The latest stuff on former Osprey players …
– The Arizona Diamondbacks reassigned 15 players to minor-league camp, including players on their 40-man roster. Several of them are former Osprey who were in camp. They are:
Optioned to Triple-A Reno: RHP Chase Anderson RHP Charles Brewer LHP Eury De La Rosa Optioned to Double-A Mobile: RHP Keon Broxton RHP Eric Smith Reassigned to Minor League camp: LHP David Holmberg INF Chris Owings
All of the players except for Holmberg (2010 Osprey) played in Missoula in 2009. Keep an eye out for three of them this season – De La Rosa, Brewer and Smith, who each had a handful solid Cactus League outings. Expect both Holmberg and Owings to at least start the 2013 season at Double-A Mobile.
– EatonMania is runnin’ wild on the internet and print these days. It seems as if the more that Spring Training goes along, the more attention Adam Eaton (2010) is getting from the media and blog-sphere. If it’s not a blogger saying that Eaton could wow people more than Mike Trout, it’s a Sports Illustrated piece on the web. That all said, the key for Eaton to “wow” people in 2013 is to stay healthy, something that manager Kirk Gibson is hoping actually happens. At times, Eaton has struggled with that, but his all-out style does bring that along with it as a drawback. One thing is clear – his teammates like him, but the opposition doesn’t particularly care for him. (Last link is to an ESPN Insider post, but the beginning is still worth the read.)
– Ryan Robowski (2009) made it to the second round of cuts for the Detroit Tigers before getting reassigned to minor-league camp. The Non-Roster Invitee was touched up in his limited time in Grapefruit League action in his first Major League Spring Training action. Robo is likely headed to either back to Double-A Erie or Triple-A Toledo.
– It looks like John Hester (2006) has his hands full as he battles for the backup catcher’s job with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
– Scott Hairston (2001) will be platooning in right field for the Chicago Cubs, and hitting fifth in the lineup when he does start.
– Jarrod Parker (2007) has gone from not-so-sure-what-we-have to ace of the staff for the Oakland A’s … and wants more success in 2013.
– Another pitcher that wants a better 2013 is former Osprey starter Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is starting to find his old self with the Colorado Rockies, almost two years removed from Tommy John surgery.
That will do it for now … other than a plug for the current O’s Poll of the Moment, which you can find on the right-hand column. Vote on it often – because the look into the Osprey crystal ball by Ben Catley is coming soon! We’ll see how your votes match up with his predictions on whom the next Osprey players will be to make their Major League debuts.
Catching up on Bird movements over the past few days …
– Current Arizona Diamondbacks and former Osprey outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006) managed to avoid arbitration and signed a one-year contract. The 25-year-old Parra hit .273 with seven home runs and 36 RBIs in 133 games with the D-backs in 2012. The .280 career hitter has also been strong defensively, winning his first NL Gold Glove in 2011, and since his arrival to Arizona in 2009, his 37 outfield assists ranks second in the NL to Hunter Pence (47) in that time frame.
– Lyle Overbay (1999) has signed a minor-league deal with the Boston Red Sox and received a non-roster invitation to Spring Training. Overbay will vie for a spot on the Opening Day roster as the left-handed answer at first base, with right-handers Mike Napoli and Mauro Gomez also on the roster. Overbay hit .259 between Arizona and Atlanta in 2012, used primarily as a left-handed bat off the bench. The 12-year veteran of the Major Leagues would also serve as a good insurance policy of sorts for Napoli, with concerns about his hips — Napoli has avascular necrosis, which affects blood supply to the area.
What also helps Overbay’s cause is his successful hitting at Fenway Park in his career. While playing for the Toronto Blue Jays, Overbay hit .323 in 43 games, with a .395 on-base and a .500 slugging percentage.
If the BoSox bring Overbay Northward to Yawkey Way, they would be the sixth team Overbay has played for in the Major Leagues. If not, according to the Boston Herald, Overbay’s contract has an opt-out clause at the end of Spring Training.
– Overbay is among 11 former Osprey players who have received non-roster invites to Spring Training. Four of those 10 – infielder Chris Owings (2009), catcher Rossmel Perez (2008), first baseman Jon Griffin (2011) and left-handed pitcher David Holmberg (2010) – are in D-backs’ camp. The others – catcher Wilkin Castillo (2004) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, right-handed pitcher Yonata Ortega (2007) with the Texas Rangers, right-handed pitcher Daniel Stange (2006) with the San Diego Padres, left-handed pitcher Daniel Schlereth (2008) with the Baltimore Orioles, right-handed pitcher Jerry Gil (2000) with the Cleveland Indians, and left-handed pitcher Ryan Robowski (2009) with the Detroit Tigers.
