There’s 91 days until Opening Night in Missoula …
Welcome to Spring … officially. Today is the first full day of the Spring Equinox. It’s also the first of two days when people will call in sick then miraculously recover and head out to their favorite food establishment with big screen TVs to watch March Madness. Don’t worry … we’re not saying a word.
– The Baltimore Orioles have reassigned left-handed pitcher Daniel Schlereth (2008 Osprey) to minor-league camp. Schlereth struggled this spring, and will likely start the season at Triple-A Norfolk. Continue reading
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
The last I checked, that’s what a nest was made out of, right?? Branches, twigs and mud, or something to hold it all together. While we are still a long way away from getting the pieces put together for the 2012 Osprey, the pieces that have already been here keep making news, even in the off-season.
– Like former pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999), who is working his way back with the Colorado Rockies after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. De La Rosa is expected to be slowly worked into the rotation this season, which will include rehab starts in the minors, likely at Colorado Springs – which is very close to Denver, of course. And there is a big reason why they will make sure De La Rosa is ready to go and not rush things …
– Also on the update front comes former reliever Daniel Schlereth (2008). The fastest-rising former Osprey to the Major Leagues likes how is team looks in black and white, and I’m not talking about the unis … I mean, after all, if your team signed Prince Fielder, you probably would too. Let’s just hope that, for his sake, he doesn’t pull one of these. Although I have to admit, I like the non-bearded look Schlereth’s rocking right now …
– Speaking of former Osprey pitchers in the Detroit Tigers bullpen … Jose Valverde is coming off to me as one of those down-home type of guys who just happens to be able to throw gas and handle pressure situations better than an average Joe. More evidence comes from the Tigers’ winter tour of Michigan, which includes the 2000 Osprey alum bagging groceries.
– Goldy Fix: The record-setting homer hit by Paul Goldschmidt (2009) in Mobile … note where the ball goes. That would be No. 28, which was part of another MVP year for the first baseman.
– Lyle Overbay (1999) has been named one of the top 55 players of all time in Toronto Blue Jays history. Not bad for a team which has been around for 35 seasons.
– Another blog has done a list of the best minor-league systems … the D-backs are ranked 8th by Motor City Bengals (just in case you’re wondering, it’s a blog dedicated to the Detroit Tigers …), and six of the top 10 prospects in this list are former Osprey.
By the way … coming soon to this very blog, I will once again stick my neck out and attempt to predict the next former Osprey to make their Major League debuts. I hit on two of the four names I mentioned last year, and I don’t know if I should even take credit for calling Goldy’s promotion, since that one was obvious. Evan Scribner’s call-up, though, I will gladly claim the call made there. Scribner is a candidate to win a spot in the Oakland A’s bullpen this spring. By the way, the other names I threw out there – infielder Taylor Harbin and left-handed pitcher Tom Layne. Both are 2007 Osprey alumni. Layne pitched for Triple-A Reno last season, while Harbin was busy helping Mobile win the Southern League crown.
I think the next position player will be an obvious choice, and the pitcher, well … yeah, not so sure on that one. But I will stick the neck out again on those sometime in February.
We have 24 days before the 2011 season cranks up, 26 days before the home opener, and a mere … wait, there’s just over three weeks before the season opens up? Wow … it’s almost here!
– Off the top – two roster moves announced today by the Arizona Diamondbacks … IF/OF Kyle Greene (2008) has been promoted to Triple-A Reno, while Roidany Aguila (2009-10) has been promoted to Class A Advanced Visalia.
– Right now, the Arizona Diamondbacks are hotter than a ember from a popped-off 4th of July firecracker, winning their 9th game in 10 tries last night at Colorado. Miguel Montero (2002-03) played a big role in the 6-3 win.
– Also in that game … CarGo went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Gerardo Parra (2006) did not play, and went oh-for-the-series. He’s still hitting a respectible .261, however, in 43 games.
– The streaking D-backs … and, by the way, just in case you haven’t noticed, it’s 11-2 over the past 13 games, and 2nd place in the NL West … now head to Houston. Get ready here. Note the pic they used on the post – Jose Valverde (2000), when he was in Houston. He’s now in Detroit.
– The whole Buster Posey-Scott Cousins collision was started by … a sacrifice fly by former Osprey Emilio Bonifacio (2003). (Heads-up … the video does have slow-motion of the collision.) The worst part – Posey never really had possession of the baseball. Do you think the rule needs to be changed for plays at the plate? Comment below and let us know!
– Daniel Schlereth (2008) may have only been with the Osprey a month to begin his professional baseball career, but he left quite an impression in the clubhouse. He’s already doing similar things in the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen.
– This just in … Ollie Osprey is about to break the single-game attendance mark in Facebook friends. The mark is 4,076, and at last report, Ollie was just five friends away from tying the mark. Whomever is fan number 4,077 gets a cool prize pack from the Missoula Osprey!! Search Ollie Osprey on Facebook, or go here for details on getting to Ollie’s page.
