It’s been a weird year for the AAA Redbirds, the affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Spending most of the season in the second division, they own their own destiny.
Serving as a backup team to a major league team like the St. Louis Cardinals can be hard for a minor league team and manager, but the AAA Memphis Redbirds have shown in recent years that they can make it work.
With four games left for the weekend against their rivals, the first place Iowa Cubs, led by center-fielder Albert Almora, a sweep by the Redbirds, plus a victory in a “win or go home” playoff game, would put them in the playoffs and keep them alive for the postseason.
This means that they would be in the running for an incredible third straight Pacific Coast League title after winning 13 of their last 15 and going 21-6 in August. A “three-peat” as PCL champions would put them into position to play the American Association champion and repeat as AAA champions, a/k/a Kings of Minor League Baseball.
Of course, AAA baseball switched to the major-league a/k/a “juiced” baseballs this year. But even with a different baseball, the cream rises to the top, and the Redbirds have risen here at season’s end.
More from St Louis Cardinals News
- Cardinals Rumors: 3 pros and cons of signing Carlos Rodon
- Cardinals: Here is Willson Contreras’ first message for St. Louis fans
- How do the St. Louis Cardinals stack up with Willson Contreras?
- Cardinals: The insane asking price the Athletics had for Sean Murphy
- St. Louis Cardinals: Ask me anything with Josh Jacobs – 12/8
The Redbirds have been led by Adolis Garcia, he of the 30 home runs and the 90-plus RBIs. But Randy Arozarena has certainly brought the lumber as well, as Garcia’s “bash brother”. In the last three weeks, top prospect Dylan Carlson, just 20-years old, has joined the troupe and provided thump in the form of a low-sample size but still mightily impressive 1.000-plus OPS.
On the pitching side, starter Jake Woodford has been solid. And the Redbirds early bequeathed the Cardinals a pitcher who was not on-roster at the beginning of the season but who, after some Memphis dry rub seasoning, has become a standout reliever in the National League: Giovanny Gallegos
The Cardinals have not only siphoned players at will from Memphis in 2019 but have also left Memphis high and dry without their manager three times in the last five years: Stubby Clapp, Mike Shildt and Pop Warner all were given coaching and managerial positions with the big club. But under new manager Ben Johnson, the team has done well enough to be back in the winner’s circle.
If you are tempted to check in on the Memphis Redbirds title quest, especially as St. Louis will be facing some rain this Labor Day weekend, you can do so through the following approved Minor League Baseball Link. Broadcaster Steve Selby, always working alone in the booth, is one of the most friendly-voiced announcers at any level.