May 2011

Goodbye to May …

Your numbers today are 20 (days until season opener), 22 (days until home opener) and 4 (days until Ticket Day).

– Off the top – more on Jeff Shields’ perfect day on Monday, as he retired all 15 batters he faced for South Bend in Game 1 of a doubleheader.

– Roster moves: The D-backs placed Josh Ellis on the 7-day disabled list in Reno. No word as to what the injury is. The move was made on Monday. It’s not the first time that Ellis has been on the DL this season, having just returned from the DL on May 20, then last pitched (in his only appearance for the Reno Aces) on May 24.

– Miguel Montero (2002-03) had a big day, while Gerardo Parra (2006) homered in the D-backs’ big win over Florida. It also wasn’t a bad day for former Osprey Emilio Bonifacio (2003), who played short on Monday in place of the banged-up Hanley Ramirez.

Goldy Watch: How about a single, triple a run scored and two RBIs for Paul Goldschmidt in a 14-0 romp of Mississippi on Monday? No home run, but a three-bagger.

– Leave it for Rotoworld to put any Lyle Overbay trade rumors to rest … it may be a career-long streak of non-multi-RBI games, though, for the man who drove in 101 runs in 75 Pioneer League games for the Osprey in 1999.

Minor League Update

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces were roughed up by Sacramento on Monday, 16-5. It was not pretty for any of the former Osprey on the bump, as Daniel Stange (2006), Jordan Norberto (2006) – who hasn’t pitched well since coming off of the DL – and Bryan Shaw (2008) all were touched up with multiple-runs. The only former Osprey who pitched who did not give up a run – former Osprey infielder Kyle Greene (2008), who retired the only batter he faced.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears scored nine times in the top of the eighth inning and cruised to a 14-0 win at Mississippi on Monday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and two RBIs, while Jake Elmore (2008) singled, drew a walk, scored twice and drove in a run. Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched an inning of scoreless relief to lower his ERA to 1.80.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: A pair of teammates from the 2009 Osprey – David Nick and Bobby Borchering – had big days in a 9-7 Rawhide win over Bakersfield on Monday. Nick doubled, homered and scored three times, while Borchering doubled and drove in a run. Chris Owings (run) and Keon Broxton (stolen base), also members of the 2009 Northern Division Series winners, added a hit each, while 2010 Osprey alum Adam Eaton had a hit, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a pair of bases. Trevor Harden (2008) was roughed up in his start, but the bullpen held it down enough, and Adam Worthington – alas, also from that 2009 squad – pitched the ninth and picked up his first save of the season.

– Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks swept the twinbill from Dayton on Monday, winning the second game in eight innings, 5-4. Ramon Castillo (2009) singled, doubled and drove in a run, Ender Inciarte (2009) walked twice, singled and scored twice, and Roberto Rodriguez, who was a teammate of Shields in Missoula last season, added a base hit. In Game 2, Keith Cantwell (2009) and Jeremy Erben (2010) combined for 3 1/3 shutout innings to give the Hawks a chance, which they were able to take advantage of, as Inciarte had two hits and two runs scored, including the game-winner. Rodriguez also had a hit in the nightcap for the Hawks.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (30-22) at Tacoma
AA Mobile (27-24) at Mississippi – Jarrod Parker (2007) will get the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (23-28) at Bakersfield
A South Bend (26-25) vs. Cedar Rapids – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call tonight for the Hawks.

Break up AZ in a big way …

OK Osprey fans – we’re just 23 days away from the home opener, 21 days before the 2011 season opens, and a week away from the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft … where probably at least half of the 2011 Osprey will begin their professional baseball journeys.

– It’s Monday, and the Memorial Day weekend is just about a done deal … we’re two days away from the Grand Opening of the MSO Hub.

– Off the top – South Bend is playing two again today, and Jeff Shields (2010) flirted with a no-hitter. Shields, in fact, did not allow a hit in his five innings of work, and struck out three in his best start of the season. Daniel Taylor pitched the seventh inning and picked up his second save of the season in the 4-1 Silver Hawks win over Dayton.

