DSL Cardinals Report: June 15, 2009

By Josh Jones, Cardinals Best News Links

The Dominican Summer League Cardinals began the week ending their losing streak with a three-game winning streak.  But they unfortunately finished the week losing their last three games.  The Cardinals went 3-3 for this period, bringing their season record to 5-8 and five games out of first.  The team is 3-3 at home and 2-5 on the road.

After a scheduled day off, the Cardinals hosted the Mariners.  The M’s scored early, but the Redbirds took the lead in the bottom of the first.  The Cardinals pitching held the M’s scoreless for the next four frames and tacked on four of their own.  The Mariners tried their best with a comeback run but came up short losing to the Cardinals 9-7.

The Cardinals visited the Athletics in the next game and it was another close one.  Both teams traded off runs in the first seven innings.  The Cardinals’ first baseman clubbed the teams first home run of the season and that was the game as the bullpen held off the Mariners’ bats. The Cardinals won 10-9.

The Cardinals played host to the Phillies and extended their winning streak to three games.  The Redbirds took an early lead in the first and plated another seven runs in the following innings.  The Phillies didn’t surrender easily and scored four runs in the ninth, on Redbird errors.  The Cardinals came in and shut’em down for the save as they won 9-7.

The Cardinals took a trip to play the Mariners in the following game.  The Mariners were looking for revenge after an loss to the Redbirds earlier in the week.  The M’s pitching held the Cardinals to only two hits and scored three runs in two separate innings for a 7-1 victory.

Next up, was a home game vs. the Athletics.  This turned into a pitcher’s duel until the bullpens took over.  One run was scored between both teams in the first seven frames.  The Cardinals tied it up in the eighth and the A’s took the lead and the game in the ninth.  The A’s doubled-up the Cardinals 4-2.

To round out the week the Cardinals visited the Phillies for a second meeting during this period.  Like the previous game, Cardinals’ errors played a major role in this game.  The Redbirds pretty much had the game in the bag as they had a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.  The Phils plated one in the seventh and then six more crossed in the eighth.  The Phillies came from behind to beat the Cardinals 7-5 and none of those runs scored by the Phils were earned.

Who’s Hot

Jesus Montero has touched a base in each of his last 12 games he has been to the plate.  The soon to turn 19-year right-handed hitter went 8-for-17 (.533) with one double, one triple, five RBIs, two runs, one walk, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, and struck out three times.  He’s currently tied with Grabiel Hernandez for the team lead in hitting with a .333 batting average and leads in SLG and OPS.  He was on the back end of three double plays, while at first base, and threw out one of six attempting base stealers behind the plate.

Luis Pimentel currently has a two-game hitting streak to carry over into the next period.  The 20-year old right-handed hitter went 5-for-20 (.250) with one double, one home run, four RBIs, two runs, one walk, one stolen base, and struck out four times.  His home run was the first of the teams for the 2009 season and was the game winner on June 9.

Oscar Taveras had two multi-hit games and drove in a run in four of the past six games.  The soon-to-turn 19-year old went 6-for-22 (.273) with two doubles, one triple, five RBIs, nine runs, four walks, one sac fly, two stolen bases, and struck out three times.  Taveras is tied for the team lead in hits and RBIs, and leads the team with nine runs scored (all this period).

Alejandro Pinard managed to turn things around after getting beat on in the first week.  The 20-year old right-hander made his second relief appearance, of the season, on June 9 and gave up two hits, one earned run, one walk, uncorked a wild pitch, and struck out three over four innings.  He did pick up his first winning decision of the season, but also collected the blown save.  The third-year DSL pitcher got another shot at the rotation with a start on June 13.  He pitched five scoreless innings allowing six hits, hitting one batter, throwing one wild pitch, and striking out three.

Angel Tapia was solid out of the bullpen and as a starter this past week.  The 19-year old right-hander came out of the bullpen on June 8 and tossed three innings of long relief giving up two hits, one earned run, two walks, hit one batter, and struck out two.  The Cardinals gave him another shot at the rotation in his next appearance and he gave up four hits, one earned run, one wild pitch, and struck out four over five innings.  Tapia picked up his first winning decision of the season in his relief outing and kept the ball on the ground in both games with a combined 12-to-4 ground out-to-fly out ratio.

