On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliates once again took on the Miami Marlins in back field action. The Cardinals went 1-3-1 on the day with Peoria 2 getting the win and Springfield getting the tie. Sunday will be a camp day as the clubs will face each other in intersquad games.
Here are the highlights from Saturday games as well as a few thoughts.
Breyvic Valera (2B), Mem – 2-for-4, 2B
Oscar Mercado (CF), Sgf – 1-for-1, 2B
Craig Aikin (RF), PB – 2-for-3, R, BB, K
Brady Whalen, Peo – 1-for-3, HR, R, RBI
Carlos Rodriguez (1B), Peo2 – 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI
Matt Pearce, Mem – 3.2 IP, H, ER, BB, 2 K
Jack Flaherty, Sgf – 4 IP, 3 H, 4 K
Ross Vance, PB – 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 7 K
Ronnie Williams, Peo2 – 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K
This is the second time that Ross Vance’s name has appeared in these highlights and both times he appears to have dominated. His last start he struck out 5 over 3 innings. This start was 7 K over 4 innings. It will be interesting to see if Vance sticks with Palm Beach. At 25-years old, Vance would pretty much have to start at Palm Beach to have any prospect worth. Any spot lower, they may cut him. This means he may have to start in the bullpen.
It appears Jack Flaherty will be starting the season at Double-A Springfield, which could have 4 top 10 prospects in its rotation. If you live around Springfield, it could be a fun team to watch, especially if Eli Alvarez and Mags Sierra start there too.
Ronnie Williams is likely headed back to Peoria to start the 2017 season. He got a small taste there last year going 1-3 with a 4.29 ERA and 36 strikeouts over 35.2 IP.
Oscar Mercado is now a center fielder and appears to be heading to Springfield, which may cause Magneuris Sierra to start at Palm Beach, which may not be a bad thing. Mercado may be on his last leg in the Cardinals organization. He hasn’t really hit yet in the minor leagues, but maybe the hitter friendly Texas League will jumpstart things.