Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 6

RF/1B Phil Cerreto is Player of the Week for the second week in a row. Cerreto ranks second in the Appalachian League in RBIs (29), batting average (.388), on-base percentage (.422), slugging percentage (.709), and on-base plus slugging percentage (1.131).

The Johnson City Cardinals were 2-5 this week (23-16 overall).  They slipped to second place in the five-team Western Division of the Appalachian League, two games behind the Elizabethton Twins but three games ahead of the Greeneville Astros for a playoff berth.  The Cardinals have the second best record in the league.  Johnson City is on pace to finish 40-28.  If they did, it would be their best finish since 1996. 


I was able to attend the three of the seven games in person this week.  I didn't personally attend the game in Danville, VA however; I charted pitch counts based on the play-by-play observations and internet radio call of Danville Braves announcer Nick Pierce.  I also didn't personally attend the games in Burlington, NC however; I tallied pitch counts based on the play-by-play observations and internet radio call of Burlington Royals announcer Brian Boesch.  Those observations provide the basis for this report. 


Roster Changes


There were no roster changes this week.  The roster remained at 32 active players (max of 35). 




RF/1B Phil Cerreto was hit on the back of his left hand with the first pitch of his fifth inning at bat against the Twins on Friday night.  Cerreto almost immediately went down to one knee in pain after contact.  He was then removed from the game after a brief evaluation from team trainer Michael Petrarca (pictured below tending to Cerreto) and Manager Mike Shildt.  Manager Mike Shildt told me Saturday night that x-rays were negative and that he is "day-to-day". 



1B/DH David Medina (pictured below) suffered a right hamstring injury in the eighth inning of the game on July 5.  Unfortunately, his injury has responded slowly to treatment.  Medina has missed 25 consecutive games with the injury.  Mike Shildt told me on Saturday night that Medina has improved but still has a sprint test to pass before he can play again.  If the test goes well, Medina is expected to return to play (after missing 28 consecutive games) on Thursday August 5 against the Bristol White Sox.



P Trevor Rosenthal experienced some pain in his right pitching elbow after his start on July 16.  Rosenthal has begun to throw again but will need to come back slowly to avoid a repeat injury.  "Rosie" is expected to return to game action on Thursday August 6 against the Bristol White Sox.  He was leading the team in groundouts of batters faced (40 percent) by a wide margin and was among the best performing starters for Johnson City. 


P Chris Patterson did not appear in relief in a game this week.  He experienced a little bit of tendinitis in his pitching arm after his last appearance on Wednesday July 21.  Patterson is expected to be available to relieve during the Bristol series toward the end of next week. 


Team Statistical Review


The offense cooled off a lot this week.  After posting a line of .340/.416/.533 last week, they slipped to a .247/.296/.355 line this week.  They hit 17 extra base hits in seven games while striking out 72 times.  They averaged 8 runs and 12.6 hits per game last week and just 4 runs per game and 9.1 hits per game this week.  They added seven more stolen bases this week.  Despite seeing their season average drop .010 this week, the offense remained in first place in the league in eleven different categories:  batting average (.288), on-base percentage (.357), slugging (.453), on-base plus slugging (.810), at bats, hits, runs, doubles, RBIs, walks, and total bases.  They are second in the league in triples and home runs. 


The defense committed ten errors this week that led to seven unearned runs.  SS Cesar Valera committed five of those errors (four fielding) while 3B Romulo Ruiz added three (two throwing).  Valera and Ruiz each have 16 errors on the year and have combined for 49 percent of the teams total errors.  The next highest error total for any individual is four. 


The Cardinal pitching staff's ERA increased for the fourth consecutive week.  A 5.57 ERA this week gave them a 4.49 season ERA (seventh in league).  The pitchers allowed seven home runs this week in seven games.  They are now in last place in home runs allowed (35) and hits allowed.  The pitchers have the fewest walks (80) through their first 39 games.  Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) of 1.39 is sixth in the ten-team league.  As a team for the season, the pitchers have grounded out 26.5 percent of the batters they have faced, struck out 21.3 percent, and walked 5.3%.  The relievers inherited eleven runners this week and allowed six to score (55 percent scored vs. 32 percent scored for season).  Overall, it was a pretty rough week for the pitchers.  




The Cardinals dropped the rubber game of the three game series in Danville, VA against the Braves by a score of 6-5.  It was a 2-2 game going into the bottom of the sixth when starter Cale Johnson ran into trouble.  Johnson gave up back-to-back two-out singles and then gave way to reliever Bob Revesz.  Unfortunately, Revesz' third pitch was deposited over the left field wall for a three home run that gave the Braves a lead that the Cardinals could never recover from.  Cody Stanley hit the first pitch he saw in the ninth inning as a pinch hitter for a two-RBI double that pulled the Cardinals within one run.  Phil Cerreto extended his hit streak to ten games and LF Chris Edmondson recorded his team leading third outfield assist. 


