Results tagged ‘ Chris Owings ’

Inside pitches and ’11 Osprey, lost feeds and more moves

by Ben Catley

Right to it … I have some catching up to do …

– The Mobile BayBears may be poised to make another run for the Southern League title, especially with the roster they will begin with this season. Added to that mix was outfielder Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey), who was sent back to minor-league camp on Thursday by the D-backs. Not a surprise that it was to Double-A Mobile, either. The D-backs have stacked the BayBears with a great rotation of Charles Brewer (2009) Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer, plus one more arm in the mix (maybe Chase Anderson, one of Brewer’s 2009 teammates in Missoula). But, wow … look at that pitching. Add Eaton to the top of the lineup, and a bevy of bats behind him, and it could be fun in ‘Bama …

– Also from the top prospects piece done by MLB.com writer Steve Gilbert … Visalia is likely to have a whale of a staff. David Holmberg (2010) should be joined by 2011 draftees (and former Osprey) Andrew Chafin and Anthony Meo, along with 2009 Osprey teammates Chris Owings at short and Bobby Borchering in left field.

– Three more Osprey to mention from the top prospects piece … catcher Michael Perez is likely headed here (No. 9 on the latest list), while 2011 Osprey pitcher Archie Bradley is targeted for South Bend … and, according to Gilbert, outfielder Justin Bianco (2011) is likely going to … the Arizona Rookie League. Don’t think that will happen … but we shall wait and see.

Of course, none of the roster stuff will  be official until next week … and we will be updating you on the list of former Osprey, and where they get assigned.

– Remember the rash of inside pitches that ended up in the faces of two players from the 2011 Osprey? Well, the rotten luck in that regard has struck again, unfortunately. Catcher Bryan Henry (yeah, 2011 Osprey, not the 2007 Osprey pitcher) is the latest victim, taking one off the face during a Class A game this week. From his Facebook status: “Thank you to our great training staff and team doctors for fixing me up and getting me the proper care.” Henry also says he had to have his nose reset, and judging by the picture he posted, he’s likely out for a bit. Get well soon Bryan!

– Note from today’s Cactus League game for the D-backs against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim … Keon Broxton managed to work his way for a double late in the game. I was trying to watch it, but the feed dropped just as I heard “Broxton to the plate” … I’m glad he updated me. He’s another one who is likely headed to Visalia or Mobile. Today’s game also had a Raymond Hernandez sighting … as he pitched in relief.

– The latest fodder as to Miguel Montero (2002-03) and his future uniforms … if he becomes a free agent, the likely spots he could land. And what does he reportedly want (or at least his agent wants him to sign for)? V-Mart money.

– I had to share this … Trevor Bauer’s late-night Twitter feed.

– Here’s a good numbers post on projecting batting averages and on-base percentages for the D-backs in 2012.

– Here’s your dose of Gerardo Parra (2006) … this time, it’s with the role he’ll have to at least start the season. Which is backing up all three outfield positions.

– Jose Valverde (2000) underwent a physical change this offseason. He also has an interesting take on Prince Fielder.

Tomorrow … I know, a day late … the Predictions of the Next Osprey Position Players/Pitchers to make their MLB Debuts. As long as I don’t get caught up in another wild sports day, that is.

Mistaken identities, Extended Spring Training and others …

by Ben Catley

You think it would have happened sooner.

While doing plenty of searches during the 2010 MLB Draft, I was reminded quite often about the Adam Eaton (2010, and, yes I am speaking of OUR Adam Eaton at the moment) identity crisis. At least I knew where Eaton was coming from – Miami University of Ohio. Easy to determine the difference between the two, right??

The non-Osprey Adam Eaton is a tall, husky (I think) right-handed pitcher who had his brief run in the Major Leagues. He even won a ring with Philadelphia, in 2008. But he hasn’t thrown a pitch since 2009, for the Colorado Rockies.

Now, he – meaning the pitcher Eaton – is back in the news, because of a case of mistaken identity.

You see, the newer, OUR Eaton, received a bunch of royalty checks for trading cards .. which have apparently been bouncing around for a while .. totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of $120,000. Which is a lot of money. In the words of Kenny Powers, “Dollar, dollar bills y’all.”

