The Johnson City Cardinals were
5-1 this week (28-17 overall). They
remained in second place in the five-team Western Division of the Appalachian
League, two games behind the Elizabethton Twins but six games ahead of the Greeneville Astros for a
playoff berth. The Cardinals have
the second best record in the league.
I was able to attend three of the
six games in person this week. I
didn't personally attend the games in
C Juan Castillo was promoted to the Batavia Muckdogs of the
New-York Penn League on Sunday.
Castillo impressed me a lot both at and behind the plate over his 16
games and 61 at bats in
Castillo was equally impressive
behind the plate. 20-Year-old
Castillo was easily the best all-around catcher
Castillo caught ten base runners
while allowing just nine to steal (53% caught stealing rate). Castillo was equally impressive stopping
potential wild pitches. Castillo
also has many of the leadership intangibles that Yadier had. Castillo is a vocal and relaxed field
general behind the plate and seems to handle pitchers well. Castillo is attempting to complete a
comeback from a 50-game suspension two years
ago and appears
to be well on his way to putting together an exciting year in the Cardinals
organization. Castillo was 2-for-8
(.250) with a walk in his first three games with
LF/DH Chris Edmondson was
promoted to the Batavia
Tuesday. Edmondson posted a
.283/.350/.547 line over 28 games and 106 at bats. He hit six home runs, one triple, and
eight doubles. Although he took
some interesting, mostly delayed, routes to some balls in the outfield, he
showed good accuracy and arm strength by recording a team high three outfield
assists from left field (two at second base and one at home). Edmondson, pictured fouling a ball off
on July 19 against the Mets, hit a cold streak prior to his promotion when he
finished his last ten games going 6-for-38 (.158). Edmondson's best batting average splits
were hitting with runners on base (.408) and with runners in scoring position
(.389 RISP). He struggled with
left-handed pitchers (.185) and with the bases empty (.175). Edmondson had eight two-out RBIs while
leaving just ten RISP with two outs.
Edmondson is originally from
The roster dropped to 30 active players (max of 35).
Note: Former 2010 Johnson City Cardinal Colin Walsh, pictured from July 2, was promoted Wednesday August 4 from the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League to the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Midwest League. Walsh was 1-for-10 (.100/.357/.100) with four walks, three runs scored, and one stolen base in his first three games with Quad Cities.
RF/1B Phil Cerreto was hit on the back of his left hand in the fifth inning against the Elizabethton Twins on July 30. Cerreto missed two games and returned to play Monday August 2 against the Greeneville Astros. He was hit again during his first game back with another pitch (not in the hand) while going 3-for-5 with two doubles, three runs, and three RBIs. Cerreto was hit again on Friday night, again in the fifth inning, and again near the left hand. It appeared to be in the forearm area this time although he stayed in the game and even hit a home run two innings later. He was out of Saturday night's game and was seen with a compression wrap on his left hand, wrist, and lower forearm before the game. It is unknown (to me) if the bandage could mean further down time for the league's leading hitter.
P Trevor Rosenthal experienced some pain in his right pitching elbow after his start on July 16. "Rosie", who will need to come back slowly to avoid a repeat injury, pitched one inning on Thursday August 6 against the Bristol White Sox. According to pitching coach Doug White, Rosenthal has been officially paired with Cale Johnson in the piggyback system. Rosenthal will also be the first starter for at least two more starts. Rosenthal, pictured, is scheduled to pitch three innings in his next start.
P Chris Patterson did not appear in relief in a game for the second week in a row. He experienced a little bit of tendinitis in his pitching arm after his last appearance on Wednesday July 21 and has missed 16 games in row. Patterson was throwing and sprinting with the other relievers before the game on Saturday and appeared to be ready to pitch if needed.
P Francisco Guzman did not appear in relief in a game this week. Guzman last pitched on July 30 and has missed seven games in row. Guzman was dressed but was not participating with the other relievers in pre-game warm-ups on Saturday night. I suspect Guzman may have suffered a minor injury/ache/pain of some kind that is keeping him out of action for a few days. I should have an update next week, if not sooner.
P Iden Nazario did not appear in relief in a game this week. It was not due to injury. There was just not a good opportunity for him to work on his new delivery and mechanics in a game situation. Nazario, pictured, has inherited six runners this year and has allowed none to score.
Team Statistical Review
The first place offense warmed up
again this week despite losing red-hot Chris Edmondson to
The defense committed seven errors this week that led to just three unearned runs that were spread over three different pitchers. The season total stands at 72 errors (65 by batters and seven by pitchers) for an average of 1.6 errors per game.
