St. Louis Cardinals: Luke Weaver Continues to Excel
The former Florida State Seminole and 2014 St. Louis Cardinals first round pick, Luke Weaver, struggled early, but reeled his performance in to be disappointed by team’s offense and defense.
In the first two innings of the St. Louis Cardinals AA affiliate Springfield’s game on Monday evening, it looked like starting pitcher Luke Weaver was on his way to another disappointing performance, as the Travelers from Arkansas were hitting the ball hard and finding gaps. However, Weaver was able to turn it around and ended up almost completing the full seven innings of the first game of a doubleheader finishing at 6.1 innings pitched. (minor league rules involve that there be only seven innings in doubleheader games).
In those six-and-third innings pitched, Weaver showed St. Louis Cardinals fans just how dominant he can be by retiring 14 of the last 17 batters that he faced, striking out eight on the night, giving up only one walk, and two runs (both of which were unearned). He did allow thirteen fly balls, which ties a season-high, and may be a bit concerning when trying to project how he will perform in the future.
Combining a fast ball that sits in the mid-to-high 90s with off-speed stuff that floats in the mid-80s was the recipe for success last night, as eight of his strikeouts were tallied by swing and misses by the Travs batters. Two of his strikeouts came from facing Texas League all-star Eric Aguilera, who is probably the team’s best hitter. St. Louis Cardinals’ scouts have to love what they continue to see from Weaver.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
Weaver did get credited with the loss, as his defense failed to back him up by putting three errors on the scoreboard, which is more output than that of which the offensive was able to put out, only tallying one run that did not come until the bottom of the fifth inning off a Paul Dejong home run, his 17th on the season.
The team only had one batter batting above .300 last night, as most of the hot first half bats have either been called up to Memphis or just plain cooled off. All-star second basemen, Bruce Caldwell, was batting near .300 for the majority part of the first half for Springfield, but now finds himself in the .240s and has looked noticeably frustrated in his performances at the plate.
The bright spot of the night was indeed Luke Weaver, however, I would not be surprised if we seen his jersey number three sticking around Springfield much longer as the St. Louis Cardinals prospect could be finding himself on a trip to AAA affiliate Memphis to join many of the other former Springfield Cardinals that have excelled at the AA level this season, which is why I think the AA team has had a such a rough start to the second part of the season.
Springfield went on to also lose the doubleheader nightcap in heartbreaking fashion as they watched their 4-3 lead disappear in the final two innings when Arkansas scored three runs, two of which came in on a Bo Way moon-shot into his own team’s bullpen in left center field. The game ended 6-4, but it was encouraging to see a sign of life in the Cardinals’ offense, but once again had their struggles in the field recording two errors.
After winning the first half division championship, clinching a playoff berth in September, the Springfield Cardinals have started the second half 9-15, which sits them in last place of the North division.
Eight of the players currently on AAA Memphis’ roster were on the Springfield roster earlier this season, three of which were elected to the Texas League all-star game based on their AA performances, OF Harrison Bader, C Carson Kelly, and SP Mike Mayers.
Gutting the former Springfield middle infield of Alex Mejia and super UTL, Breyvic Valera has seen an increase in errors and decrease in production at the dish with the likes of shortstop Juan Herrera getting the starting nod, despite having a slash line of .119/.135/.138.
In this situation, there is not much management can do to fix this as they have to ride with the wind through promotions within the organization, but this could be a tell-tale sign just of how deep the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization really is. The bright spots of Luke Weaver and first basemen Luke Voit have helped ease some of the second half pain, however, they can only do so much.
With the trade deadline approaching, it will be interesting to see what happens within the Cardinals organization. There have been some mentions of Weaver’s name in trade discussions in an effort to improve the big-league ball clubs so we will have to wait and see how this affects not only the St. Louis Cardinals’ roster, but also the minor league affiliates.