Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Miscellaneous Snow – November 19, 2014

Not anywhere near as much snow as Buffalo has received.  Still.

November 19 2014
November 19 2014 2

The season is coming.

Michael Saunders turns 28 today and the former Timber Rattler has changed agents as his name has come up in trade talks.

Michael Saunders as a Rattler in 2006.

Michael Saunders as a Rattler in 2006.

Click that link to get caught up on the story. But, here’s the interesting part:

[It] began back in October with a series of bizarre comments from Jack Zduriencik during a year-end press conference and ensuing radio appearances, comments first highlighted here on this site. Zduriencik, at the time, called Saunders’ off-season work into question and wondered aloud if some of his injuries might have been avoidable with certain preparation.

Saunders agent at the time, Michael McCann of Frye-McCann Sports, fired back at the organization in a piece published by Jason Churchill at CBS Seattle, and further elaborated in a lengthy story from Ryan Divish at the Seattle Times.

That was as public as it got, one side throwing jabs and the other punching right back. But from the start, it never seemed to fit. There were theories that it was all posturing in advance of arbitration hearings, but the level of animosity involved went beyond what most would normally expect—which is not much.

Still, it was difficult not to wonder if the initial comments on the organization’s end, which seemingly came out of nowhere, were public blowback over something that to that point had remained private. When the original piece first went public here, there were whispers at the time that there’d been an ongoing dialogue between McCann and the organization over Saunders’ role.

The story continues with this:

Way back when McCann’s first comments went public, to Churchill, it was on the very same day had some language directly from Saunders himself, saying that he wanted to be an everyday guy, and the initial comments from Zduriencik and McClendon (who said in the piece that Saunders’ numbers were that of a starter, but that he just needed to stay healthy) were “motivation to work hard this offseason and come back even better next year.”

Keep an eye on this during the next few weeks since the Winter Meetings begin after Thanksgiving.

Alumni Birthdays for November 19:
Dan Merklinger (’09) – 29
Michael Saunders (’06) – 28
Mickey Myers (’97) – 40
Andy Sheets (’93) – 43
Bob Shank (’53) – Would have been 80

Dan Merklinger in 2009.

Dan Merklinger in 2009.

I’ll be taking tomorrow off from blogging so here are the Alumni Birthdays for November 20:
Chad Pierce (’12) – 27
Russ Morgan (’01) – 37
Steve Peck (Pitching Coach, ’95-96) – 47
Herm Starrette (’61) – 76
Ray Powell (Manager, ’46) – Would have been 126

Chad Pierce as a Rattler in 2012.

Chad Pierce as a Rattler in 2012.

Fall League Wrap – November 18, 2014

Jim Callis of has this complete review of the players who stood out from the crowd in the 2014 Arizona Fall League.

This is what he notes about a pair of Brewers prospects:

Best Performance: Left-handed reliever Michael Strong recorded a 1.98 ERA, two saves and 14 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. He isn’t especially physical at 6 feet and 195 pounds, but he can run his fastball up to 94 mph and backs it up with a hard curveball.

Best Prospect: Outfielder Tyrone Taylor posted a .271/.315/.306 slash line and was the AFL’s toughest player to strike out, with one whiff every 13.3 plate appearances. His biggest assets are his speed, center-field defense and line-drive hitting.

In random…and I do mean random…alumni news over the past weekend.  Look at who turned up to talk to the Milwaukee Bucks before their game against the Heat in Miami on Sunday:

And what did they talk about?  Jim Paschke had this tweet:

There was a Jersey Chaser winner yesterday.

Mehring Monday looked at The Traded, the four 2014 Timber Rattlers to be traded by the Brewers this year.

The Mascots recreated a scene from A Christmas Story…really.

Alumni Birthdays for November 18:
Michael Reed (’13) – 22
Tony Butler (’07, ’10) – 27
Mike Hrynio (’04) – 32
David Ortiz (’96) – 39
Tom Gordon (’88) – 47
Don Carr (’85) – 52
Diego Melendez (’80) – 56

Tom Gordon at Goodland Field in 1988.

Tom Gordon at Goodland Field in 1988.

