Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Back to Work – October 20, 2014

This was the most horrifying thing I saw on my vacation:

Giant Papier-mâché heads of Don Shula & Dan Marino.

Giant Papier-mâché heads of Don Shula & Dan Marino.

Great trip.  Great view of the game…well except for this one:

Sit DOWN, sir!

Sit DOWN, sir!

Totally worth it:

Whoops.  How did THAT get in there?

Whoops. How did THAT get in there?

That's more like it.

FOOTBALL!

Now…on to baseball.

The World Series is the Kansas City Royals vs. the San Francisco Giants.  There are no former Timber Rattlers/Foxes on the Giants.  As for the Royals: Raul Ibanez played for the Foxes.  Mike Jirschele coached the Foxes. Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP in 2014, was a Timber Rattler in 2009:

I guess it’s “Go, Royals!”

I left off on the regular season alumni report after the NL Central. So, here are the Timber Rattlers alumni to play in the NL East in 2014.

Hitters:
Washington:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 49 games, .229/.312/.389, 5HR, 21RBI

Miami:
Greg Dobbs (’02): 15 games, .077/.077/.077, 0HR, 0RBI

Washington:
Greg Dobbs (’02): 21 games, .214/.233/.250, 0HR, 2 RBI

Pitchers:
Philadelphia:
Philippe Aumont (’08): 5 games, 0-1, 19.06ERA, 5.2IP, 5BB, 6K

Philadelphia:
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 16 games, 0-0, 1.69ERA, 16IP, 7BB, 8K

Washington:
Rafael Soriano (’00): 64 games, 4-1, 3.19ERA, 32 Saves, 62IP, 19BB, 59K

Washington:
Matt Thornton (’00): 18 games, 1-0, 0.00, 11.1IP, 2BB, 8K

Atlanta:
Anthony Varvaro (’07): 61 games, 3-3, 2.63ERA, 54.2IP, 13BB, 50K

Alumni Birthdays for October 20:
Parker Berberet (’12, ’13) – 25
Fabian Williamson (’07) – 26
Harvey Pulliam (’87) – 47
Joe Costello (’64) – 69

Happy Birthday, Parker Berberet!

Happy Birthday, Parker Berberet!

Back on October 20 – October 7, 2014

The Arizona Fall League begins today.  The Milwaukee Brewers Prospects will be playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs.

The former Rattlers on the Desert Dogs roster include:

Pitchers:
Brooks Hall
Mike Strong
Tyler Wagner
Wei-Chung Wang

Tyler Wagner in 2013

Tyler Wagner in 2013

Catcher: Shawn Zarraga

Infielder: Nick Ramirez

Outfielder: Tyrone Taylor

Tyrone Taylor in 2013

Tyrone Taylor in 2013

Pitching Coach: Chris Hook

Glendale hosts the Mesa Solar Sox today at 2:35pm CDT.  According to this boxscore, Taylor will leadoff and play center and  Nick Ramirez will bat seventh and play first base for Glendale.

The Arizona Fall League will be used as a laboratory for the new Pace of Game Initiative.  Click that link to read the full story.  A few of the rules:

A hitter must keep one foot inside the batter’s box throughout his plate appearance. Exceptions include a foul ball or a foul tip, a pitch forcing the batter out of the batter’s box, a request for time out being granted, a wild pitch or a passed ball and several others.

Intentional walks will no longer include the pitcher lobbing four balls outside the strike zone. Instead, the manager will signal to the home-plate umpire and the batter will take first base.

Each team will be permitted three “timeout” conferences covering any meeting involving pitchers and catchers, managers, coaches and batters. Timeouts during pitching changes and those that result from an injury or other emergency will not be counted toward the limit.

More at the link.

