DSL Cardinals Report: July 6, 2009

Josh Jones' weekly report on the 2009 Dominican Summer League Cardinals, currently on a six-game winning streak.

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals had perfect week this past period and will have a season-high six-game winning streak to extend in the next week.  The Redbirds improved to 19-12 and jumped up to two games out of first behind the Mariners in the Santo Domingo North Division.  The Cardinals are 11-4 at home and 8-8 on the road.


The Cardinals opened this period up hosting the Mariners.  Both teams switched off taking the lead in the contest but the Cardinals pulled off the lead and win in the end after a couple errors bit the M's. The Redbirds plated four runs in the bottom of the eighth and took the lead as the Cardinals closer coughed up a couple runs but still held the on for a 10-8 win.


The Cardinals went on the road in the next game taking on the Athletics.  The Redbirds struck first and then added on another four in the sixth.  The Cardinals pitching staff, with some help from the defense, held the A's scoreless and struck out a total of ten over the course of the game.  The Cardinals shut out the Athletics 5-0.


The Phillies came to town to take on the Cardinals in the following game.  The Cardinals jumped out in front, once again, as the team received solid pitching from their reborn starter.  An error committed by the Redbirds in the seventh allowed two to score but they were able to hold on and double up the Phils 4-2.


The Cardinals took on the Mariners for a second time this period, but this time they were on the visiting team.  This game, like earlier in the week, was high scoring with the Redbirds taking an early lead and holding it despite three runs crossing the plate in the ninth for a late run by the M's.  The Cardinals came out on top 9-8.  The Dominican Summer League official site posted pictures from the game here.


The Athletics visited the Cardinals in the next game, for their second meeting this period.  The Redbirds jumped all over the A's in the early going, scoring ten runs in the first six frames.  The Cardinals did however commit an error in the ninth to allow the A's to score a couple runs.  The Cardinals won 10-4 and it came on nine hits.


The Cardinals visited the Phillies in the final game of this report.  The Cardinals opened the game up scoring three in the top of the first and some great pitching from only two pitchers in this contest.  Their starter held them to three runs on five hits, but the game finisher was hitless in the final five frames.  The Cardinals went on to double up the Phils 6-3.


Who's Hot


Grabiel Hernandez had his nine-game hitting streak snapped in the final game of the week, but managed to extend his on base streak to an impressive 15 games.  The 17-year old switch-hitter went 10-for-23 (.435) with two doubles, two triples, one home run, three RBIs, 11 runs, five walks, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, four strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  Hernandez even hit for the cycle on July 2, a first this season by any DSL Cardinal.  The rookie shortstop helped turn four double plays and committed just one error in six games played.


Luis Pimentel will be carrying a five-game hitting streak into the next week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 7-for-19 (.368) with two doubles, one home run, six RBIs, five runs, three walks, two sac flys, one stolen base, and one caught stealing/pickoff.  Pimentel committed two fielding errors while playing two games at third base, was on the back end of two double plays at first base, and was designated hitter for one game.  One of the most interesting numbers to keep an eye on is the fact he has only ten strikeouts in 113 at-bats.


Roberto Reyes continues to slug away and drive in runs for the Cardinals.  The 20-year old left-handed hitter went 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles, five RBIs, three runs, two walks, six strikeouts, ground into one double play, and was caught stealing once.  He jumped around the field playing in right field, centerfield, and at first base where he committed an error misplaying an incoming throw.  Reyes has driven in seven runs in the last ten games, but also has ten strikeouts.


Yorbel Alcala has finally found his stroke in the Dominican Summer League after starting the season out slow.  The 19-year old switch-hitter went 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles, three RBIs, four runs, two walks, one stolen base, and struck out four times.  He played four of five games behind the plate where he threw out four of 11 base runners (36% rate) and allowed one passed ball.  The former VSL Cardinal has picked up 12 hits in his last ten games, including four multi-hit games.


Charllan Jimenez has one of the most impressive starts of the his 2009 season yet and best of the week for the Cardinals.  The 19-year old right-hander tossed six scoreless innings on July 1 and allowed only two hits, three walks, hit one batter, and struck out seven.  The second-year DSL pitcher seems to have moved passed any past problems that limited him last season and made the return to the rotation at this time.  Jimenez leads the team in ERA (1.61), strikeouts (38), is tied for the team lead in wins (3), and has walked a total of eight over 28 innings.


Keury Herrera has gotten back on track after starting off the season on a rough note.  The 18-year old left-hander made the start on June 30, pitching five scoreless innings and allowing three hits, for walks, uncorked one wild pitch, threw away ball for an error, and struck out a season-high six.  He also picked up his first winning decision of the season and has only allowed one earned run over his last four appearances, spanning 15 innings.


Who's Not


Jesus Montero is flip flopping back and forth, having one great week and in the next is a tough week.  The 18-year old right-handed hitter went 2-for-16 (.125) with one double, three RBIs, one run, one walk, four strikeouts, and grounded into one double play.  The former VSL player played three games at first base (committing one fielding error and turning one double play, one as the back stop (throwing out one of two runners) and one as designated hitter.


