Venezuelan Summer League Cards Report: 07/13

After eight weeks of play in the 2008 Venezuelan Summer League, the VSL Cardinals rookie-level club has leveled up with a 24-24-3 record, in fourth, nine games out of first place in the eight-team league. Alberto Rivero and Deimer Bier are among this week's standouts.



After losing four straight last week and falling under .500, the VSL Cardinals turned it around this period.  They ended the four-game drought by taking both ends of a doubleheader and four of six games this week, including two by shutout.  One game was postponed. The pitching stayed steady and the team's coveted hitting leader is gradually falling back into the pack as other players start to contribute.  The team now has a 24-24-3 record, jumping back into fourth place and still nine games out of first, in the eight-team league.


Starting the week off, the Cardinals capitalized on the Mets' four errors scoring two in the bottom of the 7th to take the first game of a doubleheader 4-3.  The team's starting pitcher only allowed one run, the bullpen gave up a couple more, and the team committed a couple errors that did not factor in.  The second game of the double header was played at the Mets field.  This probably is one of the best games pitched by the Cardinals staff as they held the Mets to just two hits and no runs, for the Redbirds' second shutout of the season.  The Mets bats got tired as the Cardinals pounded out ten hits and seven runs. 


The Cardinals then visited the Pirates for the worst game of the week.  The Pirates knocked out 15 hits and ten runs and basically won the game in the 3rd inning, as it ended 10-3.  The next game vs. the Rays was postponed due to the weather.  After weather cleared, the Cardinals packed their bags for a visit with the Astros.  The team collected their third shutout of the season holding the Astros to five hits, as the bullpen only allowed one in the final three innings.  The Cardinals won 1-0, getting the winning run off a triple that scored with the following hit. 


The Phillies came to town next and the Redbirds' starting pitcher held them to only four hits in the first six innings.  The Cardinals had the lead until the bullpen coughed it up allowing four runs in the 8th inning.  They came back to score three more and force extra innings and won the game in the 11th, 5-4. 


The finale for the week ended in a 4-3 loss to the Mariners.  The Cardinals came to town looking to extend their winning streak to three but the team's closer blew the game in the 9th.  The starting pitching also struggled along with the bats unable to get runners across the plate.


Let's hope this week's success continues, as the Cardinals have a long week ahead.  Six games were already on the schedule but rain has forced a doubleheader on one day and forced them to complete a tied game the next.  Rest up boys.


Who's Hot


Alberto Rivero returns to the Who's Hot list has he will be bringing a four-game hitting streak into the next week.  The 19-year old outfielder went 9-for-19 (.474) with two RBIs, two runs, one walks, and two strikeouts.  Rivero, who signed with the Cardinals on February 12, 2007, also has a three-game caught stealing streak currently going.  The 5'10" 155 pound lefty had three multiple hit games this period which helped bring his average up to .292 on the season.


Jose Cortez had three multiple hit games and will be carrying a two-game hitting streak over to the next week. The 19-year old outfielder went 7-for-21 (.333) with two home runs, two RBIs, one stolen base, three strike outs, and one caught stealing.  The 6'0" 165 pound righty's three home runs on the season put him in a second place tie on the Cardinals, with Cristofher Dumont and one behind Gerardo Mannbel.


Kaizer Inojoza is another that will be heading into the next week with a hitting streak, for three games.  The 17-year old outfielder went 3-for-4 collecting his first run and first two RBIs on the 2008 season.  He also managed a walk and was gunned down on a base stealing attempt.  The rookie has now gone 5-for-19 (.263) mainly coming off the bench for the Cardinals.


Carlos Noguera rebounds from last week's awful second start.  The 19-year old right-hander started on July 11, pitching six scoreless innings allowing four hits, striking out two, and throwing one wild pitch.  The third year VSL participant had an 8-6 ground out-fly out ratio. The closer ended up blowing the save, costing Noguera the winning decision.


Deimer Bier once again made another great start for the VSL Cardinals.  The 17-year old right-hander pitched six scoreless innings allowing four hits, hit two batters, and struck out three on July 10.  His ground out-fly out ratio was 5-8. The bullpen would only allow one hit in the next three innings, giving Bier his third win on the 2008 season.  The rookie VSL participant now leads in wins and is ranked third with a 2.68 ERA among starters on the Cardinals squad.


Who's Not


Osmir Medina continues to drop off after starting off the 2008 season on a positive note.  The 17-year old shortstop went 0-for-8 with three strike outs and committed one error in the three games he started.  The rookie VSL participant has been seeing limited playing time since he hit a slump and has gone 2–for-21 (.095) with 11 strikeouts in his last ten games.  He also has 14 errors (2nd worst on the team) in his 29 games played.


