by Ben Catley
94 days before the Season Opener and Home Opener
Well, the Major League Baseball season starts in two weeks. Yup, two weeks. I will let that set in for a moment …
Can you only imagine how this will all play out? No matter where your allegiances lie, there is plenty of intrigue about to play out all over the place.
Except in Center Field and at the top of the order for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where it is looking more and more like Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) has taken full advantage of his opportunity and locked down that job. Eaton was featured in a MiLB Prospect Q&A recently, sharing a number of things, especially the reason why he doesn’t mind being a magnet for baseballs while he is at-bat. By the way, Eaton is hitting .358 this spring, with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs. Continue reading
There are about 106 days before Opening Night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Get ready Osprey fans!!
– Ollie Osprey will be at Southgate Mall on Saturday from 11:30 until 1:30, dropping by for his annual visit at the Kids Fair. The Osprey will have a booth for the duration of the event, which will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Kids will be able to join the Ollie Osprey Kid’s Club at the event, as well as sign up for the Osprey Baseball Camp, taking place on August 14-16 at Ogren Park Allegiance Field.
– The lineup for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, with the D-backs playing Team Mexico, included former Osprey Adam Eaton (2010) and Paul Goldschmidt (2009) hitting 1-3 in the order. Not too bad. Especially since Goldy is putting together one whale of a spring – minus last night’s 0-for-2 exhibition game against Mexico, Goldy is hitting .467 in eight Cactus League games, with a double, RBI and five walks. Eaton, meanwhile, ended up getting a half-inning interview on the telecast – which lasted six pitches. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
The end of February is here, and as the World Baseball Classic gets underway beginning tomorrow, it leaves us with more time to focus on what should be an interesting couple of weeks at Arizona Diamondbacks camp. Three mainstays for the D-backs – Gerardo Parra (2006 Osprey), Miguel Montero (2002-03) and newly-acquired Martin Prado will play for Venezuela, as will former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003).
Parra was held out of Wednesday’s game against Cincinnati with soreness in his left arm. Nothing serious, and he should be back in the lineup when the D-backs play today. Parra also has received some advice from manager Kirk Gibson as it pertains to his two early errors in Cactus League play … and some of it has to do with his new glove.
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. Continue reading
Former Missoula Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003) has earned his second National League Gold Glove award of his career. The best defensive players at each position were announced earlier at each position by Major League Baseball and Rawlings, the long-time sponsor of the award.
Gonzalez also earned the honor during his breakout season in 2010, which he also earned in left field.
We’ll have more information on this on Wednesday on MissoulaOsprey.com.
by Ben Catley
OK … first, Carlos Gonzalez (2003) was 0-for-2 while batting leadoff for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Kansas City. CarGo, who was the team’s designated hitter, set a little bit of Osprey history in the game, becoming the first Missoula alum to start an midsummer classic. He’s the third former Osprey to play in the game, joining Miguel Montero (2002-03) and Jose Valverde (2000). Valverde pitched for the NL in 2007, and for the AL in both 2010 and 2011. Montero played for the National League in 2011.
Now, the Missoula Osprey have announced a change in their starting rotation for this week. Five right-handers will be in the rotation – Karl Triana will go on Wednesday, while Yoimer Camacho goes Thursday and Jared Ray gets the start on Friday against Grand Junction, with Ross Gerdeman pitching Saturday and Chris Pack on Sunday against Orem. Triana and Camacho will go on Monday and Tuesday against the Owlz. More information to come on this tomorrow …
by Ben Catley
OK, so after I had this all written, and set to post at a certain time, it would be helpful to not to change the year. Better late than never, I guess. So now that I have figured that out … let’s not hide all of this until next year, shall we. Especially this part …
36 days until Opening Night at home, 32 days until Opening Day in Billings Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Time for a dose of Six Degrees of Separation, Osprey style.
There have only been two cycles hit at the Major League level by former Osprey players, with the second one happening on Friday night in Denver. New York Mets outfielder Scott Hairston, a 2001 member of the Osprey, hit for the cycle in a game which turned into an 18-9 loss to the Colorado Rockies. In part, the win – buoyed by an 11-run fifth inning – was ignited by former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003), who drove in six runs on the night, five in that fifth inning. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis has a very solid theory to success in the Pioneer League … experience pays off up the middle. The more of it you have at shortstop, second base, in center field and behind the plate, the better off you will be as a team, and will give you the best chance to compete.
It’s beginning to look a lot like his theory will be given a stiff test this season.
Among the 17 players who have been announced to the Osprey roster (the full details as to the other seven will be coming later today in a story on MissoulaOsprey.com), all of them have either spent at least one season playing professionally, or have played collegiately, or both.
The key position, of course, is shortstop. And with collegiate shortstops Joshua Parr and Stephen Cardullo on the roster, it’s looking like the Osprey will be strong at that position.
Eventually, a number of collegiate shortstops move to second base – and that may be in Cardullo’s future as well – but the prospects of what lies ahead for the Osprey is downright exciting.
More on this later, but for now … on to the rest of the blog …
– Big night for former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03), who drove in four runs last night in the D-backs’ big win over Florida.
– Here’s a video of something that it cool to see … a hit to a former Osprey, and a throw to a former Osprey to tag out a former Osprey.
– Speaking of the D-backs … two interesting notes. One is that the top two picks from the 2011 MLB Draft, pitchers Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley, will be in Phoenix this week. The other may spark some debate, as D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall would consider a move to the American League if asked. Since the story was posted last night on the D-backs’ website, there have been about 50 comments – most of them are not in favor of a move.
– Former Osprey pitcher Jose Valverde (2000) picked up the win last night for the Tigers in an extra-inning decision over Tampa Bay. Here’s a video interview done with Valverde a couple of weeks ago. He has quite the personality.
