3/27/10 - The 'Birds sent Steve and I home with a win today topping New Orleans 9-2. Memphis jumped all over Zephyrs starter Andrew Miller in the first two innings scoring six runs. Tyler Henley put the Redbirds on the board with a RBI-single and came around to score on Amaury Cazana's two-run homer. Mark Shorey doubled and scored in the second inning on Tony Cruz's single before Donovan Solano capped the rally driving in two runs with an infield hit. Memphis added single runs in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings with New Orleans' two runs coming on Lorenzo Scott's two-run homer off Trey Hearne in the seventh inning. The 'Birds posted their biggest offensive output of the week with 10 hits. Shane Robinson collected three hits, including two triples, and Cruz finished his day with two hits, two RBI and two runs scored.
Redbirds starter Gary Daley turned in four scoreless innings before giving way to Hearne, who walked four in two-plus innings. Josh Kinney, Tyler Norrick and Fernando Salas combined to hold the Z's scoreless the rest of the way.
The Cardinals optioned Jon Jay and Tyler Greene to the Redbirds roster yesterday and optioned Adam Ottavino to Memphis this afternoon. So as the Cardinals roster starts to take shape the Redbirds roster does as well. As it stands right now the Cards appear to have two bench spots for three guys (Allen Craig, Joe Mather and Nick Stavinoha). So the odd man out in that trio will likely start the year in Memphis. With Ottavino being shipped out today the Cardinals pitching situation is getting clearer but Rich Hill is still in big league camp so we'll see what happens in the next week. The Cardinals break camp late next week and will help christen the Minnesota Twins new home, Target Field, the first weekend of April before starting the year at Cincinnati. Memphis opens on the road April 8 at Omaha before returning home on April 16 to raise the 2009 championship banner and celebrate with post-game fireworks.
Steve and I are headed home early tomorrow morning and will actually have to go back to work in the office on Monday. However, baseball at AutoZone Park is getting closer everyday.
3/26/10 - A short day at the yard for the 'Birds today. Memphis and Double-A Springfield played to a 1-1 tie in a scheduled five-inning game. Pitchers for both sides dominated the morning game with the four Redbirds hurlers fanning nine batters and allowing just three hits. Lefty Matt Meyer tossed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts before giving way to fellow southpaw Rich Rundles, who struck out the side in his lone inning of work. The Cardinals run came off Matt Scherer in the fourth when Matt Carpenter belted a home run to right field. Memphis rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the inning when James Rapoport drove in Shane Robinson, who had doubled. Memphis returns to action tomorrow against Florida Marlins Triple-A affiliate New Orleans.
Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller turned in three innings for Single-A Palm Beach against Single-A Quad Cities this morning. The big right-hander allowed one run, a home run in the first inning, and pitched around trouble in his final frame. Miller's solid outing comes one day after the 19-year-old smoked Redbirds manager Chris Maloney with a pitch during pitcher's fielding practice. Miller was supposed to throw the ball outside then field a fake bunt and throw to first instead Maloney took one for the team.
Tomorrow will be our last day in Florida before returning to Memphis on Sunday. The Redbirds open the 2010 season at Omaha on April 8 but before the 'Birds go to Omaha the club will hold a public workout on April 7. The Bird Watching event begins at 11 a.m. Memphis' home opener is April 16 against Oklahoma City.
3/25/10 - Day 2 in Florida was as nice as Day 1 but with the same result on the field for the 'Birds. New York Mets Triple-A affiliate Buffalo dominated Memphis 8-1 Thursday afternoon in Jupiter. The Redbirds lone run came on Bryan Anderson's fifth inning home run and the club finished the day with just five hits. The Redbirds hurlers didn't fare much better with each of the four pitchers giving up at least one run. Redbirds right-hander Oneli Perez was roughed up for four runs on seven hits in 2.1 innings while Redbirds closer Pete Parise gave up one run on three hits in the ninth inning. Former Redbird Jolbert Cabrera was in uniform for the Bisons after being sent down recently. I know I promised a more in-depth game report today but not much happened today unless you are a Mets fan.
Interesting Fact of the Day: Of the 30 players left in big league camp 19 of them played for the 'Birds. That is not including rehab assignments or Ryan Franklin, who pitched for the Double-A Chicks.
The twitter feed was in full swing during today's game and will be again for tomorrow's game against Double-A Springfield. Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller is also scheduled to pitch tomorrow and we'll have updates on that as well.
3/24/10 - Steve and I finally arrived in Florida today and caught the last few innings of the Redbirds game with New Orleans. The 'Birds mounted a late comeback but fell short 9-8. Kevin Howard finished the day a double shy of the cycle driving in three runs in the loss. Donovan Solano chipped in three hits and Shane Robinson picked up a pair of hits. Former Ole Miss Rebel Lance Lynn took the loss allowing five runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings. Tyler Norrick, Josh Kinney and Fernando Salas all combined to toss four scoreless innings with Kinney and Salas punching out two. I'll have a more in-depth game report tomorrow.
A few other things happened in Jupiter today that will likely affect the Redbirds roster. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina came up lame with an oblique injury. How long Molina is out will determine whether or not 'Birds catcher Matt Pagnozzi is in Memphis or St. Louis. Another rumor floating around is Jaime Garcia will be the Cardinals fifth starter which means he won't be the Memphis ace. Garcia has been lights out since leading the Redbirds to a Pacific Coast League title last fall so it's not too big a surprise he'll apparently open the year in the big leagues.
We'll be here for a full day tomorrow so be sure and check us out on twitter (twitter.com/memphisredbirds) for updates. We also have a new toy we might try to employ tomorrow if I can figure it out.
3/23/10 - Redbirds Director of Baseball Operations/PR Kyle Parkinson and The Voice of the Redbirds Steve Selby will be in Florida at Spring Training beginning tomorrow. Kyle will be updating the Web site and our twitter feed (twitter.com/memphisredbirds) while he is in sunny Jupiter.