Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 8

Packy Elkins was 9-for-17 (.529) in five games this week with team highs in runs (6), doubles (2), home runs (1), and total bases (14). Elkins also led the team in all four slash averages (.529/.556/.824/1.379).

The Johnson City Cardinals were 5-2 this week (33-19 overall).  They remained in second place in the five-team Western Division of the Appalachian League, two games behind the Elizabethton Twins but nine games ahead of the Kingsport Mets for a playoff berth.  The Cardinals have the second best record in the league.  Johnson City is on pace to finish 43-25.  If they did, it would be their best finish since 1986.  The Cardinals ended the week (Sunday morning) with a magic number of eight and a realistic chance to clinch a playoff spot before the end of this coming week. 


I was able to attend one road game and five of the six home games in person this week.  I listened to the internet broadcast of the home game I missed.  It was called by Brian Boesch of the Burlington Royals on Wednesday night.  Those observations provide the basis for this report. 


Roster Changes


P Chris Patterson, pictured, has retired from baseball.  He packed up his bags and left for his hometown of Laurinburg, NC on Tuesday after staying up most of Monday night trying to make a decision about his future.  When I interviewed him at "Meet the Cardinals" in late June, he confirmed that he was interested in continuing his education and becoming a physical therapist.  Perhaps his down time with tendinitis helped him determine his future.  Please wish him luck in his future post-graduate educational endeavors.  He will probably officially be listed in the future as being on the Restricted List (RL) by the St. Louis Cardinals organization. 


P Tyrell Jenkins, the 50th overall pick (Supplemental 1st round) in the June 2010 First Year Player Draft, arrived in Johnson City during Saturday's game late this week after signing for a reported $1.3 million bonus on Friday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.  Jenkins will become a tandem starter and is currently expected, assuming no weather delays or other changes, to pitch two innings during the home stand that begins Wed August 25.  Minor League Pitching Coordinator Dyar Miller is expected to arrive in Johnson City later this week to see Jenkins pitch. 


The roster remains at 30 active players (max of 35). 




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 after some swelling and returned to play Monday August 2 against the Greeneville Astros.  He was hit again in the left hand in the fifth inning on Friday August 6 but remained in the game and even hit a home run in his only at bat after being hit.  Cerreto had a compression wrap on his left hand, wrist, and lower forearm prior to his first missed game on Saturday August 7.  Cerreto, pictured, was seen without anything on his left hand on Monday August 9 at Elizabethton.  A couple of days later, it was confirmed that Cerreto had fractured his hand. 


Cerreto's hand is now in a cast (pictured) and he will be out (no activity with the hand at all) for two weeks from August 10.  On August 24, he will be reevaluated.  It is expected that he will begin rehab at that time, but he may be done for the rest of the regular season (through August 31).  The post-season is still a question mark.  Everyone, including Cerreto, is holding out hope that he can return for the playoffs.  Amazingly, while playing between the two hit-by-pitches to the hand, Cerreto was named Appalachian League Player of the Week (Aug 2-8) for the second time this year. 


1B/DH David Medina, pictured, suffered a right hamstring injury in the eighth inning of the game on July 5.  Unfortunately, his injury responded slowly to treatment.  Medina missed 31 consecutive games (almost half the season) with the injury but returned as a DH on Sunday night against the Elizabethton Twins, the site of his injury more than a month earlier.  Although Medina played first base on Thursday night and is improving a little bit more each day, he is clearly not yet 100 percent.  His right upper leg has been heavily wrapped and he is clearly favoring his right leg when he runs the bases. 


P Charllan Jimenez missed his scheduled start on Wednesday August 11 due to sickness.  Jimenez is scheduled to return to his normal spot in the tandem rotation on Monday August 16. 


P Trevor Rosenthal experienced some pain in his right pitching elbow after his start on July 16.  "Rosie" has returned and has looked very strong in his two starts since the off time.  He has been paired with Cale Johnson in the piggyback system.  Rosenthal will go on the front end of the tandem for one more limited start (four innings/60 pitches).  Rosenthal and Johnson will then likely begin rotating their starts. 


P Francisco Guzman appeared Monday August 9 in relief after missing eight games in a row.  Manager Mike Shildt and Pitching Coach Doug White confirmed that Guzman was healthy and ready to pitch.  They just couldn't find a good spot to use him after he appeared in back-to-back games on July 29 and 30. 


