Timber Rattlers Training Camp Notes – Day 2
We got the band back together! I’ll explain that and have a recap of the Rattlers game against the Beloit Snappers later. First a few pictures.
There was a drill today about throwing to players on the run and leading them. Like throwing to a base as the other fielder was coming over to cover:
A little work out of the cage during batting practice:
and in the cage:
Saturday’s game was played over at the A’s minor league complex. Here is the starting lineup:
— Chris Mehring (@CMehring) March 22, 2014
Taylor Williams was the starting pitcher for the Timber Rattlers.
Williams pitched three innings, allowed one hit, walked one, struck out four, and faced the minimum thanks to this guy:
Coulter threw out a pair of runners who tried to steal second in the first inning. Then, Williams went out and threw a 1-2-3 second and a 1-2-3 third with a pair of strikeouts in each inning.
David Otterman ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth when he came on in relief of Williams. The inning went Walk, single with E8, walk to load the bases, wild pitch to score a run, walk to reload the bases, E-5 to score a run, RBI single, RBI single…end of the inning.
Yes. The inning ended with four runs in, no outs, and the bases loaded.
In minor league spring training games, a team can ask for an inning to be ended to save on pitching. Otterman used 27 pitches to face those eight batter in the fourth inning and was expected to come back out for the 5th. To spare him the pitch count, the Rattlers tapped out of the fourth.
Otterman bounced back with a scoreless fifth inning. The leadoff hitter doubled and went to third on the third error of the game on Wisconsin. But, a shallow fly ball to left, a walk, and a 6-4-3 double play ended the inning.
Tyler Linehan pitched a pair of scoreless innings to keep the game a 4-0.
Wisconsin got on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth. Steve Halcomb reached on an error and went from first to third on a single by Johny Davis. Chris McFarland drove in Halcomb with a sacrifice fly.
But, Tyler Spurlin allowed a two-out, three-run double in the bottom of the eighth and the Rattlers were scoreless in the 9th.
FINAL SCORE: Beloit 7, Wisconsin 1
NOTES: Wisconsin Manager Matt Erickson said that Taylor Williams, “Comes as advertised and he comes at you.”
Jim Callis in this post at MLB Pipeline advertises Williams this way:
Williams began his college career at Washington State, but he played sparingly as a freshman in 2011 before transferring to Mount Hood Community College in Oregon and then Kent State. There, he grabbed attention in February 2013 when he struck out Kris Bryant, the eventual No. 2 overall pick, three times.
Williams mixes his low- to mid-90s fastball effectively with a slider and changeup. His delivery has some effort to it, though he is athletic enough to largely compensate for it.
Sounds good to me.
Erickson noted that Coulter’s two throws to second base to throw out those would-be base stealers in the first inning were timed at :02.03 and :01.97…as in seconds….and were right on the bag. Coulter is making strides behind the plate.
Coulter also had a ringing double to left in the fifth inning. However, he was doubled off second when Angel Ortega’s line drive in the hole was caught with a diving backhander by the Beloit shortstop.
For the second day in a row, the Rattlers struggled on offense. Omar Garcia reached on a bunt single in the third, Coulter doubled in the fifth, Francisco Castillo had a infield single in the sixth, and David Denson had an infield single in the seventh. Those were the only four hits in the first seven innings. The Rattlers got two more hits in the game: the single by Davis in the eighth and a single by Charlie Markson in the ninth. Six hits in the game. Three of those hits left the infield.
The Brevard County game was going on one diamond over at the complex and I turned around to check out that action occasionally since there were several former Timber Rattlers in action over there. Of note:
- Chad Thompson got the start and pitched two innings on his road back.
- Chad Pierce pitched in relief
- I turned to see Victor Roache hit a long home run.
- Cameron Garfield also homered and has been hitting very well this spring.
- Yadiel Rivera played short and Orlando Arcia played second for BC in this game
I went out to dinner with the Rattlers staff tonight and David Chavarria joined us later. When Matt Erickson, Jeff Paxson, and Chavy get together that is called “Getting the Band Back Together.”
Chavy said that I could use one quote and it was this, “You can’t use this.”
I won’t mention anything said in the discussion. But, I just thought of my column for the website.
To close out this post, here are a few views of the minor league complex of the A’s: