Q: Katie from St. Louis asks:
At this point in time, who would you give the nod to as the top overall Cardinals’ prospect – Rasmus or Wallace?
A: John Manuel: Still Rasmus, he has more ways to win. I am the office Wallace apologist, and I actually have talked to scouts who believe he can handle third base in a below-average to fringe-average fashion. He has plenty of arm (55 arm strength), that’s not the issue, it’s his large lower half and agility. if he handles third base it still would be short-term. Dude can rake and I think him spending one, two or even three years at 3B in MLB isn’t out of the question. He’s also a smart, savvy baserunner. That said, I still think 30 out of 30 clubs would rather have Rasmus.
In the “not so hot” sheet, Pete Kozma gets a kick in the behind.
Kozma’s full-season debut went well with low Class A Quad Cities, but the transition to high Class A Palm Beach hasn’t gone so well for the 20-year-old. He hit .158/.250/.211 (3-for-19) and had five whiffs. That puts him at a resounding .132/.247/.191 since joining the FSL on Aug. 5. In 68 at-bats he’s struck out 24 times and he’s also committed four errors in 21 games. Yes, the FSL is a tough league to hit in, but this is not the kind of transition you want to see from a first-round pick.
I knew he wasn’t hitting, but I didn’t realize he had been striking out at such an alarming rate. Oof.
I’m really looking forward to seeing Jason Motte getting his cup of coffee this weekend. The Commercial Appeal looks at his unflappability as well as him discovering that elusive secondary pitch. Says his pitching coach Blaise Ilsley:
”He’s starting to mix pitches better, especially here in the second half. He’s done a real nice job for us. He’s working on his slider. He’s come up with a legitimate second pitch. It’s still a work in progress. At times it kind of backs up on him, but other times it’s hard like a cutter. He’s been using it a lot more and using it effectively.”
The farm goes 3-6 tonight.
- Blake Hawksworth may have saved his spot on the 40 man roster. He had his best outing of the season. He struck out six in 6.1 innings with no walks and only three hits allowed.
- Mark Worrell threw an inning and two-thirds of perfect ball. He struck out two.
- Jason Motte allowed a hit but struck out the side to end it in the ninth.
- David Freese went 3-4.
- Shane Robinson tripled.
- Brian Barden was hit by a pitch in his fourth at-bat and was lifted for a pinch-runner. Hopefully he’s OK, because I would like to see him get some big league at-bats.
Palm Beach 1, Vero Beach 8 (Game One of a doubleheader)
- Colby Rasmus went 0-2 with a walk.
- Pete Kozma struck out twice in three at-bats. Oof again.
- Steve Hill and Tyler Henley both singled and walked.
- Brian Cartie doubled.
- Mark Diapoules was lit up for the second consecutive time. He allowed seven runs, four earned, on seven hits (including a three-run homer) and three walks. He struck out five.
- Antonio DeJesus went 2-2 with a walk.
- Pete Kozma singled, drove in two and didn’t whiff.
- Steve Hill singled, walked and struck out.
- Luke Gorsett doubled.
- Jose Mateo made his advanced A debut and threw a complete game, albeit not a very good one. His line: 6 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR. He jumped all the way from Johnson City to Palm Beach, so that says something about the organization’s confidence in him.
- Curt Smith gets himself a golden sombrero.
- Speaking of recently promoted shortstops who are struggling at the plate, Niko Vasquez went 0-3. He’s hitting just .161 for the QC thus far.
- Domnit Bolivar singled, stole a base, and had a crucial throwing error.
- Deryk Hooker did not have his best outing, but certainly didn’t hurt his stock, either. He had six K’s and two walks in 5.2 innings. He allowed two runs and six hits.
- J.D. Stambaugh took the loss, allowing four runs over 1.2.
- Matt Frevert struck out the only batter he faced.
- Matt Spade struck out two in 1.1 perfect frames.
- Shane Peterson doubled for Batavia’s only extra base hit.
- Hector Cardenas continues to pitch well. He allowed just a pair of walks and a pair of hits, and struck out six over five innings. Cardenas has a nifty 3.2 ground-out to fly-out ratio.
- Josh Hester allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over 2.2 innings, with five K’s.
- Adam Reifer picked up his 21st save. He struck out one over 1.1.
Springfield 6, Tulsa 5 (13 innings)
- Daryl Jones went 2-6 with two doubles.
- Brett Wallace went 0-3 but walked and was hit by two pitches.
- Donovan Solano went 3-5.
- James Rapoport went 3-6 with a walk off RBI single.
- Brad Furnish allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks. He fanned three and allowed a homer.
- I think as much as I am looking forward to seeing Motte in St. Louis, I am looking forward to seeing Josh Kinney back. He struck out one and induced two ground-ball outs.
- Luke Gregerson threw two perfect innings with two K’s.
- Fernando Salas struck out one and did not allow a run, hit or walk in his one inning of work.