May 2013

One Step Away

Two former Timber Rattlers from the 2010 season got called up from AAA to the big leagues to appear in games on Monday .  Those players were Jake Odorizzi (From Durham to Tampa Bay) and Caleb Thielbar (From Rochester to Minnesota).

Jake Odorizzi pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Jake Odorizzi pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Caleb Thielbar in his MLB Debut on Monday, May 20, 2013 at Atlanta. (From KELOLAND off Twins Broadcast)

Caleb Thielbar in his MLB Debut on Monday, May 20, 2013 at Atlanta. (From KELOLAND off Twins Broadcast)

Instead of the usual updates on how former Timber Rattlers players are doing in the Major League, I thought that a nice off day project would be to take a look at players in the Pacific Coast League or the International League…or, those, who like Odorizzi and Thielbar are one step away from the big leagues.  Here are the current 33 Alumni in Triple-A.  Click on their names for their video highlight page…where there is one available.

This should not come as a surprise, but the Nashville Sounds and the Tacoma Rainiers have the most former Timber Rattlers on their roster.

Nashville Sounds (8):
Khris Davis
Scooter Gennett
Sean Halton
Kyle Heckathorn
Hunter Morris
Josh Prince
RJ Seidel
Tyler Thornburg

Tacoma Rainiers (5):
Denny Almonte
Joe Dunigan
Alex Liddi
Carlos Peguero
Carlos Triunfel

Joe Dunigan is currently on the Tacoma Disabled List.  Mike Curto let’s you know how that happened back on April 18:

In the ninth inning, we had a scary moment. With two one and nobody out, Joe Dunigan squared around to bunt. The pitch from Dan Runzler was up and in, and it hit Dunigan flush on the jaw. Dunigan immediately left the game. Today, Brown said that Dunigan is in the hospital with a broken mandible. Brown visited him in the hospital and he reported that Joe was in good spirits, is supposed to have surgery today, and should be discharged tonight.

Dunigan is on twitter.  He had his jaw wired shut after that pitch hit him.  According to his timeline, the doctors cut the wires last week.  He is on the road back.

That would be thirteen Timber Rattlers alumni between Nashville and Tacoma…

ASIDE: By the way, Tacoma beat Nashville 5-2 last night.  The game featured home runs by Hunter Morris, Carlos Peguero, and Alex Liddi.

Back to the main them of the post….

There are 15 other Rattlers Alumni who are currently at AAA.

Teams with more than one Rattler Alumni:
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (2):
Cesar Jimenez
JC Ramirez

Omaha Storm Chasers (2):
Nathan Adcock
Adam Moore

Syracuse Chiefs (2):
Erik Komatsu
Carlos Maldonado

Tucson Padres (2):
Rene Rivera
Mike Wilson

Teams with one Rattlers Alum:

Buffalo Bison:
Jeremy Jeffress

Columbus Clippers:
Juan Diaz

Memphis Redbirds:
Rob Johnson

Pawtucket Red Sox:
Ryan Rowland-Smith

Rochester Red Wings:
Jeff Clement

Round Rock Express:
Ryan Feierabend

Sacramento River Cats:
Justin Thomas

Rained out in Burlington

A good friend of mine used to say, ‘…Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.’ Think about that for a while. – Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh

A series of pictures then a few alumni notes…

This was taken from the walkway behind the visiting team radio booth before the 6:30pm start time.

Looking to the West.

Looking to the West.

Alfredo Rodriguez singles to left with two outs in the top of the second.

Alfredo Rodriguez singles to left with two outs in the top of the second.

Sandy Martinez waits for the ball and Adam Giacalone at the plate after the single by Rodriguez.

Sandy Martinez waits for the ball and Adam Giacalone at the plate after the single by Rodriguez.  The ball would get there first.  By a lot.

The tarp went on the field with a 3-1 count on Wendell Soto with two outs, two runs in, and a runner on third.

The tarp went on the field with a 3-1 count on Wendell Soto with two outs, two runs in, and a runner on third.

