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.
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.
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 …
There are a few days that we here at the Missoula Osprey office look forward to which take place before our season begins. One of those – or, actually, more like three of those days – would be around the First-Year Player Draft.
Another one of those days is shortly after, when the D-backs announce who will be coming to Missoula, and the following days when we relay those announcements.
The third time begins … now.
This is the time that Major League teams announce their 25-man Opening Day rosters, and the minor-league teams also inform all of us who is headed where this season.
Unless you know one of the minor-leaguers, or keep tabs of them through social media means, the announcement of the rosters are the first indication of the progress they are making through the spring, unless they end up playing in a game or 10 with the parent club during the spring.
But, on occasion, we do get some inside information that we can pass along … with that in mind, as promised in the comments section of a prior post, we at Bird Droppings have found these nuggets:
– Derek Eitel has long suspected that he would start the season in South Bend, but the 2010 former Osprey will begin the season in the SilverHawks bullpen. Patrick Schuster (2009-10) will also open the season in South Bend.
– Robby Rowland, also a member of the 2010 Osprey, will not be on a full-season roster to start the minor-league season. Instead, Rowland will stay in extended spring training.
There’s other items of suspicion, like that 2009 Osprey alum Bobby Borchering will start at Class A Advanced Visalia. The Arizona Republic penned a very interesting story on Borchering’s youth. We have to admit, we’re all a little jealous of his backyard field …
– Adam Eaton (2010) informed his friends on Facebook on Tuesday night that he will start the 2010 season in the Visalia outfield. Not a surprise, with Eaton making the most of his looks in games he appeared in with the D-backs in Cactus League action.
– Former Osprey catcher Wilkin Castillo (2004) will start the season in Georgia, just not the destination we were hoping for.
– It looks like former Osprey reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008) will be standing on the line at Yankee Stadium with his Detroit Tiger teammates on Thursday. The official announcement is expected to happen today, but it’s pretty apparent he’ll be in the bullpen for the Tigers this season, barring injury. Which, if you have followed the Tigers at all, seems to go with their bullpen.
– Back to the D-backs, as it is now apparent that the final spot on the 25-man roster is in the Mibullpen, with former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vazquez (2004), who has put together a solid spring, in contention for the spot. Especially with former Osprey left-hander Jordan Norberto now at Triple-A.
This means the following former Osprey (pending official announcements) will likely be on Major League Opening Day Rosters:
– Miguel Montero, Arizona
– Gerardo Parra, Arizona
– Lyle Overbay, Pittsburgh
– Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado
– Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado
– Jose Valverde, Detroit
– Daniel Schlereth, Detroit
– Sergio Santos, Chicago White Sox
– Tony Pena, Chicago White Sox
– Emilio Bonifacio, Florida
– Scott Hairston, NY Mets
Tomorrow, more roster news, and some updates on former Osprey who managed to get in some looks with the parent club in the last few days of Spring Training, as well as one former Osprey who will be back behind the plate soon enough – albeit in Michigan.
It’s that time of the year, where productivity at workplaces all over the country will drop significantly (thanks NCAA March Madness), when more alcohol will flow in one town today than the average weekend (thanks, Butte, America, for one of the best St. Patrick’s Day celebrations around), and when managers start grumbling with the beat reporters in both Arizona and Florida, like this example.
– Another Top Prospect list is out featuring 14 of the gems in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system. It should be no surprise that eight of them are former Osprey.
– According to MLive.com blogger Steve Kornacki, it looks like Jose Valverde will not be the only former Osprey in the Detroit Tigers bullpen come opening day.
– If Daniel Schlereth wants to be in the Tigers ‘pen, he needs to stay away from days like these.
– Among the former Osprey players who were sent back down to minor-league camps on Monday were left-handed pitcher Greg Smith (2005 Osprey, Colorado) and right-handed pitcher Evan Scribner (2007, San Diego). Both are likely to start the season at Triple-A. Scribner’s option is his first since being added to the 40-man roster in November.
– While it’s doubtful that Wilkin Castillo (2004 Osprey) will make the Atlanta Braves’ Opening-Day roster, he is still making the most of what chances he is getting in Braves’ camp. In nine Grapefruit League games, Castillo has gone 3-for-9 with a pair of RBIs.
And, in case you were wondering, the “Boss Button” is on the top-right corner of your March Madness viewing window. Just remember that’s it’s not an active sheet, so you may want to open it once or twice to get an idea about it before you get quizzed on it.