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Redbird Recap May 5
I have had more fun watching Cardinals baseball dating back to last September than I probably have since the World Series run of 2011. The run of 21’ that saw the Cardinals win 17 straight games to clinch a playoff berth was a new kind of dark magic unlike anything I have ever seen before. This year the Cardinals cooled after a scorching start but the storylines are endless it feels like. Pujols coming back and was hitting over .400 for a while. Nolan Arenado winning the illustrious April MVP. Then you have the Home Run chase in the minor leagues. (which we will get to) In our second edition of the Redbird Recap, We will illustrate the first month of the season for the Big Birds and the AA Birds and maybe sprinkle in a little Memphis flavor. Lets Start with the St. Louis Squad.
Nolan “I do it all” Arenado
What cant Nolan do? When we brought him to the Lou’ Arenado had won count em’ 8 straight Gold Gloves with Colorado. That was an instant improvement in the field over Tommy Edman who manned the hot corner in 31 of 2020s 58 games in the covid shortened season. Nolan was coming off of his worst offensive season hitting .253/.303/.434 in 48 games. Edman who was a solid glove at third was able to slide over to second with the departure of another Gold Glover Kolton Wong. Sounds like an instant win for the Cardinals, right? Well considering we gave up a promising left handed arm in Austin Gomber and a slew of minor leaguers not named Nolan Gorman, Dylan Carlson, or Alex Reyes who at the time were three of the most promising prospects at the time. In return we got a slugging third baseman with 8 straight Gold Gloves to his name and 50 million dollars. Yes, the Rockies paid the Cardinals 50 mil to rob them of Arenado. As critical as I have been of GM John Mozeliak about not signing several stars that expressed interest in playing for the Redbirds (such as Bryce Harper and STL native Max Scherzer) I was in awe of the heist Mo pulled off in this deal. Anyway, enough about the history of Arenado and my disdain of Mo. What has happened this year?
Well, He is ripping off possibly his best year of his career. He currently leads the team in nearly every offensive category and sits in the top 5 in the NL with 8 doubles, 7 home runs, a .360 batting average, a .426 OBP, .674 SLG and a 1.100 OPS. All while striking out less than most of the other names atop of that list. Oh, and he also leads the league with 23 RBI’s all while providing jaw dropping plays in the field. Nolan should legally change his name to “I do it all” as he has done just that for the Cards early on this season.
Yep Yep Hurray
We are starting to see a few familiar names from the 2021 Springfield Cardinals make their way to the parent club. Andre Pallante started the season in St. Louis and since our last Redbird Recap article, super-utility Brendan Donovan made his big league debut and just this week Juan Yepez announced his arrival to the tune of doubles in his first two big league at bats. Albeit they weren’t frozen ropes to the wall but perfectly placed bloopers. Either way, it will forever go down as doubles. He has kept it going in his two games played thus far hitting .571. Either way welcome to the bigs Juan Yepez and you should continue to see him to find at bats as the DH for righties as long as he keeps hitting.
What a fall from grace Paul DeJong has had. A one time fan favorite has officially lost all favor with the Redbird faithful. He hasn’t hit north of .250 since his rookie year and the closest he’s been was right at .250 during a covid shortened 2020. Post Covid, DeJong hit .197 in 2021 and is off to a scorching .119 start so far this year. In the past you were able to overlook the poor average thanks to his pop hitting 30 bombs in 2019. After 180 games since 2019, We have seen enough to know we need a change at SS. Edmundo Sosa could be a decent trial run but the long term solution sits in the minors. No, it’s not former 1st round pick Delvin Perez who has shown flashes but has some work to do with his swing before he even sees AAA. Nolan Gorman is MLB Ready. Move utilityman Tommy Edman to short and bring up one of the most exciting prospects in baseball.