Ominous is a word that springs to mind:

May 20 2013 004

Then…

It's a hard...It's a hard...It's a hard rain...gonna fall.

It’s a hard…It’s a hard…It’s a hard rain…gonna fall.

"Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets."

“Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.”

Did I mention a hard rain's gonna fall?

I guess I’m trying to say that it rained really, really hard in Burlington on Monday,

Then, this happened. No. That's the sky. really.

Then, this happened. No. That’s the sky. really.

Yeah. Because the Sun got below the clouds. That's why.

Yeah. Because the Sun got below the clouds. That’s why.

I haven't decided if this is a cool photograph or a horrible photograph. But, since this is my blog, I'm putting it up there.

I haven’t decided if this is a cool photograph or a horrible photograph. But, since this is my blog, I’m putting it up there.

I thought this was cool looking.

I thought this was cool looking.

Jake Odorizzi, a Timber Rattler in 2010, made his Tampa Bay Rays debut earlier today against the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 5 innings, allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

Odorizzi, who came to the Rays in the trade that sent James Shields to the Royals, was recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill the rotation spot of injured David Price. The 23-year-old right-hander had two Major League starts under his belt with the Royals, though that did little to settle his nerves at the beginning. But after experiencing a couple of early hiccups, Odorizzi settled into a nice groove.

“It was all right,” Odorizzi said of his outing. “I started off and couldn’t get in the groove. And once I did it felt good. … After the first, I think it went really well.”

The Blue Jays scored twice in the first on a sacrifice fly by Adam Lind and a triple by Brett Lawrie. Melky Cabrera added an RBI double in the second that put the Blue Jays up, 3-1.

Odorizzi finished his five-inning outing with three scoreless frames, having allowed three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six en route to a no decision.

Odorizzi allowed that he was a little keyed up in the first.

“I was excited,” Odorizzi said. “I think anybody in my situation would have been excited. But it’s not about throwing hard. You have to hit your spots early on.”

Both managers were complimentary toward the youngster.

“We scored early on him, and then he did a nice job after that,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said, adding, “he’s got the chance to be really good. He can throw four pitches at you. But we took advantage of him early, and then he shut us down.”

Said Maddon: “He threw some really nice curveballs. I thought he kept challenging. His fastball got up to 93. I did not see that in Spring Training. So that was nice to see, too. I saw the typical good composure, some nice stuff and a real ability to compete.”

R.A. Dickey silenced the Rays’ bats for the most part, pitching eight innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five to pick up his fourth win of the season.

“Man, that’s probably as good as we’ve seen him,” Matt Joyce said. “Shoot, the last time I remember him throwing like that was when he threw that one-hitter against us. Even then, that was controversial. He had great stuff, man. His ball was all over the place. For us to score what runs we did, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

Here’s that RBI triple by Lawrie, a Timber Rattler in 2009.

Caleb Thielbar, a Timber Rattler in 2010, made his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins tonight after getting the call up from Rochester earlier in the day.

Thielbar adds an eighth reliever to the club’s bullpen depth, especially with Twins starters having trouble pitching deep into games recently. The 26-year-old Minnesota native also gives the Twins another lefty in their bullpen along with Brian Duensing and closer Glen Perkins.

Thielbar, who pitched for the independent league St. Paul Saints in 2011 before being signed by the Twins, had a 3.76 ERA with 34 strikeouts and eight walks in 26 1/3 innings with the Red Wings. Thielbar, who is looking to make his Major League debut, didn’t land in Atlanta until about 50 minutes before the game, but was activated in time.

“He’s another arm out there, because we’ve killed the rest of the guys, as we’ve talked about,” Gardenhire said. “But having another lefty out there, you can take a shot with Duensing to get a lefty out. So this gives us another option. We can use Caleb early and maybe Duensing a little later.”

He pitched two scoreless innings at Atlanta, allowed a run, and struck out three without walking a batter. More on his performance and a bit more on Rattlers alumni in a post that will go up on the site tomorrow.

