July 2014

#BirdDroppings for July 29

Fresh Batch of Osprey

MISSOULA, Mont. The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced the addition of seven new Osprey to Missoula’s roster to bolster Missoula’s quest for a Second-Half title in the Pioneer League. Catcher Tyler Baker and first baseman Taylor Ard have been transferred from Short Season Hillsboro to Missoula. Relievers Anthony Bazzani and Cody Clark, starter Yefrey Ramirez, infielder Henry Castillo, and outfielder Stewart Ijames have been transferred from the AZL D-Backs to Missoula.

Taylor Ard joins the Osprey to give Missoula an Apple Cup combo at first base as the former Washington State Cougar joins recent University of Washington draft pick Trevor Mitsui. Ard was a seventh round pick by the Mariners in 2012 and began his career with twelve homeruns for Everett in the Northwest League. After a hot start with River City in the Frontier League this summer, Ard was signed by Arizona and joins the Osprey after playing ten games with the Hops.

Tyler Baker was Arizona’s fifteenth round selection in June’s draft out of Wichita State. Baker batted .250 and picked up ten RBI through 23 games with Hillsboro to begin his professional career. This spring for the Shockers, Baker collected 18 RBI but was an anchor behind with plate with just four errors on the season and supported a strong pitching staff that finished with a 3.43 ERA.

Yefrey Ramirez has been the standout in the AZL D-Backs’ rotation with a strong 1.93 ERA in seven appearances. Ramirez tallied an incredible 48 strikeouts to just four walks in 37.1 innings in his dominance over the AZL.

Cody Clark and Anthony Bazzani shared the closer role with the AZL D-Backs with much success. Clark carried a 2.00 ERA through nine games, with both runs coming in only one appearance, with eight punch outs in nine innings. Opponents mustered just a .212 clip off the right-handed pitcher who earned four saves. Bazzani was signed as a free agent out of Eastern Kentucky where he registered a team-best six saves. He held his opposition scoreless in all but five appearances on the hill. In the AZL, the righty tallied three saves with a 2.35 ERA in eight games.

Stewart Ijames is a former Louisville Cardinal standout that was signed this summer from the Washington Wild Things out of the Frontier League. Ijames drove in three runs in just five AZL contests after blasting a total of 31 homers for Washington over less than two seasons. Through forty less games than 2013, the outfielder matched his RBI total of 45 this summer. The two-time draft pick ended his career as a Cardinal ranked second in RBI (212) and at-bats (828), third in games played (239), fifth in hits (256), sixth in home runs (45) and seventh in doubles (52).

Henry Castillo has been a leader in the AZL with a .331 average in 28 contests with six doubles and nine triples. The switch-hitting infielder totaled 22 RBI and a .900 OPS.

In corresponding moves, Arizona announced that catcher Tyler Clark has been transferred to Triple A Reno. First baseman Kevin Cron and reliever Tyler Toyfair have been transferred to Short Season Hillsboro. Starter Brad Keller, infielder Michael Abreu, and reliever Holden Helmink have been transferred to the AZL D-Backs, while Wagner Mateo has been released.

The Osprey are in action tonight at Ogren Park Allegiance Field at 7:05 p.m. against the Great Falls Voyagers in the second contest of a six-game homestand. Tickets for all Osprey games are available at the MSO Hub Box Office, by phone at (406) 543-3300 and online at MissoulaOsprey.com.

#BirdDroppings for July 26

  1. Audo Vicente’s Thoughts On First Half
  2. Justin Williams’ 20 Game Streak
  3. Last Night’s Handling Of Helena


1. Audo Vicente On First Half

Before yesterday’s 22-5 thrashing of Helena, I had a chance to catchup with Audo Vicente and gather his thoughts on the O’s last win, Brad Keller going into last night’s start (He picked up his 1st win of the year) and his thoughts on the team through the first half



2. Williams Goes Streaking

Well not that kind. The kind you like to talk about, as in a 20-gamer that dates back to the 4th of July.

During that period, the Missoula left fielder is hitting .481 (I don’t know how else to make sure that you don’t miss that!), with 39 hits (5 for XBH), 13 RBI, .522 OBP, and a 1.090 OPS. 


3. Last Night’s Handling Of Helena

Winning a baseball game 22-5 on 22 hits (later changed to 21 but we’re sticking with 22 on this blog…) is quite the feat. It was a season-high in runs and hits. Missoula went an astounding 16-26 with RISP.

With all the good for Missoula, Helena saw season-highs in categories it looked to stay away from. The Brewers surrendered season highs last night in XBH, runs, hits, walks, runs for an inning, largest margin of defeat and runners LOB.

Box Score


#BirdDroppings for July 18- What A Cycle Sounds Like

  1. Mitsui Cycle
  2. D-Backs Announce International Signings

1- Mitsui Cycles

Missoula rookie Trevor Mitsui hit for the cycle last night in the O’s 12-9 win over Grand Junction.

Here’s what hitting a cycle sounds like: https://soundcloud.com/nolan-ryan-alexander/trevor-mitsui-cycle

MiLB story on Mitsui here

2- D-Backs Announce International Signings

From the Arizona Release, here are the most recent signees in this year’s International Signing Period

The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) have signed five international free agents, including the organization’s first amateur signing out of Taiwan, pitcher Wei-Chieh (“Way-Jay”) Huang, since the start of the 2014-15 international signing period on July 2, according to according to D-backs’ Executive Vice President & General Manager Kevin Towers.

 Huang, 20, was born in Taitung and attended Kao Yuan Tech High School in Kaohsiung followed by the National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sports (NTUPES), the top ranked college baseball program in the country. Huang went 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 4 games during the 2012 Taiwan High School National Tournament, and later reached 95 mph during the preliminary round of the 2013 All-Taiwan Games.








