Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 24, 2021

photo: Cardinals Dominican Academy (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Florida Complex League Cardinals notched the sole victory in three rookie-ball decisions in the St. Louis Cardinals system on Monday, but the standout performance belonged to DSL Red’s Miguel Vargas.

Results from games played Monday, August 23rd.

Memphis – off

After going 5-1 versus division rival Nashville (MIL), Memphis (45-51) begins the second half of a two-week home stand by hosting the Midwest Division’s Columbus Clippers.

Tuesday’s game:  vs. Columbus (44-50) (CLE), 8:10 pm ET/7:10 pm CT, Matthew Liberatore (5-7, 4.73)

Springfield – off

Springfield (35-61) launches its last two-week road trip of 2021, travelling to Northwest Arkansas and Tulsa (LAD).  The S-Cards face the former team twice on the road over the final four weeks of the season.

Tuesday’s game:  at Northwest Arkansas (49-46) (KC), 7:05 pm CT, Kevin McGovern (1-2, 4.73)

Peoria – off

Peoria (37-59) is at home this week hosting South Bend before heading out on their final two-week road trip of the season to Quad Cities (KC) and Cedar Rapids (MIN).

Tuesday’s game:  vs. South Bend (42-53) (CHC), 6:35 pm CT, Michael YaSenka (1-8, 6.20)

Palm Beach – off

Palm Beach (30-62) plays ‘roommate’ Jupiter this week. The series kicks off with a double-header.  The second game completes the July 25th game suspended with one away in the top of the fifth and Jupiter hosting.

Tuesday’s games:  vs/at Jupiter (48-45) (MIA).  Game 1 – 2:00 pm ET/ 1:00 pm CT, Edwin Nunez/Dionys Rodriguez

FCL Cardinals 7, FCL Astros 6

The enterprising FCL Cardinals (18-17) walked off with a 7-6 Monday victory over the FCL Astros (21-17) in Jupiter.

The winning tally was scored without any Florida Birds batter making contact.  Center fielder Smith Vargas worked a lead-off base-on-balls, then promptly stole second.  A wild pitch moved the 19-year-old to third just before left fielder Joerlin De Los Santos, the number nine batter, walked as well.  With runners at the corners and none away, designated hitter Joshua Baez was issued an intentional free pass, jamming the sacks full.  The Astros hurler then uncorked his second wild offering, giving Vargas enough time to race home.

Smith Vargas

Offensively, the FCL Cardinals had more errors (five) than hits (three) but patiently walked nine times and took advantage of three Astros’ miscues to score two unearned runs.

Right fielder Adanson Cruz and De Los Santos each went 1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. De Los Santos doubled and crossed home once.  Vargas and shortstop Jeremy Rivas posted identical lines, both going 0-for-3 with a base-on-balls and two runs scored.  Baez worked two free passes, touching home once despite going hitless in three at bats.

FCL Cardinals’ pitchers used two double plays to help mitigate 13 hits yielded.  Starter Yordy Richard permitted the bulk of those hits, 10, including a solo shot, and a walk, somehow resulting in only four runs in four innings.

Four relievers held the opposition to just three more hits and two walks over the last five frames.  Victor Villanueva inherited a 4-2 deficit at the fifth’s onset but that changed to 6-5 lead by the time he recorded the sixth’s third out.  The only hit yielded by the righty was a long ball.

Two first-year pitchers, lefty Alex Cornwell and righty Trent Baker, each tossed a scoreless frame, with Cornwell giving up a hit and Baker issuing two free passes.  Omar Sanchez (W, 1-0) (BS,1) was touched for a ninth-inning score on a lead-off triple and throwing error by Vargas.  It was the first run yielded by Puerto Rican in seven relief appearances dating back to July 15th.

Defensively, the team’s five bobbles were spread among three players.  In addition to Vargas, third baseman Brandon Hernandez had two throws go awry and second baseman Albert Inoa’s two miscues were split between throwing and a missed catch.  Catcher Jose Zapata was charged with a passed ball but Cruz was credited with an outfield assist at third.

