Results tagged ‘ Esmerling Vasquez ’

Time to find out who it will be

We’re just two weeks away from Osprey baseball. The Osprey will play at Helena in their season opener on June 20, as they face off with the defending Pioneer League champion Brewers. It’s on the air at 6:40, with the first pitch at 7:05, on AM 930, KMPT, and MissoulaOsprey.com.

And were 16 days away from the Home Opener, also with the Brewers. Get your tickets now at the MSO Hub Box Office at 140 N. Higgins or online at MissoulaOsprey.com.

Read here for more on the three former Osprey selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star game in two weeks.

– The 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft begins tonight at the MLB Network Studios, with the First Round and Compensation Round A taking place in the first of what will be a three-day event. Rounds 2-30 will happen on Tuesday, and the final rounds, 31-50, will be held on Wednesday.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will have the No. 3, No. 7 and No. 43 picks in the draft, and there has been a lot of debate as to where the D-backs will go with those picks. The top two picks also seem to change with the breeze, so who will even be available when the D-backs make their first pick is up in the air.

We will be posting each pick (and what info we can gather about each pick) as soon as possible all three days. More than likely, the picks on Tuesday and Wednesday will be posted in groups of several at a time, since the rounds will begin to tick by as fast as fish try to swim away from Ollie. The key word there is try.

-While the D-backs lost on Sunday, the team has put together an amazing 60 games so far this season, anchored by a pair of former Osprey in the lineup and one on the mound:
*Miguel Montero (2002-03) is hitting .271 with 14 doubles, six homers, 27 RBI and an .807 OPS.
*Gerardo Parra (2006) has been solid with the glove, plus is batting .267, with five doubles, a triple, four home runs and 16 RBIs.
*Right-handed reliever Esmerling Vasquez (2004) has an 0-1 mark with a 3.63 ERA, walking just nine while striking out 18 in 22 1/3 innings pitched. Vasquez was ejected during yesterday’s festivities after hitting a Washington batter with a pitch. This followed Justin Upton getting hit for the fourth time in the series (and the Nationals’ Jason Marquis getting the heave-ho), which was proceeded by Washington’s Jayson Werth getting plunked by a pitch, and warnings going to both sides. And here we thought the next potential bout of testiness would be between Florida and San Francisco.

Goldy Watch: On Sunday, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 2-for-3 with an intentional walk and a strikeout. Goldy’s now hitting .341 for the season, with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs.

– Former Osprey pitcher Greg Smith (2005) is making the best of his opportunity with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs of the American Association (Independent). In five starts, the left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA. Smith, who is a Louisiana native, signed with the Air Hogs after being released by the Colorado Rockies in April.

– Former Osprey infielder-turned-utilityman Emilio Bonifacio (2003) has become very valuable to the Florida Marlins these days. In fact, Bonni is getting an extended time starting at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez nursing a back problem. Of course, there is still work to be done.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost a slim lead late, and fell to Salt Lake City on Sunday, 3-2. Daniel Stange (2006) pitched a scoreless ninth inning, but the Aces were unable to rally late.

– Double-A Mobile: Jarrod Parker (2007) and Bryan Henry (2007) combined to allow four hits while striking out 10 batters in seven innings of work to help the BayBears’ pitching collect their second straight shutout, a  4-0 blanking of Huntsville on Sunday. Parker fanned six batters in his five innings of work, while Henry added four punch-outs in two innings pitched.  Jake Elmore (2008) had a double and 2 RBI from the leadoff spot, plus scored a run for Mobile, who has won seven straight games to take sole possession of first place in the Southern League’s Southern Division. The BayBears have outscored the Stars, 9-0, in the first two games of their 5-game series.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: One night after being rained out, the Rawhide were two-hit by Modesto, falling 5-0 on Sunday. Trevor Harden (2008) allowed all five runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, including two home runs, and struck out seven batters. Christian Beltre and Yonata Ortega, 2007 Osprey teammates, both pitched a scoreless inning of relief behind Harden.

