Results tagged ‘ Rattlers Alumni ’

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

Rene Rivera MLB Debut Anniversary & International League Hitters – September 22, 2014

Only one anniversary of an MLB debut from the last three days.

Rene Rivera as a Timber Rattlers catcher in 2003.

Rene Rivera as a Timber Rattlers catcher in 2003.

Rene Rivera (’03) debuted with the Seattle Mariners on September 22, 2004.

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.

Rene Rivera at the autograph booth before a game in 2003.

Rene Rivera at the autograph booth before a game in 2003.

Busy, busy weekend for Alumni Birthdays:

September 20:
Joey Paciorek (’10 & 11) – 26

September 21:
Brian Doughty (’95) – 40
Doug Davis (’10) – 39
Kevin Olore (’00 & ’01) – 36
Chris Colton (’04 & ’05) – 32
Jeremy Jeffress (’10) – 27

September 22:
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

GregDobbs

Cesar Jimenez (’03) (Lehigh Valley/Phillies):
0-for-1, K

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

Alex Liddi as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Alex Liddi as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03) (Louisville/Reds):
0-for-1, K

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

Matt Tuiasosopo had the first walkoff homer of the 2005 season for the 2005 Timber Rattlers.

Matt Tuiasosopo had the first walkoff homer of the 2005 season for the Timber Rattlers.

Mike Wilson (’05) (Louisville/Reds):
29 games, .205/.293/.364; 3HR, 7RBI

Changes – September 19, 2014

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

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

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

Shaun Marcum (’12) Columbus/Indians:
1-0, 2.35ERA, 8 games, 1 start, 15.1IP, 6BB, 10K
IMG_8576
JC Ramirez (’08) Columbus/Indians:
1-3, 2 saves, 3.45 ERA, 25 games, 31.1IP, 11BB, 15K

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

All-Stars and Affiliations – September 18, 2014

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.

Trevor, Taylor, Tyler...we know who they meant.

Trevor, Taylor, Tyler…we know who they meant.

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 Brewers will have a new Triple-A affiliate in 2015.

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.

The new Triple-A affiliate will be either Fresno or Colorado Springs.

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

Mike Wilson hit 19 taters in the regular season and three in the postseason during 2005.

Mike Wilson hit 19 taters in the regular season and three in the postseason during 2005.

No birthdays or MLB debuts for Timber Rattlers alumni occurred on September 18.

Projects – September 17, 2014

Making holes (aka Aerating) in the outfield:

September 17 2014 001

Patching holes in the parking lot:

September 17 2014 002

Preparing to Paint on the concourse:

September 17 2014 003

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

A-Advanced:
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

Other:
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

Friday Prospect Information

For the past few Fridays, I have had some photos of the field to give you a view of how the melt is going.

This Friday, that is impossible.  I am in Arizona…where the only snow is in the mountains…probably…

I will be reporting from Minor League Camp on past and future Timber Rattlers.  I will also reporting from four Timber Rattlers Spring Training Games.  There should be reports on the Timber Rattlers website, here on the blog, and @CMehring throughout the weekend and into Tuesday morning when the eventual tweet: “Missed my plane…damn.” will be seen.

By the way, yesterday’s post on the 2014 Specialty Jerseys got a lot of traffic – more traffic than the traditional Walkup Music post, but not as much traffic as a Snow in April post.  Since WTMJ’s WI-Sports & Uni Watch have both posted links…traffic is heading that way again today.  Thank you for the clicks!

The Timber Rattlers front office was busy with field stuff while I was on the plane out of the Fox Cities yesterday. Just call them “Two Tarps”:

Making progress with 13 days to go.

There were a few Brewers Prospect stories that were published this week and – in case you missed them – I thought this would be a good place to share:

MLBPipeline rates their top 20 Brewers Prospects

Plenty of former Timber Rattlers on this list.  Jimmy Nelson and Tyrone Taylor are 1-2.  Click that link for the full list AND scouting reports on all 20.

Bernie Pleskoff asks How do Brewers’ prospects fit Milwaukee’s needs?

Jim Callis notes Brewers banking on wealth of prospects at lower levels.  In which he has three questions with Victor Roache, notes that his camp standout this season is Mitch Haniger, and his breakout candidate is Orlando Arcia.

Jim also has more Brewers coverage on his blog with notes on possible future Rattlers Tucker Neuhaus and David Denson.

The Brewers also announced releases yesterday and – unfortunately – there were a lot of former Rattlers on this list.

Monday Grab Bag

First up, a field update:

The Sun is supposed to heat the tarp which will melt the frost on the infield...in theory.

The Sun is supposed to heat the tarp which will melt the frost on the infield…in theory.

Better than Friday, yes?

A few Rattler Alumni highlights from Brewers games last week in Arizona:


And a few stories on former Rattlers:

The son also rises: Davis set to star for Brewers

Arizona is a special place for Khris Davis.

