The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 05/08

Nick Stavinoha continues to drive in runs for the feeble Memphis Redbirds offense.


Games Played Thursday, May 7


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) - Winners 3-2

The Memphis Redbirds got a ninth-inning rally for the second game in a row and went on to defeat the Omaha Royals, 3-2, in 10 innings Thursday.

It's "Nick at Night" time again, as the Redbirds' team RBI leader Nick Stavinoha, who was also the hero Wednesday night with a two-run single in the ninth gave the Redbirds a come-from-behind 6-5 victory, doubled in the winning run in the 10th.

Outfielder Mark Shorey and designated hitter Brandon Yarbrough each went 3-for-4 last night and drove in a run to set up Stavinoha to drive in his 22nd RBI on the season.

Starter Evan MacLane didn't get a decision but pitched a solid 7.2 innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five. Reliever Josh Kinney who should be getting close to getting a call from St. Louis, worked the final two frames to pick up the victory.

It is still somewhat amazing that Memphis is carrying a 19-9 won-loss record with a team batting average of just .231, the league's second worst BA and the league's worst on-base-percentage, with just a .310 mark. Memphis holds the league's best mark with a team 3.16 ERA, evidence that the old adage that pitching wins championships is true.

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


RECORD: 16-9, 1st Place - PCL American North Division


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Lost to NWA 3-2

Northwest Arkansas responded to the Cardinals double-header sweep Wednesday with a 3-2 win over Springfield Thursday to take a 4-3 lead is this season's series matchup.

Starter Tyler Herron suffered a tough loss, as he pitched his best game of the year. Herron allowed just two runs on three hits over a season-high 7 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out a season-best eight and walked just one.

Springfield staged a rally in the bottom ninth with Daryl Jones driving in James Rapoport who had hit a triple, from third to make it 3-2 before Brett Wallace flew out to deep left field for the final out.

The Cardinals fall to 15-11 on the season after the loss and are just 4-6 in their last 10 games.

DICKSON'S GEM: Although it was just seven innings, Brandon Dickson tossed the first shut-out of his pro career in game one of Wednesday's double-header. Dickson is the first Cards' pitcher to record a complete-game shut-out since Randy Leek blanked Frisco 6-0 back on August 14 of 2005. Dickson is also the first Texas League pitcher this year to record a shut-out.

BRETT WALLACE WATCH: Brett went 3-for-5 yesterday before flying out to deep left to end the game.

TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Brett Wallace (#2), Daryl Jones (#5), Pete Kozma (#12), Lance Lynn (#18), Francisco Samuel (#19), Tyler Herron (#25), and Steven Hill (#29).


RECORD: 15-11, 1st Place. Texas League North Division


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - Lost Again

The Cardinals lost their ninth straight game Thursday, the latest loss an 11-5 thumping at the hands of Charlotte Snow Crabs.

Starter Brian Broderick was roughed up in his three innings on the mound, giving up eight runs, six of them earned on 11 hits while striking out two. By the time the bullpen got into the game it was really too late. On a positive note Blake King pitched the final inning, striking out all three of the batters he faced.

Outfielder Shane Peterson had another good day at the plate, going 2-for-4, including his second home run on the season and he scored twice. Outfielder Tommy Pham went 3-for-4 with a double to raise his batting average to just .214. Tommy is coming off a very poor season offensively from last year when he hit just a combined .203 between Quad Cities and Palm Beach. One has to wonder how long he can stay in the Palm Beach lineup if he can't turn things around.

The Cardinals have now lost nine straight and have plummeted to the bottom of the standings with the worst record in the league. On a positive note, the team has the day off Sunday and the team has abandoned the piggy-back rotation system of which I have been so fervently opposed to for two years.

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


RECORD: 9-18, Last Place FSL South Division


Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Lost to Great Lakes 5-1

Starter Miguel Tapia suffered the loss, giving up four runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out two in his 3.1 innings on the mound. Give the bullpen some credit for keeping the game within reach, Scott McGregor and David Carpenter pitched a combined 3.2 shutout innings before Ramon Delgado gave up a home run in the eighth, as Great Lakes took a 5-1 lead and went on to win and take two-of-three against the Bandits.

The Bandits only run came off of a home run by outfielder Jon Edwards in the seventh. Outfielder Paul Cruz had the only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 in yesterday's game.

CATCHING ON: Charlie Cutler went 3-for-4 with another RBI on Wednesday night. Despite splitting time with fellow backstop Roberto Espinoza, the 22-year-old from San Francisco is second on the River Bandits with 18 RBI in as many games. Going into yesterday's game Cutler was also in the midst of a four-game hitting streak that has included three multi-hit games, a .571 (8-14) average and five runs batted in. The hot stretch has also seen his batting average skyrocket to .368, good for tops on the Bandits and fourth in the Midwest League. In yesterday's game Cutler extended his hitting streak to five games, going 1-for-4 in the loss.

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


RECORD: 14-12, Tied for 3rd Place, 2.5 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) - The GCL Cardinals open their season on June 23 vs. the GCL Marlins.

VSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts mid-May

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

Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Evan MacLane

Evan MacLane deserved a better fate than a no-decision, but was key to the Redbirds victory Thursday, pitching a solid 7.2 innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.



Minor League Player of the Day - Nick Stavinoha

Nick drove in the winning run again as he continues to lead the Memphis Redbirds feeble offense with 22 RBIs.



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