by Ben Catley
Just a couple of things on this Sunday …
– Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) is out for the rest of the season after getting hit by a pitch in his right hand during the 7th inning of Saturday’s 8-2 Arizona Diamondbacks’ win over the Chicago Cubs. X-rays showed a broken bone in the hand, so Eaton’s season is done four days earlier than planned. Eaton hit .259 in 22 games after his promotion from Triple-A Reno, with a .382 on-base percentage, three doubles, two triples, two home runs and five RBIs, plus a pair of stolen bases.
On a personal note, I finally managed to see Eaton in a D-backs’ uniform for the first time on TV on Saturday night. He had hits in his first two at-bats, which I missed, then was retired in his next two at-bats, which I managed to watch. I missed the HBP in the 7th, so go figure.
We shall see what the D-backs do with Eaton in 2013. Once he was promoted, he became an everyday player at the top of the lineup – something the D-backs sorely needed. It will provide plenty of great off-season hot stove talk, I’m sure.
– Wanted to see four former Osprey in the D-backs’ lineup last night, but Paul Goldschmidt (2009) was out of the lineup with a stiff back. Nothing serious, though, which is good news. By the way, the other two who were in the lineup – catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03) and outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006). Montero has put together quite a 2012 season, a solid follow-up from his breakout 2011 campaign, and Parra is Parra, hitting enough, playing great defense and getting plenty of chances to play, despite being the fourth outfielder.
– Finally, want to remind you to vote (even if you have already, you are allowed to vote again) on your favorite game of the 2012 Osprey baseball season. Beginning on Tuesday, October 2 (I had to push it back a day due to life happening), we will announce the top three games, and post audio highlights of each game to our website at MissoulaOsprey.com. The results will come from three sources:
*Voting on the Bird Droppings blog
*Voting on MissoulaOsprey.com
*The results from our esteemed panel of Osprey baseball experts – which may surprise you. Or not …
The top three will be announced beginning on Tuesday. In the meantime, it’s back to the lab to figure out what poll to come up with next …
by Ben Catley
OK … first, Carlos Gonzalez (2003) was 0-for-2 while batting leadoff for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Kansas City. CarGo, who was the team’s designated hitter, set a little bit of Osprey history in the game, becoming the first Missoula alum to start an midsummer classic. He’s the third former Osprey to play in the game, joining Miguel Montero (2002-03) and Jose Valverde (2000). Valverde pitched for the NL in 2007, and for the AL in both 2010 and 2011. Montero played for the National League in 2011.
Now, the Missoula Osprey have announced a change in their starting rotation for this week. Five right-handers will be in the rotation – Karl Triana will go on Wednesday, while Yoimer Camacho goes Thursday and Jared Ray gets the start on Friday against Grand Junction, with Ross Gerdeman pitching Saturday and Chris Pack on Sunday against Orem. Triana and Camacho will go on Monday and Tuesday against the Owlz. More information to come on this tomorrow …
by Ben Catley
The last I checked, that’s what a nest was made out of, right?? Branches, twigs and mud, or something to hold it all together. While we are still a long way away from getting the pieces put together for the 2012 Osprey, the pieces that have already been here keep making news, even in the off-season.
– Like former pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is working his way back with the Colorado Rockies after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. De La Rosa is expected to be slowly worked into the rotation this season, which will include rehab starts in the minors, likely at Colorado Springs – which is very close to Denver, of course. And there is a big reason why they will make sure De La Rosa is ready to go and not rush things …
– Also on the update front comes former reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008). The fastest-rising former Osprey to the Major Leagues likes how is team looks in black and white, and I’m not talking about the unis … I mean, after all, if your team signed Prince Fielder, you probably would too. Let’s just hope that, for his sake, he doesn’t pull one of these. Although I have to admit, I like the non-bearded look Schlereth’s rocking right now …
– Speaking of former Osprey pitchers in the Detroit Tigers bullpen … Jose Valverde is coming off to me as one of those down-home type of guys who just happens to be able to throw gas and handle pressure situations better than an average Joe. More evidence comes from the Tigers’ winter tour of Michigan, which includes the 2000 Osprey alum bagging groceries.
