Springfield Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 16

Matt Carpenter, Jose Garcia and Scott McGregor were hot for the St. Louis Cardinals' Double-A club this past week.

Current Record:  15 - 15

Current Standing:  Third, four games behind Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City)  Springfield still holds a five game lead for the final North Division playoff spot over Tulsa if first-half winner Northwest Arkansas also takes the second half.



Roster Moves:

Thursday, 07/22/10 – Right-handed pitcher Gary Daley Jr. given his unconditional release. Right-handed pitcher Arquimedes Nieto recalled from Palm Beach.  Daley gave glimpses of what he could be as a pitcher, such as his June 9th performance against Tulsa when he shut out the Drillers on three hits and two walks through seven innings.  But he never could get it all together and in six of his last seven appearances for Springfield, Daley walked more batters than he struck out.  Best of luck to him in whatever his future holds.   


Friday, 07/23/10 – Right-handed pitcher Shaun Garceau reinstated and given his unconditional release.


Monday, 07/26/10 – First baseman Curt Smith placed on the 7-day Disabled List (undisclosed); First baseman Xavier Scruggs called up from A-Advanced Palm Beach;  Right-handed reliever Casey Mulligan activated from the 7-day Disabled List and re-assigned to A-Advanced Palm Beach.  Smith got the ‘Hot' mention for the week ending June 29th when he posted an OPS of 1.083 but plunged into the freezer in July, with his highest OPS being .578 for the week ending July 20th.  Most recently, he hit .364/.385/.636/1.021, 4-for-11 with a .333 BABIP in four games this week prior to going on the DL.  Mulligan struck out an average of 11.5 batters every nine innings but walked an average of five and one-half batters.  He had a 3.37 FIP and .328 BABIP in 18 innings and has been on Springfield's disabled list since June 20th with an arm injury. 


Of Interest:

Springfield went 5-2 to gain two games on league leader Northwest Arkansas.  They also evened their record at .500 for the first time in a report during the second half of play. 


Third baseman Matt Carpenter was named the Texas League Player of the Week for the period July 19 through 25.  Carpenter went 10-for-29, .345, with a triple, four home runs and nine RBI. He also drew six walks.  He was selected in the 13th round of the 2009 First-Year Player draft.


There are several Honorable Mentions in the ‘Hot' offense category:  center fielder Daryl Jones, shortstop Pete Kozma and right fielder Chris Swauger.  Jones went .412/.476/.706/1.182, 7-for-17 in four games with three doubles, a triple, five runs scored and five RBI.  He had two walks and two stolen bases against four strikeouts.  Kozma scored a team-high nine runs on his way to a .379/.455/.483/.937 week.  That is 11-for-29 in seven games with three doubles, four walks and only three strikeouts.  Kozma was the only Cardinals player to walk more than he struck out this week.  He stole a base and had a .423 BABIP.  Finally, Chris Swauger went .400/.520/.500/1.020, 8-for-20 in six games with two doubles, five walks and 4 RBI.  He had a .667 BABIP.


The seemingly eternal question of exactly which five pitchers comprise Springfield's rotation has not been entirely answered.  Six different pitchers started this week:  Nick Additon, Brian Broderick, Trey Hearne, David Kopp, Scott McGregor and recently promoted Arquimedes Nieto.  McGregor also relieved for an inning during the July 27th game. 



Who's Hot:  Matt Carpenter, Jose Garcia and Scott McGregor

Springfield's bats were smokin' this week with no less than four batters posting an OPS over 1.000 and another with an OPS over .900.  The Hottest of the Hot were third baseman Matt Carpenter and second baseman Jose Garcia.  Carpenter went .348/.464/.825/1.290, 8-for-23, in six games with a triple, three home runs and seven RBI.  He walked three times, stole two bases and had a .385 BABIP.  Garcia hit .500/.516/.733/1.249, 15-for-30 in seven games with four doubles, a home run and four RBI.  He stole a base, walked once and had a .609 BABIP. 


Right-handed pitcher Scott McGregor started one game and appeared out of the bullpen for an inning in another.  Overall, McGregor allowed seven hits and a walk in eight innings pitched while striking out five.  He gave up two runs, earned, for a 2.25 ERA, 2.70 FIP and 1.00 WHIP.  McGregor held the opposition to a .250 batting average with a .280 BABIP.  He had a 5:1 K/BB ratio.



