Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 4

3B Romulo Ruiz leads the Appalachian League in walks, is second in doubles, and is fourth in on-base percentage.

The Johnson City Cardinals were 3-3 this week (16-9 overall).  They maintained first place in the five-team Western Division of the Appalachian League, one game ahead of the Elizabethton Twins.  The Cardinals have the best record in the league while the Twins have the second best.

 

I was able to attend two of the six games in person this week.  I missed the three games in Pulaski, VA and Saturday's game against Kingsport.  Those observations provide the basis for this report. 

 

Roster Changes

 

There were no roster changes this week.

 

The roster remains at 31 active players (max of 35). 

 

Injuries

 

1B/DH David Medina suffered a right hamstring injury in the eighth inning of the game on July 5.  Medina has missed 11 consecutive games with the injury. 

 

2B/SS Greg Garcia was apparently injured while turning a double play in the fourth inning of Thursday night's game (July 15) in Pulaski.  Garcia didn't play the next two games.

 

Note:  OF Chris Edmondson missed five games in a row, however, it was not due to injury.     

 

Team Statistical Review

 

The offense remained hot this week.  After posting an impressive line of .329/.412/.574 last week, they produced a .296/.374/.479 line this week.  They hit 28 extra base hits in six games while striking out 45 times.  They averaged 7.7 runs scored per game.  This week's offense kept the team into first place in the league in batting average (.285), on-base percentage (.359), slugging (.458), on-base plus slugging (.818), hits, runs, RBIs, and total bases.  They are second in the league in doubles, triples, home runs, and walks. 

 

The Cardinal pitching staff's ERA increased from 3.29 to 3.99 (sixth in league) this week.  The pitchers have the most wins (16), the fewest losses (9), the most holds (14), the most saves (9), and the fewest walks (48) through their first 26 games.  Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) of 1.28 is sixth in the ten-team league.  The relievers inherited 16 runners this week and allowed eight to score. 

 

Game-By-Game

 

Johnson City extended their win streak to eight games Sunday night by jumping out to an 8-0 lead and then holding on for a 10-7 victory.  Boone Whiting collected his second win and Aidan Lucas posted his third hold.  Hector Corpas, who appeared in his first game in a non-save situation, allowed his first earned run of the year. 

 

All good things must come to an end and that included the Cardinals eight-game win streak on Monday night.  The Cardinals were looking good early after posting a 6-2 lead through five innings behind lefty Ryan Copeland.  However, immediately after Mets manager Mike DiFelice was ejected arguing a close play at first base, Kingsport posted eleven unanswered runs to cruise to a 13-6 victory.  Virgil Hill extended his hit streak to six games and Copeland allowed his first earned runs of the year.  Chris Patterson collected only the second blown save for Johnson City this year.  Packy Elkins, with his first pro home-run swing pictured below, led the offense by going 3-for-4.  

 

 

After the MLB All-Star Game off-day on Tuesday, Johnson City traveled to Pulaski, VA to face the Mariners Wednesday night.  The Cardinals scored seven of their ten runs via four home runs but that wasn't enough as Aidan Lucas and Hector Corpas allowed six runs, five of them earned, in the eighth inning.  Corpas collected his first blown save and loss in a tough 11-10 loss in which the eventual winning run scored on a wild pitch.  Romulo Ruiz extended his hit streak to twelve games with a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Ruiz also collected his team-high 12th two-out RBI.  The next highest two-out RBI total on the team is five (Stanley, Medina, and Teran).  It was Johnson City's fifth consecutive game with double digit hits and their tenth consecutive game of scoring five or more runs. 

 

Johnson City lost their third consecutive game on Thursday night after starter Cale Johnson ran into trouble in the sixth inning.  Pulaski scored four times in the sixth and held on for a 5-3 victory that gave Johnson his first loss of the year.  Johnson recorded 11 ground ball outs over 23 batters faced.  Romulo Ruiz (13 games), Oscar Taveras (7 games), and Kleininger Teran (6 games) all extended their hit streaks.  Cody Stanley hit his second home run.  SS Cesar Valera committed his 10th and 11th errors in his 19th game. 

 

The third and final game of the series in Pulaski on Friday night was a battle between the two first place teams in the Appalachian League.  Pulaski took the league's longest win streak (four games) into the game while Johnson City took the league longest losing streak (three games) into the game.  The Cardinals, behind strong pitching from Trevor Rosenthal and Charllan Jimenez and good hitting from the 5, 6, and 7 hitters in the lineup, won the final game of the series by a score of 10-2.  Rosenthal moved to 3-0 on the year while Chris Edmondson, Romulo Ruiz, and Phil Cerreto combined to go 7-for-14 with five runs scored and three RBIs.  Leadoff hitter Packy Elkins hit two doubles and drove in three runs.  Oscar Taveras ended his hit streak at seven games while Romulo Ruiz extended his to 14 games.  Johnson City extended their double digit hit streak to seven games. 