Team Statistical Review


The first place offense hit above their season average for the second week in a row.  After posting a line of .295/.374/.419 last week, they improved to a line of .308/.373/.447 this week.  They hit 21 extra base hits in seven games while striking out 51 times.  They averaged 5 runs and 10.4 hits per game.  They stole four bases this week but were caught five times.  They hit four home runs this week to maintain third in that category.  The offense is in first place in the league in twelve different categories:  batting average (.292), on-base percentage (.361), slugging (.448), on-base plus slugging (.809), at bats, hits, runs, doubles, triples, RBIs, walks, and total bases.  Pretty impressive considering all the offense lost with Chris Edmondson, David Medina, and Phil Cerreto. 


The defense committed ten errors this week that led to five unearned runs.  Pat Daugherty suffered the most, due mostly to his own error, by collecting three of the unearned runs.  The season total stands at 82 errors (74 by batters and eight by pitchers) for an average of 1.6 errors per game.   


The Cardinals pitching staff's ERA improved for the second week in a row after getting worse for four consecutive weeks prior to that.  A 3.57 ERA this week gave them a 4.12 season ERA (sixth in league).  The pitchers allowed just three home runs this week in seven games.  They are still worst in the league with the most home runs allowed (42).  The pitchers allowed just eleven walks (three each from Angel De Jesus and Pat Daugherty) this week in 63 innings pitched.  They have the fewest walks (96) through 52 games.  Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) was just 1.03 this week.  Their season WHIP of 1.28 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 22.2 percent, and walked 4.9%.  The relievers inherited no runners this week (33 percent scored for season). 




Johnson City had an unusual single game series in Elizabethton against the Twins on Sunday night.  The Cardinals entered the game two games behind the Twins in the battle for the Western Division title.  The game got off to a good start for the Cardinals as they, pardon the oxymoron, "singled" the Twins to death in the first two innings.  Six different Cardinal batters, including Greg Garcia celebrating his 21st birthday, hit seven singles to jump ahead 4-0.  A hobbled DH David Medina, pictured, returned from his right hamstring injury to collect one of the four RBIs and two of the singles.  Johnson City never trailed behind three good innings and one mediocre inning from starter Hector Hernandez and four good innings from Ryan Copeland.  Copeland moved to 6-0 on the year and maintained his league lead in WHIP (0.77) while falling to second in ERA (1.56).  Packy Elkins hit a ninth inning two-run home run to help lead the Cardinals to a 7-4 victory.  Elkins more than doubled his two-out RBI season total in the game by adding three to the two he brought into the game.  Kleininger Teran extended his hit streak to five games while David Medina extended his to nine games. 


Johnson City began a nine-game home stand on Monday night by welcoming the Burlington Royals to Howard Johnson Field for a three-game series.  Burlington entered the series with a 22-24 record.  The Royals were in a tie for third place in the Eastern Division just two games out of a playoff spot.  Monday night was also "Bark at the Park" so my dog "Annie" helped me chart the pitches and cheer on the Cardinals.  Annie, pictured, was most excited about 18-year old Oscar Taveras. 


After seeing the Cardinals fall behind 6-1, Taveras hit a bases loaded 0-2 pitch over the left field netting for a grand slam that tied the game at 6-6 in the seventh inning.  Taveras, pictured, then plated a head-first-sliding Greg Garcia with a one-out walk-off double in the ninth for an exciting 7-6 Johnson City win.  Garcia reached on a one-out infield single and then scored from first base with Taveras' second double down the left field line.  RF Roberto Reyes had a key outfield assist at home in the second inning to keep the Cardinals close.  Aidan Lucas picked up his first professional win in relief after neither starter (Daugherty/De Jesus) pitched well.  Lucas was efficient by recording six outs with just thirteen pitches (ten strikes; 5-of-7 first pitch strikes).  Cardinal pitchers recorded 22 of the 27 outs by groundout (13) or strikeout (9).  1B Kleininger Teran hit his first professional home run in the United States.  Teran's solo shot in the fourth inning extended his hit streak to six games and was his first home run since his 2007 Venezuelan Summer League (VSL) season (approx. 350 at bats). 


Johnson City extended its league leading win streak to five games on Tuesday night with a 4-2 victory over the Royals.  Trevor Rosenthal looked very good after a slightly shaky but effective first inning.  Rosenthal allowed just one hit over three shutout innings. The hit was a weakly-hit four-hopper straight to SS Cesar Valera that was fielded cleanly but with little urgency and was finished off with a looping throw to first base that resulted in an infield single.  Cale Johnson picked up his fourth win despite allowing five hits (three doubles) and two earned runs over three innings.  Drew Benes (two innings and third hold) and Bob Revesz (one inning and first save) held Burlington hitless over the final three innings.  For the second night in a row, Cardinal pitchers recorded 22 of the 27 outs by groundout (12) or strikeout (10).  In fact, the four pitchers combined to throw just 29 balls to 32 batters. 


