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.
OK, that may be the lamest title ever for a Bird Droppings entry, but Sunday is Easter (and today would be Good Friday). However, we’ll still be updating over the weekend. Just be safe when you are hunting for those eggs.
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces (9-5) lost to Sacramento, 11-10, in a game which they led entering the eighth inning. Unfortunately for Jordan Norberto (2006), he was in the middle of the four-run eighth that tied the game, allowing four runs in just a third of an inning pitched.
– Double-A Mobile: Paul Goldschmidt hit his eighth home run of the season, and had two hits, but the BayBears (9-5) lost to Jacksonville, 9-4. Taylor Harbin went 0-for-4, and the BayBears’ bullpen, which has been taxed over the last five games, had to turn to an old reliable to finish the game – former Osprey infielder Jake Elmore, who retired the only man he faced.
– Class A Advanced Visalia:The Rawhide (5-10) let an early lead slip away and lost to San Jose, 5-4, in front of the best crowd of the season (2,634) at Recreation Park. A number of former Osprey had their hands in this one – offensively, David Nick, Rossmel Perez (double) and Bobby Borchering (RBI double) had a hit and a RBI each, while Adam Eaton also doubled. What hurt was two double plays that the Rawhide had a chance to turn and did not, which forced Derek Eitel to throw more pitches, and the Giants took advantage. Christian Beltre pitched three innings of one-walk, three-strikeout ball in relief of Eitel.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks (4-10) won their second game in three tries on Thursday, rallying for a 3-2 win over Fort Wayne. Raywilly Gomez drilled the game-winning RBI single with two out in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Matt Helm with the difference-maker. Helm went 2-for-4 with an RBI to improve his batting average to .378. Keon Broxton added two hits and two stolen bases. Jeremy Erben pitched the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
AAA Reno vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile vs. Jacksonville – Jarrod Parker (0-2) gets the start for the BayBears
A Adv. Visalia vs. San Jose – Trevor Harden gets the call for the Rawhide
A South Bend vs. Fort Wayne – Bradin Hagens will get the ball 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
The calendar reminds us that there are 62 days before the 2011 Season opener, 64 days until the Osprey open at home, and two days before someone sticks his neck out and makes a prediction or two in this very blog. Read on for more on that one …
– Reminder – the Osprey Job Fair will take place beginning today at 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. It will run until 8 p.m., with the ability to not only fill out a job application, but to get interviewed for a day-of-game job this summer with the Osprey.
– Guess who was Southern League Player of the Week? Love this line from the update “… if the Southern League can contain him for long enough, he may make a run at that honor at the Double-A level this year.” Oh, and a former Osprey hurler also claimed the Southern League Pitcher of the Week.
– Two starts for former Osprey pitcher and former No. 1 pick Jarrod Parker in the 2011 season, and two bad outings. Not a good sign, but two things to keep in mind – it’s still early, and Parker is still building up his arm after Tommy John surgery. There’s still hope that he will get stronger as the season progresses and Parker ends up in a D-backs’ uniform by September.
– Speaking of pitchers in Mobile – add Clay Zavada to the list. The 2006 Osprey alum will begin his comeback from Tommy John surgery in the BayBears’ bullpen.
– Former Osprey pitcher Tony Barnette is trying to adjust to Japan, even in Year 2 of his adventure with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. In his latest blog entry, Barnette explores some strategy differences between baseball in Japan and here in the States.
– Former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero has been like EnduroMan for the D-backs’, catching 13 of the team’s 14 games so far this season, and hitting around .400 to boot.
– South Bend’s getting ready for a visit from D-backs GM Kevin Towers, who’s out visiting and scouting for parts of the next few weeks, while keeping an eye on the big-league club.
– Minors recap: South Bend fell behind early, 7-0, and lost by a 9-4 margin to Great Lakes. David Holmberg took the loss for the Hawks, while Matt Helm returned to the lineup, and had three hits. 2010 Osprey teammates Chris Jarrett and Roberto Rodriguez each had two hits and a RBI for South Bend … Adam Eaton had two hits and a RBI for Visalia in a 6-3 loss at Stockton. Eaton, who also stole a pair of bases, raised his average to .357 with the effort … Taylor Harbin (2007) hit a three-run shot to help Mobile beat Jacksonville, 4-2. Harbin went 2-for-3 to improve his batting average to .412. Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with a walk and no strikeouts … Jordan Norberto pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a walk and striking out two batters, while John Hester had a hit in three at-bats to help Reno beat Colorado Springs, 10-6.
– Here are today’s matchups and former Osprey making starts:
AAA – Reno vs. Sacremento
AA – Mobile vs. Jacksonville – Bryan Henry (2007) looks to improve his 2-0 record when he gets the call tonight.
A Adv. – Visalia at Stockton – Chase Anderson gets the call tonight for the Rawhide.
A – South Bend at Great Lakes – Tyler Green gets the start, but this is the Green/Shields show, meaning that Jeff Shields will be the first out of the bullpen. Green and Shields will alternate starts for now.
– And finally, speaking of head-scratching, Osprey radio voice Ben Catley will offer some predictions on former Osprey in Thursday’s entry. You may be surprised who he thinks will be the next former Osprey to become a Major Leaguer for the first time.
TOMORROW: Extended Spring Training update.
T-minus 69 days until Opening Night at home, 67 days until the Osprey open their season at Helena, and less than 48 hours to e-file your tax returns. If you’re still doing them on paper, you have an extra three days.
