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Cards notes: AZ fall league players, call-ups

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  • Cards notes: AZ fall league players, call-ups

    Notes: Fall League beckons seven
    09/05/2005 3:01 PM ET
    By Matthew Leach / MLB.com

    ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals will send seven players to the Arizona Fall League this year, six of them from Double-A Springfield. Heading up the list is Chris Lambert, the right-hander who was St. Louis' first draft pick last year and pitched in the All-Star Futures Game in July.
    Joining Lambert will be five of his Springfield teammates: right-handers Cory Doyne and Andy Cavazos, third baseman Travis Hanson, outfielder Cody Haerther and catcher/infielder Gabe Johnson. Also headed west will be righty Rich Scalamandre from Class A Palm Beach.

    The AFL is one of the top showcases for prospects. Current Cardinals Albert Pujols and Brad Thompson are among the players who have showed off their skills in Arizona in past years.

    Lambert, 22, had an up-and-down run after being promoted from Palm Beach, finishing with a 3-8 record and 6.35 ERA but turning in some excellent games along the way. Doyne, 24, held opponents to 40 hits in 66 2/3 innings, striking out 69 but walking 38 over three levels. He racked up 19 saves for Springfield. Cavazos, 24, tallied 67 Ks against just 14 walks over 60 2/3 innings at two levels.

    Hanson, also 24, was St. Louis' ninth-round draft pick in 2002. He hit .284 with a .347 on-base percentage, 20 homers, 29 doubles and 97 RBIs. Haerther, 22, emerged this season as one of the Cards' most intriguing prospects. He hit .318/.380/.584 (batting average/on-base/slugging) in 47 games at Palm Beach, and .298/.333./.500 in 65 games after a promotion to Springfield. He totaled 18 homers, eight triples and 18 doubles in 381 at-bats.

    Johnson, 25, has been primarily a catcher in the past, but he saw plenty of time at first base this year. He hit .251 with 13 extra-base hits in 183 at-bats. Scalamandre, 25, struck out 50, walked 29 and allowed three homers in 61 innings between Palm Beach and Springfield.

    Rick Ankiel will not be headed to the AFL, even though he could use all the at-bats he can get. Ankiel will take some time to rest his sore knee, a condition that bothered him for much of the second half of the season.

    Callups to come: The Cardinals are expected to make a few moves before Tuesday's home game against the Cubs, as Triple-A Memphis wraps up its regular season on Monday afternoon. Randy Flores will be recalled from Memphis, along with one or two other pitchers and, potentially, one or two position players.

    Sanders coming along: Head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg remains encouraged by Reggie Sanders' progress. The Cardinals are still hoping that Sanders will be able to play at some point on the 10-game homestand that started Monday.

    "It's like watching your beard grow," Weinberg said. "If you watch it day by day, you don't think it's getting much. But if you wait three or four days...

    "I hadn't seen him in a couple days. He looked better today than the last time I saw him. I'll check on him again Thursday. His stride is getting better. He's starting to do some cuts and light plyometrics. He's progressing."

    With Minor League seasons ending, Sanders will not be sent on a rehabilitation assignment. Instead, he will rely on pregame work as much as possible, then try to find his footing in full-speed big-league games.

    Playoff time: Class A Quad Cities secured a playoff spot despite losing on Sunday. Wisconsin's win over Beloit guaranteed that the Swing will advance to the Midwest League postseason. The best-of-three first round will begin on Wednesday against an opponent to be determined.

    Quad Cities and Palm Beach are the two Cardinals affiliates playing in the postseason. Palm Beach opens the Florida State League playoffs against Vero Beach on Tuesday night.

    Today in Busch Stadium history: On Sept. 5, 1998, Mark McGwire became the first player since 1961, and only the third in history, to reach 60 home runs in a single season. McGwire connected for a two-run shot off Reds left-hander Dennys Reyes in the first inning of a 7-0 Cards win. He tied Babe Ruth for the second-highest total in big-league history. Thanks to Project Retrosheet (www.retrosheet.org) for the information.

    Baby 'Birds: Memphis lost, 3-1, to Albuquerque on Sunday. Chris Duncan doubled and scored the only run for the Redbirds. ... Springfield closed out its season with an 18-9 loss to Arkansas, wrapping up with a 70-70 record. Lambert was pounded for six runs in two-thirds of an inning, while Ankiel hit two home runs. Ankiel finished the Minor League season with 21 home runs in 321 at-bats, hitting .259 in a year split between Springfield and Quad Cities. ... Palm Beach's regular season ended with a 4-3 loss to Jupiter. Tyler Greene went 2-for-5 and stole two bases. ... Quad Cities got seven strong innings from Nick Webber (two runs, five hits, one strikeout, two walks) in its 4-1 loss to Southwest Michigan. ... Three errors led to four unearned runs as short-season New Jersey lost, 6-5, to Williamsport. Mitchell Boggs allowed all of those unearned runs, plus two earned, but struck out five and walked two over six innings.

    The player of the day is Ankiel, whose conversion to the outfield has to be considered a success thus far. After his recall from Quad Cities, he hit .276 with 10 home runs in 126 at-bats.

    Coming up: Game 2 of the last series between the Cards and Cubs at the current Busch Stadium gets started at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Matt Morris takes the ball against Chicago left-hander Glendon Rusch.

    This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    I hope they plan to send Ankiel to winter ball after he gets a chance to rest that knee. He needs the AB's.

    jj twiggs - A great family restaurant

    Dear God, KBF here. I'd just like to say thanks, once again, for allowing Dusty Baker and I to live during the same time period. Every time I think he's given me his last gift -- overpitching Prior in the playoffs, getting cocky in Game 6 vs. the Angels, blowing another game for the Cubs -- he does something stupid like pitching to Albert Pujols. Thy will be done, baby!!!!!

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