by Ben Catley
First … MissoulaOsprey.com has a new look to it. Check it out when you get the chance.
– There were a few things that went on over the weekend. And we will fill in on all that we can.
The biggest piece of information was the slew of contracts that were signed for this season. All are one-year deals.
Of the 20 players who signed deals, seven of them are former Osprey:
Pitchers: Chase Anderson, Charles Brewer, Eric Smith and Eury De La Rosa
Outfielders; Keon Broxton and Adam Eaton
Infielder: Paul Goldschmidt
All but Eaton are members of the Osprey Class of 2009, with Eaton playing in Missoula in 2010.
– OK, I missed the boat on this one …
— Missoula Osprey (@ospreybaseball) February 14, 2013
How did I not see this?? The D-backs do the Harlem Shake. Better known as how I have danced since the 1980s …
– Jose Valverde (2000) will not take part in the World Baseball Classic, at least for now. An illness in the family has tabled his attempt to do so for now, but it could be just temporary. Also, once again, it does not look like the Detroit Tigers will be an option for Valverde.
– Jon Griffin (2011) was one of four players reassigned to minor-league camp on Monday. This is not a surprise, and it also won’t prevent Griffin from getting more looks in Spring Training games. Griffin’s expected to head to Double-A Mobile to start the 2013 season.
– Speaking of Mobile, I received an e-mail from former Osprey player (2000) and manager (2012) Andy Green on Monday, and he is already looking forward to whom he may have on his squad this coming season. Green will have a challenge on his hands – not only is he coming off of winning a title in Missoula, he takes over a BayBears’ squad which has won back-to-back Southern League titles.
– Speaking of Eaton – 1-3, stolen base in Monday’s win over Cincinnati. Spank is now hitting .345 with a double, home run and five RBIs.
– The D-backs will be playing Team Mexico tonight at Salt River Fields (yeah, I had Chase Anderson on the brain when I was thinking Chase Field …). The game will be on MLB Network. The Philadelphia Phillies are on MLB Network right now as I work on this, taking on the Dominican Republic squad. Philadelphia has former Osprey outfielder Ender Inciarte (2009) on the squad as a Rule V Draft pick. Inciarte, who is wearing #43 (not a bad sign, since that is a normal number for a player … if you’re in camp wearing a number in the 60s and higher, you are likely headed to minor-league camp soon …), is (at the moment) 3-for-8 in limited time at the plate. He has spent more time in the field, though, and has made an impression.
Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel on what is the one thing that stands out about Inciarte – “He has a great first step in the outfield … that’s something you just can’t teach.”
The Phillies’ broadcasters also shared a great Inciarte story … he apparently showed up at 5:15 a.m. one day in the early days of camp, and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wondered who in the world he was. Once that was figured out, Inciarte asked for something simple … a locker. Next thing you know, not only does Inciarte have a locker, he also is having a conversation with Manuel over a cup of coffee.
Inciarte will get a very extended look in Phillies camp … but his chances of making the club are going to hinge on how Inciarte is able to add to the squad by using his speed and defensive ability. And continue to show that he is not intimidated by being in a Major League camp for an extended period for the first time in his career.
– Also had the chance to watch Tom Layne (2007) and Daniel Stange (2006) pitch for the San Diego Padres in a game over the weekend. Stange pitched a scoreless inning, and has allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out three batters in three Cactus League appearances. Layne also logged a scoreless inning, and for the first time this spring, also did not collect a strikeout. The lefty has allowed two earned runs in four innings while striking out seven batters.