinals shut out the Rays 8-0. In fact, the Cardinals won both games
Geney Rios returns to the Who's Hot list
with another great outing this week.
On June 11th, the 20-year-old right-hander went 5 1/3 innings
allowing only one hit and one (earned) run, three walks, and striking out
five. However the bullpen blew the
game and the Cardinals ended up losing to the Mets 7-2. His ground out-fly out ratio was
2-9. Three out of four starts prior
to this were rough for Rios, who allowed between three-to-four hits a game and
lasting as little as two or three innings.
Carlos Yegues has not had a hit since May
15th when he went 3-for-5.
Now a month later, the 18-year old utility infielder has gone 0-for-16
off the bench. On the season, the
right-handed swinging hitter is 3-for-22 (.136) with five runs, two doubles, one
RBI, two walks, one stolen base, and eight strike outs.
Jesus Montero is not making too much of a case
to be behind the plate or in the game for the VSL Cardinals. The 16-year-old catcher went 1-for-5
with two runs, two walks, and two strike outs. He also allowed four stolen bases, while
only gunning down two. Hopefully
this is just due to him being young and in his first season of professional
ball. On the season Montero is
2-for-22 (.091) with five runs, two RBIs, three walks, and nine strike
Fernando Cedeno made four relief appearances this
week for the VSL Cardinals. The
18-year old reliever's first three were just fine as he pitched 4 2/3 innings,
allowing three hits, three (unearned) runs, walking two, and striking out
two. But on June 14th,
the righty was hammered in 1 1/3 innings allowing six hits, five earned runs,
and only striking out one before being pulled. It didn't help much that Carlos Oraa,
who followed, allowed one of his runners left to score. The Cardinals did win the game in all
Jackson Solarte, newly added to the roster, made
his second relief appearance this week.
The newly-turned 18-year-old pitched 2/3 of an inning on June
11th allowing three hits, three (earned) runs, one walk, and striking
out one before being pulled for David Brito. Brito managed to stop the bleeding but
did allow one of Solarte's runners to score, keeping the other two
The VSL Cardinals hitting picked
up a little more this week as the team's average tip-toed to .249 on the season,
still second to worst in the league.
The team sits pretty much where they were last week in all the other
hitting categories. They now have
hopped up to second place with 16 home runs, putting them four behind the
league-leading Rays. And the Cards
are also third in walks with 100 now.
The pitching is picking up.
The team ERA is sitting at 3.37, second best in the league. In all other categories, they sit
middle of the pack and carry a 1.37 WHIP, which is third overall in the
Gerardo Mannbel is 5th with a .343
batting average, 8th with 18 runs, 4th with 35 hits, tied
for 2nd with 4 home runs, tied for 8th with 17 RBIs,
2nd with 54 total bases, tied for 4th with 15 walks,
4th with a .451 OBP, 5th with a .529 SLG, and
4th with a .980 OPS.
Alberto Rivero is tied for 4th with 2
triples and tied for 7th with 19 RBIs,
Cristofher Dumont is tied for 6th with 3
Hector Corpas is 1st with 4
David Brito is tied for 2nd with 3
Carlos Noguera is 8th with a 2.16
Yonathan Gonzalez is 3rd with 5 saves and
2nd with 12 game finishes.
Deimer Bier is 8th with a 1.01
Ruben Alvarado hasn't made an appearance since
May 21st. The
17-year-old has not been too hot this summer. The lefty carries a 10.29 ERA and an 0-1
record in five relief appearances.
Moises Colorado hasn't made an appearance since
May 31st. The
18-year-old has been one of the hot starters in the rotation for the
Cardinals. Missing a couple starts
now makes you wonder whether or not a promotion or injury has occurred. On the season, the lefty has posted an
0-1 record with 2.76 in four starts and one relief
June 16: @ Phillies
June 17: Mariners
June 18: @ Tigers
June 19: Mets
June 20: @ Pirates
June 21: Rays
* Ties not included this round;
VSL official site was having problems.
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