Cheap Seats

Down on the Farm, Aug. 31

Memphis left fielder Allen Craig stands a decent chance of getting called up to the big club when rosters expand.

Craig is hitting .319 with 26 homers for the Class AAA Redbirds. He's a six-foot-two, 210-pound righty who could be a nice pinch hitter in St. Louis. Craig is something of a player without a position who can slug... Sort of in the mold of Brett Wallace.

Lefty reliever Royce Ring, who has spent the whole year in Memphis after getting a chance in spring training to audition for a big league roster spot as a bullpenner, also stands a good chance of getting a call up.

Ring is 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in Class AAA where he has allowed 39 hits in 44 1/3 innings. He's struck out 34 and walked 13.

Another potential call up is lefty pitcher Jaime Garcia, who may have competed for a job in the Cardinals starting rotation this season if he didn't go down last season to Tommy John surgery.  He's 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA He's started three games, pitching a total of 16 innings with 13 hits allowed. He's struck out 16 and walked six.

General Manager John Mozeliak said Sunday that the team will carry about 33 players when the roster expands Tuesday. While clubs can carry up to 40, there are several factors that prevent teams from maxing out. Not the least of which is the possibility of making players rusty by limiting their playing time. So I'm not sure if there is room for both Garcia and Ring. Manager Tony La Russa has said he wants to carry three bullpen lefties down the stretch.

One frequent rider on the Memphis to St. Louis shuttle, outfielder Nick Stavinoha, won't be getting the call. He's out for the rest of the season with a broken bone in his wrist.

In Class AA Springfield:

Cardinals 2008 draft pick Lance Lynn has the second best ERA for a starter in the Texas League. He threw six innings for the Springfield Cardinals Sunday, scattering six hits and striking out seven while allowing two runs. The Cardinals eventually lost the game to Arkansas in extra innings. Overall, Lynn is 11-4 with 117 hits allowed in 126 1/3 innings.

Fellow Springfielder Trey Hearne isn't far behind with an 11-3 record and 3.01 ERA. He pitched seven innings against Arkansas Saturday, allowing four hits and striking out three while allowing no earned runs.