The Johnson City Cardinals enter
their 36th consecutive season as an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals (54th year overall as the Johnson City Cardinals) and will
begin play in the Appalachian League (founded 1937) at home against the
Kingsport Mets on Tuesday night June 22 at 7 PM. Shawn Kerrick will be attending many of
the games in person and will file reports and updates during the season.
This is a FREE
SAMPLE of the kinds of reports subscribers to The Cardinal Nation will
receive all summer long. Click here for your
seven-day free trial to get started today!
Returning Manager and Pitching
Coach with New Hitting Coach
Serving as Johnson City manager for
the second year in a row will be Mike
Shildt. Shildt returns after
City to a second place finish last year. Johnson City’s 37-30 record in 2009 was their
best finish since 1996.
Shildt was the hitting and
fielding coordinator for Johnson City in 2008 and
served in 2007 as a coach for the Batavia Muckdogs, the Cardinals New York-Penn
League team in Batavia,
NY. Mike served as a Cardinals area scout
and in player development from 2004 to 2007. Prior to joining the Cardinals, Shildt
worked three years as an associate scout for the Major League Scouting
Bureau. Shildt, 41, has a total of
five years of collegiate coaching between stops at the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte and the
University of North Carolina at Asheville. He also owned and operated On Deck
Baseball Academy in Pineville, NC.
The pitching coach for the second
year in a row will be Doug White.
White came to Johnson City after coaching
the pitchers in Batavia in 2008. White is the founder of the "Passion for
Pitching" program, which provides the tools necessary to assist pitchers in
becoming effective and efficient in their movement patterns through drills and
exercises. White has also coached
for the Montreal Expos organization and for the Mid-Missouri Mavericks of the
Frontier (Independent) League.
The new hitting coach this year is
Ramon Ortiz. Ortiz replaces Johnny
Rodriguez, who is now the Manager of the Quad Cities River Bandits, the St. Louis Cardinals’ lowest A-level full-season minor league team. Ortiz, 57, served as the hitting coach
for Batavia last
year. He was in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization from 2005-2007 and spent six seasons, from 1999-2004, as a
coach with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' organization. The Venezuelan native spent nine seasons
prior to that as a coach in the Cardinals' system. Ortiz, an outfielder, played five seasons
of professional baseball with the Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins.
New Playoff System for
A new four-team playoff structure
has been implemented in the 10-team Appalachian League this year. The new system replaces the two-team
best-of-three system used for years.
The new system was reportedly suggested by the St. Louis Cardinals Vice
President of Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow and was approved by
league President Lee Landers and team representatives during the winter.
In the first round of the
playoffs, each division leader will face the second place finisher of the
opposite division in a best two-of-three series. The series will start September 1 at the
home of the second place finisher and will conclude with game two and game
three, if necessary, at the home of the division winner. The two winners of the series will play
in the Appalachian League Championship Series.
Following the completion of the
first round, the two winning teams will square off in a best two-of-three
playoff that will begin at the home of the easternmost club in 2010. The Championship Series will conclude
with game two and game three, if necessary, at the opponent's
The new structure should benefit a
team like Johnson
City, which has finished in second place in the Western
Division of the Appy League each of the last two years. Landers said the expanded playoffs mean
natural rivals could meet in the Championship Series. In the past, only one team per division
played after the 68-game regular season.
The 2009 Appalachian League will
have ten teams again this year with no changes to the team names or the
affiliations. The schedule for each
team has 21 three-game series and a “four plus one” series with one of their
geographically closest rivals. All
home games scheduled Monday through Friday will start at 7:00 PM EDT. Home games scheduled Saturday and Sunday
will start at 6:00 PM EDT.
Doubleheaders scheduled due to rainouts usually start one hour
earlier. The schedule also includes
three league-wide off-days.
68 scheduled games
over 71 days
11 games against
perennial Appy League powerhouse Elizabethton Twins (seven at home and four on
Nine games each
against the Bristol White Sox, Greeneville Astros, and Kingsport
6 road games at Bristol and Greeneville
6 home games vs. Kingsport
Six games each, three
home and three away, against the East Division (Bluefield Orioles, Burlington
Royals, Danville Braves, Princeton Rays, and Pulaski
Three scheduled off
July 13 (Tuesday)
August 4 (Wednesday)
August 18 (Wednesday)
Top two in each
City is in the West) begin a best-of-three series
I met the team Sunday afternoon
and talked with most of the players and coaches about the upcoming season. The 2009 roster currently includes five
of 31 players returning from the 2009 team. C Travis Tartamella, currently in
Palm Beach and substituting for injured C Nick Derba, is expected to join Johnson
City in a week or two.
Of the 31 active players on the
opening day roster, 17 were drafted in the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft and
will begin their professional baseball careers in Johnson City.
City will again utilize a “piggyback”
starting rotation of ten different pitchers. However, only nine of the ten starters
had been determined as of the writing of this article. Doug White and the other coaches (Brent
Strom and Dyar Miller were in Johnson
City on Sunday) need to see several of the relievers
pitch in game situations before giving them some starts in the piggy-back
Tandem Starting Pitchers (9):
LHP Hector Hernandez (1A) and LHP
Ryan Copeland (1B) – Tuesday vs. Kingsport
RHP Angel De Jesus (2A) and LHP
Pat Daugherty (2B) – Wednesday vs. Kingsport
RHP Zach Russell (3A) and
“Bullpen” (3B) – Thursday @ Kingsport
RHP Trevor Rosenthal (4A) and LHP
Dean Kiekhefer (4B) – Friday @ Greeneville
RHP Boone Whiting (5A) and LHP
Jeff Nadeau (5B) – Saturday @ Greeneville
(4): RHP Drew Benes, RHP Aiden Lucas, LHP
Iden Nazario, and LHP Bob Revesz.
Relief Pitchers Predominantly Used
in Save Situations (3): RHP Hector Corpas, RHP Francisco Guzman,
and RHP Chris Patterson.
Catchers (2): Juan Castillo and Cody Stanley.
Infielders (8): Philip Cerreto (3B/1B – some OF), Packy Elkins (Utility), Greg Garcia (MIF), David Medina (1B – some OF), Romulo Ruiz
(3B/DH), Kleininger Teran (3B/1B – emergency C), Cesar Valera (SS), Colin Walsh
Outfielders (5): Chris Edmondson (LF), Virgil Hill
(CF/OF), Steven Ramos (CF/LF), Roberto Reyes (RF/CF), Reggie Williams (OF).
2010 Draft Picks: 17 of 31
2009 Draft Picks: 4 of 31 (will be 5 of 32 with
2008 Draft Picks: none
2007 Draft Picks: 1 of 31
2008 Free Agents (from Latin America):
1 of 31
2007 Free Agents (from Latin America):
3 of 31
2006 Free Agents (from Latin America):
3 of 31
Tallest: Angel De Jesus and Pat Daugherty –
Shortest: Cody Stanley –
Oldest: Philip Cerreto – 22 years, 9 months
(born October 4, 1987)
Youngest: Cesar Valera – 18 years, 3 months (born
March 8, 1992)
Heaviest: Aiden Lucas – 235
Lightest: Steven Ramos – 150
Longest in the Cardinal
organization: Kleininger Teran –
signed March 6, 2006
Highest 2010 draft pick: Cody Stanley – 4th round, 139th
Highest 2009 draft pick: Virgil Hill – 6th round, 189th
City 10, Tennessee Tornado
1. This one looked like a mismatch from the
start. It was far different from
the walk-off 2-1 win by the Cardinals last year. Twelve different players fielded and
made plate appearances with only one player (Steven Ramos at 0-for-1) failing to
record a hit, walk, or run batted in.
The Cardinals jumped ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning and
didn’t stop there. They scored in
every inning except the second and seventh while allowing only one unearned run
(Cesar Valera fielding error) on three hits. Johnson City combined for sixteen hits (three
doubles and thirteen singles).
2B/SS Greg Garcia: 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI,
SS Cesar Valera: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, fielding
2B Colin Walsh: 1-for-2, RBI
RF Roberto Reyes: 3-for-5, 2 R
1B David Medina: 2-for-5, R, 2 RBI
LF Chris Edmondson: 0-for-2, RBI, SF,
LF Steven Ramos: 0-for-1
3B Romulo Ruiz: 1-for-3, 2B, R, K
3B Packy Elkins: 0-for-0, BB
DH Philip Cerreto: 2-for-4, R
C Juan Castillo: 1-for-3, RBI, SF
CF Virgil Hill: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 R
Notes: C Cody Stanley was hit on the right side
of his head (near his ear) with a ball this week during practice and was held
out of the exhibition game for precautionary reasons. He is expected to play Tuesday
night. Teran served as the very
busy bullpen catcher.
Seven different pitchers saw
action in the game with the third group of tandem starters (Rosenthal and
Kiekhefer) combining for the first five innings. The pitchers combined for 113 pitches
(85 strikes), one walk, and ten strikeouts while allowing two singles, one
double, and one unearned run over eight innings pitched.
Trevor Rosenthal: 3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, H, 3 K, 38 pitches (28
strikes), 7-of-10 first-pitch strikes
Dean Kiekhefer: 2 IP, 3 K, 27 pitches (18 strikes),
2-of-6 first-pitch strikes
Drew Benes: 1 IP, H, BB, WP, PO (1B), 16 pitches (7 strikes), 2-of-4 first-pitch
Aiden Lucas: 1 IP, K, 12 pitches (8 strikes), 2-of-3
Chris Patterson: 1 IP, K, 7 pitches (6 strikes), 3-of-3
Hector Corpas: 0.2 IP, H (2B), K, 8 pitches (6
strikes), 2-of-3 first-pitch strikes
Francisco Guzman: 0.1 IP, K, 5 pitches (4 strikes), 1-of-1
© 2010 The Cardinal Nation,
stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
rewritten or redistributed.