Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 16

The Memphis Redbirds went 4-3 on the week, remaining two games off the lead in the PCL American North. Left-hander Renyel Pinto has been pitching well in relief but the offense is really struggling.

Recap

 

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

 

Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champion club is now at 56-49 overall after a 4-3 week that saw them maintain their two game deficit behind Iowa in the American North Division.

 

Playing the first five games at home, the Redbirds lost the final game of the Omaha (Kansas City) set on Thursday. They then swept visiting Oklahoma City (Texas) in four contests over three days after game one on Friday was postponed when a flock of dove shorted out an electrical transformer.

 

Back in New Orleans (Florida) for the second series in two weeks, the Redbirds took a tough loss when P.J. Walters allowed just a solo home run in Tuesday's 1-0 loss. On Wednesday, it was over in the first inning as Ryan Kulik couldn't find the strike zone and allowed eight unearned runs in what became a 10-1 New Orleans shellacking.

 

Who's Hot

 

Outfielder Amaury Cazana has at least one hit in 11 of his last 12 games for Memphis going 18-for-49 (.367) with seven extra-base hits and 13 RBI.

 

Since coming off the disabled list 13 games ago, first baseman Mark Hamilton is 15-for-45 (.333) with three home runs, 10 RBI and a 1.052 OPS.

 

Playing regularly with Tyler Greene with St. Louis, shortstop Donovan Solano is 8-for-22 (.364) over his last seven games.

 

Reliever Josh Kinney has 18 strikeouts in his last 11 games (11 innings) and a 0.69 ERA in July.

 

Those concerned about the left-handed relief situation in St. Louis, take notice. After a rough start with the Redbirds, Renyel Pinto has logged eight straight scoreless outings totaling 14 2/3 innings. He has cut down on his walks considerably with a 11:2 strikeout to walk ratio over his last three outings.

 

Though they have been over several stints, Fernando Salas' 21 consecutive scoreless outings (21 2/3 innings) is just one short of the team record.

 

Who's Not

 

Joe Mather's solo home run in the ninth inning Wednesday broke a 1-for-21 slump over his previous almost six games. Mather is hitting only .207 with 22 strikeouts in 82 at-bats in 24 July contests.

 

Ruben Gotay, Kevin Howard, Mather and Jim Rapoport have combined to hit .182 (27-for-148) over their last 11 games. Before collecting a double on Monday, Rapoport went 60 at-bats without an extra-base hit.

 

The organizational Player of the Month in June, catcher Bryan Anderson, is 7-for-29 (.241) with no home runs and three RBI over his last ten games.

 

Reserve infielder Mike Folli hasn't had a hit since July 7, going 0-for-13 since. He is batting .208 with Memphis after hitting .214 with Springfield earlier.

 

Pitcher Ryan Kulik has an ugly strikeout to walk ratio of 15-to-18 in 23 1/3 Triple-A innings. His ERA is 5.79.

 

On the Move

 

The Redbirds roster continues to undergo change almost every day.

 

Pitcher P.J. Walters was recalled to St. Louis for one day to serve in long relief, which he did in Chicago on Friday before being returned to Memphis on Saturday.

 

Outfielder Mark Shorey was released on Saturday.

 

Outfielder Adron Chambers, just 10 games into his first-ever stint with Memphis, spent Sunday through Tuesday on the temporarily inactive list, but was reactivated on Wednesday.

 

With the Mexican League season over, outfielder Amaury Cazana was put back in a Redbirds uniform on Monday.

 

On Wednesday, outfielder Aaron Luna was transferred to Double-A Springfield. In 17 games with the Redbirds, he hit just .205.

 

There have also been a couple of position moves. In the final game of the week, 2/3 of a new outfield appeared with Mark Hamilton in left and Joe Mather in center. Each was making their first start of the season at those positions.

 

On the Mend

 

On Tuesday, left-hander Evan MacLane was placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury. He had led the staff in innings pitched last season and this.

 

Second baseman Daniel Descalso was activated on Tuesday. He had been out since suffering a hairline fracture of his left collarbone on June 28.

 

Right-handed relievers Matt Scherer (wrist), Andrew Brown (oblique) 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 69 RBI (in just 72 games) is tied for ninth in the league.

 

Ruben Gotay is second in the league in walks with 66. His on-base mark of .407 is tenth-best in the PCL.

 

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

 

Just having ended his fourth stint in St. Louis, Fernando Salas is still tied for third in the league with 17 saves.

 

Evan MacLane's 121 2/3 innings pitched is fourth in the PCL and he is tied for ninth with 15 home runs allowed. Lance Lynn also has yielded 15 long balls.

 

Brandon Dickson's 117 1/3 innings on the mound is tied for eighth-most in the PCL.

 

Lance Lynn is tied for third with 98 strikeouts, six ahead of teammate Brandon Dickson, who is fifth. Lynn is also seventh in the league in walks issued at 46 and tied for tenth in hit by pitches with seven.

 

Team stats and rankings – Season to date

 

The offense continues in their free fall. One has to wonder how the Cardinals remain as competitive given they are in the bottom quarter of the league in all major stats. The pitching is showing continued strength.  

 

Offense Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.267 11th 0.263 15th
Runs 486 9th 506 12th
OPS 0.737 13th 0.729 15th
Doubles 173 11th 181 12th
HR 74 15th 79 15th

 

Pitching Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.52 9th 4.37 8th
Ks 675 5th 735 4th
Walks 308 4th fewest 335 4th fewest
HR allow 97 4th most 104 5th most
Saves 30 1st 32 1st
 

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

 

Up Next

 

The Redbirds will finish their New Orleans visit with games three and four on Thursday and Friday nights. They return home starting Saturday for four against Omaha. An eight-game road trip to Las Vegas (Toronto) and Reno (Arizona) begins Wednesday. Finally on August 12, Memphis is scheduled to get a day off.

 

 

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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