Hometown, Country

Juan Araujo






Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Mailon Arroyo






Salcedo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Remy Cordero






San Pedro, Dominican Republic

Victor Rodriguez






Maracaibo, Venezuela

Wei-Chieh Huang






Taitung, Taiwan

#BirdDroppings for July 17

  1. PDC Contract Extended Through 2020
  2. MLB Vet at OPAF
  3. Get To Know Justin Williams

Good morning Osprey fans, the O’s are back in town and opened up a seven-game homestand with a loss last night to Grand Junction 5-3.

1. PDC Contract Extended Through 2020

The Missoula Osprey and Arizona Diamondbacks have announced  that the two have agreed upon a four-year extension of their current Player Development Contract (PDC), which will keep the two teams affiliated until at least through the 2020 season. The current agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2016 season.

This affiliation relationship is the second longest current consecutive tenure in the Pioneer League behind only the Billings Mustangs (#BeatBillings) and Cincinnati Reds affiliation agreement. The Osprey franchise, which moved to Missoula from Lethbridge, Alberta in 1999, has been affiliated with the D-backs since the 1996 season – one year before Arizona began to play Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise.

“The Osprey and Diamondbacks have a very strong partnership. We share philosophies of developing quality players on and off the field and the importance of community involvement through our players and franchises,” explained Matt Ellis, Osprey Executive Vice President. “We feel that given the entirety of the relationship, that we have the best Major League affiliate partner in baseball for our franchise, our fans, and our community. Knowing and believing that fact makes extending early not only ideal but a priority for our franchise. We are proud of our long-standing relationship with the Diamondbacks and look forward to continuing this relationship through the rest of the decade.”

From a personal standpoint, I was told by so many people around baseball before I came to Missoula of how quality an organization the Diamondbacks are. There has been nothing I’ve experienced or heard this summer to sway that opinion. So good news Osprey fans, we’ll be sending future Snakes to the Desert for another handful of years.

2. Rafael Betancourt In Missoula

In last night’s loss, the Osprey were unable to score off the typical foe, a series of young pitchers at the start of their professional careers. However, a 10-yr MLB vet gave up three runs with large thanks to the Peanut Inning. Betancourt became the first player with MLB service to appear at Ogren Park Allegiance Field and gave up three runs with only one earned in his rehab appearance. Betancourt first appeared in The Show in 2003 with Cleveland and has been with Colorado since 2009.

3. Get To Know Justin Williams

I had a fun time speaking with Justin a few days ago at Orem. Take a short break and listen in to get to know more of Justin’s approach, background, and gator hunting in the Bayou.


#BirdDroppings for July 9

  1. Float To The Ballpark
  2. Get To Know Former O Jake Mayers


Float To The Ballpark

I can’t wait for this in August, and I know it’s always one of the most highly anticipated events of the summer in Zoo Town. If you’re lucky you might even see a Mitsui or Cron homer floating in the river…

Float to the Ballpark, one of the most popular promotions in professional baseball, is back for 2014. The Missoula Osprey announced today that in conjunction with Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures, Osprey fans have the opportunity to float to the ballpark Aug. 17.

Floaters will be shuttled from the stadium to waiting rafts that will take them on a guided two and a half hour float back to the stadium along the Clark Fork River, which will begin at 1 p.m. Upon arrival at the stadium, the lucky fans will be fed a BBQ meal with all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, salads and sodas. Fans will then take their seats to watch the Osprey take on the Idaho Falls Chukars.

All participants must be at least 5 years of age or older. No flip flops, or personal tubes, rafts or floatation devices will be allowed. The Osprey do advise fans who participate to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, wear comfortable clothes, and keep in mind that their clothes and shoes may get wet during the float.

Fans will need to pre-purchase a package for the float, limited space is available. Packages cost $60 per person. To reserve your spot for yourself, family, or business call 543-3300 or visit the Missoula Osprey Box Office located in the MSO HUB at 140 N. Higgins Ave.


Get To Know Jake Mayers

On his last day as a member of the Osprey, I had the chance to catch up with Jake Mayers before his promotion to Hillsboro. Jake talks about his


#BirdDroppings for July 8

  1. O’s Fly South
  2. Mitsui and Hernandez Honored
  3. Get To Know Carlos


O’s Fly South

After the longest continuous bus ride of the year,  the Osprey regained their talons with a well deserved day of rest yesterday. Missoula begins a four-game set with Grand Junction tonight and all games can be heard online at missoulaosprey.com and in the area on 102.9 FM ESPN for Missoula.


Mitsui and Hernandez Honored

The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced that Trevor Mitsui and Carlos Hernandez have been named the Missoula Player- and Pitcher-of-the-Month for June, respectively.

In 13 games, Mitsui blasted a pair of home runs and picked up eight RBI. By going 17-51, the rookie out of the University of Washington hit for a .333 average. He also slugged .549 for the month and began his professional career with an eleven-game hit streak. In five July games, Mitsui has already added another pair of homers and six more RBI.

Carlos Hernandez did not allow an earned run until his third start of the season at Great Falls. He began his 2014 campaign with eight strikeouts in a shutout effort of the Helena Brewers. The right-handed pitcher went 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA for the month in three starts. He totaled nineteen strikeouts to just four walks as a starter for the Osprey.

Get To Know Carlos

If you have been tuning in during our Bitterroot Motors Pregame Show, then you’ve had the opportunity to get to know the Osprey behind the scenes. I’ve been trying to show more of each player’s background on and off the field. Today I have linked yesterday’s interview with Carlos Hernandez.



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