The Johnson City Cardinals finished the week (Sunday through Tuesday) with a record of one win and one loss (with one rainout). The remnants of Fay washed out the entire Appy League schedule the last day of the season.
I will be writing a season ending report later on this year so this will be a short report to reflect the short week (two games). I was able to see both games in person and get some pretty good pictures of the two newest Johnson City Cardinals (Ryde Rodriguez and Yunier Castillo).
End of Season Promotions
Scott McGregor, who posted a 4-0 record with 0.33 ERA and 0.74 WHIP with Johnson City over twenty-seven innings pitched this year, earned a well deserved promotion to Quad Cities on Sunday. McGregor made two scoreless relief appearances for the River Bandits last week, allowing three hits and one walk while recording two strikeouts over three and one third innings. McGregor, with his low pitch-counts and pin-point control, was a very valuable mid-season addition to the pitching staff.
Samuel Freeman and Jose Mateo were
both promoted to
Matt Frevert was promoted to Quad Cities. Frevert made two scoreless appearances this week allowing three hits and two walks while striking out none over 2 2/3 innings.
That brings the total number of
promotions from this year's Johnson City Cardinals to fourteen. Six were position players, four were
starting pitchers (I count Jose Mateo as a starter), and four were relief
pitchers. The active roster this
year has seen a total of forty-one players (nineteen position players and
twenty-two pitchers). Fourteen of
those forty-one were promoted to
LaCurtis Mayes was promoted early in the year to
Injury/Playing Time Updates
Matt North is in
The Week in Review
The hitters struggled to put up good numbers again this week. The team put up an even worse AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS line (.219/.265/.266/.530) than last week's .254/.313/.352/.664 line. The defense committed five errors (two by Luis Mateo) that led to three unearned runs. The pitchers saw their team season earned run average and walks plus innings pitched both improve for the third week in-a-row by posting a 2.50 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in eighteen innings pitched.
Game 66 (Sunday): Win 6-2: The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 08/25.
Game 67 (Monday): Loss 1-6: The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 08/26.
Game 68 (Tuesday): Rained out.
End of Season League Leaders (Top Ten)
Curt Smith won the Appy League batting title this year. Smith finished the season with a .378 batting average. The last Johnson City Cardinal to win the Appy League batting title was Isa Garcia. Garcia hit .339 in 2006 and is now playing at the Double-A level with the Springfield Cardinals. As mostly a designated hitter and utility infielder, Garcia has posted a .280 batting average in sixty-nine games in the Texas League this year.
Osvaldo Morales fell out of the top ten in the last week in slugging and OPS based on minimum at bats to qualify. Morales had 152 at bats and needed 178 to qualify.
Curt Smith – first in batting average (.378), on-base percentage (.418), and RBIs (49); second in on-base plus slugging percentage (1.004); third in slugging percentage (.585); fifth in hits (73); eighth in total bases (113); tenth in doubles (14).
Alex Castellanos – second in stolen bases (20); fifth in runs (42); sixth in slugging percentage (.536); seventh in triples (4); eighth in on-base plus slugging percentage (.889); tenth in doubles (14).
Niko Vasquez – second in on-base percentage (.416); fourth in walks (29); fifth in runs (42); seventh in doubles (16); ninth in batting average (.317).
Osvaldo Morales – fourth in home runs (12).
Travis Mitchell – seventh in stolen bases (13).
One disadvantage of the piggy-back
pitching system is getting pitchers to qualify as one of the league
leaders. The minimum to qualify
this year was 0.8 innings pitched per team game.
Jose Mateo – first in holds (5); fifth in games (20).
Jorge Rondon – third in games (21); seventh in saves (6).
Matt Frevert – third in games (21).
Samuel Freeman – fifth in games (20); eighth in holds (2).
Joel Pichardo – fifth in games (20).
Randy Santos – eighth in holds (2).
Tandem Starter Pitch Counts
Game 66 (6-2 Win):
Jose Mateo (5 innings pitched) – 86 pitches, 57 strikes, 12 of 21 first-pitch strikes.
Joel Pichardo (3.2 innings pitched) – 49 pitches, 35 strikes, 11 of 16 first-pitch strikes.
Game 67 (6-1 Loss):
Mike Blazek (5 innings pitched) – 76 pitches, 49 strikes, 10 of 18 first-pitch strikes.
Reynier Gonzalez (0.1 innings pitched) – 24 pitches, 13 strikes, 1 of 4 first-pitch-strikes.
Carlos Gonzalez (3.1 innings pitched) – 49 pitches, 32 strikes, 12 of 16 first-pitch-strikes.
Randy Santos was on the receiving end
of one of the better dugout jokes this year late in Monday's game. I saw
Right fielder Ryde Rodriguez led the
"web gem" list this week. Rodriguez
made two really nice catches in Monday's game. The first one in the fourth inning was a
nice running catch of a line drive on Mike Blazek 0-2 mistake pitch. The second one was an even nicer seventh
inning running and leaping catch in the right-centerfield gap that took a sure
double from Buck Britton of
Other notable web gems this week were recorded by Matt Rigoli at third base (diving stop and assist to first base to end the first inning of Sunday's game), Joey Hage in left field (sliding catch for the first out of the fifth inning of Sunday's game), and Yunier Castillo (grounder nicely fielded in the hole at shortstop and turned into a close force-out at second base for the first out in the seventh inning of Sunday's game).
Sunday's game saw two notable people
pay a visit to
The team had four walks this week. Jack Cawley had all four of the team's walks and led the team in on-base percentage (.625) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.875).
Joey Hage led the team during the short week in hits (3), total bases (4), doubles (1), batting average (.375), slugging percentage (.500), and on-base plus slugging percentage (.875).
Luis Mateo and Yunier Castillo each scored two runs this week. Castillo did it while going hitless.
Ryde Rodriguez' double in the seventh
inning of Monday's game looked like it was going to be his first home run in the
I didn't have a chance to ask Ryde how
to pronounce his first name but his host family, while cheering for him in the
last game of the year, pronounced his name "reed" (not ride, rye-dee, or
ree-dee). It would be nice, for
purely selfish reasons, to see Rodriguez play again next year for
(Editor's note: It is REE-day.)
Players of the Week
With the short week, I will skip rewarding a player and pitcher this week. Neither the pitchers nor the hitters really separated themselves from others with their performance this week.
Quotes from Tim Leveque
On reinforcements from the Gulf Coast League: "One of the jobs here is to get your guys promoted. It is always nice to have reinforcements come in and pick up where (the promoted players) left off. Miguel Flores and Eric Fornataro have been able to do that for us. We really haven't skipped a beat with our pitching and I am pretty happy about that."
On the pitcher's performance throughout the year: "The first third of the year, we struggled. Ever since then, for the most part, we have been pretty good. I have been, with the exception of a few games, pretty pleased with the pitching the last month and a half."
On Brett Zawacki, his decrease in strikeouts for his most recent outing, and any changes in his pitching approach: "One of the challenges (of the piggy-back) is the difference of when they pitch on the back end and when they pitch on the front end. When they pitch on the front end, they get more of that starter's mentality. I think Brett (lately) has realized (the difference). Brett has pitched a little more to contact and has let his defense work behind him. (Zawacki) is a young pitcher and he is learning. I like when pitchers can strike guys out. (I also like) when they are able to adapt, sometimes get some groundballs, and get some contact outs too. He was throwing more strikes with his fastball (and) working quick. I don't (think) it was a trend. It was just something that happened."
Pitcher Brett Zawacki in action.
Pitcher Jose Mateo on the mound.
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