OK Osprey faithful – a good number of our alumni will be opening their seasons today, and yet there are a handful whom will be waiting to start their seasons – let’s hope a good number of those who are waiting are back in Missoula.
It may be Opening Day in the minor leagues for the full-season leagues, but the Osprey are still in countdown mode – 76 days until the home opener, 74 days until the season opener, and an estimated 72 days before the first batting practice home run finds the Clark Fork.
– One former Osprey who would be a “new face, new place” candidate is Lyle Overbay (1999 Osprey), who is off to a solid start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In six games, he’s hitting .304 with a home run and four RBIs. Here’s also a sit-down chat Overbay had at the start of Spring Training about joining the Pirates.
– We mentioned Miguel Montero’s start in our last post – he homered again in the D-backs win on Wednesday at Wrigley Field over the Chicago Cubs – but we also should mention the start by Gerardo Parra (2006) as well. Parra had a three-hit day on Wednesday, and his average climbed to .333 with the effort. Parra has made the start in all five of Arizona’s games so far this season.
– Daniel Schlereth not only made his first Opening-Day roster, earning a place on the Detroit Tigers’ 25-man roster, but made an appearance in the opener as well. He pitched an inning for the Detroit Tigers, allowing a hit, on March 31 at Yankee Stadium. So far, that is the lone appearance for Schlereth, who will likely be used as a left-handed specialist this season by the Tigers.
– Today marks Opening Day for the minors, as all of the full-season leagues will begin play today – or tonight – throughout the land. Along with the 49 former Osprey who are on rosters with teams in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, there are others who are in the minors with other teams. The list, and a little bit of info on each:
Evan Scribner (’07), Tucson (AAA-San Diego)- Ben Catley’s pick to be the next former Osprey to make his Major League debut. The right-handed reliever has developed into quite the find for the Padres, who traded Tony Clark in 2008 for Scribner, straight-up, before the trade deadline. Scribs’ best pitch is a slider which has a lot of bite. If he gets guys out at Tucson, he’ll get the call soon enough.
Ryan Robowski (’09), Lakeland (A Advanced-Detroit)- Robo is a lefty who looks a bit like Scribner in his delivery, and was the pitcher on the mound who closed out the Northern Division Playoff with Great Falls in 2009. He will stay in the bullpen with the Tigers’ organization.
Scott Allen (’09), Tampa (A Advanced-NY Yankees)- Allen is young, has electric stuff and has some potential to be a solid starter. He’ll get to play in the same league as Robo (Florida State League), and in fact, they will open the season by facing each other.
Kevin Eichhorn (’08-’10), West Michigan (A-Detroit)- Eike will get to be a starter for the Whitecaps, where he will be pitching in the Midwest League. The potential for a start against South Bend looms … he’ll be in the starting rotation.
Greg Smith (’05), Colorado Springs (AAA-Colorado)- The left-hander is looking to work his way back to the Major Leagues. Smith had a so-so spring, so we shall see what pitching at altitude (Colorado Springs is actually nearly 1,000 feet higher in elevation than Denver) treats him.
Wilkin Castillo (2004), Gwinnett (AAA-Atlanta)- Castillo is looking to have a solid spring and be waiting for a chance to be back in the Major Leagues.
JD Closser (1999), Albuquerque (AAA-LA Dodgers)- Closser is also looking for another chance to be with the Major League club, as he continues his career. He is in his third season with the Dodgers organization.
Jerry Gil (2000), Louisville (AAA-Cincinnati)- Gil is trying to do a Sergio Santos, but one better – if he would make it back to the Major Leagues as a pitcher, he would be the first and only Osprey to do so as a position player and as a pitcher.
Steven Jackson (2004), Chattanooga (AA-LA Dodgers)- Jackson was signed as a free agent by the Dodgers and assigned to Chattanooga to pitch out of the Lookouts’ bullpen. Jackson spent parts of two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and made his MLB debut in 2009.
Reynaldo Navarro (2007-08), Wilmington (A Adv.-Kansas City)- Navarro was a shortstop here, but is being turned into a second baseman by the Royals’ organization. Navarro has had some experience playing the other middle infield position, and according to scouts, his arm seems a better fit on the right side of the infield.
