This report covers the six-day period from Tuesday, August 26 through the end of the regular season, on Monday, September 1.
Though their playoff hopes had already been quashed, the Memphis Redbirds continued to play hard in the American North Division of the Pacific Coast League's final week of the regular season, going 4-3. The Redbirds finished in second place, eight games behind the Iowa Cubs.
The Redbirds ended their two-year
run of losing seasons, tallying the second-most victories in franchise history
with their 75 wins (against 67 losses). Only the PCL champions of 2000 won more
games, with an 83-61 record. It has also been eight years since post-season ball
was played in
Of the 11 players to have made their major league debut with St. Louis this season, nine of them played for Memphis in 2008 and one later rehabbed there (Brian Barton). Of the rookies, only Kyle McClellan has never suited up for the Redbirds. The ones who did: Joe Mather, Nick Stavinoha, Rico Washington, Mitchell Boggs, Mike Parisi, Mark Worrell, Jaime Garcia, Chris Perez and as of Wednesday, Jason Motte joined the list.
Day by day
The Redbirds exacted a small bit
of revenge against the Cubs by taking two of three on Tuesday through Thursday
The Redbirds took the second game of the series on Wednesday, 6-4, as they erased a four-run deficit in the process. This time, Ron Flores, Jimenez and Motte tossed four innings of scoreless relief behind Mitchell Boggs. Jarrett Hoffpauir's two-run home run was the big statement by the offense.
The RedHawks continued to swing the bats, with a 10-7 win on Sunday. With a 4-4 tie heading into the ninth, Jimenez yielded six runs, though only one was earned. Ryan doubled twice and homered while Freese cut the gap in half with a three-run blast in the home ninth.
Their team batting average ended
at .272, ninth among the 16-team league. The offense was tied for tenth in home
runs, eleventh in strikeouts and 12th in runs scored.
The mound staff was tops in the PCL in ERA at 4.34 and also paced the circuit in strikeouts. They ranked eighth in walks issued.
Individually, Josh Phelps ended in a three-way tie for third in the PCL with 31 home runs. Phelps' 97 RBIs were ninth-most and his .568 SLG mark was eighth. Nick Stavinoha's .337 average ranked fifth.
Mitchell Boggs' 3.45 ERA led the
league among those who qualified. With 122 strikeouts, P.J. Walters finished in
seventh place. With 12 saves, Kelvin Jimenez ranked in eighth and though he is
On the Move
Six players were promoted to
Jaime Garcia was returned to
Veteran infielder Rico Washington was outrighted off the major league 40-man roster. He will be a free agent after the season; same with Ron Flores, D'Angelo Jimenez, Juan Gonzalez, Cliff Politte, Joe Rogers and John Wasdin. Barden, Johnson and Phelps would also become eligible if they don't stick on the 40-man beyond the end of the regular season.
Not on the move
Players on the 40-man roster that did not receive a September call to St. Louis are reliever Mark Worrell, starters Blake Hawksworth, Jaime Garcia and Mitchell Boggs and infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir. Of the five, only Hawksworth and Hoffpauir have yet to make their MLB introduction.
On the mend
In his rehab assignment, outfielder Colby Rasmus was transferred from the Gulf Coast League Cardinals to the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, where he played the final three games of the regular season and went 0-for-9.
Other players that ended their season on the DL include Politte, Rogers, Mike Parisi, Mike Sillman and Jon Jay.
Garcia is getting a second opinion, but may require Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery as Parisi already had last month.
Winter ball plans
In addition to his September call-up, Motte was selected to pitch in winter ball and plans to suit up for the Hermosillo Naranjeros of the Mexican Pacific League, likely starting in October.
The 2009 edition of the Memphis
Redbirds are scheduled to open their 2009 season at
Technically, the Cardinals have
not finalized a two-year extension of their Player Development Contract with the
Redbirds, but the deal is expected to be completed in the next two weeks, Team
President Dave Chase told the
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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