Pedro Pena gave up only one earned run in both his games pitched during the period.  The 18-year old left-hander made a start on June 8 and pitched three innings allowing four hits, one unearned run, and struck out three.  Then on June 12 he was moved to the bullpen and gave up no hits, one earned, two walks, hit one batter, and struck out a season-high six over three and a third innings for the losing decision.  Pena has only given up one earned run and struck out 11 over 8.1 innings this season.

Who’s Not

Michael Avila couldn’t get a hit if it depended on his life this past week.  The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 0-for-16 with two runs, three walks, two stolen bases, and struck out seven times.  He has not connected for a hit in his last five games that he has been to the plate.  The third-year DSL participant played four games at short stop, where he committed one throwing error and assisted in one double play, and his other two as the team’s designated hitter.

Jose Pena extended his hitting streak to three games to begin the week, but hasn’t connected in the last two games.  The 17-year old right-handed hitter went 2-for-14 (.143) with one RBI, two runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts.  He leads the team in strikeouts, with 16, and had one outfield assist and one fielding error while playing left field, during the week.

Yorbel Alcala seems to be having trouble adjusting to the Dominican Summer League.  The 19-year old switch-hitter went 1-for-13 (.077) with one double, two runs, two walks, and struck out three times.  Behind the plate, he threw out two of four base runners, had four passed balls, and assisted in one double play.

Keury Herrera is showing the same signs of struggling he showed last year.  The 18-year old left-hander was pulled after pitching one and two-thirds innings in his second start of the season on June 9.  He gave up five hits, six earned runs, one home run, two walks, threw a wild pitch, and struck out two.  The second-year DSL pitcher came out of the bullpen in his next appearance and he pitched two innings allowing three hits, one unearned run, one walk, and striking out four for the hold.

Adriano Uribe makes it two rough appearances, out of three, this season. The 20-year old left-hander made a start on June 11 and was hand cuffed with four hits, three earned runs, four walks, one wild pitch, and struck out three over two innings.  He’s earned three runs in each of his last two games which only lasted two innings apiece.

The Happenings

Christian Concepcion, Jeudis Polanco, and Braulio Hiraldo have yet to show up this season.

Victor Ferreira has not played since June 2.  Both Juan Mercedes and Wader Perez haven’t appeared since June 8 and Grabiel Hernandez has missed the last three consecutive games.

Rosalin Rudecindo and Delvi Rodriguez both made the 2009 DSL debuts on June 11.

The St. Louis Cardinals have hired RBI Consulting, a Dominican Republic based firm, to help teach their players some of the basics and more in education, health training, and leadership skills.

Giants could become big players in the Wagner Mateo sweepstakes, according to Mercury News.

As everyone should know by now the St. Louis Cardinals are scheduled to watch one of Miguel Angel Sano’s many workouts during the next couple weeks in preparation for the July 2nd signing period, courtesy of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Reports by ESPN Deportes says that the Pittsburgh Pirates signing bonus offers haven’t even reached $3 million, for Sano, and that the Baltimore Orioles are not even major players in the undrafted free agent.

Dominican Summer League Stats

The Cardinals are batting .217 overall and are pretty much at the bottom of the league as a whole.  The team is tied for third in triples, third in stolen base, tied for fifth in strikeouts, and are at the bottom half of the league in all other stats.

The Cardinals team ERA is 4.22 and their WHIP is a 1.61 on the season.  They rank in the top ten in hits, runs, and home runs allowed, and strikeouts in the league.

Juan B Cabrera and Roberto Reyes are tied, with others, for ninth in triples.

Grabiel Hernandez is tied for tenth in stolen bases.

Eduard Estalis is tied for eighth in saves and tied for eighth in game finishes.

Next Up (Overall Record, vs. Cardinals)

June 15: Mariners (10-3, 3-1)

June 16: @ Athletics (6-7, 3-1)

June 17: Phillies (5-8, 2-3)

June 18: @ Mariners (10-3, 3-1)

June 19: Athletics (6-7, 3-1)

June 20: @ Phillies (5-8, 2-3)

June 21: Mariners (10-3, 3-1)