– Class A South Bend: Patrick Schuster (2009-10) allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings of work, while South Bend had a pair of four-run uprisings late in the game to beat Quad Cities on Sunday, 9-1. The Silver Hawks scored four times in both the sixth and eighth innings to take the win. Schuster walked one and fanned four to help lower his ERA to 3.14 for the season, while picking up his fifth win in seven decisions. Ender Inciarte (2009) doubled, Roberto Rodriguez (2010) singled, walked twice, drove in a run and stole a base; Matt Helm (2009-10) singled, scored twice and drove in a run, and Raul Navarro (2010) added a base hit and two RBIs.

– DSL D-backs: Did not play on Sunday. In four games so far this season, former Osprey outfielder Alan Santiago (2009) is 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.

Today’s Games and former Osprey Probables:
AAA Reno (34-24) vs. Salt Lake City
AA Mobile (33-24) vs. Huntsville
A Adv. Visalia (25-31) vs. Modesto
A South Bend (30-27) has an off-day on Monday
DSL D-backs (2-4) at DSL Padres

Watch out for that ladder and black cat …

T-minus 40 days before the home opener, 38 days before the season opener, and less than a few hours before the final weekend that exists until mid-September. At least for most folks who work in short-season baseball … and, oh, by the way … it’s Friday the 13th.

– On the transaction front – former Osprey pitcher Enrique Burgos (2009) has been promoted to Class A South Bend from Extended Spring Training. Burgos takes the place of starting pitcher Tyler Green, who was placed on the disabled list on Thursday.

– The ever-improving Esmerling Vasquez (2004) has played his part in solidifying one of the achilles’ heels of the D-backs last season, it’s bullpen. That group has put together a solid first few weeks of the 2011 season.

– Evan Scribner (2007) has been pretty  good for the San Diego Padres since his call-up last month. In four outings – including one against the D-Backs – “The Scribbler” (it comes from his Wikipedia page …) has a 1.13 ERA and seven strikeouts and two walks in eight innings of work. His hometown paper provides a bit of an update, and here’s more on his move to longer outings out of the bullpen.

– From the video archive … since we have people come and searching for info on Extended Spring Training guys, we share this with you. It’s a feature video of right-handed pitcher Robby Rowland in his high school days – playing basketball. Yeah, he was okay on the court …

More draft notes from Nick Piecoro. Looks like the D-backs are going to have plenty of options with two of the first seven picks in next month’s draft.

– Sergio Santos (2002) continues to be a puzzle Major League hitters are struggling to solve. The former Osprey shortstop-turned-reliever continues to be in the closer’s mix for the Chicago White Sox.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces registered an 11-3 decision over Omaha on Thursday. Former Osprey bullpen mates Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto (both 2006) combined for three innings of hitless relief.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears were held in check by Jacksonville in a 4-1 setback on Thusday. Charles Brewer (2009) allowed all four runs in his second start back from a concussion, while Bryan Henry (2007) pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Mobile had just two hits, one of which was picked up by Taylor Harbin (2007).

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Eric Smith (2009) struggled once again – allowing 10 runs in four-plus innings – as the Rawhide lost to Bakersfield, 11-4. The bullpen was solid, allowing just a run in 5 2/3 innings – Adam Worthington (2009), Christian Beltre (2007), Taylor Sinclair (2008) and Yonata Ortega (2007) getting it done. David Nick (2009) had three hits, including two doubles, and two runs batted in, while Bobby Borchering (2009) added three hits, and Adam Eaton (2010) added a pair of safeties and a RBI, raising his batting average to .370 in the process.

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks succumbed to a big inning once again and lost “Eike vs. Former Osprey II”. Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10) scattered six hits and allowed just two runs – one earned – with a walk and two strikeouts as West Michigan posted a 5-3 win. Roberto Rodriguez (2010) singled and doubled, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) was the only other former Osprey to collect a hit in the game. Ender Inciarte walked twice and stole a base, but was also picked off by Eichhorn. Eury De La Rosa (2009) pitched three innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Jeff Shields (2010), who took the loss.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (22-13) vs. Omaha – Tom Layne (2007) gets the start for the Aces.
AA Mobile (19-13) at Jacksonville
A Adv. Visalia (17-17) vs. Bakersfield – Derek Eitel (2010) gets the ball tonight for the Rawhide on Ghostbusters Night.
A South Bend (15-19) at Bowling Green – No starter announced for this one, could be Burgos.

