April 2011

MLB Debuts and other stuff …

OK, with 55 days until Opening Night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, 53 days before the season opens in Helena; we come to find out that Osprey radio voice Ben Catley was actually right about something

– Former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner made his Major League debut on Tuesday for the San Diego Padres against the Atlanta Braves. The move was made Monday by the Padres, and Scribs appeared in the game the next night. He pitched two innings in his debut, allowing two hits and a walk, but no runs. And, apparently, it wasn’t smooth travel for him, either.

– Injuries are starting to inflitrate the Florida Marlins’ outfield. May give former Osprey infielder-turned-utility specialist Emilio Bonifacio more playing time.

– Here’s some inside the numbers stuff from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on some of the former Osprey in the minors.

Speaking of the minor leagues …
Minor League Update:

Triple-A Reno: Enjoyed a scheduled day off on Wednesday.

– Double-A Mobile: Rained out … again … at Jackson.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Adam Eaton had two hits and three stolen bases, while Yonata Ortega picked up the win in relief as the Rawhide bested Bakersfield, 10-7. Ortega and Diogenes Rosario combined for four shutout innings, and the Rawhide scored six times in the top of the ninth inning to come from behind for the win. David Nick and Rossmel Perez had two hits each for Visalia, while Chris Owings homered in the win.

– Class A South Bend: Rained out at Bowling Green.

Today’s schedule and former Osprey in the probables …
AAA Reno (13-6) vs. Tacoma
AA Mobile (12-6) at Birmingham – Starters TBA
A Adv. Visalia (8-12) at Bakersfield – Trevor Harden gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-13) at Great Lakes – Bradin Hagens will get the ball for the Hawks.

Turns out that the information we had for the Hawks and BayBears on Wednesday’s post was for … well, Wednesday. We were a little early.

Land of confusuion and rain …

T-minus 56 days until Opening Day, 54 days before the season opens, and while we don’t condone betting in any way, it appears as if the line favors there being an Osprey home run before any NFL player will be allowed to work out in their own facility, post-lockout-lifting. Oh, wait, one did already? Never mind …

– Both Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero are among the D-backs who are on the NL All-Star Ballot. Vote now, and often (up to 25 times)!  Other former Osprey on the All-Star Ballot are Pittsburgh first baseman Lyle Overbay and Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

– Speaking of CarGo, he’s slumping at the moment, and even took a day off on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

– Former Osprey infielder, and current Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Sergio Santos had one thing on his “to-do” list while the Pale Hose were calling on Yankee Stadium this week – meet Mariano Rivera and pick his brain about being a closer.

– Just in case you didn’t know … look who leads the minors in home runs.

– Here’s the latest stats for some of the former Osprey in the Major Leagues (as of April 27, 2011):
Miguel Montero (C, Ariz.) – . 292, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Gerardo Parra (OF, Ariz.) – .309, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Lyle Overbay (1B, Pit.) – .253, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez (OF, Colo.) – .217, 1 HR, 14 RBI
Scott Hairston (OF, NYM)- . 179, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Emilio Bonifacio (IF/OF, Fla.) – .302, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB

Jose Valverde (RHP, Det.) – 2-0, 5-5 saves, 0.93 ERA, 9 Ks in 9 2/3 innings pitched.
Daniel Schlereth (LHP, Det.) – 0-0, 2.57 ERA
Esmerling Vasquez (RHP, Ariz.) – 0-1, 2.35 ERA, 0-1 saves
Tony Pena (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-1, 7.71 ERA, 0-1 saves
Sergio Santos (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-0, 2-2 saves, 0.00 ERA, 14 Ks in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Bryan Augenstein (RHP, St. Louis) – 0-1, 9.53 ERA, currently on 15-day DL with groin injury.
Jorge De La Rosa (LHP, Colo.) – 4-0, 2.61 ERA, .179 opponents BA,  1 HR allowed in 31 innings pitched.

Time for the Minors roundup ….

Triple-A Reno: The Aces rallied past Fresno, 6-5, on Tuesday.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears had their twinbill with Jackson postponed again due to rain. Yet, Paul Goldschmidt still leads the minors in home runs.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide had eight hits – two each for David Nick (double, 2 RBIs) and Rossmel Perez – but the see-saw ending turned in the bottom of the ninth, with the host Bakersfield Blaze winning, 6-5. Eric Smith allowed three earned runs in his six innings of work, while Adam Worthington surrendered two runs, both unearned, in the bottom of the eighth, which gave the Blaze a 5-3 lead. Nick doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Chris Owings also had a double for the Rawhide.

