Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 8

Brian Walton's weekly report on the St. Louis Cardinals Triple-A Pacific Coast League affiliate. Memphis went 4-3 on the week, two games out of first place in the PCL American North.

Recap

 

This report covers the seven-day period from Thursday, May 27 through Wednesday, June 2.

 

Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champion club is now at 29-23 overall after a 4-3 week. After a 9-13 April, the Redbirds put together a strong May at 18-11.

 

The Redbirds lost the final game of at Fresno (Giants) by a 6-4 score and the first two at home vs. Albuquerque (Dodgers), 6-5 (11 innings) and 16-6 before breaking their four-game losing skid.

 

Then, Memphis started a four-and-counting win streak, taking the final two against the Isotopes, 5-3 and 11-0, and the first in Oklahoma City, by a 5-4 tally. They finished the week by defeating the RedHawks, 5-2.

 

In the American North Division, Memphis is in third place, just two games behind Nashville. The Redbirds lost one game in the standings this week.

 

Who's Hot

 

Though we disagreed on the identity, both The Cardinal Nation and the Cardinals organization agreed on the fact the top pitcher in the system during May wears the Memphis uniform. We selected closer Fernando Salas while the club picked starter Lance Lynn. Salas had 12 straight scoreless outings (11 1/3 IP) and picked up eight saves in eight chances. (He has added two more since his return.) Lynn went 3-1 posting a 3.19 ERA and striking out 33 batters in 31 innings. (Click on the hot links to read further details on each.)

 

Right-hander Oneli Perez has walked a total of just six batters in his three games spanning 13 innings since being moved into the rotation. This comes on the heels of nine consecutive relief appearances of not walking a single batter from April 27 - May 23 (10 1/3 IP).

 

Second baseman Daniel Descalso has recorded a hit in 14 of his last 15 games while knocking in 11 runs. The number three hitter has collected four extra-base hits in his last three games after having just two in his previous 18 games.

 

Amaury Cazana has driven in a run in seven of his last ten games, logging 14 RBI total. The Cuban-born outfielder is working on a eight-game hit streak (14-for-32).

 

Shortstop Tyler Greene is 24-for-71 (.338) with 17 runs scored in 16 games since his return from St. Louis. His current hit streak is 12 games.

 

Newcomer Andrew Brown has yet to allow a run in his first three games, seven innings in total, since having been acquired by the Cardinals last week.

 

Brandon Dickson has posted a 2.18 ERA, allowing just five earned runs in 20 2/3 innings, during his current streak of three straight wins.

 

Who's Not

 

Since Joe Mather joined the Redbirds May 29 from St. Louis, the new number five hitter is 7-for-19 in five games but has just one RBI. Just one of those seven hits has gone for extra bases.

 

Journeyman infielder Kevin Howard got out of the gates quickly this season with two home runs and six RBI through the first three games. Since then, he's only knocked one over the wall and drove in eight in the next 50 games.

 

Outfielder Mark Shorey has no extra-base hits in his last nine games.

 

Infielder Donovan Solano has driven in just two runs since May 10.

 

Reliever Rich Hill has yielded more walks, six, than hits, four, in his last seven innings.

 

In his third year with Memphis, reliever Matt Scherer is in a big slump, having allowed runs in each of his most recent three outings – a total of nine runs in his last six innings.

 

On the Move

 

Left-hander Evan MacLane was added to the 40-man roster and spent his first two major league games in the Cardinals bullpen as insurance against a possible short outing by his Memphis rotation mate Adam Ottavino. MacLane neither made his MLB debut nor missed a Triple-A start, returning to the Redbirds to make his Monday turn.


Left-hander Tyler Norrick was activated off the disabled list and sent down to A-Advanced Palm Beach, where he has already made three short appearances out of the bullpen.

 

Allen Craig was promoted to St. Louis on Monday only to be returned to Memphis on Tuesday after one unsuccessful at-bat. He is now 1-for-19 (.053) as a big leaguer.

 

On the Mend

 

The Redbirds placed first baseman Mark Hamilton back onto the seven-day disabled list retroactive to May 29th. The nature of the injury was not disclosed, but he missed most of the first month of the season with a hand injury.

 

Right-handed pitcher Trey Hearne, outfielder Tyler Henley and outfielder Shane Robinson (out for the season) remain on the DL.

 

Pacific Coast League leaders

 

Daniel Descalso's 40 RBI on the season is seventh-best in the circuit, just three ahead of his ex-teammate and fellow second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir.

 

Ruben Gotay is third in the league in walks (35).

 

Fernando Salas is tied for fourth in the league in appearances with 22. He is tied for second with 10 saves.

 

Evan MacLane's 70 innings pitched is second in the PCL.

 

Lance Lynn is tied for fourth the league in walks issued at 30.

 

Team stats and rankings

 

The offense showed improvement this past week in average, runs, OPS and home runs, but backslid in doubles. The pitchers lost ground.

 

Offense Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.263 11th 0.265 7th
Runs 225 8th 266 5th
OPS 0.711 14th 0.719 13th
Doubles 78 8th 87 11th
HR 32 T13th 38 T12th

 

Pitching Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.06 8th 4.14 8th
Ks 316 7th 349 10th
Walks 141 T4th fewest 163 5th fewest
 

(red/yellow/green denotes week-to-week change)

 

Up Next

 

After Thursday's and Friday's final games of the Oklahoma City series, the Redbirds head to Albuquerque for four games. They will be off next Thursday before welcoming the Iowa Cubs to AutoZone Park.

 

 

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

Follow Brian on Twitter.

 

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