It's been a while since we've gotten a chance to do one of these, since last September actually. And luckily very little has happened in baseball, politics or current events worth mentioning since then. Just business as usual.
The Daily Farm Reports during spring training will be a mix of results from games against the minor leaguers from other Florida-based camps, and scrimmages on the backfields in Jupiter. And remember, the affiliate a player is "assigned" to during Spring Training games has very little bearing on were he will end up once camp breaks in a few weeks.
Thanks as well to the Cardinals for providing us with results from the backfields so that we can put these together.
Unfortunately, I've not gotten to these as early as I would've liked, so we'll be joining the MiLB Grapefruit League season in progress.
Also, farewell, Deck. You'll be missed, old friend.
Games of Wednesday, March 22nd
The Cards' farmhands split 4 games against minor leaguers from the Nats' system.
Triple A: Syracuse 8 - Memphis 5
- 2-4, R, 3B, K
- Anthony Garcia (LF): 1-3, R, 2B, BB, K
- Luke Weaver: 2.2 IP, H, ER, 4K
- Zach Phillips: 1 IP, 2K
Syracuse bested Memphis in a battle of ancient Mediterranean civilizations...LF Anthony Garcia stalled out in the high minors last season after having a monster first half in Springfield the previous campaign. The breakout in AA restored his prospect status, but after last season he has been passed on the depth chart by journeyman minor leaguer Jose Martinez. If the 25 year old doesn't get things going this season he risks turning into, well, Jose Martinez actually. Luke Weaver's FB-CH combo still overwhelms AAA hitters...Blake Drake is impeccably named.
Double A: Springfield 3 - Harrisburg 2
- Danny Diekroeger (3B): 1-2, R, 2B
- Sandy Alcantara: 2.0 IP, 3K
Danny Diekroeger's career got off to a decent enough start, he was a bit old for his league but he hit well at his first two stops, before falling on his face in Palm Beach to end the 2015 season. Last season got off to a promising start before an injury in mid-May shut him down for most of the rest of the season. He'll be 25 this year, so his assignment will speak volumes about the club's opinion of him; if he starts the season in Springfield, or is quickly promoted there, the Cards may still think the bat can play. His below average power was further suppressed by Roger Dean Stadium, but if he ends up in Springfield expect a modest bounce back for the lefty. He may still have a shot, but the clock is ticking...If you're reading this you have almost certainly read about Sandy Alcantara, here or elsewhere. If things go well he could be elbowing his way into the bullpen picture by late summer.
Class A Advanced: Potomac 12 - Palm Beach 3
Luke Dykstra (DH) - 2 for 4
Luke Dykstra was part of the return the Cards got for dealing Jaime Garcia this past winter. His Zero True Outcomes approach does not bode well for his future, and he's most likely organizational fodder, but he's also only 21 and (for now at least) a second baseman so he's got time to figure it out...There were no pitching highlights.
Class A: Peoria 6 - Hagerstown 2
- Estarlin Arias: 2 IP, 2K
- Yeison Medina: 1 IP, 2K
- Matt Davis (LF): 2-3, 2B, K, 3 RBI
- Shane Billings (CF): 3-4, R
Estarlin Arias got his first exposure to life outside the complex leagues last season, and mostly held his own for 29 innings in Johnson City. He'll turn 23 this May and has yet to pitch in a full season league so he's facing an uphill battle...This may be the only time this year you read the other three names on this list.
Thanks to everyone who made it this far. Sorry again for the late start. The system matches up against the Astros' minor league clubs today. The AAA and AA guys will stay home while the A squads hit the road.