Remember that the Rummage Sale and Pick-A-Seat Event is TODAY from 4pm to 9pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. Some of the items available are at this link.
Yesterday, I noted that Rene Rivera made his MLB debut on 9/22/2004. Today, I found this story on Rene Rivera from earlier this month. Corey Brock, who was MLB.com’s Mariners writer when Rivera was coming up the Seattle system, is now the MLB.com beat writer for the Padres, Rivera’s new team.
In the spring of 2010, not quite eight years into his professional career, Rene Rivera sat at his home in Puerto Rico watching Spring Training games on television, waiting for his telephone to ring.
“My agent, now my ex-agent, said there was no interest,” Rivera said. “I was thinking that it was over.”
At that point in life, Rivera was 25 and, despite a light bat, had built a reputation as a good catch-and-throw guy, good enough to get 53 games with the Mariners from 2004-06. He was the team’s catcher of the future at one point, so he was told.
Now, it appeared that Rivera had no future.
Rivera’s last hope to stay connected to the game he loved was to play for a semi-professional team in Toa Baja, located 20 minutes from his hometown of Bayamon. Teams in the league were allowed to have one player with professional experience.
For Toa Baja, Rivera was it.
Read it all.
With all the hoopla of the Cubs leaving Kane County for South Bend and everyone wondering which MLB team will be with the Cougars, everyone forgot about Beloit…except for the Beloit Daily News.
It was widely expected Chicago would re-up with Kane County, given the proximity to Chicago, solid facilities and excellent attendance. For one reason or another, the Cubs decided to go in a different direction. Namely, south.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, who were in South Bend, are looking for a new city after the Cubs signed a four-year agreement with the Silver Hawks.
Conerton said he hasn’t spoken to the Diamondbacks at this point, while he has had an ongoing discussion with the A’s.
“We certainly aren’t dissatisfied with Oakland, and I think they feel the same way about us,” Conerton said.
Alumni Birthdays for September 23:
John Corcoran (’02) – 34
Harold Williams (’06, ’07) – 30
Evan Frederickson (’09) – 28
A pair of MLB Debut Anniversaries for our alumni for September 23:
Greg Halman (’07) got the start in center for the Mariners at Toronto on September 23, 2010. He went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts against Shawn Hill, Jason Frasor, and Kevin Gregg as the Blue Jays beat Felix Hernandez and the Mariners 1-0.
Jake Odorizzi (’10) was the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals in a home game against the Cleveland Indians on September 23, 2012. He was the losing pitcher in Cleveland’s 15-4 win…BUT, Odorizzi pitched well. He allowed three runs on six hits over 5-1/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Odorizzi had allowed two hits and took a 1-0 lead into the top of the sixth. But, with one out, he gave up a triple to Jason Kipnis, an RBI single to Asdrubal Cabrera, a two-run home run to Carlos Santana, and a single to Michael Brantley. That was the end of Odorizzi’s debut.
Let’s take a look at the Rattlers Alumni who pitched in the Pacific Coast League in 2014…Not including those who pitched for the Nashville Sounds.
Player (Year w/ Rattlers) (Team/Organization)
Nate Adcock (’08) (Round Rock/Rangers):
18 games 1-0, 2 Saves, 2.95 ERA, 21.1IP, 11BB, 22K
Jonathan Arias (’08) (Tacoma/Mariners):
8 games, 1-1, 9.82ERA, 14.2IP, 7BB, 10K
Leury Bonilla (’07) (Tacoma/Mariners):
1 game, 0-0, *.**, 0.0IP, 4BB, 0K
Ryan Feierabend (’04) (Round Rock/Rangers):
25 games, 20 starts, 8-6, 5.11 ERA, 125.0IP, 29BB, 81K
Eric O’Flaherty (’05) (Sacramento/Oakland):
7 games, 1 start, 0-1, 4.32 ERA, 8.1IP, 3BB, 5K
Joel Pineiro (’98) (Salt Lake/Angels):
4 games, 4 starts, 1-2, 7.48 ERA, 21.2IP, 7BB, 11K
JJ Putz (’00) (Reno/Diamondbacks):
2 games, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.2IP, 2BB, 2K
Justin Souza (’08) (Albuquerque/Dodgers):
12 games, 1-1, 7.13ERA, 17.2IP, 4BB, 12K
Justin Thomas (’06) (Salt Lake/Angels):
20 games, 20 starts, 4-8, 5.99ERA, 112.2IP, 41BB, 95K
Only one anniversary of an MLB debut from the last three days.
