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.”
– 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.
So we’re drawing close – 34 days before the home opener, 32 days before the season gets underway, and 20 days before the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
– Bobby Borchering (2009) had a big day at the plate to support Major League pitcher Zach Duke – who was in Visalia on a rehab assignment – in a rout of Rancho Cucamonga. More on this one in the Minor League recap below.
– While Miguel Montero (2002-03) has been solid most of the season at the plate for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra continues to get better. Both had a huge hand in a win on Tuesday for the D-backs. Parra drove in a pair of runs in the victory, but it was Montero’s RBI double that snapped a 1-1 tie in a 6-1 win.
– Speaking of Parra (2006), with the two hits he collected in the D-backs’ 5-4, 11-inning win over Atlanta on Wednesday, he’s now hitting .264 (which is below his .275 career BA) with a pair of home runs and 10 RBIs. While some may yearn for more on the power side, Parra’s defense makes up for it, as he has turned into a very good outfielder. Of course, when we can, we provide video evidence.
– Reading this blog entry could make one feel bad for former Osprey Carlos Gonzalez (2003) and Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000). De La Rosa ended up getting locked into a pitcher’s duel with Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels last night, but the Phillies ended up with the win. It was by far the best pitching performance not only of the season for the lefty, but in his career against the Phillies.
– If you’ve been wondering about Greg Smith (2005), and can’t find him on the Colorado Springs SkySox roster – there is a reason. The Rockies released Smith after Spring Training, and he ended up signing with the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association. In two starts, the lefty, who was the 2005 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, including a complete-game shutout in his latest outing.
Minor League Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces had an off-day on Wednesday, as they prepared for a road trip that begins in Albuquereue and continues to Round Rock.
– Double-A Mobile: Deuces were running wild for Paul Goldschmidt (2009) on Wednesday, with two singles, two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored in a 4-for-6 game as Mobile routed Carolina, 16-6. Ollie Linton (2008) singled, walked and scored three times, while Kyle Greene (2008) doubled, drove in a run and also scored thrice.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: In the 10-2 win over Ranch Cucamonga, Adam Eaton (2010) had a huge day – hitting a home run, triple, two singles, scored three times and drove in a pair of runs. Eaton’s now second in the Cal League in hitting (.395) and leads in on-base percentage (.500). Derek Eitel (2010), who was scheduled to make the start before the D-backs decided to place Duke there for the rehab assignment, pitched two innings and allowed a run on four hits, with two strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) and Yonata Ortega (2007) each pitched an inning of scoreless relief. David Nick (2009) added two hits and two runs scored, while Keon Broxton (2009) chipped in with a hit and a run.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks fell to Lansing, 5-3, on Wednesday. It was a good day for former Osprey pitchers – Jeff Shields (2010) had an effective start, with five innings pitched and three runs allowed, followed by two shutout innings of work by Daniel Taylor (2010), and Keith Cantwell (2009) added a shutout inning as well. At the plate, though, the lone former Osprey to get a hit was Roberto Rodriguez (2010), who came into the game after Bobby Stone was apparently injured during his first at-bat. No word on what the injury was, or how long, or if, it will keep him out of action.
Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-15) at Albuquerque.
AA Mobile (23-15) at Tennessee.
A Adv. Visalia (19-21) at Rancho Cucamonga – Trevor Harden (2008) will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (17-23) vs. Lansing – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call for the Hawks tonight.
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).
– 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.
The big 5-0 is here – as in days before the home opener. There are also 48 days until the season opens … speaking of 50, we wonder who the last Osprey player to make it to the Major Leagues was that wore #50 while they were in Missoula?? Oh, we know the answer …
– Good story from the Denver Post on the struggles of Rockies outfielder (and former Osprey) Carlos Gonzalez (2003). When he does get it straightened out … look out … and with their struggles, Colorado is still 4 1/2 games ahead of the pack in the NL West.
– Can you name former Osprey (other than CarGo) who have made ESPN’s Top 10 plays so far this season? Would you believe that Daniel Schlereth (2008) is on that list?? Schlereth made a defensive play last week that earned him a spot on the list that night, no doubt. Gotta love the option pitch move to get the out.
– Sergio Santos (2002) managed to get that one-on-one with Mariano Rivera he wanted when the Chicago White Sox were in New York to play the Yankees last week. The former Osprey infielder-turned-closer … er, relief pitcher … talked to Rivera during Yankees’ batting practice.
– Emilio Bonifacio (2003) had another first in his career on Sunday. Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez also produces a funny quote …
– By the way … the answer to the above question would be – Bryan Augenstein (2007). Auggie is still on the St. Louis Cardinals’ DL with a pulled right groin muscle, which he suffered during an appearance at Chase Field last month.
