Iowa @ Memphis:
Friday: Memphis 8 Iowa 1
Saturday: Iowa 13 Memphis 0
Sunday: Iowa 7 Memphis 2
Memphis rode 6 innings of excellent starting pitching from Tim Cooney ( 6 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 3 K) to a Friday victory, getting offense off the bats of Stephen Piscotty (1-3, HR, RBI, BB, K), Dean Anna (2-5, R, RBI, K), and Xavier Scruggs (2-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 K) and three solid innings from Dean Kiekhefer, Miguel Socolovich, and Sam Tuivailala to close out the victory.
Unfortunately for the Memphis pitching staff, the Iowa bats got rolling on Saturday, including a pair of doubles from former Cardinal farmhand Adron Chambers and three hits each from Kris Bryant and Chris Valaika who each homered in the contest. It wasn't a good start for F-R Top 25 member Zach Petrick (4.1 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 K) or for Boone Whiting, who gave up 5 ER and 3 BB in just 2.2 innings in relief. Piscotty (1-4, 2B) was the only bright spot at the plate for the Redbirds.
Sunday was more of the same: Tyler Lyons (4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HR) gave up bombs to Addison Russell and Jonathan Mota while Kiekhefer surrendered a 2 run dinger to uber-prospect Bryant to put the game out of reach in the 7th inning. The Redbird offense struggled again against five different Iowa pitchers with journeyman Scott Moore being the lone productive force at the plate (2-4, R, 2B, K).
Monday Probables: Omaha (Clayton Mortenson) @ Memphis (John Gast)
Corpus Christi @ Springfield
San Antonio @ Springfield
Friday: Corpus Christi 8 Springfield 2
Saturday: Corpus Christi 9 Springfield 2
Sunday: Springfield 4 San Antonio 2
A rough start to the weekend for the Springfield pitching staff. Mike Mayers (2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, K) struggled with a Corpus Christi lineup loaded with Astros top prospects (Carlos Correa, Colin Moran, and Telvin Nash all doing lots of damage early on) and former #1 pick Mark Appel shutting down the Cardinal offense for 5 strong innings of 2 hit ball. The only offense came off the bat of F-R Top 25 member Aledmys Diaz (2-4, HR, 2 RBI). Jonathan Rodriguez managed 2 hits and Charlie Tilson tripled and scored.
Saturday was the Jeff Luhnow prospect road show once again: Correa, Moran, and Nash combined for 6 hits, 4 for extra bases, and accounted for all but one of the Hooks' runs against Springfield starter Thomas Lee. Jacob Wilson homered for the Cardinals and Breyvic Valera rapped out a pair of singles, playing his 3rd position on the field in as many days.
Kyle Hald finally kept the club in it long enough for the offense to have a chance on Sunday (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K) giving up hits to Top 100 prospects Hunter Renfroe and Trea Turner. All the runs came on one swing from newly acquired catcher Mike Ohlman, who hit a Grand Slam in the 7th inning following three straight walks to Valera, Patrick Wisdom, and Anthony Garcia (Of all the Cardinals minor leaguers, those are the LAST three I would ever expect to walk in three straight plate appearances. Did Hooks' pitcher Casey Kelly hit the mascot or the hot dog vendor during that inning?)
Monday Probables: San Antonio (O'Grady) @ Springfield (Morales)
Jupiter v. Palm Beach
Friday: Palm Beach 4 Jupiter 3
Saturday: Palm Beach 6 Jupiter 3
Sunday: Jupiter 4 Palm Beach 2
Rob Kaminsky (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 6 K) looked strong in his first start of the year, as did Chris Perry (2 IP, H, BB, 4 K) in relief. Bruce Caldwell (3-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, SB) and Ronald Castillo (4-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI) provided the Cardinal offense. Rowan Wick (0-4, 2 K) is again off to a slow start after going up a level.
Saturday was a bit better for the Palm Beach offense: Wick (1-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) and Mason Katz (1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K) drove in 4 Cardinal runs with extra base hits and C.J. McElroy stole both second and third after reaching base just once via a walk against Jupiter starter Sean Townsley. Trey Nielson tossed 5.2 solid innings and both Chase Brookshire and Josh Lucas were solid in relief.
F-R Top 25 member Juan Herrera was the lone bright spot offensively on Sunday (2-3, 2 RBI, BB, SB). Corey Littrell tossed a quality start (6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 K, HR) and Kevin Herget did a nice job in relief (2 IP, 4 H, 3 K) but the offense couldn't get it going against the Jupiter bullpen.
Monday Probables: Palm Beach (TBD) @ Lakeland (St. John)
Quad Cities @ Peoria
Peoria @ Wisconsin
Friday: Quad Cities 5 Peoria 2
Saturday: Peoria 4 Quad Cities 1
Sunday: Peoria 11 Wisconsin 1
Austin Gomber struggled in his first full season professional start (3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, K), Kyle Grana struck out the side despite allowing a hit and a walk, and Oscar Mercado (2-4, SB, CS, PO) had a bit of an up and down day. Magneuris Sierra was 0-4 with a strikeout hitting leadoff for the Chiefs.
An excellent debut from 2014 draftee Daniel Poncedeleon (6 IP, 4 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) and excellent relief from Jhonny Polanco (2 IP, H, 2 BB, K) and Kyle Grana (1 IP, 2 K). This Peoria bullpen could be pretty stout with Polanco, Grana, Fernando Baez, and Zach Loraine being the primary arms in the late innings. Oscar Mercado continued his hot spring with 2 more hits (2-4, 2 R, 2B, SB) and yet another stolen base. My pet project Andrew Sohn went 1-2 in his debut, driving in a run and striking out once.
VEB's draft analysis guru Red Baron would have enjoyed Sunday's game against Wisconsin, only because one of his favorite pitchers from last year's draft, Kodi Medeiros, was a lone walk from being perfect through 6 innings and 63 pitches, striking out 7 Chiefs batsmen in the process. Turns out, they'd have been wise to let him finish the game as the bullpen surrendered 11 runs over the final 2 innings of the contest, turning a 1-0 pitchers duel into a 11-1 rout. Blake Drake (1-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB, SB, K) and Darren Seferina (2-4, R, RBI, SB, 2 K) got things started for the Chiefs and Magneuris Sierra (1-5, 2 R, 3B, RBI, 2 K) and the hot-hitting Oscar Mercado (1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI) finished things up. Collin Radack (2-5, R, 3B, RBI, K) also contributed to the comeback effort.
Monday Probables: Peoria (Pearce) @ Wisconsin (L. Ortega)