First Half Recap
It's the half-way point of the
season and the Memphis Redbirds have the worst record in the Pacific Coast
League. Although, it's not exactly
where they had hoped to be, the Redbirds have had a lot of success in sending
The Redbirds lead the PCL in home
runs with 113 but are second to last in runs (403) and batting average
(.258). These numbers make
Where Do They Stand?
IF John Nelson was traded to the
Cubs for cash on the 4th of July while IF Jarrett Hoffpauir was
called up. C Matt Pagnozzi was sent
Who's Hot - First Half Review
The offensive MVP of the first half is a no-brainer. OF Rick Ankiel has put up superb stats and been widely discussed throughout the sports world. On the field, Ankiel is batting .270 and slugging .592, supporting his home run total of 26 as well as his 66 RBI in 289 at-bats. Ankiel recently had a four-game streak of home runs snapped on Sunday but has shown the type of power that few minor league and most major league players can match. Defensively, Ankiel has been charged with six errors but has shown tremendous improvement in center field and at times looks like a natural with above average speed and baseball instincts. With all the turnover around him in the lineup, he has consistently hit in the three and five spots and produced with extra base hits and tons of long balls.
The steadiest of all the Redbirds
is IF Edgar Gonzalez, who leads the team in at bats (319), runs (52), hits (95),
doubles (18) and walks (32).
Gonzalez has been integral to
One of the younger players on the
team, OF Nick Stavinoha, has been impressive with his durability and adjustments
made at the plate. Stavinoha, only
24, is batting .286 with nine home runs and 37 RBI in 308 at bats for
On the bump, the
Although there is no clear starter that is above the rest (not including Anthony Reyes who has been with the team for only four starts) , the team ERA leader is Randy Keisler at 4.52, who also leads the team with eight wins. Mike Smith and Mike Parisi have been workhorses for the team, with each logging just over 100 innings. Parisi's most recent start was a gem in which he struck out 12 batters over seven innings. Randy Keisler has put together terrific starts as of late and could become bait for another organization if the Cardinals do not deem him worthy of another chance.
Who's Not - First Half Review
For the first half, the big offensive disappointments have come from the catching position with Brian Esposito (.169) and Ryan Christianson (.211) contributing very little. Both have showed power at times but neither has been consistent whatsoever at the plate. Behind the plate, Christianson has 11 errors, most of them throwing, and Esposito six, with neither having much success at throwing out base runners.
Although he has come on as of late
with his return from the DL, IF Travis Hanson has not had a good first half of
the season. Hanson was hitting
In 20 games, RHP Chris Lambert has compiled an 8.90 ERA and has been hit hard more often than not. The former first round pick has 1.85 WHIP in 30.1 innings, although he has struck out a batter an inning with 30 K's. Lambert has been relegated to mop up duty and will look to rebound in the second half behind the tutelage of pitching coach Dyar Miller.
RHP Blake Hawksworth is a former Cardinal Minor League Pitcher of the Year but has really struggled in his first season of AAA ball, with a 5.03 ERA. Hawksworth has a 1.48 WHIP and a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio with 50 K's and 25 BB's. Hawksworth did have a great May with a 1.70 ERA in six starts, but has yet to recover. He is a competitor who takes losses to heart and has not had much run support, which helps to account for his 3-10 record.
What We Know
it may not be much different record-wise from last year, but the first half for
the Memphis Redbirds has been a rollercoaster ride. The season started out well behind the
hitting of Ryan Ludwick and company, then came the injuries and call-ups and
like Brendan Ryan, Randy Keisler, Troy Cate, Andy Cavazos, Brian Falkenborg and
Dennis Dove have all seen action in
second half outlook is still bright with the recent additions of Double-A
standouts Joe Mather and Jarrett Hoffpauir. Mather has already played RF, CF and 1B
for the Redbirds and has shown considerable power, speed and athleticism for his
6-foot-5 frame. Hoffpauir came out
swinging with a home run in his first at bat in Triple-A and has hit extremely
well in the short time he's been in
second half will also be crucial to the future of a number of players on the
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