the marlins' starter, scott olsen, faced st louis back in may and got mashed --- 3.2 innings, 7 runs --- and he's posted a 7.20 era for august. so if mulder can go, say, 4 innings and hold 'em to 3 or 4 runs . . . . . .
the cardinals promoted shortstop brendan ryan to memphis today; it wouldn't shock me 'tall if he's promoted to st louis after september 1. drafted in the 7th round of '03, he appeared in 7 spring-training games with the big club this march and was slated to start the season at springfield, with a likely midseason promotion to memphis. but a series of injuries kept him off the field for four months; he didn't start playing until early august, rehabbed at state college (8 games) and palm beach (3 games), then finally got back to springfield a week and a half ago and batted .302 there in 43 plate appearances. he's deemed a slick fielder and a competent batsman for a middle infielder; he'll get a crash course at triple a and, given the cardinals' shortage of middle-infield depth, could join st louis after labor day. here's a week-old article from the springfield paper about him. baseball prospectus lists his #3 comp as (hah!) hector luna. #7 is julio lugo; #12 is freddie sanchez . . . . .
2005 1st-round-sandwicher mark mccormick made his debut in high a last night -- started the 2d half of a twin bill for palm beach and pitched two shutout innings, no hits, 1 strikeout. he's had such a quiet season (primarily due to injury) it's easy to forget that he opened the season ranked (by baseball america) as the organization's #5 prospect. of the four guys in front of him, one graduated to the big leagues (reyes) and two had bad years (ty greene, chris lambert); by contrast mccorrmick, pitching sporadically between injuries, has struck out 10.6 men per 9 innings this year while allowing just 6.3 hits per 9. he still has stupendous control problems --- he has allowed more walks this year (39) than base hits (38) --- but mccormick reportedly throws one of the most unhittable fastballs in organized baseball. so despite flying under the radar all summer, he's still a significant prospect. mccormick finished 6th in DJ87's community top 20 prospects poll.
other organizational tidbits: baseball america said nice things about nick stavinoha in its weekly Hot Sheet; scroll down to the "in the team photo" section. check out his splits -- .318 / .363 / .530 post all-star in 217 at-bats. if chris duncan can hit in the big leagues, then surely this guy's got a shot. ditto cody haerther, who at 23 is a year younger than stavvy --- post-all-star line of .322 / .378 / .488.
palm beach, playing a string of doubleheaders to make up for a succession of rainouts, has already played and won today: splendid effort by jaime garcia, backed by a colby rasmus homer. palm beach now leads its division by half a game over daytona, the cubs' high-a affiliate; nick webber is pitching the nightcap, and not so effectively (pb trails 3-1 in the 4th inning).
the cardinals' low-a affiliate, quad cities, also leads its division by 1/2 a game. they host the 2d-place club, kane county, tonight in a doubleheader; single games to follow wednesday and thursday.