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 69 days until Opening Night at home, 67 days until the Osprey open their season at Helena, and less than 48 hours to e-file your tax returns. If you’re still doing them on paper, you have an extra three days.
– A reminder, the Osprey will hold a Job Fair on Tuesday, April 19, at the DoubleTree Hotel from 3-8 p.m. There are many day-of-game positions available for the 2011 season at the Job Fair. You will be able to complete applications and have an interview during the event.
-Esmerling Vasquez (2004) is back with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Vasquez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief in Wednesday’s 15-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander threw just one inning in Reno, getting a strikeout and not allowing a thing, and is coming off of a strong Spring Training, something which has helped with his confidence.
– Tom Layne, meanwhile, was being groomed as a reliever, but the crafty lefty is suddenly in Reno’s rotation. His performance last night may be enough to allow that to happen. Layne allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, while scattering five hits and two walks, and struck out five in a win at Colorado Springs. The Aces have now won five in a row after losing their opener.
– Not so good news for former Osprey Matt Helm, who apparently is down with an injury.
– A good win for Double-A Mobile on Wednesday, as they beat Mississippi in their home opener. And, yes, former Osprey had their hands all over the win, although Goldy lost an apparent home run. The BayBears also made a roster move, one which brings former Osprey reliever Josh Ellis down from Reno, where he had yet to make an appearance this season.
– The prices of things all around us may have gone up, but the good news Osprey baseball will once again be very affordable this season. Read more here as studies show that minor league baseball is still a great bargain.
– Here are some ERAs from the Chicago White Sox bullpen – 0.00, 2.84, 7.36, 7.71, 11.25 and 11.57. Can you guess which belongs to former Osprey Sergio Santos and Tony Pena? Well, while White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had his first meltdown of the 2011 season following a six-run, two-inning run by the Oakland A’s that victimized the Pale Hose once again, we discovered the numbers – which are ugly.
Unless your last name is Santos.
Sergio is at it again, and while there have been thoughts of moving him into the closer’s role, this may be the incident that pushes Guillen to follow his gut and do just that. Santos is still pitching in special circumstances – dubbed the “Santos Rules” last season – and so far, he has done well. In five appearances, the 2002 former Osprey infielder-turned-pitcher has pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out nine batters. And Santos, after Wednesday’s action, had not allowed a run. His 1.04 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) is second to only Gavin Floyd’s 0.93.
The same is not true of Pena, unfortunately, who is struggling with an 11.25 ERA in the first 12 games this season. There was some consideration to move Pena into the rotation with the absence of Jake Peavy, but he has struggled in his five outings, which include a blown save.
– For people who are ready and can’t wait to watch live baseball, the Missoula Mavericks American Legion squad takes to the field for their first game of the 2011 season on Saturday, when they will host the Great Falls Chargers in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the old Osprey nesting ground, better known as Lindborg-Cregg Field.
More notes from former Missoula Osprey players currently at Spring Training …
– MLB.com has released its Top 10 Prospects list for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it should be no surprise that half of the list are former Missoula Osprey. Jarrod Parker, who pitched out of trouble in his Spring Training debut on Monday, is tops on the list. Read about the others, and the “under the radar” players, here.
– Guys who tend to struggle with controlling the strike zone have been put on notice … it’s time to throw strikes. One of those arms who is hoping to do just that is on the left side of former Osprey pitcher Jordan Norberto. A very telling quote from D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, from The Tao of Steve blog, written by MLB.com D-backs’ beat writer Steve Gilbert.
– Details from Monday’s rough one against the Rockies are here. At the bottom of the entry contains today’s pitching schedule. By the way, they will play the Rockies, again. It should be noted that when the play games in Extended Spring Training and Instructional League, they also play the Rockies, over and over again.
– Lyle Overbay is in a new camp this season, after signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Good piece from the Globe and Mail in his old stomping grounds in Toronto on his fresh start.
– Word has it that Sergio Santos could go from setup man to closer for the Chicago White Sox this season. He’s one of four under consideration for the role, one that he would welcome having sooner or later.
– Last but not least, it’s hard not to be a fan of D-backs’ lefty, and former Osprey, Clay Zavada (2006). As he comes back from Tommy John surgery to his left elbow, apparently there’s more than that making a comeback.