Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’

Mehring in Arizona Interview – Matt Erickson (March 30, 2016)

The main story on the “Pretty Close” Timber Rattlers Opening Day roster and the 5-inning game between the Timber Rattlers and the Brevard County Manatees is over at the main website.

The third inning of that game is on Periscope.

Here is the full postgame interview with Matt Erickson.

The Timber Rattlers infield was shifting against Clint Coulter today.  If you look at this photo, there are not four infielders on the third base side of second.  There would be three infielders on the field and Field Coordinator Charlie Green as an on-field coach.  Click for the full image.

Coulter Shift

Here is a tweet of the game-ending 6-4-3 double play.



Mehring in Arizona Interview -Gary Lucas (March 29, 2016)

The main article with the writeup of the 1-1 tie with Dayton is over at the Timber Rattlers website.

Here is the full interview with Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitching coach Gary Lucas.  The sound quality of this interview was much better, but I made a mistake when talking about Drake Owenby.  He actually worked five scoreless innings.  I said four scoreless in my question about him to Gary.

This photo is (Left to Right): Rick Tomlin, Jeff Paxson, and Lucas watching Drake Owenby pitch during the game:
Watching 3292016

This is Owenby pitching in the game:
Owenby 3292016
A few notes from the game:

Dayton catcher Nick Travieso was the designated bunter in the game.  He was not in the starting lineup, but in the second, third, fifth, and sixth innings he went to the plate to bunt with a runner on first and less than two outs.  In the third inning, Travieso went up to bunt with one out and a runner at first.  The runner was picked off by Owenby and Travieso was removed from the box in place of the hitter whose turn it was supposed to be in the order.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Dragons pitcher retired the side in order, but still needed work, so he got one more batter in the frame.  He got a 1-2-3-4 inning.

Then, in the top of the eighth, that same pitcher left the game after a walk and a sacrifice bunt.  So much for no pitching changes during innings of minor league spring training games.

The Rattlers didn’t bring enough pitchers to cover the bottom of the tenth inning, so the Dragons didn’t get to bat in that turn.  The game ended in a tie after 9-1/2 innings.

Here is the tweet with the Timber Rattlers lineup on Tuesday afternoon:



Here is the link to the Periscope video of the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game. It’s 21 minutes….and still without sound.

This seems like a great idea

Bill Smith was the General Manager of the Appleton Foxes from 1983-1985.  He has moved up in the Minnesota Twins organization, where he was the GM from 2008-2011, and is presently an assistant to the president and GM for the Twins.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Bill Smith at the Twins Spring Training Complex. Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Why do I bring this up today?

This story about renovations to the Twins spring training complex in Florida was passed along to me and I liked it for a lot of different reasons.

The first was the connection to Smith, since this nearly $50 million project was his baby…to put it one way.  The second was this:

The centerpiece of the…project was the minor league player development academy. The gleaming three-story building was designed to house, feed, teach and train prospects year round. The Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates each have on-site dormitories for minor leaguers elsewhere in Florida, but what the Twins have now is unparalleled in the majors.

“There are going to be guys who are going to point to the academy as far as an important part of their development,” President Dave St. Peter said.

The overall goal was to better prepare Twins prospects for the majors, from nutrition to education to equipment.

For the many Spanish-speaking players from Latin American countries, there are English lessons. For the drafted players who left college before graduation, there are spaces and resources for completing degrees online. For everyone, there are healthy meals professionally prepared on site.

“They don’t even allow cookies over there,” general manager Terry Ryan said, adding: “They can go out and get what they want if they want to, but it’s important to us that at least they have been educated about what we want them to put in their bodies.”

There’s no soda, either, but comforts abound. The 54 double rooms have plush queen beds, refrigerators, desks, dressers and bathrooms, each unit decorated with photos of the Twins players who wore the number of the room. Justin Morneau and Mudcat Grant, for example, provide the backdrop for No. 33.

Plenty more at the link.  But here’s a photo of one of the dorm rooms.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Bill Smith’s 1983 baseball card with the Foxes:

We need a bigger card.

GM’s had cards in those days.

