VSL Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 12

The 2010 Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals finished their season with eight consecutive losses. Jem Argenal batted .333 last week.

The Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals ended the 2010 season on an eight-game losing streak.  The team finished with a 22-45 record in sixth place out of seven teams and 25.5 games out of first place.  They were 12-22 at home and 10-23 on the road.


The Cardinals opened the final week of the season on the road against the Pirates.  The Redbirds took the early lead with three runs combined in the first and second innings.  The Cardinals pitching held the Bucs scoreless until the sixth when the Pirates took the lead with four runs.  The Redbirds tied it up in the eighth only to give the game up, due to an error, in the bottom half of the inning.  The Pirates won 5-4.  Gerwuins Velazco doubled and drove in one run.  Johnny Polanco didn't allow an earned run in the final three frames but did let one of two inherited runners to score.


The Rays came to town to visit the Cardinals and pounded the Redbirds.  The Rays attacked early and often with four runs in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, five in the sixth, and rounded it out with one in the ninth.  The Rays had two pitchers that combined to allow only three hits, no runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts for the 13-0 victory.  Jem Argenal had two of the Cards' three hits, one being a double.  


The Cardinals next three games were canceled due to rain which included a road trip to visit the Tigers, home game against the Phillies, and another road contest vs. the Reds.


The Mariners welcomed in the Cardinals for the second to last game of the season.  Both teams' pitching tossed shutout ball for the first four innings.  The Redbirds were the first on the scoreboard followed by the M's.  The Cardinals took the lead in the sixth and held on until the Mariners tied it up in the ninth to send the contest into extras.  In the bottom half of the 11th, the Mariners scored the winning run for the 3-2 win.  Ronnierd Garcia had three hits and one RBI.  Jhohan Acevedo added two hits and drove in one run.  Ramon Ulacio didn't allow a run in his four inning start.


The Pirates fought off the Cardinals in the final game of the season.  The Bucs scored two runs in the first and held onto the lead with a run in the third for a 3-2 score.  The Cardinals made a small comeback to take the lead in the seventh with two runs, but the Pirates won it with two more in the ninth.  Marlon Sucre hit a two-run homer.  Ismael Brito, Edubray Ramos, and Kevin Cueto all combined for four scoreless innings mid-game.


Two other Cardinals' games were also canceled - the July 16th contest vs. the Reds and July 28th game on the road vs. the Phillies.



Who's Hot


Gerwuins Velazco ended the season on a two-game hitting streak and had two multi-hit games in the last week.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 5-for-17 (.294) with one double, one RBI, two walks, and three strikeouts.  He played two games at first base (assisted in one double play), one game at catcher (one pickoff error), and one as designated hitter.  The July 5, 2008 free agent signee lead the team in games played, at-bats, RBIs, and walks, and was second in hits, doubles (tied), home runs, and total bases.


Jem Argenal collected a hit in each of his last three games including one with two.  The 18-year old left-handed hitter went 4-for-12 (.333) with two doubles, two runs, one walk, and grounded into one double play.  He played two games in left field and one as designated hitter.  The November 25, 2008 free agent signee saw considerable increase in playing time over his rookie season and he improved in SLG and OPS, but his batting average dropped.


Lainer Bueno picked up three hits in one of his two games played in the last week.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 3-for-8 (.375) with one run and one strikeout.  He played one game at shortstop and one at second base.  The 2010 free agent signee finished the season third in walks and fifth on the team in OBP.


Tharick Martines finished the 2010 season on a five-game hitting streak, with one game being for two.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 2-for-5 (.400) with one double, one run, three walks, and two strikeouts.  He played one game in right field and one in left.  The August 23, 2007 free agent signee, like Argenal, saw an increase in plating time with his OBP, SLG, and OPS all went up, but his average took a dip.


Ramon Ulacio didn't allow a run in his last start after being hit hard in the two previous outings.  The 19-year old right-hander started on August 7th, going four innings and allowing two hits, no runs, and striking out three.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 3-to-5.  The January 27, 2009 free agent signee was the workhorse of this pitching staff leading the team in starts and innings pitched but also lead in hits allowed, runs allowed, home runs allowed (tied), and loses.



Who's Not


Hayrich Martina couldn't muster one hit in his final five games in which he had an at-bat.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 0-for-9 (.000) with one hit by pitch, one sacrifice, and three strikeouts.  He played two games at second base (assisted in one double play), one in right field (committed one fielding error), and one as a pinch runner.  The August 23, 2007 signee saw a decrease in his playing time compared to previous seasons, and watched his batting average and SLG drop while his OBP and OPS rose.


Kevin Gonzalez managed to end a three-game hitless streak in the final contest of the season.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 1-for-10 (.100) with one run, one hit by pitch, and four strikeouts.  He played two games at shortstop (assisted in two double plays and committed one fielding error) and one at second base.  The 2010 free agent signee finished the season just two hits shy of .200.