As someone who had some experience with a pitch clock – many years ago in the Northern League -this is all well and good…But, it all comes down to enforcement.  And as someone who has experienced the “Keep One Foot In” rule….oh, brother…From Top Five Tuesday: Weird Endings…

1.) April 30, 2007 – Backstory: Before the 2007 began, Minor League Baseball tried to initiate some policies that would speed the game. Umpires, players, and coaches were informed before the start of the season that if a batter needed a little time between pitches, they could only move one foot out of the batter’s box. If a batter walked completely outside the box with both feet, a strike would be called. Now, let’s fast forward to the bottom of the ninth inning at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in late April of 2007.   Leury Bonilla, who had homered in the bottom of the seventh inning off Dragons reliever Pedro Viola, stepped to the plate with Wisconsin trailing 3-1. Bonilla was the tying run in the bottom of the ninth due to Ogui Diaz reaching first on a two-out error on Dayton third baseman Juan Francisco. Bonilla was down in the count 0-1 to start. Plate umpire Alex Ortiz called the next pitch from Viola a strike to run the count to 0-2. Bonilla thought it the pitch should have been called a ball. He decided to collect himself instead of saying anything to Ortiz. Unfortunately, Bonilla took a couple of steps out of the right-handed batter’s box as he walked up the third base line. Ortiz immediately called a strike on Bonilla. That strike just happened to be strike three. The final out of the game came on a called third strike that was never even thrown to the plate.

Yeah. Let’s NOT have that happen again.

I am going to be taking some time off from work.  I will be gone the rest of this week and all of next week.  The next post on the blog will be on Monday, October 20.  Some of the features on the website will be returning that week, too.

The Timber Rattlers alumni in the NL Central (Not including Brewers):
Hitter:
Cubs:
Luis Valbuena (’06): 149 games, .249/.341/.435, 16 HR, 51 RBI

Pitcher:
Reds:
Manny Parra (’11): 53 games, 0-3, 1 Save, 4.66ERA, 36.2IP, 18BB, 34K

Alumni Birthdays:
Henry Pawlowicz (’65) – 68
Danny Rourke (’69-’71)- 67
Dan Head (’01, ’02) – 36
Hunter Morris (’10) – 26

Hunter Morris rounds the bases after one of his nine home runs with the Timber Rattlers in 2010. (Credit: PSB Photo)

Hunter Morris rounds the bases after one of his nine home runs with the Timber Rattlers in 2010. (Credit: PSB Photo)

I, for one, welcome our new overlords – October 6, 2014

The Royals and Orioles completed sweeps in the ALDS setting up an ALCS matchup that is interesting.  Imagine, if you will, it’s 1976 to 1983.  Imagine how much fun an Orioles-Royals ALCS would have been in that timeframe.  But, they were never opponents.  The Royals won the AL West from 1976-1978 (losing to the Yankees each time), again in 1980 (Beating the Yankees), and in 1984 (Losing to the Tigers).  The Orioles won the AL East in 1979 (Beating the Angels) and 1983 (Beating the White Sox).

Hail, Royals

Hail, Royals

Cain_Lorenzo

Lorenzo Cain as a Timber Rattler in 2009

Adam Jones as a Rattler in 2004

Adam Jones as a Rattler in 2004

Lorenzo Cain (’09) had a some great catches – again – to help the Royals move on with their Game Three win over the Angels:


Meanwhile, the Orioles beat the Tigers 2-1 to gain the ALCS.  Adam Jones (’04) loves it! BUT, he also realizes that they aren’t done yet.

In news involving more recent Timber Rattlers, The Baseball America Chat about their Top 20 Prospect for the MWL was held on Friday (Link is behind subscriber wall).  There was only one question involving a 2014 Timber Rattler and it was about pitcher Taylor Williams, who did not make the list:

Curious (Wisconsin): What did evaluators see that kept Taylor Williams off this list?

J.J. Cooper: He might have made the list in a thinner league. Just the depth of the league. He’s a future power reliever in a league where relievers have a real tough time making the list.

That’s…interesting.

Clint Coulter is still making news in Instructional League:

In instructional league this fall, the Brewers have begun a long-discussed position change for Coulter. Director of player development Reid Nichols said Coulter has settled into right field and has also seen time at first base and third base.

One of Coulter’s best tools has always been his strong arm, which Nichols said is one of the reasons a switch to right field can work.