Alumni Birthdays for February 26:
Rich Graham (’93) – 45
David Howard (’88) – 48

1993 Classic Best Appleton Foxes #9 - Rich Graham - Courtesy of
1993 Classic Best Appleton Foxes #9 – Rich Graham

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.

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

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.



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

Eric O’Flaherty
Anthony Varvaro

JJ Putz

Luis Valbuena

Shin-Soo Choo

Greg Dobbs

Phillppe Aumont

Rafael Soriano


Adam Jones
Chris Tillman

David Ortiz

Matt Thornton

Asdrubal Cabrera

Kansas City:
Nathan Adcock
Lorenzo Cain

Caleb Thielbar
Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

New York:
Michael Pineda
Alex Rodriguez

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

Jeremy Jeffress
Brett Lawrie
Photo Credit: WM Glasheen

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



Kentrail Davis
Rafael Neda
Hunter Morris
Photo Credit: Ann Mollica

New York:
Scott Atchison

Cesar Jimenez
JC Ramirez
Photo Credit: Dennis Hubbard

Saint Louis:
Rob Johnson

San Diego:
Rene Rivera

Carlos Maldonado


Edward Paredes

Matt Tuiasosopo

Kansas City:
Adam Moore

Jeff Clement

Tampa Bay:
Juan Sandoval

Wisconsin v. Brevard County Game Log

Monday was a short day on the minor league side of camp.  There was a lot of defensive work and a short 4-1/2 inning game between The Timber Rattlers and Brevard County.  Lots of former and future Rattlers took part in that game.  I compiled a game log to help you follow along with what happened.

Keep in mind, they were pretty loose on the rules.  That is why Rob Wooten faced five batters, recorded four outs, and the inning ended after a Joey Paciorek double.  You will also see the random insertion of a hitter for the Rattlers.

Here are the starting lineups:

John Dishon, rf
Greg Hopkins, 2b
Max Walla, cf
Jason Rogers, 1b
Mike Walker, 3b
Gerald Ogrinc, c
Kenny Allison, lf
Kyle Dhanani, ss
Michael Roberts, dh
Tyler Thornburg, sp

Pete Fatse, 2b
Derrick Shaw, lf
Chris Dennis, 1b
Cameron Garfield, dh
Tony Pechek, c
Jose Garcia, rf
Yadiel Rivera, ss
Franklin Romero, cf
Austin Ross, p

Top 1st: Dishon flies out to right. Hopkins pops out to second.  Walla singles to center.  With Rogers batting, Walla caught stealing (2-4) WI: 0 R, 1H, 0 LOB

Bottom 1st: Fatse strikes out looking.  Shaw singles to center.  With Dennis batting, Shaw caught stealing (2-6).  Dennis walks.  Garfield strikes out looking. BC: 0R, H, 1 LOB

Top 2nd: Rogers reaches on E-6.  Walker reaches on fielder’s choice.  Rogers safe at second and takes third on E6 (missed catch).  Ogrinc grounds out 3-1 (RBI), Rogers scores, Walker takes second.  Allison grounds out 3-1, Walker takes third.  Dhanani lines out to first.  WI: 1 R, 0H, 1 LOB

Bottom 2nd: Pacioreck singles to left. Pechek doubles to left, Paciorek to third.  Garcia strikesout looking.  Rivera out 1-3 on squeeze bunt (RBI), Paciorek scores, Pechek to third.  Romero grounds out 6-3.  BC: 1R, 2H, 1 LOB

Top 3rd: Roberts flies out to right. Dishon strikes out looking.  Hopkins strikes out swinging.  WI: 0 R, 0 H, 0 LOB

Bottom 3rd: Wisconsin pitching change: Rob Wooten replaces Tyler Thornburg.  Fatse out 1-3 on bunt.  Shaw strikes out looking.  Dennis strikes out swinging. Garfield pops out to second.  Paciorek doubles to leftcenter.  BC: 0R, H, 1 LOB

Top 4th: Brevard County Defensive changes: McKelvie replaces Dennis at first base.  Berard replaces Fatse at second base.  Walla reaches on E4 (throw), out 2-6 when attempting to take second on overthrow.  Rogers grounds out 6-3. Walker singles to center. Ogrinc flies out to right. WI: 0R, H, 1 LOB

Bottom 4th: Wisconsin pitching change: Alex Periard replaces Rob Wooten.  Wisconsin defensive change: M. Roberts replaces Ogrinc at catcher.  Pechek walks.  Garcia out 6-3, Pechek advances to second.  With Rivera at bat, Pechek takes third on wild pitch.  With Rivera at bat, Pechek scores on wild pitch.  Rivera strikes out looking.  Romero pops out to short.