Lineup, Game Notes, & Transactions – May 20, 2013

A British porch is a musty, forbidding non-room in which to fling a sodden umbrella or a muddy pair of boots; a guard against the elements and strangers. By contrast the good ol’ American front porch seems to stand for positivity and openness; a platform from which to welcome or wave farewell; a place where things of significance could happen. – Dan Stevens

A view from the porch atop the third base concessions stand at Community Field.

A view from the porch atop the third base concessions stand at Community Field.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 6:30pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Orlando Arcia – SS
Michael Reed – RF
Mitch Haniger – CF
Victor Roache – LF
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Parker Berberet – C
Clint Coulter – DH
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Jose Sermo – 3B

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Damien Magnifico
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Alex Keudell

Timber Rattlers Transactions:
RHP Leonard Lorenzo placed on the Disabled List (Retroactive to 5/16)
RHP Taylor Mangum activated from the Temporarily Inactive List

Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_052013

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay202013

Hard to figure – Postgame post for May 19, 2013

Things are so hard to figure out when you live from day to day in this feverish and silly world. – Jack Kerouac, On the Road: The Original Scroll

The Timber Rattlers lost their second straight game with a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Bees on Sunday.

The Timber Rattlers lost their second straight game with a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the Bees on Sunday.

Timber Rattlers 4
Burlington Bees 6
Boxscore | Game Story

The Timber Rattlers did something today that they hadn’t done since the game against the Bees on May 12. They scored first. That’s five straight games.

However, the Bees did something today that they have done in the last four meetings between the Timber Rattlers and the Bees. They scored in the first inning. They scored three runs in the first inning. They have outscored the Timber Rattlers 7-1 in the first inning over those four games. BUT, the Rattlers are 2-2 against the Bees despite digging those early holes.

Tyler Wagner gave up three runs in the first inning today. He had allowed three earned runs in his last 23 innings pitched before today. His control looked off in the first inning as he walked the leadoff batter on four pitches and it never got better. I am confident that Wagner will bounce back.

Mike Strong walked three and hit a batter in the sixth inning, yet he did not let in a run. It was a bit of a struggle at times, but he kept the Bees from scoring in three innings>

Martin Viramontes with two solid innings out of the bullpen. Looked like good velocity and good movement.

There were no RBI hits for the Timber Rattlers on Sunday. Here are how they scored their runs:

  • 6-4-3 double play with runners on the corners and one out
  • RBI grounder to second with a runner on third
  • Runner scores from second on an infield single/throwing error
  • Wild Pitch with a runner on third

This was the second loss in a row in which the Timber Rattlers outhit the Bees.  They are just one big hit away from breaking things the right way for them.

This is something that you are getting used to hearing, “Orlando Arcia had a multi-hit game.”  He singled and doubled.

Math? I LOVE MATH!  Well, no I don’t but this one is for you inclined to see things through the prism of the Pythagorean Winning Percentage.

So, THAT’S something!

To leave you with a good feeling, Weiner Dog Race Day in Burlington:

One of the ten racers

One of the ten racers

The white streak is Ruby, who won the race for the second year in a row and for the fourth time.  There was really only one other dog interested in racing...

The white streak is Ruby, who won the race for the second year in a row and for the fourth time. There was really only one other dog interested in racing…

The other eight were just enjoying their day at the stadium.

Lineup and Game Notes for May 19, 2013

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning. – J. B. Priestley

Community Field before Sunday's game.

Community Field before Sunday’s game.

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 6:30pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Mitch Haniger – RF
Victor Roache – LF
Parker Berberet – 1B
Chris McFarland – DH
Jose Sermo – 3B
Brent Dean – C
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Tyler Wagner
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Ryan Crowley

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay192013

Walked off in Burlington – Postgame post for May 18, 2013

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future. – Plutarch

Let's call it about 10' above the white sign on the light tower....That's where Orlando Arcia's ball hit for his first Timber Rattlers home run.

Let’s call it about 10′ above the white sign on the light tower….That’s where Orlando Arcia’s ball hit for his first Timber Rattlers home run.

Wisconsin 5
Burlington 6
FINAL 11 INNINGS
Boxscore | Game Story
The end of the game…ugh. Read the game story if you want to relive it. I am going to focus on the positives from this game.