“He’s picked it up well,” Nichols said. “He gets good jumps on balls off the bat, which is unique for a guy going out there for the first time.

“He fits the best there of everywhere we’ve seen him.”

There is more at that link on some possible future Timber Rattlers players.

Here’s a look at Timber Rattlers Alumni who played in the NL West this year:

Hitters:
Padres:
Adam Moore (’06): 9 games, 2-for-10, 2B, 0HR, RBI

Padres:
Rene Rivera (’03): 103 games, .252/.319/.432, 11HR, 44RBI

Dodgers:
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 12 games, 2-for-15, HR, RBI

Pitchers:
Diamondbacks:
JJ Putz (’00): 18 games, 1-1, 6.59ERA, 13.2IP, 6BB, 14K

Padres:
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 6 games, 0-0, 4.91ERA, 7.1IP, 4BB, 9K

Alumni Birthdays for October 6:
George Weimer (’70) – 65
Randy Goodenough (’88) – 49
Derrick Gutierrez (’01) – 36
Andy Barb (’07) – 30
Victor Diaz (’14) – 21

Victor Diaz

Victor Diaz

Possible Future Rattlers – October 3, 2014

The Baseball America chats about their Top 20 lists for the Pioneer League and Arizona League happened earlier.  The Q & A of the Brewers farmhands:

Bill Mitchell on the Arizona League Chat:

Jacob Gatewood (Nearby): It’s my 19th birthday today. A spot on your top 20 list would have made for a nice present. Just sayin’. Anyway, do you see me being able to improve my plate discipline next year as Joey Gallo did this year?

Bill Mitchell: Jacob Gatewood, the Brewers compensation round pick, shows plus raw power at the plate and the potential to stay at shortstop. He’s got some swing mechanics to work on and needs to make better contact in order to get to his power potential. Definitely a work in progress. But I wouldn’t want to compare Gatewood to Joey Gallo at this point.

Ben (Leland Grove): Medeiros and Touki had their struggles in the AZL, from what I’ve read. Who would have ranked higher for you, and who will climb through the minors faster?

Bill Mitchell: Both first-round picks (Arizona’s Touki Toussaint and Milwaukee’s Kodi Medeiros) struggled at times in their pro debuts, mostly with commanding their pitches and trying to do too much out of the gate. I probably would have ranked Touki the highest of the two. While Medeiros will be given every chance to start, there are still a significant number of scouts that believe his future will be in the back end of the bullpen.

Dave (Appleton, Wi): How close were the Brewers other top picks Medeiros and Gatewood from making the list?

Bill Mitchell: I’ve already addressed Medeiros and Gatewood in previous questions. To clarify, Medeiros came up just a fraction of an inning short of having enough playing time to qualify for the list but likely would have ranked in the 11-20 range. Gatewood was on my 21-30 group of prospects this year.

Steve (Madtown): I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Brewers that you got a good look at not on the list. Medeiros, Gatewood, Denson (if you saw him on rehab), Lara? Thanks

Bill Mitchell: I’ll briefly divert from AZL discussion to address one name you mention— Gilbert Lara — primarily because I think he could be a player that we’ll be talking about on next year’s chat. Lara is a 16-year-old shortstop who signed with the Brewers for just over $3 million in July. He’s playing with the Brewers instructional league team right now and has been the talk of Arizona so far. Still very raw approach at the plate and the swing needs lots of work, but this kid has some serious pop.

Bill Mitchell also had the Pioneer League Chat:

Warren (New London): I liked Brandon Diaz last year in the Arizona League. He got off to an excellent start here and then tailed off quite a bit, and I’m wondering what Pioneer League observers think of him.

Bill Mitchell: Brandon Diaz just missed the list. The 2013 8th round pick is a nice centerfielder with twitchy athleticism who barrels up the ball. He has above-average speed with good instincts on the basepaths. Diaz projects as a fourth or fifth outfielder, and I like his chances to getting there.

Dave (Appleton): What were the differences for Devin Williams this year as opposed to last year?

