Hello again. The St. Louis Cardinals have (kind of) been swinging bats and throwing pitches in anger for a few days now. However, with the exception of Memphis' exhibition against the parent club, the Cardinals minor league teams had yet to play a game outside of Florida until last night. The minor league season finally got underway for the Future Redbirds Thursday, all four full-season affiliates were in action.
- Dean Anna (SS): 2-5, 2 R, RBI, K
- Ty Kelly (LF): 2-5, 2 K
- Stephen Piscotty (RF): 2-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, K
(1B):1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB
- Mitch Harris (RP): 1 IP, BB
- The top half of the Memphis order had a big night. Based on John Mozeliak's recent comments about Randal Grichuk, the Cardinals may opt for a player who does not need much additional development for the final OF spot if at-bats become scarce in St. Louis. It will be interesting to see how guys like Anna, Kelly, Scruggs and Tommy Pham (fingers crossed) play early in the season, none of them appear to need much additional seasoning in AAA. The big league club will have plenty of options if it decides Grichuk needs regular-bats or if an injury strikes early.
- 4 earned runs is less than ideal, but Marco Gonzales still looked like himself. He struck out 6 without walking anyone, did not allow an extra base hit, threw 60 of his 85 pitches for strikes and recorded 7 ground outs to 2 fly outs.
- Given his age, Mitch Harris was never going to have a whole lot of time to develop. The Cardinals threw him into the fire last season, and he didn't do much in his 50ish innings across three levels to instill much confidence in his future as a prospect, so it is nice to see him getting an opportunity to pitch in the 9th inning for Memphis.
- Kris Bryant went 1-4 with a strike out, in case you were wondering.
- Aledmys Diaz (SS): 1-5, R, 2B, K
- Jacob Wilson (2B): 0-4
- Breyvic Valera (RF): 2-4, R, 2 RBI
- Nick Petree (SP): 3.2 8 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 3 K, HR
- The S-Cards lineup to begin the year is an interesting mix of prospects (Tilson), former prospects (Mike Ohlman, Pat Wisdom) and guys who could hit their way into the Cardinals bench situation (Diaz, Wilson, and one of Eric's favorite's Breyvic Valera). You could possibly slot Ohlman into that final category as well, given his pedigree and the Cardinals perpetual quest to find a decent backup catcher. There are a lot of familiar names in the Springfield lineup and they should be fun to watch this season.
- C.J. McElroy (CF): 1-4, R, 3B, K
- Juan Herrera (SS): 0-3, RBI, BB, K
- Rowan Wick (RF): 1-4, R, K
- Carson Kelly (C): 0-4, 2 K
- Alex Reyes: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 10 K
- After getting his first exposure to full-season league hitters in Peoria last year, Alex Reyes got a promotion to A Advanced and drew the Opening Day assignment. 4 runs in 4.2 innings makes for an ugly line, but he did strike out half of the 20 batters he faced.
- Rowan Wick Did Not Homer. He did single and strike out.
- Magneuris Sierra (CF): 1-4, R, RBI
- Oscar Mercado (SS): 0-3
- Danny Diekroger (3B): 0-4, RBI, K
- Steve Bean (C): 0-4
- Blake Drake (LF): 1-4, R, 3 K
- Chris Lee (SP): 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, K
- Magneuris Sierra was making his full-season league debut after winning the batting title by a full 30 points of batting average as an 18 year old in the Gulf Coast League last year. His single in the 3rd was part of Peoria's 3 run rally in the 3rd, but unfortunately that was all the offense the Chiefs could muster.
Memphis: The Recently Profiled Tim Cooney
Springfield: Mike Mayers
Palm Beach: TBA
Peoria: Austin Gomber