The Cardinals moved two games
closer to the Elizabethton Twins (30-15) this week and distanced themselves from
third place Bristol White Sox (17-25).
A review of the team league
leaders shows that
I was able to attend eight of the nine games this week in person and those observations provide the basis for this report. I missed the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader with Elizabethton since there was about a 1:30 rain delay between the games and the second game didn't start until almost 10 p.m.
Roster and Injury Updates
Five players were promoted this
DH Richard Racobaldo, hitting in
the four-spot of the lineup in his first game with Quad Cities, was 1-for-4 with
a double, a stolen base, two runs scored, and an RBI. The River Bandits scored six runs in the
first inning to beat first-place
CF Michael Swinson led-off for
1B Matt Adams was the clean-up
hitter for the Muckdogs in his first game.
P Justin Smith pitched great for
P Jesse Simpson got off to a slow
Five replacements joined
LF Joey Hage posted a
.311/.360/.422 line in 16 games (.941 fielding percentage in 17 chances) with
the GCL this year. Hage was sick in
the off season and during extended spring training. Hage lost a lot of weight while he was
sick but has recovered now and returns to the
1B/DH Jonathan Rodriguez was selected in the 17th round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft and was assigned to the GCL. Rodriguez will turn 20-years-old in about two weeks. Rodriguez posted a .351/.462/.454 line in 30 games (1.000 fielding percentage in 62 chances) with the GCL this year.
3B Kleininger Teran was signed in
March 2006 out of
P Zach Russell was selected in the
49th round of the 2007 First Year Player Draft out of
P Angel DeJesus was signed in
2008 out of
Two more players joined
P Pat Daugherty was selected in the 12th round of the 2009 First Year Player Draft and was assigned to the GCL. Daugherty, a lefty who will turn 21-years-old in three weeks, was 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in 9 games and 2 starts (1.07 WHIP, 28 IP, 14 BB, 31 K) in the GCL.
Outfielder Rainel Rosario (.286, 7
doubles, 15 games) has completed rehabbing his right leg in Jupiter, FL and has
Outfielder CJ Beatty (.179, 2 HR) injured his right wrist on a strikeout in his first at bat Tuesday night (August 4). He had to come out of the game early and is now out for the season. This is a new injury to add to his bruised elbow suffered earlier in the year. Beatty had been restricted to DH prior to injuring his wrist. His last game in the outfield was June 26. Beatty will begin a rehab in Jupiter, FL next week.
After six deletions and seven additions this week, the active roster moves to 32 players (35 maximum) with one member of the roster rehabbing his injury in Jupiter, FL. The roster has 17 pitchers (10 tandem starters and 7 relievers) and 15 position players (3 catchers, 4 outfielders, and 8 infielders).
Pablo Ortiz (2-0, 6.75 ERA), a
starting tandem pitcher, missed his scheduled start on Monday July 20 due to
weakness in his shoulder and elbow.
Ortiz is rehabbing in Jupiter, FL.
There is no specific time frame scheduled for his return to
Infielder Romulo Ruiz (.136, 3 HR) continues to see most of his action as a designated hitter. Ruiz will slowly be integrated back into a day-to-day fielding position according to the coaches.
Second baseman Luis Mateo (.319, 3 HR, 5 SB, 18 games) suffered a hamstring injury on July 12 that was re-injured during warm-ups on July 23. Mateo has missed 23 games so far. Luis was on a four-game hit streak (7-for-16, .438) when he was injured. Mateo may be healthy enough to return to the lineup in about 8 days.
The Week in Review
Sunday: The last game of the year against the Bluefield Orioles was a 6-2 victory. The Cardinals won the home series 2-1 and won the annual series 4-2. P Jesse Simpson (3-0, 1.24 ERA) made his last appearance for Johnson City a victorious one as he moved into second place in the league in walks-plus-hits per inning pitched (0.86 WHIP) and took the league lead in ERA.
Simpson tossed five scoreless innings for the first time in eight appearances. Simpson's key point in the game was getting out of a bases-loaded, nobody-out, jam in the fifth inning with a 5-2 groundball force-out from Rich Racobaldo and Audry Perez and a 4-6-3 groundball double play from Ted Obregon, Hector Alvarez, and Matt Adams. Simpson finished his outing with eight groundball outs on his 73 pitches (42 strikes, 11-for-18 first-pitch strikes). Simpson allowed three singles and a walk while striking out four.
