Here’s your standard daily update. Which means we’re 62 days away from Opening Night at home, 60 days away from the season opener at Helena, and a few days from the Osprey Record Book to be completed. We can only hope …
– More evidence that Esmering Vasquez has started strong this season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, and it comes from fellow former Osprey, catcher Miguel Montero. Also, one of life’s mysteries is answered – what in Sam’s Hill is Montero doing hitting 8th in the order??
– Former Osprey pitcher Charles Brewer was placed on the DL on Wednesday with “concussion-like” symptoms. Brewer, according to a story, hit his head on a dugout in Carolina during the first series while avoiding a foul ball, but did not say anything about it until recently. We can only hear Mobile trainer (and former Osprey trainer) Joe Metz now …
– Daily rundown: Triple-A Reno dropped a 14-7 decision to Sacramento. John Hester (2006 Osprey) went 1-for-4 with a run scored, but left-hander Tom Layne (2007) was roughed up for seven runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched … Former Osprey combined for three hits for the Double-A Mobile BayBears on Wednesday – all of them from Jake Elmore (2008) – in a 6-1 loss to Jacksonville. More good news – Clay Zavada (2006) made his first in-game appearance in more than a year, allowing nothing in one inning of work, with two strikeouts. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) and Taylor Harbin (2007) went a combined 0-for-7 with three strikeouts … Good news for the Class A Advanced Visalia Rawhide – Eric Smith (2009) turned in his best start of the season, and Taylor Sinclair (2008) also had a solid outing out of the bullpen. The bad news – the offense did not get enough runs in a 2-1 loss at Stockton. Rossmel Perez (2008) had two hits, while Adam Eaton (2010) hit a solo home run for the Rawhide … Class A South Bend split a pair with Great Lakes on Wednesday, winning the opener, 4-3, and losing the nightcap, 4-1. Jeff Shields (2010) took the loss in Game 2 for the Hawks, while Matt Helm (2009-10) had three hits and a RBI in the double-dip.
– Today’s schedule:
AAA Reno (9-4) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (9-4) vs. Jacksonville
A Adv. Visalia (5-9) vs. San Jose – Derek Eitel (2010) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide
A South Bend (3-10) vs. Fort Wayne – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call for the Hawks
by Ben Catley
Yes, I wanted to make sure that no one else can be harassed over what you are about to read, so I will stick my name on this one and see what happens.
Today’s entry very simply is in response to questions that I do get asked from time to time. What is listed below is the three most common questions I get during the off-season, especially at this time of the year, with one of those questions getting split into two, only because it is suddenly needed to be.
I will also give what my thought was in January, and what it is today, as some of them have also changed.
1. Who is the next Osprey position player to make a Major League Baseball roster?January answer: Paul Goldschmidt
Answer Now: Taylor Harbin or Paul Goldschmidt
The main reason my answer has changed here is because of Harbin’s hot start. Back in January, I thought that if Goldy had a decent run the next TWO seasons, he would have a chance, somewhere. Then, he had a great Cactus League run, and now has seven home runs in the place where most power hitters go to get their careers derailed, the Southern League. But, again, I was thinking he would get a shot in 2013, not 2011.
And all of a sudden, Harbin is suddenly finding offense to go along with his solid defense. Harbin can now also play second, shortstop or third base, which makes him a versatile player who could spot-start in the Major Leagues.
Prediction: If Harbin continues to hit well over .300, he will possibly get a look in September. The Mobile BayBears are off to a great start, and unless there’s a pressing need to move people around, both Harbin and Goldy will be in Mobile until they are out of the post-season hunt. But, as of now, it will be one of these two players who will be the first former Osprey without MLB experience to get the call as a position player.
2. Who will be the next Osprey pitcher to make a MLB roster?
January answer: Evan Scribner
Answer now: Evan Scribner or Tom Layne
While it is still likely that Jarrod Parker will be in a D-backs’ uniform by September, I still think one of his 2007 teammates will get the call first. It will take an injury or two before Layne gets the call up, but he would be a solid lefty out of the bullpen. Scribner – who, like Layne, is at Triple-A, but with the Padres – has been given the closer’s role the past two seasons (he was at Double-A San Antonio in 2010), and if there is a need with the big club, he may very well be the closer-in-waiting.
3. Who is the most likely 2010 Osprey to return for 2011?
January Answer: Domingo Soriano
Answer Now: Robby Rowland
I think part of my answer is to help with Rowland’s karma and get him to a full-season club. But when I heard he was being kept in Extended Spring Training, I began to hope that Rowland would become the Opening Day starter for the Osprey. If Soriano ends up back in Missoula, which the chances are good of happening, he will be in the lineup more often than not, because he is a player that needs to get reps to get better.
Prediction: Rowland ends up in South Bend, Soriano heads to Yakima, and Ty Linton comes back and wins Pioneer League Player of the Year honors. OK, I know I am WAY out on a limb here, but why not? Remember the headline …
4. If you could choose the Opening Day lineup for the Osprey, what would it be?
Well … if you insist … if I could choose a lineup based on who is in Extended Spring Training, this is what I would wish to be on Hector De La Cruz’s lineup card on June 20:
Ender Inciarte CF
David Narodowski SS
Ty Linton LF
Eric Groff 3B
Wagner Mateo RF
Jae Yun Kim C
Stephen Cardullo 2B
Fidel Pena 1B
Antonio Sepulveda DH
Robby Rowland P
Of course, the chances are better for me to hit a Adonys Chapman fastball than for both Inciarte and Narodowski to come back to Missoula, but hey … I was just following the rules …
That said, would not be a bit surprised if the Osprey have an outfield led by Linton, Mateo and Soriano. If Groff ends up back here, it’s to play second base, which means Cardullo would be a shortstop. Kim and Pena will likely be together – whether it’s Missoula or Yakima – with Pena being a likely DH, since his bat is solid enough to have in the lineup every day.