– Break up the Arizona Diamondbacks!! The D-backs have won 14 of 16 games, and are moving up the NL West standings, all the way to the top. Following their 4-2 win at Houston on Sunday, the D-backs jumped ahead of the San Francisco Giants atop the NL West Standings. Former Osprey outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006) had a pair of hits during the sweep in Houston, including a three-run homer in Saturday’s win, and has his average at .262, while catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03) has hit .342 in his last 10 games, and that has raised his batting average to .277 for the season.

– Good piece on the second-chance story of former Osprey infielder Sergio Santos (2002), who has eight saves in nine tries this season as the unofficial Chicago White Sox closer.

Goldy Watch (yes, it’s back on a permanent basis): Over the weekend, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had a walk-off single, and his 17th home run of the season on Saturday, and 1-for-4 on Sunday in the 3-2 loss to Jackson. Numbers: .331 batting average, 17 home runs (2nd in the minors) and 46 RBIs.

– The Osprey, or should we say Ollie Osprey, just broke the single game attendance record number with Ollie’s friend total. The all-time record for fans at an Osprey home game is 4.076. Jeena Hanley Christopherson is the lucky friend of Ollie’s (#4,077) and wins an Osprey prize package including four tickets to the second game of the season on June 23, free popcorn and soda at the game and four Osprey caps.

Quick version of the Minor League Update (More can be found here):
– Taylor Harbin had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run for the Double-A Mobile BayBears, but 2007 Osprey teammate Bryan Henry lost the game in relief, as Jackson wins, 3-2.

– Triple-A Reno split a pair, losing Game 1 to Sacramento, 5-2, but winning the nightcap, 11-3. Tom Layne (2007) pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings in the nightcap to get the win.

– Visalia lost a large lead and dropped an 8-7 decision at Bakersfield. Adam Eaton (2010) had two hits and a RBI to pace the offense, while Bobby Borchering (2009) added a home run. Manager Jason Hardtke was ejected in the bottom of the 9th inning, following the ejection of a Rawhide pitcher who wasn’t even in the game.

– A pair of pitchers with the 2010 Osprey – David Holmberg and Blake Cooper – combined to shut out Dayton in a 3-0 win that was Game 1 of a scheduled doubleheader. But, as has been the case too frequently this month, the threat of tornadoes – including the warning sirens going off again – postponed Game 2.

The clock still is tickin’ … just faster

We have 24 days before the 2011 season cranks up, 26 days before the home opener, and a mere … wait, there’s just over three weeks before the season opens up? Wow … it’s almost here!

– Off the top – two roster moves announced today by the Arizona Diamondbacks … IF/OF Kyle Greene (2008) has been promoted to Triple-A Reno, while Roidany Aguila (2009-10) has been promoted to Class A Advanced Visalia.

– Right now, the Arizona Diamondbacks are hotter than a ember from a popped-off 4th of July firecracker, winning their 9th game in 10 tries last night at Colorado. Miguel Montero (2002-03) played a big role in the 6-3 win.

– Also in that game … CarGo went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Gerardo Parra (2006) did not play, and went oh-for-the-series. He’s still hitting a respectible .261, however, in 43 games.

– The streaking D-backs … and, by the way, just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s 11-2 over the past 13 games, and 2nd place in the NL West … now head to Houston. Get ready here. Note the pic they used on the post – Jose Valverde (2000), when he was in Houston. He’s now in Detroit.

– The whole Buster Posey-Scott Cousins collision was started by … a sacrifice fly by former Osprey Emilio Bonifacio (2003). (Heads-up … the video does have slow-motion of the collision.) The worst part – Posey never really had possession of the baseball. Do you think the rule needs to be changed for plays at the plate? Comment below and let us know!

– Daniel Schlereth (2008) may have only been with the Osprey a month to begin his professional baseball career, but he left quite an impression in the clubhouse. He’s already doing similar things in the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen.

– This just in … Ollie Osprey is about to break the single-game attendance mark in Facebook friends. The mark is 4,076, and at last report, Ollie was just five friends away from tying the mark. Whomever is fan number 4,077 gets a cool prize pack from the Missoula Osprey!! Search Ollie Osprey on Facebook, or go here for details on getting to Ollie’s page.

Minor League Update

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Round Rock on Thursday, 6-5. Jordan Norberto had a rollar-coaster inning … he allowed two runs on three hits, and struck out the side.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears fell into a first-place tie for the Southern League’s Southern Division lead with an 8-3 loss to Jackson on Thursday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, while Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-fro-2 with a pair of walks and a RBI. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-4 on the night. Jarrod Parker (2007) allowed just one earned run (two total) in five innings of work, on four hits and a pair of walks, with four strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched two innings of relief, and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, with three strikeouts.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide picked up a 7-5 win over Stockton on Thursday. Chris Owings (2009) singled, doubled, drove in a run and scored one, while Adam Eaton (2010) added a double and two RBIs. Rossmel Perez (2008) walked, singled and scored twice, while David Nick (2009) also reached base twice and scored both times. Keon Broxton (2009) also plated a run with a sacrifice fly. On the bump, the pair of former Osprey who came on in relief of Tyler Skaggs did not have their best nights … Diogenes Rosario (2009) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, with a strikeout in his inning of work, while Christian Beltre (2007) allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits. 

– Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks had a chance to climb to the .500 mark, and after winning the first game of a scheduled doubleheader with Lake County, appeared to be on their way. However, Mother Nature won the nightcap, which was cancelled due to rain. Bradin Hagens (2009) and Jeremy Erben (2010) combined on a three-hitter, not allowing an earned runin the process. Erben fanned two batters in his two innings of work, while Hagens produced 12 ground-ball outs. All of the runs were driven in by former Osprey – Roberto Rodriguez (2010) and Ramon Castillo (2009) had a pair of two-run doubles in a four-run third inning, while Ender Inciarte (2009) capped off the scoring with a RBI hit. Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a base hit and scored a run, while Chris Jarrett (2010) added a hit, and Raywilly Gomez (2009) also scored a run.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (28-20) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (25-21) vs. Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (22-25) vs. Stockton – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (23-24) vs. Dayton – JR Bradley (2010), who was scheduled to start in Game 2 last night, gets the start tonight instead.

Moving days …

 There are 27 days before Opening Night, 25 days before the 2011 season begins in Helena, and more boxes to move. Yup, the Osprey Team Store and offices will be part of the MSO Hub, which opens on June 1.

– Good news from the injury front – the D-backs removed outfielder Roberto Rodriguez (2010) from the 7-day disabled list late Wednesday. R-Rod should be back in the South Bend lineup tonight when the Silver Hawks play a pair against Lake County.

– Notes from the former Osprey who played in Arizona’s 2-1 win over Colorado:
Miguel Montero (2002-03) had an 0-for-3 day at the plate, with a walk … Gerardo Parra (2006) was 0-for-4 (and he is 0-for-the-series) … and Carlos Gonzalez (2003) was 1-for-4.

– Former Osprey relief pitcher Jose Valverde (2000) continues to make his mark in the Detroit community.

– Speaking of relievers, a converted one, Jerry Gil (2000), managed to shut the door for Triple-A Louisville last night in a win.

– Lyle Overbay’s struggles continue at the plate, and the 1999 Osprey alum is trying to get back to where he was in Spring Training. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle gives his assessment.

– There is some convergence of former Osprey in this article, namely left-hander Greg Smith (2005) and catcher Javier Brito (2003-04).

Minor League Update

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces took care of Round Rock on Wednesday, 7-2. Bryan Shaw (2008) pitched a scoreless inning and struck out a batter in the win.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears were scheduled to play 14 innings in two games on Wednesday … and instead managed to get in 25. The lidlifter of the doubleheader went very well – an 8-0 win featuring Paul Goldschmidt’s 16th home run of the season (and two hits). Ollie Linton (2008) added three hits and a RBI, Taylor Harbin (2007) had a 1-for-3 game, and Jake Elmore (2008) posted as close to a perfect line that you can with one hit – he also hit a sacrifice fly, was hit by a pitch and scored a run in one official trip to the plate.

Game 2 – wow, 18 innings, and a 5-4 BayBears win that featured three position players pitching (two Osprey – one has before, the other made his debut), one pitcher playing a position, three innings in which both teams scored a run (the 12th, 13th and 14th innings), and, finally, the game-winning run scores on an error with two out in the bottom of the 18th. Oddly enough, former Osprey surrendered the three extra-inning runs – two by Elmore, one from Clay Zavada (2006). Bryan Henry (2007) was solid, allowing one run on four hits and two walks in five innings of work, with six strikeouts. At the plate, Linton went 3-for-7, Goldy was 2-for-7, and Kyle Greene (2008) went 2-for-8 with an RBI.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide lost a 14-12 slugfest to Stockton on Wednesday. The Ports overcame a 12-7 deficit with a seven-run top of the 8th, the final three runs surrendered by Victor Capellan (2009), who took the loss. Trevor Harden (2008) struggled, allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. Adam Worthington (2009) pitched a scoreless ninth. At the plate, both David Nick (2009) and Chris Owings (2009) had four hits and a RBI each, Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits and a run scored, while Adam Eaton (2010) and Bobby Borchering (2009) each drove in runs.

– Class A South Bend: The game schedule for Wednesday with Lake County was postponed due to rain. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (28-19) at Round Rock
AA Mobile (25-20) vs. Jackson – Jarrod Parker (2007) is scheduled to make the start tonight.
A Adv. Visalia (21-25) vs. Stockton
A South Bend (22-24) vs. Lake County – Bradin Hagens (2009) gets the Game 1 start, while JR Bradley (2010) will go in Game 2

Changes in PL dugouts, other nuggets

by Ben Catley

Just think, in 26 days, I’ll be watching batting practice from either the field or the Kindrick Legion Field press box, and watching as my partner in crime, Steve Wendt, is running around frantically making sure all is well and ready for Opening Night. Two days later, he can return the favor.

I figured that we’d take a quick look around the Pioneer League to see who was back as far as coaching staffs are concerned. Just in case you missed it, three members of the coaching staff are back for their second round, at least, in Missoula … albeit one of them was not a coach in 2010, but instead played here in 2000. That would be Andy Green, who is one of three hitting coaches (and four total) making their coaching debuts this season. Hector De La Cruz returns for his fourth season as manager, while Gil Heredia returns for his second season as pitching coach.

The rest of the league … a mixed bag of changes … but here’s the list by ballclub:

Helena – Joe Ayrault, Manager (2nd season); Ned Yost IV, Hitting Coach (2nd season); Elvin Nina, Pitching Coach (3rd season).

Billings – Pat Kelly, Manager (1st season in Billings, 21st overall); Eli Marrero, Hitting Coach (1st season, debut as coach); Bob Forsch, Pitching Coach (3rd season).

Great Falls – Ryan Newman, Manager (1st season); Charlie Poe, Hitting Coach (1st season);  Brian Drahman, Pitching Coach (3rd season, at least). Newman was replaced in Bristol by Pete Rose, Jr. – yes, that Pete Rose, Jr.

Casper – Tony Diaz, Manager (he’s been there a while); Jonathan Stone, Hitting Coach (2nd season); Craig Bjornsen, Pitching Coach (2nd season).

Idaho Falls – Brian Buchanan, Manager (2nd season); Missoula resident Jerry Nyman, Pitching Coach (3rd season); Omar Ramirez, Hitting Coach (1st season).

Odgen – Damon Berryhill, Manager (3rd season); Johnny Washington, Hitting Coach (3rd season); Bill Simas, Pitching Coach (1st season, debut as coach).

Orem – Tom Kotchman, Manager (11th season); Nathan Haynes, Hitting Coach (1st season, debut as coach); Zeke Zimmerman, Pitching Coach (9th season).

Now we just need teams and we can get going!

On to the news of the day …

Tough break for former Osprey left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, as he is facing Tommy John surgery after what could be best described as a freak injury. The worst of it – no signs were present that something could go wrong – he has not had a shoulder or elbow injury during his Major League career.

After hitting two home runs in the day portion of the day-night doubleheader, Carlos Gonzalez (2003) went 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against Arizona left-hander Joe Saunders in the nightcap. CarGo’s average now sits at .251, with eight home runs and 31 RBIs.

– On the D-backs front … Miguel Montero (2002-03) played in the night game, and went 1-for-4 with an RBI … Gerardo Parra (2006) played both games in the outfield, and went hitless in seven at-bats, but did draw a walk … Esmerling Vasquez (2004) pitched the eighth inning in the lidlifter, allowing a hit, and striking out two.

Gotta check out this blast from former Osprey catcher JD Closser. Note the grass seating, and where the ball ends up. A reminder – please pay attention to the game, because you never know when a ball will come in your vicinity.

– If it ain’t Paul Goldschmidt (2009) leading the minors in home runs (his 15 is currently 2nd in all of MiLB), it’s Adam Eaton (2010) leading the minors in hitting (.402) and on-base percentage (.509). Or, it could be Luis Terrero (1999-2000), who is in the Top 3 in the Mexican League in several categories.

Minor League Update

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Round Rock on Tuesday, 5-4. Josh Ellis (2007) allowed two runs (one earned) in his inning of work to take the loss on the mound. Tom Layne pitched 2 1/3 solid innings, allowing two hits while striking out five batters.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears had an off-day on Tuesday, which is a good thing … they have a seven-game series in five days ahead of them, beginning today.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide had the day off on Tuesday.

– Class A South Bend: Sometimes, wildly effective works better than being spot-on. That was the case for left-hander Patrick Schuster (2009-10) on Tuesday. Schuster allowed just two hits, but surrendered four walks. While that sounds a little shaky – he also allowed one unearned run and struck out seven in six innings of work to pick up the win. Daniel Taylor (2010) worked a scoreless ninth in the SilverHawks’ 8-1 triumph. At the plate, Ender Inciarte (2009) had three hits and three RBIs, while Matt Helm (2009-10), Chris Jarrett (2010) and Ramon Castillo (2009) added a hit and a RBI each. Raul Navarro (2010) added a single and a run scored.

Today’s early-start game with Lake County was postponed due to rain, and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (27-19) at Round Rock
AA Mobile (23-20) vs. Jackson, DH – Bryan Henry (2007) is scheduled to pitch in Game 2 of the twinbill.
A Adv. Visalia (21-24) vs. Stockton – Trevor Harden (2008) gets the ball for the Rawhide tonight.
A South Bend (22-24) vs. Lake County, ppd., rain – Bradin Hagens (2009) will likely make the start for the Hawks in Game 1 on Thursday … Game 2’s starter has not been announced.

Not good news …

Mile High Sports is reporting that former Osprey pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999) has a torn ulner colateral ligament in his left elbow. His season is over for 2011.

De La Rosa left today’s game with the Arizona Diamondbacks with what toe Rockies originally called left elbow soreness. It happened during an at-bat with Chris Young, as catcher Chris Ianetta noticed De La Rosa grimacing on the mound and motioned to the dugout. After the trainer looked at him, De La Rosa threw one pitch, after which he grimaced again and was immediately removed from the game.

According to the report, De La Rosa would be back for the 2013 season, and it’s possible that he would return during the second half of the 2012 season.

De La Rosa injured in start

The Colorado Rockies are reporting on their website that left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999) was removed in the third inning of today’s game with the Arizona Diamondbacks with left elbow soreness.

De La Rosa was coming off his first complete game in his last start, a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia. We’ll keep you updated as soon as the Rockies release more information.

In this game, the Rockies have erupted offensively – namely, CarGo. Former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003) hit two massive home runs, and Colorado rolls to a 12-4 win over the D-backs. CarGo finishes with four RBIs and three runs scored in the game.