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).

Land of confusuion and rain …

T-minus 56 days until Opening Day, 54 days before the season opens, and while we don’t condone betting in any way, it appears as if the line favors there being an Osprey home run before any NFL player will be allowed to work out in their own facility, post-lockout-lifting. Oh, wait, one did already? Never mind …

– Both Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero are among the D-backs who are on the NL All-Star Ballot. Vote now, and often (up to 25 times)!  Other former Osprey on the All-Star Ballot are Pittsburgh first baseman Lyle Overbay and Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

– Speaking of CarGo, he’s slumping at the moment, and even took a day off on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

– Former Osprey infielder, and current Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Sergio Santos had one thing on his “to-do” list while the Pale Hose were calling on Yankee Stadium this week – meet Mariano Rivera and pick his brain about being a closer.

– Just in case you didn’t know … look who leads the minors in home runs.

– Here’s the latest stats for some of the former Osprey in the Major Leagues (as of April 27, 2011):
Miguel Montero (C, Ariz.) – . 292, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Gerardo Parra (OF, Ariz.) – .309, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Lyle Overbay (1B, Pit.) – .253, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez (OF, Colo.) – .217, 1 HR, 14 RBI
Scott Hairston (OF, NYM)- . 179, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Emilio Bonifacio (IF/OF, Fla.) – .302, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB

Jose Valverde (RHP, Det.) – 2-0, 5-5 saves, 0.93 ERA, 9 Ks in 9 2/3 innings pitched.
Daniel Schlereth (LHP, Det.) – 0-0, 2.57 ERA
Esmerling Vasquez (RHP, Ariz.) – 0-1, 2.35 ERA, 0-1 saves
Tony Pena (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-1, 7.71 ERA, 0-1 saves
Sergio Santos (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-0, 2-2 saves, 0.00 ERA, 14 Ks in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Bryan Augenstein (RHP, St. Louis) – 0-1, 9.53 ERA, currently on 15-day DL with groin injury.
Jorge De La Rosa (LHP, Colo.) – 4-0, 2.61 ERA, .179 opponents BA,  1 HR allowed in 31 innings pitched.

Time for the Minors roundup ….

Triple-A Reno: The Aces rallied past Fresno, 6-5, on Tuesday.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears had their twinbill with Jackson postponed again due to rain. Yet, Paul Goldschmidt still leads the minors in home runs.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide had eight hits – two each for David Nick (double, 2 RBIs) and Rossmel Perez – but the see-saw ending turned in the bottom of the ninth, with the host Bakersfield Blaze winning, 6-5. Eric Smith allowed three earned runs in his six innings of work, while Adam Worthington surrendered two runs, both unearned, in the bottom of the eighth, which gave the Blaze a 5-3 lead. Nick doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Chris Owings also had a double for the Rawhide.

– Class A South Bend : The SilverHawks had their game with Bowling Green postponed due to rain, and it will be made up on May 14 as part of a doubleheader.

Today’s Games:
AAA Reno (13-6) will have today off, before starting a series with Tacoma on Thursday.
AA Mobile (12-6) at Birmingham. No word as of yet who will start for the BayBears
A Adv. Visalia (7-12) at Bakersfield. Derek Eitel will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-13) at Lake County. Bradin Hagens will get the start aainst the Captains.

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

Manic Monday

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.

The deadline approaches …

T-minus 69 days until Opening Night at home, 67 days until the Osprey open their season at Helena, and less than 48 hours to e-file your tax returns. If you’re still doing them on paper, you have an extra three days.

– A reminder, the Osprey will hold a Job Fair on Tuesday, April 19, at the DoubleTree Hotel from 3-8 p.m. There are many day-of-game positions available for the 2011 season at the Job Fair. You will be able to complete applications and have an interview during the event.

-Esmerling Vasquez (2004) is back with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Vasquez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief in Wednesday’s 15-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander threw just one inning in Reno, getting a strikeout and not allowing a thing, and is coming off of a strong Spring Training, something which has helped with his confidence.

Tom Layne, meanwhile, was being groomed as a reliever, but the crafty lefty is suddenly in Reno’s rotation. His performance last night may be enough to allow that to happen. Layne allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, while scattering five hits and two walks, and struck out five in a win at Colorado Springs. The Aces have now won five in a row after losing their opener.

– Not so good news for former Osprey Matt Helm, who apparently is down with an injury.

– A good win for Double-A Mobile on Wednesday, as they beat Mississippi in their home opener. And, yes, former Osprey had their hands all over the win, although Goldy lost an apparent home run. The BayBears also made a roster move, one which brings former Osprey reliever Josh Ellis down from Reno, where he had yet to make an appearance this season.

– The prices of things all around us may have gone up, but the good news Osprey baseball will once again be very affordable this season. Read more here as studies show that minor league baseball is still a great bargain.

– Here are some ERAs from the Chicago White Sox bullpen – 0.00, 2.84, 7.36, 7.71, 11.25 and 11.57. Can you guess which belongs to former Osprey Sergio Santos and Tony Pena? Well, while White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had his first meltdown of the 2011 season following a six-run, two-inning run by the Oakland A’s that victimized the Pale Hose once again, we discovered the numbers – which are ugly.

Unless your last name is Santos.

Sergio is at it again, and while there have been thoughts of moving him into the closer’s role, this may be the incident that pushes Guillen to follow his gut and do just that. Santos is still pitching in special circumstances – dubbed the “Santos Rules” last season – and so far, he has done well. In five appearances, the 2002 former Osprey infielder-turned-pitcher has pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out nine batters. And Santos, after Wednesday’s action, had not allowed a run. His 1.04 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) is second to only Gavin Floyd’s 0.93.

The same is not true of Pena, unfortunately, who is struggling with an 11.25 ERA in the first 12 games this season. There was some consideration to move Pena into the rotation with the absence of Jake Peavy, but he has struggled in his five outings, which include a blown save.

– For people who are ready and can’t wait to watch live baseball, the Missoula Mavericks American Legion squad takes to the field for their first game of the 2011 season on Saturday, when they will host the Great Falls Chargers in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the old Osprey nesting ground, better known as Lindborg-Cregg Field.

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.

The time is now …

Here’s hoping that people are nice to you on Friday. While it will be Opening Day for everyone else who did not play on Thursday in the Major Leagues, it will also be … April Fool’s Day. So keep your  head on a swivel.

– A piece of Osprey information first – the annual Osprey Job Fair will be held on April 19, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. More information will be coming soon to the club’s website, www.missoulaosprey.com.

– As has been the case in Bird Droppings this month, anytime we mention a player would be in contention for a roster spot (Pedro Ciriaco and Jordan Norberto, anyone?), the opposite ends up happening. Now, we could call it a curse, but we’re citing other sources with this information, so we deny any and all bad ju-ju associated with such moves.

That being said, hours after we mentioned he was in the mix for a relief position in the bullpen, right-hander Esmerling Vasquez  was sent to Triple-A Reno, despite having a solid spring.

– In Nick Piecoro’s blog, a scout asseses the D-backs player-by-player. The assessments include some good stuff on the beforementioned Norberto.

– Charles Brewer (2009) danced with perfection in his last spring outing, pitching 4 2/3 perfect innings in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ exhibition game with Monterry of the Mexican League. Brewer’s final line – 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0BB, 5K. Brewer allowed a single and back-to-back home runs before getting that final out of the fifth, plus also managed to lay down a sacrifice bunt. He also picked up the win in an 11-4 D-backs’ rout.

– Also playing in that game – Monterry third baseman Agustin Murillo, who played with the Osprey in 2003.

– The Cactus League finale – a 15-8 D-backs win over the Chicago Cubs – also featured former Osprey making appearances as the teams were in split-squad for the last time during Spring Training. Kyle Greene (2008), Bobby Stone (2008-09-10) and Roidany Aguila (2009-10), who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, played in the win, while Vasquez pitched an inning of one-hit, two-strikeout relief.

– Former Osprey catcher Richie Rowland (2010) did not stay “retired” long. After ending his term with the D-backs, the son of former Major League backstop Rich Rowland has signed a contract to play with Traverse City of the Frontier League. Richie’s younger brother, Robby, will be in Extended Spring Training, for now, with the D-backs.

– One other former Osprey let out where they were headed within their social media circles on Wednesday. Third baseman Matt Helm is headed to South Bend, and will spend a lot of his time in the lineup at third base. Helm was forced to learn first base and the outfield in South Bend last season to make way for prospects Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson, and moved back to third when he rejoined the Osprey. Helm, just in case you forgot, played with the Osprey in the 2009 postseason, and then joined the club for the second half of the 2010 campaign.

– One other note – official rosters for the minor-league affiliates will not be released until Saturday or Sunday. Once we have an idea, we will post the information here, and have a complete look at all of the former Osprey placed on full-season rosters in a story on Monday, which will be send to the local media and appear on the team’s website.

Roster decision time

There are a few days that we here at the Missoula Osprey office look forward to which take place before our season begins. One of those – or, actually, more like three of those days – would be around the First-Year Player Draft.

Another one of those days is shortly after, when the D-backs announce who will be coming to Missoula, and the following days when we relay those announcements.

The third time begins … now.

This is the time that Major League teams announce their 25-man Opening Day rosters, and the minor-league teams also inform all of us who is headed where this season.

Unless you know one of the minor-leaguers, or keep tabs of them through social media means, the announcement of the rosters are the first indication of the progress they are making through the spring, unless they end up playing in a game or 10 with the parent club during the spring.

But, on occasion, we do get some inside information that we can pass along … with that in mind, as promised in the comments section of a prior post, we at Bird Droppings have found these nuggets:

– Derek Eitel has long suspected that he would start the season in South Bend, but the 2010 former Osprey will begin the season in the SilverHawks bullpen. Patrick Schuster (2009-10) will also open the season in South Bend.

– Robby Rowland, also a member of the 2010 Osprey, will not be on a full-season roster to start the minor-league season. Instead, Rowland will stay in extended spring training.

There’s other items of suspicion, like that 2009 Osprey alum Bobby Borchering will start at Class A Advanced Visalia. The Arizona Republic penned a very interesting story on Borchering’s youth. We have to admit, we’re all a little jealous of his backyard field …

And the battle that former Osprey Emilio Bonifacio (2003) find himself in while trying to earn a roster spot with the Florida Marlins.

– Adam Eaton (2010) informed his friends on Facebook on Tuesday night that he will start the 2010 season in the Visalia outfield. Not a surprise, with Eaton making the most of his looks in games he appeared in with the D-backs in Cactus League action.

– Former Osprey catcher Wilkin Castillo (2004) will start the season in Georgia, just not the destination we were hoping for.

– It looks like former Osprey reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008) will be standing on the line at Yankee Stadium with his Detroit Tiger teammates on Thursday. The official announcement is expected to happen today, but it’s pretty apparent he’ll be in the bullpen for the Tigers this season, barring injury. Which, if you have followed the Tigers at all, seems to go with their bullpen.

– Back to the D-backs, as it is now apparent that the final spot on the 25-man roster is in the Mibullpen, with former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vazquez (2004), who has put together a solid spring, in contention for the spot. Especially with former Osprey left-hander Jordan Norberto now at Triple-A.

This means the following former Osprey (pending official announcements) will likely be on Major League Opening Day Rosters:
– Miguel Montero, Arizona
– Gerardo Parra, Arizona
– Lyle Overbay, Pittsburgh
– Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
– Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado
– Jose Valverde, Detroit
– Daniel Schlereth, Detroit
– Sergio Santos, Chicago White Sox
– Tony Pena, Chicago White Sox
– Emilio Bonifacio, Florida
– Scott Hairston, NY Mets

Tomorrow, more roster news, and some updates on former Osprey who managed to get in some looks with the parent club in the last few days of Spring Training, as well as one former Osprey who will be back behind the plate soon enough – albeit in Michigan.

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