St. Louis Cardinals: New AAA Memphis additions check-in


The St. Louis Cardinals recently added three new faces to the Memphis roster.  Time to check in on these new additions.

The end of May and into the beginning of June were busy times for the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office as the organization added three new players to the mix. Each of these were sent to Memphis to beef up the reserves but how have they performed?

New Pitcher

Before diving in and examining the two faces who joined the organization in May, let’s first look at the most recent addition: Jerome Williams. Who? Was I the only one who had to take a moment to check that this wasn’t a prank?

34-year-old pitcher, Jerome — as though we should call him by any other name- hails most recently from the Phillies organization where he finished the 2015 season with four wins and twelve (breathe with me) losses.  His 2015 MLB ERA was a 5.80 balloon.

In his defense, Jerome suffered an Achilles injury that might have contributed to his less-than-stellar performance. His signing with the Cardinals comes after surgery to repair the Achilles. According to MLBTR, the Cardinals will be his eighth team of his career.

So why pick him up? Is he the next Cardinals reclamation case? For the time being he will serve as pickup help for the Memphis rotation that has not been so stellar of late (with the exception of Alex Reyes). Jerome (sorry-not-sorry) makes his first start for Memphis on Sunday, June 5.

New Catcher

Michael McKenry joined the Cardinals organization on May 27. This veteran catcher was brought in to help with the lackluster catching battalion in Memphis. McKenry came to the Cardinals via AAA Round Rock (affiliate of the Rangers) where he posted a slash line in 2016 of .220/.389/.341.

While with Round Rock, McKenry posted a fielding percentage of 1.000 at catcher in 79 innings. He was brought in to replace injured Mike Ohlman who had recently finalized a stint on the disabled list only to then be sent to Springfield.

So how is he doing? Since joining Memphis, McKenry, through five games, owns a slash line of .333/.444/.800 in fifteen at-bats. In this time, he has accumulated two doubles, three triples, and five RBI.

Defensively, McKenry has appeared in five games at catcher where he owns a .979 fielding percentage. While not as a great as his time with Round Rock, this fielding percentage is respectable.

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In short, McKenry, a 31-year-old catcher from Knoxville, TN, seems to be holding his own very well in Memphis. With Brayan Pena soon to begin his rehab, McKenry at least provides protection for Eric Fryer who is currently providing protection to Yadier Molina but who might soon lose this job to the returning Pena (confused yet by the house that jack built?).

New Batter

Two days before adding McKenry, the Cardinals traded cash to the Kansas City Royals for the 2015 PCL batting champion, Jose Martinez. Martinez is a ten-year minor league veteran who I reviewed in an earlier post — check it out for more information on his history.

So how is he stacking up? Since coming to Memphis, Martinez has appeared in eight games (26 at-bats) where he owns a slash line of .115/.207/.192. He has hit two doubles while striking out seven times in these eight games.

Defensively, Martinez has appeared at first base for Memphis in three games, left field in one game, right field in five games, and in multiple outfield positions in five games. His fielding percentages are .923 at first base, and 1.000 when appearing in the outfield.

In short, Martinez seems to have lost his PCL batting magic of 2015. Will this last?  Let us hope not as he had been brought in to provide firepower. He is — at current- showing less power than powerful.

Next: Making The Best of Kolten Wong’s Imminent Situation

While the jury is still out on the reclamation pitcher, and while the other two have small sample sizes, I feel it is safe to say that McKenry has the better record of late and is outperforming his new addition counterparts. The Memphis Redbirds need these three faces to perform as do the Cardinals; so get on it, boys!