Simpson has a very good
cut-fastball and slider to go with his four-seam fastball. He can throw them all for strikes but
lacks a little bit of command with his slider from time to time. Simpson does an excellent job of keeping
his cut-fastball and slider down in the zone. He is hittable when he is behind in the
count and has to go with his four-seamer but that obviously didn't happen often
while he was with
The offense on Sunday was supplied by CF Michael Swinson (.347). The number "three" was the story early in the game. Swinson gave the Cardinals a 3-0 lead in the third inning with his third home run, a three-run shot. Swinson pulled a "3"-1 pitch that just barely cleared the right field wall. You guessed it; the "tale of the tape" was a little over "three" hundred feet. Swinson added an RBI double in the fifth inning to finish the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs.
DH Christian Beatty (.179) hit his second home run of the year in the fifth inning to give the Cardinals a 6-0 lead. Beatty pulled a 1-1 pitch about 380 feet high over the right field fence.
Second tandem starter Cale Johnson (1-0, 4.00 ERA) struggled with his control and allowed two earned runs over just one inning pitched. Johnson hit two batters, walked another, and allowed three hits. Johnson retired only three hitters on 39 pitches (22 strikes, 2-for-8 first-pitch strikes).
Reliever Jose Rada (3-0, 1.80 ERA) was impressive in his appearance. Rada escaped a runners-on-first-and-second, nobody-out jam in the seventh inning on 12 pitches (one strikeout, 10 strikes, 3-for-3 first pitch strikes). Rada followed that up with a nearly perfect eighth inning (one single) by recording two strikeouts on 14 pitches (12 strikes, 4-for-4 first-pitch strikes).
2B Ted Obregon (.303) has firmly established himself as the best bunter on the team and one of the best Cardinal bunters I have ever seen. Obregon had at least his fourth bunt single of the year and added his team leading sixth stolen base. The switch hitting Obregon is probably the fastest runner on the team now that Michael Swinson has been promoted.
Monday: The Appalachian League had a scheduled off-day but that didn't stop the Cardinals organization from adding some excitement by moving 25 different players throughout the organization. Besides the 5 members of this year's team that were promoted and the 5 newest members, 9-of-the-25 movers were former Johnson City Cardinals:
Jairo Martinez (2008) was released from
Casey Mulligan (2007) was promoted from
Osvaldo Morales (2008) was promoted from Quad Cities to
IF Jose Garcia (2007) was promoted from Quad Cities to
OF Ryde Rodriguez (2008) was promoted from
SP Eric Fornataro (2008) was promoted from
Domnit Bolivar (2007) was demoted from
Travis Mitchell (2008) was demoted from Quad Cities to
OF Jon Edwards (2007) was demoted from Quad Cities to
Tuesday: Game 1: The first game was a resumption of the rain suspended game from Wednesday July 29 in Elizabethton. The Twins were leading 8-3 in the bottom of the third. The good news is that the Cardinals outscored the Twins. The bad news is that they lost 10-6.
P Zach Russell (0-0. 2.70 ERA) made his debut by retiring his first eight batters in succession. However, Russell ran into control problems in the bottom of the sixth (3 BB, 0.2 IP, 29 pitches, 13 strikes). Russell finished the game with 59 pitches (31 strikes, 6-for-13 first pitch strikes).
1B Jonathan Rodriguez (.240) made
his debut a memorable by turning his first
Solo home runs by Edgar Lara (.255) and Ross Smith (.178) in the second inning tied the game at 3-3. Lara's shot (5th HR) was about 440 feet over the center field fence while Smith's drive (3rd HR) was pulled high over the left field netting above the fence at about 380 feet.
The Cardinals would go ahead for good and would end the scoring for the game in the fourth inning. 1B Jonathan Rodriguez (.240) led off with a 310 foot opposite field double to the base of the right field wall. Rodriguez scored after reaching third on an infield single by Kleininger Teran (.269) and getting home on a sacrifice fly by LF Joey Hage (.143).
Reliever Aaron Terry (5-0, 3.06 ERA) and closer David Kington (2-1, 4.05 ERA) shutdown the Twins the last three innings. Terry got his 4th win (27 pitches, 2 IP, one hit, two strikeouts) and Kington got his 7th save (11 pitches, 1 IP, 9 strikes, two strikeouts).
Wednesday: Game 1: The Cardinals were outhit in this one
8-6 but they outscored the Twins 3-1.
Starter Anthony Ferrara (1-1, 3.72
ERA) got into trouble in the fourth inning (one run on three hits including two
doubles) but limited the damage despite less than stellar control.
