The calendar reminds us that there are 62 days before the 2011 Season opener, 64 days until the Osprey open at home, and two days before someone sticks his neck out and makes a prediction or two in this very blog. Read on for more on that one …
– Reminder – the Osprey Job Fair will take place beginning today at 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. It will run until 8 p.m., with the ability to not only fill out a job application, but to get interviewed for a day-of-game job this summer with the Osprey.
– Guess who was Southern League Player of the Week? Love this line from the update “… if the Southern League can contain him for long enough, he may make a run at that honor at the Double-A level this year.” Oh, and a former Osprey hurler also claimed the Southern League Pitcher of the Week.
– Two starts for former Osprey pitcher and former No. 1 pick Jarrod Parker in the 2011 season, and two bad outings. Not a good sign, but two things to keep in mind – it’s still early, and Parker is still building up his arm after Tommy John surgery. There’s still hope that he will get stronger as the season progresses and Parker ends up in a D-backs’ uniform by September.
– Speaking of pitchers in Mobile – add Clay Zavada to the list. The 2006 Osprey alum will begin his comeback from Tommy John surgery in the BayBears’ bullpen.
– Former Osprey pitcher Tony Barnette is trying to adjust to Japan, even in Year 2 of his adventure with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. In his latest blog entry, Barnette explores some strategy differences between baseball in Japan and here in the States.
– Former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero has been like EnduroMan for the D-backs’, catching 13 of the team’s 14 games so far this season, and hitting around .400 to boot.
– South Bend’s getting ready for a visit from D-backs GM Kevin Towers, who’s out visiting and scouting for parts of the next few weeks, while keeping an eye on the big-league club.
– Minors recap: South Bend fell behind early, 7-0, and lost by a 9-4 margin to Great Lakes. David Holmberg took the loss for the Hawks, while Matt Helm returned to the lineup, and had three hits. 2010 Osprey teammates Chris Jarrett and Roberto Rodriguez each had two hits and a RBI for South Bend … Adam Eaton had two hits and a RBI for Visalia in a 6-3 loss at Stockton. Eaton, who also stole a pair of bases, raised his average to .357 with the effort … Taylor Harbin (2007) hit a three-run shot to help Mobile beat Jacksonville, 4-2. Harbin went 2-for-3 to improve his batting average to .412. Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-3 with a walk and no strikeouts … Jordan Norberto pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a walk and striking out two batters, while John Hester had a hit in three at-bats to help Reno beat Colorado Springs, 10-6.
– Here are today’s matchups and former Osprey making starts:
AAA – Reno vs. Sacremento
AA – Mobile vs. Jacksonville – Bryan Henry (2007) looks to improve his 2-0 record when he gets the call tonight.
A Adv. – Visalia at Stockton – Chase Anderson gets the call tonight for the Rawhide.
A – South Bend at Great Lakes – Tyler Green gets the start, but this is the Green/Shields show, meaning that Jeff Shields will be the first out of the bullpen. Green and Shields will alternate starts for now.
– And finally, speaking of head-scratching, Osprey radio voice Ben Catley will offer some predictions on former Osprey in Thursday’s entry. You may be surprised who he thinks will be the next former Osprey to become a Major Leaguer for the first time.
TOMORROW: Extended Spring Training update.
Usually, we kick off the blog entry for the day with some sort of tie-in for the day, but we came across a serious piece of news for today’s entry, so out of respect for that, we just get to the info.
– Former Osprey pitcher Tony Barnette (2006) is hoping to get his second season with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows underway soon. However, with Japan still reeling from the devistating earthquake and tsunami that hit earlier this month, the process to return to normalcy has been a long one. Barnette talks about the questions and shares his thoughts in his latest blog entry on Davis Sports Deli.
– Scott Hairston, who played for Missoula in 2001, entered New York Mets camp as a non-roster invitee, and without a contract. He’s leaving camp in a week or so, at the very least, under contract and on the 40-man roster. Hairston has hit .425 in Grapefruit League play, with nine runs scored, two home runs and seven RBIs.
– Former Osprey catcher John Hester (2006) has been outrighted to Triple-A Reno by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hester spent a good portion of the 2010 season between Reno and the D-backs, and served as Miguel Montero’s backup for much of the season.
– Here’s more on former Osprey outfielder Gerardo Parra’s impressive spring. It’s always been a prevailing thought that Parra, who has hit at every level he has played, would eventually hit at the Major League level as well.
Made us think of Parra’s first Major League at-bat, which was a home run, and this is as close as we could get to getting video of it. Doesn’t do the pitch location justice – which Reds’ pitcher Johnny Cueto had headed into the dirt of the left-handed batter’s box.
– Miguel Montero’s also beginning to feel it at the plate. The influence in having veteran Henry Blanco as a backup should help Montero (2002-03 Osprey) as he continues to grow into the role of being the D-backs No. 1 backstop.
One other quick item … we’re getting feedback in a few mediums right now on the blog, however, we want to encourage everyone to comment in here as well. Let us know you’re enjoying Bird Droppings, or what we need to do differently. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Also, Season Ticket Holders – don’t forget, the deadline to pay off your season tickets in full and receive a free popcorn and pop for each ticket purchased is March 31! If you have any questions, please contact the Missoula Osprey office at (406) 543-3300.
– It must be getting close to spring – Ollie Osprey was spotted about this weekend. In fact, there’s photo evidence of such. And, yes, Ollie has a lot of friends on Facebook, close to 3,500! He’s closing in on the single-game attendance record now …
– There’s some thought that D-backs’ outfielder, and former Osprey, Gerardo Parra (2006) could see more time in left field than planned originally. A lot has to do with Xavier Nady’s arm, which could also complicate the situation at first base.
– Chris Owings finally made his spring debut this weekend. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (quickly becoming a favorite among the Osprey staff) caught up with him and got the low-down on the debut through Owings’ eyes.
– Close to 80 former Osprey have rolled into the Salt River Fields complex and have reported for minor-league Spring Training camp. Four weeks from now, they’ll be either on their way to play on a full-season squad, or preparing for the grind of Extended Spring Training.
– Here’s some other information on Rusty Ryal (2005) heading to Japan. He’s not the only former Osprey in Japan, as Tony Barnette (2006) has headed back for a second season. The piece that includes Ryal does not include Barnette, although Tony did pitch as high as Triple-A in 2009.
– Speaking of Barnette, he is looking to improve on a 4-5, 5.99 ERA season in 2010. The Yakult Swallows play in Japan’s Central League. If you dare, or if you can read Japanese, here’s Barnette’s player page on the team’s website. Also, check out the beard … well-done, in our opinion.