Results tagged ‘ Clay Zavada ’

Bianco, BirdWire and the latest from around the farm …

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 (more…)

Freaky Friday …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The grass is greener …

The grass at Ogren Park Allegiance Field is on schedule – the crew has the field looking like it’s ready to go for the season, and we’re only nearing mid-May. There’s 44 days before the home opener, 42 days (also known as six weeks) before the season opener, and a little over a month before we know who’s packing their bags for Missoula …

Today’s post will focus on former Osprey in the minors. We’ll get back to the mix of your Osprey Major and minor league nuggets tomorrow …

– Four pieces of minor-league roster news to pass along – outfielder Adam Eaton was activated from the 7-day DL over the weekend, and reilef pitcher Sammy De Los Santos was called up to Triple-A Reno from Extended Spring Training to help fill in as the Aces had a scheduled doubleheader with Salt Lake City. De Los Santos did not pitch, and was reassigned to Extended Spring (and to Yakima’s roster, for now) following the games. In addition, right-handed pitcher Josh Ellis (2007) was placed on the DL by the Mobile BayBears, and with the movement that took place in the organization, right-handed pitcher Keith Cantwell (2009) got the call to head to South Bend to join their bullpen.

– Paul Goldschmidt hit his 12th homer of the season this morning – gotta love the “Businessman’s Special” games in the minors – as Mobile was playing at Jacksonville. Entering the fifth inning, all five of the BayBears’ runs have come off of home runs by former Osprey. Goldie hit a three-run shot in the first, while Taylor Harbin hit a two-run tater in the fourth.

Back to Goldie – who is currently (up to the minute!) hitting .350, with 12 homers and 32 RBIs. The homers tie him with Willy Mo Pena of the Reno Aces for the minor-league lead, while he is also now tied with Pena for the D-backs’ organization lead in RBIs. He entered Monday’s action leading all of Double-A in on-base (.492) and slugging percentage (.742).

Minor League Update – quick former Osprey review:
– Triple-A Reno (19-11): There were seven former Osprey on the Aces roster to start the season, but most of them have been moved for various reasons, including up (Esmerling Vasquez), out (John Hester, to Baltimore), and down (Clay Zavada and Josh Ellis to Double-A Mobile). Three pitchers remain – LHP Tom Layne (2007), who is now 3-1 with a 6.41 ERA, down from somewhere around 9 early in April; LHP Jordan Norberto (2006), who is 2-1 with a save and a 4.40 ERA, and while he has 17 Ks in 14 1/3 innings pitched, he also has 11 walks; and RHP Daniel Stange (2006), who while he’s also having an issue with walks (10, to go with 14 Ks in 17 innings pitched), has also overcome a slow start, to the tune of a 2-0 mark and a 3.71 ERA.

– Double-A Mobile (17-11): Other than Goldie (3 HR in 4 games since we changed back to Goldie. Not that we take credit for anything like that …), there have been other BayBears whom have had strong starts to the 2011 season. On the pitching front, right-handers Jarrod Parker (2-2, 7.43) and Bryan Henry (2007) (3-1, 6.31) have had their struggles, while Charles Brewer (2009), provided he can keep from hitting the roof of the dugout with his head, will be a solid anchor in the BayBears’ rotation, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.21 ERA in his three starts, including a complete game. The relief corps is buoyed by the returning Clay Zavada (0-0, 2.16), who, like Parker, is coming off of Tommy John surgery (and on a faster time table), and Bryan Shaw (2008) on the back end, who has been stellar during the first month-plus (2-0, 6 saves, 1.15 ERA). At the plate, while both Taylor Harbin (2007, .309) and Jake Elmore (2008, .309) have cooled off, both entered today’s “Businessman’s Special” with Jacksonville over .300. So is Ollie Linton, whom after his first-inning single today, raised his average to .340.

– Class A Advanced Visalia (15-16):  The Rawhide were cooled off a bit by Modesto, but have risen back to near .500 after a slow start. The pitching is slowly starting to come around, but the surprises continue to be a pair of non-drafted free agents – Taylor Sinclair (2008), who has moved into the bullpen and done well (2-0, 1 sv., 2.16 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) and Victor Capellan (2009) who has been a solid finisher for the Rawhide (four GF’s, second on club, with a 2.60 ERA and 22 Ks in 17 1/3 innings pitched). At the plate, the prospect meter level has raised on catcher Rossmel Perez (2008), who is regarded as a player who has the defensive tools and game-calling ability to play in the Major Leagues, but who does not possess a lot of power. However, when you hit .359 and can put together a respectible .880 OPS, it opens eyes.

