The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 04/17

Jess Todd picks up his first save the old fashion way; Quad Cities wins their third straight game, albeit an ugly game, but an ugly win is better than a pretty loss; Springfield rallies for a second straight win to stay in a tie for first place; Palm Beach continues to row; Keep an eye on some players off to a hot start, Jermaine Curtis, Daniel Descalso, Adam Reifer, and Osvaldo Morales.


Games Played Thursday, 04/16


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) - Winners 7-4 over New Orleans

The Redbirds offense scored four runs in the third inning to take the lead on their way to a 7-4 win over New Orleans on Thursday afternoon at AutoZone Park, as they move back into sole possession of 1st place.

Five hits in the third inning did all the damage for Memphis with Joe Mather's two-run double delivering the lead. Two batters later Allen Craig doubled to score Mather and give the ‘Birds a two-run cushion. Mather finished the day with three RBI to lead the team. The top third of the order, Shane Robinson, Tyler Greene and Jon Jay, went a combined 6-for-12 with five runs scored.

Craig went 1-for-4 with the RBI that drove in Mather as he continues to be very impressive this spring and early into the season. The Cardinals are going to have a hard time finding a place for him on the roster, with the logjam at third base, you aren't going to bump Albert Pujols from first and while I think Craig can play a solid game at third, I don't think he has the speed to play in the outfield.

The Memphis bullpen pitched the final five innings after starter Adam Ottavino lasted only four. The right-hander allowed three runs on five hits with four walks while throwing 93 pitches. Left-hander Royce Ring earned the win turning in two scoreless innings. Jess Todd did it the old fashion way as he pitched the final two innings Thursday night to earn his first save of the season.

The Redbirds wrapped up their first homestand of the season going 5-2 with two series wins. The team hits the road for the first time tonight at Oklahoma City with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m.

RISING STAR: He's not on the Birdhouse Top 40 Prospect Rankings, not yet, but second baseman Daniel Descalso is making his case with an early .370 batting average. He turned a couple of double-plays last night to contribute to the win with his glove and went 2-for-6 last night with a double and a triple, driving in three runs on the night.

ROSTER MOVES: It is expected that P.J. Walters will be called up today by the Cardinals to make a spot start against the Chicago Cubs, as a matter of fact he's probably in Chi-town already. He' join fellow Memphis teammates Chris Perez and Mitchell Boggs who were recalled earlier this week. Walters dominated in his first start of 2009, allowing just two hits and a walk over seven shut-out innings.

TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Bryan Anderson (#3), Jess Todd (#4), 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: 5-2, 1st Place - PCL American North Division


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Winners 11-9 over Frisco

The Springfield Cardinals rallied for a second straight game, spoiling Frisco's home opener with an 11-9 victory on Thursday night at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.

The Cardinals 2008 Minor League Player of the Year, Daryl Jones, made a successful return to the lineup after being kept out for precautionary reasons, after being hit in the helmet by a pitch this past Sunday. Jones picked up three hits and was on base five times to lead a 12-hit attack by the Cards' offense. Jones also picked up an outfield assist last night to help keep Frisco at bay.

Francisco Samuel got two quick outs in the ninth, before walking Marcus Lemon to bring the tying run to the plate. Samuel then struck out Craig Gentry looking on three pitches, earning him his second save of the year. Ranked by the Birdhouse as the Cardinals #19 Top Prospect, Samuel's stock is beginning to rise.

The Cards (4-3) have now won two straight and three of four over Frisco this year. Springfield will send Brandon Dickson (1-0) to the mound against rehabbing big leaguer Dustin Nippert (0-1) on Friday night. Game time is set for 7:00pm in Frisco. The Redbirds return home on Thursday, April 23rd, as they open a four-game home stand against Tulsa.

