VSL Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 9

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals went 1-5 last week and are 11 games under .500.

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals ended their losing streak at three games to begin the week, to only go on a four-game losing mark to round out this period.  The Redbirds are 20-31, 14 and a half games out of first place, and 12 games from being eliminated from postseason play (18 left).  The team is 11-14 at home and 9-17 on the road. 


The Cardinals opened this period by hosting the Pirates.  The Bucs shut down the Redbirds offense, holding them to four hits, and took advantage of their four errors.  The Pirates scored one in the first, four in the third, and one more in the ninth for the 6-0 shutout.  Roberto Canache pitched four relief innings of scoreless ball.


The Cardinals went on the road in the following game to take on the Rays.  The Redbirds got the scoring going with one in the third, but the Rays answered back with three in the bottom half.  The Cardinals gradually pecked away at the Rays' lead before tying it up in the eighth, while the pitching held them to two hits and no runs for the final four frames.  In the top of the ninth, the Redbirds went on a scoring spree and plated five for the 9-4 win.  Marlon Sucre hit a three-run shot and Ronnierd Garcia drove in another three runs.  Douglas Planchart and Silfredo Garcia combined for the final four scoreless innings in the game.


The Cardinals hosted the Tigers in the next contest.  This time around, the Cardinals were not the first to score, with the Tigers getting to their opponents' starter.  The Redbirds took the lead in the bottom of the fifth and coughed it up quickly in the top half of the sixth as they gave up seven runs.  The Tigers then held off the Cardinals for the final four innings and won 10-4.  Hayrich Martina and Limbert Rivas each had a RBI.


The Phillies welcomed in the Cardinals for what would be a close game for each.  The Phils pitching held the Redbirds scoreless in the first four innings while taking an early lead of 2-0.  The Cardinals managed to get one runner in during the fifth but went silent the rest of the way as the Phillies won 2-1.  Alberth Almeida tossed three scoreless relief innings to end the game.


After the off day, the Cardinals had their next two games postponed with the Reds and Mariners.  No dates set for the make-ups at the time of this report.


The Pirates and Cardinals played a doubleheader as each flip flopped being the home team.  The Bucs went to town, hammering away at the Redbirds' first three pitchers, knocking their starter out after one inning.  The Cardinals got the hits but could not push the runners across and lost 11-4.  Ronnierd Garcia and Marlon Sucre each connected for solo shots.  Jhonatan Escudero pitched two innings of scoreless ball to end the game.


The second game between the Pirates and Cardinals came down to the ninth inning.  The Redbirds scored two in the first to get started but went silent in the final six innings.  The Bucs couldn't get anything going until they made the comeback against the Cardinals in the top of the ninth.  Breyvic Valera hit a two-run home run and Ramon Ulacio gave up two runs over six innings.



Who's Hot


Limbert Rivas will look to extend his ten-game hitting streak in the next week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 11-for-21 (.524) with two RBIs, three runs, four walks, three strikeouts, and one caught stealing.  He played three games at first base (one pickoff error and assisted in one double play) and three at catcher (two passed balls and threw out one of five runners).  The February 15, 2008 free agent signee leads the team in walks, OBP, and batting average.


Marlon Sucre continued to show his power this past week.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 6-for-23 (.261) with one double, two home runs, four RBIs, four runs, one stolen base, and eight strikeouts.  He played three games in right field, two as designated hitter, and one in left.  The former Dodger leads the team in home runs, RBIs, and total bases.


Kevin Gonzalez has a four-game on base streak and two-game multi-hit streak to add onto in the next period.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 5-for-12 (.417) with one RBI, one run, one walk, two hit by pitches, one sacrifice, one stolen base, three strikeouts, and was picked off.  He played three games at second base (assisted in one double play and two throwing errors).  The 2010 free agent signee has taken some playing time away from Lainer Bueno.


Breyvic Valera has a seven-game on base steak to extend as he struggles to collect hits.  The 17-year old switch-hitter went 2-for-16 (.125) with one home run, two RBIs, two runs, five walks, one sacrifice, and one strikeout.  He played one game at second base (assisted in one double play), three at shortstop (assisted in one double play and one throwing error), and one game at third base (one throwing error).  The 2010 free agent signee leads the team in runs scored, doubles, triples (tied), stolen bases, and SLG.


Alberth Almeida has made two straight quality appearances.  The 18-year old right-hander was called on for relief on July 14th and he tossed three scoreless innings allowing two hits, hit one batter, struck one out, and picked one runner off.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 2-to-4.  The 2010 free agent signee has only given up one earned run in his last seven innings.