Minor League Update
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Round Rock on Thursday, 6-5. Jordan Norberto had a rollar-coaster inning … he allowed two runs on three hits, and struck out the side.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears fell into a first-place tie for the Southern League’s Southern Division lead with an 8-3 loss to Jackson on Thursday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, while Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-fro-2 with a pair of walks and a RBI. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-4 on the night. Jarrod Parker (2007) allowed just one earned run (two total) in five innings of work, on four hits and a pair of walks, with four strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched two innings of relief, and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, with three strikeouts.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide picked up a 7-5 win over Stockton on Thursday. Chris Owings (2009) singled, doubled, drove in a run and scored one, while Adam Eaton (2010) added a double and two RBIs. Rossmel Perez (2008) walked, singled and scored twice, while David Nick (2009) also reached base twice and scored both times. Keon Broxton (2009) also plated a run with a sacrifice fly. On the bump, the pair of former Osprey who came on in relief of Tyler Skaggs did not have their best nights … Diogenes Rosario (2009) allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, with a strikeout in his inning of work, while Christian Beltre (2007) allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits.
– Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks had a chance to climb to the .500 mark, and after winning the first game of a scheduled doubleheader with Lake County, appeared to be on their way. However, Mother Nature won the nightcap, which was cancelled due to rain. Bradin Hagens (2009) and Jeremy Erben (2010) combined on a three-hitter, not allowing an earned runin the process. Erben fanned two batters in his two innings of work, while Hagens produced 12 ground-ball outs. All of the runs were driven in by former Osprey – Roberto Rodriguez (2010) and Ramon Castillo (2009) had a pair of two-run doubles in a four-run third inning, while Ender Inciarte (2009) capped off the scoring with a RBI hit. Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a base hit and scored a run, while Chris Jarrett (2010) added a hit, and Raywilly Gomez (2009) also scored a run.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (28-20) vs. Sacramento
AA Mobile (25-21) vs. Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (22-25) vs. Stockton – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (23-24) vs. Dayton – JR Bradley (2010), who was scheduled to start in Game 2 last night, gets the start tonight instead.
The big 5-0 is here – as in days before the home opener. There are also 48 days until the season opens … speaking of 50, we wonder who the last Osprey player to make it to the Major Leagues was that wore #50 while they were in Missoula?? Oh, we know the answer …
– Good story from the Denver Post on the struggles of Rockies outfielder (and former Osprey) Carlos Gonzalez (2003). When he does get it straightened out … look out … and with their struggles, Colorado is still 4 1/2 games ahead of the pack in the NL West.
– Can you name former Osprey (other than CarGo) who have made ESPN’s Top 10 plays so far this season? Would you believe that Daniel Schlereth (2008) is on that list?? Schlereth made a defensive play last week that earned him a spot on the list that night, no doubt. Gotta love the option pitch move to get the out.
– Sergio Santos (2002) managed to get that one-on-one with Mariano Rivera he wanted when the Chicago White Sox were in New York to play the Yankees last week. The former Osprey infielder-turned-closer … er, relief pitcher … talked to Rivera during Yankees’ batting practice.
– Emilio Bonifacio (2003) had another first in his career on Sunday. Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez also produces a funny quote …
– By the way … the answer to the above question would be – Bryan Augenstein (2007). Auggie is still on the St. Louis Cardinals’ DL with a pulled right groin muscle, which he suffered during an appearance at Chase Field last month.
Minor League Update
– Triple-A Reno: Jordan Norberto and Daniel Stange combined for 3 1/3 innings of one-run relief on Monday, helping the Reno Aces win at Las vegas, 12-8. The Aces scored 10 runs in the top of the fifth, but nearly let thing get out of hand, until Norberto shut the door on a fifth-inning answer and picked up the win. Both Norberto and Stange pitched out of the Osprey bullpen in 2006.
– Double-A Mobile: Jake Elmore (2008) is really enjoying hitting in front of Paul Goldschmidt (2009). Elmo had three hits, while Taylor Harbin (2007) collected two safeties and Goldschmidt drove in his 23rd run of the season with a single, but the pitching (namely Josh Ellis (2007), who gave up four runs) struggled for the BayBears in a 10-3 loss at Birmingham. All three former Osprey are now hitting over .330 – Harbin at .347, Goldy at .342, and Elmore at .339. Clay Zavada pitched to five batters, gave up a single, and struck out a pair to lower his ERA to 2.84. One other note – the suddenly fleet-footed Goldschmidt was caught for the second time in five tries this season stealing a base.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide knocked off San Jose, 5-4, last night at Recreation Park, getting the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Yonata Ortega (2007) gave up two unearned runs in the top of the ninth, but pitched a scoreless 10th for the win. Chris Owings (2009) scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Keon Broxton (2009) to get the win for Visalia, who is now 3-0 since manager Jason Hardtke was ejected from a game. Owings and 2009 Osprey teammate Bobby Borchering (RBI), who was also on base at the time, each had two hits to buoy the Rawhide offense, while Kyle Greene (2008) had a single and walked twice.
– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm, Roberto Rodriguez and Ender Inciarte each had a hit, but the SilverHawks struggled in a 7-1 loss to Great Lakes. Jeff Shields was touched up for six runs in three-plus innings to take the loss. Both Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Kable Hogben (2009) pitched shutout relief for South Bend.
Today’s games (and probable former Osprey pitchers):
AAA Reno (16-8) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (16-9) vs. Tennessee
A Adv. Visalia (12-13) vs. San Jose – Trevor Harden (2008) gets the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (8-15) vs. Great Lakes – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) will take the ball for the Hawks.
T-minus 56 days until Opening Day, 54 days before the season opens, and while we don’t condone betting in any way, it appears as if the line favors there being an Osprey home run before any NFL player will be allowed to work out in their own facility, post-lockout-lifting. Oh, wait, one did already? Never mind …
– Both Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero are among the D-backs who are on the NL All-Star Ballot. Vote now, and often (up to 25 times)! Other former Osprey on the All-Star Ballot are Pittsburgh first baseman Lyle Overbay and Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
– Speaking of CarGo, he’s slumping at the moment, and even took a day off on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
– Former Osprey infielder, and current Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Sergio Santos had one thing on his “to-do” list while the Pale Hose were calling on Yankee Stadium this week – meet Mariano Rivera and pick his brain about being a closer.
– Just in case you didn’t know … look who leads the minors in home runs.
– Here’s the latest stats for some of the former Osprey in the Major Leagues (as of April 27, 2011):
Miguel Montero (C, Ariz.) – . 292, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Gerardo Parra (OF, Ariz.) – .309, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Lyle Overbay (1B, Pit.) – .253, 1 HR, 11 RBI
Carlos Gonzalez (OF, Colo.) – .217, 1 HR, 14 RBI
Scott Hairston (OF, NYM)- . 179, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Emilio Bonifacio (IF/OF, Fla.) – .302, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB
Jose Valverde (RHP, Det.) – 2-0, 5-5 saves, 0.93 ERA, 9 Ks in 9 2/3 innings pitched.
Daniel Schlereth (LHP, Det.) – 0-0, 2.57 ERA
Esmerling Vasquez (RHP, Ariz.) – 0-1, 2.35 ERA, 0-1 saves
Tony Pena (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-1, 7.71 ERA, 0-1 saves
Sergio Santos (RHP, Chi. WS) – 0-0, 2-2 saves, 0.00 ERA, 14 Ks in 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Bryan Augenstein (RHP, St. Louis) – 0-1, 9.53 ERA, currently on 15-day DL with groin injury.
Jorge De La Rosa (LHP, Colo.) – 4-0, 2.61 ERA, .179 opponents BA, 1 HR allowed in 31 innings pitched.
Time for the Minors roundup ….
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces rallied past Fresno, 6-5, on Tuesday.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears had their twinbill with Jackson postponed again due to rain. Yet, Paul Goldschmidt still leads the minors in home runs.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide had eight hits – two each for David Nick (double, 2 RBIs) and Rossmel Perez – but the see-saw ending turned in the bottom of the ninth, with the host Bakersfield Blaze winning, 6-5. Eric Smith allowed three earned runs in his six innings of work, while Adam Worthington surrendered two runs, both unearned, in the bottom of the eighth, which gave the Blaze a 5-3 lead. Nick doubled in a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Chris Owings also had a double for the Rawhide.
– Class A South Bend : The SilverHawks had their game with Bowling Green postponed due to rain, and it will be made up on May 14 as part of a doubleheader.
AAA Reno (13-6) will have today off, before starting a series with Tacoma on Thursday.
AA Mobile (12-6) at Birmingham. No word as of yet who will start for the BayBears
A Adv. Visalia (7-12) at Bakersfield. Derek Eitel will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-13) at Lake County. Bradin Hagens will get the start aainst the Captains.
Countdown – T-minus 65 days until the Home Opener, 63 Days before the 2011 Season opens at Helena, and at least another week before the latest edition of the Osprey Record Book is done. Sorry, but Sunday turned into a fun day …
– First, a quick reminder that the Osprey Job Fair will be held on Tuesday, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula.
– Bobby Borchering had started in quite the funk for the Visalia Rawhide this season. Let’s hope Sunday’s effort goes a ways in breaking that up. We here at Bird Droppings hopes the same thing can happen to Pedro Ciriaco, and soon.
