By Memphis Redbirds | September 3, 2013 1:31 PM ET
The Memphis Redbirds finished the 2013 season with a 69-75 record, finishing second in the PCL American Conference Northern Division, one game behind division champion Omaha. The Redbirds recorded the PCL's 11th-best overall record. It was just the franchise's 7th losing season in 16 years of competition, but a 12-victory increase over last season's 57-87 mark.
Memphis was eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season. Needing one win over the final two games in Oklahoma City, the Redbirds lost both contests and were ultimately one strike away from clinching a playoff berth.
Memphis drew 498,362 fans to 69 home openings at AutoZone Park in 2013, an average of 7,223 per contest, placing 5th in the Pacific Coast League. It was an attendance increase of nearly 5,000 from the previous season (493,706 in 71 openings). Twelve crowds throughout the season at AutoZone Park exceeded 10,000 fans. A capacity crowd of 17,048 fans on Saturday, August 17 saw the club host Omaha, which was the 7th-largest attendance figure in franchise history for a Redbirds regular season game.
First baseman Brock Peterson led the PCL in home runs (25) and slugging percentage (.531), finished 2nd in OPS (.895), and total bases (242) 3rd in extra-base hits (56), and tied for 4th in RBIs (86).
Slugging utility man Jamie Romak finished 3rd in the PCL in home runs (22), tied for 4th in extra-base hits (55), tied for 5th in games played (134), and tied for 7th in doubles (32). Infielder Greg Garcia tied for 2nd in the league in hit by pitches (11).
Peterson and Romak also climbed through the Redbirds' single-season record books. Peterson finished tied for 7th in Redbirds history in extra-base hits, 8th in RBIs, 9th in total bases, and 10th home runs. Romak ended the campaign tied for 6th in doubles, and 9th in extra-base hits in a season.
Romak became the 5th Redbird in club history to homer three times in a single game on April 8 vs. New Orleans, setting a career-high for the slugger. The Redbirds single-game homer mark was previously achieved by Chris Haas (1998), Billy Selby (2003), Rick Ankiel (2007), and Josh Phelps (2008).
Adron Chambers moved up the Redbirds' career leaderboards throughout the year. Chambers finished the year ranked 2nd in stolen bases (57) and caught stealing (20), 3rd in walks (151), tied for 3rd in triples (12), and 6th in games (362), runs scored (195), and hits (336).
Memphis compiled a .265 team batting average, which was the 11th-best mark in the PCL. Kolten Wong's team-leading .303 batting average ranked 12th in the PCL and was the 10th-highest in Redbirds history.
Redbirds hitters produced three grand slams, two pinch-hit home runs, and 12 four-hit games. Redbirds hitters registered five multiple-homer games, including a team-high three by Peterson. Memphis pinch-hitters batted .175 (15-for-80) with two home runs and 16 RBIs. Chad Huffman had the most pinch hit opportunities (22 at-bats) and games at designated hitter (33). Memphis and Albuquerque co-led the circuit with 72 sacrifices.
The Redbirds stole 104 bases on the year, 8th-most in the PCL, and were only caught stealing a franchise-low 19 times for the highest stolen base percentage (84.6) in the circuit.
Wong finished tied for 15th in the circuit with a team-best 20 thefts, which was tied for the 7th-most in Redbirds' single-season history. Five different Redbirds posted double-digit steals, becoming the second team in franchise history with five players to swipe at least 10 bases (Wong, 20, Chambers, 16; Justin Christian 14, Greg Garcia, 14; Jermaine Curtis, 10). The 2000 Redbirds featured Mark Little (22), Ernie Young (11), Stubby Clapp (10), Steve Bieser (10), and Eduardo Perez (10).
Wong established a new career high with eight triples (ranking tied for 8th in the PCL), which tied Clapp's single-season record from 2000.
Redbirds hurlers posted a 3.91 ERA, which was tied for 2nd in the circuit with Omaha (New Orleans, 3.61) and was the 3rd-lowest ERA in club history. Memphis pitchers racked up 1,038 strikeouts on the year, reaching the 1,000 K plateau for the sixth consecutive season and ninth time club history.
Fifteen different pitchers started a game for the Redbirds in 2013 and eight different pitchers recorded a save, led by Fernando Salas' 12.