TOP PROSPECT WATCH: Brett Wallace, the reigning king of the hill, now that Rasmus is in St. Louis, batting in the three hole, went 1-for-3 on the night with a double and two walks to his credit as he scored twice. Take notice of him taking those walks, you want "the Hitman" to hit, but you also want him swinging at strikes. Another good performance turned in by the Cardinals' top prospect.

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


RECORD: 4-3, Tied for 1st - Texas League North Division


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - Winners 3-2 over the Sarasota Reds.

I have been telling you to keep an eye out for third baseman Jermaine Curtis, last night he went 2-for-3, raising his batting average to .400, while scoring two of the Cardinals runs in their 3-2 victory over Sarasota, the team's fourth straight win.

First base Francisco Rivera drove in all the Redbird runs Thursday night, driving in Curtis in the fifth with a sac fly and then driving in Curt Smith and Jermaine Curtis again, in the sixth with a double to right to put the Cardinals ahead for good.

The Cardinals used six pitchers to get through this game, Nick Additon started the game and pitched four scoreless frames, giving up only one hit and two walks while striking out one. It was David Kopp who picked up the win, his first, with 2.2 scoreless innings to his credit. Adam Reifer pitched a scoreless frame in the ninth to pick up his third save already.

PETE KOZMA WATCH: Batting in two hole, Pete went 1-for-4, striking out once as his batting average took a slight dip, down to .300. I'd like to see Kozma's strikeout to walk ratio come done some. He's drawn only one walk in 30 at-bats, while striking out seven times. His on-base-percentage could use a little boost, drawing a few more walks could be the ticket, the challenge is in the two hole, the batter is suppose to move the runner over, so that aspect of the game has to be taken into consideration when looking at Kozma's number of walks.

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: 6-1, 1st Place - FSL South Division


Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - An Ugly 8-6 win over the Peoria Chiefs

The River Bandits scored six runs in the fifth inning on Thursday night, taking advantage of eight walks and surviving six errors to hang on for an 8-6 win over the Peoria Chiefs at Modern Woodmen Park, as the Bandits win their third straight.

The Bandits only had four hits, first baseman Osvaldo Morales went deep Thursday night for his first homer of the season and drove in two runs, while scoring twice. Left-fielder Chris Swauger had one of the other hits as he drove in two runs and scored twice.

Quad Cities' starter Miguel Tapia worked four innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four. It was Gary Daley who picked up the win by having the good fortune of pitching in the fifth inning. Daley gave up one run on one hit and struck out two in his one inning on the mound. Ramon Delgado pick up his first save with a scoreless frame in the ninth.

MAKING HISTORY: LHP Hector Cardenas and RHP Kevin Thomas will forever be cemented in the Quad Cities history books after the duo combined for a no-hitter during a 3-0 win over Beloit in game one of Thursday's doubleheader. Cardenas stole the show, dominating the Snappers with five no-hit innings. He threw just 47 pitches and struck out four while facing one batter more than the minimum. Thomas (1) earned the save with two shutout frames of relief, striking out one and inducing a game-ending double-play to clinch the no-hitter with the potential game-tying run at the plate. It was the 10th no-hitter in franchise history, and the first since Brian Wolfe tossed a no-no against Dayton on August 12, 2001.

TAKE ME HOME: The River Bandits are 3-1 at home, but have failed to pick up a win on the road this season, there must be something about that home cooking.

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


RECORD: 3-4, 5th Place, 3.0 GB - 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 - Jess Todd

The new Springfield reliever work two innings to pick up his first save, hopefully he continue a workout program that will allow him to work multiple innings and even appear in back to back games.



Minor League Player of the Day - Daniel Descalso

The Memphis second baseman turned a couple of double-plays last night and went 2-for-6 at the plate, with a double and a triple, driving in three runs on the night to lead his team to a win over New Orleans. I've talked about the lack of depth in the organization at second base this past winter, I may have to eat a little crow if Descalso continues to play as well as he has so far this season.


Minor League Related Links (R)

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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