06/15/10 9:04 PM ET
Cardinals sign 33 Draft picks
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Highlighting the signings was third-round pick Samuel Tuivailala, a shortstop from San Mateo, Calif. Fourth-rounder Cody Stanley from North Carolina-Wilmington, fifth-round pick Nicholas Longmire from the University of the Pacific and seventh-rounder Greg Garcia from University of Hawaii also agreed to deals.
Short-season affiliates begin play on Friday, making it a necessity for Draft picks to begin signing. All of the signees will play for either the Cardinals' short-season Batavia affiliate or one of their Rookie-level clubs in either Johnson City or the Gulf Coast League.
Other notable signees on Tuesday included 42nd-rounder Drew Benes, the son of former Cardinal Andy Benes, and non-drafted free agent Ricky Martinez, the son of Springfield Cardinals pitching coach and former Major League star Dennis Martinez.
Pujols fine after taking throw to head
ST. LOUIS -- Albert Pujols missed no time as a result of being hit in the head Monday night by a throw from Mariners infielder Jose Lopez.
Pujols remained in Monday's win over the Mariners, and was back in the lineup again on Tuesday. He was struck in his batting helmet as he scored on David Freese's infield grounder. The slugger checked out fine on Tuesday and started for the Redbirds.
"I haven't seen him," manager Tony La Russa told reporters on Tuesday afternoon, "but I'm sure if there was a problem, someone would have told me."
Garcia looking for more efficiency
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals have no complaints about the end results they've gotten from Jaime Garcia lately. But Garcia, and the club, would like for the lefty to be able to last a little longer in games.
One hallmark of Garcia's start to the season was his efficiency. Over his first seven starts, he averaged 15.33 pitches per inning. Over his past five, it's been 17.5. That's meant shorter starts and more work for the Cardinals' bullpen. In his most recent start, Garcia threw 102 pitches in five innings, and fewer than half went for strikes.
Garcia hasn't been as sharp at times, but he also believes that hitters are adjusting somewhat to what he throws. He's seeing batters lay off his slider, especially, more often than they were at first. With more video available, and more developed scouting reports as he goes along, that's not shocking.
"Especially my slider and breaking balls, they take those pitches," he said. "Days like [my last start], when my slider wasn't too consistent, it was good, but I wasn't able to throw it for a strike a lot. So on days like [that], they're just taking it. Taking it and taking it."
Which is to say that it's something of a chicken-and-egg matter. If Garcia hits his spots more effectively, he believes, he'd still be getting more of those swings at chase pitches. That's the main factor as far as manager Tony La Russa is concerned.
"He hasn't been as sharp, so I think it has to do more with him than the other guys," La Russa said.
Still, catcher Yadier Molina has seen the same thing that Garcia has.
"Right now, they're starting to know him and they're trying to figure out what he can do," Molina said. "They're taking pitches, making him work more. They're not chasing as much."
Stadium balloting ends, continues online
ST. LOUIS -- Tuesday night marks Cardinals fans' final opportunity to cast ballots at Busch Stadium for the 2010 Major League All-Star Game, set for July 13 in Anaheim.
In-stadium balloting began in St. Louis on April 28 and runs through Tuesday night's home game against the Mariners. However, that's not the end of balloting, as fans may continue to vote online for more than two more weeks.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 10:59 p.m. CT. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
And the voting doesn't end there. Fans will have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet at the Midsummer Classic via the 2010 All-Star Game MVP Vote sponsored by Sprint.
The All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX and around the world by Major League Baseball International. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio play-by-play, while MLB.com will offer extensive online coverage.
Triple-A Memphis scored all of its runs in the sixth inning in a 7-5 win over Nashville on Monday. Jon Jay's three-run double was the biggest hit in the outburst. ... Double-A Springfield pitchers allowed five home runs, four of them off starter Gary Daley, in an 11-4 loss to Arkansas. Jose Garcia went 3-for-4. ... Class A Palm Beach saw a 4-1 lead get away, but still managed to beat Fort Myers, 8-5, when Richard Racobaldo hit a ninth-inning grand slam to take the lead back. ... Class A Quad Cities was off on Monday.
The player of the day is Racobaldo, whose big hit salvaged what would have been a very disappointing loss for Palm Beach. The 24-year-old outfielder went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, ending what had been a 3-for-33 slump. For the year, he's batting .261 with a .337 on-base percentage and a .338 slugging percentage. Racobaldo was a 37th-round Draft pick in 2009.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.