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
Charles Brewer is going to get the chance to play that role of “I’m Major League Worthy” in a different location now. He’s gone from his days as a member of the Missoula Osprey in 2009, to getting a chance in South Bend and Visalia in 2010, and pitching in Mobile both in 2011, and at the start of the 2012 season. But now, Brewer has another stop – at Triple-A Reno – to show that he is ready for the ultimate stage.
The promotion was among a series of moves made by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, and included another former Osprey, who was here a shorter amount of time than nearly any other former Osprey this side of Daniel Taylor. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
So I am watching MLB.tv on Sunday, catching the tail end of the D-backs game, and on the mound in the ninth inning, during a mound visit, were three Osprey – pitcher Bryan Shaw (2008), catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03) and first baseman Lyle Overbay (1999). A fourth, outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006), was in left field. And a fifth, Paul Goldschmidt (2009), had just pinch-hit a half-inning prior.
Yes, I was smiling.
I smiled even more when Shaw blew a 94 mile-per-hour fastball past Buster Posey to finish off his first Major League save, capping off a D-backs comeback of epic proportions, rallying down from 6-0 down to win, 7-6, and finish off a sweep of the San Francisco Giants in their 2012 Opening Series at Chase Field.
Overbay doubled twice and homered – a tape-measure shot, by the way – and drove in three runs to lead the charge.
It caps off what was a great week to be a former Osprey. Well, for a good number of them, anyway. Continue reading
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.
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).