(Note: I was shocked to actually find a clean, family-friendly version of this. Also shocked that FX was apparently airing Eastbound and Down, but that’s another story for another day.)

Of course, teammate Cody Ransom helped Eaton figure it out, especially since the address was not OUR Eaton’s. So, for now, at least the other Eaton will be getting paid.

While I was hoping for other OUR Adam Eaton news to show up this spring, well … it was too funny not to pass along.

Back to the news of the week:

– The Arizona Diamondbacks dedicated the Roland Hemond Executive Conference Room at Salt River Fields earlier this week. The D-backs wanted to honor the longtime baseball executive, who is currently a special assistant to D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall.

– Gerardo Parra, heading into today’s Cactus League action, has a .333 batting average, a couple of steals, plus has scored a team-best 11 runs. If he gets into over 100 games, and gets 300 at-bats, and hits over .300 (yeah, call it a prediction, I think he is capable of doing it) … you think he wouldn’t deserve a starting job somewhere?? Oh, yeah, speaking of that … the whole “Parra could be traded” story still has legs.

– Looks like some of the 2012 Osprey will get some Major League help for at least the beginning of Extended Spring Training, if only for a couple of games. Unless Stephen Drew gets into a simulated game, before the end of camp, he will likely spend at least a week or two in Extended then rehab in Reno before heading to the AZ.

– Former Osprey pitcher Archie Bradley (2011) was pitching in the Class A Advanced game on Thursday for the D-backs against the Giants High-A club. That would be one of those Visalia-San Jose match-ups in the California League during the season. While it’s no guarantee that those players will stay in that classification out of camp, it’s a great sign for Bradley that the D-backs have him on that roster. It will be interesting to see if he stays there, or gets moved around.

– Bloomberg Sports came out recently and says that Paul Goldschmidt (2009) will hit 30 home runs and drive in 92 runs in 2012. Here’s more reasons why that is likely to happen.

– Eaton (as in OUR Eaton), Charles Brewer (2009), Chris Owings (2009) and Bryan Shaw (2008) show up on this prospect list – the most likely to make an impact in the Major Leagues by 2015.

– It’s going to be a wait-and-see thing as well as the debate goes on about whether or not the D-backs will re-up with Miguel Montero (2002-03). Funny how this story was supposed to go away, yet won’t …

– If you had Jarrod Parker (2007) in the starting rotation for the Oakland A’s out of Opening Day … not this year. He will start the season at Triple-A Sacramento.

Former Osprey get non-roster invites to D-backs MLB camp

A total of five former Missoula Osprey have received invitations to attend the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Major League Spring Training camp, which is slated to begin on February 20 – the date that pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report. The rest of the squad will be on hand for the first full team workout on February 26.

The players who have received the invite are as follows:

Catcher: Rossmel Perez (2007)

Infielders: Rusty Ryal (2005), Chris Owings (2009)

Outfielder: Adam Eaton (2010)

Pitcher: Charles Brewer (2009)

Perez is regarded by many as the best defensive catcher in the D-backs’ minor league system. Perez spent the entire 2011 season with Class A Advanced Visalia. Ryal played last season in Japan and signed a minor-league deal with the D-backs before the winter meetings. Owings was with Perez at Visalia. Eaton and Brewer helped the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears to their first Southern League title since 2004 last season.

The five are among 20 players who received a non-roster invite, which goes to players under contract which are not part of the club’s 40-man roster. Also expected in Major League camp are former Osprey pitchers Yonata Ortega (2007) and Bryan Shaw (2008), catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03), first basemen Paul Goldschmidt (2009) and Lyle Overbay (1999), and outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006). All six are on the 40-man roster, and all but Ortega finished the season on the D-backs’ 25-man active roster.

Game Notes for July 26

Earlier with this than usual … but we’re trying to get the docket cleared so that we can focus on more stat analysis, and other things of note.

So … on with the show ….

The Skinny: The Osprey, who have won five in a row, seven of eight and eight of their last nine at home, continue a three-game series with the Idaho Falls Chukars, who had a three-game win streak snapped on Monday by Missoula. The Osprey also will attempt to clinch the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title with either a win or a Billings loss.

