The latest “Clock is ticking” edition

by Ben Catley

I guess it’s now official … the timer has been set on Juan Miranda.

The current Arizona Diamondbacks’ first baseman can officially take a good hard look at what lies ahead after this was published by Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on his blog. Because it is only a matter of time.

And with all due respect to the red-hot Willy Mo Pena, Paul Goldschmidt is more of the future at first base for the D-backs than anyone else in the system. That includes Brandon Allen, “The Mayor” (which is why he’s back playing the outfield again), and the Bobby Borchering/Matt Davidson 1B/3B/DH platoon.

There are a number of blogs that are all abuzz about it this morning, including the AZ SnakePit and even fantasy sports blogs, which suggest that if you didn’t pick up Goldy in your keeper league … oh well …

Make sure you read all of the Shoewizard Fan Post, because he brings up an interesting point about OPS and the Southern League. It leads to just how dominant Goldy has been this season.

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I was incredibly happy to hear about and then post/write about Bryan Shaw making it to Arizona. Piecoro had some reflections about Shaw back in his draft year, and Shaw himself managed to reflect on his debut, which went well.

The Bryan Shaw I remember has some semi-electric stuff, different than what you would see from a back-end bullpen guy – he throws a cut fastball, slider and curveball. And, apparently, with the season he has posted (4-1, 8 saves, 2.37 ERA at both Mobile and Reno), things have come together for him.

Now, it’s a matter as to whether or not he has the stuff to stay around for a while in the Major Leagues.

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News Flash – the D-backs may have drafted another Paul Goldschmidt.

You’ve seen this info before, but when I was going through and doing research on the D-backs’ draft picks, I read about this guy, and adjectives like “Hammered”, “Crushed” and “Destroyed” were used to describe his home runs.

I speak of one Jonathan Griffin, one of the choices that signed late last week.

The 21st round choice has some similar numbers to Goldy coming out of college …

– Hit .343 with 19 doubles, two triples, 19 home runs and 58 RBIs, and posted a 1.055 OPS in 2011.
– Hit 37 home runs for Manatee CC (now known as State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota)
– Was a 2009 Suncoast All-Conference First-Team pick, hitting .340 with 22 homers and 74 RBIs
– He is 6-6, 245. And plays first base.
– He doubled his draft position from high school (which isn’t all too rare in the late rounds), moving from 45th out of high school to 41st after his first season at Manatee, to where the D-backs picked him up – in the 21st round.

Now time will tell as to how his numbers at Central Florida will translate, but remember – he hit 56 home runs in three years of college ball. Makes me wonder. We’ll have to keep an eye out for the future, especially to see where he will get placed.

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Ticket sales for the home opener are very brisk at the moment. There are some good seats still available, but they are going quickly.

Believe it or not, I think Missoula is going through what baseball fans everywhere experience in the spring that have full-season clubs … baseball is here, let’s get out of the house and have some fun! And, naturally, Opening Night represents that new glimmer of hope, so to speak.

You can buy your tickets now at the MSO Hub Box Office, at 140 N. Higgins; by phone at (406) 543-3300, or online at http://www.MissoulaOsprey.com.

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One last thing … want to give a shout-out to all of those who have volunteered to help the neighborhoods and area that have been hit hard by the recent flooding not only in the Missoula area, but throughout the state. There have been many areas hit hard by the rising waters, and it has been good to see people who have jumped in by the hundreds to give a helping hand. Kudos also go to the area businesses which have provided food and beverages to the volunteers, and a big Thank You to the folks with the American Red Cross, who are on call to help those in need.

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