August 2011

Lineups, notes and news …

News ….

– Paul Goldschmidt a Southern League All-Star. No surprise. Especially since, after leaving for the Major Leagues on Aug. 2, he still leads the Southern League in Home Runs (30, tied for the lead), RBIs (94, up by two), On-Base (.435) and Slugging Percentage (.626), as well as OPS (1.061) and walks (82, leads by eight), and is still in the top 5 in extra-base hits, total bases, runs scored and batting average. That’s domination … when you can leave for a month and still have your name all over the place on the leaders’ sheet.

Starting Lineups:

Great Falls Voyagers (18-11, 35-32)
1 Randall Thorpe CF
7 Joe De Pinto 2B
21 Kevan Smith DH
25 Mark Haddow RF
20 Jimmy Jacquot C
11 Michael Earley LF
2 David Herbek SS
30 Martin Medina 1B
18 Kyle Eveland 3B
41 Pete Gehle LHP

Missoula Osprey (14-15, 39-28)
30 Chris Ellison CF
23 Fidel Pena 2B
12 Eric Groff 3B
35 Jon Griffin DH
38 Stephen Cardullo SS
11 Tom Belza 1B
24 Roidany Aguila C
7 Jeremia Gomez RF
17 Ty Linton LF
29 Conrad Flynn RHP

Game notes:

Last Time Out: A day off and playing at home did not snap the Missoula Osprey out of their current slump, as they dropped a 13-7 decision to the Great Falls Voyagers on Tuesday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field in front of 2,169 fans. The Osprey, who have dropped three straight games, and have lost six of their past eight contests, fell behind early by a 4-0 score, before scoring four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Ryan Court and Stephen Cardullo hit back-to-back solo home runs, while Ty Linton added a two-run double to tie the game at 4-all. The Voyagers answered with their own four-run inning in the top of the fourth off of Osprey starter Robby Rowland (2-6) to take the lead for good. Missoula finished with 11 hits, paced by a three-hit, one-RBI night by Fidel Pena, and two hits and a RBI by Jeremia Gomez. Eight of the nine Osprey starters collected at least one base hit in the contest.

K Watch: The Osprey pitching fanned 11 Voyager batters in the loss, and moved within 39 strikeouts of setting a new Pioneer League record for total strikeouts by a pitching staff, set last season by both Orem and Great Falls, who each collected 697 strikeouts for the 2010 campaign. Missoula currently has 659 strikeouts – 29 shy of the club record, set in 2005. With 659 strikeouts, another goal is also within reach, as the Osprey have nine games to collect 41 strikeouts – which would make them the first club in the 76-game season format in Pioneer League history to collect 700 strikeouts as a pitching staff. Plus, with an 9.87 strikeouts per 9 Innings pitched ratio, the Osprey staff would also likely take that team mark down. The 2005 Osprey staff – which featured left-hander Greg Smith, who was Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year that season – posted a 9.18 Ks per 9 IP ratio.

On the Mound Tonight: Missoula will send right-hander Conrad Flynn to the mound as he will make what stands to be his final start of the 2011 regular season, pending any situations developing. Flynn (4-2, 5.40) has struggled this month, posting a 1-1 record with a 6.35 ERA in August, and that includes his last outing – allowing seven earned runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings pitched in a loss at Ogden. Flynn will be making his first start of the season against Great Falls after four relief outings, spanning 12 innings, with a 1-0 record and 3.00 ERA, fanning 16 Voyagers in 12 innings of work. Great Falls has hit just .171 off of Flynn this season. Flynn will be used out of the bullpen during the playoffs, and may see an appearance before the end of the regular season.

The Voyagers will counter tonight with left-hander Pete Gehle, who is looking to change his luck with the Osprey this season. Gehle (3-7, 5.06) has a 1-3 mark with a 5.23 ERA against Missoula this season, including a hard-luck, 2-1 loss in his last outing against the Osprey on August 9, where he allowed just two runs on a hit and a walk, while fanning five batters. Gehle has thrown 20 2/3 innings against the Osprey (second most to Blair Walters) and has fanned 20 while allowing 18 hits and 12 earned runs, including three home runs. The Osprey hit just .222 against him this season. In August, Gehle is 1-2 with a 6.16 ERA, with 16 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched.

Defense: The Osprey currently have a .970 fielding percentage. If that holds, it would also set a new club standard.

By The Numbers:

Current Streak:


Extra Innings:


Team Hitting:


First Half:


Lead After 5:


PL Rank:


Second Half:


Tied After 5:


Team Pitching:




Trail After 5:


PL Rank:




One-run games:


Longest W Streak:

7 games



Two-run games:


Longest L Streak

3 games



Three-run games:


HR total at home:


Score First:


+3-run games:


Pitching K total:


Score Last:


Shutout Record:


 K/9IP Ratio:


D-backs Minor League Report/Osprey Alumni Update (PS – Team playing in

AZL D-backs Alumni Briefing: Domingo Soriano (2010) ended his season with a .269 batting average with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 16 RBIs in 50 games played. Jason Postill (2011) managed to get 26 1/3 innings of work in, posting a 1-2 mark and a 6.23 ERA.


Record: 20-36
Next: Season over
DSL D-backs Alumni Briefing: The DSL D-backs had their final game cancelled against the DSL White Sox. Alan Santiago (2009) played in 60 of the 69 games for the DSL D-backs, hitting .253 with eight doubles, a team-high 36 RBIs, and a .385 on-base percentage.
Record: 24-45
Next: Season Over
SS-A Yakima Alumni Briefing: Blake Perry (2010) went seven strong innings, allowing just a run on a hit and two walks, while Jae Yun Kim (2009-10) had two hits as the Bears rolled past Eugene on Tuesday, 7-1. The win keeps the Bears within a game of Tri-City in the Northwest League East Division race, and two back of Boise for a potential wild-card scenario.
Record: 18-16, 31-41
Next: vs. Eugene
Class A South Bend Alumni Briefing: JR Bradley (2010) pitched seven solid innings, allowing just five hits and two walks while surrendering two unearned runs and striking out nine batters in what became a 4-3, 11-inning loss by the Silver Hawks to Lake County on Tuesday. Keith Cantwell (2009) pitched two shutout innings of one-hit relief. Raywilly Gomez (2009) doubled and scored on a double-play ball in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game.
Record: 31-33, 65-68
Next: at Fort Wayne


Class A Adv. Visalia Alumni Briefing: The Rawhide had their game with the Lancaster JetHawks postponed due to rain. They will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, with David Holmberg and Derek Eitel (both 2010) expected to make the starts.
Record: 30-33, 61-72
Next: at Lancaster
Double-A Mobile (PS) Alumni Briefing: Jake Elmore (2008) provided the lone highlight for former Osprey participating for the BayBears on Tuesday night, collecting a single and a RBI as Mobile was hammered by Chattanooga, 14-2. Top pick Trevor Bauer was shelled for 10 runs and did not make it out of the second inning.
Record: 44-21, 82-53
Next: vs. Chattanooga
Triple-A Reno (PS)

Record: 74-64
Next: vs. Fresno
Alumni Briefing: The Aces received a pair of decent performances from former Osprey pitchers Esmerling Vasquez (2004) and Tom Layne (2007), but lost to Fresno on Tuesday, 5-2. The former Osprey combined to allow two runs on five hits and a walk while fanning two batters. However, Reno still clinched the Pacific Northern Division title as Tacoma lost to Tucson.


Tonight’s Starting Lineups

Here’s tonight’s starting lineups against Great Falls.

Great Falls Voyagers
Randall Thorpe cf
Kyle Eveland 3b
Joe De Pinto 2b
Mark Haddow rf
Kevan Smith c
Jimmy Jacquot 1b
David Herbek ss
Michael Earley lf
Andrew Douglas dh
Blair Walters p

Missoula Osprey
Chris Ellison cf
Fidel Pena c
Eric Groff 2b
Jon Griffin 1b
Ryan Court 3b
Stephen Cardullo ss
Roidany Aguila dh
Jeremia Gomez rf
Tyler Linton lf
Robby Rowland p

Starting Lineups, Pioneer League All-Star Team … and snubs

by Ben Catley

First, the Pioneer League All-Star Team has been announced. More on this below.

