by Ben Catley
94 days before the Season Opener and Home Opener
Well, the Major League Baseball season starts in two weeks. Yup, two weeks. I will let that set in for a moment …
Can you only imagine how this will all play out? No matter where your allegiances lie, there is plenty of intrigue about to play out all over the place.
Except in Center Field and at the top of the order for the Arizona Diamondbacks, where it is looking more and more like Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) has taken full advantage of his opportunity and locked down that job. Eaton was featured in a MiLB Prospect Q&A recently, sharing a number of things, especially the reason why he doesn’t mind being a magnet for baseballs while he is at-bat. By the way, Eaton is hitting .358 this spring, with a pair of home runs and nine RBIs. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
The end of February is here, and as the World Baseball Classic gets underway beginning tomorrow, it leaves us with more time to focus on what should be an interesting couple of weeks at Arizona Diamondbacks camp. Three mainstays for the D-backs – Gerardo Parra (2006 Osprey), Miguel Montero (2002-03) and newly-acquired Martin Prado will play for Venezuela, as will former Osprey outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (2003).
Parra was held out of Wednesday’s game against Cincinnati with soreness in his left arm. Nothing serious, and he should be back in the lineup when the D-backs play today. Parra also has received some advice from manager Kirk Gibson as it pertains to his two early errors in Cactus League play … and some of it has to do with his new glove.
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.
We’re down to 37 days before rthe Osprey home opener, 35 days before the season opener, and no more time before the Paul Goldschmidt-to-Arizona rumors start swirling … again.
– Yup, it’s true, the rumor mill has moved into second gear (have to be an ESPN Insider to read the whole thing, but the first two paragraphs say a lot) with the possibilities of Goldy heading to the Major Leagues. When you look at his numbers – .336 batting average, .468 on-base, .720 slugging, 1.1188 OPS, with six doubles, 14 home runs and 38 RBIs, with three stolen bases and more walks (30) than strikeouts (26) – they are definitely eye-popping, and you can see why there’s some talk about moving the Texas State product, and 2009 member of the Missoula Osprey, up the ladder. And with the speculation that current D-back first sacker Juan Miranda could be headed to the DL, it has just turned up the tempo of the machine. He’s had quite a baseball career, as it turns out, and while he’ll be in a Major League uniform if he keeps up his professional production, the earliest it could happen, you get the feeling, is September.
(One inkling, courtesy of Osprey radio voice Ben Catley – Wily Mo Pena gets a call-up if Miranda gets hurt (he has tore the cover off the ball in Reno), one of the vets with Double-A Mobile moves to Triple-A Reno, and Adam Eaton gets called up to Double-A. His On-base percentage is somewhere near his record-setting .500 with the Osprey last season, and to see if he could achieve that in the pitching-favored Southern League may be too tempting to pass up.)
– Gotta love the bloggers – here’s a take on this past weekend’s D-backs/Dodgers dust-up from the True Blue LA folk. Note the descriptive way they describe Goldy.
– Here’s more from the weekend in the minors – well, Friday and Saturday, anyway – and Nick Piecoro poses an interesting thought on Adam Eaton (2010).
– One thing about Pedro Ciriaco (2005) that no one denies – he’s a more-than-solid defender. This video highlight provides more proof.
– Blake Cooper (2010) had a scoreless streak of over eight innings for Class A South Bend entering Sunday’s action, but was touched up – and also had a scare on the mound.
– We had to share this, especially with the Yankees-Red Sox just playing this weekend. It’s a funny video with Boston slugger David Ortiz. Who wouldn’t want to hug Big Papi?
– Minor-League Update time:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost a 14-11 slugfest to the Iowa Cubs on Sunday. Both former Osprey in the Aces’ bullpen, Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto (both from 2006) had tough outings in the loss.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost a 7-3 decision to Carolina on Sunday. Jarrod Parker (2007) battled through five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk, with three strikeouts, and took the loss. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits, while Kyle Greene (2008) singled, doubled, and drove in a run. Goldy went 1-for-5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. Jake Elmore (2008) also had a base hit and a RBI for Mobile, while Clay Zavada (2006) pitched another inning of scoreless relief, lowering his ERA to 1.35.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Chris Owings (2009) had another big game, with four hits, including two triples and a home run, and three RBIs as the Rawhide took it to Inland Empire, 17-2. This game became a rout late, with Visalia scoring 10 of their runs in their final three at-bats. Everyone who played had at least one base hit, with Adam Eaton (2010) singling, scoring twice and driving in a run, while Bobby Borchering (2009) and Keon Broxton (2009) each had two hits. Yonata Ortega (2007) pitched around a pair of ninth-inning walks to finish off the win.
– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm (2009-10) singled and doubled, but his efforts were not enough for the SilverHawks to get any offense going in what turned into an 10-3 loss to Bowling Green on Sunday. The end of the 8-game, 6-day road trip netted just five hits for South Bend, and the usually-stingy Hawks bullpen surrendered runs – namely from former Osprey Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Cooper, both whom had scoreless streaks snapped in the loss. Raul Navarro (2010) added an RBI single. JR Bradley (2010) suffered the loss on the hill for the Hawks, allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (24-14) vs. Iowa
AA Mobile (20-15) vs. Carolina
A Adv. Visalia (18-19) at Inland Empire. No starters have been posted for tonight.
A South Bend (16-19) has an off-day on Monday. They will start a home series with Lansing on Tuesday. David Holmberg (2010) will get the start for the Hawks on Tuesday.
T-minus 43 days until the home opener, 41 days before the season opener, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 days before the second half of the Pioneer League season begins …
– More details (thanks to Nick!) on the Charles Brewer-meets-Carolina-dugout incident. The 2009 Osprey alumnus apparently took quite a shot to the cranium, and it sheds light as to why the new 7-day concussion DL is in place.
– Very interesting debates are now happening around Paul Goldschmidt (2009), which should not surprise anyone, about when to bring him up to the Major Leagues. The AZ SnakePit bloggers take a shot at the debate, among other things D-backs related.
– Looks like the leadership that Lyle Overbay (1999) is helping bring the Pittsburgh Pirates is paying off – they’re in some rare territory this late in the season after a 3-run 8th last night – buoyed by an Overbay run-scoring double. Apparently, Lyle is also making comparisons between Pirate right-hander Charlie Morton and another guy Overbay knows all too well.
– Here’s a lesson in why you should not wonder why a player doesn’t “wear one for the team” all that often, or, a better way to put it with an Osprey spin to it, here’s video of a blogger who may have been secretely wondering what it’s like to be Adam Eaton.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces split a doubleheader on Monday with Salt Lake City, winning the first game, 3-2, while losing the nightcap late, 6-5. Jordan Norberto (2006) allowed just a walk and collected a strikeout in his inning of work in Game 2.
– Double-A Mobile: Taylor Harbin (2007) had a three-hit day, including a two-run home run, and scored the game-winning run on a fielder’s choice by Jake Elmore (2008) to help the BayBears beat Jacksonville, 6-5. Goldschmidt hit his 12th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning, while Ollie Linton (2008) had a hit and a run scored. Bryan Shaw (2008) allowed a hit in the ninth, but shut down the Suns and earned his seventh save of the season.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Had Monday off …
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks finished off a three-game sweep of Fort Wayne with a 7-2 win at home on Monday. Bradin Hagens (2009) walked four, but allowed just two hits in six innings of work, and just one earned run in earning his second win of the season. Eury De La Rosa (2009) shut the door over the final 1 1/3 innings. Raywilly Gomez (2009) had a single and double, while Matt Helm (2009-10) collected a hit and a RBI in the win.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (20-12) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (18-12) at Jacksonville – Jarrod Parker (2007) gets the ball for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (15-16) vs. Bakersfield – starters TBA
A South Bend (13-17) at West Michigan, DH – JR Bradley (2010) will start Game 1 while Daniel Taylor (2010) will make the start for the Hawks in Game 2.
When we looked at the countdown sheet on the front door of the Osprey Team Store – which says 47 days until Opening Day, which means the home opener, of course – it made us remember that the season opens up in 45 days – three 15-day blocks to go before the O’s play in Helena. Time is growing short!
