Venezuelan Summer League Cards Report: 06/15

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 first.



Who's Hot


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 two contests.


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 Bier started.


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.


Who's Not


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 outs.


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 the devastation.


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 on.


Venezuelan Summer League


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 league.


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 home runs.


Hector Corpas is 1st with 4 wins.


David Brito is tied for 2nd with 3 wins.


Carlos Noguera is 8th with a 2.16 ERA.


Yonathan Gonzalez is 3rd with 5 saves and 2nd with 12 game finishes.


Deimer Bier is 8th with a 1.01 WHIP.


Missing from Action


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 appearance.


Next Up*


June 16: @ Phillies (15-11)

June 17: Mariners (16-11)

June 18: @ Tigers (6-22)

June 19: Mets (16-12)

June 20: @ Pirates (18-10)

June 21: Rays (10-18)

* Ties not included this round; VSL official site was having problems.



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