The Cardinals pitching staff's ERA finally improved after getting worse for four consecutive weeks. A 2.29 ERA this week gave them a 4.21 season ERA (sixth in league). The pitchers allowed four home runs this week in six games. They are still in last place in home runs allowed (39). The pitchers allowed just five walks (three from Angel De Jesus) this week in 51 innings pitched. They have the fewest walks (85) through 45 games. Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) was just 0.90 this week. Their season WHIP of 1.32 is sixth in the ten-team league. As a team for the season, the pitchers have grounded out 26.4 percent of the batters they have faced, struck out 21.7 percent, and walked 4.9%. The relievers inherited four runners this week and allowed two to score (50 percent scored vs. 33 percent scored for season). Overall, it was a pretty good week for the pitchers.
The Cardinals went for a road sweep of the Astros on Tuesday night and got it by a score of 5-3. DH Cody Stanley (4-for-4), 1B Phil Cerreto (3-for-5), and SS Cesar Valera (3-for-4) combined for four runs, three RBIs, and ten of Johnson City's 13 hits. Cerreto raised his batting average to a league best .407 and extended his hit streak to five games. All four pitchers figured in the decisions as Angel De Jesus got his second win, Pat Daugherty got his first hold, Aidan Lucas got his fifth hold, and Hector Corpas got his tenth save. It was an adventure for Lucas though, who relieved Daugherty in the seventh with runners on first and second in a 4-1 game. Lucas, in the span of four pitches, hit two batters, threw a wild pitch, and allowed both of his inherited runners to score to make it a 4-3 ball game. Lucas settled down after that wildness to record three consecutive strikeouts and completed his Mr. Hyde to Dr. Jekyll transformation. CF Reggie Williams ended his seven game hit streak by going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
After an off-day on
In Game 1 on Friday night it
turned out that one pitch from second starter Cale Johnson made all the
difference in the game. Johnson
watched his first pitch to White Sox 1B John Spatola get lined over the right
centerfield fence in the fourth inning for a two-run home run that sent the
Cardinals to a 2-1 loss.
In Game 2 on Friday night, the
Cardinals got the hitting sticks back and cruised to an 11-3 victory. Starter and winning pitcher Kevin Siegrist looked like a pitcher that should be back in
In the rubber match between the
White Sox and Cardinals on Saturday night,
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 – i.e. Rosenthal). 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 Trevor Rosenthal (reduced pitch count) and RHP Cale Johnson
LHP Kevin Siegrist and RHP Charllan Jimenez
RHP Boone Whiting and LHP Jeff Nadeau
Tandem Starter Pitch Counts
8/1: Boone Whiting: 72 pitches, 54 strikes, 13-for-20 first-pitch strikes.
8/1: Jeff Nadeau: 38 pitches, 26 strikes, 5-for-10 first-pitch strikes.
8/2: Ryan Copeland: 55 pitches, 39 strikes, 11-for-18 first-pitch strikes.
8/2: Hector Hernandez: 29 pitches, 22 strikes, 8-for-11 first-pitch strikes.
8/3: Angel De Jesus: 71 pitches, 43 strikes, 13-for-19 first-pitch strikes.
8/3: Pat Daugherty: 36 pitches, 26 strikes, 5-for-9 first-pitch strikes.
8/6: Trevor Rosenthal: 13 pitches, 8 strikes, 2-for-3 first-pitch strikes.
8/6: Cale Johnson: 54 pitches, 37 strikes, 9-for-20 first-pitch strikes.
8/6: Kevin Siegrist: 60 pitches, 41 strikes, 14-for-19 first-pitch strikes.
8/6: Charllan Jimenez: 35 pitches, 22 strikes, 5-for-8 first-pitch strikes.
8/7: Jeff Nadeau: 47 pitches, 32 strikes, 11-for-17 first-pitch strikes.
8/7: Boone Whiting: 35 pitches, 27 strikes, 11-for-12 first-pitch strikes.
Who's Hot (Hitters)
Four different hitters hit .313 or better this week. Those hitters are listed below in decreasing order of this week's batting average. Taveras, Garcia, Ruiz, Hill, and Edmondson who each hit between .200 and .300 this week, are listed after the top four due to their top ten listings in the league rankings.
RF/1B Phil Cerreto improved his league leading season batting average from .388 to .420 this week. As you might expect, you have to have a great week to do that and Cerreto definitely had one. Cerreto posted a .625/.684/1.063 line in four games this week. He could have played more games and perhaps even hit better had he not been it in the hand last week. Cerreto led the team for the third week in a row in hits (10), doubles (4), and RBIs (8). He also led the team this week in runs (7), home runs (1), stolen bases (3), and hit by pitches (2). Cerreto now ranks first in the league in batting average (.420), OBP (.459), and OPS (1.216). He is second in RBIs (37) and slugging (.756). He is third in total bases (90) and doubles (15). Cerreto ranks fifth in hits (50) and seventh in home runs (7). He has an active seven game hit streak.
CF Reggie Williams (.266) was 7-for-20 (.350) with three triples, six RBIs, four runs, four walks, and one stolen base in six games this week. Williams, pictured, is tied for sixth in the league in triples (4).
