Memphis Redbirds Reconfigure Outfield

The St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A club added a pair of outfielders and a pitcher while losing one on Monday.

While there was one expected move on the Memphis Redbirds roster that occurred Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals also made three other less-expected transactions.

Most notable was the commencement of the rehab assignment of that evening's starter for the Pacific Coast League club, right-handed pitcher Kyle Lohse, The 31-year-old right-hander, coming off forearm surgery on May 28, went three innings and 43 pitches against Oklahoma City. Despite less-than-flawless defense behind him, Lohse yielded two hits, two runs (one earned), no walks and struck out three.

In an unannounced move, the Cardinals assigned outfielder Nick Stavinoha to Memphis on a rehab assignment. Oddly, the Redbirds radio team noted Monday was the 28-year-old's first day to swing a bat, yet he was in the Memphis starting lineup, batting third as their designated hitter.

Sidelined by what was originally called a right shoulder strain but later updated to a separation, Stavinoha was placed on St. Louis' 15-day disabled list on July 15 retroactive to July 12. Stavinoha is leading the Cardinals in pinch hits, including a pair of pinch hit home runs. He batted .264 through the first half of the season, but his average has dropped each month (.308 in April, .290 in May, .240 in June and .190 in July).

Neither Stavinoha nor Lohse count against the Redbirds' 24-man roster limit and have a maximum of 20 days (position players) and 30 days (pitchers) respectively to complete their rehab. The tentative plan for Lohse is to make two or three starts while the duration of Stavinoha's stay with Memphis is unknown. Since Stavi's departure, St. Louis' outfield situation has become more crowded.

In a move that was perhaps signaled by the release of outfielder Mark Shorey this past weekend, the Cardinals assigned outfielder Amaury Cazana to Memphis.

Unable to re-join the Minatitlan Petroleros to start the Mexican League season due to problems with his Cuban passport, the 35-year-old instead played in 42 games for Memphis with whom he posted a line of .302/.322/.460 in 139 at-bats before joining Minatitlan on June 6. In Mexico, Cazana's line was .380/.432/.519 along with four home runs and 20 RBI in 108 at-bats over 29 games.

Cazana concluded the Mexican League season nine days ago with a 14-game hitting streak and reported to the Cardinals complex in Jupiter, Florida in preparation for rejoining the Redbirds.

In the corresponding transaction to Cazana's arrival, Redbirds outfielder Adron Chambers was placed onto the Temporary Inactive List. This is typically used for non-baseball related absences.

The 23-year-old, a 2010 Texas League All-Star, had just joined the Triple-A club on July 15 from Springfield. Chambers appeared in ten games in his first-ever action for the Redbirds, with a .231/.429/.231 line, having gone 6-for-26. He was 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts.

Other active outfielders on the Memphis roster are Allen Craig, Aaron Luna, Joe Mather and Jim Rapaport. Only the latter is considered a centerfielder. Others who played center for the Redbirds in 2010 were Shane Robinson, out for the season and Jon Jay, solidifying his spot in St. Louis.



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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content also appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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