Who's Not


Ramon Ulacio was blasted in his first start of the week, but managed to bounce back in his most recent outing.  The 19-year old right-handed started on July 12 and coughed up five hits, four earned runs, two home runs, two walks, and struck out four over five innings.  He then made his second start on July 18th giving up two hits, two earned runs, one walk, hit one batter, and struck two out.  Ulacio had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 18-to-8.  The January 27, 2009 free agent signee leads the team in innings pitched.


Silfredo Garcia had his worst outing of the year and ended his scoreless streak to two outings.  The 18-year old right-hander was called on for relief on July 12 and pitched two hitless/scoreless innings, while striking two out for the winning decision.  He then re-entered the starting rotation and was hammered for five hits, six runs (four earned), two walks, one balk, and threw one wild pitch for the losing decision (2-3).  The 2010 free agent signee had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 5-to-3.  


Jhonatan Escudero ended his two-plus earned run streak at three-games.  The 17-year old right-hander started on July 11 allowing six hits, five runs (two earned), one walk, hit one batter, and threw one wild pitch, and struck one out over three innings for his third straight losing decision (0-3).  He then pitched in relief on July 18 tossing two scoreless innings giving up two hits and struck two out.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 5-to-5.  The October, 1, 2009 free agent signee has allowed 11 hits, 13 runs (8 earned), ten walks, and struck out three over six innings as a starter.


Anderson Gerdel was thumped in his last appearance.  The 19-year old right-hander returned to a relief role on July 13th and gave up four hits, five earned runs, hit two batters, and struck out one over two-thirds of an inning for the blown save (1) and losing decision (0-1).  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 1-to-0 and let two inherited runners score.  The November 1, 2009 free agent signee currently has a 10.71 ERA but has struck out 19 and walked seven over 19.1 innings.


Edubray Ramos returned to action on July 18 and was hit hard for the second time in five appearances this season.  The 17-year old right-hander allowed three hits, four earned runs, three walks, and struck two out over one inning.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 0-to-1. 



The Happenings


Jose Martinez (elbow injury) and John DeAguas (arm/shoulder issues) still have yet to appear this season.


Jackson Solarte and Angelo Echeverria have not played since July 7th;  Jose Gomez, Geudy Guerra, and Kevin Cueto since July 9th; Fermin Montanez and Ismael Brito since July 10th; and Tharick Martines since July 13th.


Manuel Marquez was released by the organization then suspended for 50-games for a failed drug test.


Vicente Campos (Former MiLB Signing-Mariners) has made ten starts posting a 5-2 record, 4.09 ERA, and one complete game shut out.  He's allowed 42 hits, 22 runs (20 earned), 16 walks, and struck 42 out over 44 innings.



International Signings


The Mariners signed Colombian right-hander Jose Torres and Venezuelan third baseman Yordyn Calderon.



Venezuelan Summer League Stats


The Cardinals are hitting .250 (sixth) with a .337 OBP (sixth), and .335 SLG (fifth), and .673 OPS (sixth).  The team is third in home runs, walks (tied), and strikeouts; fourth in triples (tied); fifth in runs scored, doubles, and fifth in total bases; sixth in hits, RBIs, and stolen bases; and seventh in caught stealing.


The Cardinals pitching has a 4.37 ERA (seventh) and 1.39 WHIP (tied for fourth).  The team is first in shut outs (tied) and hit batters, second in lossed and earned runs, third in runs allowed, fourth in walks, fifth in strikeouts, and sixth in wins, hits, and home runs allowed.


Limbert Rivas is third in batting average, tenth in hits, fifth in walks, third in OBP, and sixth in OPS.

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

Marlon Sucre is tied for fifth in runs scored, tied for fourth in doubles, tied for first in home runs, tied for third in RBIs, second in total bases, and tenth in SLG.

Jem Argenal is tied for sixth in triples, tied for ninth in home runs, tied for tenth in RBIs, and ninth in total bases.

Gerwuins Velazco is sixth in walks.

Lainer Bueno is tied for seventh in walks.

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

Fermin Montanez is sixth in ERA and ninth in WHIP.

Ramon Ulacio is first in innings pitched and eighth in WHIP.



Up Next (2010 Season, vs. Cardinals)


July 19: Rays (27-24, 5-3)

July 20: @ Tigers (18-32, 4-5)

July 21: Phillies (25-24, 5-3)

July 22: Off Day

July 23: @ Reds (22-29, 5-2)

July 24: @ Mariners (30-20, 6-2)

Do Not Play: Pirates (34-16, 5-4)



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