Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 3

Brian Walton's weekly report on the St. Louis Cardinals Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate. Memphis went 2-4 on the week, falling to third place in the PCL American North. Our Redbirds Player of the Week Mark Shorey is on a hot streak with the bat and even was called upon to pitch.



This report covers the seven-day period from Thursday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 28.


Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champions finished their homestand with the final two games of the Iowa Cubs series at AutoZone Park before hitting the road for four at Oklahoma City (Texas Rangers). The Redbirds enjoyed their first off day of the season to close out the week.


The Redbirds went 2-4 on the week, winning the first and last sandwiched around a four-game losing skid. Memphis is now 9-13 on the season to-date. In the American North Division, they have fallen to third place, five games behind Nashville, losing three games in the standings this week.


Day by Day


Thursday, 4/22: Memphis won its fourth straight, 6-5 over Iowa in 10 innings. Daniel Descalso opened Redbirds scoring with a two-run home run off ex-Cardinal Mike Parisi in the third inning. Memphis rallied for three runs to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. Descalso ripped a two-RBI double and scored on a two-out single by Ruben Gotay. Tyler Henley sealed the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. Tyler Greene was 3-for-4 with a double, stolen base and three runs scored, while Descalso went 3-for-5 with four RBI. Matt Scherer earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief.


Friday, 4/23: The I-Cubs avoided a series sweep with a 6-0 shutout victory at rain-soaked AutoZone Park. In the process, Memphis bookended their first homestand of the season with shutout losses by a combined score of 13-0 after a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma City seven games earlier. Iowa jumped on Redbirds starter Evan MacLane for two runs in the first two innings and cruised to the win, pounding out 15 hits off MacLane and Tyler Norrick. Shane Robinson led Memphis with three hits. The rest of the Redbirds offense went MIA, going 2-for-28 with no walks taken.


Saturday, 4/24: Memphis rallied late, but fell at Oklahoma City, 8-7. The Redbirds coughed up a 3-0 lead, allowing eight runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Lance Lynn pitched six innings of no-hit ball, but gave up three runs before Oneli Perez yielded the final five. The Redbirds came back with four runs with two outs in the top of the ninth but fell short. Daniel Descalso hit a bases-clearing triple and added another hit while Mark Shorey and Matt Pagnozzi also had a pair of hits. Jon Jay went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.


Sunday, 4/25: The Redbirds offense remained lost as they were held to two hits in an 8-0 shut out in Oklahoma City. Amaury Cazana recorded both hits, singles. Rich Hill threw five innings, allowing five runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts. With the game out of hand, Mark Shorey made his first professional pitching appearance. He faced two batters, walked one and induced former major leaguer Esteban German to hit into an inning-ending double play.


Monday, 4/26: Oklahoma City took their third straight in the four-game series with a 12-4 shellacking of the Redbirds. Adam Ottavino allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in two innings. Trey Hearne was hit hard in relief, allowing seven runs on seven hits in one inning.  Mark Shorey went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Ruben Gotay, Daniel Descalso and Kevin Howard each added two hits.


Tuesday, 4/27: The Redbirds salvaged the getaway game in Oklahoma City, putting a stop to their four-game losing skid, 9-5. Winning pitcher Brandon Dickson weathered a difficult third inning with a couple of defensive miscues behind him, but ultimately lasted seven innings, striking out eight, and allowing just one earned run. In the top of the sixth, Memphis brought twelve batters to the plate, scoring six runs. Amaury Cazana led the Redbirds with three singles. Daniel Descalso collected two singles and an RBI.


Wednesday, 4/28: Memphis was off for their first scheduled break this season.


Who's Hot


Mark Shorey is 6-for-11 in his last three games and 7-for-15 on the week. He owns a team-high .359 average on the season, but does not have enough plate appearances to qualify among the PCL leaders.


Prior to his promotion to St. Louis, Jon Jay continued his red-hot hitting. His 16-game hitting streak came to an end on Sunday and his Memphis stint ended with him batting .347 with a team-best seven stolen bases.