Last Time Out: The Osprey were glad to see Brian Peacock leave the game on Monday night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, and celebrated with a four-run seventh inning to beat the Idaho Falls Chukars, 4-1, and clinch at least a tie for the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title. The 2,021 fans in attendance watched quite the pitcher’s duel for six innings, as Peacock – who had held Missoula hitless for a 10-inning stretch in two appearances, spanning two seasons – was at it again on Monday, baffling Osprey hitters to the tune of allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out seven. Taylor Siemens nearly equaled his left-handed counterpart, allowing just two hits and a walk in five innings of work, but Darian Sandford hit a bloop single to lead off the third inning, stole second base, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch to give the Chukars (15-19) a 1-0 lead.

That score held up until the home half of the seventh, when the Idaho Falls bullpen was called upon to hold the Osprey in check. Stephen Cardullo induced a leadoff walk from reliever Robert Penny (1-4), moved to second on a ground ball and scored on Ty Linton’s RBI single to knot the game at 1-all. Linton then rode home on Fidel Pena’s two-run home run to deep right field, giving the Osprey the lead for good. Missoula would add a run on a double steal by Josh Parr and Chris Ellison. Parr scored when Chukars catcher Edul Escobar threw off target to third base, allowing Parr to score and give the Osprey the 4-1 lead.

Conrad Flynn (3-1) pitched three innings of two-hit relief, striking out a pair of batters along the way to pick up the win, while DJ Johnson pitched around a two-out walk in the ninth to collect his second save of the season.

The streak continues … : Eric Groff extended his current hitting streak to 13 straight games with a double in the bottom of the second inning, then added another double in the fourth. During the 13-game streak, Groff is 23-for-53 at the plate (.434), with seven doubles, a triple, six home runs and 15 RBIs. Groff has also collected seven multi-hit games during what is now his longest career hitting streak. Groff put together a 10-game streak from June 23-July 6 earlier this season.

On the Mound Today: Missoula will send out right-hander Dexter Price, to the mound as they look to clinch the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title. Price (1-0, 6.26) has been splendid since giving up seven runs in a July 4 start at Billings. In three appearances since, including one start, Price has allowed just three runs in 11 innings of work (2.45 ERA), allowing just four hits and two walks while fanning 11 batters.  Price will be followed by Raymond Hernandez, who held the league lead in ERA until he fell out of qualifying – and teammate Taylor Siemens (1.95) took over the lead following his start on Monday. The Chukars counter tonight with left-hander Brennon Martin, who is still trying to recover from a rough outing on July 9 at Orem, in which he allowed 10 runs (seven earned). In two starts against Helena, Martin went 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA, winning his road start in his latest outing. He has the capability to go deep into a game – in two June starts (1-0, 3.21) Martin pitched seven innings in each outing.

Stat of the Day: Former Osprey infielder Emilio Bonifacio (2003) is currently enjoying a 23-game hit streak for the Florida Marlins. Florida did not play on Monday. Bonifacio is hitting .386 (34-for-88) during the hitting streak, which is the third-longest in Marlins history, and the second-longest hit streak in the Major Leagues this season (Andre Ethier, 30 gms.).

Tidbits:
Ty Linton had over a month between hits, but has a hit in each of his first five games played this season … Missoula is 10-2 in their first 12 games against the South Division … The Osprey now have similar home (11-6) and road (11-6) records … Missoula now carries the best record in the Pioneer League by a game over Ogden, who lost to Billings on Monday … The Osprey are hitting .287 as a team, good enough for third in the Pioneer League (Ogden leads with a .306 team batting average) with a league-best 43 home runs, while the pitching staff is third with an ERA of 4.54 – one-tenth of an earned run behind league leader Helena (4.44) … The Osprey are 18-5 in the month of July, and have the best ERA (4.17) in the league for the month, while their .292 batting average is tied for second-best with Orem (Ogden, at .305, as the best average in the league in July).

Coming Soon:
Wednesday – Bang For Your Buck Night, Senior Wednesday, Game Show Night

Osprey Alumni Update/Minor League Report:
The AZL D-backs (11-17) beat the AZL Padres on Monday, 8-3.

The DSL D-backs (18-30) beat the DSL Twins on Monday, 11-1. Alan Santiago (2009) was held hitless, but still drove in a run, his 19th of the season. Santiago has tailed off a bit at the plate, as his average has fallen to .237 on the season.

