by Ben Catley
94 days before the Season Opener and Home Opener
Well, the Major League Baseball season starts in two weeks. Yup, two weeks. I will let that set in for a moment …
Can you only imagine how this will all play out? No matter where your allegiances lie, there is plenty of intrigue about to play out all over the place.
Except in Center Field and at the top of the order for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where it is looking more and more like Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) has taken full advantage of his opportunity and locked down that job. Eaton was featured in a MiLB Prospect Q&A recently, sharing a number of things, especially the reason why he doesn’t mind being a magnet for baseballs while he is at-bat. By the way, Eaton is hitting .358 this spring, with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs. Continue reading
The latest stuff on former Osprey players …
– The Arizona Diamondbacks reassigned 15 players to minor-league camp, including players on their 40-man roster. Several of them are former Osprey who were in camp. They are:
Optioned to Triple-A Reno: RHP Chase Anderson RHP Charles Brewer LHP Eury De La Rosa Optioned to Double-A Mobile: RHP Keon Broxton RHP Eric Smith Reassigned to Minor League camp: LHP David Holmberg INF Chris Owings
All of the players except for Holmberg (2010 Osprey) played in Missoula in 2009. Keep an eye out for three of them this season – De La Rosa, Brewer and Smith, who each had a handful solid Cactus League outings. Expect both Holmberg and Owings to at least start the 2013 season at Double-A Mobile.
– EatonMania is runnin’ wild on the internet and print these days. It seems as if the more that Spring Training goes along, the more attention Adam Eaton (2010) is getting from the media and blog-sphere. If it’s not a blogger saying that Eaton could wow people more than Mike Trout, it’s a Sports Illustrated piece on the web. That all said, the key for Eaton to “wow” people in 2013 is to stay healthy, something that manager Kirk Gibson is hoping actually happens. At times, Eaton has struggled with that, but his all-out style does bring that along with it as a drawback. One thing is clear – his teammates like him, but the opposition doesn’t particularly care for him. (Last link is to an ESPN Insider post, but the beginning is still worth the read.)
– Ryan Robowski (2009) made it to the second round of cuts for the Detroit Tigers before getting reassigned to minor-league camp. The Non-Roster Invitee was touched up in his limited time in Grapefruit League action in his first Major League Spring Training action. Robo is likely headed to either back to Double-A Erie or Triple-A Toledo.
– It looks like John Hester (2006) has his hands full as he battles for the backup catcher’s job with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
– Scott Hairston (2001) will be platooning in right field for the Chicago Cubs, and hitting fifth in the lineup when he does start.
– Jarrod Parker (2007) has gone from not-so-sure-what-we-have to ace of the staff for the Oakland A’s … and wants more success in 2013.
– Another pitcher that wants a better 2013 is former Osprey starter Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is starting to find his old self with the Colorado Rockies, almost two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
That will do it for now … other than a plug for the current O’s Poll of the Moment, which you can find on the right-hand column. Vote on it often – because the look into the Osprey crystal ball by Ben Catley is coming soon! We’ll see how your votes match up with his predictions on whom the next Osprey players will be to make their Major League debuts.
by Ben Catley
First … MissoulaOsprey.com has a new look to it. Check it out when you get the chance.
– There were a few things that went on over the weekend. And we will fill in on all that we can.
The biggest piece of information was the slew of contracts that were signed for this season. All are one-year deals.
Of the 20 players who signed deals, seven of them are former Osprey:
Pitchers: Chase Anderson, Charles Brewer, Eric Smith and Eury De La Rosa
Outfielders; Keon Broxton and Adam Eaton
Infielder: Paul Goldschmidt
All but Eaton are members of the Osprey Class of 2009, with Eaton playing in Missoula in 2010. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
So the Arizona Diamondbacks finally pulled the trigger on trading Justin Upton. To the D-backs, they were waiting to make the right deal, and while some of their targets changed, and some of the names from the Atlanta Braves are not what most had hoped for, they managed to be able to make a move in mass numbers to make it a deal worth doing.
Of course, if you ask what the general feel is on the trade … well, some really don’t like it. Others felt it wasn’t the best idea, but it could turn out fine. And others will wait to see what happens with anxiousness.
The tendency, however, for a Missoula Osprey fan to be wondering is – what does this mean for our guys??
This can be looked at from two levels – the most recent wave of players who have been here, and the current Osprey alumni roaming the outfield on the D-backs roster. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Well, let’s try to get you caught up on former Osprey news as the Winter Meetings are winding down …
– I originally wrote this last week, so it was a good thing I didn’t publish it. Little did I think that Ender Inciarte (2009) was going to be picked in the Rule V Draft. Especially in the Major League portion. Yet, that happened earlier today, as Inciarte is now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Go figure … oh, by the way, he now enters the top spot in the “Next Osprey to make Major League Debut” list. If he sticks on the 25-man roster – and all indications are that he has a chance, because he would have a specific role – he would be the 40th former Osprey to make a Major League roster. Continue reading
It’s looking like official roster announcements for all of the long-season affiliates for the Arizona Diamondbacks will take place on Monday. There are some names we already know about – like Jake Elmore (2008) at Triple-A Reno, Charles Brewer (2009), Adam Eaton (2010), David Nick (2009) and Derek Eitel (2010) – via his father’s Facebook – at Double-A Mobile, Andrew Chafin (2011), Anthony Meo (2011), Chris Owings (2009), Bobby Borchering (2009), Keon Broxton (2009) and Eric Smith (2009) at Class A Advanced Visalia, and in Class A South Bend, among others will be 2011 Osprey pitcher Archie Bradley.
