by Ben Catley
94 days before the Season Opener and Home Opener
Well, the Major League Baseball season starts in two weeks. Yup, two weeks. I will let that set in for a moment …
Can you only imagine how this will all play out? No matter where your allegiances lie, there is plenty of intrigue about to play out all over the place.
Except in Center Field and at the top of the order for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where it is looking more and more like Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) has taken full advantage of his opportunity and locked down that job. Eaton was featured in a MiLB Prospect Q&A recently, sharing a number of things, especially the reason why he doesn’t mind being a magnet for baseballs while he is at-bat. By the way, Eaton is hitting .358 this spring, with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs. Continue reading
The latest stuff on former Osprey players …
– The Arizona Diamondbacks reassigned 15 players to minor-league camp, including players on their 40-man roster. Several of them are former Osprey who were in camp. They are:
Optioned to Triple-A Reno: RHP Chase Anderson RHP Charles Brewer LHP Eury De La Rosa Optioned to Double-A Mobile: RHP Keon Broxton RHP Eric Smith Reassigned to Minor League camp: LHP David Holmberg INF Chris Owings
All of the players except for Holmberg (2010 Osprey) played in Missoula in 2009. Keep an eye out for three of them this season – De La Rosa, Brewer and Smith, who each had a handful solid Cactus League outings. Expect both Holmberg and Owings to at least start the 2013 season at Double-A Mobile.
– EatonMania is runnin’ wild on the internet and print these days. It seems as if the more that Spring Training goes along, the more attention Adam Eaton (2010) is getting from the media and blog-sphere. If it’s not a blogger saying that Eaton could wow people more than Mike Trout, it’s a Sports Illustrated piece on the web. That all said, the key for Eaton to “wow” people in 2013 is to stay healthy, something that manager Kirk Gibson is hoping actually happens. At times, Eaton has struggled with that, but his all-out style does bring that along with it as a drawback. One thing is clear – his teammates like him, but the opposition doesn’t particularly care for him. (Last link is to an ESPN Insider post, but the beginning is still worth the read.)
– Ryan Robowski (2009) made it to the second round of cuts for the Detroit Tigers before getting reassigned to minor-league camp. The Non-Roster Invitee was touched up in his limited time in Grapefruit League action in his first Major League Spring Training action. Robo is likely headed to either back to Double-A Erie or Triple-A Toledo.
– It looks like John Hester (2006) has his hands full as he battles for the backup catcher’s job with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
– Scott Hairston (2001) will be platooning in right field for the Chicago Cubs, and hitting fifth in the lineup when he does start.
– Jarrod Parker (2007) has gone from not-so-sure-what-we-have to ace of the staff for the Oakland A’s … and wants more success in 2013.
– Another pitcher that wants a better 2013 is former Osprey starter Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is starting to find his old self with the Colorado Rockies, almost two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
That will do it for now … other than a plug for the current O’s Poll of the Moment, which you can find on the right-hand column. Vote on it often – because the look into the Osprey crystal ball by Ben Catley is coming soon! We’ll see how your votes match up with his predictions on whom the next Osprey players will be to make their Major League debuts.
There are about 106 days before Opening Night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Get ready Osprey fans!!
– Ollie Osprey will be at Southgate Mall on Saturday from 11:30 until 1:30, dropping by for his annual visit at the Kids Fair. The Osprey will have a booth for the duration of the event, which will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Kids will be able to join the Ollie Osprey Kid’s Club at the event, as well as sign up for the Osprey Baseball Camp, taking place on August 14-16 at Ogren Park Allegiance Field.
– The lineup for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, with the D-backs playing Team Mexico, included former Osprey Adam Eaton (2010) and Paul Goldschmidt (2009) hitting 1-3 in the order. Not too bad. Especially since Goldy is putting together one whale of a spring – minus last night’s 0-for-2 exhibition game against Mexico, Goldy is hitting .467 in eight Cactus League games, with a double, RBI and five walks. Eaton, meanwhile, ended up getting a half-inning interview on the telecast – which lasted six pitches. Continue reading
Here are some more tidbits on former Osprey as full squads are now working out, and minor-league players are rolling in to begin their seasons … plus, one has recently found a new home, and its in his old stompoing grounds.
One quick item before we get into the news of the day … you should listen to the Trail 103.3 Tuesday morning at 8:30, as Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis and Vice President/General Manager Jeff Griffin will be joining Robert Chase’s morning show with a special announcement to share about the upcoming season. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Time for a dose of Six Degrees of Separation, Osprey style.
There have only been two cycles hit at the Major League level by former Osprey players, with the second one happening on Friday night in Denver. New York Mets outfielder Scott Hairston, a 2001 member of the Osprey, hit for the cycle in a game which turned into an 18-9 loss to the Colorado Rockies. In part, the win – buoyed by an 11-run fifth inning – was ignited by former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003), who drove in six runs on the night, five in that fifth inning. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
The last I checked, that’s what a nest was made out of, right?? Branches, twigs and mud, or something to hold it all together. While we are still a long way away from getting the pieces put together for the 2012 Osprey, the pieces that have already been here keep making news, even in the off-season.
– Like former pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is working his way back with the Colorado Rockies after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. De La Rosa is expected to be slowly worked into the rotation this season, which will include rehab starts in the minors, likely at Colorado Springs – which is very close to Denver, of course. And there is a big reason why they will make sure De La Rosa is ready to go and not rush things …
– Also on the update front comes former reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008). The fastest-rising former Osprey to the Major Leagues likes how is team looks in black and white, and I’m not talking about the unis … I mean, after all, if your team signed Prince Fielder, you probably would too. Let’s just hope that, for his sake, he doesn’t pull one of these. Although I have to admit, I like the non-bearded look Schlereth’s rocking right now …
– Speaking of former Osprey pitchers in the Detroit Tigers bullpen … Jose Valverde is coming off to me as one of those down-home type of guys who just happens to be able to throw gas and handle pressure situations better than an average Joe. More evidence comes from the Tigers’ winter tour of Michigan, which includes the 2000 Osprey alum bagging groceries.
– Goldy Fix: The record-setting homer hit by Paul Goldschmidt (2009) in Mobile … note where the ball goes. That would be No. 28, which was part of another MVP year for the first baseman.
– Lyle Overbay (1999) has been named one of the top 55 players of all time in Toronto Blue Jays history. Not bad for a team which has been around for 35 seasons.
– Another blog has done a list of the best minor-league systems … the D-backs are ranked 8th by Motor City Bengals (just in case you’re wondering, it’s a blog dedicated to the Detroit Tigers …), and six of the top 10 prospects in this list are former Osprey.
By the way … coming soon to this very blog, I will once again stick my neck out and attempt to predict the next former Osprey to make their Major League debuts. I hit on two of the four names I mentioned last year, and I don’t know if I should even take credit for calling Goldy’s promotion, since that one was obvious. Evan Scribner’s call-up, though, I will gladly claim the call made there. Scribner is a candidate to win a spot in the Oakland A’s bullpen this spring. By the way, the other names I threw out there – infielder Taylor Harbin and left-handed pitcher Tom Layne. Both are 2007 Osprey alumni. Layne pitched for Triple-A Reno last season, while Harbin was busy helping Mobile win the Southern League crown.
I think the next position player will be an obvious choice, and the pitcher, well … yeah, not so sure on that one. But I will stick the neck out again on those sometime in February.
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.
Mile High Sports is reporting that former Osprey pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999) has a torn ulner colateral ligament in his left elbow. His season is over for 2011.
De La Rosa left today’s game with the Arizona Diamondbacks with what toe Rockies originally called left elbow soreness. It happened during an at-bat with Chris Young, as catcher Chris Ianetta noticed De La Rosa grimacing on the mound and motioned to the dugout. After the trainer looked at him, De La Rosa threw one pitch, after which he grimaced again and was immediately removed from the game.
According to the report, De La Rosa would be back for the 2013 season, and it’s possible that he would return during the second half of the 2012 season.
The Colorado Rockies are reporting on their website that left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999) was removed in the third inning of today’s game with the Arizona Diamondbacks with left elbow soreness.
De La Rosa was coming off his first complete game in his last start, a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia. We’ll keep you updated as soon as the Rockies release more information.
In this game, the Rockies have erupted offensively – namely, CarGo. Former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003) hit two massive home runs, and Colorado rolls to a 12-4 win over the D-backs. CarGo finishes with four RBIs and three runs scored in the game.
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.