Rivera pinch hit for Dan Wilson in the top of the ninth inning in a game against the Angels with the Mariners leading 16-6. Rivera grounded out to second in his first MLB at bat. Rivera took the field behind the plate in the bottom of the ninth and caught a 1-2-3 inning by Aaron Taylor, another former Timber Rattler.
Busy, busy weekend for Alumni Birthdays:
Joey Paciorek (’10 & 11) – 26
Brian Doughty (’95) – 40
Doug Davis (’10) – 39
Kevin Olore (’00 & ’01) – 36
Chris Colton (’04 & ’05) – 32
Jeremy Jeffress (’10) – 27
Ramon Royce (’02) – 35
Mike Kesten (’02) – 33
Tyler Alexander (’14) – 23
While we wait on the Beloit/Kane County/Oakland/Arizona dance to stop here are how Timber Rattlers Alumni did in the International League as batters in 2014:
Phillippe Aumont (’08) (Lehigh Valley/Phillies):
0-for-1, BB, K
Greg Dobbs (’02) (Syracuse/Washington):
35 games, .247/.284/.351; 2HR, 11RBI
Cesar Jimenez (’03) (Lehigh Valley/Phillies):
Erik Komatsu (’09) (Syracuse/Nationals):
18 games, .188/.365/.271; 1HR, 4RBI
Bryan LaHair (’03) (Columbus/Indians):
10 games, .114/.139/.171; 0HR, 4RBI
Alex Liddi (’08) (Charlotte/White Sox):
22 games, .171/.203/.303, 3HR, 7RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) (Louisville/Reds):
Matt Tuiasosopo (’05) (Buffalo/Blue Jays):
59 games, .206/.289/.271; 2HR, 18RBI
Matt Tuiasosopo (’05) (Charlotte/White Sox):
63 games, .277/.424/.497; 11HR, 32RBI
Mike Wilson (’05) (Louisville/Reds):
29 games, .205/.293/.364; 3HR, 7RBI
Interesting day in the Midwest League on Thursday:
Kane County Chronicle: Cubs cutting ties with Cougars
Chicago Sun-Times: Why the Cubs moved from Kane County to South Bend
Thursday morning, the Cubs and South Bend announced a new PDC that runs through 2018. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein realizes the decision might not be popular with area fans.
“I don’t think in this industry you can avoid looking like bad guys,” Epstein said. “So you just have to roll with it and make sure you’re making decisions for the right reasons. In this case, we have to come back to what’s best for our prospects and move forward and try to handle the matters with as much professionalism as possible.”
South Bend already has started major renovations to their facility, including a new playing surface, and also has worked out a deal with the Cubs to change their name from the Silver Hawks and change their logos and colors. A news conference in South Bend is scheduled for next Thursday to announce the changes.
South Bend Tribune Column: Cubs fans in South Bend can cheer. Finally.
It’s not often that a Cubs fan gets good news in September.
Let’s face it, even when things seem promising — postseason success, one victory away from the World Series and a chance at the club’s first title since dinosaurs roamed the Earth — well …
But that fails to discourage me, a South Bend native and supporter since the late 1970s of the team that plays on Chicago’s North Side. Those weren’t exactly the team’s glory years — you’d have to go back a century or so for that — but through the magic of WGN-TV, I was pretty much hooked after the first game. What was not to like about a lineup featuring Jerry Martin and Dave Kingman? (Yes, I thought they were impressive, but I was young).
