Just like the St. Louis Cardinals' fall from playoff contention, the September call-ups were quiet and uneventful this last weekend. However, there are a couple of intriguing names on the list and a few players that will look to make a good impression for next season.
Flores is no stranger to Cardinals fans, as they have seen him both at his best and at his worst. Despite being a strong lefty specialist in the past, Flores has struggled mightily with his control in 2008, to the tune of a 4.56 ERA and only 15 Ks to 18 BB.
He's 33-years old, and his days in Cardinal red are probably numbered.
Just like Flores, Cards fans know this middle infielder well. Ryan was hitting above .300 and playing solid defense earlier this season, but his average plummeted as he hit a wall in July, all the way down to .242. This 26-year-old utility man might be making his case for a job in 2009.
Fresh out of the Olympics, this 27-year-old player boasts a skill set similar to Ryan's. He'll have to prove that he's a player that can be counted on at the big league level instead of a Four-A player. He hit .217 in just 23 AB in 2007.
Probably another guy that won't be back with the Birds, this 28-year-old flamethrower never really expanded his pitching abilities. He has a 5.63 ERA in 16 IP this year in the majors.
At 29-years-old, Kinney is young enough to be valuable, especially if he can regain his 2006 form, in which he had a 3.24 ERA in 26 IP for the World Series champs. He'll be pitching for the first time since the 2006 World Series because of elbow surgery, but has looked good so far in the minors while rehabbing.
Probably the most intriguing call-up, simply because he has come so far. Motte only began pitching a couple of years ago, and has gotten increasingly better at the AAA level this season, to the tune of 3.24 ERA and a whopping 110 Ks in 66.2 IP. If Motte makes a good impression, he could convince coaches to give him a shot at a set-up role next season.
I hate to end it on a boring note, but Johnson is just a 32-year-old insurance policy at catcher. He only hit .264 in Memphis this season.
The biggest stories will definitely be Motte and Kinney. Both will be making their cases for bullpen roles in 2009, and neither can be worse then some of the arms the Cardinals have used this season. Also, on a smaller note, it's basically "mano y mano" with Ryan and Barden competing for time in the middle infield for the future.
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