The big offensive blow was a three run home run by 2B Greg Garcia, pictured, that was pulled high over the left field wall on a 1-0 pitch.  The interesting part of that home run was the previous pitch.  With Burlington leading 1-0 in the fifth inning and with runners on first and second with nobody out, the Royals expected Garcia to be sacrificing the runners to second and third.  So, they put on the full rotation play on the first pitch with both the first baseman and third baseman charging for the plate.  Lucky for them, the first pitch was high and outside but that set the table for Garcia to swing for the fences on the 1-0 pitch and that is exactly what he did.  This time, the infielders held their positions (both before and after the swing).  Kleininger Teran extended his hit streak to seven games with a first inning liner to centerfield.  DH David Medina extended his hit streak to ten games (over three months) with an opposite field 1-hopper past the SS in the seventh inning.


The Cardinals lost the final game of the series against the Burlington Royals by a score of 5-1.  Johnson City drew eight walks and collected six hits against three different pitchers but finished the game 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.  The Cardinals ended their five game win streak and both David Medina (ten games) and Kleininger Teran (seven games) ending their hit streaks.  On the positive side, the bottom of the batting order hit well as Packy Elkins (six games), Roberto Reyes (five games, pictured), and Reggie Williams (five games) all extended their hit streaks.  Kevin Siegrist was the first starter this year allowed to pitch past the fifth inning but picked up the loss after getting no offensive support.  Siegrist allowed no runs through the first five innings but gave up a two run home run in the sixth to put the Cardinals behind for good.  Francisco Guzman allowed hits to the first four batters he faced (three earned runs) and then proceeded to retire six batters in a row.  Iden Nazario completed a hitless inning of work.  Charllan Jimenez' spot in the tandem system was skipped. 


On Thursday night, Johnson City opened a three game home series against the fourth place Greeneville Astros.  Four Cardinals pitchers combined to allow just six hits (all singles), no walks, and eleven strikeouts despite two rain showers that did not delay the action.  Boone Whiting, pictured, won his fourth game (one rain and four dry innings pitched) and Jeff Nadeau recorded his second hold (two very wet innings pitched).  Aidan Lucas (sixth hold) and Hector Corpas (12th save) pitched with no rain.  Both teams left five runners on base but the difference in the game was each team's performance with runners in scoring position (RISP).  The Astros were 0-for-6 with RISP while the Cardinals were 3-for-9 with RISP.  The win put the magic number for the Cardinals to clinch a playoff spot at 10.  Roberto Reyes and Reggie Williams each extended their hit streaks to six games.


The Astros' eighth overall and seventh round picks in the 2010 draft made their Appalachian League debuts with Greeneville Friday night in Johnson City.  17-Year-old CF Delino DeShields Jr. and 18-year-old C Roberto Pena combined to go 3-for-8 with a double, a run, and four RBIs to lead the Astros to a 6-3 win over the Cardinals.  The nine inning game raced through in just two hours and ten minutes while just two pitchers were used for each team.  Both tandem starters Ryan Copeland and Hector Hernandez were a little shaky in their early innings as they both put the Cardinals behind in their first two innings.  Johnson City could only muster five hits (two doubles and a triple) but they did briefly take a 3-2 lead in the third inning.  The bottom of the batting order continued to be productive for Johnson City.  Roberto Reyes, Packy Elkins (pictured fouling a pitch off), and Reggie Williams combined to go 3-for-8 with two runs, a double, a triple, and two RBIs.  The trio each extended their hit streaks to seven games.  Hector Hernandez collected the team's sixth blown save in their 51st game and Ryan Copeland allowed his first stolen base of the season. 


Saturday brought the arrival of Tyrell Jenkins (pictured) to Johnson City as well as the rubber game in the three game series against Greeneville.  Jenkins arrived during the game, which was a rather ugly combined fifteen run, 24 hit, ten error game won by the Cardinals 9-6.  Johnson City jumped ahead 4-0 in the first inning on the strength of a three-run home run by C Travis Tartamella, who extended his hit streak to five games.  The Astros pecked away at the lead until a sixth inning four-base two-run throwing error by Pat Daugherty tied the game at 5-5.  Greeneville grabbed a 6-5 lead in the seventh on a double, fielding error, and wild pitch.  The error bug bit the Cardinals hard as they allowed three unearned runs on two errors in two innings.  That same bug attacked the Astros in the eighth inning though as Greeneville combined three errors and two walks with four Johnson City singles to give the Cardinals their final winning margin.  Bob Revesz recorded his fourth win in relief and Hector Corpas notched his thirteenth save. 