The Redbirds allowed the 2nd-fewest home runs in the PCL (104) and set a new franchise record with a league-high 15 shutouts on the season. Their one complete-game shutout was a seven-inning three-hitter by Nick Additon at June 2 a Omaha. Eleven different starting pitchers on the staff threw a quality start, totaling 56 on the year (four more than the previous season).
Additon led PCL starting pitchers in fewest baserunners per nine inning ratio (9.88, 131 baserunners in 119.1 IP) and average against (.228, 100-for-439), and ranked 4th in walks per nine innings (2.19, 29 BB in 119.1 IP). His 1.18 WHIP placed 2nd among all league pitchers, while his 117 strikeouts were tied for the 9th-most.
Sam Freeman placed 2nd among league relievers in lowest batting average against (.218, 57-for-262) and 4th in fewest baserunners per nine inning ratio (11.24, 87 baserunners in 69.2 IP).
Two Redbirds' shutout streaks were broken by pitchers in 2013. John Gast passed Britt Reames' 20.2 scoreless innings from July 14-August 13, 2000, to set the Redbirds' franchise record for consecutive shutout innings by a starter in a single season. Gast tossed 32.0 scoreless frames to begin the 2013 season, the longest streak by any qualified pitcher in the majors or minors to begin the year. Freeman hurled a franchise-record 25.0 consecutive shutout innings by a reliever over his last 15 outings, passing Josh Kinney's shutout stretch (22.2 IP) from June 28-August 12, 2006.
Maikel Cleto matched a Redbirds record with eight walks issued on June 15 at Albuquerque, equaling P.J. Walters' record set on May 15, 2011 vs. Fresno.
Victor Marte and Salas moved up the Redbirds' career leaderboards throughout the year. Marte converted his 45th career save on June 7th to set a new Redbirds' franchise record, while Salas moved to 3rd with his 34 career saves.
Redbirds fielders registered a .980 fielding percentage and committed 104 errors over their 144-game schedule. Wong (.974) and third baseman Curtis (.948) led the PCL in fielding at their respective positions. Wong additionally led all second baseman in games (102), total chances (504), putouts (195), and assists (296).
The Redbirds set a PCL record for turning the fewest double plays (96) in a season, breaking the previous twin-killing record established by the Tacoma Rainiers in 2010.
Memphis catchers threw out 32.7% of potential basestealers (37 of 113), the 6th-best percentage in the PCL. Redbirds pitchers registered 22 pickoffs. Twenty-seven of Memphis' 104 errors were committed by pitchers, most in the PCL.
Memphis tallied a franchise-record 150 transactions over the 144 games this season, passing the 2000 Championship squad that made 144 roster moves. Last season, the Redbirds made 114 transactions.
Six players spent the entire season with the Redbirds (outfielders Christian, Huffman, and Romak, infielder Garcia, and pitchers Additon and Jorge Rondon. Only Romak and Rondon were active for every game. Fifty total players appeared in a game for Memphis this season, including 21 position players and 29 pitchers.
Not including rehab assignments, 21 players made a combined 57 trips to and from St. Louis. Twenty-three players made their Triple-A debut, with 41 moves involving Double-A Springfield.
Twenty-three different Redbirds spent time in St. Louis this season. Thirteen players from Memphis' Opening Night roster were promoted to the major leagues during the season. Nine Redbirds players - catcher Audry Perez, infielders Curtis, Wong, and Peterson, and pitchers Gast, Lyons, Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist and Michael Wacha - made their Major League debut during the campaign.
David Freese, Chris Carpenter, and Salas made rehabilitation assignments with the Redbirds. Sixteen different players spent time on the disabled list throughout the season, including outfield Oscar Taveras. The Cardinals' top prospect missed 79 games due to a right ankle injury suffered in mid-May.
Wacha and Peterson represented the Redbirds the PCL squad in the mid-season Triple-A All-Star Game at Aces Ballpark in Reno, Nevada. Wacha retired all five batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings on four groundouts and a fly out with 22 pitches (13 for strikes) to be named the Top Star of the PCL. His Top Star honor was the second in Redbirds' history after pitcher Dan Haren was recognized in 2004.
Peterson - who was elected as a starter at first base for the contest by the PCL office - went 1-for-2 with a single and a RBI in two plate appearances. He finished runner-up in the Triple-A Home Run Derby two nights earlier. Peterson was named to the 2013 All-Pacific Coast League Team at designated hitter, becoming the 10th Redbird to be recognized to the All-PCL team and first since 2011, when pitcher Marte was elected at relief pitcher.