There’s 91 days until Opening Night in Missoula …
Welcome to Spring … officially. Today is the first full day of the Spring Equinox. It’s also the first of two days when people will call in sick then miraculously recover and head out to their favorite food establishment with big screen TVs to watch March Madness. Don’t worry … we’re not saying a word.
– The Baltimore Orioles have reassigned left-handed pitcher Daniel Schlereth (2008 Osprey) to minor-league camp. Schlereth struggled this spring, and will likely start the season at Triple-A Norfolk. Continue reading
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.
Countdowns – T-minus 58 days until the home opener, 56 days before the season opener, and don’t ask about the Osprey record book. The best guess is that it will be ready before the end of May. So that is like, what, 35 days or so … there we go, now that we have that all taken care of, time to play catch-up.
– Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) is featured in this Nick Piecoro blog entry.
– Mr. Versatility for the Florida Marlins, Emilio Bonifacio (2003 Osprey), may see more time in left field after the Marlins made a roster move on Saturday. Bonifacio has been filling in both at third base and left field this season, and is hitting .317 with two RBIs and two stolen bases for the season.
– Pedro Ciriaco spent 24 hours on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 25-man roster over the weekend. Ciriaco (2005) was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, but was sent back the following day after the Pirates claimed Brandon Wood off of waivers. It’s Ciriaco’s second option – which means the Pirates will have one more left to use on him. Ciriaco is hitting just .143 in 15 games with Indianapolis.
– Wilkin Castillo (2004) had a career run-producing day for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. Castillo had struggled so far this season at the plate for the Braves, but doubled his hit total with the four-hit outburst.
– Any time we see a chance for fans of the feathered to vote for a current or former Osprey, we make sure we pass along the info … hence, the Reno Aces Bobblehead Vote, which runs through this coming Saturday (April 30). John Hester (2006) is among the candidates. Go now and vote!!!
Now on to the Daily Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Fresno, 12-5, on Sunday. A pair of former Osprey pitchers struggled in this one – Tom Layne (2007) allowed a pair of runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched for the Aces, raising his ERA to 8.22, while former Osprey Casey Daigle (2000) allowed a run in an inning and 2/3 of work, which actually lowered his ERA this season to 9.35.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Jackson, 15-3, on Sunday. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and plated his 20th run of the month in the loss.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide dropped a 10-3 decision to San Jose on Saturday, then had a day off on Sunday. Bobby Borchering (2009) had a double and 2 RBIs, while Kyle Greene (2008) also doubled and drove in a run in a three-run first inning for the Rawhide.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks split a twinbill with Fort Wayne on Saturday, which enabled the Hawks to take their first series win of the season. Bradin Hagens (2009) went six solid innings in the lidlifter to pick up his first win as a pro as a starter, while Blake Cooper (2010) notched his first save of the season in the 4-2 triumph. RayWilly Gomez (2009) and Bobby Stone (2008-10) each had a base hit for the Hawks in the win. In Game 2, JR Bradley (2010) had his best start of the season, but did not get much support from his offense in a 2-0 setback in the nightcap. Chris Jarrett (2010) tripled, but could not come around to score – it was one of just two Hawks hits.
Today’s Games (and former Osprey who will make starts):
AAA Reno (11-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (11-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (6-11) at Bakersfield. Mike Belfiore (2009) will make his second start of the season for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-11) at Bowling Green. David Holmberg (2010) gets the ball for the Hawks.
Countdown – T-minus 65 days until the Home Opener, 63 Days before the 2011 Season opens at Helena, and at least another week before the latest edition of the Osprey Record Book is done. Sorry, but Sunday turned into a fun day …
– First, a quick reminder that the Osprey Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula.
– Bobby Borchering had started in quite the funk for the Visalia Rawhide this season. Let’s hope Sunday’s effort goes a ways in breaking that up. We here at Bird Droppings hopes the same thing can happen to Pedro Ciriaco, and soon.
– Speaking of Visalia, their games attract runs like free food brings people out of the woodwork. Sunday’s win was the first time in four games this season that one of the teams involved scored at least 10 runs.