Minor League Update
– Triple-A Reno: Jordan Norberto and Daniel Stange combined for 3 1/3 innings of one-run relief on Monday, helping the Reno Aces win at Las vegas, 12-8. The Aces scored 10 runs in the top of the fifth, but nearly let thing get out of hand, until Norberto shut the door on a fifth-inning answer and picked up the win. Both Norberto and Stange pitched out of the Osprey bullpen in 2006.
– Double-A Mobile: Jake Elmore (2008) is really enjoying hitting in front of Paul Goldschmidt (2009). Elmo had three hits, while Taylor Harbin (2007) collected two safeties and Goldschmidt drove in his 23rd run of the season with a single, but the pitching (namely Josh Ellis (2007), who gave up four runs) struggled for the BayBears in a 10-3 loss at Birmingham. All three former Osprey are now hitting over .330 – Harbin at .347, Goldy at .342, and Elmore at .339. Clay Zavada pitched to five batters, gave up a single, and struck out a pair to lower his ERA to 2.84. One other note – the suddenly fleet-footed Goldschmidt was caught for the second time in five tries this season stealing a base.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide knocked off San Jose, 5-4, last night at Recreation Park, getting the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Yonata Ortega (2007) gave up two unearned runs in the top of the ninth, but pitched a scoreless 10th for the win. Chris Owings (2009) scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Keon Broxton (2009) to get the win for Visalia, who is now 3-0 since manager Jason Hardtke was ejected from a game. Owings and 2009 Osprey teammate Bobby Borchering (RBI), who was also on base at the time, each had two hits to buoy the Rawhide offense, while Kyle Greene (2008) had a single and walked twice.
– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm, Roberto Rodriguez and Ender Inciarte each had a hit, but the SilverHawks struggled in a 7-1 loss to Great Lakes. Jeff Shields was touched up for six runs in three-plus innings to take the loss. Both Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Kable Hogben (2009) pitched shutout relief for South Bend.
Today’s games (and probable former Osprey pitchers):
AAA Reno (16-8) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (16-9) vs. Tennessee
A Adv. Visalia (12-13) vs. San Jose – Trevor Harden (2008) gets the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (8-15) vs. Great Lakes – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) will take the ball for the Hawks.
T-minus 56 days until Opening Day, 54 days before the season opens, and while we don’t condone betting in any way, it appears as if the line favors there being an Osprey home run before any NFL player will be allowed to work out in their own facility, post-lockout-lifting. Oh, wait, one did already? Never mind …
– Both Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero are among the D-backs who are on the NL All-Star Ballot. Vote now, and often (up to 25 times)! Other former Osprey on the All-Star Ballot are Pittsburgh first baseman Lyle Overbay and Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
– Speaking of CarGo, he’s slumping at the moment, and even took a day off on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
– Former Osprey infielder, and current Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Sergio Santos had one thing on his “to-do” list while the Pale Hose were calling on Yankee Stadium this week – meet Mariano Rivera and pick his brain about being a closer.
– Just in case you didn’t know … look who leads the minors in home runs.
– Here’s the latest stats for some of the former Osprey in the Major Leagues (as of April 27, 2011):
Miguel Montero (C, Ariz.) – . 292, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Gerardo Parra (OF, Ariz.) – .309, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Lyle Overbay (1B, Pit.) – .253, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez (OF, Colo.) – .217, 1 HR, 14 RBI
Scott Hairston (OF, NYM)- . 179, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Emilio Bonifacio (IF/OF, Fla.) – .302, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB
Jose Valverde (RHP, Det.) – 2-0, 5-5 saves, 0.93 ERA, 9 Ks in 9 2/3 innings pitched.
Daniel Schlereth (LHP, Det.) – 0-0, 2.57 ERA
Esmerling Vasquez (RHP, Ariz.) – 0-1, 2.35 ERA, 0-1 saves
Tony Pena (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-1, 7.71 ERA, 0-1 saves
Sergio Santos (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-0, 2-2 saves, 0.00 ERA, 14 Ks in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Bryan Augenstein (RHP, St. Louis) – 0-1, 9.53 ERA, currently on 15-day DL with groin injury.
Jorge De La Rosa (LHP, Colo.) – 4-0, 2.61 ERA, .179 opponents BA, 1 HR allowed in 31 innings pitched.
Time for the Minors roundup ….
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces rallied past Fresno, 6-5, on Tuesday.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears had their twinbill with Jackson postponed again due to rain. Yet, Paul Goldschmidt still leads the minors in home runs.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide had eight hits – two each for David Nick (double, 2 RBIs) and Rossmel Perez – but the see-saw ending turned in the bottom of the ninth, with the host Bakersfield Blaze winning, 6-5. Eric Smith allowed three earned runs in his six innings of work, while Adam Worthington surrendered two runs, both unearned, in the bottom of the eighth, which gave the Blaze a 5-3 lead. Nick doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Chris Owings also had a double for the Rawhide.
