Results tagged ‘ Rattlers Alumni ’

Rained out in Burlington

A good friend of mine used to say, ‘…Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.’ Think about that for a while. – Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh

A series of pictures then a few alumni notes…

This was taken from the walkway behind the visiting team radio booth before the 6:30pm start time.

Looking to the West.

Looking to the West.

Alfredo Rodriguez singles to left with two outs in the top of the second.

Alfredo Rodriguez singles to left with two outs in the top of the second.

Sandy Martinez waits for the ball and Adam Giacalone at the plate after the single by Rodriguez.

Sandy Martinez waits for the ball and Adam Giacalone at the plate after the single by Rodriguez.  The ball would get there first.  By a lot.

The tarp went on the field with a 3-1 count on Wendell Soto with two outs, two runs in, and a runner on third.

The tarp went on the field with a 3-1 count on Wendell Soto with two outs, two runs in, and a runner on third.

Ominous is a word that springs to mind:

May 20 2013 004

Then…

It's a hard...It's a hard...It's a hard rain...gonna fall.

It’s a hard…It’s a hard…It’s a hard rain…gonna fall.

"Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets."

“Some day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.”

Did I mention a hard rain's gonna fall?

I guess I’m trying to say that it rained really, really hard in Burlington on Monday,

Then, this happened. No. That's the sky. really.

Then, this happened. No. That’s the sky. really.

Yeah. Because the Sun got below the clouds. That's why.

Yeah. Because the Sun got below the clouds. That’s why.

I haven't decided if this is a cool photograph or a horrible photograph. But, since this is my blog, I'm putting it up there.

I haven’t decided if this is a cool photograph or a horrible photograph. But, since this is my blog, I’m putting it up there.

I thought this was cool looking.

I thought this was cool looking.

Jake Odorizzi, a Timber Rattler in 2010, made his Tampa Bay Rays debut earlier today against the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 5 innings, allowed three runs on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

Odorizzi, who came to the Rays in the trade that sent James Shields to the Royals, was recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill the rotation spot of injured David Price. The 23-year-old right-hander had two Major League starts under his belt with the Royals, though that did little to settle his nerves at the beginning. But after experiencing a couple of early hiccups, Odorizzi settled into a nice groove.

“It was all right,” Odorizzi said of his outing. “I started off and couldn’t get in the groove. And once I did it felt good. … After the first, I think it went really well.”

The Blue Jays scored twice in the first on a sacrifice fly by Adam Lind and a triple by Brett Lawrie. Melky Cabrera added an RBI double in the second that put the Blue Jays up, 3-1.

Odorizzi finished his five-inning outing with three scoreless frames, having allowed three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out six en route to a no decision.

Odorizzi allowed that he was a little keyed up in the first.

“I was excited,” Odorizzi said. “I think anybody in my situation would have been excited. But it’s not about throwing hard. You have to hit your spots early on.”

Both managers were complimentary toward the youngster.

“We scored early on him, and then he did a nice job after that,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said, adding, “he’s got the chance to be really good. He can throw four pitches at you. But we took advantage of him early, and then he shut us down.”

Said Maddon: “He threw some really nice curveballs. I thought he kept challenging. His fastball got up to 93. I did not see that in Spring Training. So that was nice to see, too. I saw the typical good composure, some nice stuff and a real ability to compete.”

R.A. Dickey silenced the Rays’ bats for the most part, pitching eight innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out five to pick up his fourth win of the season.

“Man, that’s probably as good as we’ve seen him,” Matt Joyce said. “Shoot, the last time I remember him throwing like that was when he threw that one-hitter against us. Even then, that was controversial. He had great stuff, man. His ball was all over the place. For us to score what runs we did, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

Here’s that RBI triple by Lawrie, a Timber Rattler in 2009.

Caleb Thielbar, a Timber Rattler in 2010, made his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins tonight after getting the call up from Rochester earlier in the day.