– Class A South Bend : The SilverHawks had their game with Bowling Green postponed due to rain, and it will be made up on May 14 as part of a doubleheader.

Today’s Games:
AAA Reno (13-6) will have today off, before starting a series with Tacoma on Thursday.
AA Mobile (12-6) at Birmingham. No word as of yet who will start for the BayBears
A Adv. Visalia (7-12) at Bakersfield. Derek Eitel will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-13) at Lake County. Bradin Hagens will get the start aainst the Captains.

One nearly down, plenty to go

We enter today with 57 days until the home opener, 55 days until the season opener, and about a month before the next big event at Ogren Park Allegiance Field – the annual Missoula Mavs Memorial Day Tournament.

Gerardo Parra homered to help back Ian Kennedy’s solid pitching as the D-backs beat the Philadelphia Phillies, and ace left-hander Cliff Lee, 4-0 on Monday.

– You have to check out the photos of former Osprey reliever Jose Valverde in the gallery for this story, done after the Detroit Tigers swept the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. One thing is for certain, he does not hide his emotions.

Oh … and apparently, he also has a ritual before he pitches, too:

– Former Osprey first baseman Lyle Overbay was due to have his first night off of the season on Monday, after playing in the first 21 games of the season, but ended up serving as a pinch-hitter late in the game. For the season, Overbay is hitting .259 with five doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs.

– Here’s a little feature piece on former Osprey outfielder Scott Hairston. Notice the slight mistake at the beginning of the piece … gotta love blogs …

Daily Minors Update:
Triple-A Reno: Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto combined for 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief, and John Hester’s sacrifice fly plated a run as the Aces beat Fresno, 6-2. Stange picked up the win. All three played in Missoula in 2006.

Double-A Mobile: The BayBears let a 5-1 lead slip away, but won at Jackson in 12 innings, 7-5. Bryan Shaw (2008) pitched the final three innings to pick up his first win of the season. Shaw allowed a hit, walked two and struck out two in lowering his ERA to 0.84 for the season. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Mike Belfiore (2009) had one of his roughest outings as a pro – walking eight batters while allowing two hits and three runs in three innings of work – but Taylor Sinclair (2008), Christian Beltre (2007) and Victor Capellan (2009) shut the door, combining for six shutout innings of relief in a 9-3 Rawhide win. David Nick (2009), Bobby Borchering (2009) and Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits each, while Kyle Greene (2008) drove in a pair of runs for Visalia.

– Class A South Bend: David Holmberg (2010) was silly good on Monday night, but the SilverHawks lost to Bowling Green, 2-1. The Hawks had just four hits on the night, with Keon Broxton getting two of them and scoring the lone run. Broxton (2009) singled in the top of the second, and scored on a Chris Jarrett (2010) RBI triple. The other hit came from Ramon Castillo (2009), who was making his first start behind the plate, and committed a pair of throwing errors that led to both Hot Rod runs. Holmberg allowed four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, struck out 12 and picked off two runners.

Today’s Games (and probable Osprey pitchers):
AAA Reno (12-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (12-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (7-11) at Bakersfield – Eric Smith (2009) seeks his first win of the season tonight.
A South Bend (5-12) at Bowling Green

Catching up …

Countdowns – T-minus 58 days until the home opener, 56 days before the season opener, and don’t ask about the Osprey record book. The best guess is that it will be ready before the end of May. So that is like, what, 35 days or so … there we go, now that we have that all taken care of, time to play catch-up.

Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) is featured in this Nick Piecoro blog entry.

– Mr. Versatility for the Florida Marlins, Emilio Bonifacio (2003 Osprey), may see more time in left field after the Marlins made a roster move on Saturday. Bonifacio has been filling in both at third base and left field this season, and is hitting .317 with two RBIs and two stolen bases for the season.

– Pedro Ciriaco spent 24 hours on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 25-man roster over the weekend. Ciriaco (2005)  was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, but was sent back the following day after the Pirates claimed Brandon Wood off of waivers. It’s Ciriaco’s second option – which means the Pirates will have one more left to use on him. Ciriaco is hitting just .143 in 15 games with Indianapolis.

