Johnson City Cardinals were 6-1 this week (42-21 overall). They moved into first place in the
five-team Western Division of the Appalachian League for the first time since
July 29. They clinched a playoff
spot on Sunday Aug 22.
was able to attend all seven of the games this week. I attended the three road games against
the Bristol White Sox in
The roster has increased from 30 to 33 active players (max of 35). Three players were promoted to Johnson City from the Gulf Coast League Cardinals late this week for their good performance and to add depth.
Anthony Garcia, pictured left, is listed as a catcher on the
Starlin Rodriguez, pictured right, adds some middle infield depth to the roster that really has none when Greg Garcia, Cesar Valera, and Packy Elkins are all starting (real possibility during the playoffs).
De La Cruz, pictured left, adds a pinch hitter with power off the bench. This could be much needed with
Hector Corpas felt a little "tenderness" (per Manager Mike Shildt) in his pitching arm earlier this week. He was not undergoing any specific treatment for any ailment. The Cardinals rested him for four days between appearances in an abundance of caution for his health.
RF/1B Phil Cerreto fractured his hand when he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning on Friday August 6. His cast (pictured below) was removed on Tuesday August 24. Cerreto began rehab immediately and although his rehab is ahead of schedule, he will likely be out for the remainder of the regular season (ends Tuesday). Post-season play is still a possibility.
Iden Nazario didn't pitch this week.
There wasn't a good spot to try to fit him in. If
2010 Appalachian League All-Star Team
The Johnson City Cardinals led the league in All-Star selections (announced Thursday) by winning six of the seventeen positions (shown below). Cody Stanley won for catcher. His closest competition (Chris Wallace of the Greeneville Astros) won for designated hitter. Oscar Taveras won for outfielder. Taveras was clearly one of the top three outfielders in the league. Ryan Copeland won for left handed pitcher and Pitcher of the Year. Copeland led the league (both lefties and righties) in ERA and WHIP. Hector Corpas won for relief pitcher. Corpas led the league in saves. Mike Shildt won Manager of the Year. The five players (pictured below) were honored with plaques from the Johnson City Sports Foundation (JCSF) before the game on Saturday August 28.
Pulaski, the East Division regular season champions, took the second most positions with four. Perhaps emphasizing the strength of the Division, all five teams in the West were represented and 12-of the-17 positions (70 percent) were won by the West. To further emphasize the strength of the West, they held an 18 game lead over the East as of Sunday morning with just a few regular season games left. Three teams in the East, the Princeton Rays, the Bluefield Orioles, and the Burlington Royals, were shut out by the voters. I voted for 8-of the-11 All-Stars spots that were not filled by Cardinals. The other three were in my top three at their positions.
injuries derailed the All-Star hopes of two Cardinals. 1B/DH David
Position Player Team
First Baseman Marcus Nidiffer Greeneville
Third Baseman Ramon Morla Pulaski
Utility Infielder Jorge Agudelo Pulaski
Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia Elizabethton
Utility Outfielder Jose Rivero Pulaski
Designated Hitter Chris Wallace Greeneville
Right-handed Pitcher Tim Boyce Pulaski
Player of the Year Oswaldo Arcia Elizabethton
of the Year
of the Year Mike
Team Statistical Review
The first-place offense hit just below their season average for the second week in a row. After posting a line of .282/.324/.405 last week, they recorded a line of .285/.346/.426 this week. They hit 20 extra base hits in seven games while striking out 60 times. They averaged 4.6 runs and 9.8 hits per game. They stole eight bases this week while being caught five times. They hit seven home runs this week to maintain fourth in that category. They hit no triples this week and fell to second in the league. The offense is in first place in the league in ten different categories: batting average (.290), on-base percentage (.357), slugging (.443), on-base plus slugging (.801), hits, runs, doubles, RBIs, walks, and total bases. The Cardinal hitters have the fourth fewest strikeouts in the league.
The defense committed six errors this week (three by pitchers) that led to five unearned runs. The season total stands at 92 errors (81 by batters and 11 by pitchers) for an average of 1.5 errors per game. On a side note, Packy Elkins was absolutely outstanding at third base this week. You could make a video of the Cardinals' top ten web gems this week that had at least five plays from Elkins. Look for Elkins to be a starter in the playoffs at third base.
The Cardinals pitching staff's ERA improved for the fourth week in a row after getting worse for four consecutive weeks prior to that. A 1.77 ERA this week gave them a 3.74 season ERA (fifth in league). The pitchers allowed four home runs this week in seven games. They stayed out of the basement in the league in home runs allowed (47, 8th). The pitchers allowed 13 walks this week in 66 innings pitched. They have the fewest walks (116) through 63 games. Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) was just 0.91 this week. Their season WHIP of 1.22 is now third best in the ten-team league, up one spot from last week. As a team for the season, the pitchers have grounded out 26.9 percent of the batters they have faced, struck out 22.1 percent, and walked 4.9%. The relievers inherited four runners this week and allowed one to score (25 percent scored for the week and 34 percent scored for season).
I met the players at the "Meet the Cardinals" at the beginning of the year, I
made a point to look up how each player performed in college (if they went to
college). One thing that I noticed
about Cody Stanley was his performance in "close and late" (C&L) situations
(results in the 7th inning or later with the batting team either ahead by one
run, tied, or with the potential tying run at least on deck).
Monday night, Cody Stanley was the "star" for the second night in a row as he
singled home Greg Garcia in the top of the 12th inning to give the Cardinals a
3-2 come from behind victory over the White Sox.
Pat Daugherty struggled with his control Monday night through his three innings
and 59 pitches. Daugherty walked
two, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, and totaled more balls (30) than strikes
(29). Daugherty was on the hook for
the loss until the ninth inning.
Reliever Drew Benes, pictured, and second tandem starter Angel De Jesus
Bob Revesz looked really good in the ninth and tenth innings as he retired six
straight hitters on 19 pitches (15 strikes, 6-for-6 first pitch strikes). Revesz grounded out four and struck out
one. Aidan Lucas got the win after
a shaky 11th inning and Hector Corpas got his 16th save despite two wild pitches
and grooving an 0-2 fast ball with a runner on second and two outs in the bottom
of the 12th. Clean-up hitter Dan Black (6' 5", 240 pounds) hammered a mistake pitch from Corpas to centerfield
that Reggie Williams, while backpedalling and "circling the wagons", reached up
and snared while falling backwards.
It was a nervous ending to a good game and another
Tuesday night, the Cardinals went for the sweep over the White Sox in their last regular season road game of the year. It was a pitcher's duel with lefty Spencer Arroyo of the White Sox matching righty Cale Johnson with two-hit, no-walk, shutouts through seven innings pitched. It looked like Johnson's great pitching would go unrewarded until Reggie Williams stepped to the plate with one out in the eighth inning. Williams hit a 2-2 pitch high and deep to right centerfield that barely cleared the fence for his first professional home run. The blast gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead that would hold up for their sixth road win in a row and their second series sweep in a row. Trevor Rosenthal got his first professional save. It was one of (if not the) shortest games of the year; one hour and fifty-seven minutes. Johnson City found out later that evening that they were alone in first place by one game after Elizabethton lost to the Bluefield Orioles following a rain delay (over two and half hours) that took longer than the game. The top four batters in the Cardinal lineup combined to go 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts. All three hitters (Hill, Teran, and Ruiz) that brought hit streaks of more than five games into the game saw them end.
Kevin Siegrist allowed a solo home run in the second inning, hit two batters, and
committed two errors (one throwing and one on a pickoff attempt) but otherwise
pitched well through five innings.
He appeared to tire a bit in the sixth when his pitch count passed 70
however, reliever Francisco Guzman came to his rescue. With runners on first and second and one
out in a 4-2 game in the sixth, Guzman threw four pitches (all strikes) and
induced an inning ending double play with the last one that turned the momentum
back to the Cardinals. Guzman took
the team lead from Bob Revesz in percentage of groundouts per batter faced by a
reliever with the effort. Guzman's
34 percent barely eclipses Revesz's 32 percent. The victory was
night brought the professional debut of the Cardinals' supplemental first round
pick (50th overall pick) in the 2010 draft. Tyrell Jenkins (pictured warming up with
Cody Stanley before the game), under the watchful eyes of Dyar Miller and Doug White, made a short six pitch debut.
All the pitches were strikes.
There were two scouts with radar guns in attendance (besides the
Cardinals' and Rays' team radar guns).
Velocities were recorded off one of the scout's guns. Jenkins first pitch was a 92 MPH
fastball that was pulled to third base for a one-hop groundout (5-3). It was hit pretty hard. His second pitch was taken for a strike
(93 MPH). His third pitch was
pulled foul (93 MPH). His fourth
pitch was perhaps the most impressive.
