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Meanwhile in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Series is taking place in Puerto Rico right now.  Taking a look at the rosters finds plenty of former Timber Rattlers playing…especially for the host team:

Puerto Rico:
Hiram Burgos
Joel Pineiro
Rene Rivera
Yadiel Rivera, who shows off his uniform in this tweet from earlier in the week.

Venezuela:
Orlando Arcia

Through the first three days, Puerto Rico is 0-3.  Venezuela is 3-0.

Alumni Birthdays for February 6:
Terry Serrano (’08) – 28
Carlos George (’10, ’11, ’12) – 26
Chad Thompson (’12, ’14) – 24
JB Brown (’80) – 58
Jackie Smith (’77, ’78) – 60
Leslie Hayes (1913) – Would have been 123

 

Chad Thompson with the Timber Rattlers in 2012.

Chad Thompson with the Timber Rattlers in 2012.

Prospect Projections

This article by Jake Seiner was published on MiLB.com on Monday.  It looks at Prospect Projections within the NL Central.

There are a few issues with the Brewers entry…mainly that Shawn Zarraga is no longer in the organization.  BUT, overall, worthwhile to take “a look at rookie-eligible players who could make an impact in the Majors.”

The projections are:

analysis regarding who could make an impact, as well as Steamer projections (taken with gratitude from Fangraphs) for those players. For those who don’t know, Steamer is a projection system that uses statistics, age, level and other factors to predict player performance. The system makes for a fun point of reference in trying to gauge which prospects could play the biggest short-term roles.

Each team is broken down into hitters and pitchers. So, a look at the writeup on hitters in Milwaukee’s organization doesn’t have anything on former Rattlers.  But, here are how they project a few ex-Rattlers to perform in the Majors based on that formula:

Brewers POS PA HR SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld WAR
Jason Rogers 3B 600 16 6 .247 .308 .390 .310 93 -13.7 0.2
Yadiel Rivera SS 600 8 11 .225 .263 .320 .260 59 0.0 -0.5
Jason Rogers rounds third and heads for home in this 2011 game. (Photo Credit: Ann Mollica)

Jason Rogers rounds third and heads for home in this 2011 game. (Photo Credit: Ann Mollica)

And now a look at the MLB projections of former Timber Rattlers pitchers:

Brewers W L ERA GS G IP HR WHIP K/9 BB/9 FIP WAR
David Goforth 2 3 4.65 0 65 65 8 1.47 6.5 3.9 4.70 -0.6
Michael Strong 3 4 4.61 0 65 65 8 1.48 7.0 4.3 4.65 -0.6
Brooks Hall 3 5 5.42 0 65 65 10 1.55 5.0 3.7 5.32 -1.1
Johnny Hellweg 3 5 5.62 0 65 65 8 1.69 6.1 5.7 5.42 -1.2
Photo Credit: Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

David Goforth as a Timber Rattler in 2012.

Take those projections for what they are…projections.

Alumni Birthdays for February 5:
Eric O’Flaherty (’04, ’05) – 30
Jason Heath (’95) – 44

Sold Out

And now a word from out Sponsor:

The Fang & Whiffer Valentine’s Deliveries for February 13 are sold out.

mascot_delivery web

Don’t bother the snake….Leave the snake alone:


Alumni Birthdays for February 4:
Brett Iddon (’96) – 39
Rick Thoren (’76, ’77) – 60
Larry Smith (’63) – 74
Rex Carrow (’47, ’48) – Would have been 88

Rex also played baseball and basketball at Michigan State, played on the European Baseball Championship winning team while in the military beating the Mediterranean Champions in Leg Horn, Italy, and went on to play professionally as a third baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cleveland Indians for a total of seven seasons. He was a non-rostered player on the 1948 Cleveland Indians World Series team. Rex served in the U.S. Army during WWII in the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) and as an MP, personally guarding infamous Nazi war criminals, Hermann Goering (Commander of the German Air Force) and Ernst Kaltenbruner (Commander of the German Gestapo) during the historic Nuremburg Trials in 1945-46.

Number 88

MLB’s Pipline announced their Top 100 Prospects heading into the 2015 season.

