Monday, November 11, 2019

Down on the Farm: The 2010 Memphis Redbirds

Quite a few recognizable faces are among this bunch of birds. 

I've been on a bit of a side quest this year to pick up minor league team sets on the cheap. My latest acquisition was the 2010 Memphis Redbirds set by Multi-Ad Sports. With the Cardinals due to win the World Series the following season, this set certainly had some familiar faces.

Allen Craig was one of the Cardinals top offensive players for two and a half seasons before falling off so harshly that he became one of those "whatever happened to that guy?" guys.

Daniel Descalso is still kicking around the league as a utility guy, and had a weirdly productive season at the plate in 2018. He's probably going to be confused for, say, Skip Schumaker, but... don't do that.

Here's where things get weird because it's Triple-A and all. Gotay popped up on a few big league teams the previous decade, but never made it to St. Louis (or anywhere else in MLB) in the 2010s.

Jon Jay was a staple in the Cardinals outfield for years. He was always the fourth outfielder pressed into third outfielder duties because someone or other was always getting hurt. When Jon Jay is your Plan A, things are not... good. But he was above replacement level as a replacement for awhile. He played for the White Sox last season.

Josh Kinney was actually on the 2006 World Series winning team, not the 2011 team. His surprising run as an effective reliever in a bullpen that was constantly looking for new answers was something announcers loved to mention during that playoff run. His persistent arm troubles kept him from ever making an impact again.

While Lance Lynn had a bit of a bounceback season with Texas this year, he didn't quite return to his All-Star peak. He was in the Cardinals rotation as recently as 2017.

Matt Pagnozzi only had a brief stint as Yadier Molina's backup, which doesn't exactly give you a lot to do in the first place. He's probably better known as former Cardinals All-Star Tom Pagnozzi's nephew.

Adam Ottavino was in the Cardinals farm system a long time and never really delivered on his promise. He was a late bloomer, and ended up pitching in the ALCS last month with the Yankees.

Noted blister-haver and usually good when actually healthy starting pitcher Rich Hill was actually in the Cardinals system long enough to get his own Cardinals autographed card in an Allen & Ginter set, but he spent his whole time with the organization in Memphis. Dennis is probably jealous that I have this.

Ah yes, here is Sugar Shane. He was more of a fifth outfielder type and is still kicking around the game as well. It looks like he spent 2019 in AAA with another organization.

1 comment :

  1. I remember being excited when the Red Sox acquired Craig from the Cardinals. It was truly mystifying how his hitting skill disappeared.


Comments are highly encouraged, but then again, so is eating your fruits and vegetables.