Bill Mitchell: Williams, the Brewers 2nd round pick in 2013, improved his slider this year, but the biggest change came with maturity and understanding the professional game. It was a real up and down season for the right-hander, but results improved significantly in the second half of the Pioneer League season. He still has a lot of work to do, especially in improving the fastball command, but his performance in August is a positive sign.

Dave (Appleton): Better pitching prospect for the Brewers, Devin Williams or Kodi Medeiros?
Bill Mitchell: Definitely Medeiros. His stuff is better, although like many young pitchers he’s got to get better command. I said in my recent AZL chat that many scouts still believe he will wind up in the back end of the bullpen, but he’s a starter for now.

Dave (Appleton, WI): What happened to Tucker Neuhaus this year? From just looking at his stats this year, it looks like he really struggled.

Bill Mitchell: I didn’t get favorable comments from scouts on Neuhaus’ performance at the plate and his name didn’t come up in prospect discussions with the managers. He’s gotten too big to handle shortstop, so there will be much more pressure on his bat to develop as a third baseman.

In the AL Division Series games, last night, the Orioles won big and the Royals won in extra innings.

How about these catches by former Rattler Lorenzo Cain?

Former Rattler Chris Tillman (’07) was the winning pitcher for the Orioles and talks with the media after the game.

Here’s Tillman striking out the side first inning:

Looking at today’s playoff pitching matchups. There are a few of today’s starters who pitched against the Rattlers.

Yordano Ventura, who gets the start for the Royals tonight, pitched for Kane County in 2011. In two starts against the Rattlers, he did not allow a run on four hits and two walks over nine innings with 15 strikeouts. He did not have a decision in either game.

Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers tonight. He was a member of the Great Lakes Loons in 2007 and made one start against the Rattlers on May 8 at Great Lakes. Kershaw got the win as he allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts over 5-2/3 innings. The Rattlers scored two runs off Kershaw in the second inning, but the Loons scored five – two earned – in the fourth off Steve Richard.

Time to take a look at Rattler Alumni in the AL East:

Hitters:
Orioles:
Adam Jones (’04): 159 games, .281/.311/.469, 29HR, 96RBI

Blue Jays:
Brett Lawrie (’09): 70 games, .247/.301/.421, 12HR, 38RBI

Red Sox:
David Ortiz (’96): 142 games, .263/.355/.517, 35HR, 104RBI

Blue Jays:
Jeremy Jeffress (’10): 3 games, 0-0, 10.80ERA, 3.1IP, 3BB, 4K

Yankees:
Shawn Kelley (’07, ’08): 59 games, 3-6, 4 saves, 4.53ERA, 51.2IP, 20BB, 67K

Rays:
Jake Odorizzi (’10): 31 games, 31 starts, 11-13, 4.13ERA, 168.0IP, 59BB, 174K

Oh, an Odorizzi pitching highlight?

Yankees:
Michael Pineda (’08): 13 games, 13 starts, 5-5, 1.89ERA, 76.1IP, 7BB, 59K

Yankees:
Matt Thornton (’99, ’00): 46 games, 0-3, 2.55ERA, 24.2IP, 6BB, 20K

Orioles:
Chris Tillman (’07): 34 games, 34 starts, 13-6, 3.34ERA, 207.1IP, 66BB, 150K

Gotta share these other Shawn Kelley videos:

Alumni Birthdays for October 3:
Peanut Williams (’98, ’99) – 37
Brent Matheny (’03, ’04) – 35

Alumni Birthdays for October 4:
Bill O’Donnell (’58) – 80
Delwyn Young, Sr (Hitting Coach, ’93) – 51
Francisco Laureano (’67) – 47
Emmerson Bello (’98) – 37
Brock Griffin (’03) – 35
Jose Sanchez (’10) – 26

Alumni Birthdays for October 5:
Frank Henderson (’88, ’89) – 46
Chad Weisner (’95) – 43
Russ Koehler (’97, ’98) – 40

Put up a Parking Lot – October 2, 2014

Last night’s NL Wild Card Game was not nearly as exciting as the AL Wild Card Game.

