A total of five former Missoula Osprey have received invitations to attend the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Major League Spring Training camp, which is slated to begin on February 20 – the date that pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report. The rest of the squad will be on hand for the first full team workout on February 26.
The players who have received the invite are as follows:
Catcher: Rossmel Perez (2007)
Infielders: Rusty Ryal (2005), Chris Owings (2009)
Outfielder: Adam Eaton (2010)
Pitcher: Charles Brewer (2009)
Perez is regarded by many as the best defensive catcher in the D-backs’ minor league system. Perez spent the entire 2011 season with Class A Advanced Visalia. Ryal played last season in Japan and signed a minor-league deal with the D-backs before the winter meetings. Owings was with Perez at Visalia. Eaton and Brewer helped the Double-A Mobile Bay Bears to their first Southern League title since 2004 last season.
The five are among 20 players who received a non-roster invite, which goes to players under contract which are not part of the club’s 40-man roster. Also expected in Major League camp are former Osprey pitchers Yonata Ortega (2007) and Bryan Shaw (2008), catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03), first basemen Paul Goldschmidt (2009) and Lyle Overbay (1999), and outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006). All six are on the 40-man roster, and all but Ortega finished the season on the D-backs’ 25-man active roster.
– 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.