Yakima (13-25) dropped a 9-3 decision to Tri-City on Monday. Westley Moss (2011), Raul Navarro (2010) and David Narodowski (2009) each had a base hit for the Bears.

South Bend (12-18, 46-53) lost to Kane County on Monday, 4-2. Matt Helm (2009-10) homered in the setback for the Silver Hawks, while Kable Hogben (2009) and Eury De La Rosa (2009) combined for three shutout innings of one-hit relief.

Visalia (12-20, 43-58) fell to San Jose, 8-6, on Monday. Chris Owings (2009) had two hits and a run scored, while Bobby Borchering (2009) hit a three-run homer in a five-run, ninth-inning rally that fell short. David Nick (2009) added a hit and a RBI, while Rossmel Perez (2008) and Keon Broxton (2009) added base hits for the Rawhide, who also received two scoreless innings of relief from left-hander Mike Belfiore (2009).

Mobile (22-8, 60-40) had an off-day on Monday. The BayBears start a five-game series at Mississippi on Tuesday.

Reno (61-41) was rocked by Sacramento on Monday, 10-1. Tom Layne (2007) surrendered eight runs on nine hits and four walks in six innings of work to suffer the loss.

Schedule:
AAA Reno vs. Las Vegas
AA Mobile at Mississippi
A Adv. Visalia – off-day
A South Bend – off-day
SS-A Yakima vs. Tri-City – Alex Capaul (2011) gets the start for the Bears
AZL D-backs – off-day
DSL D-backs vs. DSL Padres

 

My kind of team …

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

The clock still is tickin’ … just faster

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.

Close to a month away …

We’re down to 37 days before rthe Osprey home opener, 35 days before the season opener, and no more time before the Paul Goldschmidt-to-Arizona rumors start swirling … again.

– Yup, it’s true, the rumor mill has moved into second gear (have to be an ESPN Insider to read the whole thing, but the first two paragraphs say a lot) with the possibilities of Goldy heading to the Major Leagues. When you look at his numbers – .336 batting average, .468 on-base, .720 slugging, 1.1188 OPS, with six doubles, 14 home runs and 38 RBIs, with three stolen bases and more walks (30) than strikeouts (26) – they are definitely eye-popping, and you can see why there’s some talk about moving the Texas State product, and 2009 member of the Missoula Osprey, up the ladder. And with the speculation that current D-back first sacker Juan Miranda could be headed to the DL, it has just turned up the tempo of the machine. He’s had quite a baseball career, as it turns out, and while he’ll be in a Major League uniform if he keeps up his professional production, the earliest it could happen, you get the feeling, is September.

(One inkling, courtesy of Osprey radio voice Ben Catley – Wily Mo Pena gets a call-up if Miranda gets hurt (he has tore the cover off the ball in Reno), one of the vets with Double-A Mobile moves to Triple-A Reno, and Adam Eaton gets called up to Double-A. His On-base percentage is somewhere near his record-setting .500 with the Osprey last season, and to see if he could achieve that in the pitching-favored Southern League may be too tempting to pass up.)

– Gotta love the bloggers – here’s a take on this past weekend’s D-backs/Dodgers dust-up from the True Blue LA folk. Note the descriptive way they describe Goldy.

– Here’s more from the weekend in the minors – well, Friday and Saturday, anyway – and Nick Piecoro poses an interesting thought on Adam Eaton (2010).

– One thing about Pedro Ciriaco (2005) that no one denies – he’s a more-than-solid defender. This video highlight provides more proof.

– Blake Cooper (2010) had a scoreless streak of over eight innings for Class A South Bend entering Sunday’s action, but was touched up – and also had a scare on the mound.

– We had to share this, especially with the Yankees-Red Sox just playing this weekend. It’s a funny video with Boston slugger David Ortiz. Who wouldn’t want to hug Big Papi?

