Cardinals Winter League Notebook: Wk 10, Pt 1

Results from Cardinals prospects competing last week in Australia, the Dominican, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Yadier Molina's teammate Anthony Garcia is hitting well in Puerto Rico.

Australian League

Stats are through the games of December 25th.

Perth Heat –
Perth traveled to Adelaide, a 1,672-mile excursion, where they split their four-game set. This is their third consecutive week playing .500 ball. As a result the Heat has dropped into second place with a 16-10 record, a half game behind Canberra.
- Adam Melker: Melker was placed on the Reserve List and did not participate in the series.
Season-to-date: .247/.354/.358/.712, 81 AB, 20 R, 20 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 11 BB, 17 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 3 HBP, .297 BABIP

Sydney Blue Sox –
Sydney was on the road against Melbourne where they took three of four. The Blue Sox continue in third place with a 14-12 record, two-and-a-half games behind Canberra.
- Geoff Klein: Klein caught all but the last six innings of the series and would likely have caught the entire thing except for his ejection after being called out on strikes in the top of the fourth in Sunday's series finale. The Blue Sox number six batter went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored in the first game, following that up with a 1-for-3 day that included two base-on-balls on the 21st. Defensively, Klein picked off a runner at first on Friday and nailed another attempting to steal second. Although he was hitless in three at bats on Saturday, Klein worked a free pass, crossed home and picked off another base runner at first. He was 0-for-2 prior to being tossed from the game on the 23rd. His weekly stats: .231/.375/.308/.683, 3-for-13 with a double, two runs scored and three walks against two strikeouts. Klein had a .273 BABIP.
Season-to-date: .231/.286/.264/.549, 91 AB, 5 R, 21 H, 3 2B, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 21 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .300 BABIP

Dominican (Winter) League

The Dominican League finished up the regular portion of its Winter League season this past week. The top four teams advance to a round robin-style play-off format that runs from December 27th through January 17th. Aguilas, Escogido and Este all advanced while Cibao and Licey were eliminated. Stats are through games of December 21st except for Cibao which are through the 22nd.

Aguilas Cibaenas –
Aguilas went 1-1 to finish with 32-18 record, good for first place, two ahead of the Estrellas Orientales (Oriental Stars).
- Audry Perez: out with a right knee injury.
- Oscar Taveras: Aguilas named Taveras their Rookie of the Year this week. Former Cardinal Hector Luna was named their MVP and was later named the League MVP for the season. On the 17th a report on St. Louis' website confirmed that Taveras had been shut down as of December 9th. Not so fast. He appeared in an encore on December 19th with a solo blast in four at bats. Taveras also reached on a force attempt fielding error by the opposition's second baseman and committed an error. He followed that up with a start in Aguilas' final regular season game on Friday, singling once in four at bats and playing right.
Season-to-date: .316/.379/.507/.885, 152 AB, 27 R, 48 H, 12 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 14 BB, 21 SO, 3 SB, 1 CS, 5 E, .339 BABIP

Gigantes del Cibao –
The Gigantes went 0-3 for an overall record of 22-29 in 51 games played, 10 ½ behind Aguilas and a game out of a play-off spot.
- Ronny Gil: Gil started all three games at short with three singles in 11 at bats with an RBI and two strikeouts. He committed three errors: two throwing and one fielding. Gil swiped two bags in two attempts. His best game was on the 19th when he went 2-for-4 with a two-out RBI and a stolen base. That was the game in which he was stranded at third by Victor Marte (see the pitcher's write-up below).
Season-to-date: .277/.333/.340/.674, 47 AB, 6 R, 13 H, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 9 SO, 5 SB, 1 CS, .324 BABIP, 5 E

Leones del Escogido –
Escogido went 3-0 this week. The Leones finished with a 23-28 record which placed them fourth, 9 1/2 games behind Aguilas. They clinched the final slot in the Round Robin portion of the play-offs.
- Keith Butler: Butler has not pitched since November 24th.
Season-to-date: 1.50 ERA/5.53 FIP, 6 G, 0 GS, 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1.00 WHIP, .211 BAA, .214 BABIP
- Starlin Rodriguez: Rodriguez has not played since November 2nd.
Season-to-date: .250/.250/.250/.500, 4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, .500 BABIP

Toros del Este –
Este went 2-0 this week for a final record of 23-27 as they edged Escogido for third place by a half-game.
- Jamie Romak: Romak was the starting left fielder in both contests, batting clean-up. He moved to first base in the ninth inning on Wednesday where he committed a fielding error that did not do any damage. He singled twice in seven at bats with a run scored, a base-on-balls and two strikeouts for a line of .286/.375/.286/.661 with a .400 BABIP. Per a league press release on December 23rd, of the imported players that finished with the Toros, only Romak remains. This appears to indicate that he will participate in the upcoming play-offs.
Season-to-date: .280/.308/.440/.748, 25 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 2 E, .333 BABIP

