First, kudos to Ollie Osprey. That bird delivered Valentine’s Day surprises to many of our fans … Nothing like getting a chance to help Osprey Nation express their love for their significant others …
Ollie managed to deliver plenty of flowers, chocolate and smiles throughout the past couple of days. For now, Ollie is back to nesting at his favorite spot at an undisclosed location. Ollie will be back soon enough, because as he admits, he can’t stay away long from Missoula. Although he may need to go to Florida and teach his brethern how to not drop their fish … Continue reading
by Ben Catley
35 days until Opening Night, 31 days before season opens in Billings
As I get ready for my sixth season of calling Osprey baseball on the radio, I can look back fondly at a few former players who made quite an impression on me. And one of my favorites is tearing it up in the Pacific Coast League … and finally getting some love from the blogs.
So now you’re wondering … it’s not our Adam Eaton (2010)? Well, he is also one of my favorites … but not the one I speak of.
I speak of Jake Elmore (2008), of course, who has produced in a big way at the plate while showcasing nearly all of his versatility. The only position he hasn’t played this season that he has in the past is pitcher – he pitched in at least one game each of the past two seasons while at Double-A Mobile.
Right now, though, Elmore is making plenty of noise with the bat. He’s hitting .372, with nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 25 RBIs, as well as a .477 on-base percentage, a .504 slugging percentage, eight stolen bases and just two errors in 34 games. Continue reading
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.
T-minus 33 days before the home opener, 31 days (yikes, a month!!) before the season opens in Helena, and 15 days before Ticket Day.
– The first day for fans to buy Osprey individual game tickets is indeed June 4. Read this for the details!
– Not-so-good news from Arizona Republic writer/blogger Nick Piecoro:
“High-A RHP Chase Anderson underwent an MRI that did not reveal structural damage on his injured right elbow, according to farm director Mike Bell. But Anderson is looking at a mostly lost season. He probably won’t be back until late July at the earliest.”
– It’s easy to see why, after his breakout season, Carlos Gonzalez (2003) became a media darling in his native Venezuela, and is becoming quite a spokesperson here in the States. And, as usual, we provide video evidence. So, here’s CarGo taking over the screen in a Colorado Rockies promo.
– This weekend, Interleague Play begins in Major League Baseball (the D-backs catch a break and play a slumping Minnesota Twins squad just as the Snakes are playing some of their best baseball of the season), and Sergio Santos gets a chance to pitch against his favorite team growing up – the Dodgers.
– Fridays are usually video days – and two would be a rarity, but it is a rare day – and with craziness abouding at the moment (pre-season activities, moving the offices to the new MSO Hub, Ollie stealing tuna from the fridge, etc.), the headline seemed appropriate. As now does this video, which is the original TV commercial from the original “Freaky Friday” movie back in 1976. None of that high-tech stuff here – although the car-splitting is pretty darn unique. (Also have to love public domain material …)
With that, let’s rock back to the info and roll into the Minor League Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost in walk-off fashion to the Aubuquerque Isotopes, 3-2. Daniel Stange (2006) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a hit and a walk while collecting a strikeout.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Tennessee, 9-7, on Thursday. Of the quintet of Osprey position players (who all appeared in the contest), four had at least one hit – Jake Elmore (2008) singled, Paul Goldschmidt (2009) doubled, walked, drove in a run and scored twice; Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits, including a triple, and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) collected two hits and two RBIs. Clay Zavada (2006) scattered two hits in his inning of work, but did not allow a run.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide lost a tough, 3-2, 10-inning decision to Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. Trevor Harden (2008) pitched eight quality innings, allowing five hits and a walk while surrendering just one run and collecting five strikeouts. However, Yonata Ortega (2007) could not shut the door in the ninth, allowing an unearned run, and Christian Beltre (2007) could not wiggle out of a tight spot in the bottom of the 10th – walking a batter intentionally, then surrendering a single to end the game. Bobby Borchering (2009) snapped a 1-1 tie in the 9th inning with a solo home run, and had three hits on the night, as he continues to shake out of a season-opening slump.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks used three former Osprey pitchers to pick up a 5-2 win over Lansing on Thursday. Patrick Schuster (2009-10) pitched six-plus innings, scattering seven hits and a walk, and settled down nicely after allowing two early runs, plus struck out eight batters. Eury De La Rosa (2009) and Blake Cooper (2010) combined for 2 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, with Cooper picking up the save. Ender Inciarte (2009) had two hits and two runs scored, while 2010 teammates Raul Navarro (two runs scored) and Robert Rodriguez (double) also had base hits.
Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-16) at Albuquerque.
AA Mobile (23-16) at Tennessee – Jarrod Parker (2007) will get the start tonight for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (19-22) at Rancho Cucamonga
A South Bend (18-23) at Great Lakes – Bradin Hagens (2009) gets the call tonight for the Hawks.
T-minus 41 days until the home opener, 39 days before the season opens and 23 days before Osprey individual game tickets will go on sale at the new ticket office location, inside the MSO Hub at the corner of Higgins and Main.