Minor-League Update time:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost a 14-11 slugfest to the Iowa Cubs on Sunday. Both former Osprey in the Aces’ bullpen, Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto (both from 2006) had tough outings in the loss.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost a 7-3 decision to Carolina on Sunday. Jarrod Parker (2007) battled through five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, with three strikeouts, and took the loss. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits, while Kyle Greene (2008) singled, doubled, and drove in a run. Goldy went 1-for-5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. Jake Elmore (2008) also had a base hit and a RBI for Mobile, while Clay Zavada (2006) pitched another inning of scoreless relief, lowering his ERA to 1.35.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Chris Owings (2009) had another big game, with four hits, including two triples and a home run, and three RBIs as the Rawhide took it to Inland Empire, 17-2. This game became a rout late, with Visalia scoring 10 of their runs in their final three at-bats. Everyone who played had at least one base hit, with Adam Eaton (2010) singling, scoring twice and driving in a run, while Bobby Borchering (2009) and Keon Broxton (2009) each had two hits. Yonata Ortega (2007) pitched around a pair of ninth-inning walks to finish off the win.

– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm (2009-10) singled and doubled, but his efforts were not enough for the SilverHawks to get any offense going in what turned into an 10-3 loss to Bowling Green on Sunday. The end of the 8-game, 6-day road trip netted just five hits for South Bend, and the usually-stingy Hawks bullpen surrendered runs – namely from former Osprey Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Cooper, both whom had scoreless streaks snapped in the loss. Raul Navarro (2010) added an RBI single. JR Bradley (2010) suffered the loss on the hill for the Hawks, allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (24-14) vs. Iowa
AA Mobile (20-15) vs. Carolina
A Adv. Visalia (18-19) at Inland Empire. No starters have been posted for tonight.
A South Bend (16-19) has an off-day on Monday. They will start a home series with Lansing on Tuesday. David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Hawks on Tuesday.

(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.

Three blocks left

When we looked at the countdown sheet on the front door of the Osprey Team Store – which says 47 days until Opening Day, which means the home opener, of course – it made us remember that the season opens up in 45 days – three 15-day blocks to go before the O’s play in Helena. Time is growing short!

Take note of the draft notes from Nick Piecoro on this entry. The D-backs have the 3rd and 7th picks in next month’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, so keeping an eye on some of these guys will help as we draw closer to the draft.

– Ah, the AZ SnakePit getting the minor-league update out there. We usually don’t link to it, but we figured it would be better to see the assessment of some of the former Osprey from the views of others.

Paul Goldschmidt was pitched to last night – and had two hits, including his 10th home run of the season. That was the good news – the bad news was that he also struck out twice in the 7-6 loss to Tennessee. That said, Goldie’s numbers – .337 BA, .487 on-base, .730 slugging (which makes for a 1.218 OPS), five doubles, 10 HR, 25 RBIs, three steals and 27 walks with 17 strikeouts in 26 games.

Minor-League Update, Osprey Style:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Las Vegas, 5-3. No former Osprey played in the game.

– Double-A Mobile: In addition to Goldie’s night mentioned above, Ollie Linton (2008) went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI, while Kyle Greene (2008) walked in his BayBear debut, as a pinch-hitter.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide found their way back to the .500 mark with a 6-5 win over San Jose. Christian Beltre (2007) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to get the win, while Yonata Ortega (2007) cruised through the ninth to claim his fourth save of the season. Visalia – now 5-1 since Jason Hardtke was ejected from a game last week – won it on a “Neon” Keon Broxton (2009) eighth-inning home run. Mike Belfiore (2009) allowed three unearned runs on seven hits and three walks, while fanning seven batters in five innings. Broxton and Chris Owings (2009) had two hits each for the Rawhide.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks lost at Dayton, 4-2, on Thursday. JR Bradley (2010) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks, but had nearly no support from his offense. Eury De La Rosa (2009) pitched a scoreless ninth – the Hawks’ bullpen has allowed just two earned runs in their last 32 2/3 innings of work. Ender Inciarte (2009) had two hits for the Hawks, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) added a single. By the way – former Billings Mustang Billy Hamilton is still terrorizing pitchers and catchers on the basepaths – he stole his 21st base last night (in 25 tries), which is amazing to do in 25 games with an OBP of only .302.

Today’s Schedule (and Osprey probables)
AAA Reno (16-11) at Salt Lake City … they’ll play five games in four days, weather-permitting.
AA Mobile (16-10) vs. Tennessee – Charles Brewer (2009) makes his first start since coming off of the DL for the BayBears tonight.
A Adv. Visalia (14-14) at Modesto. Eric Smith (2009) will get the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (9-17) at Dayton – David Holmberg (2010) will get the start tonight for the Hawks.

Is it a magic number?

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.

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