Cardinals minor league spring training notebook: 03/15/13

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals minor leaguers played their second set of spring games against external competition. This time, the opponent was the New York Mets. Memphis and Springfield were at home while Palm Beach and Peoria bussed to Port St. Lucie. The remainder of the Peoria players worked out in Jupiter, where I also stayed to catch the Triple-A and Double-A teams.

Memphis was the only victorious club, with Palm Beach tying. The Cardinals’ spring record against external minor league competition is now 3-5-1.

As he has been doing the last few seasons, Cardinals farm director John Vuch is sharing game stats. As always, the raw numbers are his, but the comments and players of the day are mine.

Friday’s Player of the Day: Memphis outfielder Chad Huffman (pictured) was stroking the ball with authority all afternoon. He launched a long home run to left in the opening frame, another double that clanged off the chain link outfield fence in almost the same area and drew a walk. The only time I saw him retired was on a screamer to the second baseman. Right next to me when the homer was blasted, Vuch joked the ball traveled so far that it must have been wind aided.

Friday’s Pitcher of the Day: Memphis’ Boone Whiting showed me a lot on the mound Friday. After giving up a long double to right-center in his second frame, the right-hander buckled down and got out of the jam with two strikeouts.

The Cardinal Nation subscribers can check out the Friday’s starting lineups, pitcher velocity readings and boatload of insider news from a writer who is there to provide eyewitness reports. Spring training working rosters and the full minor league spring schedule are also available to subscribers.

The entire system view by level and position is available via the Roster Matrix, free, right here at The Cardinal Nation Blog.

Memphis 4, Las Vegas 2

Pop Warner’s lineup card caused some amusing confusion among several of the Memphis players. Batting ninth was “Castillo 2,” meaning catcher Juan Castillo. Underneath his name on the card was the starting pitcher, “Castillo 2.” In that case, it meant Richard Castillo was scheduled to go two innings on the mound. One perplexed player kept asking, “So, who is batting ninth?”

Memphis pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Memphis hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Richard Castillo 2 1 0 2 1 Back from Team Spain in the World Baseball Classic Chad Huffman 1 2 3 1 1 1 Looks like a solid minor league free agent signing
Boone Whiting 2 2 0 1 4 Nice job getting 2 Ks to strand runner who doubled Mike O’Neill 4 1 3 1 1 Played well in AZ Fall League after AA promotion
Jorge Rondon 0.2 1 0 1 1 UER – threw gas, but not enough strikes Jermaine Curtis 1 Reached on HBP, but made Mets pay
Barret Browning 2 1 1 1 4 Lefty gave up a HR leading off 2nd inning of work Vance Albitz 1 1 Showed quickness in stealing second base
Dean Kiekhefer 2 3 0 1 Did not throw hard

Binghamton 6, Springfield 3

Springfield pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Springfield hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Anthony Ferrara 2 3 2 1 1 Gave up a HR to RF in the 1st inning Nick Longmire 2 1 1 1 Has wheels, but only 2 triples in last 2 yrs total
Zack Russell 2 0 0 1 4 Continues to rack up solid K counts James Ramsey 2 1 1 1 Had 3 triples in 210 ABs with PB in 2012
Ramon Delgado 1.2 4 3 1 1 Stuff looked much better than results Anthony Garcia 2 1 1 The bat is there – needs to keep working on rest
Kevin Siegrist 2 2 0 1 2 Allowed bloop single; promptly picked the runner off Tyler Rahmatulla 2 1 Really hit wall in 2H 2012 after PB promotion
Jose Almarante 1 2 1 1 A Garcia almost saved run on diving attempt on track Nick Martini 2 1 7th round pick in 2011 from Kansas State
David Medina 2 1 1 In final yr pre-free agency, he looks ready to play
Adam Melker 0 2 Proud papa among those in attendance

Palm Beach 7 at St. Lucie 7

Palm Beach pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Palm Beach hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Kurt Heyer 2 2 0 0 2 UER. Praised SS Alex Mejia in post-game tweet Jeremy Schaffer 3 2 1 2 Big run producer at Johnson City in 2012
Zach Petrick 2 3 2 2 1 Breyvic Valera 3 1 1 1 1 20 y/o has career .374 OBP
Stalyn Lopez 2 2 0 1 Wish I could have seen him pitch Cesar Valera 3 1 2 1 Only 67 RBI in 815 career plate appearances
Danny Miranda 2 3 3 1 1 Lefty was reliable closer for Batavia in 2011 Matt Young 3 1 2 Added two stolen bases – system needs wheels
Brandon Creath 1 1 1 Led NYPL relievers in K/ 9 IP in 2012 Steven Ramos 4 1 2 Also swiped one bag
Carson Kelly 3 1 1
Roberto De La Cruz 3 1 1 Started game in left field
David Bergin 1 1 1 1
David Popkins 1 1 1
Jordan Walton 2 1 1
Alex Mejia 1 1 2 Wrist must be feeling well now
Gerwuins Velazco 2 1 1 Young catcher to keep an eye on

Savannah 7, Peoria 5

Peoria pitching IP H ER BB K Notes Peoria hitting AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB Notes
Dail Villanueva 2 2 3 Top 10 in system in wins and strikeouts in 2012 Luis Perez 4 1 2 1 1 1 Two XBH = nice day for 2012 GCL All-Star
Chris Thomas 2 2 1 2 Fanned 34 in 26 2/3 IP last season Reggie Williams 4 1 2 Good-looking OF trying to get career back on track
Garrett Wittels 2 2 4 2 1 Former utilityman trying pitching Anthony Bryant 1 2 I have to remember to ask him – Anthony or Tony?
Norge Paredes 2 0 0 0 1 Two perfect frames Jem Argenal 1 1 1
Jeff Rauh 1 3 3 1 Yielded walkoff three run home run Trevor Martin 1 1
Jose Gomez 2 1 1

On Saturday, the Cardinals will have a camp day. I asked Field Coordinator Mark DeJohn if the club would be having 10 A.M. games as they sometimes do on Saturday camp days. He replied no, that it is too early in spring training and there is a lot to be worked on. Makes good sense.

Subscribers to the main site,, should continue to check out my extensive spring training content over the upcoming days.

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