– A reminder, the Osprey will hold a Job Fair on Tuesday, April 19, at the DoubleTree Hotel from 3-8 p.m. There are many day-of-game positions available for the 2011 season at the Job Fair. You will be able to complete applications and have an interview during the event.
-Esmerling Vasquez (2004) is back with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Vasquez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief in Wednesday’s 15-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander threw just one inning in Reno, getting a strikeout and not allowing a thing, and is coming off of a strong Spring Training, something which has helped with his confidence.
– Tom Layne, meanwhile, was being groomed as a reliever, but the crafty lefty is suddenly in Reno’s rotation. His performance last night may be enough to allow that to happen. Layne allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, while scattering five hits and two walks, and struck out five in a win at Colorado Springs. The Aces have now won five in a row after losing their opener.
– Not so good news for former Osprey Matt Helm, who apparently is down with an injury.
– A good win for Double-A Mobile on Wednesday, as they beat Mississippi in their home opener. And, yes, former Osprey had their hands all over the win, although Goldy lost an apparent home run. The BayBears also made a roster move, one which brings former Osprey reliever Josh Ellis down from Reno, where he had yet to make an appearance this season.
– The prices of things all around us may have gone up, but the good news Osprey baseball will once again be very affordable this season. Read more here as studies show that minor league baseball is still a great bargain.
– Here are some ERAs from the Chicago White Sox bullpen – 0.00, 2.84, 7.36, 7.71, 11.25 and 11.57. Can you guess which belongs to former Osprey Sergio Santos and Tony Pena? Well, while White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had his first meltdown of the 2011 season following a six-run, two-inning run by the Oakland A’s that victimized the Pale Hose once again, we discovered the numbers – which are ugly.
Unless your last name is Santos.
Sergio is at it again, and while there have been thoughts of moving him into the closer’s role, this may be the incident that pushes Guillen to follow his gut and do just that. Santos is still pitching in special circumstances – dubbed the “Santos Rules” last season – and so far, he has done well. In five appearances, the 2002 former Osprey infielder-turned-pitcher has pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out nine batters. And Santos, after Wednesday’s action, had not allowed a run. His 1.04 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) is second to only Gavin Floyd’s 0.93.
The same is not true of Pena, unfortunately, who is struggling with an 11.25 ERA in the first 12 games this season. There was some consideration to move Pena into the rotation with the absence of Jake Peavy, but he has struggled in his five outings, which include a blown save.
– For people who are ready and can’t wait to watch live baseball, the Missoula Mavericks American Legion squad takes to the field for their first game of the 2011 season on Saturday, when they will host the Great Falls Chargers in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the old Osprey nesting ground, better known as Lindborg-Cregg Field.
Here’s hoping that people are nice to you on Friday. While it will be Opening Day for everyone else who did not play on Thursday in the Major Leagues, it will also be … April Fool’s Day. So keep your head on a swivel.
– A piece of Osprey information first – the annual Osprey Job Fair will be held on April 19, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. More information will be coming soon to the club’s website, www.missoulaosprey.com.
– As has been the case in Bird Droppings this month, anytime we mention a player would be in contention for a roster spot (Pedro Ciriaco and Jordan Norberto, anyone?), the opposite ends up happening. Now, we could call it a curse, but we’re citing other sources with this information, so we deny any and all bad ju-ju associated with such moves.
That being said, hours after we mentioned he was in the mix for a relief position in the bullpen, right-hander Esmerling Vasquez was sent to Triple-A Reno, despite having a solid spring.
– In Nick Piecoro’s blog, a scout asseses the D-backs player-by-player. The assessments include some good stuff on the beforementioned Norberto.
– Charles Brewer (2009) danced with perfection in his last spring outing, pitching 4 2/3 perfect innings in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ exhibition game with Monterry of the Mexican League. Brewer’s final line – 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0BB, 5K. Brewer allowed a single and back-to-back home runs before getting that final out of the fifth, plus also managed to lay down a sacrifice bunt. He also picked up the win in an 11-4 D-backs’ rout.
– Also playing in that game – Monterry third baseman Agustin Murillo, who played with the Osprey in 2003.
– The Cactus League finale – a 15-8 D-backs win over the Chicago Cubs – also featured former Osprey making appearances as the teams were in split-squad for the last time during Spring Training. Kyle Greene (2008), Bobby Stone (2008-09-10) and Roidany Aguila (2009-10), who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, played in the win, while Vasquez pitched an inning of one-hit, two-strikeout relief.
– Former Osprey catcher Richie Rowland (2010) did not stay “retired” long. After ending his term with the D-backs, the son of former Major League backstop Rich Rowland has signed a contract to play with Traverse City of the Frontier League. Richie’s younger brother, Robby, will be in Extended Spring Training, for now, with the D-backs.
– One other former Osprey let out where they were headed within their social media circles on Wednesday. Third baseman Matt Helm is headed to South Bend, and will spend a lot of his time in the lineup at third base. Helm was forced to learn first base and the outfield in South Bend last season to make way for prospects Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson, and moved back to third when he rejoined the Osprey. Helm, just in case you forgot, played with the Osprey in the 2009 postseason, and then joined the club for the second half of the 2010 campaign.
– One other note – official rosters for the minor-league affiliates will not be released until Saturday or Sunday. Once we have an idea, we will post the information here, and have a complete look at all of the former Osprey placed on full-season rosters in a story on Monday, which will be send to the local media and appear on the team’s website.