Nolan is a third baseman by trade but after the acquisition of aforementioned Nolan Arenado, has moved across the diamond as a second baseman. Gorman has the potential to be the best hitting second baseman in the league within just a few years. He is a career .272 hitter and has exhibited plenty of pop hitting 25 bombs last year between the two top levels of the minor league system. He is a fantastic fielder and would provide new life for an electric infield. This year he is hitting .302, Slugging a just stupid .709 and already hit 11 home runs, #2 in all of the minor leagues. (we will talk about #1 soon) Odds are Nolan wont do this his first month in the majors but he needs to get MLB at bats… now. While I hate losing the opportunity for an all Nolan/Paul infield (Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, Nolan Gorman, and Nolan Arenado) its time to let the young kid eat.
Minor League Report
STAY IN THE PEN……PLEASE.
The Springfield Cardinals has had mixed results this year. Much like how they were last season, They can hit the ball and score runs but the bullpen is horrendous only two relievers who have appeared in multiple games have an ERA under 3.00. Yes, that’s not ideal. Freddy Pacheco has been good grabbing 4 saves with a 1.86 ERA with a WHIP under 1. Cory Thompson is the other one sitting at 1.69 ERA with 10.2 IP. Thompson has some promise being a career 3.32 ERA and a 19-9 record averaging nearly a strikeout in his 217 innings pitched but other than that. After those two, Grant Black has the next best ERA at 6.35 and has not one but two guys sporting a four digit ERA as Kevin Marnon is rolling at 18.00 after 5 games and Johan Quezada sits at 12.38 after 7. I know those wont stay that astronomically high but not a good start.
Welcome to the Bomb Squad
Do you want to see homeruns? Come to a cardinal’s minor league game. As the Springfield pitching staff gives you a great opportunity to see a homerun, Moises Gomez gives you a great opportunity to see one for the Springbirds. The Springfield Cardinals have hit 29 home runs in 28 games. Moises Gomez has hit 14 himself leading baseball. Not just the minors but all of baseball. Number two on that list, Nolan Gorman at 11. For what its worth, before he got called to the Majors, Yepez sit at 4th in the minors with 8 bombs. Want to see bombs, come to a Cardinals minor league game.
Where do they Stand?
MLB National League Central
- 1. Milwaukee Brewers 18-8 –
- 2. St. Louis Cardinals 15-10 2.5
- 3. Pittsburgh Pirates 10-14 7.0
- 4. Chicago Cubs 9-15 8.0
- 5. Cincinnati Reds 3-22 14.5
National League Wildcard
- 1. San Diego Padres 17-9 +1.5
- 2. Colorado Rockies 15-10 –
- 3. St. Louis Cardinals 15-10 –
- 4. San Fransisco Giants 14-11 1.0
- 5. Arizona Diamondbacks 13-13 2.5
- 6. Miami Marlins 12-13 3.0
AAA International League West
- 1. Nashville Sounds (MIL) 18-8 –
- 2. Columbus Clippers (CLE) 18-9 0.5
- 3. Memphis Redbirds (STL) 15-11 3.0
- 4. St. Paul Saints (MIN) 14-11 3.5
- 5. Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 13-12 4.5
- 6. Gwinnett Stripers (ATL) 13-14 5.5
- 7. Iowa Cubs (CHC) 12-14 6.0
- 8. Omaha Storm Chasers (KC) 12-14 6.0
- 9.Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 11-14 6.5
- 10.Louisville Bats (CIN) 10-16 8.0
AA Texas League North
1. Tulsa Drillers (LAD) 13-8 –
- 2. Wichita Wind Surge (MIN) 13-8 –
- 3. NW Arkansas Travelers (KC) 12-12 2.5
- 4. Arkansas Naturals (SEA) 10-14 3.5
- 5. Springfield Cardinals (STL) 10-14 4.5
A+ Midwest League West
- 1. Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 17-7 –
- 2. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 14-10 3.0
- 3. Peoria Chiefs (STL) 12-11 4.5
- 4. South Bend Cubs (CHC) 11-12 5.5
- 5. Quad City Bandits (KC) 10-14 7.0
- 6. Beloit Sky Carp (MIA) 8-16 9.0
A Florida State League East
- 1. St Lucie Mets (NYM) 17-7 –
- 2. Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 12-12 5.0
- 3. Daytona Tortugas (CIN) 11-13 6.0
- 4. Palm Beach Cardinals (STL) 9-15 8.0
All photos courtesy of Vivaelbirdos.com. They are not my own!!!!