NOTE:  The scoring problem at Bristol last Saturday Aug 7 (one less win for Corpas, one more win for Revesz, and one more save for Corpas – among other minor changes) should be corrected this week.  Bristol went on a seven game road trip after the game and the earliest that it could be corrected would be Sunday Aug 15.  Trust me, it WILL be corrected. 


Johnson City 7 @ Elizabethton 4, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/09/10

Burlington 6 @ Johnson City 7, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/10/10

Burlington 2 @ Johnson City 4, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/11/10

Burlington 5 @ Johnson City 1, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/12/10

Greeneville 1 @ Johnson City 4, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/13/10

Greeneville 6 @ Johnson City 3, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/14/10

Greeneville 6 @ Johnson City 9, Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/15/10


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 – 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.  One of the pitchers will be bumped from the rotation when Tyrell Jenkins enters it.  Although I have been told who is out, I am not yet sure that the pitcher knows it yet so it can't be published yet.  Sorry! 


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


8/8:  Hector Hernandez:  55 pitches, 37 strikes, 12-for-16 first-pitch strikes.

8/8:  Ryan Copeland:  61 pitches, 44 strikes, 13-for-17 first-pitch strikes.

8/9:  Pat Daugherty:  66 pitches, 35 strikes, 9-for-18 first-pitch strikes.

8/9:  Angel De Jesus:  45 pitches, 28 strikes, 7-for-11 first-pitch strikes.

8/10:  Trevor Rosenthal:  41 pitches, 32 strikes, 8-for-10 first-pitch strikes.

8/10:  Cale Johnson:  48 pitches, 36 strikes, 7-for-14 first-pitch strikes.

8/11:  Kevin Siegrist: 84 pitches, 49 strikes, 14-for-21 first-pitch strikes.

8/12:  Boone Whiting:  61 pitches, 43 strikes, 13-for-17 first-pitch strikes.

8/12:  Jeff Nadeau:  30 pitches, 21 strikes, 5-for-8 first-pitch strikes.

8/13:  Ryan Copeland:  61 pitches, 42 strikes, 15-for-20 first-pitch strikes.

8/13:  Hector Hernandez:  65 pitches, 41 strikes, 10-for-18 first-pitch strikes.

8/14:  Angel De Jesus:  65 pitches, 44 strikes, 13-for-19 first-pitch strikes.

8/14:  Pat Daugherty:  52 pitches, 35 strikes, 8-for-12 first-pitch strikes.


Who's Hot (Hitters)


Seven different hitters hit .333 or better this week.  Those hitters are listed below in decreasing order of this week's batting average.  Taveras, Hill, Stanley, and Ruiz who each hit between .150 and .250 this week, are listed after the top four due to their top ten listings in the league rankings.  Cerreto is still a league leader in a few categories despite falling below the 140 minimum plate appearances required for qualifying for the season averaged categories. 


2B/3B Packy Elkins (.281) was 9-for-17 (.529) with two doubles, a home run, and six runs in five games this week.  Elkins led the team in all four slash categories:  .529/.556/.824/.1.379. 


RF Roberto Reyes (.252) was 9-for-23 (.391) with two doubles and a stolen base in six games this week. 


2B/SS Greg Garcia (.306) was 10-for-26 (.385) with a double and a home run in seven games this week.  Garcia is third in the league in runs (40) and just barely missed the top ten in batting average.


C Travis Tartamella (.304) has really improved his offense this year.  This week he was 4-for-11 (.364) with a double and a home run.  Tartamella is 15-for-26 in nabbing base stealers (58% caught stealing) with three passed balls and one pickoff. 


LF/CF Reggie Williams (.283) was 7-for-20 (.350) for the second week in a row.  Williams, pictured swinging in front of an off-speed pitch, hit two more triples this week and is now tied for second in the league with six. 


SS Cesar Valera (.205) was 6-for-18 (.333) in five games this week.  All of his hits were singles and he struck out eight times.  Valera committed just one error for the second week in a row. 


DH/1B David Medina (.375) has returned and is still hitting, although not for power.  Medina singled six times, partly due to "slow wheels", in five games (.333).  