David Ortiz in 1996

David Ortiz in 1996

Alumni Report – November 17, 2014

A thin blanket of snow on the field at the stadium greets you on Monday morning.
November 17 2014 Snow

Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (14-15-2, 3rd place West):
Clint Coulter (’13): 7 games, .174/.269/.304; 1HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’12): 19 games, .214/.286/.317, 3HR, 8RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 21 games, .271/.315/.306, 0HR, 7RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 9 games, .355/.444/.355, 0HR, 5RBI
Brooks Hall (’11): 8 games, 2 starts, 1-0, 3.38ERA, 18.2IP, 3BB, 13K
Mike Strong (’13): 11 games, 1-0, 2 saves, 1.98ERA, 13.2IP, 3BB, 14K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 9 games, 0-1, 1 save, 7.43ERA, 13.1IP, 7BB, 7K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 6 games, 6 starts, 2-0, 2.74ERA, 23.0IP, 2BB, 12K

The Arizona Fall League ended on Saturday.  I’ll have a link tomorrow on how some of the Brewers prospects did down there.

Australian Baseball League:
Sydney Blue Sox (7-5, 2nd):
Craig Anderson (’00): 3 games, 3 starts, 2-1, 2.14ERA, 21.0IP, 7BB, 17K

Melbourne Aces (2-6, 6th):
Kyle Heckathorn (’11) 3 games, 0-2, 8.10ERA, 3.1IP, 4BB, 3K

Dominican Republic:
Aguilas Cibaenas (14-9, 1st):
Edward Paredes (’08): 9 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 3.2IP, 2BB, 4K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 11 games, 0-0, 3.09ERA, 11.2IP, 4BB, 10K

Estrellas de Oriente (12-10, 3rd):
Juan Diaz (’08): 14 games, .286/.333/.333, 0HR, 6RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 5 games, 4 starts, 1-1, 4.50ERA, 16.0IP, 6BB, 7K

Gigantes del Cibao (12-12, 4th):
Carlos Peguero (’07): 13 games, .326/.474/.744, 6HR, 8RBI

Tigres del Licey (10-14, 5th):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 9 games, .091/.167/.182, 0HR, RBI

Puerto Rico:
Cangrejeros de Santurce (7-4, 1st):
Omar Garcia (’14): 7 games, .125/.222/.125, 0HR, 0RBI
Yadiel Rivera (’12): 11 games, .216/.231/.432, 2HR, 11RBI
Joel Pineiro (’98): 3 games, 3 starts, 1-1, 3.24ERA, 16.2IP, 0BB, 7K

Criollos de Caguas (6-6, 4th):
Efrain Nieves (’10): 3 games, 3 starts, 1-1, 5.40, 13.1IP, 3BB, 7K

Gigantes de Carolina (7-6, 3rd):
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 13 games, .200/.310/.360, 2HR, 6RBI
JC Ramirez (’08): 7 games, 0-1, 5.40ERA, 8.1IP, 2BB, 8K

Indios de Mayaguez (7-5, 2nd):
Jorge Lopez (’13): 3 games, 3 starts, 0-1, 2.38ERA, 11.1IP, 5BB, 10K

Aguilas del Zulia (23-8, 2nd):
Eric Marzec (’11): 7 games, 5 starts, 2-0, 2.17ERA, 29.0IP, 2BB, 19K

Bravos de Margarita (10-22, 7th):
Tyler Cravy (’12): 6 games, 6 starts, 0-4, 5.04ERA, 25.0IP, 6BB, 20K
Greg Holle (’11): 13 games, 0-2, 1 Save, 5.59ERA, 9.2IP, 5BB,2K

Cardenales de Lara (13-20, 6th):
Jose Escalona (’08): 5 games, 0-0, 8.44ERA, 5.1IP, 3BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 8 games, 6 starts, 2-3, 11.57ERA, 25.1IP, 5BB, 26K

Caribes de Anzoategui (24-8, 1st):
Orlando Arcia (’13): 30 games, .294/.368/.571, 7HR, 22RBI

Navegantes del Magallanes (14-15, 4th):
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 14 games, .179/.319/.256, 0HR, 4RBI

Tigres de Aragua (19-11, 3rd):
Renee Cortez (’03): 12 games, 1-0, 0.82ERA, 11.0IP, 5BB, 4K

Alumni Birthdays for November 17:
Mike Strong (’12, ’13) – 26
Roy Wells (’01) – 36
Ty Kovach (’93) – 46
Don Lindsey (’90) – 47
Kent Torve (’84, ’85) – 52
Mike Maitland (’78-’80, ’82) – 55

Mike Strong

Mike Strong


Releases – November 14, 2014

In case you missed it earlier this week, the Brewers announced some releases from their minor league system.