Billy Bolivar had a spark a couple weeks ago but it has since burned out.  The 20-year old utility player went 1-for-21 (.048) with one run, two RBIs, four walks, two stolen bases, and struck out six times.  Bolivar, signed by the Cardinals January 21, 2006, has seen his production drop off drastically in the last ten games.  During this time, he has gone 4-for-35 (.114) with three RBIs, one run, four walks, two stolen bases, and eight strike outs.


Hector Corpas was roughed up this week after holding his opponents to three hits in his last start.  The 18-year-old right-hander started on July 8, allowing seven hits, five (earned) runs, two walks, one home run, and only struck out two before being pulled after four innings.  The bullpen following also did not have a great outing, as Corpas took his fifth loss on the season.  The 6'3" 170 pounder has a 5.59 ERA, worst among the starting rotation.


Fernando Cedeno started the week off on a high note, then it gradually went sour.  The 18-year old right-hander made his first relief appearance on July 7, pitching two innings allowing one hit, no runs, striking out one and holding both inherited runners on base as he collected his third win of the season.  Next on July 11, the 6'2" 186 pounder pitched 1.2 innings of relief allowing two hits, one (earned) run, and one walk for his third hold of the 2008 season.  Finally in his third appearance, he pitched one inning allowing one hit, one (earned) run, and walked two for his fifth loss on the season.  The second year VSL participant now has a 5.21 ERA and is tied for team lead in wins (3) and losses (5).


Ruben Alvarado has had a rough rookie season.  The 16-year old left-hander made one relief appearance on July 8 allowing five hits, five (earned) runs, one walk, and struck out one before being pulled after 1.1 innings.  Since his return to the Cardinals, he has allowed seven earned runs over 4.1 innings pitched.  The 6'1" 170 pounder now has an 0-1 record with a 11.91 ERA and has walked a total of 10 over 11.1 innings in eight relief outings.


Various Notes


Cristofher Dumont and David Brito both are still missing from VSL action.  Dumont has been out since June 16 and Brito out since June 23.


Javier Avendano looks to have been skipped over in the starting rotation this past week.  The 17-year old right-hander made his last start on July 3.


Omar Viloria is the new name added to the VSL roster.  I think this may be a mix up on the MiLB's side.  His player page has him listed as an Arizona Diamondback.  The MiLB site also has Carlos Viloria listed at the catcher position.  On the VSL official site there is Omar Viloria listed but no Carlos Viloria.  Birth dates and stats match up between the MiLB's Carlos and VSL's Omar.  So one has to go, ‘cause it has me all confused who's who here.


Venezuelan Summer League*


The Cardinals' batting average rose from .244 to .248 after falling last week.  The team is 3rd in the league with 163 walks and tied for 3rd with 20 home runs.  The squad is also starting to finally steal some bases, now with a total of 39. 


The Cardinals' ERA stayed right where it was at compared to last week at 3.59 and their WHIP improved to 1.35.  The team has also only allowed 14 home runs (3rd best) and only hit 37 batters (league best). 


Gerardo Mannbel is 7th with a .312 batting average, 6th with 54 hits, tied for 9th with four home runs, tied for 9th with 21 walks, 7th with a .409 OBP, and 8th with a .842 OPS.


Alberto Rivero is tied for 10th with 49 hits, tied for 4th with three triples, and tied for 7th with 28 RBIs.


Hector Corpas and David Brito are tied for 9th with four wins.


Javier Avendano is in 8th with a 2.48 ERA.


Deimer Bier is in 10th with a 2.68 ERA and tied for 3rd with a 0.98 WHIP.


Yonathan Gonzalez is in 3rd with eight saves and 2nd with 22 game finishes.


Moises Colorado is in 4th with 49 strikeouts.


Miguel Lopez, Fernando Cedeno, and Carlos Oraa are all tied for 2nd with three holds.     


*-stats do not reflect July 12 game


Next Up


July 14: Tigers (14-37-1, 8th Place)

July 15: @ Mets (20-32, 7th Place)

July 16: Pirates (34-16-1, 1st Place)

July 17: Doubleheader @ Rays (24-24-2, 5th Place)

July 18: Completion of July 2nd game @ Astros, suspended due to rain in a 2-2 tie.  Followed by regular game @ Astros (24-26-1, 6th Place)

July 19: Astros (24-26-1, 6th Place)




VSL Official site: (Check the site; new pictures posted weekly)


MiLB VSL Cardinals site: link



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