Top 5th: Steve Felix doubles to rightcenter.  With Allison at bat, Felix is out 2-5 trying to advance on a ball in the dirt.  Allison flies out to center.  Dhanani singles to center.  Roberts lines out to pitcher.  WI: 0H, 2H, 1 LOB

Final score: Brevard County 2, Wisconsin 1.

Rattlers Arizona game (March 25)

Sorry, folks.  All this futzing around with the new way to blog has put me behind schedule.

For the full story of the game (and day two in Arizona) head over to the Rattlers home page.

I had planned on a more proper boxscore for the Rattlers game on Friday.  But, I will have to go with this:

Starting lineup:
Keen, cf: 1-for-2, 2B
George, ss: 1-for-2, SAC, RBI
Mittelstaedt, lf: 1-for-4, BB, 2K
Rogers, 1b: 0-for-3, 3K
Hopkins, 2b: 1-for-2, SB, RBI
Roberts, c: 0-for-1, SF, RBI
Dishon, rf: 0-for-2
Paciorek, 3b: 1-for-2
Pechek, dh: 0-for-3, BB, RUN, K

Allison, cf: 1-for-1, CS
Rivera, ss: 0-for-2, 2K
McKelvie, 1b: 0-for-1, K
Shaw, 2b: 1-for-1, BB
Dean, c: 0-for-2, GIDP, K
Walla, rf: 0-for-1, BB, SB, RUN
Walker, 3b: 0-for-2, K

Nelson: 3.1IP, 5H, 4R, 3BB, K
Shackelford: 1.1IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
Keeling: 1IP, 1H, R, 2BB, 0K
Sanchez: 2IP, 7H, 4R, 0BB, 2K
Jones: 1IP, 2H, 3R, 2BB, K

Brewers 7, Indians 4

The Brewers beat Cleveland 7-4 in Cactus League play on Friday.

Ex-Rattler for Milwaukee:
Hunter Morris (’10): Defensive Replacement

Ex-Rattlers for Cleveland:
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 2-for-4
Shin-soo Choo (’02): 0-for-4
Luis Valbuena (’06): 1-for-4, RBI

I had a couple of pictures of Choo, Cabrera, and Valbuena to post here.  But, with the new software changeover, I CAN’T POST PHOTOS!  Kind of defeats the purpose of trying to upload photos, no?

Head over to the Timber Rattlers facebook album for Friday in Arizona.  They have those pictures of the Cleveland chapter of the Rattlers Alumni Association and much more.

Read up on Day One

Mehring in Arizona: Day One was posted last night.

No problem finding the hotel either…until I pulled into the parking lot. I was blinded by the sun as I was facing west and trying to find a parking spot. Suddenly, I saw a figure dart out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes. The figure began walking towards me on the passenger side of the car. As the figure stepped out of the setting sun, I recognized…Pitching Coach Chris Hook. Yep, almost hit him and the season hasn’t even started.

Click the link for the rest.

Catching up on Rattlers Spring Training action

Click the scores for the full post at  Click the name for the page of each player.

From Tuesday:

The Rattlers lost 8-2 to Great Lakes

Michael Walker: 2-for-3, RBI
Reggie Keen: 2-for-3, 2B, RUN

Starting pitcher:
Charly Bashara: 2.1IP, 3H, 5R, 3BB, 3K

From Wednesday:

The Rattlers beat Lake County 5-4.

Robert Garvey: 2-for-4, 2 RUNS, RBI, HR
Reggie Keen: 2-for-5, 2 RUNS

Starting Pitcher:
Austin Ross: 4.1IP, 5H, 2R, 0BB, 7K

%d bloggers like this: