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.
– 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.
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.
51 days until the home opener, 49 days until the season opener. We were going to write something cute here, but it’s Monday … however, the Osprey salute our troops all around the world who are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.
– John Hester is no longer in the D-backs organization. Hester, who caught for the 2006 Pioneer League Champion Osprey, was the “player to be named later” in the deal that sent Mark Reynolds to Baltimore. So Hester is now an Oriole, and heads to Norfolk of the International League.
– Good news on many of the DL guys (Chase Anderson and Charles Brewer (both 2009) …), but not-so-good news on Adam Eaton. “Spank” apparently took a pitch to the head and had symptoms of a concussion afterwards. He’s now out another week. The good news underneath the madness – Keon Broxton (2009) will fill in for Eaton in Visalia, and Ender Inciarte (2009) moves from Extended Spring Training to the South Bend roster.
– Lyle Overbay (1999) snapped out of a slump to help the Pirates win on Sunday.
– Cool story on former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner (2007), who made his Major League debut last week with the San Diego Padres.
– Interesting story on South Bend’s new playing surface. During the season, someone should e-mail Ben Catley (or now …) about his first experience with this type of surface – way back in 1994.
– Check out Joe Koschanky’s line in this extra-inning game. So if three strikeouts for a batter is a hat trick, and four is a golden sombrero (with five being platinum), what is seven Ks? We know what eight is – a Russ Laribee (more on Panel 2 of the linked story).
– Triple-A Reno: Tom Layne (2007) allowed just a run on three hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings of relief to pick up the win for the Aces in a 10-8 decision over Tacoma on Sunday. Layne moved to 2-1 with the decision and lowered his ERA to 8.24.
– Double-A Mobile: Four former Osprey had at least one hit in the BayBears’ 6-4 win over Birmingham on Sunday. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-4 with a walk, as his average is now .347 for the season. Taylor Harbin (2007) went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while both Ollie Linton and Jake Elmore (both 2008 Osprey) had a hit and a run scored each. All four are hitting over .300 at the moment. Goldschmidt, by the way, also stole his third base of the season. Bryan Henry (2007) struggled in the start, but Bryan Shaw (2008) closed the door in the end, and his two innings of two-hit, three-strikeout scoreless relief netted his fifth save of the season.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Eric Smith (2009) pitched well enough to get the win, while the Rawhide scored seven runs in the fourth inning to take down a 12-7 win over Modesto on Sunday. Diogenes Rosario (2009) and Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief behind Smith, who went six-plus innings to pick up the win. Bobby Borchering (2009) had two hits, including a three-run homer, while Keon Broxton (2009) had two hits and two runs scored. Rossmel Perez (2008) doubled and drove in a run, while Kyle Greene (2008) also had a hit for Visalia, who is 2-0 since manager Jason Hardtke (2009-10 hitting coach) was ejected in Friday’s one-run loss.
– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm (2009-10) had three hits and a RBI, while Ender Inciarte (2009) had three hits, a stolen base and a run scored in his SilverHawks’ debut as South Bend scored four times in the sixth and twice more in the seventh to earn an 8-5 win over Great Lakes. Bobby Stone (2008-10) doubled and scored twice, while Raywilly Gomez (2009) singled and walked twice in the win. The bullpen bailed out David Holmberg (2010), who struggled a bit, while Blake Cooper (2010) notched his third save with a scoreless ninth inning.
Todays’ Schedule (and fomer Osprey making starts):
AAA Reno (15-8) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (14-8) at Birmingham
A Adv. Visalia (11-13) vs. Modesto. Derek Eitel (2010) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (8-14) vs. Great Lakes. Jeff Shields (2010) gets the ball tonight for the Hawks.
We enter today with 57 days until the home opener, 55 days until the season opener, and about a month before the next big event at Ogren Park Allegiance Field – the annual Missoula Mavs Memorial Day Tournament.
– Gerardo Parra homered to help back Ian Kennedy’s solid pitching as the D-backs beat the Philadelphia Phillies, and ace left-hander Cliff Lee, 4-0 on Monday.
– You have to check out the photos of former Osprey reliever Jose Valverde in the gallery for this story, done after the Detroit Tigers swept the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. One thing is for certain, he does not hide his emotions.
Oh … and apparently, he also has a ritual before he pitches, too:
– Former Osprey first baseman Lyle Overbay was due to have his first night off of the season on Monday, after playing in the first 21 games of the season, but ended up serving as a pinch-hitter late in the game. For the season, Overbay is hitting .259 with five doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs.
– Here’s a little feature piece on former Osprey outfielder Scott Hairston. Notice the slight mistake at the beginning of the piece … gotta love blogs …
Daily Minors Update:
– Triple-A Reno: Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto combined for 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief, and John Hester’s sacrifice fly plated a run as the Aces beat Fresno, 6-2. Stange picked up the win. All three played in Missoula in 2006.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears let a 5-1 lead slip away, but won at Jackson in 12 innings, 7-5. Bryan Shaw (2008) pitched the final three innings to pick up his first win of the season. Shaw allowed a hit, walked two and struck out two in lowering his ERA to 0.84 for the season. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Mike Belfiore (2009) had one of his roughest outings as a pro – walking eight batters while allowing two hits and three runs in three innings of work – but Taylor Sinclair (2008), Christian Beltre (2007) and Victor Capellan (2009) shut the door, combining for six shutout innings of relief in a 9-3 Rawhide win. David Nick (2009), Bobby Borchering (2009) and Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits each, while Kyle Greene (2008) drove in a pair of runs for Visalia.
– Class A South Bend: David Holmberg (2010) was silly good on Monday night, but the SilverHawks lost to Bowling Green, 2-1. The Hawks had just four hits on the night, with Keon Broxton getting two of them and scoring the lone run. Broxton (2009) singled in the top of the second, and scored on a Chris Jarrett (2010) RBI triple. The other hit came from Ramon Castillo (2009), who was making his first start behind the plate, and committed a pair of throwing errors that led to both Hot Rod runs. Holmberg allowed four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, struck out 12 and picked off two runners.
Today’s Games (and probable Osprey pitchers):
AAA Reno (12-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (12-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (7-11) at Bakersfield – Eric Smith (2009) seeks his first win of the season tonight.
A South Bend (5-12) at Bowling Green
Countdowns – T-minus 58 days until the home opener, 56 days before the season opener, and don’t ask about the Osprey record book. The best guess is that it will be ready before the end of May. So that is like, what, 35 days or so … there we go, now that we have that all taken care of, time to play catch-up.
– Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) is featured in this Nick Piecoro blog entry.
– Mr. Versatility for the Florida Marlins, Emilio Bonifacio (2003 Osprey), may see more time in left field after the Marlins made a roster move on Saturday. Bonifacio has been filling in both at third base and left field this season, and is hitting .317 with two RBIs and two stolen bases for the season.
– Pedro Ciriaco spent 24 hours on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 25-man roster over the weekend. Ciriaco (2005) was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, but was sent back the following day after the Pirates claimed Brandon Wood off of waivers. It’s Ciriaco’s second option – which means the Pirates will have one more left to use on him. Ciriaco is hitting just .143 in 15 games with Indianapolis.
– Wilkin Castillo (2004) had a career run-producing day for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. Castillo had struggled so far this season at the plate for the Braves, but doubled his hit total with the four-hit outburst.
– Any time we see a chance for fans of the feathered to vote for a current or former Osprey, we make sure we pass along the info … hence, the Reno Aces Bobblehead Vote, which runs through this coming Saturday (April 30). John Hester (2006) is among the candidates. Go now and vote!!!
Now on to the Daily Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Fresno, 12-5, on Sunday. A pair of former Osprey pitchers struggled in this one – Tom Layne (2007) allowed a pair of runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched for the Aces, raising his ERA to 8.22, while former Osprey Casey Daigle (2000) allowed a run in an inning and 2/3 of work, which actually lowered his ERA this season to 9.35.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Jackson, 15-3, on Sunday. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and plated his 20th run of the month in the loss.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide dropped a 10-3 decision to San Jose on Saturday, then had a day off on Sunday. Bobby Borchering (2009) had a double and 2 RBIs, while Kyle Greene (2008) also doubled and drove in a run in a three-run first inning for the Rawhide.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks split a twinbill with Fort Wayne on Saturday, which enabled the Hawks to take their first series win of the season. Bradin Hagens (2009) went six solid innings in the lidlifter to pick up his first win as a pro as a starter, while Blake Cooper (2010) notched his first save of the season in the 4-2 triumph. RayWilly Gomez (2009) and Bobby Stone (2008-10) each had a base hit for the Hawks in the win. In Game 2, JR Bradley (2010) had his best start of the season, but did not get much support from his offense in a 2-0 setback in the nightcap. Chris Jarrett (2010) tripled, but could not come around to score – it was one of just two Hawks hits.
Today’s Games (and former Osprey who will make starts):
AAA Reno (11-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (11-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (6-11) at Bakersfield. Mike Belfiore (2009) will make his second start of the season for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-11) at Bowling Green. David Holmberg (2010) gets the ball for the Hawks.
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.
Countdown – T-minus 65 days until the Home Opener, 63 Days before the 2011 Season opens at Helena, and at least another week before the latest edition of the Osprey Record Book is done. Sorry, but Sunday turned into a fun day …
– First, a quick reminder that the Osprey Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula.
– Bobby Borchering had started in quite the funk for the Visalia Rawhide this season. Let’s hope Sunday’s effort goes a ways in breaking that up. We here at Bird Droppings hopes the same thing can happen to Pedro Ciriaco, and soon.
– Speaking of Visalia, their games attract runs like free food brings people out of the woodwork. Sunday’s win was the first time in four games this season that one of the teams involved scored at least 10 runs.
– Speaking of a ton of runs, Mobile and Mississippi combined for 24 of them on Sunday, with the Braves earning a 14-10 win. Five of the BayBears runs came off the bat of … yup, Paul Goldschmidt, who cranked out a RBI single and a grand slam in the slugfest. Through 10 games, Goldy is 10th in hitting (.364), and leads the Southern League in home runs (6), RBIs (15), slugging pct. (.939) and OPS (1.439). Teammate Taylor Harbin (2007 Osprey) is fourth in the league in hitting with a .387 mark.
– More on the former Osprey in the farm system can be found both here and here. Also an interesting read from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro on how close the D-backs are to having a great farm system, according to ESPN’s Keith Law.
– Good signs are arriving about the early season performance of former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vasquez, especially when everyone seems to have notice the newfound bite on his curveball.
– Lyle Overbay explores one of the great mysteries of baseball life – why some guys can hit against certain teams. Overbay is a .400 hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, whom he now gets to see on a semi-regular basis with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
– Also looks like Daniel Schlereth has found a home in the Detroit Tigers bullpen, and is part of a youth movement being used on the road to (Jose) Valverde.
– Nice piece we stumbled across on former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner and his odd road to the closer role for the Tucson Padres. Scribs has been up-and-down out of the gate, with an 0-1 record, two saves, and a 6.43 ERA. In five outings, he has struggled in two of them, and been virtually unhittable in the other three. Ahh, the life of a closer …
– The South Bend Silver Hawks are struggling out of the gate – again – but the offense was helped a bit by seeing a somewhat familiar face – Kevin Eichhorn. Eichhorn (2008-10 Osprey), now in the Detroit Tigers organization, was touched up in his second start this season on Sunday, allowing four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched against the Hawks. Eichhorn also struck out six batters, and retired the order the first time through, but Raul Navarro (2010) drilled a two-out single in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader. Keon Broxton (2009) also had a bunt single (he’s at .302 for the season), while Chris Jarrett (2010) walked twice in the SB setback.
– Here’s today’s minor league schedule and former Osprey who get the call on the mound:
AAA – Reno (7-3) vs. Colorado Springs
AA – Mobile (7-3) vs. Hagerstown
A Adv. – Visalia (4-7) at Stockton
A – South Bend (2-8) at Great Lakes – lefty David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Silver Hawks.