Results tagged ‘ Arizona Republic ’

Freaky Friday …

T-minus 33 days before the home opener, 31 days (yikes, a month!!) before the season opens in Helena, and 15 days before Ticket Day.

– The first day for fans to buy Osprey individual game tickets is indeed June 4. Read this for the details!

– Not-so-good news from Arizona Republic writer/blogger Nick Piecoro:
“High-A RHP Chase Anderson underwent an MRI that did not reveal structural damage on his injured right elbow, according to farm director Mike Bell. But Anderson is looking at a mostly lost season. He probably won’t be back until late July at the earliest.”

– Roster moves – in San Diego, Evan Scribner is back in Tucson. Manager Bud Black seems to feel that “The Scribbler” will be back with the Padres soon enough.

– It’s easy to see why, after his breakout season, Carlos Gonzalez (2003) became a media darling in his native Venezuela, and is becoming quite a spokesperson here in the States. And, as usual, we provide video evidence. So, here’s CarGo taking over the screen in a Colorado Rockies promo.

– This weekend, Interleague Play begins in Major League Baseball (the D-backs catch a break and play a slumping Minnesota Twins squad just as the Snakes are playing some of their best baseball of the season), and Sergio Santos gets a chance to pitch against his favorite team growing up – the Dodgers.

– Fridays are usually video days – and two would be a rarity, but it is a rare day – and with craziness abouding at the moment (pre-season activities, moving the offices to the new MSO Hub, Ollie stealing tuna from the fridge, etc.), the headline seemed appropriate. As now does this video, which is the original TV commercial from the original “Freaky Friday” movie back in 1976. None of that high-tech stuff here – although the car-splitting is pretty darn unique. (Also have to love public domain material …)

With that, let’s rock back to the info and roll into the Minor League Recap:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost in walk-off fashion to the Aubuquerque Isotopes, 3-2. Daniel Stange (2006) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a hit and a walk while collecting a strikeout.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Tennessee, 9-7, on Thursday. Of the quintet of Osprey position players (who all appeared in the contest), four had at least one hit – Jake Elmore (2008) singled, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) doubled, walked, drove in a run and scored twice; Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits, including a triple, and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) collected two hits and two RBIs. Clay Zavada (2006) scattered two hits in his inning of work, but did not allow a run.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide lost a tough, 3-2, 10-inning decision to Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. Trevor Harden (2008) pitched eight quality innings, allowing five hits and a walk while surrendering just one run and collecting five strikeouts. However, Yonata Ortega (2007) could not shut the door in the ninth, allowing an unearned run, and Christian Beltre (2007) could not wiggle out of a tight spot in the bottom of the 10th – walking a batter intentionally, then surrendering a single to end the game. Bobby Borchering (2009) snapped a 1-1 tie in the 9th inning with a solo home run, and had three hits on the night, as he continues to shake out of a season-opening slump.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks used three former Osprey pitchers to pick up a 5-2 win over Lansing on Thursday. Patrick Schuster (2009-10) pitched six-plus innings, scattering seven hits and a walk, and settled down nicely after allowing two early runs, plus struck out eight batters. Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Blake Cooper (2010) combined for 2 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, with Cooper picking up the save. Ender Inciarte (2009) had two hits and two runs scored, while 2010 teammates Raul Navarro (two runs scored) and Robert Rodriguez (double) also had base hits.

Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-16) at Albuquerque.
AA Mobile (23-16) at Tennessee – Jarrod Parker (2007) will get the start tonight for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (19-22) at Rancho Cucamonga
A South Bend (18-23) at Great Lakes – Bradin Hagens (2009) gets the call tonight for the Hawks.

(MSO Hub)bin’ it …

T-minus 41 days until the home opener, 39 days before the season opens and 23 days before Osprey individual game tickets will go on sale at the new ticket office location, inside the MSO Hub at the corner of Higgins and Main.

– The Osprey moving into a new location and partnering up with two tourism groups in their new location has created quite a buzzHere’s more on the story.

– Here’s one blogger’s thoughts on Emilio Bonifacio’s contributions to the Florida Marlins’ success this season.

– Chris Owings, a member of the 2009 Osprey, had a huge night in Visalia’s win over Bakersfield. We’ll hit on more on this game in the Minor League Update below.

– Former Osprey reliever Jose Valverde reached a milestone on Sunday while closing out a game for the Detroit Tigers, earning his 200th save. What’s even more intriguing – the payback that Valverde will be apparently getting in the clubhouse (and if we were chatting online right now, we’d end this with a LOL).