Class A South Bend (12-17): The Silver Hawks are starting to figure it out … it also helps that Fort Wayne, who was one of the best teams in all of the minors last season, is in the opposite end of the spectrum this season, and the Hawks have their number, of sorts. The Hawks have won 5 of 9 against the Caps, and take away the first three games, all losses, South Bend has won five of the last six against Fort Wayne. Since joining the Hawks, Ender Inciarte (2009) has hit .467 in eight games, while Raywilly Gomez (2009) continues to be steady at the plate, hitting .289 while catching most of the 22 games he has played this season. One of the more impressive preformers has been Bradin Hagens (2009), who is making the transition from reliever to starter, and after a slow start, has settled down. In five starts, Hagens (who is scheduled to pitch tonight in South Bend against Fort Wayne) is 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA, and has only allowed six earned runs in his last four starts (2.89 ERA).

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.

Daily Dose of Osprey …

Here’s your standard daily update. Which means we’re 62 days away from Opening Night at home, 60 days away from the season opener at Helena, and a few days from the Osprey Record Book to be completed. We can only hope …

More evidence that Esmering Vasquez has started strong this season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it comes from fellow former Osprey, catcher Miguel Montero. Also, one of life’s mysteries is answered – what in Sam’s Hill is Montero doing hitting 8th in the order??

– Former Osprey pitcher Charles Brewer was placed on the DL on Wednesday with “concussion-like” symptoms. Brewer, according to a story, hit his head on a dugout in Carolina during the first series while avoiding a foul ball, but did not say anything about it until recently. We can only hear Mobile trainer (and former Osprey trainer) Joe Metz now …

Daily rundown: Triple-A Reno dropped a 14-7 decision to Sacramento. John Hester (2006 Osprey) went 1-for-4 with a run scored, but left-hander Tom Layne (2007) was roughed up for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched … Former Osprey combined for three hits for the Double-A Mobile BayBears on Wednesday – all of them from Jake Elmore (2008) – in a 6-1 loss to Jacksonville. More good news – Clay Zavada (2006) made his first in-game appearance in more than a year, allowing nothing in one inning of work, with two strikeouts. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) and Taylor Harbin (2007) went a combined 0-for-7 with three strikeouts … Good news for the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide – Eric Smith (2009) turned in his best start of the season, and Taylor Sinclair (2008) also had a solid outing out of the bullpen. The bad news – the offense did not get enough runs in a 2-1 loss at Stockton. Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits, while Adam Eaton (2010) hit a solo home run for the Rawhide … Class A South Bend split a pair with Great Lakes on Wednesday, winning the opener, 4-3, and losing the nightcap, 4-1. Jeff Shields (2010) took the loss in Game 2 for the Hawks, while Matt Helm (2009-10) had three hits and a RBI in the double-dip.

– Today’s schedule:
AAA Reno (9-4) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (9-4) vs. Jacksonville
A Adv. Visalia (5-9) vs. San Jose – Derek Eitel (2010) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide
A South Bend (3-10) vs. Fort Wayne – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call for the Hawks

Head-scratchin’ time

The calendar reminds us that there are 62 days before the 2011 Season opener, 64 days until the Osprey open at home, and two days before someone sticks his neck out and makes a prediction or two in this very blog. Read on for more on that one …

– Reminder – the Osprey Job Fair will take place beginning today at 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. It will run until 8 p.m., with the ability to not only fill out a job application, but to get interviewed for a day-of-game job this summer with the Osprey.

– Guess who was Southern League Player of the Week? Love this line from the update “… if the Southern League can contain him for long enough, he may make a run at that honor at the Double-A level this year.” Oh, and a former Osprey hurler also claimed the Southern League Pitcher of the Week.

– Two starts for former Osprey pitcher and former No. 1 pick Jarrod Parker in the 2011 season, and two bad outings. Not a good sign, but two things to keep in mind – it’s still early, and Parker is still building up his arm after Tommy John surgery. There’s still hope that he will get stronger as the season progresses and Parker ends up in a D-backs’ uniform by September.

– Speaking of pitchers in Mobile – add Clay Zavada to the list. The 2006 Osprey alum will begin his comeback from Tommy John surgery in the BayBears’ bullpen.

