Nice debut for Jorge Lopez

That was fun to watch!

Jorge Lopez (’13) earned the win in his Major League debut last night.

Sporting a fastball that touched 96 mph during a 1-2-3 opening inning that featured a pair of strikeouts, Lopez pitched through the fifth and was rewarded when Brewers shortstop Jean Segura hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the sixth.

Lopez, the 12th player this season to make his Major League debut for the Brewers, was the second (with Taylor Jungmann) to win his first big league start. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits in five innings, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

“It’s gonna work,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s a great fastball.”

Here’s Lopez as a Timber Rattler in 2013.


In 2013, Lopez appeared in 25 games – 22 starts – for the Rattlers.  He went 7-8 with a 5.23 ERA.  In 117 innings pitched with the Rattlers, Lopez walked 48 and struck out 92.

An old program is a wonderful thing

It should be “Three old programs are wonderful things”, but that title for this post would be a bad tie-in to one of the topics in the body of the post, as you will see in a moment.

A fan dropped off some old programs at the ballpark last week, but they weren’t Timber Rattlers programs or even Foxes programs.

The first two programs are Midwest League related in that they are the 1991 and 1992 Midwest League Yearbooks.

As always, click the image to enlarge.



Only two of the 14 teams on that 1992 program have the same name in 2015: The Kane County Cougars and the Peoria Chiefs.  Please note that in 1992, it was the Quad City River Bandits and today it’s the Quad Cities River Bandits.

Also…The Rockford Expos really stretched to get the R into the Expos logo…and the Quad City Angels logo from 1991 is actually pretty nice.

There’s some good stuff inside both of those yearbooks (Ex: The 1991 Yearbook has an article on the final Wausau Timbers home game from the 1990 season).  Believe that Flashback Friday will have material from both these sources.

The third has a Foxes/Timber Rattlers tie-in, but it has nothing to do with baseball.  The cover of the program for the 1995 softball game between Bolton’s Bombers and Teague’s League that was held at Fox Cities Stadium.

1995 teague bolton

The photo on the cover is from the 1994 game that was held at Goodland Field.

Some of the notable players on Teague’s League:

  • Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Jansen
  • Milwaukee Brewers GM Sal Bando
  • Brewers Legends Cecil Cooper, Jim Gantner, Charlie Moore, and Robin Yount
  • Packers Edgar Bennett, Ty Detmer, and John Jurkovic
  • Green Bay television news anchor Tom Milbourn
  • Green Bay morning radio host Murphy

There are some photos inside this program that will be shared at an appropriate time.

Future Rattlers

Welcome back.  I figured it was time to get back to work.

Check out Mehring Monday over on the website.

The Field Renovaion  project is moving along well.  The trenches for irrigation are being dug.  The outfield grass and warning track will be next.  Here are a few pictures from today.

September 28-1

September 28-2

You can check out the live YouTube feed here.  To see how much progress has been made, here are the time lapse videos from week 1 and week 2.

Baseball America is steadily releasing the Top 20 Prospects in each of the minor leagues.  They have already covered the Arizona League and the Pioneer League.  The Milwaukee Brewers have affiliates in both leagues and prospects on both lists.  These are the future Rattlers to make those lists.

There will be a little bit on each player, but not everything.  Most of this stuff is behind the subscriber wall.

Arizona League Brewers to make Arizona League Top 20 List:

#1 Trent Clark, Outfield

The 18-year-old center fielder, who signed for $2.7 million, crashed head first into the center-field wall in the first inning of his second pro game. He wound up with a concussion that kept him out of the lineup for two weeks and gave him a couple of shiners that lasted well into the summer. It didn’t take long after returning to the lineup for Clark to show off his five-tool skills—he hit for the cycle in his fifth game back.

#3 Gilbert Lara, Shortstop

Lara shows the range, infield actions and above-average arm to be able to stay at shortstop, provided he doesn’t grow too much in his teens. He gets good carry and accuracy on his throws. Lara has the tools needed for success at higher levels, and is projected by some observers as a plus big league player.

“He’s really solid for 17 years old—a grinder,” Brewers manager Nestor Corredor said.

#5 Demi Orimoloye, Outfield

One of the AZL’s bigger surprises came from north of the border, with Canadian outfielder Orimoloye showcasing explosive tools and producing at a high level during his six weeks in the league. The native of Nigeria ranked No. 41 on the BA 500 prior to the draft but fell to the fourth round, with the Brewers signing him for $450,000.

Orimoloye led the league in homers (six) when he left Arizona to join Canada’s national team for the 18U Baseball World Cup in Japan.

Helena Brewers to make Pioneer League Top 20 List:

#4 Marcos Diplan, Right-handed Pitcher

Despite his slight, 6-foot frame, Diplan stands out for his savvy and poise on the mound. He commands three average or better pitches and shows good feel for his secondary stuff. He sits 90-94 mph and touches as high as 98. His heater should tick up with strength and maturity.

Diplan’s slider is already a plus pitch, and he shows the ability to use his changeup in any count.

#6 Monte Harrison, Outfield

Harrison featured some of the loudest tools in the league. Already one of the best defensive outfielders in Rookie ball, he showed signs of starting to figure it out at the plate. The key to the improvement was getting his hands loaded earlier so that he was ready to see the ball sooner. Harrison is a little slow getting out of the box but is a plus runner underway, and he’s an instinctual baserunner who now has swiped 52 bases in 124 career games. 

