The Johnson City Cardinals were 4-3 this week (6-6 overall) and have now played each of their four rivals in the Western Division three games each. They are in a two-way tie with the Bristol White Sox for third place in the five-team Western Division of the Appalachian League, two games behind the Elizabethton Twins and one game behind the Greeneville Astros.
I was able to attend six of the seven games in person this week. Those observations provide the basis for this report.
There were five roster changes this week.
P Dean Kiekhefer went to Quad Cities to help out with the arm weary Bandits. Quad Cities played several long extra-inning games in a row. Kiekhefer was brilliant in his debut in the Midwest League. Kiekhefer pitched four innings of shutout baseball allowing just one groundball single and striking out two.
P Charllan Jimenez was promoted
from the Gulf Coast League (GCL).
Jimenez had a rough outing in his debut although he didn't get much help
from his defense. He gave up only
two hits and no earned runs over 1 2/3 innings pitched however, he walked two,
threw a wild pitch, gave up a three-run home run, watched his defense commit
three errors, and gave up six unearned runs for the loss. Better days are ahead for the
20-year-old from the
LF Steven Ramos was sent down to
the GCL. Ramos was 0-for-11 with
six strikeouts with
OF Oscar Taveras was promoted from
the GCL. Taveras becomes the new
youngest player on the
The roster drops from 32 active down to 31 active (max of 35).
C Juan Castillo took a foul tip
off of his throwing hand while catching during the ninth inning of Wednesday's
C Travis Tartamella took a wild pitch from P Pat Daugherty in the throat/neck area Saturday night. The ball bounced about six feet in front of the plate and took an unusually high bounce. He remained in the game after a lengthy delay.
Team Statistical Review
The offense posted a rather uninspiring line of .239/.295/.354 this week. They hit five home runs and are tied for third in the league. The batters rank no better than fourth in any other offensive category.
The defense committed 17 errors that contributed to 11 unearned runs. The last game of the week (Game 12) was the first in which they committed no errors. The Cardinals have allowed a league-worst 18 unearned runs.
The Cardinal pitching staff has the fourth best earned run average (3.00 ERA). The pitchers have issued the fewest walks of any team in the league (20) through their first twelve games. The pitchers also have the most saves (5) and holds (6) and the fewest hit batters (4). Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) is 1.18 which is third in the ten-team league. The relievers have inherited 20 runners while allowing just four to score. Twenty nine percent of the batters they have faced have grounded out while twenty four percent have struck out.
P Hector Corpas (4 SV, 0.00 ERA,
0.00 WHIP) had a very impressive one-inning, 10-pitch, all-strikes, save to
start the week. This allowed the
Cardinals to salvage one win in the last game of the three-game series against
the Greeneville Astros. LF Chris Edmondson (.286) hit his league leading third home run to lead
Corpas got back-to-back saves on a rainy Monday night in the first game of the series against the Bristol White Sox. The Cardinals scored all six of their runs in the fifth inning with the big blow being a three-run home run from DH David Medina (.333). The rain kept me at home for this one.
Defense did in the Cardinals on
Wednesday as they attempted the sweep against
Thursday brought the first
match-up between the 2008 and 2009 first and second place finishers in the
Appalachian League Western Division.
Friday was an important win for the Cardinals against the Twins. P Ryan Copeland (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.66 WHIP) had a rough first inning (28 pitches, 18 strikes) but settled down nicely and allowed no earned runs and just two hits over five innings to collect his second win. Copeland threw more balls (10) in the first inning than he did in the next four innings combined (9). Hector Corpas collected his fourth save with a six-pitch (five strikes) 1-2-3 ninth inning.
A string of five consecutive days
of nearly perfect weather in Northeast Tennessee continued for the start of a
four-game holiday weekend home stand on Saturday night in
Elizabethton 4 @
Tandem Starting Pitchers
Listed below are the
pairings. The five primary starters
(which usually switches between the two every six days) are limited to around 70
pitches (Johnson appears to be allowed closer to 80) and the secondary starters
are limited to 40-55 pitches (may vary from pitcher to pitcher). Five of the pitchers spent time in the
Cardinals organization last year (Hernandez, De Jesus, Daugherty, Johnson, and
Jimenez). The other four pitchers
were drafted during the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Tandem Starting Pitchers (9):
LHP Hector Hernandez and LHP Ryan Copeland
RHP Angel De Jesus and LHP Pat Daugherty
RHP Cale Johnson and Bullpen
RHP Trevor Rosenthal and RHP Charllan Jimenez
Tandem Starter Pitch Counts
Hector Hernandez: 59 pitches, 35 strikes, 7-for-17 first-pitch strikes.
Ryan Copeland: 44 pitches, 27 strikes, 8-for-10 first-pitch strikes.