– Take note of the draft notes from Nick Piecoro on this entry. The D-backs have the 3rd and 7th picks in next month’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, so keeping an eye on some of these guys will help as we draw closer to the draft.
– Ah, the AZ SnakePit getting the minor-league update out there. We usually don’t link to it, but we figured it would be better to see the assessment of some of the former Osprey from the views of others.
– Paul Goldschmidt was pitched to last night – and had two hits, including his 10th home run of the season. That was the good news – the bad news was that he also struck out twice in the 7-6 loss to Tennessee. That said, Goldie’s numbers – .337 BA, .487 on-base, .730 slugging (which makes for a 1.218 OPS), five doubles, 10 HR, 25 RBIs, three steals and 27 walks with 17 strikeouts in 26 games.
Minor-League Update, Osprey Style:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Las Vegas, 5-3. No former Osprey played in the game.
– Double-A Mobile: In addition to Goldie’s night mentioned above, Ollie Linton (2008) went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI, while Kyle Greene (2008) walked in his BayBear debut, as a pinch-hitter.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide found their way back to the .500 mark with a 6-5 win over San Jose. Christian Beltre (2007) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to get the win, while Yonata Ortega (2007) cruised through the ninth to claim his fourth save of the season. Visalia – now 5-1 since Jason Hardtke was ejected from a game last week – won it on a “Neon” Keon Broxton (2009) eighth-inning home run. Mike Belfiore (2009) allowed three unearned runs on seven hits and three walks, while fanning seven batters in five innings. Broxton and Chris Owings (2009) had two hits each for the Rawhide.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks lost at Dayton, 4-2, on Thursday. JR Bradley (2010) pitched into the sixth inning, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks, but had nearly no support from his offense. Eury De La Rosa (2009) pitched a scoreless ninth – the Hawks’ bullpen has allowed just two earned runs in their last 32 2/3 innings of work. Ender Inciarte (2009) had two hits for the Hawks, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) added a single. By the way – former Billings Mustang Billy Hamilton is still terrorizing pitchers and catchers on the basepaths – he stole his 21st base last night (in 25 tries), which is amazing to do in 25 games with an OBP of only .302.
Today’s Schedule (and Osprey probables)
AAA Reno (16-11) at Salt Lake City … they’ll play five games in four days, weather-permitting.
AA Mobile (16-10) vs. Tennessee – Charles Brewer (2009) makes his first start since coming off of the DL for the BayBears tonight.
A Adv. Visalia (14-14) at Modesto. Eric Smith (2009) will get the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (9-17) at Dayton – David Holmberg (2010) will get the start tonight for the Hawks.
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.
First update of the weekend … yup, we’re keeping the machine going even on the weekend these days. Have to warm up for the season somehow, right??
– Triple-A Reno: Aces picked up a 6-5 win over Sacramento on Friday. John Hester had two doubles, the second of which drove in the game-tying and game-winning RBIs in the bottom of the 9th. With the 2-for-4 night, Hester moved his average above the .200 mark, to .207.
– Double A Mobile: Paul Goldschmidt had one official at-bat last night against Jacksonville – he walked three times and scored a run – and Taylor Harbin snapped a two-game hitless run with a 2-for-4 night to push his batting average back to .400. But it was Jake Elmore who had the star line of the night among the former Osprey, with a single and a pair of doubles in the BayBears’ 6-3 win. Jarrod Parker pitched well enough – three runs allowed in five innings, with three walks and four strikeouts – to pick up his first win, while Bryan Shaw notched his fourth save of the season.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Kyle Green doubled and homered, while Bobby Borchering had two hits in the 6-5 Rawhide win over San Jose. Trevor Harden pitched six solid innings, and Victor Capellan pitched a shutout inning of relief for Visalia.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks had their game with Fort Wayne postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.
AAA Reno (10-5) – at Fresno
AA Mobile (10-5) – at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (6-10) – at San Jose
A South Bend (4-10) will play two vs. Fort Wayne. Bradin Hagens (0-1) gets the Game 1 start, while JR Bradley (0-2) will get the call for Game 2 for the Hawks.