Tigres del Licey –
Licey went 1-1 for the week. The Tigres won 21 and lost 29, 11 back of Aguilas and one-half game behind Cibao.
- Maikel Cleto: Cleto has not pitched since November 26th.
Season-to-date: 1.13 ERA/3.83 FIP, 8 G, 0 GS, 8 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1.13 WHIP, .129 BAA, .154 BABIP
- Victor Marte: Marte's final appearance for Licey was on the 19th when he was inserted into the eighth inning of a 5-3 contest. He fanned the batter swinging to record the final out and strand Ronny Gil at third. A double to kick off the ninth plus a wild pitch placed the runner at third with none out. Marte yielded a one-out single to trim Licey's lead to a single tally but a force at second and a strike out looking produced the right-hander's third save. He will join Magallanes as soon as a visa matter is resolved which Marte expects to be either this week or the beginning of January 2013.
Season-to-date: 4.40 ERA/3.34 FIP, 13 G, 0 GS, 3 SV, 14.1 IP, 12 H, 11 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 0 HB, 4 BB, 13 SO, 1.12 WHIP, .214 BAA, .262 BABIP

Mexican Pacific League

Stats are through games of December 25th.

Caneros de Los Mochis –
The Caneros went 3-3.
- Jermaine Curtis: Curtis' hot streak came to a halt this week. After posting a line of .377/.500/.443/.973, 23-for-61, in 18 games dating back to November 28th, Curtis went into the deep freeze. Los Mochis' third baseman managed just three singles in 23 at bats with five walks, three runs scored and two knocked in. All three singles occurred in the first three games of the week as the 25-year-old is hitless in his last 13 at bats. Curtis had fanned just seven times in 61 at bats through December 18th for a strikeout average of once every 11.1 plate appearances but almost matched this week with five strikeouts which jumped his average to once every 5.6 plate appearances for the period. On the other hand, his walk rate remained fairly steady with him drawing a base-on-balls an average of once every 5.2 plate appearances during his hot streak to once every 5.6 plate appearances over his most recent six games. His weekly stats: .130./.286/.130/.416, 23 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, .167 BABIP, 1 E.
Season-to-date: .306/.405/.372/.777, 180 AB, 27 R, 55 H, 9 2B, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 30 BB, 25 SO, 9 SB, 2 CS, .344 BABIP, 4 E
- Anthony Ferrara: Ferrara was not as effective in his second start on the 19th as he was in his first, allowing three tallies, earned, on four hits and three base-on-balls in 4.2 frames. He retired the side in order in the first, which included two of his five strikeouts for the game, before running into trouble in the second. Two runners touched home on a lead-off single, wild pitch, free pass, sac bunt and two-RBI single before Ferrara settled down to record the last two outs of the inning. After the Caneros tied it up at two-all in the top of the third, the lefty worked two scoreless, with a two-out walk in the third accounting for the only base runner. Los Mochis took a one-run lead in the fifth but Ferrara gave it right back. Another single to begin the frame came back to bite the 23-year-old when the runner was sacrificed to second, moved to third on a single and touched home on a sac fly. Ferrara's stint was over upon issuing his third base-on-balls. He threw 85 pitches, 49 for strikes with four ground outs and four fly outs.
Season-to-date: 2.79 ERA/2.37 FIP, 3 G, 2 GS, 9.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 1 HB, 5 BB, 13 SO, 1.14 WHIP, .188 BAA, .300 BABIP

Venados de Mazatlan –
Mazatlan went 4-2 this week.
- Nick Additon: Additon has been shut down effective his last start on December 5th and remains on Mazatlan's Inactive/Reserve list.
Season-to-date: 3.74 ERA/3.50 FIP, 10 G, 10 GS, 53 IP, 49 H, 30 R, 22 ER, 3 HR, 2 HB, 21 BB (2 IBB), 49 SO, 1.32 WHIP, .246 BAA, .309 BABIP, 2.33 K/BB

Puerto Rico League

A dispute has arisen between the Association of Professional Baseball Players of Puerto Rico and the League over payments the Association claims are owed them. Dues of $150/player have been paid the Association by Carolina, Caguas and Mayaquez but not by Manati, Ponce or Santurce. This is per a report in Primera Hora on December 21st. These non-payment of dues do not appear to reflect any League difficulty in the actual payment of players' salaries.

Stats are through games of December 25th.