– Speaking of a ton of runs, Mobile and Mississippi combined for 24 of them on Sunday, with the Braves earning a 14-10 win. Five of the BayBears runs came off the bat of … yup, Paul Goldschmidt, who cranked out a RBI single and a grand slam in the slugfest. Through 10 games, Goldy is 10th in hitting (.364), and leads the Southern League in home runs (6), RBIs (15), slugging pct. (.939) and OPS (1.439). Teammate Taylor Harbin (2007 Osprey) is fourth in the league in hitting with a .387 mark.
– More on the former Osprey in the farm system can be found both here and here. Also an interesting read from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro on how close the D-backs are to having a great farm system, according to ESPN’s Keith Law.
– Good signs are arriving about the early season performance of former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vasquez, especially when everyone seems to have notice the newfound bite on his curveball.
– Lyle Overbay explores one of the great mysteries of baseball life – why some guys can hit against certain teams. Overbay is a .400 hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, whom he now gets to see on a semi-regular basis with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
– Also looks like Daniel Schlereth has found a home in the Detroit Tigers bullpen, and is part of a youth movement being used on the road to (Jose) Valverde.
– Nice piece we stumbled across on former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner and his odd road to the closer role for the Tucson Padres. Scribs has been up-and-down out of the gate, with an 0-1 record, two saves, and a 6.43 ERA. In five outings, he has struggled in two of them, and been virtually unhittable in the other three. Ahh, the life of a closer …
– The South Bend Silver Hawks are struggling out of the gate – again – but the offense was helped a bit by seeing a somewhat familiar face – Kevin Eichhorn. Eichhorn (2008-10 Osprey), now in the Detroit Tigers organization, was touched up in his second start this season on Sunday, allowing four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched against the Hawks. Eichhorn also struck out six batters, and retired the order the first time through, but Raul Navarro (2010) drilled a two-out single in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader. Keon Broxton (2009) also had a bunt single (he’s at .302 for the season), while Chris Jarrett (2010) walked twice in the SB setback.
– Here’s today’s minor league schedule and former Osprey who get the call on the mound:
AAA – Reno (7-3) vs. Colorado Springs
AA – Mobile (7-3) vs. Hagerstown
A Adv. – Visalia (4-7) at Stockton
A – South Bend (2-8) at Great Lakes – lefty David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Silver Hawks.
T-minus 71 days until the Osprey open at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, 69 days before they invade Helena and look to take down the Brewers, and 68 days (at the most) before they meet the media.
Also, a significant development today in Missoula … the sun is making a basically solo appearance in the sky. Usually, it’s hiding behind a multitude of clouds, or trying to peer through a thin layer of cloud cover. We welcome it’s appearance with mainly clear skies today. Another sign that the season is getting closer by the day …
– Former Osprey infielder Perdo Ciriaco (2005) showed off his glove skills on this line drive during the opener for the Indianapolis Indians. Ciriaco was one of the last cuts for the Pittsburgh Pirates before they broke camp this past Spring Training. The glove is there, but Ciriaco is just 2-for-18 (.111) in the first five games this season, with two stolen bases.
– Jarrod Parker’s 2011 debut was one to forget, as Double-A Mobile lost for the first time this season, 10-4, to Carolina. Parker (2007) was tagged for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) continued his strong start, collecting another hit and run scored, and watched as his average fell … to .571.
– A myriad of notes from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro, including the threat of a “Goldy Watch”-type piece (that’s what we called it last season when we were tracking the Goldschmidt Home Run Train) and where Raul Navarro (2010) was ticketed to head to, which changed by the time March was over.
– Baltimore’s fans are apparently feeling it, so to speak, after their fast start. A couple of them were giving Jose Valverde (2000) the business during the Detroit Tigers’ series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Nice to know fellow Osprey Daniel Schlereth (2008) had his back. By the way, Valverde has two saves in two tries, and Schlereth has allowed just a run on three hits and two walks in his first four innings of work.
And here’s your little-known fact of the day. In the movie Major League 2, which had all of the game-related footage shot inside Camden Yards in Baltimore, the bullpen scenes involving Charlie Sheen were actually shot in the visitor’s bullpen, which is behind the O’s bullpen in the Camden Yards layout. There’s also a walkway right above the bullpen bench area, which you can notice in this clip.
– The players at Extended Spring Training are back to work, after taking a short break. The grind will include six days of work, and a day off, each week. Mike Belfiore (2009), who is on the South Bend DL by expected to be on the Visalia pitching staff before long, is joined by 2010 former Osprey Robby Rowland and Stephen Cardullo, among others.
