Monday April 15 is not only TAX DAY, but 66 days from Opening Day for the Missoula Osprey.
Jose Valverde finally made it to Detroit Tigers minor league camp. He seemed to do just fine in his first outing at extended spring training.
Some geese invaded the Osprey nest adjacent to Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Look for the Osprey to have some promotions around geese this year at the stadium, but a franchise name change just isn’t in the cards at the moment.
Paul Goldschmidt delivered the lone RBI and run of the game in the D-Backs 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Houston Summers has found a new niche, post baseball on the University of North Carolina Track & Field team and he’s excelling.
Lyle Overbay has stuck with the Yankees at first base and has raised his average to .278 with a pair of homers on the early season.
Let’s head around the Diamondbacks minor league system with updates on Osprey alumni.
TRIPLE-A —Reno Aces (3-8)
The defending Pacific Coast League and Triple-A champions are not off to hot start in 2013. Even though the Aces are second in the PCL in hitting with a .309 team average, the team is sitting in the cellar of their division at 3-8 in part due to their pitching staff ranking last in the PCL with a 7.36 ERA.
The staff has allowed 63 more runs than the team leading the league in pitching, Round Rock and that’s only through 11 games.
Shortstop Chris Owings (2009) is 21-for-52, good for a .404 batting average. Six of Owings 21 hits have gone for extra bases.
Infielder Taylor Harbin (2007) is hitting .278 and has even thrown a couple of innings of relief. Don’t expect to see a career change for Harbin, he allowed five runs in just over two innings of work.
Left-handed specialist Eury De La Rosa (2009) has been the lone bright spot of the Aces pitching staff throwing 7 2/3 shutout innings thus far. Look for De La Rosa to be the next Osprey promoted to the big leagues, if the D-Backs needs a lefty out of the bullpen.
The Aces have dropped six straight, including Sunday’s 22-6 loss to the Sacramento River Cats.
DOUBLE-A —Mobile BayBears (6-4)
The defending Southern League champions are hanging tough to start the year, leading the league in hitting at a paltry .258 and pitching with a more dominating 2.15 team ERA through Sunday.
The BayBears are managed by Osprey alum Andy Green, who played for the Osprey (and in the major leagues) and managed the club to their third Pioneer League Championship in franchise history in 2012.
First Baseman Jon Griffin (2011) is second on the roster with a .389 batting average. Catcher Rossmel Perez (2008) is third in hitting at .385 and outfielder Ender Inciarte (2009) is fourth at .313. Inciarte also leads the club in stolen bases with four.
Mobile has only homered twice on the season and David Nick (2009) has one of them. Nick is struggling at the plate though hitting just .135.
Pitching has been a strength thus far and a few Osprey alums are leading the way.
Bradin Hagens (2009) is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in a pair of starts. Derek Eitel (2010) did not allow a run in his lone start, five innings against the Mississippi Braves. David Holmberg (2010) has only allowed two runs in 10 innings of work and Eric Smith (2009) has a 1.93 ERA and a save in four appearances.
ADVANCED-A —Visalia Rawhide (5-6)
Michael Perez (2012) was activated from the disabled list at extended spring training and sent directly to Advanced-A Visalia over the weekend. He became the the 50th active Osprey alum on a full-season minor league roster in the Diamondbacks system this spring. The catcher hit fifth in the Rawhide lineup on Saturday and doubled once in four at-bats in a 1-0 loss to the San Jose Giants. Sunday, Perez was the DH and hit third going o-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Sticking in Visalia, Raywilly Gomez (2009) has been the best hitter thus far for the Rawhide hitting .462 through Saturday with 10 walks in 39 plate appearances.
Jake Lamb (2012) was placed on the 7-day Disabled List for Visalia, but was 5-for-16 with two of the teams four home runs. Alum Tom Belza has one of the other two bombs for the Rawhide.
Evan Marzilli (2012) leads the team in doubles (4) and is tied for the club lead in stolen bases with two.
On the mound, Former Osprey pitching coach and major leaguer Gil Heredia seems to have the pitching staff dialed in with a California League second-best ERA of 2.95 ERA.
Archie Bradley (2011) has dominated in both of his starts. The right-hander has a pair of no decisions, but in 11 2/3’s innings this year, he has has not allowed a run, while fanning 19 and only scattering seven hits and walking three. The improved control in the hitter friendly California League was a concern for Bradley who needed to improve upon his 84 walks in 136 innings in Class-A South Bend last season.
Andrew Barbosa, who took the Pioneer League by storm in 2012 (1-0 0.41 ERA, 28K’s in 22 IP), has been almost as good as Bradley striking out 18 in 11 innings of work, while only allowing one run in two starts. Barbosa fanned 11 in 6 innings of work during his first start, a win over Bakersfield.
Seth Simmons (2011), Blake Cooper (2010) and Patrick Schuster (2009-10) have yet to allow a run out of the bullpen.
Conrad Flynn (2011) fired 2/3’s scoreless innings Sunday, lowering his ERA to 1.93 for the free agent out of Tulane.
Visalia is 5-6 through Sunday after dropping three of their last four to San Jose. You can check-up on the Rawhide’s stats here.
Class-A —South Bend Silver Hawks (6-2)
Speaking of websites, South Bend’s features Osprey alum, Archie Bradley on the front of theirs.
Battling through weather delays and suspended games, the Silver Hawks are 6-2 and have not lost since April 7. They are third in the Midwest League in pitching (2.62 ERA) and in the bottom half of the league in hitting (.227 average).
The best offensive numbers have been supplied by a quartet of Osprey alums. Socrates Brito (2012) leads the club in hitting at .310, catcher Roidany Aguila (2009-11) is second at .308, hero of the end of the 2012 Pioneer League regular season, Alex Glenn is third at .280 and infielder Ryan Court (2011) is fifth at .265.
Brito, Aguila and Glenn each have a homerun, the only three hit by the team.
Frank Santana (2011), Enrique Burgos (2009, 11) and Jesse Darrah (2011) have yet to allow a run. Darrah’s numbers are quite impressive as he is the only starter out of the three, striking out 12 in 13 innings over two starts.
Chris Capper (2012) recorded a save for South Bend.
Despite the weather around Missoula recently – Opening Day is just around the corner- visit MissoulaOsprey.com for more.