#15 Jake Gatewood, Shortstop

He hit .209 in the first half at low Class A Wisconsin, but a series of adjustments and the PL’s offensive nature helped him taste success for the first time.

Gatewood showed signs of figuring it out at Helena. He gained confidence in the box by becoming more consistent with his leg lift and hand load. He still has a long swing, however, and he expands the zone and struggles with good offspeed pitches, but he flashes the ability to hit for power in games.

2015 Season in Review

Time to review the 2015 season.

Click this document for the records in certain situations, team highs and lows, individual highs and lows, runs by inning, starts by position, starts by batting order, and various other things of interest.

2015 Season Recap

A few things that stood out:
Wisconsin scored four or fewer runs in 99 out of 139 games.
Wisconsin allowed four or fewer runs in 81 out of 139 games

Wisconsin opponents had nine walkoff wins this season.
The Timber Rattlers were 13-31 in one run games

The Timber Rattlers offense reached double digits in runs one time in 139 games
The only inning in which the Rattlers outscored their opponents was the 5th (55-54)
In the first three innings of games, opponents outscored Wisconsin 232-154

The Timber Rattlers were 8-42 (34 games under .500) against Cedar Rapids, Kane County, and Quad Cities
The Timber Rattlers were 42-47 (Five games under .500) against the rest of the Midwest League

The Timber Rattlers did not have one player drive in more than three runs in a game in 2015

Elvis Rubio started 117 games in right field
Jake Gatewood led the Rattlers in games started at short (51) despite going to Helena for two months.

The Timber Rattlers had 14 different leadoff batters
The Timber Rattlers had 11 different cleanup batters
Carlos Leal batted cleanup 23 times to lead the team
David Denson, Elvis Rubio, & Dustin DeMuth each hit cleanup 22 times

Click on the link up top for the full story.  Check my math, too…if you dare!

Here’s the view out my window today:

September 9 Field Photo

The renovation project is in full swing.  Watch the progress live on the TimberRattlerTV!

Also, I will be taking some time off over the next few weeks.  I’ll be posting on an irregular schedule between now and the last week in September, but there will be plenty of posts and information and stuff.  Bring on the 2016 season!

Lineup and Game Notes – September 7, 2015

The End

Final Game of the Season.  Game time in Burlington is 2:00pm.

September 7 blog photo

Broadcast Options:

AM1280, WNAM

Tune IN

AM1280 Website

Today’s Lineup:

September 7 Lineup

Starting Pitchers:
WIS: David Burkhalter
BUR: Austin Robichaux

Game Notes:
WIS: RattlersGameNotes September 7 2015

Lineup and Game Notes – September 6, 2015

Play Ball! Game time in Burlington, Iowa is 2:00pm.

September 6 blog photo

Broadcast Options:

AM1280, WNAM

Tune IN

AM1280 Website

Today’s Lineup:

September 6 Lineup

Starting Pitchers:
WIS:  Cody Ponce
BUR: Justin Anderson

Game Notes:
WIS: RattlersGameNotes September 6 2015

Lineup and Game Notes – September 5, 2015

Huddle up!  Baseball tonight from Burlington, Iowa at 6:30pm.

September 5 blog photo

Broadcast Options:

AM1280, WNAM

Tune IN

AM1280 Website

Tonight’s Lineup:

September 5 Lineup

Starting Pitchers:
WIS: Eric Hanhold
BUR: Keynan Middleton

Game Notes:
WIS: RattlersGameNotes September 5 2015

Postgame Post – September 4, 2015

Cedar Rapids 5
Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | GameDay | Game Story
Postgame Post (Thank you, Kyle Lobner):
Jake Gatewood:

Tucker Neuhaus:

Natanael Mejia (with Luis Aviles):

Matt Erickson:

Win Probability Chart:
Win Probability 9_04_15

Top Plays:
Kernels turn inning-ending 5-2-6 DP in bottom 8th: – .387
TJ White double in top 8th: – .255
Natanael Mejia single in bottom 7th: + .187
Mejia scores on WP in bottom 7th: + .186
Nick Anderson gets K to end game: – .162
Top Players:
Natanael Mejia: + .432
Jake Gatewood: + .261


Lineup and Game Notes – September 4, 2015

Last home game of the year. Game time is 6:35pm.

September 4 blog photo

Broadcast Options:

AM1280, WNAM

Tune IN

AM1280 Website

Tonight’s Lineup: 09 4 15 STARTING LINEUPS

Starting Pitchers:
CR: Sam Gibbons
WI: Angel Ventura

Game Notes:
CR: Kernels Game Notes (September 4)
WI: RattlersGameNotes September 4 2015

Postgame Post – September 3, 2015

Cedar Rapids 0
Wisconsin 4
Boxscore | GameDay | Game Story


Postgame Interviews (Thank you, Kyle Lobner):
Luis Aviles:

Zach Cooper:

Josh Uhen:

Gary Lucas:

Win Probability Chart:
Win Probability 9_03_15

Top Plays:
Luis Aviles double in bottom of 3rd: + .113
Josh Uhen Ks Brian Navarreto in top of 6th: + .062
Josh Uhen gets Austin Diemer to pop out in top of 6th: + .058
Brett Doe singles to load bases in top of 6th: – .056

Top Players:
Josh Uhen: + .278
Luis Aviles: + .152




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