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.
Countdowns – t-minus 86 days until the home opener, 84 days until the season opener, and about 80 days before the standard sweating begins in the Osprey Radio booth. Or is that 75? We forget …
By the way, we here at Bird Droppings salute the two people (or the one person who, on a whim, filled out two brackets, and did not change their Final Four) who picked all four of the Final Four teams in the ESPN Tournament Bracket Challenge. That was two out of 6,000,000-plus brackets.
…. as that sinks in, on with the nuggets ….
– While the official announcement is still a few days away, it’s looking like most of the 2010 starting rotation for the Osprey will be headed to South Bend to at least start the season. South Bend SilverHawks radio broadcaster Owen Serey blogged about who could be headed that way recently. The official announcement isn’t expected to be until this weekend – South Bend has an exhibition game next Tuesday at Notre Dame.
– Opening Day is Thursday, and that means that Major League clubs will also be making decisions as to who will be on their 25-man rosters. Two of those decisions, which involved former Osprey, came down on Monday:
The Arizona Diamondbacks have optioned Jordan Norberto (2006 Osprey) to Triple-A Reno to begin the 2011 season. In nine appearances, Norberto collected one save in one opportunity and posted a 6.23 ERA, walking six batters in 8 2/3 innings pitched. Norberto slumped a bit toward the end of spring while trying to compete for a spot in the D-backs’ bullpen.
Also, the Pittsburgh Pirates have opted to option infielder Pedro Ciriaco (2005) to Triple-A Indianapolis. Here’s one Pittsburgh writer’s take on the situation.
– Good news about Clay Zavada, according to Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro. Which, of course, got us thinking about that ‘stache …
We could not resist adding a Clay Zavada tribute video we found on YouTube.
We’ll keep up with the latest both here and on the Official Home Page of the Missoula Osprey, www.missoulaosprey.com.
Your official Osprey countdowns – 93 days until Opening Night at home, 91 days until the season opener, and about 80-some days before the team arrives.
– A reminder for Season Ticket holders – you need to have your tickets paid for in full by March 31st to receive a voucher for a free popcorn and pop for each home game this season.
– Former Osprey slugger Paul Goldschmidt (2009) received a start on Sunday for the Arizona Diamondbacks back in big-league camp on Sunday, going 1-for-4 with a double. That moved his average to .429 in Cactus League play, with four doubles, a home run and seven RBIs in 14 games. Goldy and Adam Eaton (2010), who struck out in the ninth inning of the 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians, will likely be regulars in the call-up-to-fill-out convoy from minor-league camp for the next week or so. Yup, the breaking of camp is coming soon …
– Speaking of Eaton, sports writer David Jablonski of the Springfield News Sun likes keeping up with the Kenton Ridge High grad, and pens another update on Eaton. Eaton – who is now 2-for-6 with a double and home run in Cactus League play, is more than likely headed to Class A Advanced Visalia, but there is some thought that if there is a need, he may be moved ahead to Double-A Mobile. Eaton has been working out with the Double-A minor-league camp, accoring to Jablonski’s story.
– You can add former Osprey second baseman David Nick (2009) to that convoy – he had an RBI triple that helped the D-backs put away the Oakland A’s in a split-squad game on Sunday, 4-2. Nick has doubled and tripled in four Cactus League at-bats this spring. Nick’s triple capped the ninth-inning uprising, which was started with a one-out double by fellow former Osprey infielder Chris Owings (2009).
– There’s also growing speculation that it could be one of two former Osprey – left-hander Jordan Norberto (2006) and right-hander Esmerling Vasquez (2004) – who could end up with one of the available spots in the D-backs’ bullpen. According to Nick Piecoro, both are possibilities.
– From the video category comes the former Osprey who may very well be the fastest former Osprey of the bunch – Emilio Bonifacio. If you haven’t seen it, it’s the Opening Day 2009 inside-the-park home run Bonifacio hit in his Florida Marlins’ debut.
It was the first such Opening Day home run since Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1968.
– Bonifacio has also taken a step in the utility direction, and is looking to earn a Major League roster spot by being versatile.
– It’s also beginning to look like the 31st Osprey to make his Major League debut last fall will make his first Opening Day roster at the Major League level as well. That would be former Osprey infielder Pedro Ciriaco, who is showing enough to all but lock up a spot on the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day roster.