– Goldy Fix: The record-setting homer hit by Paul Goldschmidt (2009) in Mobile … note where the ball goes. That would be No. 28, which was part of another MVP year for the first baseman.
– Lyle Overbay (1999) has been named one of the top 55 players of all time in Toronto Blue Jays history. Not bad for a team which has been around for 35 seasons.
– Another blog has done a list of the best minor-league systems … the D-backs are ranked 8th by Motor City Bengals (just in case you’re wondering, it’s a blog dedicated to the Detroit Tigers …), and six of the top 10 prospects in this list are former Osprey.
By the way … coming soon to this very blog, I will once again stick my neck out and attempt to predict the next former Osprey to make their Major League debuts. I hit on two of the four names I mentioned last year, and I don’t know if I should even take credit for calling Goldy’s promotion, since that one was obvious. Evan Scribner’s call-up, though, I will gladly claim the call made there. Scribner is a candidate to win a spot in the Oakland A’s bullpen this spring. By the way, the other names I threw out there – infielder Taylor Harbin and left-handed pitcher Tom Layne. Both are 2007 Osprey alumni. Layne pitched for Triple-A Reno last season, while Harbin was busy helping Mobile win the Southern League crown.
I think the next position player will be an obvious choice, and the pitcher, well … yeah, not so sure on that one. But I will stick the neck out again on those sometime in February.
A total of five former Missoula Osprey have received invitations to attend the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Major League Spring Training camp, which is slated to begin on February 20 – the date that pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report. The rest of the squad will be on hand for the first full team workout on February 26.
The players who have received the invite are as follows:
Catcher: Rossmel Perez (2007)
Infielders: Rusty Ryal (2005), Chris Owings (2009)
Outfielder: Adam Eaton (2010)
Pitcher: Charles Brewer (2009)
Perez is regarded by many as the best defensive catcher in the D-backs’ minor league system. Perez spent the entire 2011 season with Class A Advanced Visalia. Ryal played last season in Japan and signed a minor-league deal with the D-backs before the winter meetings. Owings was with Perez at Visalia. Eaton and Brewer helped the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears to their first Southern League title since 2004 last season.
The five are among 20 players who received a non-roster invite, which goes to players under contract which are not part of the club’s 40-man roster. Also expected in Major League camp are former Osprey pitchers Yonata Ortega (2007) and Bryan Shaw (2008), catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03), first basemen Paul Goldschmidt (2009) and Lyle Overbay (1999), and outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006). All six are on the 40-man roster, and all but Ortega finished the season on the D-backs’ 25-man active roster.
Gerardo Parra, a 2006 member of the Missoula Osprey, has earned his first Rawlings Gold Glove award, announced earlier this evening. We will have more on this tomorrow.
Paul Goldschmidt (2009) will get the start at first base for the US team in the XM MLB All-Star Futures Game, which gets underway around 4 p.m. MT. The game will be streamed on MLB.com, and we will follow it as much as possible during tonight’s broadcast of Osprey baseball.
The Missoula Osprey have just announced part of their 2011 roster … which features many players who were part of the 2010 Osprey, and one who was with the Osprey during the 2009 season.
Details are in the press release, which you can read here.
More information will be coming over the next couple of days.
The names released today are:
P: Robby Rowland (2010), Enrique Burgos (2009), Victor Lara (2010)
C: Roidany Aguila (2009-10), Fidel Pena (2010)
IF: Eric Groff (2010), Stephen Cardullo (2010), Tom Belza (played in Yakima in 2010)
OF: Westley Moss (played in Yakima in 2010), Ty Linton (2010)
Bryan Shaw, a reliever with the Osprey in 2008, has been called up by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Shaw was one of three pitchers to combine on the last Osprey no-hitter, which happened on June 30, 2008 at Helena.
More details will be available soon on MissoulaOsprey.com.
We’re just two weeks away from Osprey baseball. The Osprey will play at Helena in their season opener on June 20, as they face off with the defending Pioneer League champion Brewers. It’s on the air at 6:40, with the first pitch at 7:05, on AM 930, KMPT, and MissoulaOsprey.com.
And were 16 days away from the Home Opener, also with the Brewers. Get your tickets now at the MSO Hub Box Office at 140 N. Higgins or online at MissoulaOsprey.com.
– Read here for more on the three former Osprey selected to play in the Midwest League All-Star game in two weeks.
– The 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft begins tonight at the MLB Network Studios, with the First Round and Compensation Round A taking place in the first of what will be a three-day event. Rounds 2-30 will happen on Tuesday, and the final rounds, 31-50, will be held on Wednesday.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will have the No. 3, No. 7 and No. 43 picks in the draft, and there has been a lot of debate as to where the D-backs will go with those picks. The top two picks also seem to change with the breeze, so who will even be available when the D-backs make their first pick is up in the air.
We will be posting each pick (and what info we can gather about each pick) as soon as possible all three days. More than likely, the picks on Tuesday and Wednesday will be posted in groups of several at a time, since the rounds will begin to tick by as fast as fish try to swim away from Ollie. The key word there is try.
-While the D-backs lost on Sunday, the team has put together an amazing 60 games so far this season, anchored by a pair of former Osprey in the lineup and one on the mound:
*Miguel Montero (2002-03) is hitting .271 with 14 doubles, six homers, 27 RBI and an .807 OPS.
*Gerardo Parra (2006) has been solid with the glove, plus is batting .267, with five doubles, a triple, four home runs and 16 RBIs.
*Right-handed reliever Esmerling Vasquez (2004) has an 0-1 mark with a 3.63 ERA, walking just nine while striking out 18 in 22 1/3 innings pitched. Vasquez was ejected during yesterday’s festivities after hitting a Washington batter with a pitch. This followed Justin Upton getting hit for the fourth time in the series (and the Nationals’ Jason Marquis getting the heave-ho), which was proceeded by Washington’s Jayson Werth getting plunked by a pitch, and warnings going to both sides. And here we thought the next potential bout of testiness would be between Florida and San Francisco.
– Goldy Watch: On Sunday, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 2-for-3 with an intentional walk and a strikeout. Goldy’s now hitting .341 for the season, with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs.
– Former Osprey pitcher Greg Smith (2005) is making the best of his opportunity with the Grand Prairie Air Hogs of the American Association (Independent). In five starts, the left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA. Smith, who is a Louisiana native, signed with the Air Hogs after being released by the Colorado Rockies in April.
– Former Osprey infielder-turned-utilityman Emilio Bonifacio (2003) has become very valuable to the Florida Marlins these days. In fact, Bonni is getting an extended time starting at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez nursing a back problem. Of course, there is still work to be done.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost a slim lead late, and fell to Salt Lake City on Sunday, 3-2. Daniel Stange (2006) pitched a scoreless ninth inning, but the Aces were unable to rally late.
– Double-A Mobile: Jarrod Parker (2007) and Bryan Henry (2007) combined to allow four hits while striking out 10 batters in seven innings of work to help the BayBears’ pitching collect their second straight shutout, a 4-0 blanking of Huntsville on Sunday. Parker fanned six batters in his five innings of work, while Henry added four punch-outs in two innings pitched. Jake Elmore (2008) had a double and 2 RBI from the leadoff spot, plus scored a run for Mobile, who has won seven straight games to take sole possession of first place in the Southern League’s Southern Division. The BayBears have outscored the Stars, 9-0, in the first two games of their 5-game series.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: One night after being rained out, the Rawhide were two-hit by Modesto, falling 5-0 on Sunday. Trevor Harden (2008) allowed all five runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, including two home runs, and struck out seven batters. Christian Beltre and Yonata Ortega, 2007 Osprey teammates, both pitched a scoreless inning of relief behind Harden.
– Class A South Bend: Patrick Schuster (2009-10) allowed just a run on four hits in seven innings of work, while South Bend had a pair of four-run uprisings late in the game to beat Quad Cities on Sunday, 9-1. The Silver Hawks scored four times in both the sixth and eighth innings to take the win. Schuster walked one and fanned four to help lower his ERA to 3.14 for the season, while picking up his fifth win in seven decisions. Ender Inciarte (2009) doubled, Roberto Rodriguez (2010) singled, walked twice, drove in a run and stole a base; Matt Helm (2009-10) singled, scored twice and drove in a run, and Raul Navarro (2010) added a base hit and two RBIs.
– DSL D-backs: Did not play on Sunday. In four games so far this season, former Osprey outfielder Alan Santiago (2009) is 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs.