LF Oscar Taveras (.319) posted a rather low (for him) .160/.250/.360 line this week in seven games.  He appeared to be swinging for the fences a little bit too much although he still collected three walks.  Taveras ranks third in the league in RBIs (37) after collecting a team high six this week.  He is fourth in the league in both slugging (.552) and OPS (.917).  He is fifth in batting average (.319), sixth in total bases (90), and seventh in home runs (7). 


C Cody Stanley (.319) was just 4-for-18 (.222) with a team high five walks in five games this week.  Stanley is seventh in the league in batting average (.319), eighth in triples (4), eighth in OPS (.871), ninth in walks (18), and tenth in OBP (.383). 


Phil Cerreto (.420) didn't play this week but he is still a league leader in four offensive categories.  Cerreto is third in RBIs (37), fourth in doubles (15), sixth in total bases (90), and seventh in home runs (7). 


3B/DH Romulo Ruiz (.244) was just 3-for-20 (.150) in five games this week as he continues his slide down the team batting average ranks.  Despite his struggles, Ruiz ranks second in the league in walks (27), fourth in doubles (15), and sixth in games (48).  Ruiz committed two errors for the second week in a row. 


OF Virgil Hill (.281) is seventh in the league in walks (20) after walking a team high five time this week in five games. 



Who's Not Hot (Hitters)


It was another good team effort this week for Johnson City.  All twelve batters scored at least one run.  Only Ruiz (.150) and Taveras (.160) hit below .200.  Ruiz and Hill were the only ones without a RBI.  No one had less than three hits for the week.   


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. 


Boone Whiting (4-2, 4.30 ERA) allowed two hits and no walks this week (0.40 WHIP) over five scoreless innings pitched.  Whiting is eighth in the league in strikeouts (53).  Whiting led the tandem starters in both K/9 (12.6) and BB/9 (0.0) this week.  He also leads the starters for the season in the percentage of strikeouts per batter faced (28.5) and the percentage of walks per batter faced (2.2).  Whiting even made a very nice catch of a foul pop-up near the opponent's dugout this week when neither the first baseman nor catcher was able to track it very well. 


Aidan Lucas (1-0, 2.65 ERA) allowed one hit and no walks this week (0.33 WHIP) over three scoreless innings pitched.  Lucas leads the league in holds (6) and is second in games (18).


Trevor Rosenthal (3-0, 2.10 ERA) is back, looking strong, and pitching well.  Rosie allowed one hit and no walks this week (0.33 WHIP) over three scoreless innings pitched. 


Ryan Copeland (6-0, 1.59 ERA) is first in the league in WHIP (0.79), second in ERA (1.59), second in wins (6), and ninth in holds (2).  Copeland is pictured warming up before one of his team-high nine innings pitched this week. 


Hector Corpas (0-1, 2.18 ERA) recorded another two saves this week.  He leads the league in saves (13), games finished (17), and games (19). 


Chris Patterson, Drew Benes, Charllan Jimenez, Hector Hernandez, Angel De Jesus, and Jeff Nadeau are among the league leaders in holds. 




Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)


Four pitchers posted ERAs of greater than 5.6 and WHIPs greater than 1.25 over three or more innings pitched this week.


Angel De Jesus (2-1, 5.27 ERA, pictured) allowed six earned runs (9.00 ERA), nine hits, and three walks (2.00 WHIP) over six innings pitched this week. 


Francisco Guzman (1-0, 5.50 ERA) allowed three earned runs (9.00 ERA) and five hits (1.67 WHIP) over three innings pitched this week. 


Cale Johnson (4-4, 4.47 ERA) allowed two earned runs (6.00 ERA) and five hits (1.67 WHIP) over three innings pitched this week. 


Hector Hernandez (0-2, 6.03 ERA) allowed five earned runs (5.63 ERA), eight hits, and two walks (1.25 WHIP) over eight innings pitched this week. 


Week Eight Schedule


Game 53 (Sun):     Rosenthal (4 innings-60 pitches)/Johnson vs. Pulaski Mariners

Game 54 (Mon):     Siegrist/Jimenez vs. Pulaski Mariners

Game 55 (Tue):     Nadeau/Whiting vs. Pulaski Mariners

Off-Day (Wed)

Game 56 (Thu):     Hernandez/Copeland @ Princeton Rays

Game 57 (Fri):       Daugherty/De Jesus @ Princeton Rays

Game 58 (Sat):      Johnson/Rosenthal @ Princeton Rays


Follow Shawn on Twitter. 

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

Tigs Town Top Stories