– Class A South Bend : The SilverHawks had their game with Bowling Green postponed due to rain, and it will be made up on May 14 as part of a doubleheader.
AAA Reno (13-6) will have today off, before starting a series with Tacoma on Thursday.
AA Mobile (12-6) at Birmingham. No word as of yet who will start for the BayBears
A Adv. Visalia (7-12) at Bakersfield. Derek Eitel will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-13) at Lake County. Bradin Hagens will get the start aainst the Captains.
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.
There are a few days that we here at the Missoula Osprey office look forward to which take place before our season begins. One of those – or, actually, more like three of those days – would be around the First-Year Player Draft.
Another one of those days is shortly after, when the D-backs announce who will be coming to Missoula, and the following days when we relay those announcements.
The third time begins … now.
This is the time that Major League teams announce their 25-man Opening Day rosters, and the minor-league teams also inform all of us who is headed where this season.
Unless you know one of the minor-leaguers, or keep tabs of them through social media means, the announcement of the rosters are the first indication of the progress they are making through the spring, unless they end up playing in a game or 10 with the parent club during the spring.
But, on occasion, we do get some inside information that we can pass along … with that in mind, as promised in the comments section of a prior post, we at Bird Droppings have found these nuggets:
– Derek Eitel has long suspected that he would start the season in South Bend, but the 2010 former Osprey will begin the season in the SilverHawks bullpen. Patrick Schuster (2009-10) will also open the season in South Bend.
– Robby Rowland, also a member of the 2010 Osprey, will not be on a full-season roster to start the minor-league season. Instead, Rowland will stay in extended spring training.
There’s other items of suspicion, like that 2009 Osprey alum Bobby Borchering will start at Class A Advanced Visalia. The Arizona Republic penned a very interesting story on Borchering’s youth. We have to admit, we’re all a little jealous of his backyard field …
– Adam Eaton (2010) informed his friends on Facebook on Tuesday night that he will start the 2010 season in the Visalia outfield. Not a surprise, with Eaton making the most of his looks in games he appeared in with the D-backs in Cactus League action.
– Former Osprey catcher Wilkin Castillo (2004) will start the season in Georgia, just not the destination we were hoping for.
– It looks like former Osprey reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008) will be standing on the line at Yankee Stadium with his Detroit Tiger teammates on Thursday. The official announcement is expected to happen today, but it’s pretty apparent he’ll be in the bullpen for the Tigers this season, barring injury. Which, if you have followed the Tigers at all, seems to go with their bullpen.
– Back to the D-backs, as it is now apparent that the final spot on the 25-man roster is in the Mibullpen, with former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vazquez (2004), who has put together a solid spring, in contention for the spot. Especially with former Osprey left-hander Jordan Norberto now at Triple-A.
This means the following former Osprey (pending official announcements) will likely be on Major League Opening Day Rosters:
– Miguel Montero, Arizona
– Gerardo Parra, Arizona
– Lyle Overbay, Pittsburgh
– Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
– Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado
– Jose Valverde, Detroit
– Daniel Schlereth, Detroit
– Sergio Santos, Chicago White Sox
– Tony Pena, Chicago White Sox
– Emilio Bonifacio, Florida
– Scott Hairston, NY Mets
Tomorrow, more roster news, and some updates on former Osprey who managed to get in some looks with the parent club in the last few days of Spring Training, as well as one former Osprey who will be back behind the plate soon enough – albeit in Michigan.
OK, so this entry, coming on what is known as “Bracket Monday” will have nothing to do with a bracket of any sort, unless you were creating one to see whom Paul Goldschmidt would outlast in camp for the D-backs first base job. In which case, you bracket officially became busted on Sunday.
– The Arizona Diamondbacks made a bunch of roster moves over the weekend. The good news first – everyone on the 40-man roster now is under contract, including a handful of former Osprey. Those players who signed their one-year deals were right-handed pitchers Yonata Ortega, Daniel Stange and Esmerling Vasquez; left-handed pitcher Jordan Norberto; catcher John Hester; and outfielder Gerardo Parra.
– The inevitable news … the beginning of trimming the roster. Read about the former Osprey who were sent back to minor-league camp here.
– The D-backs’ now have 40 players in Major League camp, 32 on the 40-man roster and 8 non-roster players. One of those non-roster players – 2010 Osprey alum Adam Eaton, whom apparently reported to minor-league camp in great shape after working out with his former Miami University teammates in the off-season. Here’s a story from his hometown newspaper getting into more on his off-season.
