DSL Cardinals Report: August 3, 2009

Josh Jones' weekly report on the 2009 Dominican Summer League Cardinals, who are playing .618 baseball.

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals began the week extending their winning streak from one to three games, then alternated wins and losses in the next five games.  The Redbirds took four of seven games improving their record to 34-21 and three games out of first place.  The team is 19-8 at home and 15-13 on the road.


The Cardinals opened the week up hosting the Mariners.  The Redbirds got stellar pitching from their starter who held the M's to only one run in the first six innings.  The Cardinals took advantage of a pair of errors and tacked on three in the second then added on another three in the final two frames.  The Cardinals beat the Mariners 6-2.


The Cardinals visited the Athletics in the next game.  The A's began the scoring with three in the first and plated three more in the third and fourth innings to knock the Cardinals starter out.  The Redbirds did much the same, but they scored eight on the A's starter then added on another four on their game finisher.  Both teams scored multiple runs in three of their innings but the Cardinals took the win at 12-8.


The Phillies came to town for a doubleheader on the next day to face the Cardinals.  The Phils struck first but the Cardinals scored four in the bottom of the third and held the lead until the sixth.  The Redbirds called on their closer to hold the Phillies in place but instead he allowed five runs including two that were inherited and the game.  The Cardinals tried to make a comeback but came up short as the Phillies won 9-7.


In the second game of the Cardinals-Phillies meeting, both team's starters pitched great through the first five frames.  Then came the sixth when both teams ramped it up, knocking each team's opener out of the game.  The Phillies were the first scoring three then they pulled their starter after one run by the Cardinals.  The Redbirds hammered out the Phils reliever for another five runs on errors and doubled them up 6-3.


The Cardinals went on the road to take on the Mariners in the next contest.  The Cardinals scored first and even had the lead heading into the bottom of the seventh with a 5-2 score.  The Redbirds starter went sour in the seventh coughing up three runs and then the M's slapped on another three more (one in eighth) on the Cards reliever.  The Mariners plated five in the seventh and claimed the game with an 8-5 victory.


The Athletics visited the Cardinals in the next game.  The Redbirds took an early lead scoring three in the fourth, but the A's tied it up on a couple of Cardinals errors.  The Cards then added on three in the sixth and plated another two in the following inning to win the game at 8-3.


In the final game of this period, the Cardinals went on the road to face the Phillies for the third time during this last week.  Both team's starters were pitching great, holding their opponents to two runs each until the sixth.  The Redbirds were the first to score with one in the top half and then the Phils roughed up the Cards starter for three runs.  The Cardinals were able to tie it up and send it into extras where their closer failed for the second time this period and the Phillies won 7-6.


Who's Hot


Juan Castillo will carry a four-game hitting streak into the next period.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 9-for-20 (.450) with two doubles, one home run, five RBIs, six runs, four walks, two stolen bases, one caught stealing, and grounded into one double play.  He played three games at first base (involved in two double plays), three games behind the plate (allowed four stolen bases and had one throwing error), and one as a pinch hitter.  The third-year Cardinal player has not struck out in his last nine consecutive games.


Roberto Reyes will look to add on to his 18-game on base streak in the next period.  The 20-year old left-handed hitter went 8-for-22 (.364) with six runs, four walks, six stolen bases, and seven strikeouts.  He played one game in right field, two at first base (involved in three double plays and had one missed catch error), three in centerfield (two outfield assists and one double play), and one between both first and center.  The second-year DSL player is hitting .344 (11-for-32) with ten runs scored, six walks, and six stolen bases in his last ten games.


Luis Pimentel found his stroke once again after slumping the past few weeks.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles, one home run, five RBIs, six runs, four walks, one hit by pitch, two stolen bases, one sacrifice, one strikeout and one caught stealing.  He played two games at third base (one throwing error), three at first base (two double plays), and one as designated hitter. 


Charllan Jimenez made contributions on the mound from both the back end and front end of the games.  The 19-year old right-hander was called on to pitch some extended innings out of the bullpen on July 27.  He gave up three hits, one earned run, one home run, one walk, hit one batter, and struck out three for his first career save.  Then on July 31 he was placed back in the rotation, pitching five innings and allowing three hits, one earned run, three walks, and striking out four.  Cardinals VP of Scouting and Development Jeff Luhnow even mentioned him in a list of names, on his twitter account, as a possible candidate for Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July 2009 (Batavia's Scott Schneider earned the award).


