54-47? This second half is has me whiplashed. The 10-3 run since the break has done wonders to wipe away the general malaise that hovered over this team right around the All-Star Game, thanks in part to youth movement. It feels like just yesterday I was recapping Tommy Edman in these parts...they grow up so fast.
New Orleans Baby Cakes 5 @ Memphis Redbirds 2
Austin Warner (SP) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 6 K, 2 HR
Adolis Garcia (RF) - 3-5, RBI, 2 K
Max Schrock (PH-2B) - 2-2, RBI
Kramer Robertson (SS) - 1-3, 2B, BB, K
Amidst a miserable July for Memphis, Adolis Garcia is enjoying a torried two-week stretch. Since July 12 (10 games), Garcia is slashing .366/.395/.902 with two doubles, a triple, and six home runs. His allergy to walks and penchant for the swing still keep his season line below average, however, loud contact be damned.
Memphis is now 42-61. They take on New Orleans again tonight at 7:05pm CDT.
Springfield Cardinals 12, Amarillo Sod Poodles 1
Tommy Parsons (SP) - 8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HR
Dylan Carlson (CF) - 3-4, 2B, BB
Yariel Gonzalez (3B) - 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
Chris Chinea (1B) - 1-3, 2B, RBI, K
The Baron looks to be right on this one - Dylan Carlson needs a look at AAA. He won’t be 21 until late October, he’s fourth in the Texas League in wRC+, and he’s handled center field in 70 of his 83 starts. To give us some context, the player still leading the Texas League in wRC+ among qualified batters is 21-year old Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux. Lux ran a remarkably similar line to Carlson at AA (.313/.375/.521, 145 wRC+), culminating in a June 27 promotion to Triple-A. In 99 PA’s since being promoted, Lux is torching PCL pitching to the tune of a 258 wRC+. Lux, drafted thirteen picks ahead of Carlson, has taken nicely to the livelier ball. Let’s find out if Carlson does, as well.
The win improves Springfield to 48-54. The Cardinals face Amarillo again tonight at 7:10pm CDT.
St. Lucie Mets 8 @ Palm Beach Cardinals 2
Diego Cordero (SP) - 4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Julio Rodriguez (C) - 2-4, 2B
Luken Baker (1B) - 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K
Zack Thompson (RP) - 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Palm Beach hung around for a time, but faded late as the offense sputtered. Julio Rodriguez’s double was the only extra base hit recorded by the Cardinals, and his two hits made up half the team’s offensive total. Rodriguez has come back down to earth as the season has progressed (.263/.308/.396 as of today, versus, .331/.397/.500 as of June 1), but his defensive chops and arm strength are looking strong enough that “meh” is the bar his bat will have to cross for him to become a valuable backup option.
Palm Beach dropped to 45-54 with the loss. They begin a series with the Dunedin Blue Jays this evening at 5:30pm CDT.
Peoria Chiefs 9 @ Quad Cities River Bandits 5
Colin Schmid (SP) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
Tony Locey (RP) - 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Ivan Herrera (C) - 2-4, 2B, BB, K
Brandon Benson (RF) - 1-3, HR, 4 RBI, BB, K
Speaking of catchers who have come back down to earth, there’s Ivan Herrera, whose inevitable deflation has been much less severe than the one that befell Rodriguez. Herrera is still walking a juicy amount (12.0%), striking out at a non-alarming rate (19.4%), and his elevated but not-unsustainable .335 BABIP indicates his .285/.378/.426 is representative of a well-regarded bat coming into form at just 19.
Then there’s Tony Locey, who just generally did Tony Locey things on Wednesday. He didn’t allow the opponent to score (check), downed five batters on strikes (check), and walked a batter per inning (check). A full day, indeed.
The Chiefs are now 37-63 on the year. The River Bandits series continues tonight at 6:35pm CDT.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 2, State College Spikes 1
Enmanuel Solano (SP) - 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Jack Ralston (RP) - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
David Vinsky (CF) - 1-4, 3B, K
Shane Benes (3B) - 1-3, 2B, K
I see we’re moving through a series of themes, today. First the young catchers, now the performing mid-round college arms. Jack Ralston entered a close game and kept it close, but the Spikes offense couldn’t do enough on their end to snag the win. I caught Ralston’s appearance on MiLB.tv, and he worked primarily with a 90-92 sinker and a 81-84 changeup. He threw one breaking ball, and it wasn’t terrible, but it was most definitely a show pitch. What struck me is just how wacky his arm swing is from a centerfield camera angle. It’s a long, windmill swing around the back, culminating in a jerky over the top delivery that hitters don’t seem to pick all that well. With no runs allowed and seventeen strikeouts across 12.2 innings, it seems like the overall package is working out of the pen.
Also, yes, Shane Benes is in fact of the Alan/Andy Benes variety. He’s Andy’s son, actually, and the Cardinals signed him as an undrafted free agent on June 29. Shane played his senior year for SLU but began college ball at Mizzou, with a junior year stop at Division-II Drury sandwiched in between.
The Spikes are now below .500, at 19-20 for the season. They face Mahoning Valley again tonight at 6:05pm CDT.
GAME 1 - Johnson City Cardinals 7 @ Kingsport Mets 1
Michael YaSenka (SP) - 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 1 HR
Malcom Nunez (3B) - 3-4, 2B
Todd Lott (1B) - 1-3, HR, 2 RBI
Victor Garcia (RF) - 1-3, 2B, RBI
GAME 2 - Johnson City Cardinals 11 @ Kingsport Mets 3
Luis Ortiz (SP) - 4 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Walker Robbins (RP) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Carlos Soler (RF) - 3-3, RBI, BB
Tre Fletcher (CF) - 1-4, 2 RBI, 3 K
Malcom Nunez (DH) - 1-4, 2 K, SB
Now playing against more age appropriate competition, Malcom Nunez has finally pushed his season line above the league average mark. Small sample, yeah, but feels nice to say.
Walker Robbins is now a month and eight appearances into his pitching transition. Thus far, the big lefty has thrown 10.2 innings, struck out eleven, walked four, and allowed only two runs. So far, so good.
The double-header sweep bumps Johnson City up to 18-16. They’ll face Kingsport once more this evening at 5:30pm CDT.
GCL Cardinals 9, GCL Nationals 1
Nathanael Heredia (SP) - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 K
Yowelfy Rosario (SS) - 1-3, HR, 4 RBI, BB
William Jimenez (DH) - 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI
Luis Montano (LF) - 1-4, 2B
DSL Tigers 9, DSL Cardinals Red 6
Luis Garcia (RP) - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Miguel Marcos (LF) - 1-3, HR, 2 RBI
Luis Andujar (1B) - 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI, K
Diego Velasquez (C) - 1-3, 2B, RBI
DSL Cardinals Blue 9, DSL Orioles 8
Engels Martinez (SP) - 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Elvin De Jesus (2B) - 1-3, HR, 4 RBI, BB
Jose Zapata (C) - 1-3, RBI, 2 BB
MEM: Ryan Helsley
SPR: Evan Kruczynski
PMB: Edgar Gonzalez
PEO: Michael Brettell
SC: Dalton Roach
JC: Francisco Justo