MEMPHIS, Tenn. (April 7, 2016) – The Memphis Redbirds, the Triple-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, have announced their roster ahead of tonight’s Opening Night against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A Brewers) at 7:05 p.m. at AutoZone Park.
Fifteen players on the 25-man Opening Night roster spent time in Memphis last season, including Dean Kiekhefer, Thomas Lee, Arturo Reyes, Ryan Sherriff, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, Justin Wrightand Heath Wyatt on the pitching staff, catcher Alberto Rosario, infielders Dean Anna, Alex Mejia, Matt Williams and Jacob Wilson, and outfielders Anthony Garcia and Nick Martini.
In addition to the 15 players who played in Memphis last season, five others played at the Triple-A level elsewhere in 2015. Pitchers John Church (Las Vegas [Mets], Pacific Coast League), Juan Gonzalez (Oklahoma City [Dodgers], PCL), Opening Night starter Deck McGuire (Oklahoma City [Dodgers], PCL) and J.C. Sulbaran (Omaha [Royals], PCL), as well as outfielder Carlos Peguero (Round Rock [Rangers], PCL; Pawtucket [Red Sox], International League) playing one step from the majors last season.
Seven of the top-30 prospects in the Cardinals organization, according to Baseball America, open the season active in Memphis, including Sam Tuivailala (#11), Charlie Tilson (#13), Anthony Garcia (#21), Arturo Reyes (#22), Jacob Wilson (#23), Dean Kiekhefer (#29) and Mike Ohlman (#30). Top prospect Alex Reyes starts on the Restricted List, and number-two and number-five prospects Tim Cooney and Marco Gonzales begin on the Disabled List.
Four Redbirds appeared in the big leagues last season, with pitchers Miguel Socolovich, and Sam Tuivailala and infielder Dean Anna spending time in St. Louis and outfielder Carlos Peguero playing 34 games with the Red Sox and Rangers.
Manager Mike Shildt begins his second season at the helm in the Bluff City in 2016 and will be joined on the Memphis bench by returning pitching coach and former Redbirds pitcher Bryan Eversgerd (4th season), hitting coach Mark Budaska (9th season), coach Robby Hisert, athletic trainer Rafael Freitas, and strength and conditioning coach Kevin Hyde (2nd season). In Shidlt’s first season, the team went 73-71 and finished second in the PCL American Southern Division.
Memphis’ rotation for the Opening Series is slated to be righty McGuire tonight, right-hander Sulbaran on Friday night for the 7:05 p.m. game, righty Jeremy Hefner on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. and right-hander Lee on Sunday at 2:05 p.m.