Another day brings more hiccups at Memphis for one of the experienced trio of Cardinal hurlers. Now that the calendar has turned to July, the hard truth becomes St. Louis has at least two and as many as six spots on the 40-man roster that could be better served. The obvious two in my opinion, Victor Marte and Mitchell Boggs, have very little chance of lasting the month in the organization. Add to the mix uncertainty with Marc Rzepczynski and Fernando Salas plus a pair in Jorge Rondon and Eric Fornataro who have lost traction this season.
I’m not calling for their outright release, of course, but the Carlos Marmol trade proves that a change of scenery deal is possible. Boggs and Scrabble offer the best potential value given their track record, and those roster spots will prove valuable. Currently there is one spot available and another, John Gast’s DL stint can be extended to a 60-day, if the right opportunity comes along.
As the rosters line up for both the Redbirds and Springfield clubs, any additional pitching help may have to come from the outside. Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are being groomed for spot starts, so the first need starts in the bullpen. That is easier said than done in today’s market, and the answer could prove costly with any move. One potential solution has taken a recent demotion in stride and forced his way into the discussion if nothing else.
Monday, July 1st
White smoke — Tyler Lyons, Memphis, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO
Gray smoke — Johnson City offense, six runs in last four games (0-4)
Black smoke — Fernando Salas, Memphis, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 HBP, L
In addition to the great starts for Lyons and JC’s Blake McKnight being wasted, both offenses took the night off in a big way. They combined for a paltry 1-15 hitting with runners in scoring position and left 18 men on base. Johnson City has today off to regroup before traveling to 10-2 Elizabethton, where the Rookie Cardinals look to get back on track.
All eyes will be on Des Moines tonight, however, as Memphis fights to stay in the divisional race. The Redbirds welcome back Wacha, who starts for the first time since June 18th. As with the C-Mart smoke updates, the SS will provide additional news on the other Memphis ace throughout the summer. All he needs is a name, though, so let the Preacher know your thoughts!