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Happenings Down South: Back To Earth

The Redbirds have cooled off a bit after their sky high start.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

A couple weeks ago, the Redbirds had jumped out to a 14-4 record to start the season. Since then, they’ve been nothing short of underwhelming. Memphis has gone just 5-8 (including their last 4 straight) in their last 13 since.

Tyler O’Neill and Max Schrock are both still leading the way from the plate. Tyler has an outstanding 1.076 OPS, which would put him in the top 5 in the PCL if not for the amount of time he’s spent with the Cardinals. Max would be right there with him if not for how many extra at bats he has over Tyler which has greatly lowered his slugging percentage.

On the mound, John Gant has been pretty great, whether it’s been in the bigs or in AAA. Gant had the one appearance with the Cardinals on the 26th where he pitched 3 shutout innings and picked up the victory against the Mets. At Memphis he’s 4-0 in 5 starts. Also dealing, Jack Flaherty. Aside from his 3-1 record, his stats are as good or better by a bit than Gant’s. Notice a theme here?? (Hint: Scroll down.)

Lots of Moving Parts

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Due to the injuries on the big club (like Adam Wainwright, above), there’s been a lot of player movement these last couple weeks. Pitchers especially. Mike Mayers, John Brebbia, John Gant, Jack Flaherty have been moving back and forth to cover the injuries of Wainwright, Sam Tuivailala, and Ryan Sherriff. Tyler O’Neill came back down. Luke Voit, who I thought would be getting another promotion sooner or later, went up for a couple days, but never saw the field.

The players will never say it, but all this moving and shaking back and forth can effect team chemistry. Between Opening Day and my last column the 23rd of April (19 days), the Redbirds were involved in 8 roster moves. In the 13 days since (I’m writing this on Sunday the 6th), 16 transactions took place. Let’s revisit what I said at the top of this column.

The Redbirds’ record up until the 23rd? 14-4.

After the 23rd until May 6th? 5-8.

That’s 8 roster moves over 19 days and their record was 14-4. 16 moves over 13 days, 5-8. Some may say that these guys are used to it, having gone through the minor league system and seeing this amount of movement a lot. Those numbers don’t lie though.

Here’s another thing to consider; last season, the Redbirds won a record number of games en route to the PCL Championship. During the same stretch of time, there was 5 transactions regarding the Redbirds. Their record those first 31 games? 20-11. This year, 19-12.

Anyone that’s been seeing the number of L’s on the score board the last couple weeks for the redbirds has probably been concerned. I’m here to tell everyone: THE REDBIRDS ARE FINE. I’m not worried about their record, and you shouldn’t be either.

What to Watch For This Week

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals
Carson Kelly -- Is it his time?
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

With the injury to Yadier Molina, Carson Kelly got the call up. It’ll be curious to see how exactly Mike Matheny decides to use Kelly, and if this may be another good extended look at what Carson can do. Kelly will definitely need to improve on his .234 batting average if he intends to make an impact during this stint in St. Louis.

Down here in Memphis, the Redbirds will be playing most of the next couple weeks on the road, finishing up with Nashville on the 7th before taking trips to both Oklahoma City and Colorado Springs with a home series with Nashville in the middle.