Thielbar adds an eighth reliever to the club’s bullpen depth, especially with Twins starters having trouble pitching deep into games recently. The 26-year-old Minnesota native also gives the Twins another lefty in their bullpen along with Brian Duensing and closer Glen Perkins.

Thielbar, who pitched for the independent league St. Paul Saints in 2011 before being signed by the Twins, had a 3.76 ERA with 34 strikeouts and eight walks in 26 1/3 innings with the Red Wings. Thielbar, who is looking to make his Major League debut, didn’t land in Atlanta until about 50 minutes before the game, but was activated in time.

“He’s another arm out there, because we’ve killed the rest of the guys, as we’ve talked about,” Gardenhire said. “But having another lefty out there, you can take a shot with Duensing to get a lefty out. So this gives us another option. We can use Caleb early and maybe Duensing a little later.”

He pitched two scoreless innings at Atlanta, allowed a run, and struck out three without walking a batter. More on his performance and a bit more on Rattlers alumni in a post that will go up on the site tomorrow.

Felix photos and a Did You Know

Here’s Felix Hernandez with the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon:

Here’s Felix Hernandez with the Timber Rattlers in 2003:

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

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

I think this is a photo of him with his father & an uncle before that start against Burlington.

I think this is a photo of him with his father & an uncle before that start against Burlington.

We didn’t think that we had any photos of Felix Hernandez as a Timber Rattler. Then, these turned up on the server. Funny how that works.

For a Brewers tie-in*

Here’s Wily Peralta’s start against the Dodgers on April 27.

Here’s Jim Henderson picking up the save on April 27 against the Dodgers.

Did you know….Henderson has saves in all three of Peralta’s wins during the 2013 MLB season.

In 2009, Henderson and Peralta were teammates on the Timber Rattlers for the first half of the season. Peralta had one win in the first half. Henderson had the save. It happened on June 14, 2009 at Burlington.

Find Jim Henderson and Wily Peralta in this photo of the 2009 season.

Find Jim Henderson and Wily Peralta in this photo of the 2009 season.

I tried embedding those Peralta and Henderson highlights. But, I kept getting a ‘Your browser does not support iframes’ message and they weren’t showing up on the post….But, the Felix Hernandez highlights are iframes and …. I’m being tested…I know that I am being tested….and I am failing that test.

Let’s play two again tomorrow!

Alumni Report – April 15, 2013

This is a list of most of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Alumni.  There is a link to the Brevard County Manatees stats page and you can take a look at all the ex-Rattlers on that team.

If a player has played at two levels (Like: Josh Prince at Milwaukee & Nashville) this season, he is listed at the highest level reached.

Players who made MLB rehabilitation appearances with the Rattlers are also included on this list.  They are in italics.

Raul Ibanez is the only former Appleton Fox on this list.

Note that David Ortiz and Brett Lawrie are on minor league rehab assignments for Boston and Toronto.

MLB Hitters:
Asdrubal Cabrera (Cleveland)
Lorenzo Cain (Kansas City)
Khris Davis (Milwaukee)
Greg Dobbs (Miami)
Carlos Gomez (Milwaukee)
Raul Ibanez (Seattle)
ibanez94Adam Jones (Baltimore)
Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee)
Martin Maldonado (Milwaukee)
Josh Prince (Milwaukee)
Michael Saunders (Seattle)
Matt Tuiasosopo (Detroit)
Luis Valbuena (Chicago – NL)

MLB Pitchers:
Scott Atchison (New York – NL)
Phillippe Aumont (Philadelphia)

Phillipe Aumont in 2008.

Phillipe Aumont in 2008.

