Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 11

The Memphis Redbirds went 3-4 on the week and are one game out of first in the PCL American North. Ruben Gotay is swinging a hot bat.

Recap

 

This report covers the seven-day period from Thursday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 23.

 

Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champion club is now at 39-34 overall after a 3-4 week.

 

The Redbirds continued to have a tough time getting games played in Nashville (Milwaukee), as their Thursday double-header was rained out. Returning home to AutoZone Park, Memphis lost three of four over the weekend to New Orleans (Florida), winning only game two on Saturday behind Adam Ottavino.

 

Who else but Nashville would come into town next? The Sounds took game one on Tuesday before the home club came out on top in both ends of Wednesday's double-header. Benches cleared in game one after Donovan Solano was hit by a pitch immediately following a Ruben Gotay long ball. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Redbirds clubbed a season-high five home runs in game two, ending this week on an offensive high note.

 

In the amazingly-tight American North Division, Memphis is in a three-way tie for second place just one game behind Omaha. Iowa and Nashville have identical records to the Redbirds.

 

Who's Hot

 

Infielder Ruben Gotay had a season-best 4-for-4 game on Tuesday and had a five-game hitting streak snapped in Wednesday's game two.  He is batting .484, 15-for-31, over his last ten outings.

 

The defense. The Redbirds have gone seven straight error-free games. Memphis has just 56 errors on the year, fourth-fewest in the league.

 

Who's Not

 

Despite getting the win in game two of Wednesday's double-header, Lance Lynn has allowed 15 runs in his last 9 1/3 innings. His ERA in 29 June innings is over eight.

 

After having been one of the most dependable starters for the Redbirds for the last year and a half, Evan MacLane has stubbed his toe in June. In four starts this month, the veteran lefty is 0-3 with a 7.57 ERA. He has issued seven June walks compared to just six over the first two months combined (11 starts).

 

In Bryan Anderson's last five starts behind the plate, Redbirds pitchers have yielded 45 earned runs over 39 innings for a catcher's ERA of 10.38.

 

On the Move

 

On Monday, two pitchers, Texas League All-Star David Kopp and swingman Chuckie Fick, were promoted to Memphis from Springfield. Fick won his Triple-A debut in game one of Wednesday's double-header, yielding just one run in 5 2/3 innings. Kopp has yet to make his first PCL appearance.

 

After four starts and a 6.63 ERA, left-hander Ryan Kulik was returned to Springfield.

 

Outfielder Amaury Cazana remains on loan to Minatitlan of the Mexican League.

 

Redbirds hitting coach Mark Budaska has been named to the same position for the Pacific Coast League All-Stars. The 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game will be held on July 14 at Lehigh Valley as the PCL takes on the International League.

 

As a side note, because the entire 16-team PCL has to fit onto one All-Star roster, expect the Redbirds to secure only one or two berths when the team is announced.

 

On the Mend

 

Though not formally announced yet, reliever Pete Parise is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to planned rotator cuff surgery on his shoulder.

 

Another reliever went down this past week as right-hander Matt Scherer was placed on the seven-day disabled list with a hand injury.

 

Outfielder Mark Shorey made his fourth pitching appearance of the year in last Wednesday night's blowout loss and hit the disabled list the very next day.

 

Right-handed pitcher Trey Hearne, first baseman Mark Hamilton and outfielder Shane Robinson (out for the season) remain on the DL.

 

Pacific Coast League leaders

 

Second baseman Daniel Descalso's 50 RBI on the season (in 71 games) is the fifth-most in the circuit, ten off a share of the lead. He is tied for third in the PCL with former teammate Brett Wallace in doubles with 21.

 

Ruben Gotay is second in the league in walks with 48. His on-base mark of .421 is up to fifth in the PCL.

 

Despite being in St. Louis, Fernando Salas is still tied for third in the league with 11 saves.

 

Evan MacLane's 97 1/3 innings pitched leads the PCL.

 

Brandon Dickson is ninth with 64 strikeouts and Lance Lynn just made the top ten with 63.

 

Lynn is tied for sixth the league in walks issued at 35.

 

Team stats and rankings – Season to date

 

The offense showed improvement this past period in several categories, most notably home runs, which the pitchers lost ground in ERA.

 

Offense Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.268 7th 0.272 6th
Runs 343 5th 378 5th
OPS 0.734 10th 0.744 11th
Doubles 120 8th 129 T9th
HR 48 T13th 57 T7th

 

Pitching Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.38 9th 4.53 10th
Ks 440 11th 484 11th
Walks 215 6th fewest 237 6th fewest
 

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

 

Up Next

 

Memphis finishes the home series against Nashville with games three and four Thursday and Friday. The Redbirds hit the air for four in Albuquerque starting on Saturday. The Redbirds' next day off is on Wednesday, June 30 as they travel home from Albuquerque and prepare to entertain Round Rock for three.

 

 

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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