by Ben Catley
So I am watching MLB.tv on Sunday, catching the tail end of the D-backs game, and on the mound in the ninth inning, during a mound visit, were three Osprey – pitcher Bryan Shaw (2008), catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03) and first baseman Lyle Overbay (1999). A fourth, outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006), was in left field. And a fifth, Paul Goldschmidt (2009), had just pinch-hit a half-inning prior.
Yes, I was smiling.
I smiled even more when Shaw blew a 94 mile-per-hour fastball past Buster Posey to finish off his first Major League save, capping off a D-backs comeback of epic proportions, rallying down from 6-0 down to win, 7-6, and finish off a sweep of the San Francisco Giants in their 2012 Opening Series at Chase Field.
Overbay doubled twice and homered – a tape-measure shot, by the way – and drove in three runs to lead the charge.
It caps off what was a great week to be a former Osprey. Well, for a good number of them, anyway. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Right to it … I have some catching up to do …
– The Mobile BayBears may be poised to make another run for the Southern League title, especially with the roster they will begin with this season. Added to that mix was outfielder Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey), who was sent back to minor-league camp on Thursday by the D-backs. Not a surprise that it was to Double-A Mobile, either. The D-backs have stacked the BayBears with a great rotation of Charles Brewer (2009) Patrick Corbin, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer, plus one more arm in the mix (maybe Chase Anderson, one of Brewer’s 2009 teammates in Missoula). But, wow … look at that pitching. Add Eaton to the top of the lineup, and a bevy of bats behind him, and it could be fun in ‘Bama …
– Also from the top prospects piece done by MLB.com writer Steve Gilbert … Visalia is likely to have a whale of a staff. David Holmberg (2010) should be joined by 2011 draftees (and former Osprey) Andrew Chafin and Anthony Meo, along with 2009 Osprey teammates Chris Owings at short and Bobby Borchering in left field.
– Three more Osprey to mention from the top prospects piece … catcher Michael Perez is likely headed here (No. 9 on the latest list), while 2011 Osprey pitcher Archie Bradley is targeted for South Bend … and, according to Gilbert, outfielder Justin Bianco (2011) is likely going to … the Arizona Rookie League. Don’t think that will happen … but we shall wait and see.
Of course, none of the roster stuff will be official until next week … and we will be updating you on the list of former Osprey, and where they get assigned.
– Remember the rash of inside pitches that ended up in the faces of two players from the 2011 Osprey? Well, the rotten luck in that regard has struck again, unfortunately. Catcher Bryan Henry (yeah, 2011 Osprey, not the 2007 Osprey pitcher) is the latest victim, taking one off the face during a Class A game this week. From his Facebook status: “Thank you to our great training staff and team doctors for fixing me up and getting me the proper care.” Henry also says he had to have his nose reset, and judging by the picture he posted, he’s likely out for a bit. Get well soon Bryan!
– Note from today’s Cactus League game for the D-backs against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim … Keon Broxton managed to work his way for a double late in the game. I was trying to watch it, but the feed dropped just as I heard “Broxton to the plate” … I’m glad he updated me. He’s another one who is likely headed to Visalia or Mobile. Today’s game also had a Raymond Hernandez sighting … as he pitched in relief.
– The latest fodder as to Miguel Montero (2002-03) and his future uniforms … if he becomes a free agent, the likely spots he could land. And what does he reportedly want (or at least his agent wants him to sign for)? V-Mart money.
– I had to share this … Trevor Bauer’s late-night Twitter feed.
– Here’s a good numbers post on projecting batting averages and on-base percentages for the D-backs in 2012.
– Here’s your dose of Gerardo Parra (2006) … this time, it’s with the role he’ll have to at least start the season. Which is backing up all three outfield positions.
– Jose Valverde (2000) underwent a physical change this offseason. He also has an interesting take on Prince Fielder.
Tomorrow … I know, a day late … the Predictions of the Next Osprey Position Players/Pitchers to make their MLB Debuts. As long as I don’t get caught up in another wild sports day, that is.
by Ben Catley
You think it would have happened sooner.
While doing plenty of searches during the 2010 MLB Draft, I was reminded quite often about the Adam Eaton (2010, and, yes I am speaking of OUR Adam Eaton at the moment) identity crisis. At least I knew where Eaton was coming from – Miami University of Ohio. Easy to determine the difference between the two, right??
The non-Osprey Adam Eaton is a tall, husky (I think) right-handed pitcher who had his brief run in the Major Leagues. He even won a ring with Philadelphia, in 2008. But he hasn’t thrown a pitch since 2009, for the Colorado Rockies.