There was also this:

To unwrap the former Timber Rattlers from those names:

Josh Prince (’09)
Greg Hopkins (’11, ’12)
Chad Pierce (’12)
Max Walla (’12, ’13)
Jose Sermo (’13)



IMG_3617 has a write-up on all of the players mentioned, including the reminder that Max Walla was converted to pitcher this past year.

Good luck, guys.

Alumni Birthdays for November 14:
Stan Posluszny (’06) – 32
Jim Chrisman (’90, ’91) – 44
Scott Budner (Pitching Coach ’01) – 58

Jim Chrisman

Alumni Birthdays for November 15:
Efrain Nieves (’09, ’10) – 25
Jeremy Dutton (’04) – 34
Kevin Gryboski (’96) – 41
Harry Heller (’41) – Would have been 96
Roy Eberly (1910) – Would have been 131


Alumni Birthdays for November 16:
Greg Holle (’11) – 26
Buster Narum (’60) – Would have been 74


Jersey What Now? – November 13, 2014

Today seems like a good day to recap a video from the production gnomes.

Keep your eyes on @TimberRattlers and the Timber Rattlers facebook page for details on Jersey Chaser from Monday, November 17 through Friday, November 21.

Alumni Birthdays for November 13:
Chad Robinson (’10) – 27
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05) – 29
Andy Augustine (’95) – 42
Ben Lee (’87) – 47
Leslie Davis (’52) – 83

Ben Lee

Asdrubal Cabrera

Asdrubal Cabrera as a Timber Rattler in 2005.

Survey Says! – November 12, 2014

A few notes for today:

The Timber Rattlers have a brief online survey that I thought would be a good idea to share here.  If you have time, please click the link and answer the questions.  There is an opportunity to win a Suite at a Timber Rattlers game for you and up to 19 of your friends.  So, fill it out and be kind.  Be honest, but be kind.

2014 Timber Rattlers Survey


The deadline to have it filled out is Friday, November 14.

If you are so inclined, individual tickets for the Jordy Nelson Charity Softball Game go on sale today.  Beginning at 10:00 am you may use this link to order your tickets.

Jordy Nelson WEB

Alumni Birthdays for November 12:
Josh McNulty (’03) – 34
Gary Thurman (Manager ’00-’02) – 50
AJ Hill (’77, ’80, ’81) – 56



Veterans Day and All-Stars – November 11, 2014

Photo is from the excellent Baseball in Wartime website.

306th Bomb Group

306th Bomb Group in the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

This link is to Those Who Served and were baseball players.  Thank you to all who served. has been announcing their All-Stars for each Major League organization for the last few weeks.  Yesterday, they announced the Brewers organizational All-Stars.

Ten of the twelve positions were filled by players who played with the Timber Rattlers.  Yes. Twelve. The eight defensive positions, a utility position, right-handed starting pitcher, left-handed starting pitcher, and relief pitcher.

Click the link for the whole list and for comments on each player from Reid Nichols, the Director of Player Development for the Brewers.  I’ll excerpt the write-ups on the players who were Timber Rattlers in 2014.

Catcher — Clint Coulter, Wisconsin (126 games): After an injury-plagued 2013, Coulter improved across the board, playing in 56 more games than the year before while boosting his OPS by 216 points. The 2012 first-round pick led the organization with 22 homers and 89 RBIs while batting a solid .287 for the Timber Rattlers.

“He made a big improvement,” said Reid Nichols, the Brewers’ director of player development. “I think he’ll make more next year. He was a little more selective at the plate. He’s learning how to slow it down. He was a little too firm and hard on his stride and he’s learned to soften it up a bit, and it’s really helped him.”

Though there’s a good chance you’ll see the Brewers’ No. 7 prospect on this list next year, it almost certainly won’t be at the same position, Nichols indicated.

“His catching didn’t get a whole lot better and we moved him to right field for now,” he said of Coulter, who has continued his season in the Arizona Fall League. “He’s working in the outfield and he’s made a pretty good adjustment.”

Second baseman — Chris McFarland, Wisconsin (100 games): Repeating at Wisconsin, McFarland increased his batting average by 46 points and saw his OPS rise from .656 to .719. The 21-year-old also increased his stolen base total from seven to 30, tying for 12th in the Midwest League.

“I really think he came in more focused,” Nichols said. “Different approach at the plate, more business-like. I think he started getting a bit more serious about his job.”

Nichols attributed the rise in steals to an organizational emphasis.