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
Hmm, let’s see – 42 days (or six weeks) before the home opener … 40 days before the season opener … and about 24 hours before Osprey radio voice Ben Catley begins his version of Spring Training.
– It’s official, the Osprey will be “nesting” in a new location. The offices are moving into downtown Missoula, in the newly-formed MSO Hub on the corner of Main and Higgins.
– The first item is a big deal – the only thing that could trump Goldy’s minor-league-tying 13th home run, hit in the first inning of today’s game for Mobile at Jacksonville.
– While South Bend is checking in with West Michigan – they’re playing now (as of 9 a.m.) in the third of a four-game series – we checked in on former Osprey Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10 Osprey), who was trying to right things in Grand Rapids. While Eichhorn is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, he has struck out 36 in 30 innings pitched, and his WHIP is at a respectible 1.27. However, he has also allowed three home runs – a problem he started running into with the Osprey last season. We’ll keep you up to date on his progress.
– Speaking of in-game updates … Hawks lead Whitecaps in today’s action, 3-0, entering the top of the fourth inning. Ender Inicarte is part of the story – he has two hits in two trips, with a run scored. Inciarte has his average back up to .463 (through the 2nd inning), as he continues his torrid start. Here’s a great story on Inciarte, who is playing this season with a heavy heart after losing his father to a heart attack during Spring Training.
– The other former Osprey involved in that D-backs’ trade with the Detroit Tigers that sent Eichhorn away was left-hander Ryan Robowski (2009), who has been solid for the Lakeland Flying Tigers in the Florida State League. In 14 2/3 innings, ‘Robo’ has allowed as many walks as he has collected strikeouts (seven), but has just surrendered one earned run for a 0.61 ERA, plus has two saves to his credit.
– Gerardo Parra is starting to become a regular in D-backs’ manager Kirk Gibson’s lineup, thanks in part to some extra work on the old No. 2.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces managed to take care of business on Tuesday, beating Omaha, 5-1. That run was allowed by Daniel Stange (2006) in the eighth, on a solo home run. Stange scattered two other hits and struck out two batters in the outing, which raised his ERA to 3.93.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears used a solid outing from Jarrod Parker (2007), a scoreless four innings from its bullpen (including 2006 alum Clay Zavada, who allowed just a walk and struck out two in two innings of work), and plenty of offense in securing a 10-1 win over Jacksonville on Tuesday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, Jake Elmore (2008) singled home a run, while Taylor Harbin (2007), who scored twice, and Paul Goldschmidt (2009) each chipped in with a base hit.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Adam Eaton (2010) singled, tripled, and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning as the Rawhide reached the .500 mark with a 2-1 win over Bakersfield. Keon Broxton (2009) also had two hits, while Bobby Borchering (2009) had a single for Visalia. Borchering’s platoon-mate, of sorts, Matt Davidson, drove in both runs with a solo home run and the ninth-inning single. The winning run came off of Clayton Shunick, who has seen comebacks before by Osprey, as a former pitcher for the Billings Mustangs.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks split a doubleheader with West Michigan on Tuesday. JR Bradley (2010) used two double play balls to help scatter eight hits and allow just one run in six innings of work while picking up his first win of the season in a 6-1 lidlifter triumph. Bobby Stone (2008-10) finally hit his first home run of the season, as the Hawks won their fifth in a row. Matt Helm (2009-10) had two hits and a RBI, while Ender Inciarte (2009) continued his surge at the plate with three hits and two runs scored. In the nightcap, the offense went quiet behind Daniel Taylor (2010) as the Hawks lost, 5-0. Raywilly Gomez (2009) singled and doubled, while Ramon Castillo (2009) added a double for all of the Hawks’ hits in the contest.
Today’s games (and former Osprey who are starting …):
AAA Reno (21-12) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (19-11) playing at Jacksonville.
A Adv. Visalia (16-16) vs. Bakersfield – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the ball tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (14-18) playing at West Michigan … David Holmberg (2010) made the start today for the Hawks, and has allowed just one hit through 3 innings.
OK Osprey faithful – a good number of our alumni will be opening their seasons today, and yet there are a handful whom will be waiting to start their seasons – let’s hope a good number of those who are waiting are back in Missoula.
It may be Opening Day in the minor leagues for the full-season leagues, but the Osprey are still in countdown mode – 76 days until the home opener, 74 days until the season opener, and an estimated 72 days before the first batting practice home run finds the Clark Fork.