– Here’s a story that ran in Sunday’s Arizona Republic on former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. What might have been …
– Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro blogs about the minors, including the potential rotations in both Mobile and Visalia. A number of former Osprey are included in those rotations, and could see more, since the fifth spots are still up for grabs. They’ll start playing minor-league spring games on Tuesday.
– Another nugget that Piecoro sharea is that 17-year-old prospect Wanger Mateo would start his stateside pro career with a short-season club – which means Yakima, Missoula or in the Arizona Rookie League. Mateo – who was originally signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, but concerns about his vision caused the Cards to void his deal – hit .257 with four home runs and 45 RBIs in 67 Dominican Summer League games in 2010. And if you haven’t seen the video … this was done about two years ago, but it shows a bit of Mateo’s ability.
– By the way, a big thank you to all of those who visited the Osprey booth at the 2011 Kids Fair, and who participated in the Kids National Anthem tryouts.
– The Missoula Osprey’s biggest and most successful community program is the Hit the Books Reading Program, which begins today in 31 Missoula-area elementary schools. The 2010 Osprey Hit the Books Reading Program encouraged over 4,000 area students to read over 50,000 books, and over $100,000 of prizes were awarded to students by the Osprey.
The Osprey will be hosting a Kids Tryour to sing the National Anthem and ‘America The Beautiful’ during the Kid Fair on March 12 at Southgate Mall. Full details on the tryout can be found here, and more information about the Osprey at the kids fair – including an Ollie appearance – can be found here.
Now on to the alumnus of your Missoula Osprey …
– Carlos Gonzalez talked to the MLB Network as part of their “30 Clubs in 30 Days” series, and is excited about not only the 2011 season, but being a long-term Colorado Rockie.
– Before you pen Paul Goldschmidt into the Active Roster for the Arizona Diamondbacks come April, well … read what manager Kirk Gibson told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com on Wednesday. Goldy is making it hard to not be “in the mix” though, with a two-run pinch-hit single yesterday. Arizona Republic reporter Nick Piecoro added some other thoughts to the situation.
– Also from Piecoro, video of two former Osprey taking batting practice: 2009 alums Chris Owings and Bobby Borchering. Both are in big league camp as minor league invitees.
– You can add Charles Brewer and Bryan Shaw to the list of minor-league players with Missoula ties invited to big league camp. Brewer and Shaw were both listed as backups for the Cactus League game last night with the San Francisco Giants.
– Minor-league camp opens this weekend, and there are some players who have already reported to the complex and started their preparations for the 2011 season. Most of those players are a month away from reporting to their full-season destinations, while others will begin the grind of Extended Spring Training.
Today brings us a mixed bag of things to check out, and know about, when it comes to the Missoula Osprey … just remember, it’s 111 days until the Osprey season opener, and 113 days before the Osprey home opener. It’s also 13 days before you begin to call the Osprey office and hear the countdown …
– If Gerardo Parra (2006 Osprey) wants to see some significant playing time this season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, hard work will have to come beforehand. So far, so good, according to this story.
– Another mixed-bag day for Osprey fans at Salt River Fields, with no Goldy, the return of CarGo and Mr. Smith getting touched up a bit by his former organization. Check out the box score here.
– Hector Ambriz (2006) will begin the season, by all indications, at Triple-A Columbus. The right-handed pitcher was outrighted to Columbus by the Cleveland Indians in late October, this after he was shut down in September with a sore elbow – a problem that Ambriz experienced during Spring Training. Ambriz was selected by Cleveland in the Rule V Draft in 2009, and stayed on the Active (25-man) Roster for the Tribe the entire season (DL time included). Ambriz was 0-2 with a 5.59 ERA in 2010, his first in the Major Leagues.
– Nothing like impressing your new teammates. Scott Hairston (2001 Osprey) did just that in a New York Mets intrasquad game last week. Hairston is off to a solid start this spring, going 2-for-5 in three Grapefruit League games (thru Tuesday’s games) with a double and two runs scored.
– Look for more information soon on a Kids National Anthem Tryout. It will take place during the Kids Fair on March 12, which means that Ollie Osprey will be flying by and making an appearance. The Kids Fair is the typical first weekend that Ollie gets to stretch his wings and fly back home to Missoula, although he has been spotted around town a little more frequently this winter. Details are coming soon.
– Lastly today, when looking for Osprey alumni stuff, we stumbled across this video of former Osprey, and Pioneer League Triple-Crown winner, Jesus Cota (2001), who has spent the past four seasons playing for Saltillo of the Mexican League. Cota was doing one of those “Get to know your Sarapellos” pieces. The audio, by the way, is in Spanish, although we’re pretty sure Denzel Washington translates the same in both English and Spanish.
Watching that swing, it’s not hard to see him winning a Triple Crown. He’s also hit over .330 the past two seasons for Saltillo, inlcuding when they won the Mexican League championship in 2009.