Second, today’s starting lineups:

Missoula Osprey (14-13, 39-26) starting lineup: 
Chris Ellison (RF)
Fidel Pena (C)
Tom Belza (2B)
Jon Griffin (1B)
Ryan Court (3B)
Stephen Cardullo (SS)
Bryan Henry (DH)
Justin Bianco (CF)
Ty Linton (LF)
Raymond Hernandez (RHP)

Ogden Raptors (13-14, 35-30) starting lineup: 
Scott Wingo (2B)
Justin Boudreaux (SS)
Joc Pederson (DH)
Matt Kirkland (1B)
Noel Cuevas (LF),
Jeff Hunt (3B)
Scott Schebler (RF)
Jan Vasquez (C)
James Baldwin (CF)
Derek Cone (RHP)

Now, on to the All-Star snubs, namely two of them … Eric Groff and Tom Belza.

Belza is hitting .355 at the moment, but was hitting somewhere around .340 when the vote took place. Not a major difference. However, it brings up the need for a Utility spot on the All-Star team, because Belza has played seven different positions for the Osprey this season. And before you just think of him as an average hitter … he has an OPS of 1.004, which is best on the squad.

Groff is the one that gets to me the most. He (along with Ogden’s O’Koyea Dickson) were finalists for the MVP award, yet did not make the All-Star team. Sounds like both of them were Goldschmitt-ed to me. Yeah, that guy, who didn’t make the All-Star team despite a monster season in 2009, who then went out and destroyed the Cal League and made up for it, earning both MVP and Rookie of The Year one season later.

Both were victims of a position overload – Griffin was the first baseman all-star, and first baseman Frazier Hall of Orem was put in the DH slot by many (over Dickson, Groff and CJ Cron of Orem, who was leading the league in home runs and RBIs when he was injured, plus was in the top 10 in hitting), and ended up knocking out one of those three players.

Starting Lineups, Osprey Nugget #1 Answer and the Next One

by Ben Catley

OK, let’s put last night behind. File it under “T” for Time To Move On. One of the greatest things about baseball, is that today is always anew, there’s always tomorrow and the memories of yesterday only get better with age.

Now, for the lineups, and the Osprey Nugget segment of the day:

Missoula Osprey (13-12, 38-25) starting lineup:
Tom Belza (DH)
Chris Ellison (LF)
Eric Groff (2B)
Jon Griffin (1B)
Ryan Court (3B)
Stephen Cardullo (SS)
Roidany Aguila (C)
Jeremia Gomez (RF)
Justin Bianco (CF)
Taylor Siemens (LHP)

Ogden Raptors (12=13, 34-29) starting lineup:
Scott Wingo (2B)
Noel Cuevas (LF)
Joc Pederson (CF)
O'Koyea Dickson (DH)
Scott Schebler (RF)
Matt Kirkland (1B)
Andrew Edge (C)
Justin Boudreaux (SS)
Alexis Aguilar (3B)
Ryan O'Sullivan (RHP) - will be followed by RHP Freddie Cabrera

To the Osprey Nugget segment ….
Answer to Nugget #1 – Lyle Overbay (1999), JD Closser (1999) and Eric Groff (2011) are the only Osprey to ever collect 20+ doubles, 10+ home runs, and 9+ steals in a season. Overbay is the only one to hit the triple-double in those categories, he had 10 stolen bases.

To Nugget #2, for tonight’s entry …
While we’re not expecting a duplication of the Adrian Gonzalez effort, it should be noted that Osprey outfielder Jeremia Gomez has hit a home run on each of the last two pitches he has seen. Gomez – who was benched after doing what baseball players call a “pimp job”, or watching his two-run blast that went well over 400 feet and splashed into a pond on the other side of the grass seating area at Brent Brown Ballpark on Tuesday – has promised to act like he’s been there before the next time he crushes a ball like that.

By the way, it reminds us of another “pimp job”, delivered by former Osprey Adam Eaton (2010) last season. Note two things, though … the request for time out that was never granted, and Roberto Rodriguez’s reaction in the dugout.

While watching BP, I just saw one of the longest home runs I have seen hit here at any time at Lindquist Field. Eric Groff hit over the 390-foot sign to the left of straightaway center field, and onto the middle of 23rd street, which runs behind the left-field wall. That ball bounced above the top of the wall by a good four feet after it hit the street. Someone will find that at the corner of 23rd and Grant (which runs a half-block behind the right-field fence).

May that be a good sign for tonight …

Starting lineups and a hint …

Here are tonight’s lineups … and a hit from today’s question. The others played on the same Osprey squad, and played their home games at Lindborg-Cregg Field.