Today’s Games and former Osprey Probables:
AAA Reno (34-24) vs. Salt Lake City
AA Mobile (33-24) vs. Huntsville
A Adv. Visalia (25-31) vs. Modesto
A South Bend (30-27) has an off-day on Monday
DSL D-backs (2-4) at DSL Padres
We have 24 days before the 2011 season cranks up, 26 days before the home opener, and a mere … wait, there’s just over three weeks before the season opens up? Wow … it’s almost here!
– Off the top – two roster moves announced today by the Arizona Diamondbacks … IF/OF Kyle Greene (2008) has been promoted to Triple-A Reno, while Roidany Aguila (2009-10) has been promoted to Class A Advanced Visalia.
– Right now, the Arizona Diamondbacks are hotter than a ember from a popped-off 4th of July firecracker, winning their 9th game in 10 tries last night at Colorado. Miguel Montero (2002-03) played a big role in the 6-3 win.
– Also in that game … CarGo went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Gerardo Parra (2006) did not play, and went oh-for-the-series. He’s still hitting a respectible .261, however, in 43 games.
– The streaking D-backs … and, by the way, just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s 11-2 over the past 13 games, and 2nd place in the NL West … now head to Houston. Get ready here. Note the pic they used on the post – Jose Valverde (2000), when he was in Houston. He’s now in Detroit.
– The whole Buster Posey-Scott Cousins collision was started by … a sacrifice fly by former Osprey Emilio Bonifacio (2003). (Heads-up … the video does have slow-motion of the collision.) The worst part – Posey never really had possession of the baseball. Do you think the rule needs to be changed for plays at the plate? Comment below and let us know!
– Daniel Schlereth (2008) may have only been with the Osprey a month to begin his professional baseball career, but he left quite an impression in the clubhouse. He’s already doing similar things in the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen.
– This just in … Ollie Osprey is about to break the single-game attendance mark in Facebook friends. The mark is 4,076, and at last report, Ollie was just five friends away from tying the mark. Whomever is fan number 4,077 gets a cool prize pack from the Missoula Osprey!! Search Ollie Osprey on Facebook, or go here for details on getting to Ollie’s page.
Minor League Update
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Round Rock on Thursday, 6-5. Jordan Norberto had a rollar-coaster inning … he allowed two runs on three hits, and struck out the side.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears fell into a first-place tie for the Southern League’s Southern Division lead with an 8-3 loss to Jackson on Thursday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, while Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-fro-2 with a pair of walks and a RBI. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-4 on the night. Jarrod Parker (2007) allowed just one earned run (two total) in five innings of work, on four hits and a pair of walks, with four strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched two innings of relief, and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, with three strikeouts.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide picked up a 7-5 win over Stockton on Thursday. Chris Owings (2009) singled, doubled, drove in a run and scored one, while Adam Eaton (2010) added a double and two RBIs. Rossmel Perez (2008) walked, singled and scored twice, while David Nick (2009) also reached base twice and scored both times. Keon Broxton (2009) also plated a run with a sacrifice fly. On the bump, the pair of former Osprey who came on in relief of Tyler Skaggs did not have their best nights … Diogenes Rosario (2009) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, with a strikeout in his inning of work, while Christian Beltre (2007) allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits.
– Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks had a chance to climb to the .500 mark, and after winning the first game of a scheduled doubleheader with Lake County, appeared to be on their way. However, Mother Nature won the nightcap, which was cancelled due to rain. Bradin Hagens (2009) and Jeremy Erben (2010) combined on a three-hitter, not allowing an earned runin the process. Erben fanned two batters in his two innings of work, while Hagens produced 12 ground-ball outs. All of the runs were driven in by former Osprey – Roberto Rodriguez (2010) and Ramon Castillo (2009) had a pair of two-run doubles in a four-run third inning, while Ender Inciarte (2009) capped off the scoring with a RBI hit. Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a base hit and scored a run, while Chris Jarrett (2010) added a hit, and Raywilly Gomez (2009) also scored a run.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (28-20) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (25-21) vs. Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (22-25) vs. Stockton – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (23-24) vs. Dayton – JR Bradley (2010), who was scheduled to start in Game 2 last night, gets the start tonight instead.