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…

The 2009 Johnson City Cardinals – Season Begins June 23

The draft is over and now the Cardinal area scouts are hard at work trying to sign this year’s crop of new talent.  St. Louis drafted 50 players.  29 of those drafted were pitchers – 8 lefties and 21 righties!  There were also 5 catchers drafted.  Much like former Johnson City Cardinals Jason Motte, Casey Mulligan, and David Carpenter, a few of those catchers could see a switch to relief pitching in their future.

The Cardinals also drafted 5 shortstops, 3 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 2 third baseman, 1 right fielder, and 4 centerfielders this year.  According to his own Tweets (, one of the outfielders on this year’s team will be Christian (he goes by “CJ”) Beatty.  CJ was a 26th round pick (789th overall) in the 2009 MLB Draft.  CJ played for the North Carolina A & T Aggies, where he put up a .365/.460/.641 line this year.  You can read more about CJ on his website (  CJ should be in Johnson City in a few days and will be getting ready for an exhibition game on Father’s Day (June 21). 

Johnson City Schedule (begins Tue. June 23).

Johnson City Coaches and Staff (Mike Shildt, Manager; Doug White, Pitching Coach; Johnny Rodriguez, Hitting Coach)