Cheap Seats

Down on the Farm: May 29

Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez is off to a good start in Class AAA Memphis where he is trying to get back in shape as a starting pitcher after spending the past several weeks in the major league bullpen.

Martinez threw three shutout innings Tuesday night, allowing two hits. He struck out four opposing hitters and walked one. He left the game with a 2-0 lead. But Nick Addition, the most used remaining starter in Class AAA for the Cardinals, allowed four runs on nine hits over the next four innings and the Redbirds eventually lost the game 7-2.

Second baseman Kolten Wong was hitless in four at-bats to break his 15-game hitting streak. He's batting .330 with four homers, five triples and 11 doubles. Wong has also stolen seven bases without being caught.

Ryan Jackson was hitless in one at-bat Tuesday -- and hasn't reached base in his last five trips to the plate. But he's still leading the Redbirds batsmen by a long shot with a .346 batting average. He's got a .413 on-base percentage.

The bad news is that slugging outfielder Oscar Taveras' sore ankle apparently isn't getting better as fas as expected and, after two weeks of inactivity, the Redbirds have placed him on the disabled list. When he was hurt May 12, Taveras had seven hits in his previous 15 at-bats including a double and a home run. He is hitting .317 with five stolen bases in six attempts so far this year.

With Michael Wacha set to make his MLB debut Sunday, the Cardinals have pretty much cleaned out their stash of major league ready prospects except for Wong and Taveras.

Wong is unlikely to make the leap to the big leagues like several of St. Louis' minor league hurlers have been forced to already this year. The Cardinals have filled his position better than expected with the emergence of Matt Carpenter as as second baseman. And if he is hurt, the Cardinals have the internal option of playing Daniel Descalso at shortstop followed by the major league experienced Jackson.