Monday April 15 is not only TAX DAY, but 66 days from Opening Day for the Missoula Osprey.
Jose Valverde finally made it to Detroit Tigers minor league camp. He seemed to do just fine in his first outing at extended spring training.
Some geese invaded the Osprey nest adjacent to Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Look for the Osprey to have some promotions around geese this year at the stadium, but a franchise name change just isn’t in the cards at the moment.
Paul Goldschmidt delivered the lone RBI and run of the game in the D-Backs 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Houston Summers has found a new niche, post baseball on the University of North Carolina Track & Field team and he’s excelling.
Lyle Overbay has stuck with the Yankees at first base and has raised his average to .278 with a pair of homers on the early season.
Let’s head around the Diamondbacks minor league system with updates on Osprey alumni.
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
This is one of the best times of the year … and one of the craziest.
Baseball is back, and the Spring Training games have begun. Which involves a couple of things … for one, highlights on Baseball Tonight and Sportscenter. It also becomes hectic for a bit every three years, because the madness starts a few days early due to the World Baseball Classic.
Why it is crazy? The monitoring of former Osprey en masse starts a lot earlier, too. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Charles Brewer is going to get the chance to play that role of “I’m Major League Worthy” in a different location now. He’s gone from his days as a member of the Missoula Osprey in 2009, to getting a chance in South Bend and Visalia in 2010, and pitching in Mobile both in 2011, and at the start of the 2012 season. But now, Brewer has another stop – at Triple-A Reno – to show that he is ready for the ultimate stage.
The promotion was among a series of moves made by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, and included another former Osprey, who was here a shorter amount of time than nearly any other former Osprey this side of Daniel Taylor. Continue reading
by Ben Catley
So I am watching MLB.tv on Sunday, catching the tail end of the D-backs game, and on the mound in the ninth inning, during a mound visit, were three Osprey – pitcher Bryan Shaw (2008), catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03) and first baseman Lyle Overbay (1999). A fourth, outfielder Gerardo Parra (2006), was in left field. And a fifth, Paul Goldschmidt (2009), had just pinch-hit a half-inning prior.
Yes, I was smiling.
I smiled even more when Shaw blew a 94 mile-per-hour fastball past Buster Posey to finish off his first Major League save, capping off a D-backs comeback of epic proportions, rallying down from 6-0 down to win, 7-6, and finish off a sweep of the San Francisco Giants in their 2012 Opening Series at Chase Field.
Overbay doubled twice and homered – a tape-measure shot, by the way – and drove in three runs to lead the charge.
It caps off what was a great week to be a former Osprey. Well, for a good number of them, anyway. Continue reading
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.
by Ben Catley
Osprey Executive Vice President Matt Ellis has a very solid theory to success in the Pioneer League … experience pays off up the middle. The more of it you have at shortstop, second base, in center field and behind the plate, the better off you will be as a team, and will give you the best chance to compete.
It’s beginning to look a lot like his theory will be given a stiff test this season.
Among the 17 players who have been announced to the Osprey roster (the full details as to the other seven will be coming later today in a story on MissoulaOsprey.com), all of them have either spent at least one season playing professionally, or have played collegiately, or both.
The key position, of course, is shortstop. And with collegiate shortstops Joshua Parr and Stephen Cardullo on the roster, it’s looking like the Osprey will be strong at that position.
Eventually, a number of collegiate shortstops move to second base – and that may be in Cardullo’s future as well – but the prospects of what lies ahead for the Osprey is downright exciting.
More on this later, but for now … on to the rest of the blog …
– Big night for former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero (2002-03), who drove in four runs last night in the D-backs’ big win over Florida.
– Here’s a video of something that it cool to see … a hit to a former Osprey, and a throw to a former Osprey to tag out a former Osprey.
– Speaking of the D-backs … two interesting notes. One is that the top two picks from the 2011 MLB Draft, pitchers Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley, will be in Phoenix this week. The other may spark some debate, as D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall would consider a move to the American League if asked. Since the story was posted last night on the D-backs’ website, there have been about 50 comments – most of them are not in favor of a move.
– Former Osprey pitcher Jose Valverde (2000) picked up the win last night for the Tigers in an extra-inning decision over Tampa Bay. Here’s a video interview done with Valverde a couple of weeks ago. He has quite the personality.
– We get the feeling that CarGo is locked in now … especially with his move to the leadoff spot.
– Goldy Watch: Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 2-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout in Mobile’s 2-1 loss at Birmingham. The two hits raised Goldy’s batting average to .348.
– Roster Move: The D-backs have sent 1B Ramon Castillo from South Bend to Triple-A Reno.
On to the Minor League Update:
Triple-A Reno: The Aces hung on for a 15-9 win over Tucson on Monday. Josh Ellis (2007) was touched up a bit in his outing, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched, but also singled and scored a run. Jordan Norberto (2006) picked up the win in relief, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out a pair of batters. Also at the plate, first baseman Kyle Greene (2008) was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a pair of runs scored.
Double-A Mobile: In the 2-1 loss on Monday, Ollie Linton (2008) went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jake Elmore (2008) and Taylor Harbin (2007) went a combined 0-for-9.
Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide surrendered a five-run bottom of the 7th inning and dropped an 8-3 decision at Modesto on Monday. Rossmel Perez (2008) doubled and drove in a run, while David Nick (2009), Chirs Owings (2009) and Bobby Borchering (2009) each had a hit in the setback. Diogenes Rosario (2009) fared well in his start, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched, and came away with a no-decision. Of those five runs, four were unearned. Taylor Sinclair (2008) gave up the final unearned run on two hits.
Class A South Bend: The Silver Hawks enjoyed a day off on Monday.
DSL D-backs: The Baby Backs beat the DSL Twins, 1-0. Alan Santiago (2009) went 1-for-3 at the plate to raise his batting average to .269.
Today’s Action and Osprey Probables:
AAA Reno (38-27) vs. Tucson
AA Mobile (36-29) has the day off … Montgomery will be in for a five-game series beginning Wednesday.
A Adv. Visalia (28-35) at Modesto – Eric Smith (2009) will hit the bump tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (31-32) at Lansing
DSL D-backs (5-7) at DSL Padres
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 40 days before the home opener, 38 days before the season opener, and less than a few hours before the final weekend that exists until mid-September. At least for most folks who work in short-season baseball … and, oh, by the way … it’s Friday the 13th.
– On the transaction front – former Osprey pitcher Enrique Burgos (2009) has been promoted to Class A South Bend from Extended Spring Training. Burgos takes the place of starting pitcher Tyler Green, who was placed on the disabled list on Thursday.
– The ever-improving Esmerling Vasquez (2004) has played his part in solidifying one of the achilles’ heels of the D-backs last season, it’s bullpen. That group has put together a solid first few weeks of the 2011 season.
– Evan Scribner (2007) has been pretty good for the San Diego Padres since his call-up last month. In four outings – including one against the D-Backs – “The Scribbler” (it comes from his Wikipedia page …) has a 1.13 ERA and seven strikeouts and two walks in eight innings of work. His hometown paper provides a bit of an update, and here’s more on his move to longer outings out of the bullpen.
– From the video archive … since we have people come and searching for info on Extended Spring Training guys, we share this with you. It’s a feature video of right-handed pitcher Robby Rowland in his high school days – playing basketball. Yeah, he was okay on the court …
– More draft notes from Nick Piecoro. Looks like the D-backs are going to have plenty of options with two of the first seven picks in next month’s draft.
– Sergio Santos (2002) continues to be a puzzle Major League hitters are struggling to solve. The former Osprey shortstop-turned-reliever continues to be in the closer’s mix for the Chicago White Sox.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces registered an 11-3 decision over Omaha on Thursday. Former Osprey bullpen mates Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto (both 2006) combined for three innings of hitless relief.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears were held in check by Jacksonville in a 4-1 setback on Thusday. Charles Brewer (2009) allowed all four runs in his second start back from a concussion, while Bryan Henry (2007) pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Mobile had just two hits, one of which was picked up by Taylor Harbin (2007).
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Eric Smith (2009) struggled once again – allowing 10 runs in four-plus innings – as the Rawhide lost to Bakersfield, 11-4. The bullpen was solid, allowing just a run in 5 2/3 innings – Adam Worthington (2009), Christian Beltre (2007), Taylor Sinclair (2008) and Yonata Ortega (2007) getting it done. David Nick (2009) had three hits, including two doubles, and two runs batted in, while Bobby Borchering (2009) added three hits, and Adam Eaton (2010) added a pair of safeties and a RBI, raising his batting average to .370 in the process.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks succumbed to a big inning once again and lost “Eike vs. Former Osprey II”. Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10) scattered six hits and allowed just two runs – one earned – with a walk and two strikeouts as West Michigan posted a 5-3 win. Roberto Rodriguez (2010) singled and doubled, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) was the only other former Osprey to collect a hit in the game. Ender Inciarte walked twice and stole a base, but was also picked off by Eichhorn. Eury De La Rosa (2009) pitched three innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Jeff Shields (2010), who took the loss.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (22-13) vs. Omaha – Tom Layne (2007) gets the start for the Aces.
AA Mobile (19-13) at Jacksonville
A Adv. Visalia (17-17) vs. Bakersfield – Derek Eitel (2010) gets the ball tonight for the Rawhide on Ghostbusters Night.
A South Bend (15-19) at Bowling Green – No starter announced for this one, could be Burgos.
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.