VSL Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week Two

Josh Jones' weekly report on the 2010 Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals season. Catcher/first baseman Limbert Rivas is among the hot hitters.

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals extended their losing streak to seven games and now are 2-8 in the league.  The team sits in last place, four and a half games out of first.  They have an identical 1-4 record at home and on the road.


The Cardinals' road game against the Pirates was canceled due to rain to start this period.


The Cardinals welcomed in the Rays for the following game.  The Redbirds jumped out in front with two runs in the first to only give it up due to errors.  The Rays scored four runs between the fourth and sixth innings with only one being earned.  The Cardinals however did not capitalize on the four errors committed by the Rays, losing 4-2.  Deimer Bier struck out six of his 14 batters faced and Breyvic Valera came through with a double and RBI in the game.


The Cardinals went on the road to visit the Tigers in the next contest.  The Tigers jumped all over the Redbirds starter scoring five runs in the first three innings.  The Cardinals made a comeback mid-game but came up short losing 6-4.  Ronnierd Garcia and Marlon Sucre each had two hits and one RBI, while Douglas Planchart tossed three scoreless innings of relief.


The Phillies rolled into town to take on the Cardinals in the next game.  The Phillies gathered together 15 hits total and knocked around the Redbirds first three pitchers of the contest.  The Cardinals scored their first runs in the fifth inning in a comeback that came up short in a 9-5 loss to the Phils.  Jem Argenal drove in two runs and Gerwuins Velazco had two hits and one RBI.


The Cardinals took a day off on the 27th.


The Cardinals went on the road to face the Reds and it turned out disappointing in the end.  The Redbirds scored one in the first while the pitching staff held the Reds scoreless for seven innings.  The Reds collected two hits and a walk in their final frame, which ended up costing the Cardinals the game in the end.  The Reds put up three runs in the bottom of the eighth and held the Cards scoreless in the ninth for a 3-0 win.  Ramon Ulacio tossed five scoreless innings allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out four.


For the final game of this period, the Cardinals visited a former foe in the Mariners and Vicente CamposCampos, who handled the Cardinals last week, didn't get the same outcome this time as he only pitched three innings.  The game went back and forth with both teams taking the lead from the other.  The Mariners pulled it out in the end with a 6-5 victory, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. 



Who's Hot


Limbert Rivas will carry a three-game hitting streak into the next week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 4-for-10 (.400) with one run, three walks, two strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He played three games at first base, one at catcher, and one split between catcher and first base.  Rivas had one passed ball and threw out one of four base stealers.


Breyvic Valera has a six-game on base streak to add onto in the next period.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 7-for-20 (.350) with one double, one RBI, three runs, and three walks.  He played two games at second base, one at short (committing one fielding error), one between second and shortstop, and one between second and third base.


Ronnierd Garcia has his own five-game on base streak to build on next week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 6-for-16 (.375) with one double, two RBIs, two runs, three walks, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, and four strikeouts.  He played four games at third base (committed one fielding error and assisted in one double play) and one between third and first base.


Douglas Planchart continued to bring down his ERA, only allowing one earned run over 5.1 innings.  In his first relief appearance, he tossed three scoreless innings only giving up two hits and striking out one.  The 18-year old right-hander then pitched 2.1 innings, four days later, allowing one earned run, one walk, one balk, and striking out one.  Over his two games pitched, the VSL rookie had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 10-to-4 and kept his only inherited runner on base.


Ramon Ulacio had one of the most impressive outings by any starter this 2010 season.  The 19-year old right-hander was called upon for the May 28th start.  He pitched five innings allowing two hits, no runs, one walk, and struck out four.  Ulacio had a ground out-to-fly ratio of 4-to-5 and did not earn a decision in the game.



Who's Not


Manuel Marquez rode the bench in the last two games as he has a three-game hitless streak.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 0-for-12 with one run, two walks, and five strikeouts.  He played one game at shortstop, one at second base, and one between the two positions (committing one fielding error).


Tharick Martines shows he has an arm for the outfield but no bat at the plate yet.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 1-for-16 (.063) with two runs, two walks, four strikeouts, grounded into one double play, and was picked off.  He played three games in left field (two outfield assists), one in centerfield, and one as designated hitter.


Johnny Polanco has been up and down in his first three appearances this season.  The 18-year old right-hander was called on during the May 26th game and gave up six hits, three earned runs, and struck out one over three innings of relief.  His ground out-to-fly out ratio was 2-to-5.


Fermin Montanez was ripped up in his latest start.  The 19-year old right-hander coughed up five runs (four earned), one home run, one walk, hit one batter, and struck out two over three innings on May 25th.  He earned the losing decision (0-1) and had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 3-to-4.


Anderson Gerdel is having some troubles adjusting to the rookie-level VSL this early season.  The 17-year old right-hander made two relief appearances for a total of two innings this period.  He gave up seven hits, six earned runs, two walks, and struck out two.  Gerdel had a combined ground out-to-fly out ratio of 0-to-3.





18-year old left-hander John De Aguas has yet to make an appearance this season.


20-year old left-hander Dail Villanueva should be making his 2010 debut any day now.



Venezuelan Summer League Stats


The Cardinals are batting .247 which is tied for fifth overall in the league.  The team is first in hits (tied) and strikeouts, third in total bases and walks, fourth in runs and doubles, fifth in  RBIs, sixth in OBP and OPS, and last (seventh) in SLG.


The pitching has a 4.83 ERA (last) and 1.36 WHIP (fourth).  The team is first in hits allowed, runs allowed, earned runs, hit by pitches (tied), and strikeouts.  The club is also fourth in walks allowed and fifth in home runs given up.


Breyvic Valera is fourth in batting average, tied for fifth in runs, first in hits, tied for first in total bases, sixth in OBP, tenth in SLG, and eighth in OPS.

Lainer Bueno is tied for fifth in runs.

Ronnierd Garcia is tied for seventh in hits.

Jem Argenal is tied for tenth in hits.

Gerwuins Velazco is tied for first in doubles, tied for second in RBIs, and tied for eighth in walks.
Marlon Sucre is tied for fifth in doubles.

Limbert Rivas is tied for third in home runs and tied for eighth in walks.

Deimer Bier is fifth in inning pitched, second in strikeouts, and sixth in WHIP.

Douglas Planchart is ninth in innings pitched and tied for fifth in strikeouts.



Who's Next (Overall, vs. Cardinals)


May 30: Pirates (5-3, 0-0)

May 31: @ Rays (4-5, 2-0)

June 1: Tigers (5-4, 1-1)

June 2: @ Phillies (5-4, 1-1)

June 3: Off day

June 4: Reds (7-4, 2-0)

June 5: Mariners (5-6, 2-0)



Find Josh Jones blogging at Cardinals Best News Links or visit his Twitter account for occasional commentary.


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