The two AL Division series get started tonight.  I wanted to take a look at how the individual starting pitchers did in the Midwest League.  But, Max Scherzer, Jason Vargas, and Jered Weaver all skipped the MWL.

That leaves former Timber Rattlers Chris Tillman (’07) to get the start against the Detroit Tigers tonight.

Tillman was 1-4 with a 3.55ERA in eight starts for the Rattlers in 2007.  He basically had three decent starts with Wisconsin before he was promoted to the California League in late May.

FUN FACT:  Tillman’s one win in the Midwest League came on April 23 against the West Michigan Whitecaps, the MWL affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Chris Tillman was a Rattler in 2007.

Chris Tillman was a Rattler in 2007.

LESS FUN FACT: None of the players Tillman faced in that game are on this year’s edition of the Tigers.

HOUSEKEEPING:  The parking lots have been spruced up before the snow flies.

Lot 1

Lot 2
Continuing a look at former players in MLB this season….Rattler Alumni to play in the NL Central during 2014:

Hitters:
Cleveland:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 97 games, .246/.305/.386, 9HR, 40RBI

Kansas City:
Lorenzo Cain (’09): 133 games, .301/.339/.412, 5HR, 53RBI

Kansas City:
Raul Ibanez (’94): 33 games, .188/.278/.325, 5HR, 10RBI


Kansas City:

Carlos Peguero (’07): 4 games, .222/.300/.333, 0HR, 1RBI

Pitchers:
Cleveland:
Scott Atchison (’99): 70 games, 6-0, 2 saves, 2.75ERA, 72.0IP, 14BB, 49K

Cleveland:
Mark Lowe (’05): 7 games, 0-1, 3.86ERA, 7.0IP, 6BB, 6K

Minnesota:
Caleb Thielbar (’10): 54 games, 2-1, 3.40ERA, 47.2IP, 16BB, 35K

Alumni Birthdays:
Oswaldo Navarro (’04, ’05) – 30
Juan Doñe (’02) – 34
Rob Buchanan (’89) – 49

Top 20 in the MWL – October 1, 2014

Keep your eyes on this link to Baseball America.  They should be announcing the Top 20 Prospects in the Midwest League soon.  Since the team has a subscription to the print magazine, I can see the list before it’s on the web…which is so….odd.

Only one Timber Rattler made the list:

Clint Coulter #7 on BA list. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

Clint Coulter #7 on BA list. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

#7 Clint Coulter.  The partial scouting report from the magazine.

While Coulter does have a great batting-eye, his swing isn’t picture-perfect, as it involves a large load and a powerful cut that makes it hard to always control the barrel.  That leads to swings and misses on pitches in the zone, but when he does connect, Coulter drives the ball.

Peoria pitcher Alex Reyes was #1 in the MWL.  The full list and capsules on each of the players on the list should be at the link later.

I would have thought that Taylor Williams might have made the list, but it’s tough in a 16-team league.

In last night’s AL Wild Card game, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in 12 innings.  Former Timber Rattler Lorenzo Cain drove in a pair of runs last night, including the first run of Kansas City’s comeback in the eighth inning:

Today is the first day of the season review of Timber Rattlers in MLB during the 2014 season. Here’s a quick look at the former Rattlers….and one former Fox who spent time in the AL West this year:

Angels:
Raul Ibanez (’94): 57 games, .157/.258/.265, 3HR, 21RBI

That was hit number 2,000 for Ibanez in his MLB career.

Mariners:
Michael Saunders (’06): 78 games, .273/.341/.450, 8HR, 34RBI

Rangers:
Shin-Soo Choo (’01, ’02):
123 games, .242/.340/.374, 13HR, 40RBI
One of his hits this season was #1,000 in his career:


Rangers:
Nate Adcock (’07, ’08):
7 games, 0-0, 4.50ERA, 10.0IP, 5BB, 9K

Rangers:
Ryan Feierabend (’02):
6 games, 0-0, 6.14ERA, 7.1IP, 2BB, 4K

Athletics:
Eric O’Flaherty (’04, ’05): 21 games, 1-0, 1 save, 2.25ERA, 20IP, 4BB, 15K
The save was the first of his MLB career.