Alberth Almeida flip-flopped good and bad outings in his last six appearances.  The 18-year old right-hander made his third start of the season on August 8th and pitched four innings giving up six hits, three earned runs, one home run, one walk, and struck out three.  He had a ground out-to-fly ratio was 3-to-6.  As a starter, the 2010 free agent signee allowed 12 hits, six runs (five earned), one home run, two walks, and struck out six over 12 innings (3.75 ERA).


Anderson Gerdel was roughed up in four of his last six outings at the end of the 2010 season.  The 18-year old right-hander was called on to make his third start of the season on August 1st and pitched five innings allowing three hits, four runs (three earned), one walk, hit two batters, threw one wild pitch, and struck out one.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 6-to-7.  The November 1, 2009 free agent signee did much better as a starter (5.84 ERA) than when coming out of the bullpen (10.42 ERA).


Kender Villegas was the hardest hit of all the pitchers on the Cardinals' staff in the final week.  The 17-year old right-hander was called on for relief in the August 2nd contest and coughed up seven hits, seven earned runs, one home run, two walks, hit two batters, has one balk, and struck out one over 3.1 innings.  He had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 5-to-2.  The 2010 free agent signee had his streak of three games without an earned run snapped in his final appearance of the season.



The Happenings


Jose Martinez, John DeAguas, and Carlos Oraa all missed the entire 2010 season due to various injuries.


Jackson Solarte and Angelo Echeverria had been out since July 7th, Fermin Montanez since July 10th, Douglas Planchart since July 20th, Silfredo Garcia since July 23rd, Deimer Bier since July 26th, Jose Perez since July 30th, and Roberto Canache since July 31st.


Vicente Campos (Former MiLB Signing-Mariners) made 13 appearances (12 starts) posting an 8-2 record, 3.16 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and complete game shutout.  He allowed 49 hits, 22 runs (20 earned), 19 walks, hit three batters, and struck out 59 over 57 innings.


The Venezuelan Summer League Championship begins Monday, August 9th with a best of three series between the Mariners and Pirates.



Venezuelan Summer League Stats


In the seven-team league, the Cardinals had a .247 (sixth) batting average with a .332 OBP (sixth), .336 SLG (fifth), and .668 OPS (fifth).  The team was tied for second in home runs; third in strikeouts; fourth in triples and walks; fifth in total bases; sixth in runs scored, RBIs, and stolen bases; and seventh in hits, doubles, and caught stealing.


The Cardinals pitching had a 4.63 ERA (seventh) and 1.45 WHIP (fifth).  The team was first in earned runs and hit batters; second in losses and runs allowed; third in complete games and walks; fourth in shutouts and strikeouts; fifth in hits allowed, home runs allowed, and holds; sixth in wins; and seventh in saves.


Breyvic Valera was sixth in batting average, sixth in runs scored, fifth in hits, tied for third in doubles, second in triples, tied for third in total bases, seventh in OBP, fourth in SLG, and fifth in OPS.

Limbert Rivas was tied for tenth in batting average.

Marlon Sucre was tied for tenth in runs scored, tied for eighth in doubles, second in home runs, tied for tenth in RBIs, sixth in total bases, eighth in strikeouts, and ninth in SLG.

Gerwuins Velazco was tied for sixth in hits, tied for eighth in doubles, tied for fifth in home runs, tied for seventh in RBIs, ninth in total bases, and third in walks.

Jem Argenal was tied for seventh in home runs and ninth in RBIs.

Limbert Rivas was fourth in walks and sixth in OBP.

Jhohan Acevedo was first in strikeouts and fifth in caught stealing.

Ronnierd Garcia was seventh in strikeouts.

Ramon Ulacio was seventh in ERA, second in game starts, sixth in innings pitched, fifth in hits allowed, tied for sixth in runs allowed, eighth in earned runs, tied for tenth in home runs allowed, and fifth in WHIP.

Jhonatan Escudero was tied for first in losses and tied for fifth in walks. 

Fermin Montanez was tied for fifth in losses and tied for tenth in home runs allowed.

Deimer Bier was tied for third in game starts and third in strikeouts.

Dail Villanueva was tied for ninth in runs allowed, tied for fifth in earned runs, and second in walks.

Anderson Gerdel was tied for tenth in runs allowed, tied for second in earned runs, and tied for fifth in hit batters.

Alberth Almeida was tied for tenth in home runs allowed.

Jose Perez was second in hit batters.

Kevin Cueto was tied for eighth in hit batters.



Up Next


International tryouts and signings will be coming later in the year along with the Venezuelan Winter League and Venezuelan Parallel League starting in October 2010.



Find Josh Jones blogging at Cardinals Best News Links or visit his Twitter account for occasional commentary.


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