Three Johnson City pitchers combined to face the fewest batters (31) in a nine-innings-pitched game this year as the Cardinals took the first game of the series against the Royals in Burlington, NC by a score of 5-1.  Kevin Siegrist, in his Appalachian League debut, allowed just one run and four hits over five innings to record the win.  Seven different Cardinal hitters combined for ten hits but the real story was the six runners that the defense erased from the base paths.  Johnson City turned three double plays, picked off two runners, and caught another trying to steal second.  On the offensive side, Johnson City stole four bases; including a double steal that saw Oscar Taveras swipe home in the first inning for what eventually became the winning run.  Phil Cerreto ended Johnson City's second longest hit streak of the year at ten games after going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.  Cerreto had just been named the Appalachian League Player of the Week earlier in the day.   


Johnson City was just 3-for-15 (.200) with runners in scoring position in a 6-4 loss to Burlington on Tuesday night.  It was a good pitchers duel until starter Boone Whiting walked two (doubling his season walk total) and gave up two singles in the bottom of the fifth.  Whiting, down 3-1, was pulled for Jeff Nadeau, who gave up back-to-back doubles to make it 6-1 Royals.  The Cardinals battled back and had the tying run at the plate or on base in the seventh, eighth, and ninth inning but couldn't come up with a big hit.  Cody Stanley threw out two base runners and extended his hit streak to five games.   


The rubber game of the series against Burlington was an early 11 AM start on Wednesday and starter Hector Hernandez was ready.  Hernandez faced the minimum through four innings (about 35 pitches) as the Cardinals jumped ahead 4-0.  It all fell to pieces for Hernandez in the fifth inning though as he allowed four runs on four hits, a pickoff error, and a wild pitch.  Phil Cerreto belted a deep home run in the sixth to give Johnson City a 5-4 lead that held up until the ninth.  Instead of sticking with ace Ryan Copeland (three innings, no hits, 29 pitches) for the ninth inning, the Cardinals went to closer Hector Corpas.  Corpas blew his second save but kept the score tied at 5-5.  Relievers Aidan Lucas and Bob Revesz then combined for five innings of shutout baseball (three hits, no walks, and four strikeouts) and Phil Cerreto (3-for-7 with a double, home run, and five RBIs) hit the game winning RBI single in the fourteenth inning.  Virgil Hill, who walked, stole second, and scored the winning run in the fourteenth, extended his hit streak to five games.  


Elizabethton came to Johnson City for a three game series that would decide who was tops in the Appalachian League.  Johnson City brought in the league's best record while Elizabethton brought in the second best.  It wasn't a good night for the Cardinals as they lost in a blowout 12-2.  The 5-8 hitters in the Johnson City lineup combined to go 0-for-15 with one walk and ten strikeouts.  Four Cardinal pitchers combined to allow eighteen hits including four doubles, two triples, and three home runs.  Cody Stanley was the only Cardinal batter not to strikeout during the game.  Stanley extended his hit streak to a current team-high six games.  Reggie Williams (pictured below chopping one over the pitcher's head for an infield single) quietly put together a five game hit streak.  The loss allowed the Twins to tie the Cardinals for the best record in the Appy League.



Cale Johnson took to the mound on Friday night against Twins ace and reigning Appy League Pitcher of the Week Adrian Salcedo.  Salcedo, who leads the league in strikeouts at just 19-years-old, recorded 21 strikeouts over 14 innings pitched while walking just one last week.  Although the pitchers figured to be the story of the game, the Cardinals' first inning defense was the real story.  SS Cesar Valera had back-to-back first inning fielding errors that led to five unearned runs for the Twins.  CF Oscar Taveras (pictured below after his first home run) tried to keep Johnson City in the game by hitting two home runs against Salcedo but the Cardinals always trailed after posting the 5-0 deficit in the first.  Johnson City ended up scoring more earned runs than the Twins (6-5) but lost the game 11-6 after committing a total of five errors in the game.  The Twins regularly jumped on Johnson early in the count.  All eleven hits against Johnson were when he was even or behind in the count.  Johnson recorded only three of his thirteen outs when he was ahead in the count.  Johnson, who IS the definition of a pitch-to-contact pitcher, faced 30 batters with 85 pitches.  He walked and struck out none. 



The Cardinals were shutout for the first time this year and were held to their lowest hit total of the year (four singles) in a 5-0 loss to the Elizabethton Twins at home Saturday night.  In fact, it was the first time in 39 games that the Cardinals scored fewer than two runs in a game.  It was also the first time this year that Johnson City was swept in a three game series.  Kleininger Teran (pictured below), who lost his first round match-up earlier this week in MiLB's "Moniker Madness" promotion to Boomer Potts of the Dunedin Blue Jays, had three of Johnson City's four singles.  Starter Charllan Jimenez managed four innings of shutout baseball by getting some fortunate sharply hit outs and despite allowing seven hits.  Cody Stanley ended his seven game hit streak.  Johnson City failed to get a single two-out RBI (thirteen opportunities) in any of the three games against Elizabethton. 



