Memphis Redbirds begin play tonight

The Triple-A Memphis Redbirds will begin their 2013 season tonight at Auto Zone Park against the Oklahoma City Redhawks, an affiliate of the Houston Astros. Major league third baseman David Freese will be in town, expected to begin a rehab stint this weekend, which will be a treat for Memphis fans. John Gast, talked about as one of the Cardinals’ best left handed pitching prospects, will get the opening day start. He struggled in Memphis last season but will be looking for redemption.

The April 1st roster released by the team features seven players who are on the Cardinals’ 40 man roster. Left handed outfielder Adron Chambers is the only position player. Joining him are right handed pitchers Maikel Cleto, Victor Marte, Eduardo Sanchez, Eric Fornataro, and Jorge Rondon. Left handed reliever Sam Freeman will also start the season there.

The Memphis team will also feature 2012 first round pick Michael Wacha and 2011 first round pick Kolten Wong. Wacha will start in the rotation while Wong will play second base. It also has the #3 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball America in Oscar Taveras.

Some other players of interest are right handed pitcher Seth Maness, who walked just 10 batters all of last season. Jay Voss, the Rule 5 Draft pick who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, is expected to take the mound for the first time this season in May. You also have shortstops Greg Garcia, who quietly may be the best hitting shortstop in the system and has been Kolten Wong’s double-play partner since college, and Vance Albitz. You may know Albitz’s name from his Glooves 4 Troops campaign this winter.