Orlando Arcia: 2-for-4, BB, 2RBI, SB, First Midwest League Home Run.  If you have been reading this post, you are aware of Arcia’s ability to NOT strike out and to hit the ball well on two-strike counts.  It seems appropriate that he hit his home run on a 2-2 pitch.   He also drew a walk after falling behind 1-2 in the top of the ninth inning.  The only thing he did wrong tonight was hitting the ball up the middle on a hit-and-run play in the fifth inning.  The play wound up being a 4-3 double play.  But, there were a couple of “WOW!” plays in the field that he made.

Clint Coulter with a 2-for-5 night. Yes, three strikeouts and another passed ball…BUT, two more hard hit baseballs and a clutch 2-out RBI single in the eighth to tie the game. 

I noted the distance of Arcia’s home run.  Mitch Haniger’s home run I could not note except to say that it went really, really, really far and covered that distance really, really, really fast.  To left field. I think. 

Alert base running by Alfredo Rodriguez and Arcia in the top of the seventh.  There was an 0-2 pitch in the dirt to Tyrone Taylor that he checked his swing on for a 1-2 count.  The Bees thought it was strike three easy.  But, when the plate umpire didn’t call the pitch a strike, they took their time to appeal to the base umpire.  While they were doing that, the runners broke for the next base and made it without a play when the base umpire called it no swing.

I liked the way Eric Semmelhack competed tonight.  Sometimes it’s easy to just say “To Heck with this” after it’s 4-1.  But, he did the job and kept the Rattlers within striking distance.  Semmelhack wound up with a no decision and a quality start.

Preston Gainey deserved a better fate.  Both runs scored against him were unearned.  The passed ball by Coulter in the seventh inning set up the RBI by Soto that gave the Bees their 5-3 lead.  The eleventh inning unraveled after the dropped popup to start the inning.  Gainey walked three, struck out three, and battled.  Get ‘em next time.

Next time for the team is Sunday at 2pm.  Tune in as Tyler Wagner and Mike Strong try to get the 19-20 Rattlers back to .500.

Lineup & Game Notes – May 18, 2013

Let me recommend the best medicine in the world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant country, in easy stages. – James Madison

Pregame for May 18, 2013

Pregame for May 18, 2013

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 6:30pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Michael Reed – RF
Mitch Haniger – DH
Victor Roache – LF
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Chris McFarland – 2B
Clint Coulter – C
Alfredo Rodriguez – 3B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Eric Semmelhack
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Aaron Newcomb

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay182013

Timber Rattlers Roster Moves:
INF Mike Garza has been placed on the DL at Wisconsin, retroactive to 5/16.
C Parker Berberet has been reinstated from the suspended list at Wisconsin. He will be active tonight at Burlington

Updated Timber Rattlers Roster: Timber_Rattlers_Roster_051813

The odyssey begins – postgame post for May 17, 2013

Each man delights in the work that suits him best. ― Homer, The Odyssey

Taylor Wall strikes out Andrew Ray for the final out of the fifth inning.

Taylor Wall strikes out Andrew Ray for the final out of the fifth inning.

Wisconsin 8
Burlington 4
Boxscore | Game Story

In case you lost track during that long homestand, the win tonight is the sixth straight road victory for the Timber Rattlers – last two at Lansing (May 2 & 3), all three at Great Lakes (May 4-6), and May 17 at Burlington.

Great to see Alfredo Rodriguez get a couple of hits on Friday night. He has been putting together some quality at bats, but hitting balls right at defenders or having defensive gems turned against him. Not tonight.  Two hits, a run, and two RBI.

Clint Coulter hit the ball hard three times and drew a walk on Friday. He’s starting to heat up a bit.

Oh, look! Two more Victor Roache walks. He keeps getting on base.

Ryan Gibbard is 3-0 in three starts this season. He has allowed three runs in 16-2/3 innings as a starter this season. Tonight, he mixed it up and when he really needed a strike he was getting the off speed stuff in for strikes. Granted five walks isn’t perfect, but he also got five strikeouts when he really needed them.