Now, he – meaning the pitcher Eaton – is back in the news, because of a case of mistaken identity.
You see, the newer, OUR Eaton, received a bunch of royalty checks for trading cards .. which have apparently been bouncing around for a while .. totaling somewhere in the neighborhood of $120,000. Which is a lot of money. In the words of Kenny Powers, “Dollar, dollar bills y’all.”
(Note: I was shocked to actually find a clean, family-friendly version of this. Also shocked that FX was apparently airing Eastbound and Down, but that’s another story for another day.)
Of course, teammate Cody Ransom helped Eaton figure it out, especially since the address was not OUR Eaton’s. So, for now, at least the other Eaton will be getting paid.
While I was hoping for other OUR Adam Eaton news to show up this spring, well … it was too funny not to pass along.
Back to the news of the week:
– The Arizona Diamondbacks dedicated the Roland Hemond Executive Conference Room at Salt River Fields earlier this week. The D-backs wanted to honor the longtime baseball executive, who is currently a special assistant to D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall.
– Gerardo Parra, heading into today’s Cactus League action, has a .333 batting average, a couple of steals, plus has scored a team-best 11 runs. If he gets into over 100 games, and gets 300 at-bats, and hits over .300 (yeah, call it a prediction, I think he is capable of doing it) … you think he wouldn’t deserve a starting job somewhere?? Oh, yeah, speaking of that … the whole “Parra could be traded” story still has legs.
– Looks like some of the 2012 Osprey will get some Major League help for at least the beginning of Extended Spring Training, if only for a couple of games. Unless Stephen Drew gets into a simulated game, before the end of camp, he will likely spend at least a week or two in Extended then rehab in Reno before heading to the AZ.
– Former Osprey pitcher Archie Bradley (2011) was pitching in the Class A Advanced game on Thursday for the D-backs against the Giants High-A club. That would be one of those Visalia-San Jose match-ups in the California League during the season. While it’s no guarantee that those players will stay in that classification out of camp, it’s a great sign for Bradley that the D-backs have him on that roster. It will be interesting to see if he stays there, or gets moved around.
– Bloomberg Sports came out recently and says that Paul Goldschmidt (2009) will hit 30 home runs and drive in 92 runs in 2012. Here’s more reasons why that is likely to happen.
– Eaton (as in OUR Eaton), Charles Brewer (2009), Chris Owings (2009) and Bryan Shaw (2008) show up on this prospect list – the most likely to make an impact in the Major Leagues by 2015.
– It’s going to be a wait-and-see thing as well as the debate goes on about whether or not the D-backs will re-up with Miguel Montero (2002-03). Funny how this story was supposed to go away, yet won’t …
– If you had Jarrod Parker (2007) in the starting rotation for the Oakland A’s out of Opening Day … not this year. He will start the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
Gerardo Parra, a 2006 member of the Missoula Osprey, has earned his first Rawlings Gold Glove award, announced earlier this evening. We will have more on this tomorrow.
by Ben Catley
Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis has a very solid theory to success in the Pioneer League … experience pays off up the middle. The more of it you have at shortstop, second base, in center field and behind the plate, the better off you will be as a team, and will give you the best chance to compete.
It’s beginning to look a lot like his theory will be given a stiff test this season.
Among the 17 players who have been announced to the Osprey roster (the full details as to the other seven will be coming later today in a story on MissoulaOsprey.com), all of them have either spent at least one season playing professionally, or have played collegiately, or both.
The key position, of course, is shortstop. And with collegiate shortstops Joshua Parr and Stephen Cardullo on the roster, it’s looking like the Osprey will be strong at that position.
Eventually, a number of collegiate shortstops move to second base – and that may be in Cardullo’s future as well – but the prospects of what lies ahead for the Osprey is downright exciting.
More on this later, but for now … on to the rest of the blog …
– Big night for former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03), who drove in four runs last night in the D-backs’ big win over Florida.
– Here’s a video of something that it cool to see … a hit to a former Osprey, and a throw to a former Osprey to tag out a former Osprey.
– Speaking of the D-backs … two interesting notes. One is that the top two picks from the 2011 MLB Draft, pitchers Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley, will be in Phoenix this week. The other may spark some debate, as D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall would consider a move to the American League if asked. Since the story was posted last night on the D-backs’ website, there have been about 50 comments – most of them are not in favor of a move.
– Former Osprey pitcher Jose Valverde (2000) picked up the win last night for the Tigers in an extra-inning decision over Tampa Bay. Here’s a video interview done with Valverde a couple of weeks ago. He has quite the personality.