Criollos de Caguas –
Caguas won only one of six contests.
- Luis Mateo: It was a rough week for Mateo, both at the plate and on the field. He started at short four times, pinch hit once and was a defensive substitution in one game. He hit ninth in all four starts and his placement in the batting order accurately reflected his offensive production. Mateo had three singles in 15 at bats, touched home once and struck out three times for a line of .200/.200/.200/.400 with a .250 BABIP. He pinch hit in the seventh and final frame of a twin bill on the 19th and led off the inning with a fly out. Mateo was inserted at short in the bottom of the sixth on Sunday and struck out in his only at bat. Defensively, he committed three errors, including two throwing errors in the same game on Friday and a fielding error during Saturday's battle.
Season-to-date: .310/.346/.414/.760, 116 AB, 16 R, 36 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 8 BB, 26 SO, 6 SB, 0 CS, .380 BABIP, 8 E

Gigantes de Carolina –
Carolina went 4-1 with one postponement since the last report.
- Juan Caballero: Sunday marked the second Caballero sighting in as many weeks when he began the top of the seventh with his team up 9-3. The righty put two aboard on a single and a base-on-balls before he recorded his first out, a fly out to left. He loaded the bases by issuing another free pass, leading to his departure. The runner on third later scored on a sac fly.
Season-to-date: 5.40 ERA/6.19 FIP, 3 G, 0 GS, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 0 HB, 3 BB, 2 SO, 3.00 WHIP, .250 BAA, .333 BABIP
- Anthony Garcia: Garcia had an excellent week with the bat in four starts in right. Batting fifth three times and sixth once, the 20-year-old had six hits in 14 at bats, including two doubles and a home run. He was vital to the Gigantes' 4-1 victory in the second game of a twin bill on Saturday, doubling in one run and scoring two more in that produced a twin bill sweep of Manati. He got on board four times: via an intentional free pass in the first, a double that drove in his squad's second tally in the third, a hit-by-pitch to begin the sixth that resulted in him scoring the Gigantes' third run and a two-out single in the seventh where he eventually touched home for the fourth and final run. His numbers for the week: .429/.529/.786/1.315, with two walks, five runs scored and three driven in. Garcia fanned three times and committed two fielding errors, both during Sunday's contest.
Season-to-date: .295/.386/.443/.829, 88 AB, 10 R, 26 H, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 10 BB, 21 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .369 BABIP, 2 E
- Yadier Molina: It looks like Carolina is trying to minimize the wear-and-tear St. Louis' catcher undergoes during his time in the Puerto Rico League. While Molina started all five games, he took the field only once, at first on Sunday where he was charged with a fielding error. Even then Molina was replaced in the top of the eighth. The designated hitter/first baseman and number three batter had three singles and two long balls in 17 at bats. Both of Molina's home runs came in his last three games of the week. His three-run bomb in game one of Saturday's double-header gave his team their second and final lead in a 5-2 victory in seven. His second three-run slam in the third inning on Sunday knotted things up at three all as Carolina went on to win 11-4. Molina knocked in seven tallies, drew three base-on-balls, struck out once and was caught stealing one time. His stats: .294/.381/.647/1.028 with a .200 BABIP.
Season-to-date: .250/.306/.438/.743, 32 AB, 2 R, 8 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 2 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, .207 BABIP, 1 E

Indios de Mayaguez –
Mayaguez won two and lost four.
- Hector Hernandez: Hernandez had his shortest and roughest outing to date in the Puerto Rico League on the 19th when he was charged with the loss. The 21-year-old lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up six runs, five earned, on eight hits and two base-on-balls. One of those hits was a lead-off solo blast that was half of the tallies Hernandez yielded in the first. The unearned run crossed in the second on a fielding error by the Indios' third baseman which would have been the frame's third out. Hernandez was chased from the game in the fourth when three more touched home, the final run scoring after his departure. He threw a wild pitch and committed a throwing error as well. Hernandez had eight ground outs, two strike outs and no fly outs.
Season-to-date: 4.56 ERA/5.10 FIP, 9 G, 4 GS, 23.2 IP, 27 H, 15 R, 12 ER, 3 HR, 0 HB, 10 BB, 12 SO, 1.56 WHIP, .303 BAA, .316 BABIP

Cangrejeros de Santurce –
Santurce went 4-2 this week.
- Javier Machuca: Machuca has not made an appearance. At this point he is being dropped from the notebook until he actually plays.
- Jonathan Rodriguez: Rodriguez produced in limited playing time with two singles and a double in six at bats. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a two-out RBI during his start in right on the 20th, following that up with a 1-for-3 performance as the designated hitter on the 21st. Rodriguez was picked off base during the latter contest. He hit in the seven slot in both games.
Season-to-date: .259/.412/.444/.856, 27 AB, 4 R, 7 H, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 11 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, .400 BABIP

Coming soon: Part two of this report will cover Cardinals prospects' results the past week in the Venezuelan and Venezuelan Parallel Leagues.

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