Now, lineups …

Missoula Osprey starting lineup:
Belza (RF), Ellison (CF), Groff (3B), Griffin (1B), Court (DH), Pena (2B), Cardullo (SS), Aguila (C), Linton (LF), 
Flynn (RHP)
Ogden Raptors starting lineup:
Wingo (2B), Aguilar (3B), Pederson (LF), Dickson (1B), Schebler (RF), Edge (C), Hunt (DH), Boudreaux (SS), Baldwin
(CF), Martinez (RHP)

Osprey Nugget of the Day

OK, o cool peoples … today is the first of a four-game series with the Ogden Raptors. The team is staying about a block away from the field, and two blocks away from the clubhouse. Should be a fun series.

Now, to drop a little knowledge. Tonight’s “Did You Know” will hopefully answer this question, which was brought up on the broadcast last night. So, comment if you have an answer to this one:

Eric Groff stole his 9th base of the season on Wednesday, putting him into some exclusive company. Can you name the other former Osprey who each had 20+ doubles, 10+ home runs and nine or more steals? We’ll check back and post a hint if needed.

Until then … happy thinking!

Starting Lineups for August 24 … Go Osprey!

Yes, we do admit … we are rooting for a Billings team tonight. You’re allowed … they’re 11, 12 and 13-year-olds.

Now, here’s the lineup:

Missoula Osprey (13-10, 38-23) starting lineup: Ellison (RF), Pena (C), Groff (3B), Griffin (DH), Court (1B), Belza (2B), Cardullo (SS), Bianco (CF), Linton (LF), Rowland (RHP)

Orem Owlz (14-9, 36-25) starting lineup: Lindsey (2B), Yakubik (LF), Jones (RF), Hall (1B), Cowart (3B), Pacione (C), Mitchell (DH), Giovinazzo (CF), Hairgrove (SS), Odom (RHP)


Starting Lineups for August 23

One night after the Osprey played like the team that lost three of four in their series in Missoula with the Owlz, they look to bounce back and snap out of the funk (dropping four of their last five) tonight. Raymond Hernandez looks for win #8.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Missoula Osprey (12-10, 37-23) starting lineup: Belza (LF), Pena (2B), Groff (3B), Griffin (DH), Court (1B), Cardullo (SS), Aguila (C),  Gomez (RF), Bianco (CF), Hernandez (RHP)

Orem Owlz (14-8, 36-24) starting lineup: Lindsey (2B), Yakubik (LF), Jones (RF), Hall (1B), Cowart (3B), Hatton (DH), Giovinazzo (CF), Pacione (C), Brewer (SS), Melioris (P)


Starting Lineups for tonight’s game in Orem

Here we go … Game 1 of the 7-game Utah Odyssey … Your lineups are as follows:

Missoula Osprey (12-9, 37-22) starting lineup: Chris Ellison (CF), Stephen Cardullo (SS), Eric Groff (2B), Jon Griffin (1B), Ryan Court (3B), Roidany Aguila (C), Bryan Henry (DH), Jeremia Gomez (RF), Ty Linton (LF), Dexter Price (RHP)

Orem Owlz (13-8, 35-24) starting lineup: Taylor Lindsey (2B), Jerod Yakubik (LF), Ryan Jones (RF), Frazier Hall (1B), Kaleb Cowart (3B), Wes Hatton (DH), Chris Giovinazzo (CF), Trevor Hairgrove (SS), Ricky Pacione (C), Nick Maronde (P)

Pre-game will be at 6:45 tonight – unless we get approval from the grounds crew dog to go on earlier … LOL … more on that during the broadcast.


Starting Lineups for August 21

Here’s tonight’s starting lineups, as the Osprey try to salvage the final game of the series with the Raptors.

Ogden Raptors (8-12, 30-28) starting lineup: Wingo (2B), Aguilar (3B), Pederson (LF), Dickson (DH), Schebler (RF), Kirkland (1B), Vasquez (C), Boudreaux (SS), Baldwin (CF), Cabrera (P)

Missoula Osprey (11-9, 36-22) starting lineup: Chris Ellison (RF), Tom Belza (2B), Ryan Court (3B), Jon Griffin (1B), Stephen Cardullo (SS),  Roidany Aguila (DH), Bryan Henry (C), Ty Linton (LF), Justin Bianco (CF), Taylor Siemens (P)


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