VSL Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 8

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals went 3-5 last week, are seven games under .500 and 8 1/2 games out of first place.

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals had another long week with two doubleheaders on the schedule as the team went 3-5 for this period.  The club is 19-26 and eight and a half games out of first place.  The team is 11-11 at home and 8-15 on the road.


The Cardinals opened this last week up with a doubleheader at the Pirates.  In the first game, the Redbirds were the first to score with the Bucs following right behind in the bottom half of the first.  The Pirates scored another two runs, one in the second and one in the fifth.  The Bucs then shut down the Cardinals offense for the final six frames for the 4-2 win.  Marlon Sucre hit a two-run home run.


In game two, the Pirates took the early lead away from the Cardinals with five runs in the bottom of the first.  The Redbirds pitchers came through with five shutout innings to end the game, but the offense only plated one run after the first in the 5-2 loss.  Gerwiuns Velazco drove in one run, while Silfredo Garcia and Kevin Cueto combined for four scoreless frames.


The Cardinals came home to host the Rays in the third game of the week and put an end to their losing streak.  The Redbirds scored four runs in the third and added two more in fifth and eighth innings.  The Rays only managed to get two runs across in the Cardinals 8-2 victory.  Ronnierd Garcia and Kevin Gonzalez each drove in two runs.  Ramon Ulacio gave up just one run over six innings in his latest start.


The Cardinals then went on the road to play the Tigers and carried over their success from the previous game.  The Redbirds took over the lead with two in the fifth, but the Tigers answered back with two of their own, re-taking the lead.  The Cardinals then pounded out six more in the top of the sixth for what would be the winning runs, and added another in the eighth.  Breyvic Valera tripled and drove in one run.  Tharick Martines and Jose Gomez each had two RBIs.  Ismael Brito struck out three in the final two scoreless frames.


The Phillies came to town to take on the Cardinals, and the Redbirds lost a heart breaker in extras.  The Phils scored three in the first and the Cardinals answered back with four in the bottom half.  The Redbirds added another in the seventh for the 5-3 lead, but the bullpen coughed up the game allowing the Phillies to tie in the ninth and eventually win in the tenth.  Angelo Echeverria pitched three scoreless relief innings mid-game.


The Cardinals visited the Reds for the team's second doubleheader of the week.  The Redbirds opened with their number one pitcher who combined with one reliever to shut down the Reds offense.  The Cardinals weren't the only ones blanking the offense as the Reds only gave up two runs and held them to three hits.  The Reds defense stumbled as the Redbirds won 2-0.  Deimer Bier and Geudy Guerra tag teamed for seven shutout innings and only two hits.


The second game went the other way for the Reds.  The Cardinals pitching wasn't bad at all but the defense didn't hold up their end of the bargain, allowing the Reds to score six times in the seventh.  The Reds blanked the Cardinals 8-0.  Alberth Ameida gave up on run over four innings in the start.


The Cardinals final game for this period was on the road against the Mariners.  The M's scored first and held the lead the whole game with the Redbirds scoring two in the fourth and attempting a late comeback in the eighth.  The game and Cardinals chances at a ninth inning rally were cut short, most likely due to rain, as the club lost 4-3.  Jem Argenal launched a two-run shot. 



Who's Hot


Breyvic Valera collected two multi-hit games and has a two-game hitting streak to add onto in the next week.  The 17-year old switch-hitter went 8-for-26 (.308) with three doubles, one triple, two RBIs, three runs, five walks, one stolen base, two strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He played four games at second base (assisted in three double plays), two in centerfield (one fielding error), one at shortstop (one fielding error and assisted in one double play), and one between both second base and center.  Valera leads the team in runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, total bases (tied), stolen bases, SLG, AVG, and OPS.


Limbert Rivas has a four-game hitting streak to work with in the next week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 6-for-20 (.300) with one double, three runs, two walks, one hit by pitch, and one stolen base.  He played three games at first base (assisted in one double play and committed one pickoff error) and three games at catcher (picked three runs off, allowed one stolen base, and threw one runner out).  Rivas leads the team in OBP.


Jose Gomez has a four-game on base streak to add onto next week.  The 18-year old right-handed hitter went 4-for-12 (.333) with one home run, three RBIs, five runs, one walk, one stolen base, and one strikeout.  He played two games as designated hitter and two games behind the plate (assisted in one double play, threw one runner out, and committed two throwing and one pickoff errors).


Lainer Bueno will look to extend his three-game hitting streak in the next week.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 7-for-25 (.280) with one RBI, four runs, one walk, one hit by pitch, and one stolen base.  He played three games at shortstop, three games at second base (assisted in three double plays and committed one throwing error).  


Ramon Ulacio has seven quality starts of out eight this season.  The 19-year old right-hander made his most recent appearance on July 5th going six innings allowing six hits, one earned runs, two walks, hit one batter, and struck three out for the winning decision (2-4).  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 7-to-4.  



Who's Not


Jhohan Acevedo will look to put an end to his three-game hitless streak.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 2-for-11 (.182) with one RBI, one run, two walks, one hit by pitch, one sac fly, and two strikeouts.  He played all five games in centerfield.