Reliever Jose Rada got the win (3-0, 1.80 ERA) and closer David Kington recorded his 8th save by scattering four singles over the last three innings. Rada threw 29 pitches over his two innings and Kington threw 16 pitches (11 strikes) in his one inning.
· Another one-run victory for the Cardinals.
· Travis Lawler (1-1, 3.77 ERA) earned his 1st professional victory.
· Every batter had a hit, run, or walk.
· Aaron Terry threw a perfect 7th inning (3 groundouts) and recorded his first save.
· CF Ross Smith had an outfield assist (his 3rd at home).
· The Cardinals were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left just four runners on base.
Thursday: Here is where the weekly summary gets a little brief since I am running out of time. Here are the highlights:
· Starter John Durham (1-1, 9.90 ERA) pitched well except for the 2nd inning.
· Reliever Jose Rada got his 1st save with a 22 pitch, heart-pounding 7th inning.
· The bases were loaded in the 7th when Rada got back-to-back outs via a swinging strikeout (9th pitch of the at-bat) and a ground out (0-2 pitch).
· The eventual winning run scored on a throwing error.
· There were five errors and four unearned runs in the game.
· The Cardinals were 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
· The Cardinals only had three hits and all three barely eluded gloves or outs.
· Starter Randy Santos (1-4, 5.23 ERA) struggled with his control all night long.
· Reliever Kyle Heim had his longest outing of the year.
· Heim had control problems early that were corrected with a pitching coach visit.
· Heim threw 22 pitches (7 strikes) to his first five batters (two walks).
· Heim finished with 59 pitches over three innings (33 strikes).
· The Cardinals were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Friday: This game was a frustrating 4-2 loss for the Cardinals. Starter Andy Moss threw an absolute gem of a ball game. Moss went the deepest of any pitcher this year with his pitch count and shutout the Kingsport Mets in game one of a three game series on just two hits. Here are the highlights:
· Andrew Moss (0-1, 1.70 ERA) allowed only an infield two-hop single to 3B Kleininger Teran and a bloop single near the right field line over seven innings.
· Moss allowed only two walks while striking out eight hitters, all swinging.
· Most of the strikeouts were on a wickedly effective curve ball that had Mets knees buckling most of the night.
· Moss threw 84 pitches (53 strikes, 13-for-25 first-pitch strikes).
· Moss' first pitch in the fifth inning to RF Cesar Puello was actually hit for a home run. The ball was fair by about six feet. Everyone in the stadium, including the Cardinals players and coaches, could see it was fair. Home plate umpire Rich Gonzalez called it foul (strike one). Moss ended up striking out Puello on three more pitches.
· The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead to the bottom of the eighth inning.
· Second tandem starter Reynier Gonzalez (2-4, 6.08 ERA) continued his struggles in the reliever role of the piggy-back system.
· Gonzalez got his first blown save and his second loss.
· Gonzalez allowed four eighth inning runs on three singles, a walk, and a hit batter.
· One of the singles and the hit batter were on 0-2 pitches.
· The eventual winning run scored on a single off of an 0-1 pitch.
Saturday: The Cardinals won yet another one-run
game; this one by a score of 6-5 in ten innings in
· DH Robert Stock (.337) hit his 4th home run off the scoreboard in right field in the first inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. It was about 350 feet.
· The Mets "ran wild' on C Travis Tartamella and whoever was pitching. They stole six bases without being caught once. Catching coordinator Dann Bilardello was in town watching. It certainly wasn't all due to Tartamella and the pitchers. The Mets have some very good base stealers.
· Starter Cale Johnson (1-0, 4.00 ERA) appears to be a classic pitch-to-contact pitcher.
· Johnson went five innings (63 pitches, 43 strikes) allowing seven hits and two runs while striking out none.
tandem starter Angel De Jesus (0-0, 13.50 ERA) made a shaky debut with
· De Jesus allowed two runs, three hits, and a walk with his 36 pitches over 1.1 innings.
· Reliever Travis Lawler got his second blown save.
· Reliever Aaron Terry (5-0, 3.06 ERA) pitched great again.
· Terry got his fifth win by throwing 31 pitches (22 strikes) over two innings.
· Five of the six outs Terry recorded were on swinging strikeouts and Terry never went to a three-ball count.
· SS Yunier Castillo (.269) was 3-for-4 with two runs, a double, and an RBI.
· C Travis Tartamella (.220) had some sweet revenge for all the base running going on against him. "Tart" had the game winning RBI single in the tenth on a 1-2 pitch that bounced just fair between the Met third baseman and the bag.
