Intersquad scrimmages are the lifeblood of most non-professional baseball teams. Unless you have a team of pot-bellied former all conference honorable mentions hanging around near the ball field looking for a little game action, it's hard for college and high school teams to find anyone to play against other than their own teammates. In pro ball, there's a lot of scrimmages during instructional season in the fall and a few live batting practice sessions in the spring before the spring training games start and that's about it.
The later we progress into spring, the fewer and fewer of these types of contests we see, even on the back fields where the low minors players are working out and jockeying for roster spots every day. Tuesday was an exception, with the rainout against the Mets providing a chance for Cardinal players to go tete-a-tete for possibly the last time before the end of the spring.
Springfield 6 Memphis 4
- Boone Whiting: 3 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 3 K's
- Eric Fornataro: 1 IP
- Lee Stoppelman: 1 IP, 2 H, ER, BB
Whiting has righted the ship some since being sent out to minor league camp and had another solid outing today. Fornataro continues to impress with his improved command and keeps inducing weak contact; still not missing many bats though, so we'll see if he's able to maintain his performance.
Lee Stoppelman continues to struggle this spring, with three more baserunners and no strikeouts. There's nothing quite like facing better hitters than can grind a fast-moving pitching prospect's progress to a halt in the a hurry.
- Patrick Wisdom: 1-3, 2B, RBI
- Jonathan Rodriguez: 2-3, 2B, R
Both of these guys are going to come back to haunt me after I left both of them off of my Top 20 list this spring. Wisdom has been impressive this spring, both with his power and his defense at 3B and Rodriguez just continues to crank out hits game after game.
- Kurt Heyer: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
- Dixon Llorens: 1 IP, 3 BB
Heyer was all over the place today but continues to pile up strikeouts despite not having overwhelming stuff. Llorens sidearm action has trouble finding the strike zone again, but was able to escape this three walk debacle unscored upon.
- Breyvic Valera (DH): 2-4, R
- Nick Longmire (LF): 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
- Colin Walsh (2B): 1-2, 2B, R, RBI
- Alex Mejia (3B): 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, BB
A lot to like here: Longmire continued to build on an excellent spring with another home run and Valera rapped out a couple more hits. Walsh and Mejia will be fighting for playing time somewhere between AA and AAA to start the year so it's good to see some production from them against AAA pitching.
Palm Beach 4 Peoria 0
Palm Beach Pitching
- Rob Kaminsky: 3 IP, H, 4 BB, K
- Arturo Reyes: 2 IP, H, 2 K
- Josh Lucas: 1 IP, H, BB
- Brandon Lee: 1 IP, K
- Steven Gallardo: 1 IP, K
- Nick Lomascolo: 1 IP, 2 BB
The four walks aren't encouraging for Kaminsky although he did allow just one hit in his three innings of work. Solid pitching by the rest of the staff -- scattering just three hits over 9 innings.
Palm Beach Hitting
- Ronald Castillo (LF): 3-4, 2 HR, K
- Nick Martini (RF): 2-4, 3B, BB
Castillo is one big dude (6'5", 200 pounds) and is finally starting to hit like one.
- Jimmy Reed: 3 IP, 2 H, ER, K
- Michael Holback: 2 IP, H, BB, 2 L
- Jhonny Polanco: 1 IP, H, 2 K
Just when you thought there could be only one Jhonny...
- Oscar Mercado (SS) - 2-4, 2B
Mercado is putting together an excellent spring and seems to have found the hitting stroke that eluded him for much of his short season stint in 2013. That's good news for the Cardinals
if he can progress enough offensively to reach A ball in 2014. The glove will play as quickly as the bat can carry it up the rungs of the minors and this is as good a start as any.
Around the Horn
- Cardinals RHP Andrew Pierce was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance (amphetamine). Pierce was an 8th round pick out of Southern Miss in 2013 and his suspension will start at the beginning of the season for the New York-Penn League.
- Springfield's new Saturday caps are an excellent addition to your collection of Cardinal cranium covers.
- The Peoria Chiefs mascot, Homer, is running a NCAA basketball pool with prizes for the top three finishers.
Five games against the Marlins
are on the slate for the minor league teams today.