Tuesday’s game:  at FCL Marlins (16-21), 12:00 pm ET/11:00 am CT, TBA

DSL Cardinals Blue 4 vs. DSL Phillies Red 8

The DSL Cardinals Blue (10-19) never led in their 8-4 home loss to the DSL Phillies Red.

Starter Benjamin Arias took the loss, his third in four decisions, after yielding four runs, two earned, on three hits, four walks and three wild pitches in four plus frames.

Three relievers shared pitching duties the rest of the way.  Oliver Lopez inherited a two-on/none out jam and induced a 6-4-3 double play limiting the damage to one runner scoring.  The 19-year-old right-hander retired all five batters faced, striking out three.

Uriel Curvelo was not nearly as effective during his 1 2/3 innings on the bump, permitting four runs, earned, on six hits and a walk.  Juan Peralta navigated around two hits and a base-on-balls over 1 1/3 frames, stranding Curvelo’s last runner.

Leonardo Bernal

Three of the Cardinals Blue’s four scores came via two long balls.  Catcher Leonardo Bernal sent one out with center fielder Luis Pino (single) aboard and designated hitter Keshawn Rombley blasted his third rocket.  Shortstop Maycol Justo was the only C-Blue player with a multi-hit performance, singling twice in four at bats.

Defensively, the team turned two double plays and right fielder Christian Avendano was credited with an outfield assist at third.  The C-Blue committed three errors, two by Justo and one by third baseman Javier Bolivar.

Tuesday’s game:  at DSL Phillies Red (15-14), 10:30 am ET/9:30 am CT, TBA

DSL Cardinals Red 8 at DSL Phillies White 16

Left fielder Miguel Vargas’ grand slam was not enough to prevent the DSL Cardinals Red (14-11) from falling to the DSL Phillies White, 16-8.

Player of the Day Vargas accounted for five of his team’s eight runs, going 2-for-4 with the grand salami that was one of two times he touched home plate.  Jeremy Ramos had two more of 12 C-Red hits, singling and doubling in four at bats with a run scored, two driven in and two stolen bases.

Miguel Vargas

Second baseman Lizandro Espinoza and center fielder Carlos Carmona both singled twice in four and five at bats, respectively.  Espinoza scored twice and Carmona once with his third stolen base.

Although the visitors matched their hosts 12 hits, two other factors played a more prominent role:  lack of control and defensive lapses.  Cardinals Red pitchers issued a whopping 12 free passes to two issued by the Phillies White and the C-Red’s six errors resulted in seven unearned tallies to just one unearned run on one bobble by their opponents.

Five players accounted for the six miscues:  third baseman Samil De La Rosa (two), shortstop Elias Reynosa, starter Wilmer Ortega, reliever Fraimin Marte and second baseman Espinoza.

Ortega did not finish the fourth, giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. He also hit two batters.

Eduar Pimental was tagged with six tallies, two earned, on three hits and four walks in 1 1/3 frames and permitted one of two inherited runners to cross home.

Marte and Bruno Lopez retired two batters each and stranded an inherited runner, with Marte allowing four scores, three earned, on three hits and two walks.  Lopez has not permitted an earned run in 9 2/3 frames over eight relief appearances this season and has been scored upon only once.

Bruno Lopez

Darlin Saladin tossed the seventh and eighth, giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits and three free passes issued.

Tuesday’s game:  vs. DSL Phillies White (17-10), 10:30 am ET/9:30 am CT, TBA

Exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation

St. Louis Cardinals Minors: As the Pitchers Churn

Now 20% Off – 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide

Now available, The Cardinal Nation 2021 Prospect Guide is back for a fourth year. It includes over 250 pages of in-depth commentary about the very best St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers, including dozens of color photos.

20% off Blowout Sale now underway on the spiral-bound, printed version.

TCN’s 2021 Cardinals Prospect Guide – 20% Off Blowout Sale

Not yet a member?

Join The Cardinal Nation for the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals from the majors through the entire minor league system.

© 2021 The Cardinal Nation, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.