Monday Grab Bag
First up, a field update:
Better than Friday, yes?
A few Rattler Alumni highlights from Brewers games last week in Arizona:
And a few stories on former Rattlers:
Arizona is a special place for Khris Davis.
The state is home to Davis’ high school baseball career, first professional baseball game and Spring Training for the Brewers, the team that took him in the seventh round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Davis returned to the Valley of the Sun for Spring Training as the favorite to win the starting left-field job for the Brewers in 2014, a thrilling prospect for Davis and his father, Rodney, who moved his family to Arizona in 1994 while working for the Mariners organization.
“We are thankful he’s a Milwaukee Brewer,” the elder Davis and current member of the MLB Scouting Bureau said. “For him to be drafted by the Brewers and to be able to enjoy Spring Training as a family, we are very grateful.”
The younger Davis played high school baseball at Deer Valley High School, about 11 miles from Milwaukee’s Spring Training facility.
“It’s exciting to work alongside the best players in baseball with family and friends [in attendance],” Khris said.
Ryan Rowland-Smith figures to be a busy man next week both on and off the field.
The Australian-born left-hander will pitch for Team Australia on Thursday against the Dodgers, and then Friday he will pitch for the D-backs against Team Australia. Those two exhibition games will take place just before the D-backs and Dodgers open the regular season March 22-23 in Sydney, Australia.
“Honestly, I told my wife I think it’s going to be overwhelming for me once it happens,” Rowland-Smith said.
Rowland-Smith, 31, was born in Sydney and raised two hours north in New Castle and has family and friends there.
“To see my friends and family and pitch in my backyard is special,” Rowland-Smith said.
Rowland-Smith wore the Team Australia jersey in the 2004 Summer Olympics and came home with a silver medal. He also played for Australia in the World Baseball Classic in ’06 and ’09.
“Anyone who gets to represent their country it’s a special thing,” Rowland-Smith said. “That’s more than just a team, that’s a country. We won a silver medal and that’s the most pride I’ve ever felt, and that always sticks in my mind every time I get to put that jersey on, because that was a special time for me.”
The D-backs signed Rowland-Smith to a Minor League contract last November that included a Spring Training invite.