Cardinals Minor League Roundup: Redbirds Record a Shutout, Harrison Bader Injured

Mar 6, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Deck McGuire (62) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Deck McGuire (62) delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Memphis Redbirds starter Deck McGuire and two relievers combined for a shutout on Tuesday, while rising prospect Harrison Bader had to exit early with an injury.

Starting pitching was the primary strength of Tuesday’s efforts from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor-league clubs, as three starters–Deck McGuire, Matt Pearce, and Junior Fernandez–delivered fantastic outings. Charlie Tilson and Brian O’Keefe had standout days at the plate, while the star of the system during 2016, Harrison Bader, had to leave Double-A Springfield’s game early after getting hit by a pitch.

Triple-A Memphis defeated New Orleans 1-0

  • The Redbirds collected their third shutout of 2016, thanks to a spectacular effort by starter Deck McGuire and outstanding relief from two key members of the Cardinals’ big-league bullpen in 2015, Miguel Socolovich and Sam Tuivailala. McGuire gave up six hits and walked none over seven shutout innings, while Socolovich walked one but gave up no hits in a scoreless eighth, and Tuivailala pitched a perfect ninth to record the save.
  • Outfielder Charlie Tilson, who caught fire near the end of May and is hitting .390 over his last 10 games, had his sixth multi-hit game over that stretch, going 2-for-2 with two walks and collecting the Redbirds’ only RBI.
  • Shortstop Alex Mejia, who’s hit .455 since rejoining the Redbirds on Sunday, had another multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a double.
  • Playing in his first game since May 4, Carlos Peguero returned to the lineup, playing right field and going 0-for-2 with a walk.
  • In a curious turn of events, catcher Mike Ohlman–a member of the 40-man roster and the organization’s 27th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline–was transferred from Memphis to Double-A Springfield. While unspectacular, Ohlman’s offensive numbers were by no means terrible, especially for a catcher, as he had hit .259/.340/.388 with two homers and 12 RBI at Memphis. It’s possible that the organization was concerned about Ohlman’s development being limited now that big-league veteran Michael McKenry is at Memphis, but Ohlman doesn’t figure to get a bunch of playing time behind the plate at Springfield, either, as the best catching prospect in the system, Carson Kelly, is there and currently posting a career-best slash line of .291/.331/.383.

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Double-A Springfield lost 5-0 to Midland

  • The Cardinals had a rough day at the plate, collecting just five hits and netting six baserunners for the day. Third baseman Paul DeJong was the both only Cardinal to reach base twice and the only one to record an extra-base hit, going 2-for-3 with a double.
  • Center fielder Harrison Bader snapped a modest five-game hitting streak with an 0-for-2 day at the plate. Of more concern, though, the 21-year-old with a .330/.380/.559 slash line was removed from the game in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch in the hand/wrist area.
  • Springfield starter Corey Baker was bounced from the game after just one-third of an inning after allowing five runs (three earned), four hits, and a walk on 33 pitches. On the bright side for the Cardinals, Springfield relievers Pedro Echemendia and Joey Donofrio threw seven and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief (though Echemendia did allow one runner that he inherited from Baker to score.) Donofrio gave up no hits and allowed just one baserunner on a walk over the final three innings.

High-A Palm Beach won 3-1 over Bradenton

  • Starter Matt Pearce, who’s 6-1 this year at Palm Beach, had another outstanding start, giving up one earned run while allowing five hits, walking none, and striking out four over seven and a third innings. Landon Beck and Rowan Wick followed him to throw one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief.
  • Right fielder Orlando Olivera went 2-for-4 and hit his second home run of the season. Catcher Steve Bean, a former first-rounder, hit his first homer at the High-A level.

Next: Would Kolten Wong Benefit from a Triple-A Stint?

Class A Peoria won 5-1 over Wisconsin

  • Chiefs starter Junior Fernandez had a fantastic outing, throwing six shutout innings while giving up three hits, walking two, and striking out eight.
  • The Chiefs got to big-leaguer Matt Garza, who was making his first rehab start of the year after missing all of the regular season to date with a lat strain. Over two innings, Garza gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits.
  • Catcher Brian O’Keefe continued his seven-game hitting streak, during which he’s hit .357. O’Keefe had his third straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 while recording his second triple of 2016 and driving in a run.