Venezuelan Summer League Cards Report: 06/29

After seven weeks of play in the 2008 Venezuelan Summer League, the VSL Cardinals rookie-level club has a 19-18-2 record, in fourth, 6.5 games out of first place in the eight-team league. Alberto Rivero and Deimer Bier are among the standouts.



The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals began their seventh week of the season with a two-game losing streak, coming after losing a game and ending another game in a tie last week. So it was not a great ending and start to the week.  The team did rebound to claim the last two contests of the week before rain postponed their fifth game.  During this period of the report, they split their schedule 2-2.  The Cardinals record now sits at 19-18-2 record. They slipped to 6.5 games out of first, but leaped to 4th place overall in the league standings.


The Cardinals began the week with a 4-3 loss to the Astros.  The Astros only had four hits in the game, but free passes came back to bite the Cardinals.  The pitching walked seven and one error contributed to one run.  The next game was vs. the Phillies.  The Cardinals were hammered, 12-4.  The team had 10 hits but couldn't get runs across the plate and it doesn't help when the pitching staff is leaving the ball on a tee for the other team.  The Phillies had 16 hits including one grand slam, one solo home run, and a couple of doubles. 


The Cardinals then would take on the Mariners at their field and get retribution for the past loss. A short, quick outing by the starter, but the bullpen picked it up and closed the game out.  The Cardinals won the game 10-5, scoring six in the top of the 10th inning.  The Tigers would come to town after an unusual scheduled off-day.  The Cards received great pitching from their starter and two bullpen arms held the Tigers to just one run and five hits.  The Cardinals scattered ten hits en route to a 3-1 win.  The final game vs. the Mets in this period was cancelled due to weather and will be made up as a doubleheader on July 7.


Who's Hot


Alberto Rivero is carrying a six-game hitting streak into this next week.  The 19-year old outfielder went 5-for-13 (.313) with one double, three RBIs, and two strikeouts on the week.  With the recent slump of Gerardo Mannbel, Rivero has emerged as the feared hitter of the team.  In the June 27 game, Rivero collected his 4th double of the season and also knocking in the game clinching run for the Cardinals' 3-1 win over the Tigers.  He currently leads the team with three triples and overtook Mannbel for the RBI lead with 24.


Jose Cortez has been hitting the ball very well lately.  On the week, the 19-year-old outfielder went 8-for-15 (.533) with one double, three RBIs, three runs, and only one strike out.  The right-handed hitter has a three-game hitting streak and collected a season high five hits and three RBIs on June 25 in a 10-5 loss to the Mariners.  In his last ten games Cortez is hitting .417 with four doubles, four RBIs, one walk, six runs, one stolen base, and six strike outs.  He currently ranks 2nd on the team with six doubles.


Billy Bolivar showed a little spark this week.  The 20-year old utility infielder went 5-for-15 (.313) and collected his first two doubles and first two RBIs of the season.  The right-handed hitter also scored four runs, was walked once, stole a base, and struck out once.  On June 27 the 3rd year VSL participant had a three hit game with a double and a run.


Deimer Bier made one start during the week, on June 27.  The 17-year old right-hander pitched five innings, allowing four hits, only one run, no walks, and striking out a personal career high nine.  The Venezuelan pitcher was just signed over the fall/winter and has become quite an ace for the Cardinals staff.  He dropped his ERA to 3.03 on the season and holds a 2-1 record.  In two of his last three starts, he struck out more than five and has only walked a total of seven over 35.2 innings.


Moises Colorado is making his way back toward the rotation.  The 18-year old left-hander made two relief appearances this week.  On June 23 vs. the Astros, he only pitched 2/3 of an inning, letting one of his two inherited runners score.  The next came June 25 in relief of Javier Avendano, who only lasted 2 innings.  The Mariners got only one hit and two walks and struck out four times in Colorado's five innings.  Colorado is only a month removed from the rotation, and hasn't allowed an earned run since his return from his unexplained absence (8.2 innings).  Could we see him return to the rotation in the next week?


