Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 15

The Memphis Redbirds went 3-4 on the week, falling two games off the lead in the PCL American North. Veteran Josh Kinney has stepped in as closer and has been very effective.



After a week off for the All-Star break, the Redbirds Notebook is back in its usual Thursday slot. This report covers the seven-day period from Thursday, July 15 through Wednesday, July 21.


Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champion club is now at 52-46 overall after a 3-4 week that saw them slip from a half-game out to two games behind Iowa in the American North Division.


The Redbirds lost three of four in New Orleans (Florida) to start the post-break portion of their schedule with P.J. Walters taking the only win in game three. Returning home, Memphis lost the first of the four-game Omaha (Kansas City) set before taking games two and three.


Who's Hot


Despite having been dropped from the Cardinals' 40-man roster, right-hander reliever Josh Kinney continues to shine. He has allowed just one earned run in ten July outings for a 0.87 ERA and has four of his six saves this month. Kinney has struck out 14 with no walks in 10 1/3 July frames.


Right-hander Lance Lynn fanned season-best 11 batters over 6 2/3 innings in Tuesday's win over Omaha. Despite a 2.78 ERA in four July starts, Lynn is just 2-2. He has lowered his season ERA to 5.17.


Rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick has a double, two home runs and five RBI in two games. Not surprisingly, the Redbirds won both.


First baseman Mark Hamilton has hit in six of seven games since being activated from the disabled list, going 7-for-22 (.318). Hamilton leads the Redbirds in extra-base hits (four) and is tied for the team lead with Ludwick in RBI (at five) since the All-Star break.


After a rough start with the Redbirds, lefty Renyel Pinto has strung together six consecutive scoreless outings covering six innings. However, during that time, he has nine walks and only four strikeouts so he must be considered fortunate.


Who's Not


There is a good reason for the Redbirds' informal catching platoon. Matt Pagnozzi is hitting just .185 against right-handed pitching this season while Bryan Anderson has managed just a .186 mark when facing lefties.


Playing regularly at second base since Daniel Descalso's injury, Ruben Gotay has struggled at the plate. In his last ten games, the veteran is hitting just .206 with 16 strikeouts in 34 at-bats.


Since the break, infielder Kevin Howard is just 4-for-24 (.167), all singles, and has no RBI.


Outfielder Joe Mather has just one home run since June 27, a span of almost four weeks. Joey Bombs is batting just .228 in July with only two RBI in 57 at-bats.


Including a 3-for-5 game on Wednesday, center fielder Jim Rapoport is batting just .135 over his last ten games and .221 in July.


Outfielder Mark Shorey hasn't hit a home run since May and has just six RBI over the last two months. He is 2-for-21 (.095) in his last ten games and .138 this month.


On the Move


The Redbirds roster continues to undergo considerable change.


Outfielder Allen Craig was recalled to St. Louis on July 15. Outfielder Adron Chambers has been given his first look from Springfield to replace Craig.


On Monday, left-hander Evan MacLane was returned from St. Louis and started Wednesday night's game for the Redbirds. Fernando Salas, a perfect 17-for-17 in save situations, was recalled to St. Louis for the fourth time this season.


Struggling starting pitcher David Kopp was returned to Double-A Springfield on Monday, replaced by lefty Ryan Kulik. Kulik is entering the rotation in place of Chuckie Fick along with P.J. Walters, Brandon Dickson, Lance Lynn and MacLane.


The Mexican League season has ended, so outfielder Amaury Cazana is expected back in a Redbirds uniform soon.


On the Mend


Right-handed reliever Andrew Brown was placed on the disabled list retroactive to July 11 due to an oblique strain.


Hamilton was activated from the DL on July 13 after completing a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League.


Second baseman Daniel Descalso remains out of action after suffering a hairline fracture of his left collarbone on June 28.


Right-handed reliever Matt Scherer (wrist) plus pitcher Pete Parise (shoulder surgery – out for the season) and outfielder Shane Robinson (shoulder separation - out for the season) all remain on the DL.


Pacific Coast League leaders


Craig's 65 RBI (in just 62 games) is tied for sixth in the league despite him having spent five weeks and counting with St. Louis.


Ruben Gotay is second in the league in walks with 62. His on-base mark of .407 is fifth-best in the PCL.


Tyler Greene's five triples are good for a tie for ninth in the PCL.


Now in his fourth stint in St. Louis, Fernando Salas is still tied for second in the league with 17 saves.


Evan MacLane's 116 2/3 innings pitched is third the PCL and he is tied for sixth with 15 home runs allowed.


Lance Lynn is fourth with 90 strikeouts, six ahead of teammate Brandon Dickson, who is tied for fifth. Lynn is also seventh in the league in walks issued at 45.


Team stats and rankings – Season to date


The colors show it all. The offense is in a free fall with the loss of Allen Craig, Jon Jay, Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso. The pitching is showing improvement, but not enough to compensate.


Offense Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.271 6th 0.267 11th
Runs 444 6th 486 9th
OPS 0.746 11th 0.737 13th
Doubles 155 T9th 173 11th
HR 68 T12th 74 15th


Pitching Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.61 10th 4.52 9th
Ks 574 10th 675 5th
Walks 275 5th fewest 308 4th fewest
HR allow 85 T2nd most 97 4th most
Saves 25 4th 30 1st

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


Up Next


The final game of the home set against Omaha is Thursday night before Oklahoma City (Texas) comes to town for the long weekend. In an odd scheduling quirk, the Redbirds head right back to New Orleans for four starting on Tuesday.



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

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