The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 04/13

Springfield Cardinals starter Brad Furnish deserved a better fate than a no-decision for his five shutout innings Sunday. Catcher Tony Cruz busted out of an early season slump, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. In other news; Memphis rained out; Off day for Palm Beach & Quad Cities and Springfield Cardinals' outfielder Daryl Jones was hit in the head by a pitch.


Games Played Easter Sunday


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) -


Mother Nature hasn't gotten the word it's baseball season, as Memphis and Oklahoma City were rained out Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park. The game has been rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, September 5 when Oklahoma City returns to Memphis.

The Redbirds will begin a four-game series against New Orleans tonight at 7:05 p.m. The Redbirds pitching staff has posted a combined 2.25 ERA, second best in the league, through their first three games, while scoring only seven runs. Hopefully the offense will pick up the pace, with Top 40 Prospects Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Tyler Greene, Nick Stavinoha, and Shane Robinson, not to mention Joey "Bombs" Mather on the roster.

TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Bryan Anderson (#3), Jess Todd (#4), Mitchell Boggs (#8), Jon Jay (#10), Clayton Mortensen (#11), Adam Ottavino (#13), Allen Craig (#14), Tyler Greene (#17), P.J. Walters (#23), Nick Stavinoha (#30), and Shane Robinson (#33).


RECORD: 2-1, 2nd Place, .5 GB PCL American North Division


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Lost to Midland 8-7 in 10

The Springfield Cardinals could have used a rainout Sunday night, as the Midland RockHounds and the Cardinals played through a rain-soaked Sunday evening at Hammons Field, with Midland finally holding on for a ten-inning 8-7 win.

Springfield starter Brad Furnish struggled a little in the first trying to get a feel for the grip on the ball, then dominated through five shutout innings. Furnish could have been in line for a win, leaving the game with a slim 1-0 lead, until the Cardinals' bullpen let the lead slip in the final five frames allowing eight runs to score.

Relievers Trey Hearne, Elvis Hernandez and Kenny Maiques allowed all eight runs in the final five innings with Maiques giving up both runs in the tenth to take the loss.

Offensively, catcher Tony Cruz, who entered the game just 1-for-13 on the season, busted out of his early slump to go 3-for-5, with two two-out RBIs, two runs scored and a walk, while striking out twice. Defensively Cruz allowed four stolen bases but threw out two, which seems impressive considering the wet conditions.

Springfield suffered a scary moment in the bottom of the seventh when the Cardinals 2008 Minor League Player of the Year, Daryl Jones was hit by a pitch in the head. Jones lay on the ground for a minute before getting up under his own power. He left the game and did not return and should be considered day-to-day for now.

BRETT WALLACE WATCH: Wallace went 1-for-4 with two walks, one strikeout, and made one throwing error in Sunday's game.

TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Brett Wallace (#2), Daryl Jones (#5), Francisco Samuel (#19), Tyler Herron (#25), and Steven Hill (#29).


RECORD: 2-2, Tied for 1st Place, Texas League North Division


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - OFF DAY

The Cardinals take on the Jupiter Hammerheads tonight with Jupiter wearing the home jerseys. Sarasota arrives Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium for a three-game set.

Outfielder Shane Peterson is off to a hot start and making some noise for some recognition from the Birdhouse, hitting .636 (7-for-11) through his first three games, with three doubles, a triple and three RBIs. Leading the Cardinals with 12 total bases.

Shortstop Pete Kozma, the former 1st Round Draft pick is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with one extra base hit, a double and has committed one error through his first three games. The Cardinals are still very high on Kozma. Last season he led the Quad Cities River Bandits with a .284 batting average, but it's time his potential begins to manifest itself on the field and a little more at the plate.

TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Pete Kozma (#12), Richard Castillo (#15), Lance Lynn (#18), Nick Additon (#21), Adam Reifer (#22), Shaun Garceau (#28), David Kopp (#34) and Curt Smith (#39).


RECORD: 2-1, 2nd Place, 1.0 GB, FSL South Division


Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - OFF DAY

After losing three straight to start the season, the River Bandits could use the off day they had on Easter Sunday to regroup.

PLAYER TO WATCH: SS Niko Vasquez (3rd Round, 2008) spent most of his 2008 pro debut with Johnson City (Appalachian), where he ranked among the league's top ten in hitting (.317—9th), on-base percentage (.416—2nd), walks (29—4th) and runs (42—5th). I'll go out on a limb here and predict Niko will be a Birdhouse #10 prospect by the time we do the annual rankings at the end of this season.

CHANGES: Skip Schumaker isn't the only player in the Cardinals organization trying to learn a new position. In Quad Cities The River Bandits roster also features three players that are starting their first full season at a new position. 2B Aaron Luna was drafted as an outfielder out of Rice in the 9th round of the 2008 draft and hit .234-6-12 in 21 games with Quad Cities before earning a promotion to Palm Beach (FSL). He started taking groundballs during Instructional League and spent all of Spring Training at second base, a position he did play approximately half the time in college. Meanwhile, RHP's Dave Carpenter and Casey Mulligan are both transitioning from catcher to the bullpen. Carpenter hit .280 in eight games with Quad Cities in 2008 before a mid-season switch to the mound saw him post a 1.84 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 15 appearances between the Gulf Coast League and Johnson City (Appy). Mulligan, who will open 2009 as the River Bandits' closer, also made the switch during the 2008 campaign and went 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA in 30 appearances, 27 of which came with Palm Beach.

TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Niko Vasquez (#16), Deryk Hooker (#27), Jon Edwards (#32), Arquimedes Nieto (#38) and Ryde Rodriguez (#40)


RECORD: 0-3, Last Place, MID Western Division


Batavia Muckdogs (SS) - The Muckdogs will begin the defense of their NYPL Championship Title on June 19th when they host Auburn at home.

Johnson City Cardinals (R) - The Cardinals will open the season on the road in Kingsport on Tuesday, June 23rd. The Cardinals will play a three game series with the Mets before the action comes to Howard Johnson Field on Friday, June 26th when the Cardinals play host to the Burlington Royals in the 2009 home opener.

Gulf Coast League Cardinals (R) - Season starts mid-June

VSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts mid-May

DSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts near the end of May

Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Brad Furnish

The Springfield starter deserved a better fate than a no-decision for his five innings of shutout ball Sunday.





Minor League Player of the Day - Tony Cruz

The Springfield Cardinals catcher busted out of an early slump Sunday, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, in a losing cause as Springfield lost to Midland 8-7 in 10.


Minor League Related Links (R)

The Cardinals organization roster matrix: regular season – from Brian Walton's blog, The Cardinal Nation

Cardinals Shelve 11 Minor Leaguers by Brian Walton

The Cards Extended Invitee List to Extended by Brian Walton

The Cardinals add 36 to Extended Spring Training by Brian Walton


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