Who's Not


Gerardo Mannbel has hit the wall or I should say slump.  The 18-year old infielder went 2-for-16 (.125) with three RBIs, two runs, and two stolen bases on the week.  Mannbel once was hitting the ball all over the park for hits, but now can't get a break.  In his last ten games, he's hitting .211 with only two doubles and three RBIs.  Let's all hope he can snap out of it here pretty soon.  His season average has now dropped to .307 but he still leads the team with four home runs, seven doubles, and six stolen bases.


Kaizer Inojoza is not having a great season.  The 17-year old outfielder has only one hit and has struck out four times on the season in a limited nine at-bats.  The right-handed hitter is being used sparingly in an off the bench role.  He's made only eight appearances this season.  Not really catching any attention to get any more playing time.


Jackson Solarte was once again shelled in his only relief appearance of the week.  The 17-year old right-hander pitched on June 24 allowing six hits, three (earned) runs, one wild pitch, and striking out one over two innings.  Since joining the VSL squad, he has allowed ten hits, seven earned runs, two walks, and has struck out two over 3.2 innings.  Solarte has a team-worst 17.18 ERA.


Hector Corpas made his only start this week on June 24 as the Cardinals lost 12-4 to the Phillies.  The 18-year old right-hander lasted four innings giving up seven hits, six (earned) runs, two walks, one wild pitch two home runs(one grand slam), and striking out two.  Corpas was added to the rotation when Colorado left for a short time and could be looking to head back to bullpen if his starts don't improve and Colorado continues to shine.  His ERA sits at 5.76 and he has four losses, worst among the current starting rotation.  Corpas does have a team-high four wins.


Gregorio Ramos is another fall/winter signee by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Venezuela.  The 18-year old right however has been struggling this season.  He made one relief appearance this week allowing one hit, two runs (one earned), and three walks in one inning on June 24 vs. the Phillies.  For the season, Ramos has walked 11 and struck out five over 6.1 innings.


Missing in Action and a Return


Cristofher Dumont has not played since June 16.  This came before the St. Louis Cardinals announced he would be joining the Rookie-Level GCL Cardinals squad for their 2008 season.  Still we wait for this move to be made.  On the 2008 season, Dumont is hitting .198 with one double, three home runs, 12 RBIs, eight walks, and 27 strike outs in 91 at-bats.


Ruben Alvarado made his return this week.  The 16-year old reliever who hadn't been seen in over a month made his return on June 24.  The 2007 fall/winter signee pitched two innings of relief allowing two hits, one (earned) run, and striking out two in the Cardinals 12-4 loss to the Phillies.


Venezuelan Summer League


The Cardinals hitting is pretty much staying pat as it has over the entire 2008 season.  The team batting average did rise from .241 to .246 this past week.  The team pitching took a couple of hits and the team ERA rose from 3.36 to 3.48.


Gerardo Mannbel is 7th with 43 hits, tied for 7th with four home runs, 9th with 64 total bases, 10th with 18 walks, 10th with a .406 OBP, and 10th with a .863 OPS.


Alberto Rivero is tied for 3rd with three triples and tied for 7th with 24 RBIs


Cristofher Dumont is tied for 10th with three home runs.


Hector Corpas is tied for 5th with four wins.


David Brito is tied for 5th with four wins.


Yonathan Gonzalez is tied for 8th with three wins, 3rd with six saves, and tied for 1st with 17 game finishes.


Moises Colorado is 4th with 36 strikeouts.


Geney Rios is tied for 5th with 31 strikeouts.


Deimer Bier is 8th with a 1.09 WHIP.


Up Next


June 30: Pirates (26-12, 1st Place)

July 1: @ Rays (18-19, 7th Place)

July 2: Astros (19-20, 5th Place)

July 3: @ Phillies (20-16, 3rd Place)

July 4: Mariners (22-16, 2nd Place)

July 5: @ Tigers (8-30, 8th Place)



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