– Wilkin Castillo (2004) had a career run-producing day for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. Castillo had struggled so far this season at the plate for the Braves, but doubled his hit total with the four-hit outburst.

– Any time we see a chance for fans of the feathered to vote for a current or former Osprey, we make sure we pass along the info … hence, the Reno Aces Bobblehead Vote, which runs through this coming Saturday (April 30). John Hester (2006) is among the candidates. Go now and vote!!!

Now on to the Daily Recap:
Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Fresno, 12-5, on Sunday. A pair of former Osprey pitchers struggled in this one – Tom Layne (2007) allowed a pair of runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched for the Aces, raising his ERA to 8.22, while former Osprey Casey Daigle (2000) allowed a run in an inning and 2/3 of work, which actually lowered his ERA this season to 9.35.

Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Jackson, 15-3, on Sunday. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and plated his 20th run of the month in the loss.

Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide dropped a 10-3 decision to San Jose on Saturday, then had a day off on Sunday. Bobby Borchering (2009) had a double and 2 RBIs, while Kyle Greene (2008) also doubled and drove in a run in a three-run first inning for the Rawhide.

Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks split a twinbill with Fort Wayne on Saturday, which enabled the Hawks to take their first series win of the season. Bradin Hagens (2009) went six solid innings in the lidlifter to pick up his first win as a pro as a starter, while Blake Cooper (2010)  notched his first save of the season in the 4-2 triumph. RayWilly Gomez (2009) and Bobby Stone (2008-10) each had a base hit for the Hawks in the win. In Game 2, JR Bradley (2010) had his best start of the season, but did not get much support from his offense in a 2-0 setback in the nightcap. Chris Jarrett (2010) tripled, but could not come around to score – it was one of just two Hawks hits.

Today’s Games (and former Osprey who will make starts):
AAA Reno (11-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (11-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (6-11) at Bakersfield. Mike Belfiore (2009) will make his second start of the season for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-11) at Bowling Green. David Holmberg (2010) gets the ball for the Hawks.

Weekend Update #1

First update of the weekend … yup, we’re keeping the machine going even on the weekend these days. Have to warm up for the season somehow, right??

Daily Recap

Triple-A Reno: Aces picked up a 6-5 win over Sacramento on Friday. John Hester had two doubles, the second of which drove in the game-tying and game-winning RBIs in the bottom of the 9th. With the 2-for-4 night, Hester moved his average above the .200 mark, to .207.

Double A Mobile: Paul Goldschmidt had one official at-bat last night against Jacksonville – he walked three times and scored a run – and Taylor Harbin snapped a two-game hitless run with a 2-for-4 night to push his batting average back to .400. But it was Jake Elmore who had the star line of the night among the former Osprey, with a single and a pair of doubles in the BayBears’ 6-3 win. Jarrod Parker pitched well enough – three runs allowed in five innings, with three walks and four strikeouts – to pick up his first win, while Bryan Shaw notched his fourth save of the season.

Class A Advanced Visalia: Kyle Green doubled and homered, while Bobby Borchering had two hits in the 6-5 Rawhide win over San Jose. Trevor Harden pitched six solid innings, and Victor Capellan pitched a shutout inning of relief for Visalia.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks had their game with Fort Wayne postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.

Saturday schedule:
AAA Reno (10-5) – at Fresno
AA Mobile (10-5) –  at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (6-10) –  at San Jose
A South Bend (4-10) will play two vs. Fort Wayne. Bradin Hagens (0-1) gets the Game 1 start, while JR Bradley (0-2) will get the call for Game 2 for the Hawks.

Egg-citement

OK, that may be the lamest title ever for a Bird Droppings entry, but Sunday is Easter (and today would be Good Friday). However, we’ll still be updating over the weekend. Just be safe when you are hunting for those eggs.

Daily update:
Triple-A Reno: The Aces (9-5) lost to Sacramento, 11-10, in a game which they led entering the eighth inning. Unfortunately for Jordan Norberto (2006), he was in the middle of the four-run eighth that tied the game, allowing four runs in just a third of an inning pitched.

Double-A Mobile: Paul Goldschmidt hit his eighth home run of the season, and had two hits, but the BayBears (9-5) lost to Jacksonville, 9-4. Taylor Harbin went 0-for-4, and the BayBears’ bullpen, which has been taxed over the last five games, had to turn to an old reliable to finish the game – former Osprey infielder Jake Elmore, who retired the only man he faced.