– We get the feeling that CarGo is locked in now … especially with his move to the leadoff spot.
– Goldy Watch: Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 2-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in Mobile’s 2-1 loss at Birmingham. The two hits raised Goldy’s batting average to .348.
– Roster Move: The D-backs have sent 1B Ramon Castillo from South Bend to Triple-A Reno.
On to the Minor League Update:
Triple-A Reno: The Aces hung on for a 15-9 win over Tucson on Monday. Josh Ellis (2007) was touched up a bit in his outing, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched, but also singled and scored a run. Jordan Norberto (2006) picked up the win in relief, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out a pair of batters. Also at the plate, first baseman Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a pair of runs scored.
Double-A Mobile: In the 2-1 loss on Monday, Ollie Linton (2008) went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jake Elmore (2008) and Taylor Harbin (2007) went a combined 0-for-9.
Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide surrendered a five-run bottom of the 7th inning and dropped an 8-3 decision at Modesto on Monday. Rossmel Perez (2008) doubled and drove in a run, while David Nick (2009), Chirs Owings (2009) and Bobby Borchering (2009) each had a hit in the setback. Diogenes Rosario (2009) fared well in his start, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, and came away with a no-decision. Of those five runs, four were unearned. Taylor Sinclair (2008) gave up the final unearned run on two hits.
Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks enjoyed a day off on Monday.
DSL D-backs: The Baby Backs beat the DSL Twins, 1-0. Alan Santiago (2009) went 1-for-3 at the plate to raise his batting average to .269.
Today’s Action and Osprey Probables:
AAA Reno (38-27) vs. Tucson
AA Mobile (36-29) has the day off … Montgomery will be in for a five-game series beginning Wednesday.
A Adv. Visalia (28-35) at Modesto – Eric Smith (2009) will hit the bump tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (31-32) at Lansing
DSL D-backs (5-7) at DSL Padres
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
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.
So we’re drawing close – 34 days before the home opener, 32 days before the season gets underway, and 20 days before the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
– Bobby Borchering (2009) had a big day at the plate to support Major League pitcher Zach Duke – who was in Visalia on a rehab assignment – in a rout of Rancho Cucamonga. More on this one in the Minor League recap below.
– While Miguel Montero (2002-03) has been solid most of the season at the plate for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra continues to get better. Both had a huge hand in a win on Tuesday for the D-backs. Parra drove in a pair of runs in the victory, but it was Montero’s RBI double that snapped a 1-1 tie in a 6-1 win.
– Speaking of Parra (2006), with the two hits he collected in the D-backs’ 5-4, 11-inning win over Atlanta on Wednesday, he’s now hitting .264 (which is below his .275 career BA) with a pair of home runs and 10 RBIs. While some may yearn for more on the power side, Parra’s defense makes up for it, as he has turned into a very good outfielder. Of course, when we can, we provide video evidence.
– Reading this blog entry could make one feel bad for former Osprey Carlos Gonzalez (2003) and Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000). De La Rosa ended up getting locked into a pitcher’s duel with Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels last night, but the Phillies ended up with the win. It was by far the best pitching performance not only of the season for the lefty, but in his career against the Phillies.
– If you’ve been wondering about Greg Smith (2005), and can’t find him on the Colorado Springs SkySox roster – there is a reason. The Rockies released Smith after Spring Training, and he ended up signing with the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association. In two starts, the lefty, who was the 2005 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, including a complete-game shutout in his latest outing.
Minor League Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces had an off-day on Wednesday, as they prepared for a road trip that begins in Albuquereue and continues to Round Rock.
– Double-A Mobile: Deuces were running wild for Paul Goldschmidt (2009) on Wednesday, with two singles, two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored in a 4-for-6 game as Mobile routed Carolina, 16-6. Ollie Linton (2008) singled, walked and scored three times, while Kyle Greene (2008) doubled, drove in a run and also scored thrice.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: In the 10-2 win over Ranch Cucamonga, Adam Eaton (2010) had a huge day – hitting a home run, triple, two singles, scored three times and drove in a pair of runs. Eaton’s now second in the Cal League in hitting (.395) and leads in on-base percentage (.500). Derek Eitel (2010), who was scheduled to make the start before the D-backs decided to place Duke there for the rehab assignment, pitched two innings and allowed a run on four hits, with two strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) and Yonata Ortega (2007) each pitched an inning of scoreless relief. David Nick (2009) added two hits and two runs scored, while Keon Broxton (2009) chipped in with a hit and a run.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks fell to Lansing, 5-3, on Wednesday. It was a good day for former Osprey pitchers – Jeff Shields (2010) had an effective start, with five innings pitched and three runs allowed, followed by two shutout innings of work by Daniel Taylor (2010), and Keith Cantwell (2009) added a shutout inning as well. At the plate, though, the lone former Osprey to get a hit was Roberto Rodriguez (2010), who came into the game after Bobby Stone was apparently injured during his first at-bat. No word on what the injury was, or how long, or if, it will keep him out of action.
Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-15) at Albuquerque.
AA Mobile (23-15) at Tennessee.
A Adv. Visalia (19-21) at Rancho Cucamonga – Trevor Harden (2008) will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (17-23) vs. Lansing – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call for the Hawks tonight.
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.
Hmm, let’s see – 42 days (or six weeks) before the home opener … 40 days before the season opener … and about 24 hours before Osprey radio voice Ben Catley begins his version of Spring Training.
– It’s official, the Osprey will be “nesting” in a new location. The offices are moving into downtown Missoula, in the newly-formed MSO Hub on the corner of Main and Higgins.
– The first item is a big deal – the only thing that could trump Goldy’s minor-league-tying 13th home run, hit in the first inning of today’s game for Mobile at Jacksonville.
– While South Bend is checking in with West Michigan – they’re playing now (as of 9 a.m.) in the third of a four-game series – we checked in on former Osprey Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10 Osprey), who was trying to right things in Grand Rapids. While Eichhorn is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, he has struck out 36 in 30 innings pitched, and his WHIP is at a respectible 1.27. However, he has also allowed three home runs – a problem he started running into with the Osprey last season. We’ll keep you up to date on his progress.
– Speaking of in-game updates … Hawks lead Whitecaps in today’s action, 3-0, entering the top of the fourth inning. Ender Inicarte is part of the story – he has two hits in two trips, with a run scored. Inciarte has his average back up to .463 (through the 2nd inning), as he continues his torrid start. Here’s a great story on Inciarte, who is playing this season with a heavy heart after losing his father to a heart attack during Spring Training.
– The other former Osprey involved in that D-backs’ trade with the Detroit Tigers that sent Eichhorn away was left-hander Ryan Robowski (2009), who has been solid for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Florida State League. In 14 2/3 innings, ‘Robo’ has allowed as many walks as he has collected strikeouts (seven), but has just surrendered one earned run for a 0.61 ERA, plus has two saves to his credit.
– Gerardo Parra is starting to become a regular in D-backs’ manager Kirk Gibson’s lineup, thanks in part to some extra work on the old No. 2.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces managed to take care of business on Tuesday, beating Omaha, 5-1. That run was allowed by Daniel Stange (2006) in the eighth, on a solo home run. Stange scattered two other hits and struck out two batters in the outing, which raised his ERA to 3.93.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears used a solid outing from Jarrod Parker (2007), a scoreless four innings from its bullpen (including 2006 alum Clay Zavada, who allowed just a walk and struck out two in two innings of work), and plenty of offense in securing a 10-1 win over Jacksonville on Tuesday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, Jake Elmore (2008) singled home a run, while Taylor Harbin (2007), who scored twice, and Paul Goldschmidt (2009) each chipped in with a base hit.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Adam Eaton (2010) singled, tripled, and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning as the Rawhide reached the .500 mark with a 2-1 win over Bakersfield. Keon Broxton (2009) also had two hits, while Bobby Borchering (2009) had a single for Visalia. Borchering’s platoon-mate, of sorts, Matt Davidson, drove in both runs with a solo home run and the ninth-inning single. The winning run came off of Clayton Shunick, who has seen comebacks before by Osprey, as a former pitcher for the Billings Mustangs.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks split a doubleheader with West Michigan on Tuesday. JR Bradley (2010) used two double play balls to help scatter eight hits and allow just one run in six innings of work while picking up his first win of the season in a 6-1 lidlifter triumph. Bobby Stone (2008-10) finally hit his first home run of the season, as the Hawks won their fifth in a row. Matt Helm (2009-10) had two hits and a RBI, while Ender Inciarte (2009) continued his surge at the plate with three hits and two runs scored. In the nightcap, the offense went quiet behind Daniel Taylor (2010) as the Hawks lost, 5-0. Raywilly Gomez (2009) singled and doubled, while Ramon Castillo (2009) added a double for all of the Hawks’ hits in the contest.
Today’s games (and former Osprey who are starting …):
AAA Reno (21-12) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (19-11) playing at Jacksonville.
A Adv. Visalia (16-16) vs. Bakersfield – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the ball tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (14-18) playing at West Michigan … David Holmberg (2010) made the start today for the Hawks, and has allowed just one hit through 3 innings.