If nothing else, some of these Cardinal rookies are really piling up frequent flier mileage shuttling back and forth between Memphis and St Louis.
A cursory glance of the Cards’ transactions this season shows the following trips:
Kelvin Jimenez has been optioned and recalled three times. His fourth trip to Memphis this year is just one hanging curveball away.
Brad Thompson has been optioned, put on the disabled list only to be activated and immediately optioned again, recalled ten days later – and has become a “savior” of sorts coming out of the ‘pen to clean up others’ messes lately.
Chris Duncan has been back-and-forth once, although many might argue he should’ve stayed in Memphis – or gone back again. He was recalled to play first base when Albert Pujols went on the DL, and has stuck ever since. He’s actually quietly hitting a bit better in the last few weeks.
Chris Perez has been up and now sent back down, with mixed results. He wasn’t bad, he wasn’t dominating – the team says he needs to work on his control, and I would agree. Throw that slider CP63!
Joe Mather has been recalled and optioned twice now, also with fairly mixed results. Joey Bombs certainly deserved the shot, and I still think he can stick with the Birds. We might not see him again until September, barring injuries or a sudden reversal of fortunes for the bullpen.
Mike Parisi has had a couple of stints with the big club, one successful in relief and unsuccessful starting, and the other was just an implosion waiting to happen when he was inserted into that extra inning game in Boston.
Anthony Reyes has really made himself familiar with the trip over the last few years. He has been up and down a couple times this year himself, including a stop on the disabled list.
Mitchell Boggs has gotten his second recall of the season, replacing Garcia as an extra arm for the Milwaukee series.
In all, the Cardinals have used ten different players this season who had no prior MLB experience. Brian Barton and Kyle McClellan most extensively, the others have seen a lot of spot duty between popping back and forth to Memphis.
At my best count, the Cardinals have used 31 flight segments between St Louis and Memphis (if we assume for the exercise that is how they’re traveling, and always coming direct – even though I know that lots of them are probably coming from other outposts as the AAA squad is on the road).
According to Northwest Airlines’ website (I used NWA because I know they have a hub in Memphis, and so a direct flight to St Louis was likely – and I was right) the flight mileage between St Louis and Memphis direct is 257 miles.
31 segments, 257 miles each. A measly 7,967 frequent flier miles. Not even enough for a free ticket. Hell, not even enough for a first-class upgrade.
Well, with any sort of luck, some of those quick trips up to the bigs will result in some rings for these youngsters instead. And, unlike past years and past call-ups, a lot of these players still have a future with the Cardinals, injuries and bullpen implosions have just dictated that they are getting call-ups before their time, in most cases.
In the meantime, keep your bags packed boys!