– Speaking of laughing – Ollie Osprey makes us do that from time to time. But what we have learned is no laughing matter – unless you think winning a prize pack is so cool it makes you giggle with glee. If you’re not friends with Ollie on Facebook (yes, the bird has his own Facebook page … how does he type with those talons, anyway?), head here and add Ollie as a friend. 

As if he doesn’t have enough friends, Ollie is looking to break the “attendance record” of 4,076 fans through his Facebook page. The person that does it will win a cool prize pack. Become friends with Ollie for more details.

– Gerardo Parra (2006) has been a hitter at every level he has played, but what doesn’t get talked about enough, according to Nick Piecoro, is his defense.

– Defense is also something that former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero is looking to improve on … he leads all of the Majors with seven errors.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces tried to rally, but could not overcome some middle-inning success by the Omaha Storm Chasers in a 6-5 loss on Wednesday.

– Double-A Mobile: A six-run eighth inning doomed the BayBears in an 8-3 setback on Wednesday. Paul Goldschmidt had just the home run in four trips, while Ollie Linton (2008) and Taylor Harbin (2007) each collected a base hit and a run scored.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Other than Owings’ huge night (see link above), David Nick (2009) and Adam Eaton (2010) each had three hits, while Bobby Borchering (2009) and Rossmel Perez (2008) each had a pair. Eaton, who also drove in three runs, bumped up his batting average to .364 with the effort. Mike Belfiore (2009) struggled, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and four walks, but the offensive support was enough for him to get six innings of work in and pick up the victory. Victor Capellan (2009) continued his strong season, posting a scoreless ninth inning. The win also puts the Rawhide over the .500 mark for the first time this season. 

– Class A South Bend: The Hawks picked up a nice 6-1 win at West Michigan on Wednesday. David Holmberg (2010) allowed just a run on five hits over six innings of work to pick up his second win of the season, while Blake Cooper (2010) added two innings of scoreless relief. At the plate, Ender Inciarte (2009, two runs scored), Matt Helm (2009-10, run, RBI) and Raywilly Gomez (2009)  collected two hits each to help the offense. Gomez raised his team-leading average to .326 with the effort, as he has hit in six straight games.

Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (21-13) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (19-12) at Jacksonville – Charles Brewer (2009) will make the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (17-16) vs. Bakersfield – Eric Smith (2009) gets the call for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (15-18) at West Michigan – It’s a battle of former Osprey – Jeff Shields (2010) gets the start for the Hawks, while Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10) goes for the Whitecaps.

Terriffic Tuesday

T-minus 43 days until the home opener, 41 days before the season opener, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 days before the second half of the Pioneer League season begins …

More pre-draft stuff off the fingertips of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, especially since we’re less than a month away from it …

– More details (thanks to Nick!) on the Charles Brewer-meets-Carolina-dugout incident. The 2009 Osprey alumnus apparently took quite a shot to the cranium, and it sheds light as to why the new 7-day concussion DL is in place.

– Very interesting debates are now happening around Paul Goldschmidt (2009), which should not surprise anyone, about when to bring him up to the Major Leagues. The AZ SnakePit bloggers take a shot at the debate, among other things D-backs related.

– Looks like the leadership that Lyle Overbay (1999) is helping bring the Pittsburgh Pirates is paying off – they’re in some rare territory this late in the season after a 3-run 8th last night – buoyed by an Overbay run-scoring double. Apparently, Lyle is also making comparisons between Pirate right-hander Charlie Morton and another guy Overbay knows all too well.

Here’s a lesson in why you should not wonder why a player doesn’t “wear one for the team” all that often, or, a better way to put it with an Osprey spin to it, here’s video of a blogger who may have been secretely wondering what it’s like to be Adam Eaton.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces split a doubleheader on Monday with Salt Lake City, winning the first game, 3-2, while losing the nightcap late, 6-5. Jordan Norberto (2006) allowed just a walk and collected a strikeout in his inning of work in Game 2.

– Double-A Mobile: Taylor Harbin (2007) had a three-hit day, including a two-run home run, and scored the game-winning run on a fielder’s choice by Jake Elmore (2008) to help the BayBears beat Jacksonville, 6-5. Goldschmidt hit his 12th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning, while Ollie Linton (2008) had a hit and a run scored. Bryan Shaw (2008) allowed a hit in the ninth, but shut down the Suns and earned his seventh save of the season.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Had Monday off …

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks finished off a three-game sweep of Fort Wayne with a 7-2 win at home on Monday. Bradin Hagens (2009) walked four, but allowed just two hits in six innings of work, and just one earned run in earning his second win of the season. Eury De La Rosa (2009)  shut the door over the final 1 1/3 innings. Raywilly Gomez (2009) had a single and double, while Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a hit and a RBI in the win.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (20-12) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (18-12) at Jacksonville – Jarrod Parker (2007) gets the ball for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (15-16) vs. Bakersfield – starters TBA
A South Bend (13-17) at West Michigan, DH – JR Bradley (2010) will start Game 1 while Daniel Taylor (2010) will make the start for the Hawks in Game 2.

So how do you spell that, anyway?

There are just 46 days before the season opens (and 48 days before the Opsrey home opener, with the living forms of the mascot already claiming their season tickets) and the signs are already going up around the outfield wall, which means things are starting to take shape at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field.

–  A good piece on Goldie through the eyes of his hitting coach the past two seasons, Alan Zinter (2008 Osprey), as well as a scout that sees the improvements in his swing. Notice the change in Paul Goldschmidt’s nickname. Wonder how long that will last …

– How about one touch of the “enter” key … here’s the Snakepit report on Goldschmidt, and other former Osprey. Notice the spelling of the nickname … maybe we need to make a poll of this …

– Here’s a first-month review of the D-backs, including the encouraging start of former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero.

– Quick quiz – entering May, who lead the Colorado Rockies in wins and strikeouts? Ubaldo? Nope … former Osprey pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000).

– Guess CarGo has his swing back. Here’s video evidence.

– The D-backs also made a minor-league roster move, sending Evan Frey to Triple-A Reno, and calling up former Osprey infielder Kyle Greene (2008) to Mobile. Greene was hitting .273 with six doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs at Class A Advanced Visalia before his promotion.

Minor League Report:

– Triple-A Reno: Aces lost to Las Vegas, 4-3. Tom Layne (2007) allowed just a hit in his lone inning of work, and struck out two batters.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears got Bryan Shaw (2008) off of the hook – he allowed an eighth-inning run that tied the game – with a walk-off, 4-3 win over Tennessee on Wednesday. Jarrod Parker (2007) had an up-and-down start, allowing just two runs and three hits in six innings, but walked five batters. Parker also picked up his first hit and run scored at the plate. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) added a double and a RBI. Goldschmidt was 0-for-1 with a run scored and three walks.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: David Nick (2009) doubled, while Rossmel Perez (2008) collected a base hit (he’s now hitting .380), scored a run and plated another as the Rawhide beat San Jose, 6-2. Visalia has now won four of the past five games. Taylor Sinclair (2008) worked two innings, allowing one run, and Adam Worthington (2009) pitched a scoreless ninth inning out of the Visalia bullpen.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks picked up a nice 4-1 win on the road at Dayton on Wednesday. Bradin Hagens (2009) went four-plus innings, was a victim of control issues – allowing four walks – but scattered five hits and allowed just a run. Blake Cooper (2010) pitched the final two innings to pick up his fourth save of the season. Other former Osprey were all over the 13-hit Hawks attack – Raywilly Gomez (2009) had two hits and two RBIs, Ender Inciarte (2009) had three hits, and Matt Helm (2009-10) added a triple and a run scored. Chris Jarrett (2010) singled, walked twice and scored a run, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) added a base knock.

Today’s probables (and former Osprey who are due to start):
AAA Reno (16-10) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (16-9) vs. Tennessee
A Adv. Visalia (13-14) vs. San Jose – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (9-16) at Dayton – JR Bradley (2010) gets the call for the Hawks tonight.

Can’t wait for the draft …

T-minus 49 days before the home opener, 47 days before the season opener, and about a month out from the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

– The D-backs made a roster move, which resulted in right-handed relief pitcher Kable Hogben being sent back to Extended Spring Training. Hogben, a member of the 2009 Osprey, posted a 3.12 ERA in six appearances this season with the South Bend SilverHawks, and was coming off a solid second professional season in Yakima, where he collected 10 saves and a 0.72 ERA in 28 appearances for the Bears, spanning 37 1/3 innings pitched. In 13 appearances with the Osprey, Hogben was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA.