Santo Sandoval just couldn't generate any offense this past period, wearing the sombrero all week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 0-for-12 with one walk, six strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He split his four games played in left and right field.  After hitting his first home run of the season on June 26th, he has gone hitless over the next five consecutive games. 


Stalyn Lopez got his shot at a rotation spot this past week and didn't do so well.  The 17-year old left-hander gave up five hits, four earned runs, one home run, uncorked one wild pitch, walked a season-high five, and struck out one over 3.2 innings on July 2.  He saw his ERA balloon to 5.06 on the season and this was his worst (in terms of extended) outing of the year.


Eduard Estalis is not benefiting from an extended stay in the Dominican and may be watching his invite to Jupiter gallop away over the horizon.  The 20-year old right-hander made two relief appearances, the first coming on June 29.  He came in to close of the game an instead blew his second save of the season coughing up three hits, two earned runs, one wild pitch, over two innings, including allowing both inherited runners to score.  In his second outing, on July 1, he pitched one and a third giving up one hit, three runs (two earned), one walk, and striking out one.  The second-year DSL pitcher has now been burned in four of his ten appearances this season but does have four saves.


Delvi Rodriguez is struggling with his placement and control this season.  The 18-year old left-hander made his first appearance on June 29, as he entered in the eighth inning, walking two, and watched both score from the bench without recording an out.  Rodriguez made had his next outing come on July 3, as he allowed one hit, three runs (one earned), two walks, hit two batters, and struck out one over one inning.  The rookie reliever has now walked at least one batter in each of his games pitched (including two in the last two) for a season total of seven over 3.2 innings.


The Happenings


Adriano Uribe has only made two appearances (two starts) this season and hasn't pitched since June 11.


Ramon Urena hasn't pitched since June 16, Luis Mata since June 22, and Jefferson Segundo since June 27.


Wader Perez made his return to the Cardinals lineup on July 2.  He played in two games this past week going 3-for-7 (.429) with three RBIs, one run, two walks, and was caught stealing three times.


Juan Mercedes also made his return after missing ten days.  The left-hander had his best appearance of the season, pitching a hitless and scoreless inning and striking out one.


Andres Beras was activated from the restricted list after serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs last summer.  He made his 2009 debut on July 3 going 1-for-4 with one RBI, two runs, one stolen base, and one strikeout.


And for anybody that has been living under a rock this past week, the July 2nd international signing period began.  The St. Louis Cardinals signed former pitcher and high-profiled outfielder Wagner Mateo with a $3.1 million bonus.  Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch posted in his Birdland blog that there is a chance of him maybe getting some time in with the Dominican League Cardinals later this summer.  Just don't get your hopes up.


Former St. Louis Cardinals' international free agent signing Santo Franco is working out for scouts as he prepares for next season's signing period.


ESPN Deportes' Jorge Arangure tweeted that the Cardinals were one of four teams scouting catcher Jacob Beltre out of the Dominican Republic. He's a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder that bats and throws right. Scouts love his bat and project he'll be moved to first base sometime in his career.  I wouldn't expect the Cardinals to make a huge run at him after the organization already committed a huge chunk of change on Mateo, and Beltre will command at most a six-figure bonus.


And last but not least...Baseball Prospectus' Kiley McDaniel tweeted that new regulations have been put in place, with the MLB requiring all incoming Dominican prospects to take DNA tests to confirm their ages.  ESPN's Peter Gammons went out on a limb to say that teams should be warned that a possibility of 70 or so players could be deported by year's end for irregular background checks, which comes with a one-year suspension.  (note: Gammons' Twitter account is protected)


The Cardinals' VP of Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow went on to explain (segment seven) in one of his latest radio appearances on Inside STL about the precautions the Cardinals organization takes in protecting against any further false identities.


Dominican Summer League Stats


For the second week in a row, the Cardinals' team batting improved, rising from .242 to .251 on the season which is getting close to penetrating the top ten in the league.  The team ranks first in doubles, tied for second in triples, fourth in runs scored and tied for fourth in RBIs, sixth in total bases, seventh in SLG and OPS, tied for ninth in hits, and tenth in walks.


The Cardinals' pitching also improved from the previous week's 4.28 mark to 4.02.  Their WHIP went from 1.56 to 1.51 on the season.  The team is tied for seventh in wins, teied for tenth in shut outs, and sixth in strikeouts.


Grabiel Hernandez is eighth in batting average, third in runs, tied for eighth in hits, second in triples, tied for eighth in total bases, sixth in SLG, and sixth in OPS.

Luis Pimentel is tied for sixth in doubles.

Eduard Estalis is tied for tenth in game finishes.


Next Up (Overall, vs. Cardinals)

July 6: Mariners (21-10, 5-5)

July 7: @ Athletics (9-22, 3-7))

July 8: Phillies (13-18, 4-7)

July 9: @ Mariners (21-10, 5-5)

July 10: Athletics (9-22, 3-7)

July 11: @ Phillies (13-18, 4-7)

July 12: Day Off


Past Recaps Posted at The Cardinal Nation

June 15, 2009

June 22, 2009

June 29, 2009



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