South Bend Tribune News Story: South Bend: Cubs town
Andrew Berlin, owner of the South Bend franchise for the past three seasons, made good on a promise he made when he took over the club. He has given downtown a shot of energy and enthusiasm.
That mission was put into play when the Chicago Cubs signed a four-year deal with the South Bend franchise as their Class A affiliate in the Midwest League, ending the 17-year partnership with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The new affiliation also ends the Cubs’ partnership with its now former Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars in Geneva, Ill.
In the Brewers system, there’s a new Triple-A affiliate:
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Brewers settle for Colorado Springs as AAA Host
The game of minor-league musical chairs finally came to an end Thursday, with the Milwaukee Brewers agreeing to a two-year player development contract with Class AAA Colorado Springs.
It was the culmination of a crazy 24 hours that saw the Brewers’ former Class AAA team in Nashville dump them for the Oakland A’s, leaving Milwaukee with Colorado Springs and Fresno as alternatives. The Colorado Rockies, meanwhile, left Colorado Springs for a new deal with Albuquerque.
When Fresno and the Houston Astros announced earlier Thursday they had agreed to a two-year deal, that left Colorado Springs as the only Class AAA team without a parent club and Milwaukee as the only major-league team without a top affiliate.
Colorado Springs Gazette News Story: Sky Sox sign two-year affiliation deal with Milwaukee Brewers
“That’s how it works sometimes in this process,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. “Nashville decided to go in a different direction after we were there for a lot of years, like the Rockies did. We are confident we can make this a good fit.”
Any Brewers concerns were eased because they are familiar with the Sky Sox’s Elmore ownership group, which also owns the Helena (Mont.) Brewers, the organization’s rookie-level club. The Elmores will do what a MLB club needs for its players, Melvin said.
Colorado Springs Gazette Column: Sky Sox rescued from Rockies clueless tyranny
Over the past few days, I’ve heard Colorado Springs voices bemoan the dissolving of the Sky Sox’s 21-season association with the Rockies. These voices wonder what Colorado Springs could have done to keep the Rockies happy.
I have a different response to the departure.
Hallelujah. It’s time to celebrate.
The Sky Sox just concluded a catastrophe of a season. They collected a mere 53 wins to go with a staggering 91 losses. They were atrocious on the road (26-46) and befuddled at home (27-45.) That’s consistency. They lost nine of their last 10 games.
Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial: Conspiracy theorists thought Colorado Springs mayor was wrong about Rockies
Bach hoped a serious stadium plan would encourage the Rockies to stay while helping revitalize downtown. The stadium could also help with plans by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to add NCAA Division II baseball in several years.
The mere idea of a stadium became instant fodder for pseudo conservatives and conspiracy theorists of all stripes. The Rockies would never leave, they said. Bach merely wanted to line pockets of “crony capitalist” developer friends. Most notable among the instant opponents were a handful of freshman politicians who had just been sworn to the Colorado Springs City Council.
Alumni Report (International League Pitchers):
Phillippe Aumont (’08) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-3, 3.93ERA, 35 games, 55.0IP, 39BB, 65K
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
2-2, 3.89ERA, 17 games, 4 starts, 39.1IP, 11BB, 35K
Cesar Jimenez (’03) Lehigh Valley/Phillies:
3-2, 3 Saves, 1.45ERA, 38 games, 2 starts, 49.2IP, 15BB, 46K
Mark Lowe (’05) Columbus/Indians:
4-3, 17 saves, 5.62ERA, 41 games, 41.2IP, 17BB, 47K
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Buffalo/Blue Jays:
1-0, 5.14ERA, 12 games, 14.0IP, 3BB, 11K
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.20ERA, 12 games, 1 start, 15.0IP, 4BB, 9K
Juan Sandoval (’03) Durham/Rays:
0-1, 1 Save, 3.12ERA, 14 games, 1 start, 26.0IP, 14BB, 15K
Fabian Williamson (’07) Louisville/Reds:
0-0, 4.50ERA, 1 game, 2.0IP, 2BB, 2K
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will be hosting a rummage sale on Tuesday, September 23 from 4pm until 9pm. The rummage sale will take place in the Fox Communities Credit Union Fox Club during the Pick-A-Seat Event.