Good notes on potential draft picks for the D-backs from Arizona Republic reporter Nick Piecoro, as well as some notes on former Osprey.

– Lyle Overbay (1999) is having his struggles of late for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, his best month, traditionally, is in May.

– Here’s video on Evan Scribner, posted right around the time he was called up to the San Diego Padres. The video was done by the Tucson Padres.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces were walk-off victims on Tuesday, as Las Vegas rallied for a 7-6 win.

– Double-A Mobile: Taylor Harbin (2007) singled and drove in a pair of runs, while Paul Goldschmidt (2009), Ollie Linton (2008) and Jake Elmore (2008) also collected singles in the BayBears’ 8-6 win over Tennessee on Tuesday.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Rossmel Perez (2008) had three hits, while Bobby Borchering (2009) continued his resurgence at the plate with two singles, but the Visalia Rawhide lost to the San Jose Giants on Tuesday, 6-4. Trevor Harden (2008), who came on in relief of the returning Chase Anderson (2009), took the loss after surrendering four runs to the Giants in the top of the seventh inning. Victor Capellan (2009) came on in the seventh, and pitched 2 2/3 innings of hitless baseball, striking out four.

– Class A South Bend: The Hawks had their struggles at the plate once again, getting just four hits at the plate, and lost to the Great Lakes Loons, 7-1. Patrick Schuster struggled, allowing all seven runs in three innings of work. Daniel Taylor and Jeremy Erben helped the bullpen pitch six shutout innings of relief. Chris Jarrett had two hits, and scored the lone Hawks run on a Raul Navarro single. All five players were part of the 2010 Osprey, with Schuster also pitching in Missoula in 2009.

Today’s schedule and Osprey probables:
AAA Reno (16-9) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (16-9) vs. Tennessee – Jarrod Parker (2007) will get the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (12-14) vs. San Jose
A South Bend (8-16) at Dayton – Bradin Hagens (2009) will get the ball tonight for the Hawks.

MLB Debuts and other stuff …

OK, with 55 days until Opening Night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, 53 days before the season opens in Helena; we come to find out that Osprey radio voice Ben Catley was actually right about something

– Former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner made his Major League debut on Tuesday for the San Diego Padres against the Atlanta Braves. The move was made Monday by the Padres, and Scribs appeared in the game the next night. He pitched two innings in his debut, allowing two hits and a walk, but no runs. And, apparently, it wasn’t smooth travel for him, either.

– Injuries are starting to inflitrate the Florida Marlins’ outfield. May give former Osprey infielder-turned-utility specialist Emilio Bonifacio more playing time.

– Here’s some inside the numbers stuff from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on some of the former Osprey in the minors.

Speaking of the minor leagues …
Minor League Update:

Triple-A Reno: Enjoyed a scheduled day off on Wednesday.

– Double-A Mobile: Rained out … again … at Jackson.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Adam Eaton had two hits and three stolen bases, while Yonata Ortega picked up the win in relief as the Rawhide bested Bakersfield, 10-7. Ortega and Diogenes Rosario combined for four shutout innings, and the Rawhide scored six times in the top of the ninth inning to come from behind for the win. David Nick and Rossmel Perez had two hits each for Visalia, while Chris Owings homered in the win.

– Class A South Bend: Rained out at Bowling Green.

Today’s schedule and former Osprey in the probables …
AAA Reno (13-6) vs. Tacoma
AA Mobile (12-6) at Birmingham – Starters TBA
A Adv. Visalia (8-12) at Bakersfield – Trevor Harden gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-13) at Great Lakes – Bradin Hagens will get the ball for the Hawks.

Turns out that the information we had for the Hawks and BayBears on Wednesday’s post was for … well, Wednesday. We were a little early.

Manic Monday

Countdown – T-minus 65 days until the Home Opener, 63 Days before the 2011 Season opens at Helena, and at least another week before the latest edition of the Osprey Record Book is done. Sorry, but Sunday turned into a fun day …

– First, a quick reminder that the Osprey Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula.

– Bobby Borchering had started in quite the funk for the Visalia Rawhide this season. Let’s hope Sunday’s effort goes a ways in breaking that up. We here at Bird Droppings hopes the same thing can happen to Pedro Ciriaco, and soon.

– Speaking of Visalia, their games attract runs like free food brings people out of the woodwork. Sunday’s win was the first time in four games this season that one of the teams involved scored at least 10 runs.