– TRIVIA ANSWER: Tuesday’s question dealt with the best opponents batting average allowed by an Osprey pitcher (minimum 65 innings pitched). The trick is the qualifier – in the Osprey Official Record Book (coming as a PDF file to a computer near you sometime in May!), the record-holder is based on at least 10 innings pitched – which would be Jose Valverde (.075 in 2000). But under the qualifier of the question, the answer would be Jordan Norberto, who holds the mark of .216, set in 2006 … Eichhorn, at one point in the 2010 season, had a shot of breaking the mark, but a start at Casper changed all of that.
Today’s question – How many former Osprey are currently playing in the Mexican League? A hint: You have seen video of at least one of them in this very blog. Answer coming on Monday …
It’s that time of the year, where productivity at workplaces all over the country will drop significantly (thanks NCAA March Madness), when more alcohol will flow in one town today than the average weekend (thanks, Butte, America, for one of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around), and when managers start grumbling with the beat reporters in both Arizona and Florida, like this example.
– Another Top Prospect list is out featuring 14 of the gems in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system. It should be no surprise that eight of them are former Osprey.
– According to MLive.com blogger Steve Kornacki, it looks like Jose Valverde will not be the only former Osprey in the Detroit Tigers bullpen come opening day.
– If Daniel Schlereth wants to be in the Tigers ‘pen, he needs to stay away from days like these.
– Among the former Osprey players who were sent back down to minor-league camps on Monday were left-handed pitcher Greg Smith (2005 Osprey, Colorado) and right-handed pitcher Evan Scribner (2007, San Diego). Both are likely to start the season at Triple-A. Scribner’s option is his first since being added to the 40-man roster in November.
– While it’s doubtful that Wilkin Castillo (2004 Osprey) will make the Atlanta Braves’ Opening-Day roster, he is still making the most of what chances he is getting in Braves’ camp. In nine Grapefruit League games, Castillo has gone 3-for-9 with a pair of RBIs.
And, in case you were wondering, the “Boss Button” is on the top-right corner of your March Madness viewing window. Just remember that’s it’s not an active sheet, so you may want to open it once or twice to get an idea about it before you get quizzed on it.
Time for some rumblings and grumblings …
– In the category of “really?”, we find a piece from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on Arizona Diamondback outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006 Osprey) and a “stare-down” he had apparently with Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen following a home run Parra hit against White Sox prized lefty Chris Sale. The stare may very well have been in jest (both Parra and Guillen are from Venezuela), but let’s say that Parra got the last laugh. There’s more on Parra here as well, as he continues to impress this spring.
– While ace-to-be Jarrod Parker (2007) was sent back down to minor-league camp, he left quite an impression after Zach Duke broke his hand on Saturday against the Colorado Rockies. His last outing in Major League camp was his best, but he’ll still start the season at Double-A Mobile.
– Adam Eaton – who was sent back to minor-league camp, only to find out last night that he would be back in Major League camp for a brief period – isn’t the only former Osprey to be on the D-Backs Shuttle. Players who have spent a bit of time in Major League camp and are former Osprey include infielders David Nick (2009) and Taylor Harbin (2007), pitchers Tom Layne (2007) and Charles Brewer (2009), and outfielders Ender Inciarte (2009), Keon Broxton (2009) and Ollie Linton (2008). It’s not the first time that those players have been in big-league camp to fill in where needed, with Harbin having the most experience of the group.
– Evan Scribner (2007), who is on the San Diego Padres’ 40-man roster, has pitched 5 1/3 innings in two springs – and has yet to allow an earned run. He’s gone 4 1/3 this spring, allowed two hits and an unearned run, and fanned two batters. Scribner will more than likely open the season either back at Double-A San Antonio or Triple-A Tucson.
– Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000) had to skip a start this weekend, but it’s nothing serious. Apparently, the Colorado Rockies didn’t want to risk making a minor thing worse, especially with their No. 2 starter.
It’s a little too quiet on the news front today, so we’ll start the Friday edition off with a video. This is of former Osprey relief pitcher Evan Scribner, making a whale of a catch with the San Antonio Missions in 2009.
Scribner (2007 Osprey) is now up with the San Diego Padres at Major League camp as a minor-league, non-roster invitee. In two appearances, the right-hander has allowed an unearned run on two hits, and has a strikeout. Scribner was traded to the Padres back in July of 2008 for Tony Clark.
– Jarrod Parker managed to go out and give the Arizona Diamondbacks two more scoreless innings in his latest outing on Thursday. It was the second time Parker has been on the mound since recovering from Tommy John surgery.
– Former Osprey pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000) was touched up for two home runs – including a tape-measure job by Buster Posey – in Colorado’s loss to San Francisco on Thursday.
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Have a great weekend, and Go Osprey!