There will be plenty of closeout merchandise available in addition to the items that appear in this post. EVERYTHING in the Snake Pit Team Store will be 25% off. Great Deals abound at the rummage sale!
Some of the items that will be available for you to pick up at the rummage sale include:
All of the banners that featured Rattler Alumni and were on the front of Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium will be available in the rummage sale.
2012 BP Tops!
2013-2014 BP Tops!
Before continuing with other items…There are many pairs of baseball pants available at this rummage sale, too. Get your softball pants for next year!…Back to the catalog.
2005 MWL Championship T-Shirts?
Bases & Plates
Baseball America named two Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to their Low-A Classification All-Star Teams.
Clint Coulter was named the catcher and Taylor Williams was named one of the starting pitchers.
At least I think it’s Taylor Williams.
The Fort Wayne TinCaps have renewed their affiliation with the San Diego Padres.
“We’re ecstatic to extend our terrific partnership with the Padres,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “Our relationship with San Diego has been an essential part of the success we’ve had over the years as an organization in Fort Wayne.”
The two-year deal between the TinCaps and Padres will see their affiliation reach 18 years, tying it for the longest-lasting Minor League Baseball affiliation in San Diego history. Of the 16 teams in the Midwest League, currently, only the West Michigan Whitecaps have had a longer tenure in the league with their parent club, the nearby Detroit Tigers.
“The Midwest League is an important level for our player development, where players become first acclimated to a full season of professional baseball,” Padres Executive Vice President/General Manager A.J. Preller said. “We are fortunate to have such a strong, long-term relationship with Fort Wayne.”
That leaves Kane County, Beloit, and South Bend for the Cubs, the Athletics, and the Diamondbacks. I expect announcements soon. I was surprised there were no announcements yesterday after the Fort Wayne/San Diego release.
The Triple-A Nashville Sounds, Milwaukee’s top farm team since 2005, will have a new affiliation in 2015 along with a new ballpark. The Sounds informed the Brewers on Wednesday that they were cutting ties and going with a new parent club.
The decision elicited a strong reaction from Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, whose top affiliate will play in either Fresno, Calif., or Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning in 2015. Melvin said a resolution should come within 10 days.
Melvin delivered the Nashville news to reporters a few hours after the Brewers announced extensions of their player development contracts with two other clubs. It’s a four-year extension with Double-A Biloxi, which is bringing along the Brewers from Huntsville, Ala., into a new stadium at some point next season, and a two-year extension with Class A Advanced Brevard County. The Brewers had previously announced an extension with rookie-level Helena, and are already under contract with Class A Wisconsin beyond this year.
Speaking of Triple-A. Here’s a look at Timber Rattlers alumni who played at the Triple-A Level this season. To break this up, I am just going to look at former Rattlers who played in the Mexican League. International League will be Friday. Pacific Coast League on Saturday.
Jonathan Arias (2008) Sultanes de Monterrey:
1-1, 4 Saves, 1.46ERA, 25 games, 24.2IP, 9BB, 26K
Juan Sandoval (2003) Diablos Rojos del Mexico:
9-1, 4 Saves, 2.00 ERA, 35 games, 36IP, 9BB, 27 K
Johan Limonta (2006) Piratas de Campeche:
27 games, .305/.345/.533; 6HR, 15RBI
Israel Nunez (2008) Leones de Yucatan:
43 games, .310/.375/.405; 0HR, 11RBI
Oscar Ramirez (2000) Acereros del Norte:
77 games, .259/.361/.407; 5HR, 36RBI
Mike Wilson (2005) Acereros del Norte:
30 games, .304/.391/.598; 9HR, 21RBI
No birthdays or MLB debuts for Timber Rattlers alumni occurred on September 18.