After playing only part-time early on, Amaury Cazana has started in each of the last three games and is 5-for-13 (.385) during that stretch.


Through his five appearances including four starts, Brandon Dickson's ERA of 3.20 leads the Redbirds starters.


Veteran left-handed reliever Rich Rundles is the only pitcher on the team with an ERA under Dickson's 3.20. He has yielded just one run in 11 1/3 innings for an ERA of 0.79.


Evan MacLane has an 18:2 strikeout to walk ratio over his first 26 2/3 innings pitched.


Who's Not


Memphis pitchers have yet to hold an opponent to two runs or less this season with every one of the Redbirds 13 losses coming with the opposing team scoring three-plus runs. They yielded a whopping 44 runs in their six games this past week.


Third baseman/shortstop Donovan Solano had only two hits all week as his season average sits at .135. All seven of his 2010 hits are singles.


Despite Ruben Gotay's long-ball prowess (his total of four home runs is double that of any other Redbird), he is batting just .206 after going 6-for-32 (.188) over his last ten games. Gotay leads the team with 20 strikeouts in 68 at-bats.


Matt Pagnozzi played every day while Bryan Anderson was in St. Louis, but did little with the bat. He is 5-for-29 (.172) in his last ten games and is batting .178 on the season.


Journeyman infielder Kevin Howard is 5-for-31 in his last ten games (.161) and has slipped to .179 on the season. He has gone two weeks without an RBI.


With the promotions of Jay (7-for-7) and Tyler Greene (4-for-4), the entire rest of the roster has just four stolen bases on the year in seven attempts.


Tyler Norrick has 11 strikeouts in 10 innings, but has also issued 11 walks and carries an ERA of an even 9.00.  


After three starts, Adam Ottavino's ERA is 7.50.


Trey Hearne has allowed nine earned runs in his first five innings (ERA of 16.20) after coming off the disabled list.


On the Move


On Monday, Jon Jay and Tyler Greene were promoted to St. Louis and Allen Craig was optioned out. The next day, Bryan Anderson was returned to Memphis when Jason LaRue was re-activated in St. Louis.


On the Mend


On Monday, closer Pete Parise was placed on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to Thursday, April 22 due to shoulder soreness. For the season, the 25-year-old right-hander has two saves but a 6.43 ERA as a result of allowing five earned runs including two home runs in just seven innings of work.


In the corresponding transaction to Parise's move to the disabled list, Josh Kinney came off the DL after having been sidelined by a strained shoulder. Kinney also had shoulder problems during spring training.


Right-handed starting pitcher P.J. Walters continues to work back into game shape at the Cardinals pitching rehab facility in Jupiter, Florida.


First baseman Mark Hamilton (thumb) remains on the disabled list, where he has been since the start of the season.


Pacific Coast League leaders


Descalso has 21 RBI on the season, best in the circuit. (No other active Redbird has more than nine. Jay has 11.)


Gotay currently ranks tied for eighth in the PCL with four home runs and tied for third in walks (14).


Jay's seven stolen bases is good for a tie for fourth in the PCL. His 16 runs scored ties him for third in the league and his .347 average is 11th.


Reliever Matt Scherer is tied for second in the league in appearances with nine.


It is not a good leaderboard to be on top of, but teammates Rich Hill (16) and Lance Lynn (15) have issued the most walks of any pitchers in the PCL.


Team stats and rankings


The offense dropped in most every category during this past week, including from tenth to 12th in average at .249 and fourth to sixth in runs scored with 90. Their OPS has fallen to .679, 14th in the 16-team league. 36 doubles put Memphis in a tie for fifth in that category and their 13 home runs tie them for tenth.


On the pitching side, the Redbirds' team ERA of 4.97 is way up from the 4.33 season to-date mark the week prior, dropping them three places to 14th in the 16-team PCL. They are third in strikeouts with 152 and also have issued the third-most free passes with 78.


Up Next


The Redbirds continue their road trip, invading Nashville (Brewers) for four games starting Thursday. They return home on Monday for a short, four-game homestand with Albuquerque (Dodgers) coming to town before heading to Round Rock (Astros) for the following weekend.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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