Two for Tuesday

The count is at 27 days before the season opens in Helena, 29 days before those Brewers come calling in the home opener, and a dozen days before Ticket Day – which is June 4.

– Derek Eitel (2010) worked a perfect game into the sixth, and took a no-hitter into the seventh before settling for a seven-inning, one-hit effort in Visalia’s 14-2 rout of High Desert on Monday.

– The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to keep their win streak going today, when they play a doubleheader at Colorado. They’ll face former Osprey left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (1999) in the opener of the four-game, three-day series at Coors Field. Here’s a preview – note the handle of the blogger.

– One roster move we did not mention in yesterday’s blog – South Bend placed Bobby Stone (2008-10) on the DL on Friday. It turns out to be an injury to his left arm, which occured after Stone threw a runner out at the plate in a game on Thursday. It’s a retroactive move to Thursday, which means Stone could be ready to go as soon as Friday, but it all depends on how his arm responds to treatment.

– Stone has had an, shall we say, eventful time with South Bend over the past couple of years, as it pretains to either getting injured, or somehow avoiding injury. The amazing part of the video below – after making this catch, he stayed in the game. We’ll have to dig the audio up from the interview with him from last summer about this catch and post it on here … but here is the video from the flip at West Michigan last season.

– Staying with the SilverHawks for a moment – the weekend produced a great outing for reliever-turned-starter Bradin Hagens (2009), who picked up a win on Friday and some attention from the folk.

– Pedro Ciriaco’s promotion has a backstory to it, apparently it was one that involved something that wasn’t. And the Pirates front office wasn’t happy about it, either.

– Goldy Watch: 1-2 with two walks against a top prospect. There’s also more of a look at Eitel’s season here as well, including some numbers which would put a D-backs’ observer at ease when it comes to the R0se-Hulman product’s numbers this season.

– If someone has an update to this list, let us know … because it may be a trivia question on the air this summer.

– Cool little nugget with Daniel Schlereth’s dad, Mark. Schlereth made his professional debut with the Osprey in August, 2008, and has the mark as the fastest-rising former Osprey to make his Major League debut – a span of less than a year.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces beat Round Rock on Monday, 9-7. Bryan Shaw (2008) made his Reno debut, allowing a run on two hits with two strikeouts. Daniel Stange pitched the ninth inning to pick up his first save of the season.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears were knocked off by Tennessee, 6-5, on Monday. Outside of Goldschmidt (who scored twice in the game), Ollie Linton (2008) had a hit and a run scored, while Taylor Harbin (2007) was 1-for-4 on the night. Taylor Sinclair (2008) made his Double-A debut, and despite allowing two hits and two walks, did not surrender a run and collected a strikeout.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: While Bobby Borchering (2009) was treating High Desert pitching like he was back at Bishop Verot (three doubles, triple, 6 RBIs), Adam Eaton (2010) put together his typical line – 3-for-3, 4 runs, a walk and a hit by pitch. One of those hits was a double, and he also drove in a run. David Nick and Chris Owings (two runs, including a home run), who were teammates with Borchering in Missoula in 2009, had two hits and a RBI each, while Keon Broxton (yes, 2009), had a hit and a run scored. Rossmel Perez (2008) was the lone player not to get a hit in the Rawhide lineup, but he was busy catching Eitel’s run at perfection.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks managed to get some power from an unlikely source – Raywilly Gomez (2009) – in an 8-3 win over Great Lakes on Monday. Gomez – who hit three home runs last season in Yakima – hit a solo shot in the second, while Chris Jarrett (2010) hit one in the sixth to cap off the Hawks’ scoring. Gomez had two hits, as did Jarrett (two runs), and two of Raywilly’s teammates in Missoula in 2009 – Ender Inciarte (two runs) and Matt Helm (three RBIs) . Helm also played in Missoula in 2010, as did Jeff Shields, who went five innings and allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk to pick up the win on the mound. Blake Cooper (2010) pitched a scoreless ninth to close the deal.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (27-18) at Round Rock.
AA Mobile (23-20) has an off-day today, they will be at home on Wednesday.
A Adv. Visalia (21-24) has an off-day today, they will be at home on Wednesday.
A South Bend (21-24) will start a series at home against Lake County, with Patrick Schuster (2009-10) getting the call on the bump.

