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.
– To start with a reminder about the Osprey, including Ollie Osprey, attending the Kids Fair this weekend at Southgate Mall. In addition, there will be a Kids National Anthem Tryout during the Kids Fair. Read on for details.
– Paul Goldschmidt continues to open eyes at Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring camp. The former Osprey (2009 edition) has a hit in his last two games, is hitting .533 (8-for-15) with 14 total bases, three doubles, a home run and six RBIs. The RBI total is tied for the team lead at the moment. Goldy even has a stolen base. The problem is – there are now four candidates ahead of him in the first-base platoon, including Xavier Nady, who is being moved from the outfield temporarily to first. So the time that Goldy has in Major League camp could be cut short.
– Other Osprey-related news from the D-backs’ 16-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday – Gerardo Parra stole a pair of bases in the victory. They were the first two thefts on the basepaths for the 2006 Osprey alum this spring, who is now hitting .286 in eight Cactus Laegue games.
– Charles Brewer (2009) made his Cactus League debut on Friday against San Diego, getting the last out of the fifth inning in a 3-2 loss to the Padres. Oddly enough, he was due up in the home half of the fifth, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter on a double-switch. That pinch-hitter was Bobby Borchering (2009).
– And speaking of Borchering, he will see a little more time at third base during the spring, before he is sent back to minor-league camp. Read an interview with Borchering in The D-Blog.
– You get the feeling that the Toronto Blue Jays may come to miss former Osprey Lyle Overbay (1999)? The Toronto Sun ran a story about how the former Pioneer League Player of the Year could be the free-agent steal of the season. Overbay signed a one-year deal to play in Pittsburgh.
– There’s nothing like a peaceful negotiation. There’s also nothing like stability. Both exist in minor league baseball these days. Despite being four years away from needing to do it, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (the governing body of minor league baseball) and Major League Baseball agreed to extend their current Professional Baseball Agreement through the 2020 season.
More notes from former Missoula Osprey players currently at Spring Training …
– MLB.com has released its Top 10 Prospects list for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it should be no surprise that half of the list are former Missoula Osprey. Jarrod Parker, who pitched out of trouble in his Spring Training debut on Monday, is tops on the list. Read about the others, and the “under the radar” players, here.
– Guys who tend to struggle with controlling the strike zone have been put on notice … it’s time to throw strikes. One of those arms who is hoping to do just that is on the left side of former Osprey pitcher Jordan Norberto. A very telling quote from D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, from The Tao of Steve blog, written by MLB.com D-backs’ beat writer Steve Gilbert.
– Details from Monday’s rough one against the Rockies are here. At the bottom of the entry contains today’s pitching schedule. By the way, they will play the Rockies, again. It should be noted that when the play games in Extended Spring Training and Instructional League, they also play the Rockies, over and over again.
– Lyle Overbay is in a new camp this season, after signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Good piece from the Globe and Mail in his old stomping grounds in Toronto on his fresh start.
– Word has it that Sergio Santos could go from setup man to closer for the Chicago White Sox this season. He’s one of four under consideration for the role, one that he would welcome having sooner or later.
– Last but not least, it’s hard not to be a fan of D-backs’ lefty, and former Osprey, Clay Zavada (2006). As he comes back from Tommy John surgery to his left elbow, apparently there’s more than that making a comeback.