Results tagged ‘ Jordan Norberto ’

Bits and Pieces … Feb. 18

Here are some more tidbits on former Osprey as full squads are now working out, and minor-league players are rolling in to begin their seasons … plus, one has recently found a new home, and its in his old stompoing grounds.

One quick item before we get into the news of the day … you should listen to the Trail 103.3 Tuesday morning at 8:30, as Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis and Vice President/General Manager Jeff Griffin will be joining Robert Chase’s morning show with a special announcement to share about the upcoming season. (more…)

Update from OspreyLand …

Here’s some stuff to pass along from the past couple of days to get your Osprey fix in before the team is announced this week …

– A total of four former Osprey – at the moment – have been named to mid-season All-Star teams. While the California-Carolina All-Star Game teams, and the Triple-A All-Star teams (you can still vote if you haven’t used up your 25-vote limit here.) are yet to be decided, other games (which are earlier) have been … and three of the four are pitchers – Chase Anderson (2009) in the Southern League, and Archie Bradley (2011) and Kable Hogben (2009) in the Midwest League. The lone position player (so far) is Matt Helm (2009-10) in the Midwest League. Anderson pitches at Double-A Mobile, while the other three are playing in South Bend.

–  Paul Goldschmidt (2009) moved his hit streak to 17 games with a single in a three-run first inning as the Arizona Diamondbacks won their fifth in a row on Sunday, finishing off a three-game sweep of the Oakland A’s, 4-3. However, it was a series full of former Osprey appearances. Outside of Goldy, Miguel Montero (2002-03) hit a grand slam to highlight Saturday’s win, Bryan Shaw (2008) pitched out of the D-backs bullpen, Evan Scribner (2007) pitched well out of the A’s bullpen on Sunday, and Jarrod Parker (2007) made the start on Friday and threw well. In addition, let’s not forget about Gerardo Parra (2006) and Lyle Overbay (1999) of the D-backs and the DL’ed Jordan Norberto (2006) of the A’s. That’s eight of the 36 former Osprey who have played in the Major Leagues.

– Congratulations to former Osprey pitcher Conrad Flynn (2011), who proudly showed off his diploma from Tulane University on his Facebook page over the weekend. Flynn is currently with his third team, the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide, this season. Flynn has also pitched for Triple-A Reno (one spot-start) and Double-A Mobile (four appearances, two starts). He will start for the Rawhide tonight against Lake Elsinore.

In some other transactions involving former Osprey:
Taylor Siemens (2011) was promoted from Class A South Bend to Class A Advanced Visalia. Siemens had been primarily used as a reliever for the Silver Hawks.

Kyle Greene (2008) was taken off of the 7-day DL and returned to Double-A Mobile. Greene had been hitting well at the plate when the injury occurred.

David Holmberg (2010) was promoted from Class A Advanced Visalia to Double-A Mobile. The left-hander has been moving up the prospect radar steadily over the past year, and will now get a look in the ultra-talented Southern League.

My kind of team …

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

The clock still is tickin’ … just faster

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.

Close to a month away …

We’re down to 37 days before rthe Osprey home opener, 35 days before the season opener, and no more time before the Paul Goldschmidt-to-Arizona rumors start swirling … again.

– Yup, it’s true, the rumor mill has moved into second gear (have to be an ESPN Insider to read the whole thing, but the first two paragraphs say a lot) with the possibilities of Goldy heading to the Major Leagues. When you look at his numbers – .336 batting average, .468 on-base, .720 slugging, 1.1188 OPS, with six doubles, 14 home runs and 38 RBIs, with three stolen bases and more walks (30) than strikeouts (26) – they are definitely eye-popping, and you can see why there’s some talk about moving the Texas State product, and 2009 member of the Missoula Osprey, up the ladder. And with the speculation that current D-back first sacker Juan Miranda could be headed to the DL, it has just turned up the tempo of the machine. He’s had quite a baseball career, as it turns out, and while he’ll be in a Major League uniform if he keeps up his professional production, the earliest it could happen, you get the feeling, is September.