Class A Advanced Visalia:The Rawhide (5-10) let an early lead slip away and lost to San Jose, 5-4, in front of the best crowd of the season (2,634) at Recreation Park. A number of former Osprey had their hands in this one – offensively, David Nick, Rossmel Perez (double) and Bobby Borchering (RBI double) had a hit and a RBI each, while Adam Eaton also doubled. What hurt was two double plays that the Rawhide had a chance to turn and did not, which forced Derek Eitel to throw more pitches, and the Giants took advantage. Christian Beltre pitched three innings of one-walk, three-strikeout ball in relief of Eitel.

Class A South Bend:  The SilverHawks (4-10) won their second game in three tries on Thursday, rallying for a 3-2 win over Fort Wayne. Raywilly Gomez drilled the game-winning RBI single with two out in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Matt Helm with the difference-maker. Helm went 2-for-4 with an RBI to improve his batting average to .378. Keon Broxton added two hits and two stolen bases. Jeremy Erben pitched the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

Today’s schedule:
AAA Reno vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile vs. Jacksonville – Jarrod Parker (0-2) gets the start for the BayBears
A Adv. Visalia vs. San Jose – Trevor Harden gets the call for the Rawhide
A South Bend vs. Fort Wayne – Bradin Hagens will get the ball for the Hawks.

Daily Dose of Osprey …

Here’s your standard daily update. Which means we’re 62 days away from Opening Night at home, 60 days away from the season opener at Helena, and a few days from the Osprey Record Book to be completed. We can only hope …

More evidence that Esmering Vasquez has started strong this season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it comes from fellow former Osprey, catcher Miguel Montero. Also, one of life’s mysteries is answered – what in Sam’s Hill is Montero doing hitting 8th in the order??

– Former Osprey pitcher Charles Brewer was placed on the DL on Wednesday with “concussion-like” symptoms. Brewer, according to a story, hit his head on a dugout in Carolina during the first series while avoiding a foul ball, but did not say anything about it until recently. We can only hear Mobile trainer (and former Osprey trainer) Joe Metz now …

Daily rundown: Triple-A Reno dropped a 14-7 decision to Sacramento. John Hester (2006 Osprey) went 1-for-4 with a run scored, but left-hander Tom Layne (2007) was roughed up for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched … Former Osprey combined for three hits for the Double-A Mobile BayBears on Wednesday – all of them from Jake Elmore (2008) – in a 6-1 loss to Jacksonville. More good news – Clay Zavada (2006) made his first in-game appearance in more than a year, allowing nothing in one inning of work, with two strikeouts. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) and Taylor Harbin (2007) went a combined 0-for-7 with three strikeouts … Good news for the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide – Eric Smith (2009) turned in his best start of the season, and Taylor Sinclair (2008) also had a solid outing out of the bullpen. The bad news – the offense did not get enough runs in a 2-1 loss at Stockton. Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits, while Adam Eaton (2010) hit a solo home run for the Rawhide … Class A South Bend split a pair with Great Lakes on Wednesday, winning the opener, 4-3, and losing the nightcap, 4-1. Jeff Shields (2010) took the loss in Game 2 for the Hawks, while Matt Helm (2009-10) had three hits and a RBI in the double-dip.

– Today’s schedule:
AAA Reno (9-4) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (9-4) vs. Jacksonville
A Adv. Visalia (5-9) vs. San Jose – Derek Eitel (2010) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide
A South Bend (3-10) vs. Fort Wayne – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call for the Hawks

Predictions sure to go wrong …

by Ben Catley

Yes, I wanted to make sure that no one else can be harassed over what you are about to read, so I will stick my name on this one and see what happens.

Today’s entry very simply is in response to questions that I do get asked from time to time. What is listed below is the three most common questions I get during the off-season, especially at this time of the year, with one of those questions getting split into two, only because it is suddenly needed to be.

I will also give what my thought was in January, and what it is today, as some of them have also changed.

1. Who is the next Osprey position player to make a Major League Baseball roster?January answer: Paul Goldschmidt
Answer Now: Taylor Harbin or Paul Goldschmidt

The main reason my answer has changed here is because of Harbin’s hot start. Back in January, I thought that if Goldy had a decent run the next TWO seasons, he would have a chance, somewhere. Then, he had a great Cactus League run, and now has seven home runs in the place where most power hitters go to get their careers derailed, the Southern League. But, again, I was thinking he would get a shot in 2013, not 2011.