– One former Osprey who would be a “new face, new place” candidate is Lyle Overbay (1999 Osprey), who is off to a solid start for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In six games, he’s hitting .304 with a home run and four RBIs. Here’s also a sit-down chat Overbay had at the start of Spring Training about joining the Pirates.
– We mentioned Miguel Montero’s start in our last post – he homered again in the D-backs win on Wednesday at Wrigley Field over the Chicago Cubs – but we also should mention the start by Gerardo Parra (2006) as well. Parra had a three-hit day on Wednesday, and his average climbed to .333 with the effort. Parra has made the start in all five of Arizona’s games so far this season.
– Daniel Schlereth not only made his first Opening-Day roster, earning a place on the Detroit Tigers’ 25-man roster, but made an appearance in the opener as well. He pitched an inning for the Detroit Tigers, allowing a hit, on March 31 at Yankee Stadium. So far, that is the lone appearance for Schlereth, who will likely be used as a left-handed specialist this season by the Tigers.
– Today marks Opening Day for the minors, as all of the full-season leagues will begin play today – or tonight – throughout the land. Along with the 49 former Osprey who are on rosters with teams in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, there are others who are in the minors with other teams. The list, and a little bit of info on each:
Evan Scribner (’07), Tucson (AAA-San Diego)- Ben Catley’s pick to be the next former Osprey to make his Major League debut. The right-handed reliever has developed into quite the find for the Padres, who traded Tony Clark in 2008 for Scribner, straight-up, before the trade deadline. Scribs’ best pitch is a slider which has a lot of bite. If he gets guys out at Tucson, he’ll get the call soon enough.
Ryan Robowski (’09), Lakeland (A Advanced-Detroit)- Robo is a lefty who looks a bit like Scribner in his delivery, and was the pitcher on the mound who closed out the Northern Division Playoff with Great Falls in 2009. He will stay in the bullpen with the Tigers’ organization.
Scott Allen (’09), Tampa (A Advanced-NY Yankees)- Allen is young, has electric stuff and has some potential to be a solid starter. He’ll get to play in the same league as Robo (Florida State League), and in fact, they will open the season by facing each other.
Kevin Eichhorn (’08-’10), West Michigan (A-Detroit)- Eike will get to be a starter for the Whitecaps, where he will be pitching in the Midwest League. The potential for a start against South Bend looms … he’ll be in the starting rotation.
Greg Smith (’05), Colorado Springs (AAA-Colorado)- The left-hander is looking to work his way back to the Major Leagues. Smith had a so-so spring, so we shall see what pitching at altitude (Colorado Springs is actually nearly 1,000 feet higher in elevation than Denver) treats him.
Wilkin Castillo (2004), Gwinnett (AAA-Atlanta)- Castillo is looking to have a solid spring and be waiting for a chance to be back in the Major Leagues.
JD Closser (1999), Albuquerque (AAA-LA Dodgers)- Closser is also looking for another chance to be with the Major League club, as he continues his career. He is in his third season with the Dodgers organization.
Jerry Gil (2000), Louisville (AAA-Cincinnati)- Gil is trying to do a Sergio Santos, but one better – if he would make it back to the Major Leagues as a pitcher, he would be the first and only Osprey to do so as a position player and as a pitcher.
Steven Jackson (2004), Chattanooga (AA-LA Dodgers)- Jackson was signed as a free agent by the Dodgers and assigned to Chattanooga to pitch out of the Lookouts’ bullpen. Jackson spent parts of two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and made his MLB debut in 2009.
Reynaldo Navarro (2007-08), Wilmington (A Adv.-Kansas City)- Navarro was a shortstop here, but is being turned into a second baseman by the Royals’ organization. Navarro has had some experience playing the other middle infield position, and according to scouts, his arm seems a better fit on the right side of the infield.
– TRIVIA ANSWER: Tuesday’s question dealt with the best opponents batting average allowed by an Osprey pitcher (minimum 65 innings pitched). The trick is the qualifier – in the Osprey Official Record Book (coming as a PDF file to a computer near you sometime in May!), the record-holder is based on at least 10 innings pitched – which would be Jose Valverde (.075 in 2000). But under the qualifier of the question, the answer would be Jordan Norberto, who holds the mark of .216, set in 2006 … Eichhorn, at one point in the 2010 season, had a shot of breaking the mark, but a start at Casper changed all of that.
Today’s question – How many former Osprey are currently playing in the Mexican League? A hint: You have seen video of at least one of them in this very blog. Answer coming on Monday …