Making holes (aka Aerating) in the outfield:
Patching holes in the parking lot:
Preparing to Paint on the concourse:
Congratulations to former Appleton Foxes manager Brian Poldberg and the Omaha StormChasers on their win over Pawtucket in the Triple-A Championship game.
That’s a home run by Brett Hayes to break a 2-2 tie. More at the link up top.
Look for some dominoes to fall in the MWL Affiliation Shuffle today. As of now, Kane County, South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Beloit are at the end of their contracts. There won’t be any new teams from the South Atlantic League because everything is set over there now.
Timber Rattlers Alumni Birthdays for September 17:
Teodoro Medrano (1996) – 39
Cheyne Hann (2008) – 30
Victor Roache (2013) – 23
Timber Rattlers MLB Debut for September 17:
Adam Moore (2006) – September 17, 2009
Moore was the starting catcher for the Mariners in a game against the Chicago White Sox. He went 0-for-5 and Kenji Johjima pinch hit for Moore with a runner at first in the bottom of the 14th. Johjima was hit by a pitch and Ichiro knocked in the winning run as the next batter.
Speaking of Timber Rattlers alumni…It’s time to take a look at home some former Rattlers outside the Brewers system did this year. Today it’s a look at the players from Double-A and below:
AA (Team/Parent Club/League):
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (New Hampshire/Blue Jays/Eastern):
17 games, 12 starts; 6-4, SAVE, 3.16ERA; 74IP, 12BB, 57K
JC Ramirez (Akron/Indians/Eastern):
10 games, 1-0, SAVE, 2.08ERA, 13IP, 8BB, 14K
RJ Seidel (Tulsa/Rockies/Texas):
5 games, 1 start, 0-1, 6.57ERA, 12.1IP, 6BB, 9K
Fabian Williamson (Pensacola/Reds/Southern):
50 games, 2-6, SAVE, 4.03ERA, 58IP, 28BB, 66K
Daniel Carrol (Mississippi/Braves/Southern):
19 games, .149/.317/.149, 0HR, 3RBI
Cutter Dykstra (Harrisburg/Nationals/Eastern):
96 games, .274/.349/.391, 6HR, 49RBI
Mitch Haniger (Mobile/Diamondbacks/Southern):
8 games, .333/.433/.458; 0HR, 5RBI
Erik Komatsu (Arkansas/Angels/Texas):
20 games, .179/.266/.339, 2HR, 5RBI
Bryan LaHair (Akron/Indians/Eastern):
101 games, .234/.324/.332, 5HR, 60 RBI
Alex Liddi (Chattanooga/Dodgers/Southern):
36 games, .216/.303/.336, 2HR, 22RBI
Joel Pineiro (Tennessee/Cubs/Southern):
4 games, 4 starts, 0-1, 4.43ERA, 22.1IP, 4BB, 10K
Daniel Carrol (Lynchburg/Braves/Carolina):
63 games, .201/.319/.307, 3HR, 18RBI
Robbie Garvey (Rancho Cucamonga/Dodgers/California):
114 games, .229/.290/.361, 7HR, 45RBI
Ryan Gibbard (Modesto/Rockies/California):
9 games, 9 starts, 0-5, 6.44ERA, 36.1IP, 26BB, 20K
Efrain Nieves (Dunedin/Blue Jays/Florida State):
44 games, 4 starts, 3-5, SAVE, 86.1IP, 21BB, 57K
Cody Scarpetta (Lynchburg/Braves/Carolina):
12 games, 11 starts, 3-6, 4.50ERA, 58IP, 29BB, 52K
Anthony Banda (South Bend/Diamondbacks/Midwest):
6 games, 6 starts, 3-0, 1.54ERA, 35IP, 7BB, 34K
Daniel Carroll (Rome/Braves/South Atlantic):
10 games, .342/.409/.447, 0HR, 6RBI
Cutter Dykstra (Auburn/Blue Jays/New York-Penn):
5 games, .389/.500/.556, HR, 3RBI
The Pick-A-Seat event will be one week from today. It will be held from 4pm to 9pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. There is a Rummage Sale, too.
