It's been a rough week for the
Redbirds. Not only have they had to play every game on the road, they've had to
do it without some key players.
Middle of the lineup hitters Tagg Bozied and Rick Ankiel have both
recently been placed on the Disabled List, as has starter Chris Narveson. This also comes only a week after
Where they stand
The injury bug bit
For the second consecutive week,
the Redbirds lost key players. This time though, it wasn't to the Cardinals, but
instead to injuries. They've called
in the reinforcements in the form of catcher Mike Pagnozzi, Uutility player Mike McCoy, RP Ryan Meaux and outfielder Skip Schumaker, who was optioned from
John Rodriguez has had a pretty successful week as well. In his last ten games, Rodriguez is batting .464 with six doubles, a home run and seven RBI. J-Rod looks to be regaining his stroke and some power and it comes at a much needed time.
Blake Hawksworth had only one start this week but he made it count. Continuing his hot streak, Hawksworth went six innings, giving up only five hits and one earned run while striking out three. Hawksworth didn't walk anyone for the third straight start and his numbers over the last three starts are terrific: 18 innings, 17 hits, three earned runs and eight strikeouts, giving him a sub-1.00 WHIP and much needed innings for the ‘Birds.
In three appearances this week, reliever Andy Cavazos went 4 1/3 innings without giving up a run and only walking two. Cavazos is another young pitcher who needs to throw strikes and let his stuff take over. When Andy is not walking people, he is a very effective reliever and it showed this week.
It should also be noted that two
players that have struggled in
The starting pitching outside of Hawksworth has struggled this week as Randy Keisler has given up six runs in each of his two starts since rejoining the club, although he did complete one of those games. Mike Smith has also struggled, giving up 11 earned runs over 8 2/3 innings. Mike Parisi had an uncharacteristically bad start giving up 12 hits and 10 earned runs while Troy Cate has give up eight runs in 9 1/3 innings while walking three batters each in his past two starts.
Utilityman John Nelson has only five hits over his last 27 at bats, while striking out eight times. He's hitting only .194 on the season with two home runs and three RBI but has played a number of positions to help the team.
Brendan Ryan is hitting only .233 over his last ten games and it appears that the wrist injury that hindered him all last season may be beginning to flare up again. He did bat second in the lineup Monday night, giving way to Skip Schumaker. With Ryan and Schumaker at the top of the lineup, the Redbirds have a lot of speed but also two players with questionable bats.
What we Know
The recent rash of injuries has forced Manager Chris Maloney's hand a little bit in regard to finding a way to fill out his lineup. With Rick Ankiel and Tagg Bozied both shelved on the DL, Maloney will have to rely on players like Nick Stavinoha, John Rodriguez and Edgar Gonzalez to be middle of the order producers. Bozied in particular was really hitting well before his injury and had appeared to put a stamp on the number four spot in the order.
This may be Skip Schumaker's last
chance to make an impression with the
We may be seeing the real Blake Hawksworth. He has put together a string of solid starts and has kept guys off base by not walking them and being aggressive. Although his strikeout numbers aren't very high, his stuff is there and his confidence has to be booming, which is key for a young player. It will be interesting to see if Blake can maintain this form and position himself for a future big league rotation spot.
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