C Cody Stanley (.331) was 9-for-26 (.346) with two triples, seven runs, and four walks in six games this week. Stanley, pictured below taking a strike this week in Bristol, is sixth in the league in batting average (.331), sixth in triples (4), eighth in OPS (.896), and ninth in RBIs (28).
SS Cesar Valera (.188) was
5-for-16 (.313) with three runs and a stolen base.
LF Oscar Taveras (.348) posted a .273/.273/.409 line this week in six games. Taveras ranks third in the league in batting average, SLG (.621), and OPS (1.027). He is fifth in both RBIs (28) and OBP (.406). Taveras ranks third in batting average (.348), fourth in OPS (.974), fourth in RBIs (31), fifth in slugging (.587), seventh in total bases (81), eighth in runs (28), ninth in OBP (.387), tenth in home runs (6), and tenth in hits (48).
2B/SS Greg Garcia (.292) had two
sacrifice bunts this week to extend his team lead to three. Garcia is third in the league in runs
(36). Garcia performed well this
week in a few extra chances at shortstop than he might normally see. He doesn't have as much range or as
strong an arm as
3B/DH Romulo Ruiz (.256) warmed up a little bit this week (.217 vs. .087 last week) but continues his slide down the team batting average ranks. Despite his continued struggles, Ruiz still ranks second in the league in walks (25), second in games (43), fourth in doubles (14), and seventh in RBIs (29). Ruiz committed two errors this week (both throwing).
RF Virgil Hill (.286) is tenth in the league in triples (3).
LF Chris Edmondson (.283) is still tenth in the Appy league in home runs (6) as he tears up the New York-Penn League in the early going.
Who's Not Hot (Hitters)
It was a very good team effort
this week for
Who's Hot (Pitchers)
Three pitchers allowed no earned runs this week with WHIPs of less than 1 over at least three innings pitched. Those three are listed below followed by the top ten league leaders in several pitching categories.
Ryan Copeland (5-0, 1.49 ERA) allowed three hits and one walk this week (0.80 WHIP) over five innings pitched. Copeland is first in the league in WHIP (0.77), first in ERA (1.49), third in wins (5), and seventh in holds (2). Copeland leads all the tandem starters in percentage of strikeouts of batters faced (28%).
Kevin Siegrist (2-1, 2.08 ERA) allowed three hits and no walks this week (0.60 WHIP) over five innings pitched. Siegrist led all eight pitchers with at least three innings pitched this week with a 12.6 K/9 rate.
Hector Corpas (0-1, 2.04 ERA)
recorded three saves this week. He
leads the league in saves (11), games finished (14), and games (16). Corpas, pictured, leads the team's
relievers with a 0.90 WHIP. I was
able to see pitch velocities Saturday night on a stadium display for the first
time this year in
Aidan Lucas (0-0, 3.21 ERA) leads the league in games (16) and holds (5). Lucas threw seven pitches last night. His "heavy" fastball appeared to sit at 89-90 MPH. He throws both a two-seam and four-seam fastball that each seem to have good movement.
Chris Patterson, Charllan Jimenez, Drew Benes, Hector Hernandez, and Angel De Jesus are among the league leaders in holds. Benes threw 19 pitches last night. His fastball topped out at 89 MPH and sat 86-88 MPH. He appeared to have a 72-74 MPH inconsistent curve ball and an 83-85 MPH cut fastball.
Boone Whiting (3-2, 4.85 ERA) is ninth in the league in strikeouts (46). Whiting sat 85-88 MPH and topped out at 91 MPH on his fastball. He appears to throw a curve and a changeup and/or slider for strikes. His curve was around 73-74 MPH and his changeup and/or slider was 76-80 MPH. His large number of strikeouts revolves around his ability to throw strikes consistently at three different speeds. Whiting, pictured, has good "pitchability" as pitching coach Doug White would say.
Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)
No pitchers posted ERAs of greater than 3.6 or WHIPs greater than 1.2 over three or more innings pitched this week.
Pat Daugherty (2-2, 7.67 ERA) recorded a 10.78 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over one and two thirds innings this week.
Charllan Jimenez (0-1, 5.40 ERA, pictured) recorded a 9.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over two innings pitched this week.
Week Eight Schedule
Game 46 (Sun): Hernandez/Copeland @ Elizabethton Twins
Game 47 (Mon): Daugherty/De Jesus vs.
Game 48 (Tue): Rosenthal (3 innings)/Johnson vs. Burlington Royals
Game 49 (Wed): Jimenez/Siegrist vs.
Game 50 (Thu): Whiting/Nadeau vs. Greeneville Astros
Game 51 (Fri): Copeland/Hernandez vs. Greeneville Astros
Game 52 (Sat): De Jesus/Daugherty vs. Greeneville Astros
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