by Ben Catley
This is one of the best times of the year … and one of the craziest.
Baseball is back, and the Spring Training games have begun. Which involves a couple of things … for one, highlights on Baseball Tonight and Sportscenter. It also becomes hectic for a bit every three years, because the madness starts a few days early due to the World Baseball Classic.
Why it is crazy? The monitoring of former Osprey en masse starts a lot earlier, too.
The best part about the massive amount of former Osprey who end up getting a look during Spring Training games is best explained in this piece … with Adam Eaton and Jon Griffin being the featured former O’s in the story.
So who has ended up in a Cactus League game already?? Well … the list looks like this: (oh, by the way, this is the list of former Osprey who are not on the 40-man roster and not listed as a non-roster invitee. These are players called up to fill out a role…)
– Breland Almadova (2012)
– Bradin Hagens (2010)
– Andrew Barbosa (2012)
– Jake Lamb (2012) – who had a two-run double in his at-bat in the win over Oakland on Tuesday.
– Taylor Harbin (2007)
– Ollie Linton (2008)
– Ray Hernandez (2011)
– Taylor Siemens (2011)
And it’s early … so we shall see how much this list grows, especially when the WBC gets underway. More on that in a moment …
– More on some of the other players … including Adam Eaton (2010), who hit a two-run home run in the win over Oakland on Tuesday. Eaton had two hits in four at-bats while hitting leadoff and playing in center field, bumping his batting average up to .462 in four spring games.
– Jake Elmore (2008) is 2-for-8 in four games for the Houston Astros, as he tries to win a job on their 25-man roster. Elmore has a decent shot, since the Astros are in rebuilding mode and are looking for contributors who can be versatile.
– Gerardo Parra (2006) also homered, and drove in three runs as the D-backs rallied to tie the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim at 7-all.
– Open the Philadelphia Phillies’ stat page and you see Ender Inciarte (2009) at the top. He has four at-bats in three games, and has reached base all four trips – a single and three walks. The one number on the stat line that hurts, albeit early – one steal attempt, one caught stealing. If Inciarte is to make the 25-man roster, stealing bases will be a point of emphasis.
– If you’re looking for a second team to root for during the upcoming World Baseball Classic, I present to you Venezuela. Look at the former Osprey on the roster: Parra, Miguel Montero (2002-03), and Carlos Gonzalez (2003). That’s the most of any team, including the US squad (more on them in a moment).
Other former Osprey playing (or who played) in the 2013 WBC include Tetsuya Yamaguchi (2002-04), who is in the bullpen for Japan; Jose Valverde (2000), who will pitch for the Dominican Republic, and Columbia received a contribution from Karl Triana (2012), who pitched in the qualifying rounds this past fall.
You also may recognize some of the Team USA names from recent Pioneer League times – former Helena Brewers Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun. There are a few other names out there as well, including David Kandalias. who played for Casper in 2011 and will play on the Australian squad during the WBC.