In addition, we have learned that former Osprey reliever Ryan Robowski (2009) will apparently start the season at Double-A Erie in the Detroit Tigers’ system. This will be made certain, hopefully, by tomorrow. Robo is still listed on the Seawolves roster, however he was not mentioned in the story on the Erie team website on their Opening Day roster.
It’s also the day where Major League rosters may begin to get formalized as well, and as we find out, we will be posting any former Osprey who make it to an Opening Day MLB roster. The deadline for the rosters is 3 p.m. MT on Wednesday.
Most full-season minor-league teams open on Thursday. Most of those players have broken camp already and are on their way to their 2012 starting points. As rosters are announced, we’ll post what we can.
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.
Earlier with this than usual … but we’re trying to get the docket cleared so that we can focus on more stat analysis, and other things of note.
So … on with the show ….
|The Skinny: The Osprey, who have won five in a row, seven of eight and eight of their last nine at home, continue a three-game series with the Idaho Falls Chukars, who had a three-game win streak snapped on Monday by Missoula. The Osprey also will attempt to clinch the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title with either a win or a Billings loss.
Last Time Out: The Osprey were glad to see Brian Peacock leave the game on Monday night at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, and celebrated with a four-run seventh inning to beat the Idaho Falls Chukars, 4-1, and clinch at least a tie for the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title. The 2,021 fans in attendance watched quite the pitcher’s duel for six innings, as Peacock – who had held Missoula hitless for a 10-inning stretch in two appearances, spanning two seasons – was at it again on Monday, baffling Osprey hitters to the tune of allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out seven. Taylor Siemens nearly equaled his left-handed counterpart, allowing just two hits and a walk in five innings of work, but Darian Sandford hit a bloop single to lead off the third inning, stole second base, moved to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch to give the Chukars (15-19) a 1-0 lead.
That score held up until the home half of the seventh, when the Idaho Falls bullpen was called upon to hold the Osprey in check. Stephen Cardullo induced a leadoff walk from reliever Robert Penny (1-4), moved to second on a ground ball and scored on Ty Linton’s RBI single to knot the game at 1-all. Linton then rode home on Fidel Pena’s two-run home run to deep right field, giving the Osprey the lead for good. Missoula would add a run on a double steal by Josh Parr and Chris Ellison. Parr scored when Chukars catcher Edul Escobar threw off target to third base, allowing Parr to score and give the Osprey the 4-1 lead.
Conrad Flynn (3-1) pitched three innings of two-hit relief, striking out a pair of batters along the way to pick up the win, while DJ Johnson pitched around a two-out walk in the ninth to collect his second save of the season.
The streak continues … : Eric Groff extended his current hitting streak to 13 straight games with a double in the bottom of the second inning, then added another double in the fourth. During the 13-game streak, Groff is 23-for-53 at the plate (.434), with seven doubles, a triple, six home runs and 15 RBIs. Groff has also collected seven multi-hit games during what is now his longest career hitting streak. Groff put together a 10-game streak from June 23-July 6 earlier this season.
On the Mound Today: Missoula will send out right-hander Dexter Price, to the mound as they look to clinch the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title. Price (1-0, 6.26) has been splendid since giving up seven runs in a July 4 start at Billings. In three appearances since, including one start, Price has allowed just three runs in 11 innings of work (2.45 ERA), allowing just four hits and two walks while fanning 11 batters. Price will be followed by Raymond Hernandez, who held the league lead in ERA until he fell out of qualifying – and teammate Taylor Siemens (1.95) took over the lead following his start on Monday. The Chukars counter tonight with left-hander Brennon Martin, who is still trying to recover from a rough outing on July 9 at Orem, in which he allowed 10 runs (seven earned). In two starts against Helena, Martin went 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA, winning his road start in his latest outing. He has the capability to go deep into a game – in two June starts (1-0, 3.21) Martin pitched seven innings in each outing.
Stat of the Day: Former Osprey infielder Emilio Bonifacio (2003) is currently enjoying a 23-game hit streak for the Florida Marlins. Florida did not play on Monday. Bonifacio is hitting .386 (34-for-88) during the hitting streak, which is the third-longest in Marlins history, and the second-longest hit streak in the Major Leagues this season (Andre Ethier, 30 gms.).
Osprey Alumni Update/Minor League Report:
The DSL D-backs (18-30) beat the DSL Twins on Monday, 11-1. Alan Santiago (2009) was held hitless, but still drove in a run, his 19th of the season. Santiago has tailed off a bit at the plate, as his average has fallen to .237 on the season.
Yakima (13-25) dropped a 9-3 decision to Tri-City on Monday. Westley Moss (2011), Raul Navarro (2010) and David Narodowski (2009) each had a base hit for the Bears.
South Bend (12-18, 46-53) lost to Kane County on Monday, 4-2. Matt Helm (2009-10) homered in the setback for the Silver Hawks, while Kable Hogben (2009) and Eury De La Rosa (2009) combined for three shutout innings of one-hit relief.
Visalia (12-20, 43-58) fell to San Jose, 8-6, on Monday. Chris Owings (2009) had two hits and a run scored, while Bobby Borchering (2009) hit a three-run homer in a five-run, ninth-inning rally that fell short. David Nick (2009) added a hit and a RBI, while Rossmel Perez (2008) and Keon Broxton (2009) added base hits for the Rawhide, who also received two scoreless innings of relief from left-hander Mike Belfiore (2009).
Mobile (22-8, 60-40) had an off-day on Monday. The BayBears start a five-game series at Mississippi on Tuesday.
Reno (61-41) was rocked by Sacramento on Monday, 10-1. Tom Layne (2007) surrendered eight runs on nine hits and four walks in six innings of work to suffer the loss.
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.