Ronnierd Garcia started off the week in pretty good shape, but struggled to get a hit in his last five-games.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 2-for-27 (.074) with four RBIs, one run, two walks, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, four strikeouts, and grounded into one double play.  He played all eight games at third base, helping turn two double plays and committed one fielding error.


Dail Villanueva was bumped from the rotation and things didn't get any better in the pen.  The 20-year old left-hander was called on for relief in the July 6th game.  He pitched 1.1 innings giving up one hit, two earned runs, three walks, hit one batter, and struck one out.  Villanueva had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 0-to-2. 


Jhonatan Escudero stumbled again in his latest start, his third of the season.  The 17-year old right-hander was pulled after two innings on July 4th.  He gave up two hits, five runs (three earned), four walks, threw one wild pitch, and struck one out for the losing decision (0-2).  Escudero had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 3-to-0.  He has walked ten and struck out thee in three starts this season.


Kender Villegas struggled in his first start of the season.  The 17-year old right-hander was called for the July 7th opening and allowed four hits, three earned runs, and three walks.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 4-to-3.  Villegas has coughed up 14 hits, 13 runs (11 earned), one home run, ten walks, and struck out five in his last five appearances.



The Happenings


Jose Martinez still has not played this season due to an elbow injury and John DeAguas remains out with shoulder/arm issues.


Manuel Marquez has been out since June 25th and Roberto Canache since July 3rd.


Kevin Cueto (out since June 26th), Silfredo Garcia (June 20th), and Anderson Gerdel (June 26th) all returned to action on July 4th; Geudy Guerra (June 25th) on July 5th; and Angelo Echeverria (June 26th) on July 7th.


Vicente Campos (Former MiLB Signing-Mariners) had made eight starts posting a 5-1 record (tied for league lead in wins) and 3.41 ERA.  He's allowed 33 hits, 16 runs (14 earned), 13 walks, and struck out 37 over 37 innings.



International Signings


Rockies - Ronny Mejias, shortstop

Mets - Vicente Lupo, outfielder

Mets - Leon Jackson, infielder

Blue Jays - Gabriel Cenas, third baseman

Diamondbacks - Yorman Garcia, centerfielder

Blue Jays - Adonis Cardona, right-handed pitcher

Yankees - Alfredo Junior Castellon (Colombia), catcher



Venezuelan Beisbol Tradicional Playoffs


1. Torrellas 3-0

2. Liceo 2-1

3. Buenas Aires 1-2

4. La Guzmana 0-3


Eliminated: Trasandino and Cardenales


Jonathan Sivira (Former Quad Cities-Buenas Aires) has played in three games going 2-for-7 (.286) with one run, one walk, and a .285 SLG.


Wladimir Mendoza (Former Johnson City-Buenas Aires) has played in three games going 0-for-10 (.000) with two strikeouts.


Wilmer Alvarado (Former Quad Cities-Torrellas) has played in three games going 4-for-14 (.285) with three doubles, one run, and five strikeouts, and a .500 SLG.



Venezuelan Summer League Stats


The Cardinals are batting .250 (fifth) with a .338 OBP (sixth), .335 SLG (fifth), and .673 OPS (fifth).  The team is second in walks and strikeouts; third in runs scored, doubles, and home runs (tied); fourth in hits, triples (tied), RBIs, and total bases; tied for fifth in caught stealing; and sixth in stolen bases.


The Cardinals pitching has a 4.20 ERA (sixth) and 1.38 WHIP (fifth).  The team ranks first in shut outs (tied) and home runs allowed; third in complete games and hits allowed; fifth in walks allowed and strikeouts; sixth in wins, losses, saves (tied), runs allowed, earned runs, and hit batters (tied).


Breyvic Valera is second in batting average, fourth in runs scored, second in hits, second in doubles, tied for sixth in triples, tied for second in total bases, tied for seventh in stolen bases, sixth in OBP, fourth in SLG, and fourth in OPS.

Marlon Sucre is tied for sixth in runs scored, tied for sixth in hits, tied for third in doubles, first in home runs, tied for third in RBIs, tied for second in total bases, and ninth in SLG.

Gerwuins Velazco is tied for ninth runs scored, tied for third in RBIs, and fourth in walks.

Lainer Bueno is tied for ninth in runs scored and tied for sixth in walks.

Jem Argenal is tied for ninth in doubles, tied for seventh in home runs, tied for fifth in RBIs, and tied for seventh in total bases.

Limbert Rivas is tied for sixth in walks and fifth in OBP.

Deimer Bier is tied for third in wins, second in ERA, eighth in innings pitched, first in strikeouts, and tied for third in WHIP.

Fermin Montanez is sixth in ERA, second in innings pitched, and tied for seventh in WHIP.

Anderson Gerdel is tied for eighth in saves.

Ramon Ulacio is tied for sixth in innings pitched and tied for seventh in WHIP.

Ismael Brito is tied for ninth in game finishes.



Up Next (2010 Record, Vs. Cardinals)


July 11: Pirates (26-16, 1-4)

July 12: @ Rays (23-21, 5-2)

July 13: Tigers (16-28, 3-5)

July 14: @ Phillies (22-20, 4-3)

July 15: Off Day

July 16: Reds (21-24, 5-2)

July 17: Mariners (26-18, 6-2)



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