Johnson City 5 @ Danville 6, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/26/10

Johnson City 5 @ Burlington 1, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/27/10

Johnson City 4 @ Burlington 6, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/28/10

Johnson City 6 @ Burlington 5, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/29/10

Elizabethton 12 @ Johnson City 2, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/30/10

Elizabethton 11 @ Johnson City 6, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/31/10

Elizabethton 5 @ Johnson City 0, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/01/10


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 85 pitches and the secondary starters are limited to around 65 pitches (varies from pitcher to pitcher – Rosenthal will likely return much lower than 65).  Six of the pitchers spent time in the Cardinals organization last year (Hernandez, De Jesus, Daugherty, Johnson, Jimenez, and Siegrist).  The other four pitchers were drafted during the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft.


Tandem Starting Pitchers (10): 

LHP Ryan Copeland and LHP Hector Hernandez

RHP Angel De Jesus and LHP Pat Daugherty

RHP Cale Johnson and RHP Trevor Rosenthal (reduced pitch count)

LHP Kevin Siegrist and RHP Charllan Jimenez

RHP Boone Whiting and LHP Jeff Nadeau


Tandem Starter Pitch Counts


7/25:  Cale Johnson:  71 pitches, 51 strikes, 17-for-26 first-pitch strikes.

7/26:  Kevin Siegrist: 67 pitches, 47 strikes, 15-for-19 first-pitch strikes.

7/26:  Charllan Jimenez:  21 pitches, 15 strikes, 7-for-9 first-pitch strikes.

7/27:  Boone Whiting:  61 pitches, 38 strikes, 14-for-19 first-pitch strikes.

7/27:  Jeff Nadeau:  54 pitches, 32 strikes, 9-for-15 first-pitch strikes.

7/28:  Hector Hernandez:  52 pitches, 35 strikes, 12-for-20 first-pitch strikes.

7/28:  Ryan Copeland:  29 pitches, 22 strikes, 8-for-10 first-pitch strikes.

7/29:  Pat Daugherty:  69 pitches, 41 strikes, 4-for-15 first-pitch strikes.

7/29:  Angel De Jesus:  50 pitches, 36 strikes, 11-for-14 first-pitch strikes.

7/30:  Cale Johnson:  85 pitches, 54 strikes, 16-for-30 first-pitch strikes.

7/31:  Charllan Jimenez:  69 pitches, 43 strikes, 13-for-19 first-pitch strikes.

7/31:  Kevin Siegrist: 49 pitches, 35 strikes, 10-for-14 first-pitch strikes.


Note:  Hernandez may have thrown a few more pitches on 7/28.  


Who's Hot (Hitters)


Although the team didn't hit very well this week, five different hitters hit .304 or better with .400 or better slugging percentage.  This week's five offensive stars are listed below in decreasing order of this week's batting average.  Garcia and Hill, who hit between .200 and .300 this week, are each listed last due to their top ten listings in the league rankings.     


RF/1B Phil Cerreto (.388) posted a .429/.435/.810 line in five games this week.  Cerreto led the team this week in hits (9), doubles (3), triples (1), and RBIs (7).  Cerreto ranks second in the league in batting average, RBIs (29), OBP (.422), slugging (.709) and OPS (1.131).   He is seventh in home runs (6), eighth in total bases, and ninth in doubles (11).  Cerreto won Appy League Player of the Week (July 19-25) on Monday afternoon.  Cerreto ended a ten game hit streak early in the week. 


1B/DH Kleininger Teran (.301) was 6-for-15 (.400), all singles, with two walks in four games this week.  Teran posted a team best .471 OBP this week. 


LF/CF Oscar Taveras (.362) posted a .346/.357/.692 line this week in seven games.  Taveras led the team this week in at bats (26), runs (6), hits (9), doubles (3), home runs (2), and total bases (18).  Taveras ranks third in the league in batting average, SLG (.621), and OPS (1.027).  He is fifth in RBIs (28) and OBP (.406).  Taveras ranks sixth in runs (26), seventh in home runs (6), eighth in hits (42), and ninth in total bases (72).  Taveras is pictured below with an awkward looking off-balance swing-and-miss on an off-speed offering from a Twins pitcher this week.  Something I witnessed more this week than usual.    You can see the ball in the picture just in front of and slightly above Taveras' right knee.  It appears he swung at a strike. 



C Juan Castillo (.339) was 5-for-16 (.313) with a home run this week in four games.