And all of a sudden, Harbin is suddenly finding offense to go along with his solid defense. Harbin can now also play second, shortstop or third base, which makes him a versatile player who could spot-start in the Major Leagues.

Prediction: If Harbin continues to hit well over .300, he will possibly get a look in September. The Mobile BayBears are off to a great start, and unless there’s a pressing need to move people around, both Harbin and Goldy will be in Mobile until they are out of the post-season hunt. But, as of now, it will be one of these two players who will be the first former Osprey without MLB experience to get the call as a position player.

2. Who will be the next Osprey pitcher to make a MLB roster?
January answer: Evan Scribner
Answer now: Evan Scribner or Tom Layne

While it is still likely that Jarrod Parker will be in a D-backs’ uniform by September, I still think one of his 2007 teammates will get the call first. It will take an injury or two before Layne gets the call up, but he would be a solid lefty out of the bullpen. Scribner – who, like Layne, is at Triple-A, but with the Padres – has been given the closer’s role the past two seasons (he was at Double-A San Antonio in 2010), and if there is a need with the big club, he may very well be the closer-in-waiting.

3. Who is the most likely 2010 Osprey to return for 2011?
January Answer: Domingo Soriano
Answer Now: Robby Rowland

I think part of my answer is to help with Rowland’s karma and get him to a full-season club. But when I heard he was being kept in Extended Spring Training, I began to hope that Rowland would become the Opening Day starter for the Osprey. If Soriano ends up back in Missoula, which the chances are good of happening, he will be in the lineup more often than not, because he is a player that needs to get reps to get better.

Prediction: Rowland ends up in South Bend, Soriano heads to Yakima, and Ty Linton comes back and wins Pioneer League Player of the Year honors. OK, I know I am WAY out on a limb here, but why not? Remember the headline …

4. If you could choose the Opening Day lineup for the Osprey, what would it be?

Well … if you insist … if I could choose a lineup based on who is in Extended Spring Training, this is what I would wish to be on Hector De La Cruz’s lineup card on June 20:
Ender Inciarte CF
David Narodowski SS
Ty Linton LF
Eric Groff 3B
Wagner Mateo RF
Jae Yun Kim C
Stephen Cardullo 2B
Fidel Pena 1B
Antonio Sepulveda DH
Robby Rowland P

Of course, the chances are better for me to hit a Adonys Chapman fastball than for both Inciarte and Narodowski to come back to Missoula, but hey … I was just following the rules …

That said, would not be a bit surprised if the Osprey have an outfield led by Linton, Mateo and Soriano. If Groff ends up back here, it’s to play second base, which means Cardullo would be a shortstop. Kim and Pena will likely be together – whether it’s Missoula or Yakima – with Pena being a likely DH, since his bat is solid enough to have in the lineup every day.

So there you go. If I had to pick one of these I feel the most comfortable about – it’s actually two. I really do believe that, pending how things shake out, that Evan Scribner is the next former Osprey to make his MLB debut, and that Goldy is the next position player to make his debut.

Extend your prep … and surprise!

We’ve had a lot of requests and searches for Extended Spring Training information. Most of that stuff is not readily available, but the best we can do at the moment is let you know former Osprey who are currently at Extended Spring Training for the Arizona Diamondbacks:

Pitchers: Robby Rowland, Victor Acosta, Teo Guiterrez, Justin Albert, Enrique Burgos, Keith Cantwell, Sammy De Los Santos, Randy Hamrick, Victor Lara, Miguel Pena, Blake Perry, Andrea Pizziconi, Miles Reagan and Casey Upperman.

Catchers: Jae Yun Kim and Fidel Pena.

Infielders: David Narodowski, Antonio Sepulveda, Eric Groff and Stephen Cardullo.

Outfielders: Ender Inciarte, Ty Linton, Domingo Soriano and Henry Zabala

As we get word on any kind of news from there, we’ll let you know.

Now, on to the rest of the day …

– Great story in Baseball America about the concession favorites of Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Connor. Yes, Missoula, Bats and Balls received a plug …

Daily Report: Triple-A Reno‘s Daniel Stange (2006) pitched the final two innings, scattering three hits and striking out two batters while shutting out Sacramento to finish off a 13-6 Aces win … It took 12 innings for Double-A Mobile to beat Jacksonville, 6-5. Taylor Harbin hit another home run, his second in as many nights, and had four hits to improve his batting average to .462. Paul Goldschmidt also homered, and had a two-hit night to bump his average back up to .350 … Mike Belfiore made his Visalia debut on Tuesday night, as he was placed with the Rawhide before the game at Stockton. It ended up that Bels went three innings (as planned), and the Rawhide managed to get a 6-3 win over the Ports. Chris Owings doubled and tripled, while David Nick and Rossmel Perez (two-run HR) each drove in a pair of runs in the win. Adam Eaton singled and stole a base in the victory, which Yonata Ortega sealed, picking up his second save … South Bend had their game iced out with Great Lakes. They will play two today beginning at 2:05 p.m. MT.

– Today’s schedule and former Osprey who will make starts:
AAA Reno (9-3) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (9-3) vs. Jacksonville – Charles Brewer (1-0) gets the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia at Stockton – Eric Smith (0-2) looks to start turning his season around tonight.
A South Bend at Great Lakes (2) – Jeff Shields will not piggyback in Game 1, instead, he will get the start in Game 2.

Head-scratchin’ time

The calendar reminds us that there are 62 days before the 2011 Season opener, 64 days until the Osprey open at home, and two days before someone sticks his neck out and makes a prediction or two in this very blog. Read on for more on that one …

– Reminder – the Osprey Job Fair will take place beginning today at 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. It will run until 8 p.m., with the ability to not only fill out a job application, but to get interviewed for a day-of-game job this summer with the Osprey.

– Guess who was Southern League Player of the Week? Love this line from the update “… if the Southern League can contain him for long enough, he may make a run at that honor at the Double-A level this year.” Oh, and a former Osprey hurler also claimed the Southern League Pitcher of the Week.

– Two starts for former Osprey pitcher and former No. 1 pick Jarrod Parker in the 2011 season, and two bad outings. Not a good sign, but two things to keep in mind – it’s still early, and Parker is still building up his arm after Tommy John surgery. There’s still hope that he will get stronger as the season progresses and Parker ends up in a D-backs’ uniform by September.

– Speaking of pitchers in Mobile – add Clay Zavada to the list. The 2006 Osprey alum will begin his comeback from Tommy John surgery in the BayBears’ bullpen.

– Former Osprey pitcher Tony Barnette is trying to adjust to Japan, even in Year 2 of his adventure with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. In his latest blog entry, Barnette explores some strategy differences between baseball in Japan and here in the States.

– Former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero has been like EnduroMan for the D-backs’, catching 13 of the team’s 14 games so far this season, and hitting around .400 to boot.

– South Bend’s getting ready for a visit from D-backs GM Kevin Towers, who’s out visiting and scouting for parts of the next few weeks, while keeping an eye on the big-league club.

Minors recap: South Bend fell behind early, 7-0, and lost by a 9-4 margin to Great Lakes. David Holmberg took the loss for the Hawks, while Matt Helm returned to the lineup, and had three hits. 2010 Osprey teammates Chris Jarrett and Roberto Rodriguez each had two hits and a RBI for South Bend … Adam Eaton had two hits and a RBI for Visalia in a 6-3 loss at Stockton. Eaton, who also stole a pair of bases, raised his average to .357 with the effort … Taylor Harbin (2007) hit a three-run shot to help Mobile beat Jacksonville, 4-2. Harbin went 2-for-3 to improve his batting average to .412. Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with a walk and no strikeouts … Jordan Norberto pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a walk and striking out two batters, while John Hester had a hit in three at-bats to help Reno beat Colorado Springs, 10-6.

– Here are today’s matchups and former Osprey making starts:
AAA – Reno vs. Sacremento
AA – Mobile vs. Jacksonville – Bryan Henry (2007) looks to improve his 2-0 record when he gets the call tonight.
A Adv. – Visalia at Stockton – Chase Anderson gets the call tonight for the Rawhide.
A – South Bend at Great Lakes – Tyler Green gets the start, but this is the Green/Shields show, meaning that Jeff Shields will be the first out of the bullpen. Green and Shields will alternate starts for now.

– And finally, speaking of head-scratching, Osprey radio voice Ben Catley will offer some predictions on former Osprey in Thursday’s entry. You may be surprised who he thinks will be the next former Osprey to become a Major Leaguer for the first time.

TOMORROW: Extended Spring Training update.

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