Pinch yourself, it is six in a row

OK, 30 days before the home opener, 28 days before the season opener and not much longer before the Osprey office will be fully moved into their new location at the new MSO Hub. And after the first sneak peek, it looks awesome.

– Just in case you missed it, the D-backs have won six games in a row. It’s their longest win streak since the 2008 season. If they want to make it seven straight, they will have to get it done against Jorge De La Rosa (1999), Carlos Gonzalez (2003) and the Colorado Rockies. They’ll play two on Tuesday.

Great story on Paul Goldschmidt (2009) courtesy of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Note the headline. There’s also some interesting nuggets in this blog entry from that story – extras that Nick could not work into the original piece.

– Here’s the weekend minors update from AZ SnakePit – Saturday offered another Goldschmidt tater (he now has 15), and Friday’s includes a good night for the former Osprey with the Rawhide.

– Over the weekend, the D-backs made some moves in the minor leagues involving former Osprey players … one of them was promoting closer Bryan Shaw (2008) to Triple-A Reno, to fill the roster spot for DL’d Jordan Norberto (2006). To take Shaw’s place on the Double-A Mobile roster, left-hander Taylor Sinclair (2008) was promoted from Class A Advanced Visalia. And, in an expected move, right-hander Enrique Burgos (2009) was sent back to Extended Spring Training, as lefty Tyler Green came off of South Bend’s disabled list.

– The Pittsburgh Pirates also made a move over the weekend involving a former Osprey … infielder Pedro Ciriaco (2005) is back with the club, as third-baseman Pedro Alvarez was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Ciriaco’s promotion is a bit of a surprise, since he was only hitting .190 in 36 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, but the Pirates, at the moment, may need his versatility more than anything, since he can play any position other than pitcher or catcher.

– Speaking of the Pirates, more on Lyle Overbay’s season to date is here, and let’s hope that he has found that part of his swing that didn’t come north from Florida with the rest of him after Spring Training ended.

– Former Osprey catcher JD Closser (1999) went 2-for-8 in two games for the Albuquerque Isotopes (LA DOdgers) in their recent four-game series with Reno. Closser hit a two-run homer in Friday’s game, then added a single on Saturday. Closser is hitting .292 for the season, with four home runs and 18 RBIs.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces dropped a 3-1 decision on Sunday at Albuquerque. Tom Layne (2007) pitched an inning, and allowed a run on two hits for the Aces.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears dropped their fourth straight game on Sunday, a 4-2 setback to the Tennessee Smokies. Charles Brewer (2009) allowed just a run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched, but the bullpen could not hold a slim 2-1 lead. Clay Zavada (2006) also allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the eighth inning. At the plate, both Ollie Linton (2008) and Goldschmidt had a base hit apiece, while Taylor Harbin (2007) went 0-for-2 with two walks.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Well, Eric Smith (2009) had one of his better starts working, until the sixth inning. That’s when the High Desert Mavericks managed to get to Smith, scoring seven runs off of the right-hander in a 9-4 Rawhide setback on Sunday. Bobby Borchering (2009) had two hits and a RBI, Adam Eaton (2010) had a double and two RBIs, Chris Owings (2009) doubled, stole a base and scored twice, while Keon Broxton (2009) also had a hit and a steal. David Nick (2009) added a base hit and a run scored for the Rawhide.

