Cheap Seats

Redbirds fall just short in Class AAA championship

Congratulations to the Memphis Redbirds for a great season.

The Cardinals' top farm club lost 5-4 in extra innings Tuesday night to the Durham Bulls, falling one game short of the Class AAA national championship.

The Redbirds got hot at the right time for the franchise, winning first their division, then the Pacific Coast League championship. But it might have been some poor timing for prospects and former major leaguers who were hoping to get a shot with the big club when major league rosters expanded Sept. 1.

blog post photo

Cardinals prospect P.J. Walters throws a pitch Tuesday during the Class AAA championship. AP photo.

The Cardinals would have liked to bring lefty reliever Royce Ring, catcher Matt Pagnozzi and slugger Allen Craig up as soon as possible. But they were reluctant to pull the rug out from under the Class AAA team at the point of the year teams play for.

Ring and Pagnozzi will likely still get the call as insurance. On Tuesday starting catcher Yadier Molina took a foul ball off the finger, so having a third catcher is a valuable option to save him from some wear and tear. Tyler Greene, Josh Kinney, David Freese and other players who have contributed to the big club in the past could also be called up. But I wonder if the Cardinals will start the free agent clock on a guy like Craig when he will have so little opportunity to play with only 10 games left in the season.