Who's Not:  Catcher Tony Cruz, pitchers Brian Broderick and Arquimedes Nieto

Cruz went .227/.292/.455/.736, 5-for-22 in five games with two doubles, a home run and four RBI.  He struck out seven times and walked twice.  Cruz had a .286 BABIP. 


Right-handers Brian Broderick's and Arquimedes Nieto's starts did not go well this week.  Broderick allowed eight runs, earned, on 10 hits in six innings.  Two of his 10 hits allowed were home runs.  He walked two and struck out only two.  Overall, he had a 12.00 ERA, 8.37 FIP, .370 BAA, .308 BABIP and 1:1 K/BB ratio.  Nieto's first Double-A start was not pretty as he gave up six runs, earned, on nine hits and two walks, including three home runs.  All of that happened in just four and two-thirds innings of work.  Nieto had an 11.56 ERA, 11.77 FIP, .409 BAA, .333 BABIP and 2:1 K/BB ratio.




How They Stack Up:

Matt Carpenter's .320 batting average is good for third in the league behind now promoted Mike Moustakas' .347 and Paulo Orlando's .324.  The latter pair are part of the Kansas City organization (Northwest Arkansas). 


Catcher Steven Hill is tied for sixth in the league with 14 home runs behind Corpus Christi's Koby Clemens' 22.  (Try saying those last four words quickly at least five times in a row without messing up.)  Andrew Brown is right behind Hill with 13 home runs.


Regarding the league comparisons, Springfield's pitching and hitting stats both improved this week.  The offense sits in second behind powerhouse Northwest Arkansas in most categories.  A glaring drop is in the strikeout and stolen base categories where the Cardinals are sixth.  A stat that is not shown on the chart below is strikeout/plate appearance.  Northwest Arkansas leads the league with a strikeout once every 6.6 plate appearances.  Springfield is in a three-way tie for fourth with Arkansas (LAA) and Tulsa (Colorado) with a strikeout once every 5.4 plate appearances.


Team  AB  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  R  H 
Springfield 3383 0.267 0.352 0.418 0.770 527 903
Lge Ranking - 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd 2nd
week change - U U - - - - U
League Lead 3396 0.293 0.371 0.455 0.825 564 986
Team - Oak KC KC KC KC KC KC
  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB 
Springfield 185 24 93 481 390 719 59
Lge Ranking - 2nd T-4th 2nd 2nd 2nd 6th 6th
week change - U - D - - D -
League Lead 206 31 94 529 409 586 131
Team - KC Texas KC KC SD KC KC



On the pitching side, Northwest Arkansas' pitching staff joined those of Arkansas (LAA), Frisco (Texas) and Midland (Oakland) for having a negative FIP differential:  Arkansas – 4.87 ERA, 4.57 FIP;  Frisco – 3.77 ERA, 3.43 FIP;  Midland – 4.11 ERA, 3.83 FIP and Northwest Arkansas – 4.02 ERA, 3.90 FIP. 


Springfield 3.97 4.43 0.46 861.2 1.40
Lge Ranking - 4th 7th   8th 5th
week change - U -   - -
League Lead 3.14 3.43   897 1.27
Team - SD Tx   Tx Tx/SD
  H/9 IP HR/H BB/9 SO/9 K/BB
Springfield 8.63 1:9.4 3.94 7.07 1.80
Lge Ranking - 3rd 8th 6th 5th 6th
week change - - - - - -
League Lead 8.18 1:16 2.91 7.94 2.42
Team - Tx SD Col SD SD



The Games:

Final two games of a five-game home series against Tulsa (Colorado)

Wednesday, July 21st and Thursday, July 22nd – split

·         Springfield lost Wednesday's game 5-3 with David Kopp on the losing end of his Double-A return.  Kopp (L, 8-2) gave up a three-run home run in the first inning that turned out to be the difference in the game.  All three runs were unearned due to Pete Kozma's 27th error of the season.  Kopp went six and one-third innings, giving up five runs, two earned, on six hits and three walks.  He struck out six.  Springfield got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning on Daryl Jones' sac fly that scored Jose Garcia (single).  Pete Kozma doubled home Chris Swauger (single) in the eighth and subsequently scored on Jose Garcia's single to left for Springfield's final two runs.  Box score