The state is home to Davis’ high school baseball career, first professional baseball game and Spring Training for the Brewers, the team that took him in the seventh round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Davis returned to the Valley of the Sun for Spring Training as the favorite to win the starting left-field job for the Brewers in 2014, a thrilling prospect for Davis and his father, Rodney, who moved his family to Arizona in 1994 while working for the Mariners organization.

“We are thankful he’s a Milwaukee Brewer,” the elder Davis and current member of the MLB Scouting Bureau said. “For him to be drafted by the Brewers and to be able to enjoy Spring Training as a family, we are very grateful.”

The younger Davis played high school baseball at Deer Valley High School, about 11 miles from Milwaukee’s Spring Training facility.

“It’s exciting to work alongside the best players in baseball with family and friends [in attendance],” Khris said.

Rowland-Smith Excited for busy weekend in Australia

Ryan Rowland-Smith figures to be a busy man next week both on and off the field.

The Australian-born left-hander will pitch for Team Australia on Thursday against the Dodgers, and then Friday he will pitch for the D-backs against Team Australia. Those two exhibition games will take place just before the D-backs and Dodgers open the regular season March 22-23 in Sydney, Australia.

“Honestly, I told my wife I think it’s going to be overwhelming for me once it happens,” Rowland-Smith said.

Rowland-Smith, 31, was born in Sydney and raised two hours north in New Castle and has family and friends there.

“To see my friends and family and pitch in my backyard is special,” Rowland-Smith said.

Rowland-Smith wore the Team Australia jersey in the 2004 Summer Olympics and came home with a silver medal. He also played for Australia in the World Baseball Classic in ’06 and ’09.

“Anyone who gets to represent their country it’s a special thing,” Rowland-Smith said. “That’s more than just a team, that’s a country. We won a silver medal and that’s the most pride I’ve ever felt, and that always sticks in my mind every time I get to put that jersey on, because that was a special time for me.”

The D-backs signed Rowland-Smith to a Minor League contract last November that included a Spring Training invite.

17 Days.

Spring Training Highlights for Alumni

Garrett Cooper (’13) drove in Hunter Morris (’10) against Cleveland on Sunday in one split squad game:

 

 

Jason Rogers (’11, ’12) made a pair of defensive gems in the same game:

Scooter Gennett (’10) homers against the Padres last Friday:

Khris Davis (’10) talks with Dan Pleasac of MLB Network:

Jim Henderson (’09) and Hunter Morris (’10) talk about their progress this spring:

Let’s leave with one more Jason Rogers highlight. This is his RBI single from last Wednesday:

Rattler Alumni Notes from Spring Training

A couple of homers and a couple of Spring Training wins for former Timber Rattlers in the first few games of Spring Training.

Mitch Haniger homered in the Brewers intrasquad game on 2/26 and against the A’s on 2/27.
Khris Davis homered against the Rockies on 3/2.

I know..Spring Training wins may be the weakest stat there is, BUT…

Chris Tillman picked up the win for Baltimore on 2/28 against Tampa Bay.  Oddly, the pitcher tagged with the loss was Erik Bedard, the player Seattle traded to the Orioles for Tillman, Adam Jones, and three other players so many years ago.

Kevin Shackelford earned the win for the Brewers on 3/1 by pitching around three hits in two scoreless innings against the Dodgers.  I have an explanation:

Follow Fang and good things happen.

The only highlight I have from the first few days of Spring Training  is Mitch Haniger’s 2-run single against the Dodgers on Saturday:

Rattler Alumni Report – Non-Roster Invite Edition

Spring Training for the 2014 baseball season has begun. Praise AG Spalding!

The games have not started yet. That means there are no statistics to share. But, in the interest of Alumni Tracking I went through the Roster of Non-Roster Invites for each of the MLB teams to check on where former Rattlers are this spring.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the team with the most former Rattlers is Milwaukee. The other teams with multiple ex-Rattlers may be a surprise. Let’s take a look.

Milwaukee Brewers (5):
Kentrail Davis (’10)
Cameron Garfield (’10, ’11, ’12)
David Goforth (’12)
Taylor Green (’09)
Mitch Haniger (’12, ’13)

IMG_8766

Cleveland Indians (4):
Scott Atchison (’99)
Bryan LaHair (’04)
Shaun Marcum (’12)
Juan Carlos Ramirez (’08)

IMG_8576

Tampa Bay Rays (2):
Mark Lowe (’05)
Juan Sandoval (’03)

Mark Lowe as a Rattler in 2005.

Mark Lowe as a Rattler in 2005.

Texas Rangers (2):
Nathan Adcock (’07, ’08)
Ryan Feierabend (’02)

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.

Chicago White Sox (1):
Alex Liddi (’06, ’07, ’08)

Photo by Wm. Glasheen 2008

Miami Marlins (1):
Juan Diaz (’07, ’08)

15 Juan Diaz

Philadelphia Phillies (1):
Caesar Jimenez (’03)

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