DanUp at Viva El Birdos does a tremendous job quantifying what I’ve been trying for days to get straight in my head as the Cardinals have been going back to the well and retrieving Memphis Redbirds to come fill in for the injury-plagued St. Louis Cardinals. (Are they “injury-plagued”? How many injuries makes a plague? Are there different sizes of plagues? I mean, not every season is the Black Death. Sometimes, you are just talking about a bird flu pandemic or whooping cough.) This and other minutia after the jump.
As DanUp shows, the Memphis Redbirds started an outfield of (from L to R) Mark Hamilton, Lou Montanez and Jamie Romak who have ages of 28, 30 and 28. Not exactly the future superstars you hope to see in AAA Memphis. However, triple-A has a unique relationship to the major league club and roster. The Cardinals dig there for players to cover when injuries strike and given the way player development works, they don’t often fill those holes with players from AA and below. Often those holes are filling with players in the independent leagues and cast-offs from other organizations.
Memphis is currently filled with prospects, (Shelby Miller, Zack Cox, Ryan Jackson, Maikel Cleto and Adam Reifer), former prospects that haven’t been able to permanently break that glass ceiling to the majors (Mark Hamilton, Bryan Anderson, Brian Broderick, Jess Todd, Pete Kozma) and some flotsam that fills in roster spots for a summer before moving along to the next location (Aaron Bates, Mitch Canham, Cedric Hunter, Lou Montanez, Jamie Romak, Eugenio Velez, R.J. Swindle, Clay Zavada). DanUp does a great job of finding more information about these players, some of whom arrived just yesterday.
What can we do with the Redbirds? Nothing really, the needs of the big club come before everything and right now they need people who can swing the bat and play multiple positions. However, the Memphis Redbirds still need to play games, so bring in the warm bodies who can get their names into box scores and Viva El Birdos and Future Redbirds when we have no clue who they are or where they came from.