Will it be you??

Today’s countdown numbers are – 35, 33 and  43:
– 35 days before the Osprey home opener
– 33 days before the Osprey open the season at Helena
– 43 fans before Ollie ties the single-game attendance record on Facebook … and the 4,077th fan gets some cool stuff. What, you ask?? The 4,077th person to become Ollie’s friend on Facebook will win 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. Tell your friends!

-Emilio Bonifacio (2003) hit a line drive off of Washington right-handed reliever Todd Coffey, this after Coffey dashed into the game on Sunday. Bonifacio reached safely on the play, and Coffey did not suffer any major injury to his pitching elbow, near where the ball made impact. He’s also making an impact at the plate, hitting .288 in 35 games with five doubles, two triples, a home run, six RBIs and two stolen bases, while playing a number of different positions this season.

– Bryan Augenstein (2007) continues to recover from a severe groin injury suffered last month in a game at Arizona. The St. Louis Cardinals have moved Auggie to the 60-day DL, and it also appears as if the right-hander will head to Triple-A Memphis to pitch once he is ready.

– Guess the “Santos rules” have been put on the shelf in Chicago. Here’s the highlights from his fifth save in five tries, and now with his scoreless streak sitting at 19 innings, you can call him “closer”. Santos is, however, still a work in progress. The righty is still just in his third season of pitching in  professional baseball, after the 2002 former Osprey made the move from the infield. By the way – make it 6-for-6 in saves, 20 scoreless frames and 16 scoreless appearances.

– He may be back – CarGo (2003) had another big hit to help the Colorado Rockies go back into first place in the NL West. Then again, reading this blog entry could make one feel bad for both Gonzalez and Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000).

– Another former Osprey infielder on a similar path to Santos is former infielder-turned-pitcher Jerry Gil (2000). Gil is coming off of a solid outing for the Triple-A Louisville, and has an 0-3 mark with three saves and a 3.45 ERA in 14 games this season for Cincinnati’s top affiliate. Pitching 15 2/3 innings, Gil has allowed 16 hits and eight walks – which translates to a 1.54 WHIP, which for a closer can cause fans and coaches to be a little nervous in the ninth inning – but also has fanned 16 batters. Gil shares the closer duties, and it will be interesting to see what develops with him in the next season or two, especially now that he is apparently recovered from Tommy John surgery.

– Of course, the 2011 MLB First-Year Player draft is drawing near, and while there have been plenty of talk about who the Arizona D-backs will take with the Nos. 3 and 7 picks, there’s also the possibility that at least one Montana player will be taken in the draft. High on that potential list is a Missoula native, Ben Roberts, who was showcasing his skills at a pre-draft camp on Monday.

Minor League Recap:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces took down the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday, 11-5. Tom Layne (2007) allowed two hits and a walk but did not allow a run in two innings of relief.

– Double-A Mobile: Charles Brewer (5 IP) and Bryan Henry (3 IP) combined for eight shutout innings as the BayBears beat Carolina, 5-0, on Tuesday. Brewer (2009) scattered four hits and a walk, while striking out a season-high seven batters, while Henry (2007) allowed just a hit and a walk while collecting a strikeout. Brewer also went 1-for-2 at the plate and scored a run. Taylor Harbin (2007) had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in a run, while Jake Elmore (2008) added a hit and a run scored. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) added a sacrifice fly.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Another tough outing for Eric Smith (2009), as he suffered the loss in a 4-1 decision to Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday. Smith allowed all four runs (three earned) on eight hits and five walks, and struck out five while lowering his ERA to 10.10. Diogenes Rosario and Adam Worthington, teammates with Smith on the 2009 Osprey, threw three innings of one-hit relief behind him. Unfortunately, the Rawhide offense could not get going as they were held to four hits. David Nick (2009) and Rossmel Perez (2008) each had a base hit for Visalia.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks felt right at home, and used a six-run second, plus the solid pitching of David Holmberg (2010) to take down a 7-2 win over Lansing on Tuesday. Holmberg went seven innings and did not allow an earned run while striking out three batters. Jeremy Erben (2010) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to wrap up the win. Raywilly Gomez (2009) and Raul Navarro (2010) each had two hits, Ender Inciarte (2009) added a hit and a RBI, while Matt Helm added a single to the Hawks’ attack at the plate.

Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-15) has an off-day on today before beginning a four-game series at Albuquerque on Thursday.
AA Mobile (22-15) vs. Carolina – Game begins early … Gotta love the 11:35 a.m. (10:35 a.m. MT) start time.
A Adv. Visalia (18-21) at Rancho Cucamonga – Derek Eitel (2010) will get the call tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (17-22) vs. Lansing – Jeff Shields (2010) got the start for the Hawks, with the game already underway. Lansing is up, 2-0, entering the top of the fourth inning.

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