– Speaking of a ton of runs, Mobile and Mississippi combined for 24 of them on Sunday, with the Braves earning a 14-10 win. Five of the BayBears runs came off the bat of … yup, Paul Goldschmidt, who cranked out a RBI single and a grand slam in the slugfest. Through 10 games, Goldy is 10th in hitting (.364), and leads the Southern League in home runs (6), RBIs (15), slugging pct. (.939) and OPS (1.439). Teammate Taylor Harbin (2007 Osprey) is fourth in the league in hitting with a .387 mark.

– More on the former Osprey in the farm system can be found both here and here. Also an interesting read from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro on how close the D-backs are to having a great farm system, according to ESPN’s Keith Law.

– Good signs are arriving about the early season performance of former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vasquez, especially when everyone seems to have notice the newfound bite on his curveball.

– Lyle Overbay explores one of the great mysteries of baseball life – why some guys can hit against certain teams. Overbay is a .400 hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, whom he now gets to see on a semi-regular basis with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

– Also looks like Daniel Schlereth has found a home in the Detroit Tigers bullpen, and is part of a youth movement being used on the road to (Jose) Valverde.

– Nice piece we stumbled across on former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner and his odd road to the closer role for the Tucson Padres. Scribs has been up-and-down out of the gate, with an 0-1 record, two saves, and a 6.43 ERA. In five outings, he has struggled in two of them, and been virtually unhittable in the other three. Ahh, the life of a closer …

– The South Bend Silver Hawks are struggling out of the gate – again – but the offense was helped a bit by seeing a somewhat familiar face – Kevin Eichhorn. Eichhorn (2008-10 Osprey), now in the Detroit Tigers organization, was touched up in his second start this season on Sunday, allowing four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched against the Hawks. Eichhorn also struck out six batters, and retired the order the first time through, but Raul Navarro (2010) drilled a two-out single in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader. Keon Broxton (2009) also had a bunt single (he’s at .302 for the season), while Chris Jarrett (2010) walked twice in the SB setback.

– Here’s today’s minor league schedule and former Osprey who get the call on the mound:
AAA – Reno (7-3) vs. Colorado Springs
AA – Mobile (7-3) vs. Hagerstown
A Adv. – Visalia (4-7) at Stockton
A – South Bend (2-8) at Great Lakes – lefty David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Silver Hawks.

Tuesday’s gone with the clouds …

T-minus 71 days until the Osprey open at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, 69 days before they invade Helena and look to take down the Brewers, and 68 days (at the most) before they meet the media.

Also, a significant development today in Missoula … the sun is making a basically solo appearance  in the sky. Usually, it’s hiding behind a multitude of clouds, or trying to peer through a thin layer of cloud cover. We welcome it’s appearance with mainly clear skies today. Another sign that the season is getting closer by the day …

– Former Osprey infielder Perdo Ciriaco (2005) showed off his glove skills on this line drive during the opener for the Indianapolis Indians. Ciriaco was one of the last cuts for the Pittsburgh Pirates before they broke camp this past Spring Training. The glove is there, but Ciriaco is just 2-for-18 (.111) in the first five games this season, with two stolen bases.

Jarrod Parker’s 2011 debut was one to forget, as Double-A Mobile lost for the first time this season, 10-4, to Carolina. Parker (2007) was tagged for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) continued his strong start, collecting another hit and run scored, and watched as his average fell … to .571.

A myriad of notes from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro, including the threat of a “Goldy Watch”-type piece (that’s what we called it last season when we were tracking the Goldschmidt Home Run Train) and where Raul Navarro (2010) was ticketed to head to, which changed by the time March was over.

– Baltimore’s fans are apparently feeling it, so to speak, after their fast start. A couple of them were giving Jose Valverde (2000) the business during the Detroit Tigers’ series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  Nice to know fellow Osprey Daniel Schlereth (2008) had his back. By the way, Valverde has two saves in two tries, and Schlereth has allowed just a run on three hits and two walks in his first four innings of work.

And here’s your little-known fact of the day. In the movie Major League 2, which had all of the game-related footage shot inside Camden Yards in Baltimore, the bullpen scenes involving Charlie Sheen were actually shot in the visitor’s bullpen, which is behind the O’s bullpen in the Camden Yards layout. There’s also a walkway right above the bullpen bench area, which you can notice in this clip.

