the playoffs get started tonight -- the florida state league's playoffs, anyway -- and the cards' palm beach affiliate is involved, defending its 2005 title in a best-of-3 vs the st lucie mets. holdovers from last year's champ'ship squad include tyler adamczyk, mark michael, justin garza, matt pagnozzi, rayner laya, matt dryer, and joe mather. can't find palm beach's probable pitchers listed anywhere, even though game 1 begins in just a couple of hours; jaime garcia and mitchell boggs are sure to get two of the assignments, with cory meachem and nick webber the likeliest candidates for a 3d game. the staff also includes 2005 1st rounder mark mccormick, promoted to PB just before the end of the regular season. and another 2005 1st-rounder, colby rasmus, is on the roster as well. milb.com's series preview is here; the official palm beach cards website is here.
the cards' other class-A affiliate, quad cities, also qualified for the playoffs and starts its best-of-3 vs kane county tomorrow night; VEB fave trey hearne takes the ball for game 1. the roster boasts four of this year's five top draft picks --- 1st-rounders adam ottavino and chris perez, and 2d-rounders john jay and mark hamilton --- as well as 2005 1st-rounder tyler greene. series preview is here (scroll to the bottom).
no playoffs for triple A memphis, but two of its players -- lhp chris narveson and ss john nelson --- have been rewarded with their first big-league callups. josh kinney also got recalled, and skip schumaker will join the team after quals for the 2008 olympics have ended. narveson, the most intriguing of the bunch, will prob'y see a little action inm relief vs left-handed batters and could set himself up for a shot at a 2007 roster spot if he pitches well. on the surface, it appears as if lefties hit him much harder this year --- .292 avg off narvie, vs a .222 avg by right-handers. but the Minor League Splits Database reveals those numbers to be misleading: narveson's BABIP vs left-handers was a sky-high .370 --- ie, he got unlucky --- while the reverse occurred vs right-handers, a flukishly low .234 BABIP. the more pertinent numbers are these: lefties slugged just .304 against narveson, while right-handers slugged .419. another split that might mean something: he had a 2.20 era / .205 opp avg in memphis' pitcher-friendly park but a 3.77 era ./ .282 opp avg on the road.