Former Timber Rattlers shortstop Orlando Arcia checks in at #88:

Arcia’s advanced defensive skills are ready for higher levels now. He has outstanding range and soft hands to go along with a very strong arm. There is no question he will stay at the premium position long-term. Arcia continues to improve at the plate to the point where he’s no longer a glove-only type of middle infielder. He makes consistent contact, to all fields, rarely striking out. He even has a little extra-base pop coming from his very quick swing, which was on display particularly during his winter ball stint. He uses his speed to be a basestealing threat as well.

Good to see!

Orlando Arcia as a Timber Rattler in 2013.

Orlando Arcia as a Timber Rattler in 2013.

Alumni Birthdays for February 3:
Luis Figueroa (’98) – 38
Mike Marchiano (’98) – 40
Whitey Gluchoski (Manager, ’46 & ’47) – Would have been 92

First Rattler to start in an All-Star Game.

First Rattler to start in an All-Star Game.

All Time Leader in Walkoff Hits by a Timber Rattler.  All FIVE happened in 1998.

All Time Leader in Walkoff Hits by a Timber Rattler. All FIVE happened in 1998.

 

 

The concourse saw its shadow this morning

Six more weeks of winter?  Yes. That’s what Grover Groundhog taught me.

Groundhog and his shadow
Let’s take a look at the view of the field with just under ten weeks to the home opener for the Timber Rattlers:

February 2 view 1

February 2 view 2

February 2 view 3

Alumni Birthdays for January 31:
Taylor Brennan (’14) – 23
Caleb Thielbar (’10) – 28
Fred McNair (’94) – 45
Lowell Schellhase (’41) – Would have been 95

Alumni Birthdays for February 1:
Bill Kostich (’93) – 44
Vernon Slater (’91) – 45
Earl Goodwin (’48) – Would have been 87

Alumni Birthdays for February 2:
Donny Langdon (’05) – 33
Steve Kokor (’66, ’67) – 68

 
Speaking of Grover Groundhog….

Flashback Friday Supplemental – January 30, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday is an article by Gordon McIntyre that appeared in the 1948 Appleton Papermakers program.

Bill Miller, who has dropped off some other cool things from Appleton Pro baseball’s history, brought a few more things this week.  I’ll be going through those and sharing them from time to time.

Here are the front and back covers of the 1948 Papermakers program.
1948 cover

1948 back cover
Alumni Birthdays for January 30:
Matt Miller (’11, ’12) – 26
Joel Davis (’84) – 50

Matt Miller in 2011 (Photo Credit: Ann Mollica)

Matt Miller in 2011 (Photo Credit: Ann Mollica)

Joel Davis 86 White Sox

Matt Erickson on the radio

Marquess Pfaff of WSCO had Matt Erickson on his show yesterday.  Click this link to hear the interview.

Matt Erickson, manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Matt Erickson, manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Alumni Birthdays for January 29:
None.

That’s weird

See the 2015 Batting Practice Jersey

The contest to design the Timber Rattlers batting practice jersey is over and Alex Laedtke’s design is the winner.

“The design was inspired by the team’s nickname, which is seen in the snakeskin patterned side panels and a custom number font with fang-like styling to complement the Timber Rattlers wordmark logo,” said Laedtke.  “I think this jersey gives the players a fresh, team-specific look that pushes beyond a standard batting practice uniform.”

Take a look!

BP-YourWay-Winner-2015

Alumni Birthday for January 28:
Don Ruzek (’83) – 57

We stayed out of it…until now

MLB Network is running their Face of MLB contest.  There was a matchup of former Timber Rattlers on round one:

Ouch.   The voting is already done and Adam Jones is into the second round:

There is another vote involving a former Rattler right now!

We won’t be staying out of this one….Go, King Felix!!!

Felix Hernandez pitches against the Burlington Bees on August 24, 2003.

Felix Hernandez pitches against the Burlington Bees on August 24, 2003.

There is one more Rattler alumni in the contest. Jonathan Lucroy has moved on to the second round with a first round win over Matt Kemp of the Padres. Lucroy’s second round opponent is Buster Posey of the Giants, who received a first round bye.