“We [used to have] a roving baserunning instructor and we went without one this year, and I think everyone took it to heart that it was their job, too,” he said of the coaches at each level. “Our teaching was to be more aggressive on the basepaths — we didn’t care if you got thrown out, we just wanted to see if you could steal or not. I think it’s paid off. We were happy with the improvement in the basestealing, although that’s not the focus; we just want the guys to be more aggressive.


Chris McFarland running the bases for the Rattlers in 2014.

Outfielder Michael Ratterree, Wisconsin (125 games), Huntsville (seven games): After winning Pioneer League MVP honors in 2013, Ratterree made the jump to full-season play and showed promise, despite a .228 average. The 23-year-old tied for second in the organization with 19 homers and tied for fourth with 76 RBIs. Ratterree helped balance out his low average with patience at the plate, drawing 79 walks, including 75 at Wisconsin to rank second in the Midwest League. He also received some postseason hardware, earning a Minor League Gold Glove.

“Anytime you get a young hitter who can take walks, he’s gonna do something later,” Nichols said. “While he didn’t have a really good batting average, his on-base was good and that will turn into a good batting average later, in my opinion. And he won a Gold Glove for the Minor Leagues, which is kind of cool. Same as all these guys — focus up the middle and be selective at the pitches you swing at early in the count. It’s kind of the formula for hitting in general. He’ll get it.”

Alumni Birthdays for November 11:
Michael Cox (’04) – 34
Jose Herrera (’01) – 35
Jim Horner (’97, Manager: ’06, ’07) – 41
Kyle Towner (’95) – 42
David Lawson (’93, ’94) – 42
Ryan Smith (’94) – 43
Chuck Hernandez (’83) – 54
Kim Girkins (’76) – 60
James White (’63) – Would have been 74




Alumni Report – Through games of 11/9/14

“With a shiver in my bones just thinking about the weather.
A quiver in my voice as if I might cry.”

That's not white paint.

That’s not white paint.

And so it begins….Spring and Opening Day 2015 can’t get here fast enough.

Let’s start thinking Spring by looking at how Timber Rattlers alumni are doing in the Winter Leagues:

Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (11-15-1, 3rd place West):
Clint Coulter (’13): 6 games, .200/.273/.350; 1HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’12): 17 games, .238/.314/.413, 3HR, 8RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 19 games, .237/.293/.276, 0HR, 6RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 8 games, .333/.438/.333, 0HR, 3RBI
Brooks Hall (’11): 7 games, 2 starts, 1-0, 4.02ERA, 15.2IP, 2BB, 11K
Mike Strong (’13): 9 games, 0-0, 1 save, 1.59ERA, 11.1IP, 3BB, 12K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 8 games, 0-1, 1 save, 8.03ERA, 11.1IP, 6BB, 12K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 5 games, 5 starts, 2-0, 1.50ERA, 18.0IP, 2BB, 9K

Australian Baseball League:
Sydney Blue Sox (5-3, T-1st):
Craig Anderson (’00): 2 games, 2 starts, 1-1, 3.75ERA, 12.0IP, 5BB, 11K

Melbourne Aces (1-3, T-5th):
Kyle Heckathorn (’11) 2 games, 0-1, 3.86ERA, 2.1IP, 4BB, 3K

Dominican Republic:
Aguilas Cibaenas (10-7, 2nd):
Edward Paredes (’08): 4 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 1.1IP, BB, K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 9 games, 0-0, 2.70ERA, 10.0IP, 4BB, 9K

Estrellas de Oriente (8-8, 4th):
Juan Diaz (’08): 10 games, .323/.344/.387, 0HR, 5RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 4 games, 3 starts, 1-1, 3.55ERA, 12.2IP, 6BB, 3K

Gigantes del Cibao (11-7, 1st):
Carlos Peguero (’07): 7 games, .391/.548/1.043, 5HR, 6RBI

Tigres del Licey (7-10, 5th):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 8 games, .091/.167/.182, 0HR, RBI

Puerto Rico:
Cangrejeros de Santurce (3-2, 2nd):
Omar Garcia (’14): 3 games, 0-for-3
Yadiel Rivera (’12): 5 games, .222/.263/.389, HR, 5RBI
Joel Pineiro (’98): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 5.59ERA, 9.2IP, 0BB, 4K

Criollos de Caguas (3-4, 4th):
Efrain Nieves (’10): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 7.36, 7.1IP, 3BB, 5K

Gigantes de Carolina (5-2, 1st):
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 7 games, .167/.286/.167, 0HR, RBI
JC Ramirez (’08): 5 games, 0-0, 1.42ERA, 6.1IP, 0BB, 6K