(One inkling, courtesy of Osprey radio voice Ben Catley – Wily Mo Pena gets a call-up if Miranda gets hurt (he has tore the cover off the ball in Reno), one of the vets with Double-A Mobile moves to Triple-A Reno, and Adam Eaton gets called up to Double-A. His On-base percentage is somewhere near his record-setting .500 with the Osprey last season, and to see if he could achieve that in the pitching-favored Southern League may be too tempting to pass up.)

– Gotta love the bloggers – here’s a take on this past weekend’s D-backs/Dodgers dust-up from the True Blue LA folk. Note the descriptive way they describe Goldy.

– Here’s more from the weekend in the minors – well, Friday and Saturday, anyway – and Nick Piecoro poses an interesting thought on Adam Eaton (2010).

– One thing about Pedro Ciriaco (2005) that no one denies – he’s a more-than-solid defender. This video highlight provides more proof.

– Blake Cooper (2010) had a scoreless streak of over eight innings for Class A South Bend entering Sunday’s action, but was touched up – and also had a scare on the mound.

– We had to share this, especially with the Yankees-Red Sox just playing this weekend. It’s a funny video with Boston slugger David Ortiz. Who wouldn’t want to hug Big Papi?

Minor-League Update time:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost a 14-11 slugfest to the Iowa Cubs on Sunday. Both former Osprey in the Aces’ bullpen, Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto (both from 2006) had tough outings in the loss.

– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost a 7-3 decision to Carolina on Sunday. Jarrod Parker (2007) battled through five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, with three strikeouts, and took the loss. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits, while Kyle Greene (2008) singled, doubled, and drove in a run. Goldy went 1-for-5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. Jake Elmore (2008) also had a base hit and a RBI for Mobile, while Clay Zavada (2006) pitched another inning of scoreless relief, lowering his ERA to 1.35.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Chris Owings (2009) had another big game, with four hits, including two triples and a home run, and three RBIs as the Rawhide took it to Inland Empire, 17-2. This game became a rout late, with Visalia scoring 10 of their runs in their final three at-bats. Everyone who played had at least one base hit, with Adam Eaton (2010) singling, scoring twice and driving in a run, while Bobby Borchering (2009) and Keon Broxton (2009) each had two hits. Yonata Ortega (2007) pitched around a pair of ninth-inning walks to finish off the win.

– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm (2009-10) singled and doubled, but his efforts were not enough for the SilverHawks to get any offense going in what turned into an 10-3 loss to Bowling Green on Sunday. The end of the 8-game, 6-day road trip netted just five hits for South Bend, and the usually-stingy Hawks bullpen surrendered runs – namely from former Osprey Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Cooper, both whom had scoreless streaks snapped in the loss. Raul Navarro (2010) added an RBI single. JR Bradley (2010) suffered the loss on the hill for the Hawks, allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (24-14) vs. Iowa
AA Mobile (20-15) vs. Carolina
A Adv. Visalia (18-19) at Inland Empire. No starters have been posted for tonight.
A South Bend (16-19) has an off-day on Monday. They will start a home series with Lansing on Tuesday. David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Hawks on Tuesday.

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.

Terriffic Tuesday

T-minus 43 days until the home opener, 41 days before the season opener, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 days before the second half of the Pioneer League season begins …

More pre-draft stuff off the fingertips of Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, especially since we’re less than a month away from it …

– More details (thanks to Nick!) on the Charles Brewer-meets-Carolina-dugout incident. The 2009 Osprey alumnus apparently took quite a shot to the cranium, and it sheds light as to why the new 7-day concussion DL is in place.

– Very interesting debates are now happening around Paul Goldschmidt (2009), which should not surprise anyone, about when to bring him up to the Major Leagues. The AZ SnakePit bloggers take a shot at the debate, among other things D-backs related.

– Looks like the leadership that Lyle Overbay (1999) is helping bring the Pittsburgh Pirates is paying off – they’re in some rare territory this late in the season after a 3-run 8th last night – buoyed by an Overbay run-scoring double. Apparently, Lyle is also making comparisons between Pirate right-hander Charlie Morton and another guy Overbay knows all too well.

Here’s a lesson in why you should not wonder why a player doesn’t “wear one for the team” all that often, or, a better way to put it with an Osprey spin to it, here’s video of a blogger who may have been secretely wondering what it’s like to be Adam Eaton.