– The players at Extended Spring Training are back to work, after taking a short break. The grind will include six days of work, and a day off, each week. Mike Belfiore (2009), who is on the South Bend DL by expected to be on the Visalia pitching staff before long, is joined by 2010 former Osprey Robby Rowland and Stephen Cardullo, among others.

Lofty – and tight – goals

Word has it that the rims have been loosened, finally, at Reliant Stadium. For anyone who listened to the radio broadcast of the men’s college basketball title game on Monday, former Georgetown head coach John Thompson referred often to the “tight rims” as shots for both teams were going in and out of the cylinders. Let’s hope the Osprey pitchers don’t run into tight strike zones this season.

The funny thing uttered this morning – if any starting Major League pitcher could hold their opponents to the success rate at the plate of Butler’s made field goals from the title game (which, in baseball terms, would be .188), they’ll likely win the Cy Young.

Which begs the question – do you know which Osprey pitcher, with at least 65 innings pitched, holds the record for lowest opponents’ batting average for a single season? We will post the answer on Thursday.

– Carlos Gonzalez (2003 Osprey) did something in 2010 that no other former Missoula Osprey has been able to do since the organization took flight in 1999 … be in the Top 3 in a Major League MVP vote. And you would think that, now, with a lengthy contract and job security, a player could have a tendency to allow that success to carry him for a bit.

But CarGo is not one of those guys – especially when you set a goal like putting up a 40 HR/40 steal season. If he does pull off the 40/40 trick, he would be the first player ever from Venezuela to achieve the single-season milestone.

– More CarGo – partially because a miniature version could be coming soon to an Ogren Park Allegiance Field near you – how about this catch?

– Speaking of former Osprey playing at elevation … until a blister ended his night early, former Osprey pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000) looked good in his first start of the 2011 season.

– Another former Osprey off to a good start is Miguel Montero. Miggy (2002-03 Osprey) has gone 6-for-12 with a home run and two RBIs in the first three games. Montero also had an extra-base hit taken away from him by … CarGo. It was Montero whom Gonzalez robbed in the 7th with that diving catch on Saturday.

– More Miggy – he apparently had what Arizona Republic reporter Nick Piecoro called an “interaction” with outfielder Chris Young following the Saturday loss at Coors Field. It also sounds like D-backs manager Kirk Gibson likes the fight his team is showing.

– Gerardo Parra (2006) also had his own incident on Saturday night, with of all people, Jorge De La Rosa. Piecoro has pieces of the story, but there’s a missing piece floating somewhere, and the origins may only be known to the two people involved.

Coming Thursday – Extended Spring Training stuff, those amazing Pirates, and the fulfillment of the trivia quotent for the week.

Was it you … were you among the two?

Countdowns – t-minus 86 days until the home opener, 84 days until the season opener, and about 80 days before the standard sweating begins in the Osprey Radio booth. Or is that 75? We forget …

By the way, we here at Bird Droppings salute the two people (or the one person who, on a whim, filled out two brackets, and did not change their Final Four) who picked all four of the Final Four teams in the ESPN Tournament Bracket Challenge. That was two out of 6,000,000-plus brackets.

…. as that sinks in, on with the nuggets ….

– While the official announcement is still a few days away, it’s looking like most of the 2010 starting rotation for the Osprey will be headed to South Bend to at least start the season.  South Bend SilverHawks radio broadcaster Owen Serey blogged about who could be headed that way recently. The official announcement isn’t expected to be until this weekend – South Bend has an exhibition game next Tuesday at Notre Dame.

– Opening Day is Thursday, and that means that Major League clubs will also be making decisions as to who will be on their 25-man rosters. Two of those decisions, which involved former Osprey, came down on Monday:

The Arizona Diamondbacks have optioned Jordan Norberto (2006 Osprey) to Triple-A Reno to begin the 2011 season. In nine appearances, Norberto collected one save in one opportunity and posted a 6.23 ERA, walking six batters in 8 2/3 innings pitched. Norberto slumped a bit toward the end of spring while trying to compete for a spot in the D-backs’ bullpen.

Also, the Pittsburgh Pirates have opted to option infielder Pedro Ciriaco (2005)  to Triple-A Indianapolis. Here’s one Pittsburgh writer’s take on the situation.

Good news about Clay Zavada, according to Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro. Which, of course, got us thinking about that ‘stache …

We could not resist adding a Clay Zavada tribute video we found on YouTube.

We’ll keep up with the latest both here and on the Official Home Page of the Missoula Osprey, www.missoulaosprey.com.

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