Mehring in Arizona, 2013 – Day 5

A tough game against some Reds prospects and some final thoughts after five days in the desert.

The squad of Rattlers were allowed a late start on Monday.  They didn’t have to be on the field until 11:30 and they did their work before the 1:00pm game.

The weather was great down here!

The weather was great down here!

The Timber Rattlers were playing the Dayton Dragons today on Diamond #7 at the Maryvale complex.  The Dragons are the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds are like the Brewers in one regard when it comes to their minor league players.  That would be that they put the names of all of their players on the backs of the jerseys.

So, unlike the last few days of games in Maryvale, I got to look up players from the other team to see if there are any prospects for them.  Dayton sent lefty Ismael Guillon, the Reds #9 prospect, to the mound to start the game.  Position players Jesse Winker (#7), Jeff Gelalich (#14), and Seth Mejias-Brean (#19) were in the lineup for the Dragons today.

The Rattlers had Tyrone Taylor (#15) in the starting lineup.  Clint Coulter (#9) and Orlando Arcia (#17) got into the game later as substitutes.

Here was the starting lineup for the Rattlers:

Tyrone Taylor – cf
Michael Reed – lf
Mike Garza – 3b
Adam Giacalone – 1b
Parker Berberet – dh
Jose Pena – rf
Brent Dean – c
Angel Ortega – ss
Alfredo Rodriguez – 3b

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner

Tyler Wagner takes the hill.

Tyler Wagner takes the hill.

The game started with back-to-back extra base hits for a Dayton run.  Later in the inning, Meijas-Brean singled in a run for a 2-0 Dayton lead.

Wagner pitched well in the second inning, but an error, a wild pitch, another error, and a wild pitch in the stretch of three batters allowed another run to score for Dayton.

The Rattlers had very little success against Guillon while he worked his four innings.  Garza singled with two outs in the first.  They loaded the bases with no outs in the third after a single by Ortega, a hit batsman to Rodriguez, and a walk to Taylor.  But, the next batter popped out and the next batter grounded into an inning ending double play.  Pena doubled with two outs in the fourth.
Spring Training 2013 Day 5 005

Baseball America notes that Guillon’s best pitch is his changeup and that – due to an injury and the need to rework his contract after an injury shortly after signing with the Reds – he is on the Reds 40-man roster.

Reds prospect Ismael Guillon

Reds prospect Ismael Guillon

Meanwhile, Wagner also tossed four innings.  He gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits with a walk, a hit batsman, a wild pitch, and a pair of strikeouts.  Wagner, a fourth round pick in 2012, was a closer at the University of Utah.  But he was a starting pitcher for Helena in the Pioneer League after signing with the Brewers.  He appeared in 13 games (12 starts) in the Pioneer League and went 1-4*, but had a K:BB ratio of 47:22 in 48.2IP.

Leonard Lorenzo took over for Wagner in the top of the fifth inning and worked scoreless innings in the first two of his scheduled three innings.

Leonard Lorenzo makes his pitch.

Leonard Lorenzo makes his pitch.

But, he ran into trouble in the seventh as a single and an error put a runner on second base.  Another single drove in a run for the Dragons.  A two-out RBI double by Winker made it 5-0 in favor Dayton.

The Rattlers offense never threatened after they loaded the bases in the second inning.  No Rattler went past first base after the fourth inning.  They only managed one hit, a sixth inning single by Garza.

Dayton poured on the offense in the eighth inning against Zach Quintana.  There were back-to-back RBI triples and an RBI single out of five hits in the frame and the Dragons were up 8-0.

Rattlers of interest:
Garza was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles
Taylor went 0-for-2 with two walks
Michael Reed went 0-for-3
Orlando Arcia was 0-for-1
Clint Coulter went 0-for-1

Not the greatest day at the ballpark, but a bad day at a baseball game beats a good day most other places.

And now a few words from the Timber Rattlers.

13 Days of Baseball will be happening from March 27 to April 8.  Click the link for details on the prizes that are being given away by the Timber Rattlers.  They range from a full set of 2012 Opening Day Bobbleheads to a chance to shoot the Bratzook! during a game this season.

Tickets for Individual Games during the 2013 season are on sale right now.  Click here to order tickets for Opening Night or any of the 70 regular season home games scheduled this season.

The Timber Rattlers send me down here to A.) Get me away from the people that actually work for a living at this time of year and B.) To get a handle on what is heading north for the season.

Let’s take a look back at what I wrote last year on my final day in AZ before the Championship season of 2012 began:

I will leave you with an overall impression on the play that I have seen over the last few days.  The pitching has been solid. All of the pitchers I saw threw strikes, worked quickly, and did not allow any big innings.

The hitters have stung the ball and the defense has been very good.

I know, 80 degrees in Arizona sunshine is a lot different from 45 on a rainy night in the Midwest League.  But, you will like what you will see when you come out to see the Timber Rattlers this season.

This year, the pitchers fell behind in counts and did not avoid big innings.  Defense was not as good as last season.  The hitters did get shutout on Monday, but they hit the ball hard during camp and have scored plenty of runs this spring.

That is where they were at in the small sample size of games that I saw.  That is not where they will be in two weeks, two months, or even at the end of the season.

Matt Erickson is back as the manager.  Dusty Rhodes is the hitting coach again.  David Chavarria is the pitching coach again.  That staff did an outstanding job with the players in 2012.  That staff will work with this year’s squad and you will see them get better as the season progresses from game #1 to game #140.

As to predictions for the roster, I don’t usually make those.  But, I think that you will see catcher Clint Coulter and outfielders, Victor Roache, Michael Reed, and Tyrone Taylor.

I’d like to be able to make a guess on the pitching staff, but there is still a lot to be decided in the final week of camp.  Especially after the signing of Kyle Lohse on Monday. Things that happen at that level can affect what happens down in the lower levels of the minor league system.

Minor league camp breaks on April 1.  We won’t know who will be on the plane until sometime that morning.  But, it is going to be a fun season….especially once we get rid of that cursed snow on the field.

PLAY BALL!

*-Your grain of salt to go with individual Win-Loss Record

Mehring in Arizona, 2013 Archive:
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

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