· Every position player except the right fielders (Audry Perez and Edgar Lara) had at least one hit.
Tandem Starting Pitchers
Listed below are the pairings for
RHP Reynier Gonzalez and RHP Andy Moss
RHP Cale Johnson (replaced Ortiz) and RHP Angel De Jesus (replaced Simpson)
RHP Chris Notti and RHP Zach Russell (replaced Smith)
LHP Anthony Ferrara and RHP Michael Thompson
Who's Hot (Hitters)
SS Yunier Castillo (.269) had a good week and has a 4-game hit streak. In five games this week, the slick fielding 20-year-old was 7-for-15 (.467) with four runs, two doubles, and an RBI. Castillo is the only hitter (besides Joey Hage who has only 21 at-bats in 8 games) who has yet to take a walk this year (119 at-bats and 28 strikeouts).
2B Ted Obregon (.303) was 10-for-27 (.370) with 8 runs in 8 games this week. Obregon added a double, two RBIs, and three stolen bases. Obregon now leads the team with 8 stolen bases (10 attempts).
C/DH Robert Stock (.337) was 7-for-19 (.368) this week with four runs, a home run, and four RBIs in 5 games. Stock has an 8-game hit streak during which he is 13-for-33 (.394).
C Travis Tartamella (.220) was 4-for-12 (.333) with a run, a walk, and two RBIs in 4 games this week.
IF Hector Alvarez (.265) was 3-for-7 (.429) with a run and a stolen base in 3 games this week.
Who's Not Hot (Hitters)
RF Edgar Lara (.255) was 4-for-22 (.182) in 8 games this week.
C/DH/RF Audry Perez (.191) was 1-for-12 (.083) in 5 games this week.
CF Ross Smith (.178) was 4-for-24 (.167) in 8 games this week.
LF Joey Hage (.143) was 3-for-21 in his first 8 games this week.
DH Romulo Ruiz (.127) was 1-for-8 (.125) in 4 games this week.
Who's Hot (Pitchers)
Andy Moss (0-1, 1.70 ERA pictured)
is now the best remaining original starter in batting average allowed
(.192). There is a significant gap
between Moss and the rest of the starters that have more than two starts at
Zach Russell (0-0, 2.70 ERA) is off to a good start. He has only pitched one game but he didn't allow a single hit over 3.1 innings pitched. He did allow one earned run and three walks though.
Closer David Kington (2-1, 4.05 ERA) is leading the league in saves (8) by two saves and is 1st in both games finished (14) and games (15). Kington has not allowed a home run in 13.1 IP. Kington pitched three scoreless innings this week while allowing two hits and no walks. Rada allowed just two hits (0.67 WHIP) while striking out four (12 strikeouts per nine-innings-pitched).
Reliever Jose Rada (3-0, 1.80 ERA) was 1-0 with one save and one hold in 3 games this week. Rada pitched five innings this week while allowing no runs and one walk. Rada allowed just four hits (1.00 WHIP) while striking out five (9.0 strikeouts per nine-innings-pitched).
Reliever Aaron Terry (5-0, 3.06 ERA) was 2-0 with a save in three games this week. Terry pitched five innings this week while allowing no runs and no walks. Terry allowed just two hits (0.40 WHIP) while striking out seven (12.6 strikeouts per nine-innings-pitched).
Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)
Several pitchers struggled this week. Starters Randy Santos (1-4, 5.23 ERA), Michael Thompson (0-2, 7.33 ERA), Reynier Gonzalez (2-4, 6.08 ERA), and Angel De Jesus (0-0, 13.50 ERA) all recorded WHIPs of 2.0 or greater this week.
Relievers Jason Novak (0-1, 6.08 ERA), Travis Lawler (1-1, 3.77 ERA), and Kyle Heim (0-1, 8.36 ERA) also all recorded WHIPs of 2.0 or greater this week.
Week Eight Schedule
Game 46 (Sun): Chris Notti followed by Zach Russell @ Kingsport Mets
Game 47 (Mon): Anthony Ferrara followed by Michael Thompson vs. Bristol White Sox
Game 48 (Tue): Randy Santos followed by Patrick Daugherty vs. Bristol White Sox
Game 49 (Wed): Reynier Gonzalez followed by Andy Moss vs. Bristol White Sox
Game 50 (Thu): Angel De Jesus followed by Cale Johnson vs. Kingsport Mets
Game 51 (Fri): Zach Russell followed by Chris Notti vs. Kingsport Mets
Game 52 (Sat): Michael Thompson followed by Anthony Ferrara vs. Kingsport Mets
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