Dave Bush (Toronto)
Mike Fiers (Milwaukee)
Jim Henderson (Milwaukee)
Felix Hernandez (Seattle)
Jeremy Jeffress (Toronto)
Shawn Kelley (New York – AL)
Mark Lowe (Los Angeles – AL)
Eric O’Flaherty (Atlanta)
Manny Parra (Cincinnati)
Wily Peralta (Milwaukee)
Photo Credit: WM Glasheen
JJ Putz (Arizona)
Rafael Soriano (Washington)
Matt Thornton (Chicago – AL)
Chris Tillman (Baltimore)
Anthony Varvaro (Atlanta)

AAA – Hitters:
Denny Almonte (Tacoma)
Jeff Clement (Rochester)
Juan Diaz (Columbus)
Joe Dunigan (Tacoma)
Scooter Gennett (Nashville)
Sean Halton (Nashville)
Rob Johnson (Memphis)
Alex Liddi (Tacoma)

Alex Liddi as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Alex Liddi as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Carlos Maldonado (Syracuse)
Adam Moore (Omaha)
Hunter Morris (Nashville)

Hunter Morris rounds the bases after one of his nine home runs with the Timber Rattlers in 2010. (Credit: PSB Photo)
Israel Nunez (Leones de Yucatan)
David Ortiz (Pawtucket)
Joey Paciorek (Nashville)
Carlos Peguero (Tacoma)
Oscar Ramirez (Petroleros de Minatitlan)
Rene Rivera (Tucson)
Carlos Triunfel (Tacoma)

AAA – Pitchers:
Nathan Adcock (Omaha)
Hiram Burgos (Nashville)
Kyle Heckathorn (Nashville)
Cesar Jimenez (Lehigh Valley)
Jake Odorizzi (Durham)
Photo Credit: Patrick S. Blood
Ryan Rowland-Smith (Pawtucket)
Caleb Thielbar (Rochester)
Justin Thomas (Sacramento)
Tyler Thornburg (Nashville)
Sean White (Albuquerque)

AA – Hitters:
Leury Bonilla (Jackson)
Kentrail Davis (Huntsville)
Jair Fernandez (Tennessee)
Brock Kjeldgaard (Huntsville)
TJ Mittelstaedt (Huntsville)
Jason Rogers (Huntsville)
Nick Shaw (Huntsville)
Mike Walker (Huntsville)
Shawn Zarraga (Huntsville)

AA – Pitchers:
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (New Hampshire)
Ryan Feierabend (Frisco)
Brian Garman (Huntsville)
Greg Holle (Huntsville)
Thomas Keeling (Huntsville)
Brett Lorin (Mobile)
Santo Manzanillo (Huntsville)
Eric Marzec (Huntsville)
Casey Medlen (Huntsville)
Andy Moye (Huntsville)
Edward Paredes (Akron)
JC Ramirez (Reading)
Adrian Rosario (Binghamton)
Juan Sandoval (Montgomery)
RJ Seidel (Huntsville)
Alan Williams (Huntsville)

A-Advanced:
Brevard County Manatees

A-Advanced – Hitters:
Cutter Dykstra (Potomac)
Robbie Garvey (Rancho Cucamonga)
Brett Lawrie (Dunedin)

A-Advanced – Pitcher:
Efrain Nieves (Dunedin)

This turned into something else….

At first, I was going to do a piece on the NCAA Tournament and the connections of Timber Rattlers players and coaches – past and present – have had with the schools involved in the tournament.

Then, I got sidetracked.

First here is the main reason I started this post.  Off the top of my head, I can recall these players with ties to teams that made the NCAA Basketball Tournament:

Jacob Barnes – Florida Gulf Coast
David Goforth – Mississippi
Ben McMahan & Tommy Toledo – Florida
Michael Garza – Georgetown
Brent Suter – Harvard
Brandon Macias – Kansas
Adrian Williams & Brent Dean – UCLA
Matt Miller & JJ Putz – Michigan
Mike Walker – Pacific
Bo Acors & Alex Gary – Virginia Commonwealth University
Brian Garman – Cincinnati 
Eric Arnett – Indiana
Brandon Green – Wichita State University
Justin Jordan – Belmont
Greg Dobbs – Oklahoma
Tom Keeling & Mike Strong – Oklahoma State
Ricky Orta – Miami
Lance Painter – Wisconsin
Matt Hagen – Liberty
TJ Bohn – Iowa State
Corey Harrington – New Mexico State

Jeremy Dutton – North Carolina State
Marshall Hubbard – North Carolina
Michael Ciccoteli & Nick Allen – Villanova

I’m sure there are some that I am missing.  Feel free to add to the list in the comments.