Daugherty/De Jesus: Missed this game
Cale Johnson: 78 pitches, 50 strikes, 14-for-24 first-pitch strikes.
Charllan Jimenez: 45 pitches, 26 strikes, 6-for-12 first-pitch strikes.
Trevor Rosenthal: 68 pitches, 46 strikes, 13-for-16 first-pitch strikes.
Boone Whiting: 69 pitches, 53 strikes, 14-for-19 first-pitch strikes.
Jeff Nadeau: 54 pitches, 31 strikes, 7-for-12 first-pitch strikes.
Ryan Copeland: 70 pitches, 51 strikes, 13-for-18 first-pitch strikes.
Hector Hernandez*: >42 pitches, >31 strikes, ~9-for-12 first-pitch strikes.
Angel De Jesus: 51 pitches, 39 strikes, 11-for-18 first-pitch strikes.
Pat Daugherty: 49 pitches, 28 strikes, 7-for-15 first-pitch strikes.
* I had to miss a few pitches for Hernandez in the seventh inning of Friday night's game. He could have made as many as 50 pitches.
Who's Hot (Hitters)
C Travis Tartamella (.471) has hit in all five of his games played and is leading the team, in limited plate appearances, in batting average (.471 AVG), on base percentage (.471 OBP), and on base plus slugging percentage (1.176 OPS). He is second on the team in slugging percentage (.706 SLG).
LF Chris Edmondson (.286), despite going just 2-for-15 (.133) this week, is fourth in the league in home runs (3) and SLG (.714). He is sixth in the league in OPS (1.108). Edmondson had a very nice outfield assist at second base from deep left field Saturday night.
2B/SS Greg Garcia (.357) is the only player to see action in all twelve games this year. He is tied for fifth in the league in runs scored (10), tied for ninth in hits (15), and is tenth in AVG (.357).
2B/3B Packy Elkins (.316) was 5-for-14 (.357) this week with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.
3B Romulo Ruiz (.243) is tied for fourth in the league in walks (7).
OF Virgil Hill (.125) is tied for sixth in the league in walks (6) and tied for seventh in stolen bases (3). However, Hill was just 1-for-8 (.125) this week.
Who's Not Hot (Hitters)
C Juan Castillo (0.083) was 0-for-4 with one strikeout this week.
OF Reggie Williams (.235) was 0-for-6 with five strikeouts this week.
SS Cesar Valera (.118) was
2-for-19 (.105) this week with two errors in five games.
RF Roberto Reyes (.200) was 3-for-20 (.150) this week.
Who's Hot (Pitchers)
P Boone Whiting (pictured, 0-0, 3.60 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) has faced 40 batters this year. He has walked NONE while striking out seventeen (12 swinging and 5 looking). In fact, Whiting has only gone to a three-ball count once (struck that batter out looking on the next pitch). That is a strikeout per nine innings (K/9) rate of 15.3 which is better than all but one reliever on the team. Whiting's 17 strikeouts are good for fourth in the league. The three pitchers in front of Whiting in strikeouts have taken 14, 17, and 20 innings to do what he has done in just 10 innings. Whiting's WHIP is good for a tie for ninth in the league.
P Ryan Copeland (gallery below, 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.66 WHIP) won two games this week, leads the league in WHIP, and is tied for the league lead in ERA with three others.
P Cale Johnson (2-0, 0.82 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) is sixth in the league in ERA.
P Hector Corpas (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP) leads the league with four saves.
Pitchers with walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIPs) of 1 or less after twelve games include Hector Corpas (0.00), Ryan Copeland (0.66), Jeff Nadeau (0.67), and Boone Whiting (0.90).
P Francisco Guzman (0-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.62 WHIP) leads the team with 16.63 K/9.
P Angel De Jesus (1-0, 3.55 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) is tied for tenth in the league with 13 strikeouts. De Jesus has also allowed the ninth most hits (15) in the league.
P Chris Patterson (0-0, 5.79 ERA, 1.93 WHIP) is tied for the league lead in holds (2).
Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)
P Hector Hernandez is second in the league in home runs allowed (3).
P Charllan Jimenez and P Bob Revesz are the only pitchers with walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIPs) of 2 or greater. Amazingly enough, Jimenez actually has a 0.00 ERA.
Week Two Schedule
Game 13 (Sun): Johnson/Bullpen vs.
Game 14 (Mon): Rosenthal/Jimenez vs.
Game 15 (Tue): Whiting/Nadeau vs.
Game 16 (Wed): Hernandez/Copeland @
Game 17 (Thu): Daugherty/De Jesus @
Game 18 (Fri): Johnson/Bullpen @
Game 19 (Sat): Jimenez/Rosenthal @
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