It was an 84 MPH changeup that was spotted perfectly down in the
zone. The batter was way out in
front and swung and missed. His
fifth pitch, to his third batter, was taken for a strike (92 MPH). His sixth and final pitch (89 MPH) was
pulled by the left handed batter to first baseman Kleininger Teran. Teran corralled the two-hopper after a
momentary bobble and tossed it to Jenkins who was covering nicely for the
groundout (3-1). Jenkins was
supposed to throw a maximum of 25 pitches but
hitter Greg Garcia, in the bottom of the first inning on a 0-2 pitch, put the
Cardinals ahead with the third pitch from the Rays. Garcia started what ended up being a
four solo-home-run night for
night, the Cardinals went for their third consecutive series sweep, their ninth
win in a row, and a six game season sweep of the Princeton Rays. The Cardinal pitching staff brought a
0.88 ERA into the game during their eight game win streak. Of course, all that went out the window
the Cardinals were led by Cody Stanley, who extended his hit streak to five
night brought the Bluefield Orioles to
Tandem Starting Pitchers
Listed below were the pairings at the end of the regular season.
Tandem Starting Pitchers (11):
LHP Ryan Copeland and LHP Hector Hernandez
RHP Angel De Jesus and LHP Pat Daugherty
RHP Trevor Rosenthal and RHP Cale Johnson
LHP Kevin Siegrist and RHP Charllan Jimenez
RHP Boone Whiting/RHP Tyrell Jenkins and LHP Jeff Nadeau
Cardinals will be making changes to the rotations for the upcoming
playoffs. They will not be formally
announcing who will be starting in advance. Excluding newcomer Tyrell Jenkins, who
will remain on low pitch counts,
Tandem Starter Pitch Counts
8/22: Hector Hernandez: 60 pitches, 41 strikes, and 13-for-20 first pitch strikes.
8/22: Ryan Copeland: 35 pitches, 27 strikes, and 9-for-10 first pitch strikes.
8/23: Pat Daugherty: 59 pitches, 29 strikes, and 7-for-15 first pitch strikes.
8/23: Angel De Jesus: 40 pitches, 27 strikes, and 9-for-11 first pitch strikes.
8/24: Cale Johnson: 72 pitches, 50 strikes, and 13-for-22 first pitch strikes.
8/24: Trevor Rosenthal: 33 pitches, 24 strikes, and 7-for-8 first pitch strikes.
8/25: Kevin Siegrist: 82 pitches, 50 strikes, and 12-for-21 first pitch strikes.
8/25: Charllan Jimenez: 23 pitches, 15 strikes, and 4-for-8 first pitch strikes.
8/26: Tyrell Jenkins: 6 pitches, 6 strikes, and 3-for-3 first pitch strikes.
8/26: Boone Whiting: 80 pitches, 54 strikes, and 15-for-23 first pitch strikes.
8/26: Jeff Nadeau: 21 pitches, 15 strikes, and 7-for-9 first pitch strikes.
8/27: Ryan Copeland: 77 pitches, 53 strikes, and 15-for-24 first pitch strikes.
8/27: Hector Hernandez: 32 pitches, 20 strikes, and 5-for-8 first pitch strikes.
8/28: Angel De Jesus: 82 pitches, 55 strikes, and 18-for-27 first pitch strikes.
Who's Hot (Hitters)
Four different hitters hit .308 or better this week. Those hitters are listed below in decreasing order of this week's batting average. Hill, Williams, and Cerreto are listed at the end due to their top ten in the league performances. All other batters not listed below hit between .200 and .280 for the week.
Cody Stanley (.325) was 12-for-27 (.444) with a team leading four doubles, a
home run, and seven RBIs in six games this week.
LF/CF Oscar Taveras (.327) was 10-for-27 (.370) with a double and a home run in six games this week. Taveras is a league leader in nine different offensive categories: batting average (.327, 2nd), RBIs (42, 4th), OPS (.906, 5th), total bases (110, 5th), slugging (.537, 5th), hits (67, 6th), OBP (.369, 7th), home runs (8, 7th), and runs (39, 8th).
2B/SS Greg Garcia (.290) was 8-for-24 (.333) with a home run, two doubles, and six runs in six games this week. Garcia is second in the league in runs (48) and eighth in OBP (.367).
