The deadline approaches …

T-minus 69 days until Opening Night at home, 67 days until the Osprey open their season at Helena, and less than 48 hours to e-file your tax returns. If you’re still doing them on paper, you have an extra three days.

- A reminder, the Osprey will hold a Job Fair on Tuesday, April 19, at the DoubleTree Hotel from 3-8 p.m. There are many day-of-game positions available for the 2011 season at the Job Fair. You will be able to complete applications and have an interview during the event.

-Esmerling Vasquez (2004) is back with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Vasquez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief in Wednesday’s 15-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander threw just one inning in Reno, getting a strikeout and not allowing a thing, and is coming off of a strong Spring Training, something which has helped with his confidence.

- Tom Layne, meanwhile, was being groomed as a reliever, but the crafty lefty is suddenly in Reno’s rotation. His performance last night may be enough to allow that to happen. Layne allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, while scattering five hits and two walks, and struck out five in a win at Colorado Springs. The Aces have now won five in a row after losing their opener.

- Not so good news for former Osprey Matt Helm, who apparently is down with an injury.

- A good win for Double-A Mobile on Wednesday, as they beat Mississippi in their home opener. And, yes, former Osprey had their hands all over the win, although Goldy lost an apparent home run. The BayBears also made a roster move, one which brings former Osprey reliever Josh Ellis down from Reno, where he had yet to make an appearance this season.

- The prices of things all around us may have gone up, but the good news Osprey baseball will once again be very affordable this season. Read more here as studies show that minor league baseball is still a great bargain.

- Here are some ERAs from the Chicago White Sox bullpen – 0.00, 2.84, 7.36, 7.71, 11.25 and 11.57. Can you guess which belongs to former Osprey Sergio Santos and Tony Pena? Well, while White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had his first meltdown of the 2011 season following a six-run, two-inning run by the Oakland A’s that victimized the Pale Hose once again, we discovered the numbers – which are ugly.

Unless your last name is Santos.

Sergio is at it again, and while there have been thoughts of moving him into the closer’s role, this may be the incident that pushes Guillen to follow his gut and do just that. Santos is still pitching in special circumstances – dubbed the “Santos Rules” last season – and so far, he has done well. In five appearances, the 2002 former Osprey infielder-turned-pitcher has pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out nine batters. And Santos, after Wednesday’s action, had not allowed a run. His 1.04 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) is second to only Gavin Floyd’s 0.93.

The same is not true of Pena, unfortunately, who is struggling with an 11.25 ERA in the first 12 games this season. There was some consideration to move Pena into the rotation with the absence of Jake Peavy, but he has struggled in his five outings, which include a blown save.

- For people who are ready and can’t wait to watch live baseball, the Missoula Mavericks American Legion squad takes to the field for their first game of the 2011 season on Saturday, when they will host the Great Falls Chargers in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the old Osprey nesting ground, better known as Lindborg-Cregg Field.

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