Game 14 – Bristol 4, Johnson City 0

Some nights the line drives and grounders find holes and some nights they find gloves.  Tonight, the Bristol White Sox defense had them find their gloves while the Johnson City defense could only watch and see them hit the holes.  Johnson City (8-6) was shutout and lost a 3-game series (0-2 this series) for the first time in 2009. 

Johnson City allowed single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th innings and allowed 2 unearned runs on three errors however, their biggest problem was scoring runs.  Edgar Lara had a 2-out seeing-eye single in the 2nd but was stranded at 1st.  Hector Alvarez had a 1-out double in the 3rd but was left stranded at third after a wild pitch.  The 4th seemed to be the Cardinals best scoring opportunity as Rich Racobaldo and Matt Adams led off with back-to-back singles however Robert Stock hit into a 1-6-3 broken-bat double play to end the threat.  A Matt Rigoli single in the 5th left yet another runner stranded. 

The Cardinals again put the first two hitters on base in the 6th.  A Michael Swinson single followed by a Rich Racobaldo single and one-base fielding error on the Bristol RF put runners on second and third with nobody out but a Matt Adams line drive to the second baseman had Rich Racobaldo moving the wrong direction and the rally was again halted with a double play. 

New Bristol pitchers in the 7th and 8th sat down the Cardinals in 1-2-3 fashion.  A 2-out single by Robert Stock in the 9th was all the offense Johnson City could muster.  The Cardinals finished with 8 hits (7 singles and 1 double).  The most amazing stat of the night was that exactly none of the 33 Cardinal hitters were able to get to a 3-ball count and only 6 were able to hit with a 2-ball count (1-for-6, 3 K, 1 GIDP).   

Bristol was able to make the most of three Cardinal “nobody-out” errors.  SS Hector Alvarez threw high over 1B Matt Rigoli’s head on a routine grounder in the 3rd and the White Sox plated their first run on no hits.  A 2B Luis Mateo fielding error (bad short-hop) and a P Anthony Ferrara wild pick-off throw in the 7th led to another unearned run. 

Anthony Ferrara (#2 web gem) made a very athletic leaping play on a high chopper destined for CF against his first hitter in the 6th.  RF Edgar Lara (#1 web gem) recorded his third outfield assist of the year on a bases-loaded double play in the 7th.  Lara unloaded an accurate 1-hop throw to C Robert Stock who applied a nice tag to get Ferrara out of the two error jam discussed earlier.  Michael Swinson had a chance at an outfield assist from right center field to third base in the 4th but 3B Rich Racobaldo pulled his glove down to apply the tag before he got the ball secured in his glove.

Here are the pitcher stats you won’t get in the “Box” or “Recap“.

Michael Thompson:  56 pitches (42 strikes, 14 balls), 11-for-18 first-pitch-strikes

Jose Rada:  17 pitches (9 strikes, 8 balls), 1-for-4 first-pitch-strikes

Anthony Ferrara:  48 pitches (33 strikes, 15 balls), 9-for-12 first-pitch-strikes

Aaron Terry:  14 pitches (10 strikes, 4 balls), 1-for-3 first-pitch-strikes 

The last game of the 3-game series is tomorrow night.  The tandem starters should be LHP John Durham followed by RHP Randy Santos.  I plan to be there for the action!  Hope you will be too…

Johnson City Off to 8-5 Start – 2nd Place

Sorry for it being so long since I entered anything.  I have been out of town.  I am planning to be at the game tonight at home against the Bristol White Sox.   

Tonight’s starters should be Michael Thompson (0-0, 1.35 ERA) getting his first professional start followed by Anthony Ferrara (1-0, 0.96 ERA) to start the 6th inning (perhaps the 5th if Thompson struggles).  The Thompson/Ferrara duo will look to keep Johnson City on track for its fifth series win in a row to start the 2009 season.