1B/DH/3B Kleininger Teran (.297) was 8-for-26 (.308) with a double and three RBIs in six games this week.
OF Virgil Hill (.284) was 6-for-23 (.261) with a home run, no walks, and nine strikeouts this week in six games. Hill is sixth in the league in OBP (.378).
CF/LF Reggie Williams (.281) was 4-for-17 (.235) with a home run and two RBIs. Williams is sixth in the league in triples (6). The most amazing fact about Williams is that he has NO doubles and seven extra-base hits in his 121 at bats.
Phil Cerreto (.420) hasn't played since August 6 and has missed 19 games in a row (29 percent of the season) but he is still a league leader in two offensive categories. Cerreto is eighth in RBIs (37) and ninth in doubles (15).
Who's Not Hot (Hitters)
was another good team effort this week for
DH/3B/1B Romulo Ruiz (.256) was 3-for-17 (.176) with a double and a team-high five walks in five games this week. Ruiz, pictured, now leads the league in walks (33) by three. Ruiz has now gone more than two weeks without an RBI. Ruiz committed no errors this week while playing two games at third (the first two games of the week), two games at DH, and one game at first.
C Travis Tartamella (.257) was 2-for-18 (.111) with a home run, no walks, and seven strikeouts this week in five games.
Who's Hot (Pitchers)
Dyar Miller, pictured, saw some really good pitching early in the week. Three pitchers allowed no earned runs this week with walks plus hits per innings pitched (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.
Cale Johnson (5-4, 3.79 ERA) allowed two hits and no walks this week (0.29 WHIP) over seven scoreless innings pitched.
Hector Corpas (0-1, 1.85 ERA) allowed one hit and no walks this week (0.33 WHIP) while striking out five over three scoreless innings pitched. Corpas recorded three saves this week. He leads the league in saves (17) and has eight more saves than second place. He also leads the league in games finished (21) and games (23). Corpas, pictured, led the team this week with 15 K/9.
Aidan Lucas (2-1, 3.48 ERA) allowed one hit and one walk this week (0.67 WHIP) over three scoreless innings pitched. Lucas leads the league in holds (7) and games (23).
Boone Whiting (5-2, 3.57 ERA) allowed six hits and no walks this week (1.00 WHIP) over six scoreless innings pitched. Whiting, pictured below, is fifth in the league in strikeouts (66). Whiting leads the starters for the season in the percentage of strikeouts per batter faced (30.1) and the percentage of walks per batter faced (2.3).
Ryan Copeland (7-0, 1.86 ERA) allowed nine hits, one walk (1.25 WHIP), and three earned runs (3.38 ERA) over eight innings pitched this week. He is first in the league in both WHIP (0.86) and ERA (1.86). Copeland is second in the league in wins (7).
Chris Patterson, Drew Benes, and Charllan Jimenez are among the league leaders in holds.
Tyrell Jenkins was pictured below in his pro debut:
Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)
Four pitchers had ERAs this week of four or more.
Bob Revesz (4-1, 4.22 ERA) allowed four hits, two walks (1.80 WHIP), and two earned runs (5.40 ERA) over three and one third innings pitched. Revesz had the team's only loss and blown save this week.
Jeff Nadeau (1-2, 2.92 ERA) allowed three hits, one walk (2.00 WHIP), and one earned run (4.50 ERA) over two innings pitched.
Charllan Jimenez (1-1, 4.75 ERA) allowed two hits, no walks (1.00 WHIP), and one earned run (4.50 ERA) over two innings pitched.
Hector Hernandez (0-2, 5.73 ERA) allowed six hits, one walk (1.05 WHIP), and three earned runs (4.05 ERA) over six and two thirds innings pitched.
Week Eleven Schedule
These are my educated guesses. The team has NOT announced the starters.
64 (Sun): Rosenthal/Johnson vs.
65 (Mon): Jenkins/Jimenez vs.
Game 66 (Tue): Nadeau/Daugherty vs. Elizabethton Twins
1st Round (Wed): Siegrist @ Danville/Burlington
1st Round (Thu): Whiting vs. Danville/Burlington
1st Round (Fri): Copeland vs. Danville/Burlington (if necessary)
Champ. (Sat): De Jesus @ Elizabethton/Pulaski
Champ. (Sun): Johnson vs. Elizabethton/Pulaski
Champ. (Mon): Rosenthal vs. Elizabethton/Pulaski (if necessary)
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