This report covers the week from Thursday, August 11 through Wednesday, August 17.
Manager Chris Maloney's Memphis Redbirds opened their week with a travel day, followed by a homestand that began with a four-game set with Tucson (Padres) and the first two of four against Las Vegas (Toronto).
The Redbirds sandwiched four wins in between two big losses that opened and closed the week.
The Redbirds' current record is 64-60 and they remain in second place in the American North Division. During the week, Memphis made up no ground against first-place Omaha and remains five back in the standings with 18 games remaining.
Thursday, August 11: Day off
Though there was still travel involved, it was the first day without a game for the Redbirds in 20 days, of which 16 contests were on the road. The club went 4-0 at home but 5-11 away from AutoZone Park during that time.
Friday, August 12: Tucson 8, Memphis 2
For the fourth time in four starts, Blaine Boyer did not do his job, this time yielding five runs in five innings. Sadly, it was actually his best outing to date as a Redbird. Freddie Bynum's triple and Matt Carpenter's double plated the two Memphis tallies.
Saturday, August 13: Memphis 5, Tucson 2
In the long-awaited Organ Donor Night, consecutive home runs by Shane Robinson, Tyler Greene and Nick Stavinoha erased an early 2-0 Tucson lead. Starter Brandon Dickson allowed only those two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings while walking one and matching his season-high of nine strikeouts. Victor Marte earned the save with a scoreless ninth inning. Bryan Anderson's hit streak ended at seven games.
Sunday, August 14: Memphis 2, Tucson 0
Adam Ottavino rebounded from a bad stretch by throwing seven shutout innings on just two hits and four walks while striking out three. Victor Marte picked up his second save in two nights and 23rd of the season. Nick Stavinoha had two hits and an RBI as Pete Kozma was 1-for-3 with the other RBI. Two hitting streaks ended – Matt Carpenter's at a 2011 team-best 18 games and Mark Hamilton's at nine.
Monday, August 15: Memphis 7, Tucson 1
Starter Maikel Cleto earned his fourth victory of the year with six scoreless innings. The right-hander walked three and fanned five while allowing only three hits. Adron Chambers launched a three-run pinch-hit home run and recent returnee Tony Cruz plated two. Tyler Greene had two hits, stole a pair of bases and scored.
Tuesday, August 16: Memphis 5, Las Vegas 1
Brian Broderick tossed seven solid innings to earn the win. The righty allowed one run on eight hits, issuing no walks and striking out two. Mark Hamilton and Freddie Bynum both collected three hits on the night while driving in one run each.
Wednesday, August 17: Las Vegas 11, Memphis 0
Nick Additon's return to Triple-A did not go well. The lefty took the loss after giving up seven runs on six hits and five walks in just 2 1/3 innings while fanning only two. The Redbirds managed just seven hits all evening, including two from Tony Cruz. Mark Hamilton doubled and Nick Stavinoha logged his first triple of the season. The 11-run defeat was the Redbirds' worst of the season.
On the Move
Last Friday, a flurry of moves occurred across the system, including a handful that affected the Redbirds.
Left-handed reliever Ron Mahay opted out of his contract. The signing of Arthur Rhodes must have told him all he needed to know about his chances of helping St. Louis.
Left-handed reliever Rich Rundles stepped in for Mahay after being activated off the disabled list. He had been out for two weeks.
To make room for Rhodes on the 40-man roster, lefty reliever Raul Valdes was designated for assignment. He was claimed by the New York Yankees and moved to their 40-man.
Catcher Tony Cruz was sent down to the Redbirds on Friday to clear space on the 25-man (active) roster for Rhodes.
Pitcher David Kopp was promoted from Springfield on Friday. The right-hander's career is getting back on track after injuries led to a move from starting to relieving.
After his fourth bad start in four tries since joining the Redbirds, right-hander Blaine Boyer was released on Saturday. The 30-year-old's Memphis ERA was 13.50.
On Tuesday, Nick Additon was officially promoted from Double-A Springfield for the second time this season to step into the rotation spot vacated by Boyer.
On the Mend
When Additon was added, catcher Nick Derba was placed on the disabled list. Derba has gone 6-for-13 (.462) during the month of August, with three extra-base hits, three runs scored and four RBI. Overall in 50 games this season between Springfield and Memphis, the right-handed hitter is batting just .186.
Two Redbirds are done for the season - reliever Adam Reifer with a torn knee ligament and catcher Steven Hill with a broken foot.
Mark Hamilton's nine-game hitting streak also ended Sunday. During his streak from August 4 through 13, the first baseman went 17-for-38 (.447), including five doubles and six RBI, but oddly, no home runs. In fact, on the season, Hamilton has just two long balls through 231 at-bats, mostly with the Redbirds. Last season, he swatted 20 home runs in 285 at-bats.
As long as we are on Hamilton, he has collected eight multi-hit performances in his last 11 games. Hamilton has 13 two-hit games, four three-hit contests and two four-hit outings overall this season with the Redbirds.
In three August starts, Maikel Cleto has allowed just one earned run in 17 innings for a 0.52 ERA and picked up three wins. However, the right-hander has issued 12 walks to go with 15 strikeouts.
Tyler Greene swiped his 14th base of the season with Memphis Monday night while Adron Chambers tacked on another for a team-high 19 stolen bases on the year. Greene has stolen four bases in his last four games while picking up all 14 of them over just 49 games. The shortstop also leads St. Louis with most stolen bases on the year with nine despite playing only two games with the Cardinals since June 17th.
Shane Robinson has four home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs scored to go with a .323 batting average this month. The outfielder is also 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts.
In his four games since returning from St. Louis, catcher Tony Cruz is 6-for-14 (.429) with three RBI.
From August 3 through 15, nine games, Nick Stavinoha had at least one RBI each game and totaled 12 during that streak. On the season, the outfielder leads the team with 89 RBI. Andrew Brown is next with 57.
PCL All-Star Andrew Brown had just two singles in 15 at-bats on the week while fanning six times. The outfielder is hitting just .190 in August after a .207 July.
Outfielder Adron Chambers is scuffling, having going just 4-for-26 (.154) in his last ten games and .227 this month.
Pacific Coast League individual leaders
In an oddity, Carpenter did not draw a walk in his last six games and has been tied at the top of the league. Despite all the hits mentioned above, his season OBP dropped 13 points last week.
|BA||no one in||top 30|
|SLG||no one in||top 30|
|OPS||no one in||top 30|
|Doubles||no one in||top 40|
(Red/yellow/green denotes period-to-period change of the season-to-date totals, where red is decline, yellow is steady and green is improvement since last report.)
Team stats and rankings – Season to date
The hitters and pitchers continue to tread water, though there is some erosion in the secondary pitching stats.
|Offense||Prev week||PCL rank||Season||PCL rank|
|YTD||#||of 16||#||of 16|
|Pitching||Prev week||PCL rank||Season||PCL rank|
|YTD||#||of 16||#||of 16|
|HR allow||111||2nd fewest||HR allow||118||T3rd fewest|
|Saves||26||5th fewest||Saves||28||T5th fewest|
After the final two games of the homestand against Las Vegas (Toronto) on Thursday and Friday, the Redbirds embark on a nine-game road trip. The journey begins with four at Albuquerque (Dodgers) starting on Saturday, followed by five at Nashville (Milwaukee).
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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