C Cody Stanley (.328) was 7-for-23 (.304) with two doubles and a home run in seven games this week.  Stanley (pictured below grounding out this week with the bases loaded against the Twins) is seventh in the league in RBIs (26) and ninth in batting average. 



OF Virgil Hill (.301) is tied for eighth in the league in triples (3).  He led the team with three walks this week. 


2B/SS Greg Garcia (.293) was hit with a pitch twice this week to extend his team lead to seven.  Garcia, pictured below while warming up on deck this week, is tied for second in the league in runs (33) and is tenth in on-base percentage (.387). 



Who's Not Hot (Hitters)


Five hitters hit below the Mendoza line (.200 batting average) this week.  Those five are listed below in increasing weekly batting average. 


3B Romulo Ruiz (.263) is as cold as ice after ending a 17-game hit streak last week.  Ruiz was 2-for-23 (.087) with eight strikeouts in six games this week.  Despite his struggles this week, Ruiz still ranks second in the league in walks (23), third in games (37), and fourth in doubles (13).  Ruiz committed three errors this week (two throwing and one fielding). 


OF/DH Chris Edmondson (.284) is almost as cold as Ruiz.  Edmondson was 3-for-25 (.120) with three walks and seven strikeouts in six games this week.  Despite his struggles this week, Edmondson ranks seventh in the league in home runs (6) and is ninth in the league in both slugging percentage (.549) and OPS (.897).


C Travis Tartamella (.315), who has flipped from hot to not-not to hot in previous weeks, is back to "not-hot" again.  "Tart" was 1-for-8 (.125) with a double in two games this week.


SS Cesar Valera (.172) was 3-for-20 (.150) with a team-high nine strikeouts and team-high five errors in six games this week.  Valera is tied for eighth in the league in walks (15). 


RF Roberto Reyes (.224) was 2-for-11 (.182) in six games this week. 


Who's Hot (Pitchers)


Two pitchers allowed no earned runs this week with WHIPs of less than 1 over at least three innings pitched.  Those two are listed below followed by the top ten league leaders in several pitching categories. 


Ryan Copeland (4-0, 1.72 ERA) allowed no hits or walks this week (0.00 WHIP) over three innings pitched.  Copeland is first in the league in walks plus hits per inning pitched (0.77 WHIP), fourth in ERA, fifth in wins, and seventh in holds (2).  Copeland leads all the tandem starters in percentage of strikeouts of batters faced (28%). 


Aidan Lucas (0-0, 3.75 ERA) allowed no runs or walks and just two hits (0.67 WHIP) over three innings pitched this week.  Lucas leads the league in games (14) and holds (4) and is tied for eighth in games finished (7). 


Hector Corpas (0-1, 2.45 ERA) leads the league in both saves (8) and games finished (11).  Corpas is tied for second in the league in games (13) and he leads the team's relievers with a 1.02 WHIP.  


Francisco Guzman (1-0, 4.80 ERA) is tied for ninth in the league in games (12).


Chris Patterson, Charllan Jimenez, Drew Benes, and Angel De Jesus are amongst the league leaders in holds.


Kevin Siegrist (1-1, 3.38 ERA) pitched better than his statistics showed but wasn't really "hot" this week.  However, he made his Appy League debut and I got some pictures of him (shown below) so I thought I would list him and share them.   



Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)


Four pitchers posted ERAs of eight or greater over three or more innings pitched this week.  Those four are listed below in order of decreasing ERA for the week. 


Pat Daugherty (2-2, 7.46 ERA) recorded an 18.02 ERA over three innings this week.  


Boone Whiting (2-2, 5.74 ERA) posted a 9.65 ERA over four and two thirds innings this week.  For the season, Whiting leads the team's tandem starters with 10.9 K/9 and just 1.1 BB/9.  Whiting also leads the team with the highest percentage of strikeouts of batters faced (28%) and the lowest percentage of walks of batters faced (3%). 


Bob Revesz (2-0, 5.27 ERA) posted a 8.43 ERA this week over five and one third innings and three games this week. 


Cale Johnson (3-3, 4.46 ERA) was 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA this week.  Johnson (pictured below) allowed a whopping 25 hits and 15 runs (nine earned) this week over ten innings pitched.  Johnson, who struck out just two of the 56 batters he faced this week, has the lowest strikeout rate of batters faced (12%) on the team. 



Week Seven Schedule


Game 40 (Sun):     Whiting/Nadeau @ Greeneville Astros

Game 41 (Mon):     Copeland/Hernandez @ Greeneville Astros

Game 42 (Tue):     De Jesus/Daugherty @ Greeneville Astros

Wed:                   Scheduled Appalachian League Off Day

Game 43 (Thu):     Johnson/Rosenthal @ Bristol White Sox

Game 44 (Fri):       Siegrist/Jimenez @ Bristol White Sox

Game 45 (Sat):      Nadeau/Whiting @ Bristol White Sox


© 2010 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories