If there was any doubt as to what the strength of the organization is right now, the last five days of games should have put that to rest. Starting pitching throughout the system, though most prominently in the low minors, is very much the backbone of the Cardinals prospect lists. Here’s a recap of the top pitching performances thus far.
4/8 – Trevor Rosenthal strikes out 11 batters over 4 innings meaning only one out was recorded on a ball in play — a groundout nonetheless.
4/9 – Jordan Swagerty tossed 6 innings of shutout ball striking out 5. He didn’t walk a batter and allowed just 4 hits.
4/7 – Top propsect Shelby Miller begins his season with a 9 strikeout start over 5 innings. He walked just 1 batter and recorded 4 of his 5 outs on balls in play via the ground.
4/9 – Maikel Cleto the prospect acquired in the Brendan Ryan trade struck out 7 in 6 innings of work. Cleto was touched up for a couple of walks and a trio of hits but again showed impressive groundball tendencies with 6-to-1 GO:AO ratio.
4/10 – Joe Kelly strikes out 5 in 5 scoreless innings of work. He allowed the most baserunners on this list (7 total) but continued his groundball ways mimicking Cleto’s ratio from the day before.
4/9 – While you’re unlikely to see him heading up any prospect lists, Raul Valdes had a good beginning to his Cardinals’ career striking out 9 in 6.1 innings. Valdes allowed just 1 run.
4/10 – Of the starters in Memphis, Lance Lynn probably has the best shot of a protracted career in the Cardinals’ rotation. His first start was borderline for this list but we’ll give it to him anyway. Lynn went 7 innings allowing just 1 run and struck out 3 while not walking a batter. The primary caution to his line is the 10 of 15 outs in play viaflyouts.
Relief – Not to be missed among the starters, Memphis’s troika of legitimate relief prospects Fernando Salas, Eduardo Sanchez and Adam Reifer have combined for 7.1 scoreless innings over the first 4 games. They’ve struck out 6, walked no one and allowed just 5 hits.