So there you go. If I had to pick one of these I feel the most comfortable about – it’s actually two. I really do believe that, pending how things shake out, that Evan Scribner is the next former Osprey to make his MLB debut, and that Goldy is the next position player to make his debut.
T-minus 69 days until Opening Night at home, 67 days until the Osprey open their season at Helena, and less than 48 hours to e-file your tax returns. If you’re still doing them on paper, you have an extra three days.
– A reminder, the Osprey will hold a Job Fair on Tuesday, April 19, at the DoubleTree Hotel from 3-8 p.m. There are many day-of-game positions available for the 2011 season at the Job Fair. You will be able to complete applications and have an interview during the event.
-Esmerling Vasquez (2004) is back with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Vasquez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief in Wednesday’s 15-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-hander threw just one inning in Reno, getting a strikeout and not allowing a thing, and is coming off of a strong Spring Training, something which has helped with his confidence.
– Tom Layne, meanwhile, was being groomed as a reliever, but the crafty lefty is suddenly in Reno’s rotation. His performance last night may be enough to allow that to happen. Layne allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings, while scattering five hits and two walks, and struck out five in a win at Colorado Springs. The Aces have now won five in a row after losing their opener.
– Not so good news for former Osprey Matt Helm, who apparently is down with an injury.
– A good win for Double-A Mobile on Wednesday, as they beat Mississippi in their home opener. And, yes, former Osprey had their hands all over the win, although Goldy lost an apparent home run. The BayBears also made a roster move, one which brings former Osprey reliever Josh Ellis down from Reno, where he had yet to make an appearance this season.
– The prices of things all around us may have gone up, but the good news Osprey baseball will once again be very affordable this season. Read more here as studies show that minor league baseball is still a great bargain.
– Here are some ERAs from the Chicago White Sox bullpen – 0.00, 2.84, 7.36, 7.71, 11.25 and 11.57. Can you guess which belongs to former Osprey Sergio Santos and Tony Pena? Well, while White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen had his first meltdown of the 2011 season following a six-run, two-inning run by the Oakland A’s that victimized the Pale Hose once again, we discovered the numbers – which are ugly.
Unless your last name is Santos.
Sergio is at it again, and while there have been thoughts of moving him into the closer’s role, this may be the incident that pushes Guillen to follow his gut and do just that. Santos is still pitching in special circumstances – dubbed the “Santos Rules” last season – and so far, he has done well. In five appearances, the 2002 former Osprey infielder-turned-pitcher has pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and three walks, while striking out nine batters. And Santos, after Wednesday’s action, had not allowed a run. His 1.04 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) is second to only Gavin Floyd’s 0.93.
The same is not true of Pena, unfortunately, who is struggling with an 11.25 ERA in the first 12 games this season. There was some consideration to move Pena into the rotation with the absence of Jake Peavy, but he has struggled in his five outings, which include a blown save.
– For people who are ready and can’t wait to watch live baseball, the Missoula Mavericks American Legion squad takes to the field for their first game of the 2011 season on Saturday, when they will host the Great Falls Chargers in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. at the old Osprey nesting ground, better known as Lindborg-Cregg Field.
Time for some rumblings and grumblings …
– In the category of “really?”, we find a piece from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic on Arizona Diamondback outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006 Osprey) and a “stare-down” he had apparently with Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen following a home run Parra hit against White Sox prized lefty Chris Sale. The stare may very well have been in jest (both Parra and Guillen are from Venezuela), but let’s say that Parra got the last laugh. There’s more on Parra here as well, as he continues to impress this spring.
– While ace-to-be Jarrod Parker (2007) was sent back down to minor-league camp, he left quite an impression after Zach Duke broke his hand on Saturday against the Colorado Rockies. His last outing in Major League camp was his best, but he’ll still start the season at Double-A Mobile.
– Adam Eaton – who was sent back to minor-league camp, only to find out last night that he would be back in Major League camp for a brief period – isn’t the only former Osprey to be on the D-Backs Shuttle. Players who have spent a bit of time in Major League camp and are former Osprey include infielders David Nick (2009) and Taylor Harbin (2007), pitchers Tom Layne (2007) and Charles Brewer (2009), and outfielders Ender Inciarte (2009), Keon Broxton (2009) and Ollie Linton (2008). It’s not the first time that those players have been in big-league camp to fill in where needed, with Harbin having the most experience of the group.
– Evan Scribner (2007), who is on the San Diego Padres’ 40-man roster, has pitched 5 1/3 innings in two springs – and has yet to allow an earned run. He’s gone 4 1/3 this spring, allowed two hits and an unearned run, and fanned two batters. Scribner will more than likely open the season either back at Double-A San Antonio or Triple-A Tucson.
– Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000) had to skip a start this weekend, but it’s nothing serious. Apparently, the Colorado Rockies didn’t want to risk making a minor thing worse, especially with their No. 2 starter.