Here is the 2015 Timber Rattlers schedule: 2015 Timber Rattlers Schedule
In case you missed it, here is Clint Coulter on Fox Sports Wisconsin from the September 13 game at Miller Park. There is some news in there:
As mentioned, Coulter will be participating in the advanced instructional league. @BrewersPD has the Brewers minor league players that will be participating:
Players attending advanced IL are: Coulter, Berberet, Garfield, Arcia, Brennan, McFarland, Orf, DavisJ, and Roache
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) September 15, 2014
Pitchers attending advanced IL: Barnes, Cravy, Johnson, Peterson, Seidenberger, Uhen, Viramontes, and WilliamsT
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) September 15, 2014
@BrewersPD also had the players that will be in the Brewers Instructional League:
For those interested, the 2014 Brewers Instructional League roster. pic.twitter.com/FtsypVPV7o
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) September 15, 2014
There is one more MiLB game left in the season. The Triple-A Championship Game is being held tonight at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina. International League Champion Pawtucket will face Pacific Coast League Champion Omaha. The game will be shown on NBC Sports Network starting at 6pm CDT. MiLB.com has a preview article here.
If you are looking for a rooting interest in this game, Carlos Peguero – a Timber Rattlers outfielder in 2009 – led Omaha with 30 home runs. But, he is up with the Royals now and won’t be with Omaha tonight.
No alumni birthdays today. But, there is one anniversary of an MLB debut for September 16:
Shawn Estes, a first round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1991, was a Timber Rattler in 1995. He also spent all of 1993 and part of 1994 in Appleton as a member of the Foxes.
The Mariners traded Estes – along with Wilson Delgado, another Timber Rattler – to the San Francisco Giants for Salomon Torres on May 21, 1995. Estes made his MLB debut with the Giants on September 16, 1995.
Estes made the start at Pittsburgh on that date and took the loss. He allowed five runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 5-1/3 innings pitched. Estes had a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, but gave up the tying run before leaving with the bases loaded. All three runners he left on base would eventually score against the San Francisco bullpen.
Former Timber Rattlers pitching coach Chris Hook came on in relief later in that game for the Giants, too.
Welcome to the offseason, Timber Rattlers fans.
Clint Coulter and Jimmy Nelson were presented with awards as the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Player of the Year and Minor League Pitcher of the Year on September 13 before the game between the Brewers and Cincinnati Reds.
A few photos from the day:
I’m working on a few things from the day for the website. I should have it tomorrow.
A couple of projects were given to the interns this season. They were to go through for the birthdays and MLB debuts of the Timber Rattlers.
Happy Birthday on September 15 to:
Matt Thornton (’99, ’00) – 38
Chris Dennis (’09, ’10, ’11) – 26
Liam Ohlman (’09) – 28
Brian Harris (’08) – 31
The lone MLB debut by a Timber Rattler on September 15 belongs to:
Jaime Bubela (’01) entered the game between the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners on September 15, 2005 at Arlington as a pinch runner for Greg Dobbs (’02) in the top of the ninth inning.
I’ll be adding these features in during the offseason and adding a few more things to a daily post. Eventually, I’d like to get to the posts that will go up once a week….That is something that still needs a little thought. But, it’s good to be back.
Timber Rattlers Game Notes: RattlersGameNotes September 4 2014
Kane County leads Best-of-three first round series 1-0.
Kane County 7
Boxscore | Gameday | Game Recap
To continue their season, the Rattlers need to go to Kane County and take two straight from the Cougars. Kane County was 54-17 at home in the regular season.
Postgame Comments (Jon Feyen):