Keep in mind the plate umpire tonight was the same plate umpire from Sunday’s game that featured all four of the scheduled pitchers (Scoggins & Boyd for Burlington and Gibbard & Lopez for the Rattlers). Sundays game had 20 walks. This one had….thirteen. Better.

Speaking of better. Jorge Lopez struck out six over three innings – two in each frame of relief – and walked two. In two relief outings this year, he has allowed two runs over eight innings. Someone needs to convince him that it’s the 6th inning when he makes his next start…(Scheduled for 5/22 @Quad Cities)

It might sound unusual to bring the closer in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning with a three runs lead. But, a benefit of the tandems allows you to do exactly that. It may not have been a save on the stat sheet, but Taylor Wall keeps getting the job done. Tonight was his tenth relief appearance of the season. He has allowed no runs in eight of those outings.

Oh, and he has now inherited 13 base runners…He has allowed two of those 13 inherited runners to score.

One down, 12 more to go on this trip.

Lineup & Game Notes – May 17, 2013

I’m back on the road again, it’s time I leave you now
And maybe I’ll see you next time, that I’m around
Until then I hope your happy baby and good times come your way
I’m back on the road again, I’m on my way
REO Speedwagon

Pregame for May 17, 2013

Pregame for May 17, 2013

In the listening area, dial around to AM1280, WNAM.  This is one of the internet links to listen to the game.   WNAM is also available on IHeartRadio as a website and as an app for your smart phone.

First pitch is 6:30pm.

Timber Rattlers Lineup:
Tyrone Taylor – CF
Michael Reed – LF
Mitch Haniger – RF
Victor Roache – LF
Adam Giacalone – 1B
Alfredo Rodriguez – 2B
Clint Coulter – C
Jose Sermo – 3B
Orlando Arcia – SS

Timber Rattlers Starting Pitcher: Ryan Gibbard
Burlington Bees Starting Pitcher: Reid Scoggins

Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotesMay172013

Linguistically frustrated – Postgame post for May 16, 2013

I mean, I have moments of huge frustration because of my inability to express myself linguistically as clearly as I would like to. – David Gilmour

Austin Blaski strikes out Ariel Ovando for the final out of the fourth inning.

Austin Blaski strikes out Ariel Ovando for the final out of the fourth inning.

Quad Cities 3
Wisconsin 1
Boxscore | Game Story

David Gilmour felt linguistically frustrated? Dude wrote The damn WALL and Wish You Were Here.

HYPERBOLE ALERT: I’ve never seen so many bounces go in favor of one team in a series.

That last play was the game in miniature. 3-2 count on Haniger. He smashes a grounder off Ryan Dineen. The ball deflects to Carlos Correa, who just HAPPENS to be in the right spot out in short left. Arcia didn’t round third base by too much, but it was enough to turn into the final out.

I believe that I called Ryan Dineen ‘Kevin Dineen’ after one of the line drives he snagged in the seventh inning. It’s only right. Kevin Dineen used to really tick me off, too.

Chris McFarland…I’m so sorry. You probably should have had three more hits in this series. But, Correa made some outstanding plays the denied you those hits. Hallmark should make a card.

Arcia had two more hits and is 8-for-14 during a four game hitting streak.

Austin Blaski pitched his way out of the fourth inning bases loaded, no-out jam…with some help from interesting base running.

Speaking of linguistically challenged…Look at the double play the Rattlers turned to help Blaski get the first two outs in the fourth inning. I could not form the words my brain was thinking as Elkins did not break for the plate with the bases loaded and just stood there waiting for Arcia to complete the 6-unassisted double play.

Then, there was the 5-4-3-5 double play in the top of the ninth. It’s also in the highlights and it’s also ridiculous.

The Rattlers end their ten-game homestand 5-5 and head out on the road for a 13 game road trip with a 18-19 record. The trip is Burlington (4), Quad Cities (3), Peoria (3), & Beloit (3).

Time to do laundry and pack.

But first, highlights:

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