by Ben Catley
35 days until Opening Night, 31 days before season opens in Billings
As I get ready for my sixth season of calling Osprey baseball on the radio, I can look back fondly at a few former players who made quite an impression on me. And one of my favorites is tearing it up in the Pacific Coast League … and finally getting some love from the blogs.
So now you’re wondering … it’s not our Adam Eaton (2010)? Well, he is also one of my favorites … but not the one I speak of.
I speak of Jake Elmore (2008), of course, who has produced in a big way at the plate while showcasing nearly all of his versatility. The only position he hasn’t played this season that he has in the past is pitcher – he pitched in at least one game each of the past two seasons while at Double-A Mobile.
Right now, though, Elmore is making plenty of noise with the bat. He’s hitting .372, with nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 25 RBIs, as well as a .477 on-base percentage, a .504 slugging percentage, eight stolen bases and just two errors in 34 games. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Charles Brewer is going to get the chance to play that role of “I’m Major League Worthy” in a different location now. He’s gone from his days as a member of the Missoula Osprey in 2009, to getting a chance in South Bend and Visalia in 2010, and pitching in Mobile both in 2011, and at the start of the 2012 season. But now, Brewer has another stop – at Triple-A Reno – to show that he is ready for the ultimate stage.
The promotion was among a series of moves made by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, and included another former Osprey, who was here a shorter amount of time than nearly any other former Osprey this side of Daniel Taylor. Continue reading
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 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.
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.
The big 5-0 is here – as in days before the home opener. There are also 48 days until the season opens … speaking of 50, we wonder who the last Osprey player to make it to the Major Leagues was that wore #50 while they were in Missoula?? Oh, we know the answer …
– Good story from the Denver Post on the struggles of Rockies outfielder (and former Osprey) Carlos Gonzalez (2003). When he does get it straightened out … look out … and with their struggles, Colorado is still 4 1/2 games ahead of the pack in the NL West.
– Can you name former Osprey (other than CarGo) who have made ESPN’s Top 10 plays so far this season? Would you believe that Daniel Schlereth (2008) is on that list?? Schlereth made a defensive play last week that earned him a spot on the list that night, no doubt. Gotta love the option pitch move to get the out.
– Sergio Santos (2002) managed to get that one-on-one with Mariano Rivera he wanted when the Chicago White Sox were in New York to play the Yankees last week. The former Osprey infielder-turned-closer … er, relief pitcher … talked to Rivera during Yankees’ batting practice.
– Emilio Bonifacio (2003) had another first in his career on Sunday. Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez also produces a funny quote …
– By the way … the answer to the above question would be – Bryan Augenstein (2007). Auggie is still on the St. Louis Cardinals’ DL with a pulled right groin muscle, which he suffered during an appearance at Chase Field last month.
Minor League Update
– Triple-A Reno: Jordan Norberto and Daniel Stange combined for 3 1/3 innings of one-run relief on Monday, helping the Reno Aces win at Las vegas, 12-8. The Aces scored 10 runs in the top of the fifth, but nearly let thing get out of hand, until Norberto shut the door on a fifth-inning answer and picked up the win. Both Norberto and Stange pitched out of the Osprey bullpen in 2006.
– Double-A Mobile: Jake Elmore (2008) is really enjoying hitting in front of Paul Goldschmidt (2009). Elmo had three hits, while Taylor Harbin (2007) collected two safeties and Goldschmidt drove in his 23rd run of the season with a single, but the pitching (namely Josh Ellis (2007), who gave up four runs) struggled for the BayBears in a 10-3 loss at Birmingham. All three former Osprey are now hitting over .330 – Harbin at .347, Goldy at .342, and Elmore at .339. Clay Zavada pitched to five batters, gave up a single, and struck out a pair to lower his ERA to 2.84. One other note – the suddenly fleet-footed Goldschmidt was caught for the second time in five tries this season stealing a base.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide knocked off San Jose, 5-4, last night at Recreation Park, getting the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Yonata Ortega (2007) gave up two unearned runs in the top of the ninth, but pitched a scoreless 10th for the win. Chris Owings (2009) scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Keon Broxton (2009) to get the win for Visalia, who is now 3-0 since manager Jason Hardtke was ejected from a game. Owings and 2009 Osprey teammate Bobby Borchering (RBI), who was also on base at the time, each had two hits to buoy the Rawhide offense, while Kyle Greene (2008) had a single and walked twice.
– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm, Roberto Rodriguez and Ender Inciarte each had a hit, but the SilverHawks struggled in a 7-1 loss to Great Lakes. Jeff Shields was touched up for six runs in three-plus innings to take the loss. Both Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Kable Hogben (2009) pitched shutout relief for South Bend.
Today’s games (and probable former Osprey pitchers):
AAA Reno (16-8) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (16-9) vs. Tennessee
A Adv. Visalia (12-13) vs. San Jose – Trevor Harden (2008) gets the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (8-15) vs. Great Lakes – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) will take the ball 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.
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
We’ve had a lot of requests and searches for Extended Spring Training information. Most of that stuff is not readily available, but the best we can do at the moment is let you know former Osprey who are currently at Extended Spring Training for the Arizona Diamondbacks:
– Pitchers: Robby Rowland, Victor Acosta, Teo Guiterrez, Justin Albert, Enrique Burgos, Keith Cantwell, Sammy De Los Santos, Randy Hamrick, Victor Lara, Miguel Pena, Blake Perry, Andrea Pizziconi, Miles Reagan and Casey Upperman.
– Catchers: Jae Yun Kim and Fidel Pena.
– Infielders: David Narodowski, Antonio Sepulveda, Eric Groff and Stephen Cardullo.
– Outfielders: Ender Inciarte, Ty Linton, Domingo Soriano and Henry Zabala
As we get word on any kind of news from there, we’ll let you know.
Now, on to the rest of the day …
– Great story in Baseball America about the concession favorites of Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Connor. Yes, Missoula, Bats and Balls received a plug …
– Daily Report: Triple-A Reno‘s Daniel Stange (2006) pitched the final two innings, scattering three hits and striking out two batters while shutting out Sacramento to finish off a 13-6 Aces win … It took 12 innings for Double-A Mobile to beat Jacksonville, 6-5. Taylor Harbin hit another home run, his second in as many nights, and had four hits to improve his batting average to .462. Paul Goldschmidt also homered, and had a two-hit night to bump his average back up to .350 … Mike Belfiore made his Visalia debut on Tuesday night, as he was placed with the Rawhide before the game at Stockton. It ended up that Bels went three innings (as planned), and the Rawhide managed to get a 6-3 win over the Ports. Chris Owings doubled and tripled, while David Nick and Rossmel Perez (two-run HR) each drove in a pair of runs in the win. Adam Eaton singled and stole a base in the victory, which Yonata Ortega sealed, picking up his second save … South Bend had their game iced out with Great Lakes. They will play two today beginning at 2:05 p.m. MT.
– Today’s schedule and former Osprey who will make starts:
AAA Reno (9-3) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (9-3) vs. Jacksonville – Charles Brewer (1-0) gets the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia at Stockton – Eric Smith (0-2) looks to start turning his season around tonight.
A South Bend at Great Lakes (2) – Jeff Shields will not piggyback in Game 1, instead, he will get the start in Game 2.