Thomspon has pitched 6 and 2/3 innings over 3 games and has allowed 7 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 0 walks, and 9 strikeouts (1.05 WHIP).  Thompson leads the team in holds (2).  He was selected in the 47th round of the June 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Bellarmine College in Louisville, KY.  Bellarmine was also where current St. Louis Cardinal starting pitcher Todd Wellemeyer played between 1997 and 2000.  Thompson is from Newburgh, IN.  Wellemeyer is scheduled to start Wed. night in Milwaukee. 

Ferrara has twirled 9 and 1/3 innings over two starts and has allowed 9 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 6 stikeouts (1.18 WHIP).  Ferrara was selected in the 7th round of the June 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Riverview High School in Riverview, FL. Riverview is the home of the “Sharks”. 

News and Media Links

I just created some JC news and media links to the right.  There are video higlights from last night’s loss to Kingsport on two of the links and a picture from the other link.  Sometimes the media shows up late and leaves early so they appear to have missed video of Matt Adams deep three-run home run to right field over the scoreboard in the first inning.  There are also some good quotes from Manager Mike Shildt on Reynier Gonzalez and some quotes from Matt Adams on his three-for-five impressive debut.

Tandem Starting Pitchers Determined

Pitching Coach Doug White kindly let me know about the pairs for the next week of games.

Reynier Gonzalez followed by Andy Moss (Tue. June 23 @ Kingsport)

Pablo Ortiz followed by Jesse Simpson (Wed. June 24 @ Kingsport)

Chris Notti followed by Justin Smith (Thu. June 25 @ Kingsport)

LHP Anthony Ferrara followed by Michael Thomspon (Fri. June 26 vs. Burlington)

Randy Santos followed by LHP John Durham (Sat. June 27 vs. Burlington)

Johnson City Cardinals Play-by-Play Options

Unfortunately, there are only two teams in the Appalachian League (Burlington Royals and the Princeton Rays) that are planning to broadcast play-by-play in 2009 as far as I can tell.  The dates, times (subject to change), and links are provided below:

June 26 (Fri) 7:00 PM vs. Burlington Royals (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

June 27 (Sat) 6:00 PM vs. Burlington Royals (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

June 28 (Sun) 6:00 PM vs. Burlington Royals (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

July 24 (Fri) 7:00 PM @ Princeton Rays (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

July 25 (Sat) 7:00 PM @ Princeton Rays (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

July 26 (Sun) 4:00 PM @ Princeton Rays (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

August 20 (Thu) 7:00 PM @ Burlington Royals (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

August 21 (Fri) 7:00 PM @ Burlington Royals (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

August 22 (Sat) 7:00 PM @ Burlington Royals (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

August 27 (Thu) 7:00 PM vs. Princeton Rays (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

August 28 (Fri) 11:30 AM vs. Princeton Rays (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

August 29 (Sat) 6:00 PM vs. Princeton Rays (Website Link) (Link to Game Broadcast)

The next best way to follow play-by-play (and there is a slight delay) is through MiLB boxscores and recaps.  I like to access the Appalachian League scoreboard at this link and then choose how you want to follow the game from there.  Be sure to refresh the scoreboard if a link option (“Recap” or “Box”) doesn’t show up below the linescore.  There is probably a rain delay if an option doesn’t show up at the scheduled start time. 

I will be at the opener tonight in Kingsport!  Let’s play ball! 

Johnson City “Meet the Cardinals” Roster

Current total of 31.  Allowed 35.

Catchers (3):

Travis Tartamella, Robert Stock, Audrey Perez

Infielders (7):

Matt Adams, Yunier Castillo, Luis Mateo, Ted Obregon, Rich Racobaldo, Matt Rigoli, Romulo Ruiz

Outfielders (5):

CJ Beatty, Edgar Lara, Rainel Rosario, Ross Smith, Michael Swinson

Pitchers (16):

John Durham, Anthony Ferrara, Reynier Gonzalez, Kyle Heim, Dave Kington, Travis Lawler, Andy Moss, Chris Notti, Jason Novak, Pablo Ortiz, Jose Rada, Randy Santos, Jesse Simpson, Justin Smith, Aaron Terry, Michael Thompson

Life in the Low Minors

One time, about ten years ago, I found out that I was losing my current position at work (I was a laboratory chemist) and was being moved to a new position out in a manufacturing area.  So what you say?  Well, the problem was that someone in the manufacturing area called me up and said “Congratulations on your new job”.  I said “What new job?”.  The silence on the other end of the phone receiver was deafening. 

The problem was that I hadn’t been told yet about the new job.  I didn’t really have a problem with the move itself but I did have a problem with how I was finding out about it.  I was #%&$!off, to say the least. 

After a few seconds of silence on the phone, I hung up, walked over to my supervisor’s office and asked him (as politely as I could muster) about my “new job”.  He turned crimson red and said, “Let me see what I can find out…” 

Communication is a wonderful tool when used properly.  When used improperly, it can be very damaging.  It turns out that my supervisor didn’t know that the “decision” to move me had been made.  The receiving area knew about the move but the sending area didn’t. 

I went to Howard Johnson Field this afternoon to find out about the Johnson City roster.  What I found out instead is that I can’t tell you about it yet.  Why you ask?  Well, it is likely because some of the names on the roster have not yet been told that they are on the roster yet. 

Out of respect for the individuals on the roster, there is not anything “official” I can tell you about the roster yet.  I think there will be about two pitchers, two infielders, and one outfielder returning to Johnson City from last year’s team.  If you ask me how I figured that out, I will not be able to tell you. 

The “Meet the Cardinals” is this Sunday afternoon at Howard Johnson Field.  Come join me and we can find out together who is on the roster and who isn’t…  We can also watch an exhibition game together.  More details later on the roster…

11 Former Johnson City Cardinals Assigned to Batavia

Brian Walton recently posted a preliminary roster for the Batavia Muckdogs, St. Louis’ A Short Season team in the New York-Penn League. 

11 former Johnson City Cardinals are currently scheduled to start the 2009 season in Batavia, NY and at least one of them, Jairo Martinez appears to be trying out a new position. 

Deryk Hooker (RHSP) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals 

Mike Blazek (RHSP) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals

Eric Fornataro (RHSP) – 2008 Johnson City and Gulf Coast League Cardinals 

LaCurtis Mayes (RHRP) – 2007 and 2008 Johnson City Cardinals 

Santo Maertz (RHRP) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals 

Ivan Castro (C) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals 

Jack Cawley (C) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals 

Jairo Martinez (IF) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals

Niko Vasquez (SS) – 2008 Johnson City Cardinals

Beau Riportella (OF) – 2007 Johnson City Cardinals

Ryde Rodriguez (OF) – 2008 Johnson City and Gulf Coast League Cardinals


It is unlikely that any of the players listed above will see playing time with Johnson City this year.   

Luhnow Radio Interview (Sun. Morning June 14)

Listened to John Maracek and 550 KTRS interview of Jeff Luhnow on Sunday.  Here are the bullet points:

  • 15 signed so far and assigned to Batavia (names to be formally released Monday June 15).
  • RHP Shelby Miller was “dream draft pick” at #19 overall.  Will be assigned to Johnson City if signed.  Late June or early July is what Luhnow hopes for a sign date. 
  • Tyler Bighames (31st round, 939th overall, SS) – Estero, FL High School. University of Oregon commit. Will sign tomorrow and will be assigned to Gulf Coast League Cardinals.  He was supposed to be a tough sign. 
  • Robert Stock (2nd round, 67th overall, C) signed and assigned to Johnson City!
  • Scott Bittle (4th round, 129th overall, RHP) – if signed, should be assigned to Quad Cities or Palm Beach.  An “advanced” pitcher according to Luhnow. 

  • Andy Hillis (49th round, 1479th overall, RHP) – Brentwood HS (Nashville). Nice FB/slider combo. University of Tennessee commit. Will be tough sign according to Luhnow. 

More later…