– We get the feeling that CarGo is locked in now … especially with his move to the leadoff spot.
– Goldy Watch: Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 2-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in Mobile’s 2-1 loss at Birmingham. The two hits raised Goldy’s batting average to .348.
– Roster Move: The D-backs have sent 1B Ramon Castillo from South Bend to Triple-A Reno.
On to the Minor League Update:
Triple-A Reno: The Aces hung on for a 15-9 win over Tucson on Monday. Josh Ellis (2007) was touched up a bit in his outing, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched, but also singled and scored a run. Jordan Norberto (2006) picked up the win in relief, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out a pair of batters. Also at the plate, first baseman Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a pair of runs scored.
Double-A Mobile: In the 2-1 loss on Monday, Ollie Linton (2008) went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jake Elmore (2008) and Taylor Harbin (2007) went a combined 0-for-9.
Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide surrendered a five-run bottom of the 7th inning and dropped an 8-3 decision at Modesto on Monday. Rossmel Perez (2008) doubled and drove in a run, while David Nick (2009), Chirs Owings (2009) and Bobby Borchering (2009) each had a hit in the setback. Diogenes Rosario (2009) fared well in his start, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, and came away with a no-decision. Of those five runs, four were unearned. Taylor Sinclair (2008) gave up the final unearned run on two hits.
Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks enjoyed a day off on Monday.
DSL D-backs: The Baby Backs beat the DSL Twins, 1-0. Alan Santiago (2009) went 1-for-3 at the plate to raise his batting average to .269.
Today’s Action and Osprey Probables:
AAA Reno (38-27) vs. Tucson
AA Mobile (36-29) has the day off … Montgomery will be in for a five-game series beginning Wednesday.
A Adv. Visalia (28-35) at Modesto – Eric Smith (2009) will hit the bump tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (31-32) at Lansing
DSL D-backs (5-7) at DSL Padres
We have 24 days before the 2011 season cranks up, 26 days before the home opener, and a mere … wait, there’s just over three weeks before the season opens up? Wow … it’s almost here!
– Off the top – two roster moves announced today by the Arizona Diamondbacks … IF/OF Kyle Greene (2008) has been promoted to Triple-A Reno, while Roidany Aguila (2009-10) has been promoted to Class A Advanced Visalia.
– Right now, the Arizona Diamondbacks are hotter than a ember from a popped-off 4th of July firecracker, winning their 9th game in 10 tries last night at Colorado. Miguel Montero (2002-03) played a big role in the 6-3 win.
– Also in that game … CarGo went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Gerardo Parra (2006) did not play, and went oh-for-the-series. He’s still hitting a respectible .261, however, in 43 games.
– The streaking D-backs … and, by the way, just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s 11-2 over the past 13 games, and 2nd place in the NL West … now head to Houston. Get ready here. Note the pic they used on the post – Jose Valverde (2000), when he was in Houston. He’s now in Detroit.
– The whole Buster Posey-Scott Cousins collision was started by … a sacrifice fly by former Osprey Emilio Bonifacio (2003). (Heads-up … the video does have slow-motion of the collision.) The worst part – Posey never really had possession of the baseball. Do you think the rule needs to be changed for plays at the plate? Comment below and let us know!
– Daniel Schlereth (2008) may have only been with the Osprey a month to begin his professional baseball career, but he left quite an impression in the clubhouse. He’s already doing similar things in the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen.
– This just in … Ollie Osprey is about to break the single-game attendance mark in Facebook friends. The mark is 4,076, and at last report, Ollie was just five friends away from tying the mark. Whomever is fan number 4,077 gets a cool prize pack from the Missoula Osprey!! Search Ollie Osprey on Facebook, or go here for details on getting to Ollie’s page.
Minor League Update
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Round Rock on Thursday, 6-5. Jordan Norberto had a rollar-coaster inning … he allowed two runs on three hits, and struck out the side.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears fell into a first-place tie for the Southern League’s Southern Division lead with an 8-3 loss to Jackson on Thursday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, while Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-fro-2 with a pair of walks and a RBI. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-4 on the night. Jarrod Parker (2007) allowed just one earned run (two total) in five innings of work, on four hits and a pair of walks, with four strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched two innings of relief, and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, with three strikeouts.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide picked up a 7-5 win over Stockton on Thursday. Chris Owings (2009) singled, doubled, drove in a run and scored one, while Adam Eaton (2010) added a double and two RBIs. Rossmel Perez (2008) walked, singled and scored twice, while David Nick (2009) also reached base twice and scored both times. Keon Broxton (2009) also plated a run with a sacrifice fly. On the bump, the pair of former Osprey who came on in relief of Tyler Skaggs did not have their best nights … Diogenes Rosario (2009) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, with a strikeout in his inning of work, while Christian Beltre (2007) allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits.
– Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks had a chance to climb to the .500 mark, and after winning the first game of a scheduled doubleheader with Lake County, appeared to be on their way. However, Mother Nature won the nightcap, which was cancelled due to rain. Bradin Hagens (2009) and Jeremy Erben (2010) combined on a three-hitter, not allowing an earned runin the process. Erben fanned two batters in his two innings of work, while Hagens produced 12 ground-ball outs. All of the runs were driven in by former Osprey – Roberto Rodriguez (2010) and Ramon Castillo (2009) had a pair of two-run doubles in a four-run third inning, while Ender Inciarte (2009) capped off the scoring with a RBI hit. Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a base hit and scored a run, while Chris Jarrett (2010) added a hit, and Raywilly Gomez (2009) also scored a run.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (28-20) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (25-21) vs. Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (22-25) vs. Stockton – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (23-24) vs. Dayton – JR Bradley (2010), who was scheduled to start in Game 2 last night, gets the start tonight instead.