Here are some notes from farm play over Labor Day weekend:
-Ryan Helsley was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year. During his time with Palm Beach this year, Helsley was 8-2 with a 2.69 earned run average in 17 games - 16 starts. Helsley posted a 91:30 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 93 2/3 frames prior to his promotion to Double-A Springfield.
-Spikes starter Daniel Castano logged eight scoreless innings with seven punchouts in his outing against the Auburn Doubledays.
-Redbirds outfielder Tyler O’Neill homered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and his weekend was highlighted with a five-RBI day on Sunday. Here’s O’Neill’s Sunday blast, his 31st of the season:
-Memphis shortstop Wilfredo Tovar did some damage at the dish as well, going 5-for-14 with four doubles, a homer, five runs batted in, and four runs scored.
-Connor Jones was promoted from High-A Palm Beach and made his first Double-A start over the weekend. He was victorious. Jones went 6 2⁄3 innings, limiting the Travelers to two run on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.
-Springfield third baseman Jacob Wilson had four runs batted in on Friday, including three on a long home run. For Wilson, it was his 17th long ball of the season.
-Chiefs first baseman Stefan Trosclair blasted a two-run homer Monday in Peoria’s 11-9 win over the Cougars. It was Trosclair’s 15th shot of the year.
-Check out this triple play initiated by Spikes second baseman Zach Kirtley (He was credited with two assists on the play):
Labor Day weekend annually marks the closing of the regular season in Minor League Baseball. Fittingly, the season ends just as players begin to be promoted as Major League rosters expand from 25 to 40 for the final month of big-league play.
Three of the Cardinals’ six affiliates will continue play in their respective level’s postseason, including the Memphis Redbirds, Palm Beach Cardinals, and Peoria Chiefs. Class-A Short Season - league of the State College Spikes - has a regular-season schedule that extends over the next few days, and the postseason picture is not fully set. The Spikes are in the race for one of the final spots.
The Redbirds will take on the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the first round of the playoffs, beginning Wednesday. Palm Beach’s hunt begins Tuesday against the Fort Myers Miracle, and the Chiefs will battle the Quad Cities River Bandits on Wednesday. Dakota Hudson will start for Memphis; the other two starters have not been publicly named.
Beyond the Minor League Baseball postseason is the Arizona Fall League. The Cardianls are slated to have eight representatives in the brief exhibition season: pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Jordan Hicks, Josh Lucas, and Arturo Reyes; infielders John Nogowski and Edmundo Sosa; catcher Andrew Knizner; outfielder Oscar Mercado. The AFL season will begin on October 10.
All videos are credited to the official Minor League Baseball Youtube channel.