by Ben Catley
Every year, it seems to be a different guy we love to feature on Bird Droppings.
Last season (OK, keeping in mind that we only started to do this full-bore last March, but still …), it was Paul Goldschmidt (2009 Osprey), who hit his second home run of the season this past weekend, and could be one of those guys who help the D-backs to a NL West repeat. This season, we have moved from the Goldy Watch (because it was a matter of when, not if, he was getting a call-up to the D-backs), to EatonMania.
OUR Adam Eaton (2010) is drawing attention everywhere nowadays. And when you are hitting .410 and leading the Pacific Coast League in batting, attention tends to follow.
Eaton leads, mainly because Josh Bell (.421) continues to lack enough plate appearances, although the Reno third baseman may end up getting a look with the D-backs before Eaton. However, with AJ Pollock having his struggles with the parent club, and there being no timetable for the return of Chris Young to the everyday D-backs lineup, who knows what could happen.
Eaton is just being Eaton again … with the Aces, he also has nine doubles, a triple and a home run, with 11 RBIs, a .470 on-base percentage, a .543 slugging percentage (1.013 OPS) and seven stolen bases in eight tries. Oh, and he has yet to commit an error in the field. Eaton also leads the PCL in on-base (with 2008 Osprey alum Jake Elmore second in on-base, and a .349 batting average to boot), and is 7th in OPS.
It’s safe to say EatonMania may be allowed to run wild all over Chase Field sooner rather than later.
On to the other news and notes of the day …
– There is a second former member of the Osprey now in the Baltimore Orioles organization. The Orioles acquired left-handed pitcher Mike Belfiore (2009) as the player to be named later in the trade that landed the D-backs infielder Josh Bell. Belfiore, who was ….., was placed at Double-A Bowie, putting him in the same league as former Osprey, and teammate, Ryan Robowski (2009).
– Talks have resumed, apparently, between the D-backs and Miguel Montero (2002-03). As Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic points out, this may have been going on for a while. Piecoro also gets into just whom may be interested in trading for Montero, if the situation presents itself later this season.
– Back to Goldy, who hit his second home run of the season over the weekend against the San Francisco Giants. This time, it was Madison Bumgarner who served away. Both of the home runs have come against the Giants, and it was the first since Opening Day for the slugger. This story also drew a scary comparison of Goldy to the fictitious Pedro Cerrano, the Major League first baseman who struggled with the breaking pitches. However, it’s early, and Goldy, as he has shown in the past, will adjust.
– Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10) draws his next starting assignment for the Lakeland Flying Tigers (Class A Advanced, Detroit) tonight in Tampa against the Yankees. Eichhorn will extend his team lead in innings pitched tonight, as he paces the Lakeland staff with 41 innings pitched, with a 5-2 record and a 4.17 ERA. One concern in Eichhorn’s WHIP, which is at 1.42 at the moment. However, he has also allowed only six walks while striking out 21 batters.
Other roster moves:
– The D-backs have moved Jeremy Erben (2010) from Class A South Bend to Class A Advanced Visalia, after he returned to action and came off of the DL.
– Right-handed relief pitcher Eric Smith (2009) has been promoted to Double-A Mobile.
– That spot opened up due to the promotion of left-hander Taylor Sinclair (2008) to Triple-A Reno. Sinclair was called up to take the roster spot of Chris Jakubauskas, who was placed on the DL over the weekend.