As I was going through the brackets and trying to match schools in the tournament with former players…in my mind!…I stopped on Creighton for a moment…Tom Oldham went to Creighton…right?

oldham04
Quick Google search to check and this is what I found:

Tom Oldham Baseball

Yes. Oldham, a Timber Rattlers pitcher in 2004, runs his own baseball school in Omaha, home of the Creighton Bluejays.  That is really cool.  Oh, and he also DID play his college baseball at Creighton. So, I wasn’t wrong!

Oldham mentions one of his games with the Timber Rattlers in the ‘About’ section of his website.

In 2004, he was 5th in strikeouts in all of Minor League Baseball, highlighted by a 15-strikeout performance against the Dayton Dragons in 8 innings.

I just so happen to have my scorebook from that game against the Dayton Dragons in 2004.  It happened on June 26 at Fox Cities Stadium.  One of his 15Ks that day was catching a guy by the name of Joey Votto looking to end the first inning.

Oldham allowed four hits, walked one, hit one, and allowed no runs in that game.  He also picked a runner off first in the second inning.

The Rattlers won that game 6-0 and were powered by homers from Bryan LaHair and Mike Nesbit.  Additionally, Adam Jones went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Lest you think that was a 1-game wonder for Oldham, it was not the only time that season he had 10 or more Ks in a game.  He also had 13 in seven shutout innings against Cedar Rapids on May 17 and 10 in 5-1/3 innings at Dayton on June 15.

Oldham struck out 132 and walked just 30 in 116.2IP with the Timber Rattlers before earning a promotion to Inland Empire in the California League later in the ’04 season.  He struck out 56 and walked 6 in 42 innings over his last seven starts of the season.

That would be…188 strikeouts and 36 walks in 158.2 innings pitched that season.

Oldham would make to to AAA in 2006, but…

Later that year, he pitched in Triple A with the Tacoma Rainiers before his professional career was cut short by an injury. Although Tom’s playing career is complete, his passion for development remains and he hopes his experiences and knowledge will help players reach their goals.

His contact information is at the website.  Drop him a line to say hello from Rattlers fans…and Go, Creighton!

Rattler Alumni in World Baseball Classic – Stats Through (3/17)

Go here to see how everyone in the WBC were doing through last Sunday.

There are no updates to Australia, Canada, Taiwan, or Venezuela since those teams were done playing after last Sunday.

That left former Timber Rattlers players on USA, Italy, the Netherlands, and Puerto Rico still playing last week.

Puerto Rico is through to the Finals after a win over Japan on Sunday.  The Netherlands will play the Dominican Republic tonight to see who will face Puerto Rico for the 2013 WBC Championship on Tuesday night.

Adam Jones connects for team USA (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Adam Jones connects for team USA (Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

USA:
Adam Jones: 6g, 4-for-22 (.182), 0HR, 4RBI
Jonathan Lucroy: 3g, 2-for-5 (.400), 0HR, 1RBI
An RBI single by Jones in the game against Puerto Rico:

Italy:
Alex Liddi: 5g, 4-for-17 (.235); 0HR, 3RBI:
From early in the WBC, an Alex Liddi RBI single:

Wladimir Balentien with the Netherlands in Tokyo. (Credit: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Wladimir Balentien with the Netherlands in Tokyo. (Credit: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images AsiaPac)

The Netherlands:
Wladimir Balentien: 6g, 6-for-19 (.316), 0HR, 4RBI
Kalian Sams: 6g, 5-for-19 (.263), 7 RUNS, 0HR, 3RBI

Here’s a Balentien RBI single in a game against Korea from earlier in the tournament:

Martin Maldonado behind the plate for Puerto Rico. (Credit:  DAVID SANTIAGO / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Martin Maldonado behind the plate for Puerto Rico. (Credit: DAVID SANTIAGO / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Puerto Rico:
Martin Maldonado: 5g, 0-for-9 (.000), 0HR, 0RBI
Hiram Burgos: 2g, 0gs, 1-0, 0.00ERA, 8.1IP, 3BB, 7K

Shared this on twitter, but here are some scoreless frames from Burgos – including a strikeout of Liddi – in Puerto Rico’s win over Italy:

This is a test of the Video Embedding Service

I was told that I could embed MLB video last year.  I am getting around to testing it out today.  If it works, expect this to be a frequent topic during the season.

Okay, the Khris Davis RBI single from Monday’s game against the Dodgers could not be embedded yet. So, here is an MLB video from March 7 with quotes from Davis (’10) and Ron Roenicke on his productive camp:

This video from MLB is about the opportunities for Scooter Gennett (’10) and Hunter Morris (’10) in Big League Camp during Spring Training.

How about a few highlights from the WBC?

Kalian Sams (’07) with a walkoff sacrifice fly for the Dutch to beat the Cubans.

 

 

Adam Jones (’04) with his 2-run double off Jim Henderson (’09) to put the US in front of Canada:

Michael Saunders (’06) with a 2-run homer for Canada:

Michael Saunders winning the Pool D MVP

Rattler Alumni in World Baseball Classic – Stats Edition

Yes. That was former Timber Rattlers outfielder Kalian Sams with the game winning sacrifice fly for the Netherlands today.  The Dutch beat Cuba 7-6 in Tokyo to advance to the next round of the World Baseball Classic.

Here is a look at how the ex-Rattlers have done during the WBC.

Adam Jones 2004USA:
Adam Jones: 2-for-9, 3RBI
Jonathan Lucroy: 2-for-5, RBI

Australia:
Chris Snelling: 1-for-2
Mike Walker: 5-for-11
Ryan Rowland-Smith: 2g, 1.2IP, 2H, R, BB, K

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mike Walker after a single for Australia. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Canada:
Taylor Green: 4-for-14
Michael Saunders: 8-for-11, 4 RUNS, HR, 7RBI*
Phillippe Aumont: 2g, 1.2IP, 5H, 3R, BB, K
Jim Henderson: 2g, 0-1, IP, 5H, 5R, BB, K

Taiwan:
Yung Chi-Chen: 4-for-19, RBI

Yung Chi Chen tags out a Cuban base runner for Taiwan. (Photo Credit: Koji Sasahara / AP)

Yung Chi Chen tags out a Cuban base runner for Taiwan. (Photo Credit: Koji Sasahara / AP)

Italy:
Alex Liddi: 4-for-10, 2RBI

Alex Liddi celebrates for Italy. Photo Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel

Alex Liddi celebrates for Italy. Photo Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel

Netherlands:
Wladimir Balentien: 5-for-18, 4RBI
Kalian Sams: 3-for-13, RBI

Kalian Sams for the Dutch. (Source: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Kalian Sams for the Dutch. (Source: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images AsiaPac)

Puerto Rico:
Martin Maldonado: 0-for-5
Hiram Burgos: 1g, 4.2IP, 0R, BB, 3K

Hiram Burgos after his scoreless outing for Puerto Rico in the WBC.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Hiram Burgos after his scoreless outing for Puerto Rico in the WBC. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Venezuela:
Asdrubal Cabrera: 1-for-8
Cesar Jimenez: 2g, 1.1IP, 3H, 2R, 0BB, K

*-Michael Saunders was named the MVP of Pool D.

Rowland-Smith & Snelling for Australia

Big League Stew had a post over the weekend about the Australian team for the World Baseball Classic.

It was titled: Getting to know your World Baseball Classic Squads: Australia

Kevin Kaduk gets to names that Timber Rattlers fans should know well.

Snelling

RRS

Biggest star(s): Though he hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010, Ryan Rowland-Smith is a familiar name to many baseball fans. Infielder Luke Hughes has also played for a couple of big league teams, most recently Oakland.

Name you may not know, but should: Remember Chris Snelling? Once a decently-rated prospect in the early 2000s, the outfielder experienced a string of injuries and only played 93 big league games. Now 31, Snelling will try and help the Aussies grab some WBC glory.

RRS struggled with the Rattlers in 2002 and was sent down to Everett.  RRS pitched great in 2003 and was sent up to the California League before the All-Star Break.

Snelling is 31 now? *sigh*

He had a great season in 2000, but he was injured for a lot of it.  I want him to stay healthy and play well in the WBC.  Then, I want to see someone sign him to get another shot.

Later in the post Kaduk explains why Travis Blackley is not pitching for Australia this year.

I bring up Blackley because he is one of those guys who probably SHOULD have been a member of the Timber Rattlers in 2002.  He was 19 and had only pitched in Everett (Northwest League).  The Mariners sent him to San Bernadino to start that season where he had a walk to strikeout ratio of 44:152 in 121-1/3 innings.  Sure would have been nice to have to have Blackley in Appleton for at least the first half of that ’02 season.

I’m not bitter.

Alumni Spring Training Notes

Tidbits on Ex-Rattlers Spring Training gets rolling

Adam McCalvy from Brewers.com

Morris leading contender to replace Gamel

Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash characterized 24-year-old prospect Hunter Morris as a “strong candidate” to begin the season in the Majors after losing another first baseman to a significant injury Monday.

With Corey Hart already sidelined for at least the first month by a right knee injury, the Brewers lost Mat Gamel for the 2013 season when he re-tore his right ACL over the weekend. Ash and GM Doug Melvin said they would examine a list of internal candidates that includes Morris, shortstop Alex Gonzalez, utility man Taylor Green and non-roster invitee Bobby Crosby before looking outside the organization.

“Clearly it’s Plan C, and the good news is there are enough individuals in camp that can and have played first base,” Ash said. “Of course, one of our players of the year last year, Hunter Morris, had a great year in Double-A, and he’ll be a strong candidate. I know [manager Ron Roenicke] has talked to Alex Gonzalez about playing some there, and Taylor Green has played some there. I think our internal options are still pretty good, and we’ll go that way, at least in the short term.”

A humble Morris vowed to go about his business as usual.

“It’s a big jump [from Double-A to the big leagues], and us talking about it doesn’t mean I’m going to get the job,” Morris said. “I have to go out and I have to earn it and I have to do a lot of things extraordinary. Doing that also comes with not putting too much pressure on myself. I’ll be playing baseball somewhere this year, I don’t know where it will be.”

He added: “Opportunities arise in the game all the time, and it’s up to me to take advantage of it. But you don’t wish [injury] on another player — ever.”

Also from Adam:

Bucci withdraws from World Baseball Classic

Bucci…withdrew from Team Canada after his pre-camp physical exam revealed what he called a minor shoulder injury. Bucci characterized his decision to skip the tournament as precautionary.

“Definitely, my passion is with Team Canada, but honestly, having it nipped now is the best thing for me so I can start the season healthy and go from there,” the 22-year-old said.

Bucci said he felt similar aggravation in his shoulder at this time last year, and he eventually developed a lat injury that delayed his debut until July 18.

He was not sure when he would be cleared to return to the mound.

In other organizations:

From Dennis Maffezzoli of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

Odorizzi on display throwing live batting practice

RH Jake Odorizzi threw batting practice for the first time under the watchful eyes of many.

“It went pretty good,” Odorizzi said. “My main goal was just to throw strikes. A few pitches got up. It is always nice to get back on the field.”

“I’m seeing good makeup,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “I’m seeing the calm demeanor, even when he is out there. When you speak to him, you get the same thing and then you watch him and it’s the same thing.”

Maddon was one of many who watched Odorizzi’s 10-minute session. Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman and a number of the starting pitchers were behind the batting cage.

“Just kind of tunnel vision, the same as the game,” Odorizzi said on not being distracted by all the attention. “I take the same mentality, try to block everything out. That’s what I was trying to do today. There are going to be people watching you the first time. I just tried to go out there and not do anything different.”

Also from Rays camp The Lakeland Ledger has this on Juan Sandoval and how he would sign with Tampa

Veteran pitcher Joel Peralta had already taken an unusual step when he called Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman directly this winter to recommend the team sign a 30-something reliever who’d been impressive in the Dominican Republic.

“I told him this could be pretty good,” Peralta said. “But I told him this is the catch: He’s only got one eye.”

Friedman paused, understandably, asked for a few details, then told Peralta to keep talking. A few more conversations and an emailed video produced a minor-league deal.

And, if it were to work out, what a remarkable story it would be: Juan Sandoval, completely blind in his right eye, pitching in the major leagues.

Sandoval had been on track previously, showing promise during five seasons in the Mariners organization and getting to the Double-A level. Then in February 2006, a wrong-place/wrong-time incident changed his life, cost him the use of his right eye and certainly could have ended his career.

Greg Johns from Mariners.com on Michael Saunders

Saunders comes out swinging in live BP

As usual on the first day of live hitting, most batters just tracked the ball and rarely swung as they worked to see pitches and get their timing down. But a few players, including outfielder Michael Saunders, jumped right in and took some healthy hacks from the get-go.

Saunders said the condensed early schedule this year — with Cactus League games already beginning Friday due to the impending World Baseball Classic — has him on fast forward.

“I just heard today we’re not doing any intrasquads since we’re starting games earlier,” Saunders said. “This is something I definitely need to take seriously to get the timing back as quick as possible. When you see live pitchers, you really know you’re in Spring Training again. It was fun today.”

This note at the Tacoma News-Tribune informs us that Saunders and Alex Liddi were two of four Mariners to sign one year contracts today.

A couple of notes on David Ortiz. (Warning: Autoplay Video at both Oritz links)  

First NESN has video of a Red Sox beanbag competition.  Apparently Andrew Bailey hit the “Shot of the Century” to beat Big Papi in the Beautyrest Baggo Classic.

And from ComcastSports New England, Ortiz sees himself following in Pedro’s footsteps

David Ortiz isn’t retiring this season or next, but when he does finally decide to hang them up, can he see himself sticking around like so many Red Sox greats have?

“Probably. Probably,” Ortiz said. “I mean, I can count myself as a Red Sox for life, you know what I’m saying? I’m always down with helping out and getting the Red Sox better.”

Kansas City Star has this on Lorenzo Cain

[Cain's] first reaction Sunday was disbelief after feeling a twinge on the top of his right hand while working in the batting cage. The soreness is not believed to be serious but the Royals, as a precaution, pulled him from regular batting practice.

“I think I’m fine,” Cain said, “but I don’t know. We’ll see. I’m getting it looked at later.”

Jorge Castillo of The Newark Star Ledger notes that Scott Atchison is part of the Mets bullpen overhaul.

The two relief pitchers, each approaching middle age, embraced in the middle of the clubhouse, one of several introductions throughout the Mets’ spring training complex on the day pitchers and catchers were due to undergo their annual physicals.

“You got gray hair!” the 40-year-old, and bald, LaTroy Hawkins exclaimed.

“Too much, man,” replied the soon-to-be-37 Scott Atchison, salt dominating the pepper on his head.

The two have 36 years of professional baseball between them. Seeking to prolong their careers, they both signed minor-league contracts with the Mets because they were promised an opportunity to break camp on the 25-man roster. The Mets offered opportunity because general manager Sandy Alderson’s first bullpen overhaul, an aggressive revamping, imploded last season.

Scott Atchison in Mets camp.  (Photo Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

Scott Atchison in Mets camp. (Photo Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

More later on how these guys and other Rattler Alumni are doing.

Alumni Report – Wrap on the Caribbean Series & Australia, Addition to WBC Roster, & Lots of Roster Updates!

Lots to get to in this update.

In case you missed it last week, former Timber Rattlers pitcher Nick Bucci has been added to the Canadian Roster for the World Baseball Classic.  See this post on Rattler Radio for more information on the other Alumni on WBC Rosters.

Caribbean Series:
Mexico defeated the Dominican Republic 4-3 in 18 innings for the CS Championship

In Caribbean Series play since our last update, Efrain Nieves picked up a win as a starting pitcher for Puerto Rico on February 5.  His final stats in the Series: 1-0, 1.50ERA; 2g, 1gs; 6.0IP, 4H, R, ER, 2BB, 3K

Australia:
There were no Rattlers involved in the Claxton Shield Championship Series between Perth and Canberra.  However, in the effort to give some closure, Canberra swept Perth 2-0 in the best-of-three Final.  The Calvary won game two 7-6 and it looked like some fun.

Here endeth the Winter Leagues.

Now, Spring Training starts.

I went through the 40-man rosters and Non-Roster Invitees of all MLB teams to see where former Timber Rattlers (and a few ex-Foxes) are going to be starting their springs.

EX-RATTLERS ON MLB 40-MAN ROSTERS:

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Milwaukee:
Nick Bucci
Hiram Burgos
Khris Davis
Mike Fiers
Scooter Gennett
Taylor Green
Jim Henderson
Martin Maldonado
Santo Manzanillo
Wily Peralta
Josh Prince
Tyler Thornburg
Photo Credit: WM Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen
Photo Credit: Ann Molica

Atlanta:
Eric O’Flaherty
Anthony Varvaro

Arizona:
JJ Putz

Chicago:
Luis Valbuena

Cincinnati:
Shin-Soo Choo

Miami:
Greg Dobbs

Philadelphia:
Phillppe Aumont

Washington:
Rafael Soriano

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Baltimore:
Adam Jones
Chris Tillman

Boston:
David Ortiz

Chicago:
Matt Thornton

Cleveland:
Asdrubal Cabrera

Kansas City:
Nathan Adcock
Lorenzo Cain

Minnesota:
Caleb Thielbar
Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

New York:
Michael Pineda
Alex Rodriguez

Tampa Bay:
Jake Odorizzi
Photo Credit: Patrick S. Blood

Toronto:
Jeremy Jeffress
Brett Lawrie
Photo Credit: WM Glasheen

Seattle:
Felix Hernandez
Raul Ibanez
Alex Liddi
Carlos Peguero
Michael Saunders
Carlos Triunfel

EX-RATTLERS AS NON-ROSTER INVITEES:

NATIONAL LEAGUE:

Milwaukee:
Kentrail Davis
Rafael Neda
Hunter Morris
Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

New York:
Scott Atchison

Philadelphia:
Cesar Jimenez
JC Ramirez
Photo Credit: Dennis Hubbard

Saint Louis:
Rob Johnson

San Diego:
Rene Rivera

Washington:
Carlos Maldonado

AMERICAN LEAGUE:

Cleveland:
Edward Paredes

Detroit:
Matt Tuiasosopo

Kansas City:
Adam Moore

Minnesota:
Jeff Clement

Tampa Bay:
Juan Sandoval

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