– Speaking of Visalia, their games attract runs like free food brings people out of the woodwork. Sunday’s win was the first time in four games this season that one of the teams involved scored at least 10 runs.
– Speaking of a ton of runs, Mobile and Mississippi combined for 24 of them on Sunday, with the Braves earning a 14-10 win. Five of the BayBears runs came off the bat of … yup, Paul Goldschmidt, who cranked out a RBI single and a grand slam in the slugfest. Through 10 games, Goldy is 10th in hitting (.364), and leads the Southern League in home runs (6), RBIs (15), slugging pct. (.939) and OPS (1.439). Teammate Taylor Harbin (2007 Osprey) is fourth in the league in hitting with a .387 mark.
– More on the former Osprey in the farm system can be found both here and here. Also an interesting read from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro on how close the D-backs are to having a great farm system, according to ESPN’s Keith Law.
– Good signs are arriving about the early season performance of former Osprey pitcher Esmerling Vasquez, especially when everyone seems to have notice the newfound bite on his curveball.
– Lyle Overbay explores one of the great mysteries of baseball life – why some guys can hit against certain teams. Overbay is a .400 hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, whom he now gets to see on a semi-regular basis with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
– Also looks like Daniel Schlereth has found a home in the Detroit Tigers bullpen, and is part of a youth movement being used on the road to (Jose) Valverde.
– Nice piece we stumbled across on former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner and his odd road to the closer role for the Tucson Padres. Scribs has been up-and-down out of the gate, with an 0-1 record, two saves, and a 6.43 ERA. In five outings, he has struggled in two of them, and been virtually unhittable in the other three. Ahh, the life of a closer …
– The South Bend Silver Hawks are struggling out of the gate – again – but the offense was helped a bit by seeing a somewhat familiar face – Kevin Eichhorn. Eichhorn (2008-10 Osprey), now in the Detroit Tigers organization, was touched up in his second start this season on Sunday, allowing four hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings pitched against the Hawks. Eichhorn also struck out six batters, and retired the order the first time through, but Raul Navarro (2010) drilled a two-out single in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader. Keon Broxton (2009) also had a bunt single (he’s at .302 for the season), while Chris Jarrett (2010) walked twice in the SB setback.
– Here’s today’s minor league schedule and former Osprey who get the call on the mound:
AAA – Reno (7-3) vs. Colorado Springs
AA – Mobile (7-3) vs. Hagerstown
A Adv. – Visalia (4-7) at Stockton
A – South Bend (2-8) at Great Lakes – lefty David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Silver Hawks.
T-minus 71 days until the Osprey open at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, 69 days before they invade Helena and look to take down the Brewers, and 68 days (at the most) before they meet the media.
Also, a significant development today in Missoula … the sun is making a basically solo appearance in the sky. Usually, it’s hiding behind a multitude of clouds, or trying to peer through a thin layer of cloud cover. We welcome it’s appearance with mainly clear skies today. Another sign that the season is getting closer by the day …
– Former Osprey infielder Perdo Ciriaco (2005) showed off his glove skills on this line drive during the opener for the Indianapolis Indians. Ciriaco was one of the last cuts for the Pittsburgh Pirates before they broke camp this past Spring Training. The glove is there, but Ciriaco is just 2-for-18 (.111) in the first five games this season, with two stolen bases.
– Jarrod Parker’s 2011 debut was one to forget, as Double-A Mobile lost for the first time this season, 10-4, to Carolina. Parker (2007) was tagged for eight runs in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) continued his strong start, collecting another hit and run scored, and watched as his average fell … to .571.
– A myriad of notes from Arizona Republic writer Nick Piecoro, including the threat of a “Goldy Watch”-type piece (that’s what we called it last season when we were tracking the Goldschmidt Home Run Train) and where Raul Navarro (2010) was ticketed to head to, which changed by the time March was over.
– Baltimore’s fans are apparently feeling it, so to speak, after their fast start. A couple of them were giving Jose Valverde (2000) the business during the Detroit Tigers’ series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Nice to know fellow Osprey Daniel Schlereth (2008) had his back. By the way, Valverde has two saves in two tries, and Schlereth has allowed just a run on three hits and two walks in his first four innings of work.
And here’s your little-known fact of the day. In the movie Major League 2, which had all of the game-related footage shot inside Camden Yards in Baltimore, the bullpen scenes involving Charlie Sheen were actually shot in the visitor’s bullpen, which is behind the O’s bullpen in the Camden Yards layout. There’s also a walkway right above the bullpen bench area, which you can notice in this clip.
– The players at Extended Spring Training are back to work, after taking a short break. The grind will include six days of work, and a day off, each week. Mike Belfiore (2009), who is on the South Bend DL by expected to be on the Visalia pitching staff before long, is joined by 2010 former Osprey Robby Rowland and Stephen Cardullo, among others.
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.