Minor League Update:

– Triple-A Reno: The Aces split a doubleheader on Monday with Salt Lake City, winning the first game, 3-2, while losing the nightcap late, 6-5. Jordan Norberto (2006) allowed just a walk and collected a strikeout in his inning of work in Game 2.

– Double-A Mobile: Taylor Harbin (2007) had a three-hit day, including a two-run home run, and scored the game-winning run on a fielder’s choice by Jake Elmore (2008) to help the BayBears beat Jacksonville, 6-5. Goldschmidt hit his 12th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning, while Ollie Linton (2008) had a hit and a run scored. Bryan Shaw (2008) allowed a hit in the ninth, but shut down the Suns and earned his seventh save of the season.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Had Monday off …

– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks finished off a three-game sweep of Fort Wayne with a 7-2 win at home on Monday. Bradin Hagens (2009) walked four, but allowed just two hits in six innings of work, and just one earned run in earning his second win of the season. Eury De La Rosa (2009)  shut the door over the final 1 1/3 innings. Raywilly Gomez (2009) had a single and double, while Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a hit and a RBI in the win.

Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (20-12) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (18-12) at Jacksonville – Jarrod Parker (2007) gets the ball for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (15-16) vs. Bakersfield – starters TBA
A South Bend (13-17) at West Michigan, DH – JR Bradley (2010) will start Game 1 while Daniel Taylor (2010) will make the start for the Hawks in Game 2.

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).

Is it a magic number?

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.

One nearly down, plenty to go

We enter today with 57 days until the home opener, 55 days until the season opener, and about a month before the next big event at Ogren Park Allegiance Field – the annual Missoula Mavs Memorial Day Tournament.

Gerardo Parra homered to help back Ian Kennedy’s solid pitching as the D-backs beat the Philadelphia Phillies, and ace left-hander Cliff Lee, 4-0 on Monday.

– You have to check out the photos of former Osprey reliever Jose Valverde in the gallery for this story, done after the Detroit Tigers swept the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. One thing is for certain, he does not hide his emotions.

Oh … and apparently, he also has a ritual before he pitches, too:

– Former Osprey first baseman Lyle Overbay was due to have his first night off of the season on Monday, after playing in the first 21 games of the season, but ended up serving as a pinch-hitter late in the game. For the season, Overbay is hitting .259 with five doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs.

– Here’s a little feature piece on former Osprey outfielder Scott Hairston. Notice the slight mistake at the beginning of the piece … gotta love blogs …

Daily Minors Update:
Triple-A Reno: Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto combined for 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief, and John Hester’s sacrifice fly plated a run as the Aces beat Fresno, 6-2. Stange picked up the win. All three played in Missoula in 2006.

Double-A Mobile: The BayBears let a 5-1 lead slip away, but won at Jackson in 12 innings, 7-5. Bryan Shaw (2008) pitched the final three innings to pick up his first win of the season. Shaw allowed a hit, walked two and struck out two in lowering his ERA to 0.84 for the season. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.

– Class A Advanced Visalia: Mike Belfiore (2009) had one of his roughest outings as a pro – walking eight batters while allowing two hits and three runs in three innings of work – but Taylor Sinclair (2008), Christian Beltre (2007) and Victor Capellan (2009) shut the door, combining for six shutout innings of relief in a 9-3 Rawhide win. David Nick (2009), Bobby Borchering (2009) and Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits each, while Kyle Greene (2008) drove in a pair of runs for Visalia.

– Class A South Bend: David Holmberg (2010) was silly good on Monday night, but the SilverHawks lost to Bowling Green, 2-1. The Hawks had just four hits on the night, with Keon Broxton getting two of them and scoring the lone run. Broxton (2009) singled in the top of the second, and scored on a Chris Jarrett (2010) RBI triple. The other hit came from Ramon Castillo (2009), who was making his first start behind the plate, and committed a pair of throwing errors that led to both Hot Rod runs. Holmberg allowed four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, struck out 12 and picked off two runners.

Today’s Games (and probable Osprey pitchers):
AAA Reno (12-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (12-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (7-11) at Bakersfield – Eric Smith (2009) seeks his first win of the season tonight.
A South Bend (5-12) at Bowling Green

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