– Former Osprey pitcher Tony Barnette is trying to adjust to Japan, even in Year 2 of his adventure with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. In his latest blog entry, Barnette explores some strategy differences between baseball in Japan and here in the States.

– Former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero has been like EnduroMan for the D-backs’, catching 13 of the team’s 14 games so far this season, and hitting around .400 to boot.

– South Bend’s getting ready for a visit from D-backs GM Kevin Towers, who’s out visiting and scouting for parts of the next few weeks, while keeping an eye on the big-league club.

Minors recap: South Bend fell behind early, 7-0, and lost by a 9-4 margin to Great Lakes. David Holmberg took the loss for the Hawks, while Matt Helm returned to the lineup, and had three hits. 2010 Osprey teammates Chris Jarrett and Roberto Rodriguez each had two hits and a RBI for South Bend … Adam Eaton had two hits and a RBI for Visalia in a 6-3 loss at Stockton. Eaton, who also stole a pair of bases, raised his average to .357 with the effort … Taylor Harbin (2007) hit a three-run shot to help Mobile beat Jacksonville, 4-2. Harbin went 2-for-3 to improve his batting average to .412. Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with a walk and no strikeouts … Jordan Norberto pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a walk and striking out two batters, while John Hester had a hit in three at-bats to help Reno beat Colorado Springs, 10-6.

– Here are today’s matchups and former Osprey making starts:
AAA – Reno vs. Sacremento
AA – Mobile vs. Jacksonville – Bryan Henry (2007) looks to improve his 2-0 record when he gets the call tonight.
A Adv. – Visalia at Stockton – Chase Anderson gets the call tonight for the Rawhide.
A – South Bend at Great Lakes – Tyler Green gets the start, but this is the Green/Shields show, meaning that Jeff Shields will be the first out of the bullpen. Green and Shields will alternate starts for now.

– And finally, speaking of head-scratching, Osprey radio voice Ben Catley will offer some predictions on former Osprey in Thursday’s entry. You may be surprised who he thinks will be the next former Osprey to become a Major Leaguer for the first time.

TOMORROW: Extended Spring Training update.

Roster announcements

Minor league teams in the Arizona Diamondbacks system have begun to announce their 2011 rosters for the season. Here’s what we have been able to find so far (number of former Osprey listed, as well as the former Osprey on the roster and their Missoula year(s). This list has been compiled as of Monday, April 4):

Triple-A Reno (7): John Hester (2006), Tom Layne (2007), Josh Ellis (2007), Esmerling Vasquez (2004), Daniel Stange (2006), Jordan Norberto (2006), Clay Zavada (2006 – will start season on DL).

Double-A Mobile (8): Jarrod Parker (2007), Bryan Henry (2007), Charles Brewer (2009), Bryan Shaw (2008), Jake Elmore (2008), Paul Goldschmidt (2009), Taylor Harbin (2007), Ollie Linton (2008). Former Osprey hitting coach Alan Zinter (2008) is serving in the same capacity for the BayBears.

Class A Advanced Visalia (16): Chase Anderson (2009), Christian Beltre (2008), Victor Cappellan (2008), Derek Eitel (2010), Trevor Harden (2008), Yonata Ortega (2007), Diogenes Rosario (2009), Taylor Sinclair (2008), Eric Smith (2009), Adam Worthington (2009), Rossmel Perez (2008), Bobby Borchering (2009), David Nick (2009), Chris Owings (2009), Adam Eaton (2010), Kyle Greene (2008). Former Osprey hitting coach Jason Hardtke (2009-10) is the manager for the Rawhide.

Class A South Bend (18): J.R. Bradley (2010), Blake Cooper (2010), Eury De La Rosa (2009), Jeremy Erben (2010), Bradin Hagens (2009), Kable Hogben (2009), David Holmberg (2010), Patrick Schuster (2010), Jeff Shields (2010), Dan Taylor (2010), RayWily Gomez (2009), Ramon Castillo (2009), Matt Helm (2009-10), Raul Navarro (2010), Keon Broxton (2009), Chris Jarrett (2010), Roberto Rodriguez (2010), Bobby Stone (2008-09-10).

Teams will open their seasons on Friday, April 7. South Bend will play an exhibition against the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday.

Was it you … were you among the two?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bracket Monday

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.

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