– Here’s one blogger’s thoughts on Emilio Bonifacio’s contributions to the Florida Marlins’ success this season.
– Chris Owings, a member of the 2009 Osprey, had a huge night in Visalia’s win over Bakersfield. We’ll hit on more on this game in the Minor League Update below.
– Former Osprey reliever Jose Valverde reached a milestone on Sunday while closing out a game for the Detroit Tigers, earning his 200th save. What’s even more intriguing – the payback that Valverde will be apparently getting in the clubhouse (and if we were chatting online right now, we’d end this with a LOL).
– Speaking of laughing – Ollie Osprey makes us do that from time to time. But what we have learned is no laughing matter – unless you think winning a prize pack is so cool it makes you giggle with glee. If you’re not friends with Ollie on Facebook (yes, the bird has his own Facebook page … how does he type with those talons, anyway?), head here and add Ollie as a friend.
As if he doesn’t have enough friends, Ollie is looking to break the “attendance record” of 4,076 fans through his Facebook page. The person that does it will win a cool prize pack. Become friends with Ollie for more details.
– Gerardo Parra (2006) has been a hitter at every level he has played, but what doesn’t get talked about enough, according to Nick Piecoro, is his defense.
– Defense is also something that former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero is looking to improve on … he leads all of the Majors with seven errors.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces tried to rally, but could not overcome some middle-inning success by the Omaha Storm Chasers in a 6-5 loss on Wednesday.
– Double-A Mobile: A six-run eighth inning doomed the BayBears in an 8-3 setback on Wednesday. Paul Goldschmidt had just the home run in four trips, while Ollie Linton (2008) and Taylor Harbin (2007) each collected a base hit and a run scored.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Other than Owings’ huge night (see link above), David Nick (2009) and Adam Eaton (2010) each had three hits, while Bobby Borchering (2009) and Rossmel Perez (2008) each had a pair. Eaton, who also drove in three runs, bumped up his batting average to .364 with the effort. Mike Belfiore (2009) struggled, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and four walks, but the offensive support was enough for him to get six innings of work in and pick up the victory. Victor Capellan (2009) continued his strong season, posting a scoreless ninth inning. The win also puts the Rawhide over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
– Class A South Bend: The Hawks picked up a nice 6-1 win at West Michigan on Wednesday. David Holmberg (2010) allowed just a run on five hits over six innings of work to pick up his second win of the season, while Blake Cooper (2010) added two innings of scoreless relief. At the plate, Ender Inciarte (2009, two runs scored), Matt Helm (2009-10, run, RBI) and Raywilly Gomez (2009) collected two hits each to help the offense. Gomez raised his team-leading average to .326 with the effort, as he has hit in six straight games.
Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (21-13) vs. Omaha
AA Mobile (19-12) at Jacksonville – Charles Brewer (2009) will make the start for the BayBears.
A Adv. Visalia (17-16) vs. Bakersfield – Eric Smith (2009) gets the call for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (15-18) at West Michigan – It’s a battle of former Osprey – Jeff Shields (2010) gets the start for the Hawks, while Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10) goes for the Whitecaps.
– To start with a reminder about the Osprey, including Ollie Osprey, attending the Kids Fair this weekend at Southgate Mall. In addition, there will be a Kids National Anthem Tryout during the Kids Fair. Read on for details.
– Paul Goldschmidt continues to open eyes at Arizona Diamondbacks’ spring camp. The former Osprey (2009 edition) has a hit in his last two games, is hitting .533 (8-for-15) with 14 total bases, three doubles, a home run and six RBIs. The RBI total is tied for the team lead at the moment. Goldy even has a stolen base. The problem is – there are now four candidates ahead of him in the first-base platoon, including Xavier Nady, who is being moved from the outfield temporarily to first. So the time that Goldy has in Major League camp could be cut short.
– Other Osprey-related news from the D-backs’ 16-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday – Gerardo Parra stole a pair of bases in the victory. They were the first two thefts on the basepaths for the 2006 Osprey alum this spring, who is now hitting .286 in eight Cactus Laegue games.
– Charles Brewer (2009) made his Cactus League debut on Friday against San Diego, getting the last out of the fifth inning in a 3-2 loss to the Padres. Oddly enough, he was due up in the home half of the fifth, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter on a double-switch. That pinch-hitter was Bobby Borchering (2009).
– And speaking of Borchering, he will see a little more time at third base during the spring, before he is sent back to minor-league camp. Read an interview with Borchering in The D-Blog.
– You get the feeling that the Toronto Blue Jays may come to miss former Osprey Lyle Overbay (1999)? The Toronto Sun ran a story about how the former Pioneer League Player of the Year could be the free-agent steal of the season. Overbay signed a one-year deal to play in Pittsburgh.
– There’s nothing like a peaceful negotiation. There’s also nothing like stability. Both exist in minor league baseball these days. Despite being four years away from needing to do it, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (the governing body of minor league baseball) and Major League Baseball agreed to extend their current Professional Baseball Agreement through the 2020 season.
– 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.