·         On Thursday Springfield put up a pair of six-run innings on their way to pounding Tulsa 13-4 on The Night of The Long Ball.  The first six-run set came in the third inning with five of the six runs scoring with two outs.  That inning also saw three home runs by the Cardinals:  Jose Garcia (solo, lead-off), Andrew Brown's two-run shot that scored Matt Carpenter (single) and Curt Smith (solo).  Carpenter's two-out triple scored Daryl Jones for the inning's other run.    The former also hit a solo bomb to lead off the seventh.  In contrast to the third inning's long ball parade, none of the Cardinals' second six-run set in the eighth were via the home run.  Antonio DeJesus doubled home Adam Reifer (lead-off walk) and Daryl Jones followed with a single that scored Jose Garcia (error).  A Pete Kozma single scored DeJesus and a wild pitch led to Daryl Jones scoring.  Andrew Brown's single to left scored Kozma and Matt Carpenter (walk) for the game's final runs.  Nick Additon was the beneficiary of the power surge.  Additon (W, 5-6) gave three runs, earned, on seven hits and three walks.  He struck out three.  All of the runs scored by Tulsa in the game came via the long ball.  Box score


Five-game road series against Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City)

Friday, July 23rd through Monday, July 26th – won three, lost one, one postponed

·         The Cardinals won the series' opener 9-8 in 10 innings with reliever Blake King pitching two scoreless frames for the win.  King (W, 4-2) did not allow a hit, walked two and struck out two.  Francisco Samuel (S, 3) induced a double-play ball that erased a lead-off hit batsman for a scoreless tenth.  Springfield battled back from a 7-1 deficit through four innings to tie the game in the eighth.  The big bats belonged to the top of the order:  Daryl Jones in the lead-off spot (2-for-5, 1BB, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI), Pete Kozma batting second (3-for-5, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 R, 1 RBI) and Matt Carpenter in the three hole (3-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI).  Carpenter's home run came in the 10th inning.  Box score

·         Springfield won the first game of a double-header 15-2 as Scott McGregor (W, 2-3) went the distance, scattering seven hits and a walk against four strike outs.  Both runs scored were earned.  The Cardinals scored early and often, building a 9-1 lead after two innings.  Catcher Steven Hill went 4-for-6 with three triples, three runs batted in and two runs scored.  Right fielder Andrew Brown went 3-for-5 with a double and a two-run home run and also scored three.  Pete Kozma went 2-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored out of the two hole.  Third baseman Tony Cruz hit a three-run home run in the sixth for one of his two hits.  Box score

·         The Cardinals fell in the nightcap 6-2 as Arquimedes Nieto's first Double-A start was a losing one.  Nieto (L, 0-1) drew the tough assignment of pitching against highly touted Aaron Crow and lasted just four and one-third innings.  He allowed six runs, earned, on nine hits, including three home runs, and two walks.  Third baseman Matt Carpenter accounted for all of Springfield's run.  He hit a two-out solo shot in the first that gave Springfield a temporary lead and then led off the sixth with a walk.  Carpenter eventually came around to score on a double play by Andrew Brown.   Box score

·         Pete Kozma went 3-for-4 with two runs batted and Trey Hearne had his best start of the season as the Cardinals won 5-2.  Kozma singled and scored the game's first run and his two-run double with two outs in the fifth widened Springfield's lead to 3-0.  Hearne (W, 2-1) tossed seven innings of four hit, one run ball with the only tally against him coming on a solo shot in the seventh.  He struck out four, walked four and hit a batter.  Francisco Samuel (S, 4) pitched around a one-out single followed by a free pass to record his fourth save.  Box score

·         David Kopp shut out the Naturals on one hit and one walk with three strikeouts through three innings before Monday's game was postponed due to rain. 


First of a three-game road series against the Arkansas (LAA)

Tuesday, July 27th - won

·         Springfield's pitching held Arkansas to just four hits as the Cardinals defeated the Travelers 4-0.  Nick Additon gave up all four of the hits allowed, along with two walks,  in six innings.  Additon (W, 6-6) struck out five.  Thomas Eager, Blake King and Scott McGregor each tossed an inning.  First baseman Xavier Scruggs' Double-A debut was a smash, literally, as he homered to right in his first at bat in the second inning.  That put Springfield up 1-0, a score that held until the eighth when third baseman Matt Carpenter singled home Jose Garcia who had singled to open the frame.  The Cardinals doubled their run production in the ninth when back-to-back two-out doubles by Jose Garcia and Daryl Jones plated Scruggs (lead-off single) and Jones.  Box score



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