Luna Follows Worn Path Back to Springfield

The St. Louis Cardinals have returned outfielder Aaron Luna to Double-A Springfield. It is a path he and others have previously taken.

Outfielder Aaron Luna has not only been bumped down to Double-A Springfield from Triple-A Memphis previously, he is the fourth outfielder to have made the reverse move this season alone. To date, only one has returned in Shane Robinson. The others still in the Texas League are Daryl Jones and Jim Rapoport.

With the Cardinals having dealt Alex Castellanos to Los Angeles for Rafael Furcal over the weekend, the Texas League club needed offensive help. They received that assistance in the form of the 24-year-old Luna, who had first joined Springfield for 29 games in 2009.

Further, the Redbirds had to shed a player since Furcal's arrival in St. Louis ended Tyler Greene's most recent stay in the majors after just two days.

Luna, who had played in 17 Triple-A games for Memphis in 2010 before his first career u-turn, spent his first ten games of the 2011 campaign in the Texas League prior to his April 19 promotion back to Memphis.

In 71 Pacific Coast League games this season, the right-handed hitting Luna posted a respectable .266/.354/.448 line, but was only 4-for-23 (.174) over his last ten games. He had received just 203 at-bats this season in a crowded Memphis outfield that currently includes Nick Stavinoha, Andrew Brown, Adron Chambers and Robinson as well as a rehabbing Allen Craig.

With Monday's move, Springfield manager Ron "Pop" Warner can write a lineup card that includes an entire outfield of former Memphis players - Luna, Jones and Rapoport. Chris Swauger is the only other outfielder currently active for the Double-A club with Tommy Pham and D'Marcus Ingram on the disabled list. To keep his hot bat in the lineup, catcher Charles Cutler has also been tried in the Springfield outfield recently.

In 2010, Luna was a Texas League All-Star. He led the league with his .426 on-base percentage and 25 hit by pitches. His walk total of 63 was fifth-highest in the circuit. Among Cardinals minor leaguers last season, Luna ranked in the top ten in many offensive categories including on-base percentage, walks, runs home runs and OPS.

Luna, who has been tried in the past at second base defensively but did not stick there, was the Cardinals' ninth-round selection in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft from Rice University. Prior to the season, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder had been named The Cardinal Nation's 22nd-ranked prospect.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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