Indios de Mayaguez (4-3, 3rd):
Jorge Lopez (’13): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 2.84ERA, 6.1IP, 4BB, 7K

Aguilas del Zulia (19-6, 2nd):
Eric Marzec (’11): 6 games, 4 starts, 2-0, 2.31ERA, 23.1IP, 2BB, 16K

Bravos de Margarita (8-19, 7th):
Tyler Cravy (’12): 5 games, 5 starts, 0-4, 5.40ERA, 20.0IP, 6BB, 16K
Greg Holle (’11): 10 games, 0-0, 1 Save, 3.86ERA, 7.0IP, 4BB, K

Cardenales de Lara (10-17, 6th):
Jose Escalona (’08): 5 games, 0-0, 8.44ERA, 5.1IP, 3BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 5 games, 5 starts, 1-2, 3.93ERA, 18.1IP, 4BB, 18K

Caribes de Anzoategui (20-6, 1st):
Orlando Arcia (’13): 24 games, .277/.358/.532, 5HR, 18RBI

Navegantes del Magallanes (12-13, 4th):
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 12 games, .206/.357/.294, 0HR, 4RBI

Tigres de Aragua (16-8, 3rd):
Renee Cortez (’03): 10 games, 1-0, 0.87ERA, 10.1IP, 5BB, 4K

Alumni Birthdays for November 10:
Ryan Fasano (’13) – 25
Sheldon Fulse (’00, ’01) – 33

Pick up your We Energies Cookie Book from our Parking Lot on November 8

The annual tradition returns! WE Energies has published their 2014 Cookie Book and, if you are in the Fox Cities, you can pick up yours in the Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium Parking Lot on Saturday, November 8.

cookie book
You should be able to click on that flyer to see a larger version.  But, just in case, the pick up times are between 9am and 1pm.   This is usually a pretty big event so be there and be patient.

Alumni Birthdays for November 7:
Danny Santin (’04) – 30
Reggie Patterson (’81) – 56

Reggie PattersonAlumni Birthdays for November 8:
Sean Parnell (’00) – 37
Shane Halter (’92) – 45
Allard Baird (Hitting Coach ’88, ’89) – 53

Shane Halter, 1992.

Shane Halter, 1992.

Alumni Birthdays for November 9:
Dustin Houle (’13) – 21
Dave Bush (’09) -35
Richard Tetrault (’61) – Would have been 73

Dave Bush after his July 10, 2009 rehabilitation appearance with the Timber Rattlers.

Dave Bush after his July 10, 2009 rehabilitation appearance with the Timber Rattlers.

Australian Cheering Guide – November 6, 2014

When it comes to the Australian Baseball League, Timber Rattlers fans have had a cheering interest in the Sydney Blue Sox, due to former Rattler Craig Anderson (’00) being a mainstay in their rotation for a long time.

In the Claxton Shield Era of the ABL, the Perth Heat had former Timber Rattler Dan Floyd (’01, ’02).  Floyd had the final hit of the Claxton Shield Era and it was a big one.

The Heat won back-to-back Claxton Shield titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, it won the Southern Division with an 8–4 record and swept New South Wales in the best-of-three semi final series in Sydney. In 2009, the Heat finished the regular season with the best record, at 12–4, and came back from losing the first game to beat New South Wales in three games in the Grand Final. The WA side led the deciding third game throughout but blew a 2–0 lead in the top of the ninth inning. With the game set for extra innings, outfielder Daniel Floyd hit a walk-off single to deliver back-to-back titles for Perth.

Jamie McOwen (’07) played for the Adelaide Bite in 2010-11 and he was The Helms Award Winner (Most Valued Player) that season as he helped the Bite to reach the Finals before falling in the Finals to Perth.

Another alum of the Timber Rattlers is joining the ABL this year and he will be with the Melbourne Aces:

Heckathorn Melbourne

Photos from the Melbourne Aces Facebook Page:

Heckathorn Melbourne2
That’s Kyle Heckathorn (’10) wearing #45.  Melbourne’s season begins at 7:35pm on Friday in Australia.  That would be…at…2:35am in the Central Time Zone…if I am doing my math right.

Alumni Birthdays for November 6:
Stephen Peterson (’12) – 27
Ricky Orta (’07) – 30
Jorge Candelaria (’86) – 47
Leo Garcia (’81, ’82) – 52
Harold McClain (’71, ’72) – 62
Rudy Okleson (’42) – Would have been 93


Stephen Peterson


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