After nine weeks of play in the 2008 Venezuelan Summer League, the VSL Cardinals rookie-level club has fallen below .500 at 25-27-4, in sixth, ten games out of first place in the eight-team league. Alberto Rivero and Geney Rios are among this week's standouts.
The VSL Cardinals had a rough
ninth week after a great last week.
They began a losing streak that was carried over and was extended to
three games. Errors were a huge
difference maker in a couple of the games played this period. The team committed 14 errors in the last
four games. Cardinals went on to
end the losing streak, tie the next one, and started up another losing streak
once again. The Cardinals went
1-3-1 this period, dropping their record to 25-27-3 and they fell to
6th place, ten games out of first.
The Tigers visited the Cardinals
for the first game of the week and they clubbed 11 hits and outscored the
Redbirds 4-2. The Cards' bats were
just not there in this game as they were held to only four hits. The Cardinals then headed on the road to
take on the Mets, getting better results this time around. The team got some solid pitching from
their starter and their first baseman hit a grand slam in the top of the
7th to put the Cardinals up 5-2. Unfortunately rain came and forced the
game to be suspended, which will be finished on July 23.
Next the Pirates came to town and
shut out the Cardinals 3-0. The
Pirates scored two in the first inning and never looked back, even though the
Redbirds' pitching struck out a total of nine. The team's third baseman committed three
costly errors. The Rays took on the
Cardinals in a double header the next day.
First was a home game as one of the team's pitchers made a rehab start
and the following pitcher went seven strong innings. For the second game, the Cardinals
headed over to the Rays field and ended their winning streak with a 2-2
tie. With a shorthanded pitching
staff, this game was a bullpen game, which went very well until the Cardinals
closer blew the save in the in the top of the
And for the last game of the week,
the Astros sent the Cardinals on another losing streak. This contest was a
completion of the 2-2 tie from July 2.
Five errors were committed during this game, again costing the win, but
the team's reliever finished off the last two innings allowing only one
hit. The Cardinals were to have the
regularly-scheduled game following but weather postponed it and the next
The VSL Cardinals have a little
over two weeks left in their regular season, which ends August 2 if weather
doesn't cause any more problems.
Counting it up, they have 13 games left, pending any rescheduled
Alberto Rivero keeps his name on the hot list
with a nine-game hitting streak and a ten-game on base streak currently. The 19-year old outfielder went 5-for-17
(.295) with one double, two runs, three walks, one stolen base, and two
strikeouts. The second year VSL
participant also claimed a running victim with one outfield assist. He is steady climbing right in behind
Gerardo Mannbel in the team leader in most offensive stats.
Hector Garcia has a two game hitting streak and
has a hit in seven of his last ten games.
The 18-year old third baseman went 5-for-13 (.385) with two doubles, two
runs, one RBI, one walk, and three strikeouts. The Cardinals' 2007 July 2nd signee has
seen his average gradually climb to .286 as he's gone 10-for-33 in his last ten
games. He also is 2nd on
the team with six doubles, 3rd with hits (48), walks (21), average,
and still leads the team with 17 errors.
Roberto Perez made the list due to the two home
runs he hit during the week. The
19-year old first baseman hasn't really been hitting too well all season (.201)
and it still showed this week (2-for-16).
But when Perez connected for both of his hits, one counted for a win and
the other took a lead (game on hold due to rain). Perez hit a two-run home run on July 15
as the team scored a total of four runs in that inning, but the game was
suspended. On July 17 in game one
of a doubleheader, the Cardinals' February 17, 2007 signee clubbed a grand slam
putting the game out of reach from the Rays. His two home runs put him in a three-way
tie for 2nd on the Cardinals squad.
Geney Rios backed up Javier Avendano
who lasted only two innings on July 17.
The 20-year old right-hander was called in for the 3rd inning
and pitched the rest of the game, going seven innings allowing five hits, two
runs (one earned), and striking out seven for his second 2008 win. The Cardinals' March 4, 2006 signee now
has a 2-3 record and 3.02 ERA and has racked up 45 strikeouts over 56.2
Fabian Marquez has really bounced back from a
rough end to his June. The 16-year
old long-reliever made his first and only relief appearance on July 14, picking
up the last 3.1 innings of the game allowing four hits, one (earned) run, two
walks, and striking out two. With
the VSL Cardinals being shorthanded in the starting department, Marquez was
called upon to make a start on July 17 in game 2 of a doubleheader. The Cardinals' 2008 signee went four
innings allowing two hits, one (unearned) run, two walks, and striking out
Gerardo Mannbel continues to stagger after
starting the season out very hot.
The 18-year old shortstop went 3-for-13 (.231) with two doubles, two
RBIs, two runs, and one strikeout.
The Cardinals' February 17, 2007 signee may not be hitting the ball very
well lately but that doesn't mean he's striking out either. On the season Mannbel has only struck
out 15 times in 190 at-bats. He
also picked up another error, putting him at a two-way tie for second on the
Anthony Fonseca has seen a drip in his production
also. The 19-year old outfielder
went 3-for-16 (.188) with one double, two runs, one RBI, one walk, and two
strikeouts this past week. The
Cardinals' February 11, 2007 signee had a hot streak mid-June to early-July and
has since calmed, dropping his average to .265 after going 7-for-36 (.194) in
his last ten games.
Jose Cortez was another everyday player that
had a tough week. The 19-year old
outfielder went 2-for-15 (.133) with one RBI, one run, four walks, one stolen
base, and five strikeouts this past week.
The second year VSL participant has now struck out once in each of his
last five games. Cortez also had
two outfield assists as he showed off his arm on July 15 and 16.
Billy Bolivar is having one of the worst Julys
of all the Cardinals who are getting regular playing time. The 20-year old utility player went
0-for-14 with four strikeouts this past week. The Cardinals' January 21, 2006 signee
collected three errors in one game on July 16 which cost the team the game. In his last ten games he's only
connected for one hit in 35 at-bats as he's struck out ten times and only walked
Yonathan Gonzalez once again proved his recent
closer struggles are not over. The
20-year old right-handed reliever made one relief appearance on July 17, blowing
the save opportunity and letting the Rays end it in a 2-2 tie. The third year VSL participant pitched
to only three batters giving up two hits, one (earned) run, getting one ground
out, and laying claim to one balk before being pulled for another reliever. His balk led to the runner moving from
first to second and a passed ball following allowed the runner to come around
and score. In his last three
outings he has blown two saves and allowed the winning run to score in a tie
Missing in Action and a
Javier Avendano made his return after missing a
start in the rotation. He faced
eight batters, giving up two hits, no runs, striking out three, and getting
three ground outs on July 17 before making an early exit after two
Outfielder Cristofer Dumont
out since June 16.
Reliever David Brito out
since June 23.
Reliever Francisco Guzman
out since July 4.
Infielder Moises Marquez
out since July 7.
1B/C Yorbel Alcala,
reliever Ruben Alvarado, and reliever Jackson Solarte have all not
made appearances since July 8.
The Cardinals team batting fell
from .248 to .243. The team is
sitting in the bottom half of the league in all hitting stats except for walks,
which they are in 3rd with 180.
The team pitching's ERA improved
from 3.59 to 3.42 and their WHIP improved from 1.35 to 1.33. Other pitching stats are sitting middle
of the road compared to the rest of the league.
Gerardo Mannbel is in 5th with a .316
AVG, 6th with 60 hits, tied for 10th with four home runs,
10th with 83 total bases, 7th with a .411 OBP,
8th with a .437 SLG, and 5th with a .848
Alberto Rivero is tied for 10th with
55 hits, tied for 4th with three triples, and 10th with 28
Hector Corpas and David Brito are tied
with others for 9th with four wins.
Carlos Noguera is in 10th with a 2.67
Yonathan Gonzalez is tied for 3rd with
eight saves and 2nd with 23 game finishes.
Geney Rios is in 8th with 56.2
innings pitch and 7th with 45 strikeouts.
Moises Colorado is in 4th with 51
Deimer Bier is in 2nd with a 0.96
Miguel Lopez, Carlos Oraa, and
Fernando Cedeno are tied with others for 2nd with three
July 21: Mariners (34-21-1,
July 22: @ Tigers (18-38-1,
July 23: @ Mets (completion of
7-15-08 game), then Mets visit for new game (21-34, 7th
July 24: @ Pirates (37-19-1,
July 25: Rays (26-28-3,
July 26: @ Astros (29-27,
VSL Official Site: http://www.vsl.com.ve/
MiLB VSL Cardinals Site: link
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