Willy Paulino was the only starter this week to have a solid outing.  The 19-year old right-hander made his second start of the season on July 29.  He pitched six innings and allowed three hits, two earned runs, two walks, hit one batter, uncorked one wild pitch, and struck out a season-high seven for his first win of the season.  The rookie DSL pitcher has struck out 22 and walked 13 over 24.1 innings this season and carries a 4.44 ERA.


Who's Not


Juan B Cabrera collected hits in two of his five games played during this period.  The 21-year old right-handed hitter went 3-for-18 (.167) with one triple, one RBI, one run, one walk, one stolen base, three strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He played four games at third base (committing one fielding and one throwing error) and one at second base.  The third-year DSL player has gone 5-for-29 (.172) in his last ten games.


Santo Sandoval could only again kick out one hit this last week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 1-for-11 (.091) with two RBIs, three runs, one stolen base, one sac fly, and five strikeouts.  He played one game in left field, three in right, one at first base, and one as a pinch runner.  The second-year DSL player has gone 2-for-21 (.095) with 12 strikeouts in his last ten games.


Eduard Estalis made two really horrible appearances this past week.  The 20-year old right-hander first appeared on July 29 and pitched the final two and a third innings of the game.  He coughed up seven hits, five earned runs, two walks, struck out four, let both inherited runner score and earned his third blown save and third loss of the season.  On August 1, he came in during a tie ball game and allowed one hit, one earned run, two walks, and earned his fourth loss of the season.  Since picking up three consecutive saves (between July 13-16), he has now taken losses in his last three games pitched.


Ramon Urena went a little wild in his latest start of the season.  The 19-year old right-hander pitched on July 30, allowing seven hits, five earned runs, two walks, hit one batter, threw three wild pitch, and struck out two over six and two-thirds.  The rookie DSL pitcher has only made two really bad outings this season and he currently carries a 3-1 record and 3.65 ERA.


Jefferson Segundo really outdid Urena in the uncontrollable department.  The 19-year old right-hander received a spot start on July 28 and was all over the place.  He pitched three and two-thirds innings allowing two hits, six earned runs, seven walks, five wild pitches, hit one batter, and struck out three.  The rookie DSL pitcher has walked 23 and struck out 12 over 13.2 innings this year.


The Happenings


Victor Ferreira (injury) hasn't played since July 14 and Luis Perez since July 21.


Alejandro Pinard and Juan Mercedes haven't pitched since July 17, Rosalin Rudecindo since July 18, and Pedro Pena since July 21.


Andres Beras has only played in two games (July 24 and 28) since July 18.


Michael Avila (hadn't played since July 14) made his return playing in four games this last week.  He went 3-for-10 (.300) with one double, two RBIs, two runs, two walks, one stolen base, four strikeouts, and one caught stealing.


Adriano Uribe (out since June 11), Delvi Rodriguez (July 16), and Luis Mata (June 22) all made their returns to the mound on July 31.  Uribe pitched one scoreless inning allowing two hits, one walk, and picked up a winning decision.  Rodriguez pitched a one hitless and scoreless inning.  Mata walked two and struck out four over two hitless and scoreless innings.


Dominican Summer League Stats


The Cardinals hitting improved from .245 to .249 on the season.  The team ranks first in doubles; second in triples and stolen bases; sixth in total bases and SLG; eighth in runs scored, RBIs, and OPS; and tenth in hits.


The Cardinals pitching took another hit moving upward from 3.57 to 3.74 and their WHIP stayed at 1.43.  The team is ranked tied for fifth in saves; tied for sixth in shut outs, home runs allowed, and strikeouts; and eighth in wins.


Grabiel Hernandez second in runs and tied for first in triples.

Eduard Estalis is tied for tenth in saves and game finishes.


Next Up (Overall, vs. Cardinals)

August 3: Mariners (37-18, 10-9)

August 4: @ Athletics (16-39, 3-14)

August 5: Phillies (23-32, 8-11)

August 6: @ Mariners (37-18, 10-9)

August 7: Athletics (16-39, 3-14)

August 8: @ Phillies (23-32, 8-11)

August 9: Off Day



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