Jonathan Lucroy in last night's game. [PHOTO CREDIT: Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers]

Jonathan Lucroy as a Timber Rattler in 2012. [PHOTO CREDIT: Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers]


Alumni Birthdays for January 27:
Steve Preston (’89) – 48
Gil Villanueva (’86) – 51
Doug Adams (’66) – 72
Bill Pardon (’42) – Would have been 91

Adams was born in Blue River, Wisconsin and went on to play eight games with the White Sox in 1969.

Adams was born in Blue River, Wisconsin and went on to play eight games with the White Sox in 1969.

Good day at On Deck

The Milwaukee Brewers held their On Deck event on Sunday afternoon.  The Timber Rattlers had some representation:

FangAtBrewersOnDeck

RattlersAtBrewersOnDeck2
FangAtBrewersOnDeck2

RattlersAtBrewersOnDeck
Michael Sears of The Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel caught this photo of former Rattlers Clint Coulter and David Goforth:

GoforthCoulter

Full size photo at this photo gallery.

There was alumni news from the event.

The Journal-Sentinel caught up with Jimmy Nelson (’11), who is ready to succeed in the Milwaukee rotation:

When the Milwaukee Brewers traded established starter Yovani Gallardo to Texas and committed to unproven Jimmy Nelson in their starting rotation for 2015, it was an admitted gamble.

Nelson’s goal is to prove it was smart money.

“I’m excited about it. I feel like I’m ready,” the 25-year-old right-hander said during a break Sunday at Brewers On Deck, the team’s annual fan festival in downtown Milwaukee.

What raised concerns among many fans about that move was the way Nelson struggled during his 2014 debut season. He went 2-9 with a 4.93 earned run average in 14 games (12 starts), eventually pitching his way out of the rotation as the Brewers faltered down the stretch.

It was a far cry from how Nelson performed at Class AAA Nashville before being summoned. In 17 outings there, he went 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA, striking out 114 hitters in 111 innings. Nelson was so impressive over that period he was named Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year despite missing most of the second half.

For Nelson, it was a matter of a lesson learned.

“The problem was when I got to the big leagues I got away from my game plan,” said Nelson. “The things I was doing to be successful, I got away from that when I got up here.

“I’ve got to learn from that and stick to what was working. I know why it happens. There’s no specific reason you can put a finger on. I just got away from the way I pitched in Triple-A.”

Brewers.com has news that Jim Henderson (’09) and Tyler Thornburg( ’11) are aiming for Opening Day to return from injury:

Thornburg, who has avoided Tommy John surgery for a compromised ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, is already throwing bullpen sessions. Henderson, who underwent surgery to “clean up” bone spurs and tissue damage in his right shoulder, is scheduled to throw his first proper bullpen session on Tuesday. If that goes well, he will repeat the exercise on Friday.

“I can probably give you a better answer in maybe two to three weeks, but the rehab’s gone well,” said Henderson, who was penciled in as Brewers closer before experiencing shoulder weakness last spring. “I feel strong. I’ve had no problems, no setbacks. I pushed it as far as I could go last year, trying to come back and rehab, so that I could be ready this year.”
 
Asked whether his Opening Day goal was realistic, Henderson said, “Yep, 100 percent. We’re going to get 10 bullpens in here before Spring Training, and then you’ve got all of Spring Training as well. …

Personally, I am excited for the new Barrel Man mascot and T-Shirt!!!!

Alumni Birthdays for January 24:
Tyler Wagner (’13) – 24
Joseph DeLuise (’64) – 69
Sandy Valdespino (’58) – 76
Ed Lewee (Manager, 1910) – Would be 142

IMG_0449

Alumni Birthdays for January 25:
Eric Arnett (’10, ’11) – 27
Jimmy Maness (’66) – 70

Eric Arnett Wisconsin Timber rattlers 2010

Alumni Birthdays for January 26:
Josh Prince (’09) – 27
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’02, ’03) – 32
Mike Pazik (Coach, ’82) – 65

Ryan Rowland-Smith from 2003.

Ryan Rowland-Smith from 2003.

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