Mariners:
Felix Hernandez (’03): 34 games, 34 starts, 15-6, 2.14ERA, 236IP, 46BB, 248K.

Take a bow, King Felix!

Alumni Birthdays:
Erik Komatsu (’09) – 27
Tom Johnson (’87) – 49

Komatsu2_2009wag

Erik Komatsu as a Timber Rattler in 2009. Photo Credit: Wm. Glasheen

AJ on ALL the covers

Adam Jones (’04) was recently on the cover of ESPN: The Magazine:

AJonESPNcover

He is on this week’s Sports Illustrated cover:

jones_ovechkin_si_cover

I may have to update the old Top 5 Tuesday on SI Covers.

Sparky Lyle and Little Spark are still #1 on the list.

Sparky Lyle and Little Spark are still #1 on the list.

A few other SI covers featuring Appleton Pro Baseball Alumni:

BoogPowell

EarlWeaver

It got him on this SI cover.

It got him on this SI cover.

Ortiz Cover

Gossage

Alumni Birthdays for September 30:
Rich Dorman (’03) – 36
Edward Paredes (’08) – 28
Adrian Rosario (’10, ’11) – 25

Adrian Rosario as a Timber Rattler.

Adrian Rosario as a Timber Rattler.  He turns 25 today.

Playoff Rooting Interest – September 29, 2014

The MLB Playoffs start with the Wild Card games on Monday and Tuesday.  If you are looking for a team to cheer this postseason, here’s a look at the teams with Timber Rattlers alumni.  Based on Numbers…Go, Royals!  Go, Nationals!

These are the players who were on the 40-man rosters of the teams that made the playoffs.

American League:

Baltimore Orioles:
Pitcher Chris Tillman (’07)
Outfielder Adam Jones (’04)

Adam Jones 2004

Detroit Tigers:
Coach Darnell Coles (Rover w/ Milwaukee)

Kansas City Royals:
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain (’09)
Outfielder Raul Ibanez (Foxes, ’94)
Outfielder Carlos Peguero (’07)
Coach Mike Jirschele (Foxes Coach ’90 & ’91)ibanez94

Los Angeles Angels:
None

Oakland Athletics:
Eric O’Flaherty (’04, ’05)

National League:

Los Angeles Dodgers:
None

Pittsburgh Pirates:
None

St. Louis Cardinals:
None

San Francisco Giants:
None

Washington Nationals:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05)
Rafael Soriano (’00)
Matt Thornton (’99, ’00)

Chris Tillman will get the start for the Orioles in game one of the ALDS against Max Scherzer and the Tigers.

The O’s ace and Game 1 starter, Chris Tillman, isn’t quite as well known as Scherzer (and, to date, nobody’s offered him a $144 million contract), but when it comes to execution, Tillman was second to none down the stretch for an Orioles team putting the finishing touches on its first AL East crown in 17 years.

Tillman had a 4.11 ERA at the All-Star break, and he went through a nearly two-month stretch — from May 11 to July 2 — in which he walked more batters (30) than he struck out (27).

Look at Tillman’s second-half performance, though: a 6-1 record, a 2.33 ERA, a .218 opponents’ average and 76 strikeouts against just 18 walks in 89 innings across 14 starts. The O’s went 11-3 in those 14 games.

Two years ago, when the Orioles made their run to an AL Wild Card spot and wound up pushing the Yankees to the brink of elimination in the AL Division Series, Tillman didn’t log a single postseason inning. Showalter opted to give veteran Joe Saunders the ball over Tillman in Game 4.

Now, Tillman is the obvious choice of tone setter for this series.


Alumni Birthdays:
September 28:

Adonis Harrison (’96, ’97) – 38
Rob Harmon (’07, ’08) – 31

September 29:
Cirillo Cruz (’97) – 39
Jermaine Clark (’98) – 38
Jeffrey Gilmore (’06) – 31
Tyler Thornburg (’11) – 26
Photo Credit: Ann Molica

From Hawks to Cubs – September 26, 2014

The South Bend Silver Hawks are now the South Bend…Cubs.

Creativity and a local connection may have taken a hit, but there’s something to be said for the brand.

South Bend Cubs. Say it again: South Bend Cubs.

Kind of a nice ring to it, right? Give it awhile, it’ll catch on.

It’s all Part of the Plan.

Along with unveiling the new name and logo of the South Bend Cubs, Epstein and Jason McLeod, the team’s vice president for player development and amateur scouting, cleared up several questions the media – and the people of South Bend – had regarding the four-year agreement.

Yes, Epstein is open to bringing the Major League club to South Bend for an exhibition sometime – possibly just before the season begins – if the schedule works out.

Yes, sending Major League players to South Bend on rehab assignments is a possibility, though Triple-A Iowa is usually a more desirable destination because the competition is better. Kane County had just one Major Leaguer visit this past season.

Bitter Editorial Comment: And one in the playoffs, too.

Missed the last few days of posts due to…well, stuff.

Alumni Birthdays for September 24:
Ivan Blanco (’05) – 31
Denny Almonte (’08) – 26

Alumni Birthdays for September 25:
Joel Pineiro (’98) – 36
Pat Barnes (’01, ’02) – 35
Korey Feiner (’08) – 33

Alumni Birthdays for September 26:
Keith Stewart (’97) – 41
Kuo Hui Lo (’06, ’07) – 29
James McOwen (’07) – 29

Alumni MLB Debut Anniversary:
07AnthonyVarvaro
Anthony Varvaro (’07) made his MLB debut on September 24, 2010 for the Seattle Mariners in a road game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Varvaro entered in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Mariners down 5-3. Varvaro struck out the first two batters he faced – Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce – before walking BJ Upton. Varvaro ended the inning when he got Jason Bartlett to ground into an inning ending force play.

Closing out our look at Triple-A Alumni, here are the hitters in the PCL who played with the Rattlers earlier in their career.

Nashville Sounds

Player (Last Year w/ Rattlers) (PCL Team/MLB Organization)
Leury Bonilla (’08) (Tacoma/Mariners):
90 games, .234/.291/.320, 2HR, 27RBI

Juan Diaz (’08) (New Orleans/Marlins):
131 games, .278/.310/.418, 12HR, 63RBI

Juan Diaz in 2008.

Juan Diaz in 2008.

Erik Komatsu (’09) (Salt Lake/Angels):
7 games, .067/.176/.133, 0HR, RBI

Alex Liddi (’08) (Albuquerque/Dodgers):
44 games, .219/.313/.397, 6HR, 16RBI

Adam Moore (’06) (El Paso/Padres):
91 games, .298/.360/.484, 12HR, 34RBI

Carlos Peguero (’07) (Omaha/Royals):
104 games, .266/.349/.563, 30HR, 76RBI

photo by Wm. Glasheen

Michael Saunders (’06) (Tacoma/Mariners):
15 games, .327/.479/.473, 1HR, 9RBI

RJ Seidel (’09) (Colorado Springs/Rockies):
1-for-2, 0HR, 0RBI

Carlos Triunfel (’07) (Albuquerque/Dodgers):
89 games, .223/.256/.330, 4HR, 40 RBI

 

Rivera’s Second Chance – September 23, 2014

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.

Developing.

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.

Greg Halman as a Rattler in 2007

Greg Halman as a Rattler in 2007

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.
Photo Credit: Patrick S. Blood
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

Nathan Adcock as a Timber Rattler in 2008 wearing an Papermakers throwback uniform.

Nathan Adcock as a Timber Rattler in 2008 wearing an Papermakers throwback uniform.

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

Pineiro

JJ Putz (’00) (Reno/Diamondbacks):
2 games, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.2IP, 2BB, 2K

JJPutz
RJ Seidel (’09) (Colorado Springs/Rockies):
9 games, 0-2, 10.02ERA, 20.2IP, 11BB, 20K

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 50 other followers

%d bloggers like this: