Dominican Summer League Cards Report: 08/04

The 20-30 Cardinals rookie club went 5-2 on the week, as they deal with the loss of three suspended players. All-Star catcher/first baseman Audris Perez continues his solid play.

Recap

 

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals made a huge turn around from going 1-4 the week before.  In the ninth week, the Cardinals showed that they can win, even if their starters are struggling to get through innings.  This means the bullpen chewed up a lot of innings this period.  The team went 5-2, moving their record to ten games under .500 (20-30) and 11 ½ games out of first.  They still sit 3 ½ games behind the 4th place Phillies, in the cellar of the Santo Domingo North Division.

 

The Cardinals came out of the All-Star break and snapped a two-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the A's #1 squad in the first game of a doubleheader. The Redbirds got some great pitching form their starter and clubbed out ten hits.  The A's tried to make a comeback scoring two in the bottom of the 7th and sending the game into extra innings.  But the Cardinals answered back with two of their own in the 8th and closed out the game.  The Cardinals would club another 12 hits in the second game and blow out the A's 9-1.  The pitching held the A's to just four hits, which was a bullpen game.

 

The Phillies came to town and squashed the winning streak, in a game that turned into a hit and run fest.  Between both teams there were 24 hits and 20 runs scored.  The Phillies racked up seven runs in the 2nd inning along with four more in the following innings.  The Cardinals did their best to make a comeback, scoring five in the final two frames and coming up just two short in an 11-9 loss. 

 

The loss must have lit a fire under the Cards as they went on to win the next three games.  First up was the other A's squad, version 1.0.  The Cardinals scored two runs in three of the innings and had the game won by the 7th.  Seven hits for the Rookie-Level squad, as they won 7-4.

 

Second win in the streak came courtesy of the first-place Mariners.  The Cardinals visited and left the Mariners with nothing when gone.  The team scattered 16 hits to the M's nine and drove in 11 runs.  The Redbirds scored three and five in the 4th and 5th, respectively, and won the game 11-5.

 

The third and final win of the streak came at the expense of the A's #1 team. In fact, the Cardinals took all three games from the Athletics #1 squad this past week.  The A's scored five in the 3rd on shaky Cardinals pitching and the team had to make a comeback, scoring three in the 4th and then taking the game with two in the 7th.  The Redbirds closer did a fine job closing out the game for a close 6-5 win.

 

The finale for the week ended the three-game winning streak, as the Phillies again stomped on the Cardinals.  This time around the Phillies won 9-5 and knocked out 13 hits and held the Cards to only six hits.  The Phillies had the game in the bag after two innings, driving in seven.  The Cardinals just couldn't generate any offense and the team's starter dug too deep of a hole to climb out of.

 

Seeing the Cardinals offense explode had me excited this week, finally after months of waiting.  It's just a shame to see the pitching that held the team within striking distance crumble like it has.  Hopefully in the next week we will see both come together and extend the winning mood in the clubhouse.

 

Who's Hot

 

Audris Perez didn't skip a beat after playing in the 2008 DSL All-Star game, and actually had a better week then past times.  The 19-year old catcher/first baseman went 11-for-17 (.647) with two doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, two stolen bases, and one caught stealing.  The rookie DSL participant has a six-game hitting streak, has collected a hit in nine of his last ten games, and has an RBI in nine of his last ten games.  Perez currently leads the team in most batting stats, but not all.  He also threw out two of three attempted base stealers this period.

 

Juan Cabrera stays on the hot list after putting together two three hit games this past week.  The 20-year old shortstop went 10-for-26 (.385) with two doubles, one triple, five RBIs, 11 runs, six walks, three stolen bases, and three strikeouts.  The second year DSL participant has walked at least once in his last three games and has made it on base some how in the last 12 consecutive games he has played.  Cabrera also picked up a fielding error giving him a total of 11 on the 2008 season, which is 2nd on the team.

 

Roberto Reyes will bring a six-game hitting streak on into next week.  The 19-year old center fielder went 7-for-23 (.305) with one triple, five RBIs, two runs, two walks, one hit by pitch, two stolen bases, and four strike outs.  The rookie DSL participant is currently tied for the team lead with four triples and his batting average is hovering slightly under .200 at .189.

 

Carlos Mejia made his first start of the season and even saved the bullpen some innings in another game.  The 19-year old right-hander was given the starting nod on July 28 and pitched three innings allowing two hits, one (unearned) run, two walks, hit a batter, and struck out two.  Mejia was called upon on August 2 to follow Keury Herrera who couldn't get out of the 3rd inning.  He followed by pitching 5.2 innings allowing five hits, two (earned) runs, one walk, striking out four, and throwing one wild pitch.  The second year DSL participant picked up his first win but let his only inherited runner score in the second appearance and got a lot of fly ball outs (3-14, ground out- fly out ratio).

 

Amaury Castillo proved this week he can hold runners on base and can burn some innings when needed.  The 17-year old right-hander made three relief appearances and didn't give up one run.  His first came July 29 pitching 3.2 hitless and scoreless innings, walking one, hitting one batter, throwing one wild pitch, and striking out a season high six.  The rookie DSL participant was then called to finish off the August 1 game for the Cardinals.  Castillo pitched just 0.2 innings and didn't allow a hit or run.  And in his final appearance for this period, he was called again to burn innings for the team after the Cardinals starter was knocked out after one inning.  The 6'5" 210 pounder once again didn't allow a run, but gave up four hits, one walk, one wild pitch, and struck out five over four innings.  He inherited four runners with all three games and they never once crossed the plate.  You can't ask much more from a long reliever than what he did this past week.

 

Who's Not

 

Bernardo Villar still continues to struggle at the plate and in the field.  The 17-year old third baseman went 2-for-10 (.200) with one RBI, one run, three walks, and four strike outs.  The rookie DSL participant has only collected five hits (three games) in his last 31 at-bats (ten games).  He also still is having problems at the hot corner picking up two more errors in the three games he played in this past week.  Villar has now picked up six errors in 12 games (some games may be as designated hitter).

 

Keury Herrera had a horrible week and couldn't make it out of the 3rd inning in either of his starts.  The 17-year old left-hander made his first start on July 29 allowing seven hits, seven runs (six earned), threw one wild pitch, struck out one, and picked one runner off.  He was pulled after only 1.1 innings and picked up his third loss of the season.  On August 2, the Cardinals' 2008 free-agent signee lasted only 2.1 innings giving up six hits, three (earned) runs, and striking out two before being pulled out of fear of getting slapped around again.  Out of his nine starts, he has been pulled before the end of the 3rd inning four separate times.  Could be time to bump him to the bullpen and try again next season.

 

Randy Santos makes it two weeks in a row on the "not" list with his really bad relief outings this week.  On July 29 the 17-year old left-hander pitched chalked up six hits, four (earned) runs, one walk, and struck out two over 2.2 innings.  Then on August 1 he pitched 2.1 innings and allowed five hits, four (earned) runs, four walks, hit one batter, and struck out two.  The rookie DSL participant has seen a turn for the worse in his last four relief appearances, this coming after not allowing one earned run in his first six games.  He has given up now a total of 11 earned runs over his last 7.1 innings and walked an additional eight.

 

Ramon Urena made one good start that had him in my notes for the "hot" list, but his latest start today puts him on the "not" list.  The 18-year old made a very nice start on July 28, pitching five innings and allowing seven hits, one (earned) run, three walks, and struck out two.  Then on August 3, he drank the same juice as Herrera, when he lasted only one inning allowing eight hits, six runs (five earned), and hit one batter.  The bullpen was called for the second inning on, but the damage was already done and Urena picked up his 5th loss on the 2008 season.  The Cardinals' July 3, 2007 free agent signee has made eight appearances (seven starts) and by far this was the quickest exit and worst game he has pitched yet.

 

Missing In Action and Suspended

 

18-year old right-handed starter Charllan Jimenez has been out since June 20.

18-year old left-handed reliever Walter Santos has been out since July 18.

19-year old left-handed reliever Juan Mercedes has been out since July 23.

 

Braulin Beltre, Yedilson Pena, and Andres Beras have all been suspended for the next 50 Cardinals' Dominican Summer League games, as released on July 29: link

 

One of the players listed is in question, as his age is not verified and Cardinals' head of Player Development Jeff Luhnow will look to have that player's contract voided: link

 

Since Beras was brought in to the Cardinals organization last season, via July 1 signing, and his age is most likely been signed off on then it likely comes down to one of other two who will not be back next season.

 

Dominican Summer League*

 

The Cardinals hitting took a jump from .206 to .220 for the 2008 season.  This being a major improvement and could be a sign of things to come as the season rolls on.  Still the team staggers at the bottom of the league in many stats: 225 runs (10th from bottom), 345 hits (5th), 489 total bases (8th), 206 walks (11th), .323 OBP (7th), and .635 OPS (9th).  Various other stats are gradually rising in the overall league.

 

The Cardinals ERA took another step in the wrong direction, rising from 3.78 to 3.81 and their WHIP rose from 1.39 to 1.41.  The pitching has given up a total of 356 hits (6th from the bottom), as all other stats are middle of the road compared to the rest of the league.  The team is 4th best as they have allowed only nine home runs in 422.1 innings.

 

Audris Perez is tied for 7th with six home runs and 3rd with a.510 SLG.

 

Angel Cruz is tied for 1st with one complete game and tied for 8th with a 0.84 WHIP.

 

Eduard Estalis is tied for 7th with eight saves and tied for 7th with 17 game finishes.

 

Alejandro Pinales is tied for 6th with four holds.

 

* Stats do not reflect August 3 game.

 

Up Next

 

August 5: @ Athletics #2

August 6: Mariners

August 7: @ Athletics #1

August 8: Phillies

August 9: Day Off

August 10: Athletics #2

 

DSL official site: http://dominicansummerleague.com/

MiLB DSL Cardinals site: link

 

 

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