– Class A South Bend: David Holmberg (2010) struggled in his start, but it enabled Keith Cantwell (2009) to pick up his first win as a SilverHawk, as South Bend outscored Great Lakes, 10-7, on Sunday. Cantwell scattered four hits while allowing a run and collecting a pair of strikeouts in the win. Matt Helm (2009-10) had two hits and three RBIs, while Ramon Castillo (2009) collected a hit and two RBIs. Roberto Rodriguez (2010) chipped in with a double and two runs scored.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (26-18) at Round Rock.
AA Mobile (23-19) at Tennessee.
A Adv. Visalia (20-24) is currently playing (as of 2 p.m.) against High Desert. Derek Eitel (2010) gets the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (20-24) at Great Lakes – Jeff Shields (2010) gets the call for the Hawks

Freaky Friday …

T-minus 33 days before the home opener, 31 days (yikes, a month!!) before the season opens in Helena, and 15 days before Ticket Day.

– The first day for fans to buy Osprey individual game tickets is indeed June 4. Read this for the details!

– Not-so-good news from Arizona Republic writer/blogger Nick Piecoro:
“High-A RHP Chase Anderson underwent an MRI that did not reveal structural damage on his injured right elbow, according to farm director Mike Bell. But Anderson is looking at a mostly lost season. He probably won’t be back until late July at the earliest.”

– Roster moves – in San Diego, Evan Scribner is back in Tucson. Manager Bud Black seems to feel that “The Scribbler” will be back with the Padres soon enough.

– It’s easy to see why, after his breakout season, Carlos Gonzalez (2003) became a media darling in his native Venezuela, and is becoming quite a spokesperson here in the States. And, as usual, we provide video evidence. So, here’s CarGo taking over the screen in a Colorado Rockies promo.

– This weekend, Interleague Play begins in Major League Baseball (the D-backs catch a break and play a slumping Minnesota Twins squad just as the Snakes are playing some of their best baseball of the season), and Sergio Santos gets a chance to pitch against his favorite team growing up – the Dodgers.

– Fridays are usually video days – and two would be a rarity, but it is a rare day – and with craziness abouding at the moment (pre-season activities, moving the offices to the new MSO Hub, Ollie stealing tuna from the fridge, etc.), the headline seemed appropriate. As now does this video, which is the original TV commercial from the original “Freaky Friday” movie back in 1976. None of that high-tech stuff here – although the car-splitting is pretty darn unique. (Also have to love public domain material …)

With that, let’s rock back to the info and roll into the Minor League Recap:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost in walk-off fashion to the Aubuquerque Isotopes, 3-2. Daniel Stange (2006) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a hit and a walk while collecting a strikeout.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Tennessee, 9-7, on Thursday. Of the quintet of Osprey position players (who all appeared in the contest), four had at least one hit – Jake Elmore (2008) singled, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) doubled, walked, drove in a run and scored twice; Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits, including a triple, and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) collected two hits and two RBIs. Clay Zavada (2006) scattered two hits in his inning of work, but did not allow a run.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide lost a tough, 3-2, 10-inning decision to Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. Trevor Harden (2008) pitched eight quality innings, allowing five hits and a walk while surrendering just one run and collecting five strikeouts. However, Yonata Ortega (2007) could not shut the door in the ninth, allowing an unearned run, and Christian Beltre (2007) could not wiggle out of a tight spot in the bottom of the 10th – walking a batter intentionally, then surrendering a single to end the game. Bobby Borchering (2009) snapped a 1-1 tie in the 9th inning with a solo home run, and had three hits on the night, as he continues to shake out of a season-opening slump.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks used three former Osprey pitchers to pick up a 5-2 win over Lansing on Thursday. Patrick Schuster (2009-10) pitched six-plus innings, scattering seven hits and a walk, and settled down nicely after allowing two early runs, plus struck out eight batters. Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Blake Cooper (2010) combined for 2 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, with Cooper picking up the save. Ender Inciarte (2009) had two hits and two runs scored, while 2010 teammates Raul Navarro (two runs scored) and Robert Rodriguez (double) also had base hits.

Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-16) at Albuquerque.
AA Mobile (23-16) at Tennessee – Jarrod Parker (2007) will get the start tonight for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (19-22) at Rancho Cucamonga
A South Bend (18-23) at Great Lakes – Bradin Hagens (2009) gets the call tonight for the Hawks.

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