Branches, twigs and such …

by Ben Catley

The last I checked, that’s what a nest was made out of, right?? Branches, twigs and mud, or something to hold it all together. While we are still a long way away from getting the pieces put together for the 2012 Osprey, the pieces that have already been here keep making news, even in the off-season.

- Like former pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is working his way back with the Colorado Rockies after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. De La Rosa is expected to be slowly worked into the rotation this season, which will include rehab starts in the minors, likely at Colorado Springs – which is very close to Denver, of course. And there is a big reason why they will make sure De La Rosa is ready to go and not rush things …

- Also on the update front comes former reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008). The fastest-rising former Osprey to the Major Leagues likes how is team looks in black and white, and I’m not talking about the unis … I mean, after all, if your team signed Prince Fielder, you probably would too. Let’s just hope that, for his sake, he doesn’t pull one of these. Although I have to admit, I like the non-bearded look Schlereth’s rocking right now …

- Speaking of former Osprey pitchers in the Detroit Tigers bullpen … Jose Valverde is coming off to me as one of those down-home type of guys who just happens to be able to throw gas and handle pressure situations better than an average Joe. More evidence comes from the Tigers’ winter tour of Michigan, which includes the 2000 Osprey alum bagging groceries.

Goldy Fix: The record-setting homer hit by Paul Goldschmidt (2009) in Mobile … note where the ball goes. That would be No. 28, which was part of another MVP year for the first baseman.

- Lyle Overbay (1999) has been named one of the top 55 players of all time in Toronto Blue Jays history. Not bad for a team which has been around for 35 seasons.

- Another blog has done a list of the best minor-league systems … the D-backs are ranked 8th by Motor City Bengals (just in case you’re wondering, it’s a blog dedicated to the Detroit Tigers …), and six of the top 10 prospects in this list are former Osprey.

By the way … coming soon to this very blog, I will once again stick my neck out and attempt to predict the next former Osprey to make their Major League debuts. I hit on two of the four names I mentioned last year, and I don’t know if I should even take credit for calling Goldy’s promotion, since that one was obvious. Evan Scribner’s call-up, though, I will gladly claim the call made there. Scribner is a candidate to win a spot in the Oakland A’s bullpen this spring.  By the way, the other names I threw out there – infielder Taylor Harbin and left-handed pitcher Tom Layne. Both are 2007 Osprey alumni. Layne pitched for Triple-A Reno last season, while Harbin was busy helping Mobile win the Southern League crown.

I think the next position player will be an obvious choice, and the pitcher, well … yeah, not so sure on that one. But I will stick the neck out again on those sometime in February.

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