 

Johnson City came home Saturday night to face the Kingsport Mets.  The Cardinals evened their record this week at 3-3 with a twelve inning 7-6 win.  Jeff Nadeau had his best outing of the year, allowing just one hit over three scoreless innings and Chris Patterson won his first professional game.  Romulo Ruiz extended his hit streak to a team high 15 games while Chris Edmondson extended his hit streak to a season best six games. 

 

Johnson City 10 @ Kingsport 7, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/12/10

Kingsport 13 @ Johnson City 6, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/13/10

Johnson City 10 @ Pulaski 11, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/15/10

Johnson City 3 @ Pulaski 5, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/16/10

Johnson City 10 @ Pulaski 2, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/17/10

Kingsport 6 @ Johnson City 7, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/18/10

 

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 75 pitches (Johnson appears to be allowed closer to 80) and the secondary starters are limited to 50-65 pitches (varies 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

RHP Boone Whiting and LHP Jeff Nadeau

 

Tandem Starter Pitch Counts

 

7/11:  Boone Whiting:  60 pitches, 46 strikes, 17-for-21 first-pitch strikes.

7/11:  Jeff Nadeau:  36 pitches, 21 strikes, 5-for-11 first-pitch strikes.

7/12:  Ryan Copeland:  72 pitches, 48 strikes, 17-for-20 first-pitch strikes.

7/12:  Hector Hernandez:  19 pitches, 11 strikes, 0-for-5 first-pitch strikes.

 

Who's Hot (Hitters)

 

Five different hitters hit .318 or better AND had on-base percentages of .435 or better this week.  Two of those slugged .727 or better.  Those five are featured below in decreasing order of batting average for the week.  

 

OF Chris Edmondson (pictured below, .345) is hot again after a brief cold period and after watching for five games.  He led the team this week in all four "line" hitting categories (.478/.500/.783/1.283) over five games.  Edmondson was 11-for-23 (.478) with two doubles, a triple, and a home run.  Edmondson missed the minimum plate appearances by ten to make the league leaders in averages however he is tied for seventh in home runs (4) and tied for tenth in RBIs (15).  He is in the top three on the team in most offensive averages.  Edmondson ended the week on a six game hit streak. 

 

 

CF Oscar Taveras (.339) posted a .381/.435/.524 line this week in five games.  Taveras is tied for seventh in the league in home runs (4).  Taveras ended his season best hit streak at seven games Thursday night. 

 

2B/SS Greg Garcia is also hot again.  Garcia posted a .364/.462./455 line this week in three games.  He is tied for third in the league in runs (21). 

 

OF/1B Phil Cerreto (.302) posted a .353/.450/.470 line in four games this week.   

 

3B Romulo Ruiz (.302) leads the league in walks (17), is tied for second in games (24) and doubles (10), is tied for fourth in on-base percentage (.423), is tied for fifth in RBIs (18), is eighth in slugging (.523) and on-base plus slugging (.946), and is tied for ninth in total bases (45).   Ruiz posted a .318/.483/.727 line in a team-high six games this week.  Ruiz led the team with seven runs, two home runs, and seven walks this week.  Ruiz committed three errors for the second consecutive week.  Ruiz leads the team with twelve two-out RBIs and has the team's longest hit streak, which is currently active, at 15 games.

 

C Cody Stanley (.347) is fourth in the league in batting average, tied for fifth in triples (2), is sixth in on-base percentage (.413), and is tenth in on-base plus slugging (.926).   

 

1B Kleininger Teran (.277) has a seven game hit streak. 

 

C Juan Castillo (.306) has a six game hit streak. 

 

OF Virgil Hill (.273) has a six game hit streak. 

 

Who's Not Hot (Hitters)

 

OF Reggie Williams (.225) was 2-for-10 (.200) with five strikeouts this week.

 

C Cody Stanley (.347) was 4-for-23 (.174) this week. 

 

C Travis Tartamella (.333) was 1-for-6 (.167) in two games this week. 

 

Pitchers

 

Sorry but I didn't have time for pitchers this week.  Besides, the hitters are performing much better than the pitchers, especially the relievers, right now. 

 

Week Five Schedule

 

Game 26 (Sun):     Hernandez/Copeland vs. Kingsport Mets

Game 27 (Mon):     Daugherty/De Jesus vs. Kingsport Mets

Game 28 (Tue):     Johnson/Bullpen @ Elizabethton Twins

Game 29 (Wed):     Jimenez/Rosenthal vs. Elizabethton Twins

Game 30 (Thu):     Whiting/Nadeau vs. Elizabethton Twins

Game 31 (Fri):       Copeland/Hernandez @ Danville Braves

Game 32 (Sat):      De Jesus/Daugherty @ Danville Braves

 

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