St. Louis Cardinals: Marco Gonzales and other Memphis Excitements
Monday’s game against the Boston Red Sox saw Marco Gonzales climbing the hill for the St. Louis Cardinals rather than Jaime Garcia in what would end up being his final appearance in major league camp in 2016.
The St. Louis Cardinals chose to withhold Jamie Garcia to a simulated, bullpen game on Monday so that he could control scenarios and work additionally from the stretch. In his place, Marco Gonzales took the mound in a do-or-die appearance. Maybe Gonzales knew this and maybe he did not. He certainly did not have the best performance nor the best home plate umpire to help.
In today’s game, Gonzales pitched two innings facing a difficult umpire who was not awarding the edges of the plate to either side (even Clay Bucholz showed frustration). Gonzales needs the edges to be successful and therefore he had a hard time and surrendered two hits, two earned runs, three walks, earning a 4.66 ERA in today’s game.
Following the 4-3 loss, the Cardinals optioned Marco to Memphis. I, for one, am high on Marco and feel that he has an amazing future. Unfortunately for him, at this point, there simply isn’t a spot with St. Louis. Should Jaime Garcia throw his arm literally off (that’s for you, birthday cuz!), Marco is likely next in line to jump up.
Marco has had a decent spring but one that certainly begs for additional work. Appearing in four games this spring, this 24 year old pitched a total of 7.2 innings allowing twelve hits, three earned runs, one home run, two walks, and six strikeouts. Gonzales’ spring ERA (for now) is 3.52 which isn’t too shabby but his command can use additional work in Memphis.
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Memphis is very lucky to have such a great arm joining the ranks. No stranger to Memphis, Marco appeared in 69.1 innings in the Bluff City in 2015. In this time he earned a 5.45 ERA and showed a need for development. Liking his stuff, the organization called Marco to the bigs where he appeared in only 2.2 innings in 2015 and amassed a 13.50 ERA.
Will 2016 be his year to shine? Will time with Memphis allow him to develop and harness his command? I certainly think so and look forward to watching him in person!
Bonus: Redbirds Excitements
As a quick bonus, since I am serving as the Redbird Rants Memphis writer, I am thrilled to share with you readers that single-game tickets for the Memphis Redbirds are now on sale. In addition to this, the Redbirds released their promotional schedules today. Have a look at all the exciting things come to AutoZone Park this summer by visiting the Redbirds Promotions site.
For those of you with Twitter-140-character-attention-spans (already lost you), here are the highlights from the press release today:
· Opening Weekend Fireworks (April 9)
· Star Wars Night & Cardinals Adam Wainwright Bobblehead Giveaway (May 14)
· Cardinals Replica Yadier Molina Home Jersey Giveaway (May 21)
· Redbirds Replica Jersey Giveaway (June 11)
· Redbirds Beach Bash & Towel Giveaway (June 18)
· Princess & Pirate Night & Cardinals 2006 World Series Championship Trophy Giveaway (June 25)
· Red, White, and BOOM Fourth of July Celebration (July 4)
· Christmas in July & Redbirds Scarf Giveaway (July 9)
· Redbirds Stephen Piscotty Bobblehead Giveaway (July 23)
· Super Hero Night & Redbirds Adult Pullover Giveaway (August 6)
Next: Five Spring Training Concerns
I am very excited for the season to start. I am excited for the minor league team to continue to grow and adding Marco Gonzales is a great step in the right direction. As the cuts continue, I’ll keep everyone updated.
If you missed my two previous articles on the cuts, please read them here and here. Follow me on Twitter and let’s catch a Redbirds game together should you find yourself in Memphis this summer!