Archive for August, 2008

Help USA Today Pick their Minor League Player of the Year

USA Today has named fife finalists for their Minor League Player of the Year, and they’re asking fans to help them decide.

The finalists are:

RHP Trevor Cahill – Midland RockHounds (As)

3B Mat Gamel – Huntsville Stars (Brewers)

LHP David Price – Durham Bulls (Rays)

C Carlos Santana – Kinston Indians (Indians)

C Matt Weiters – Bowie Baysox (Orioles)

Read the stat breakdowns at USA Today’s webpage and then vote in the poll on the left-hand side.

[USA Today]

Olympic Baseball Schedule: Four Games Left

The United States defeated Japan on Wednesday, 4-2 in 11 innings*, to lock up the number three seed in this weekend’s elimination round.  The schedule for the next three days is as follows:

Thursday, August 21
10:30 PM EST: Semifinal – South Korea (1) vs. Japan (4)

Friday, August 22
6:00 AM EST: Semifinal – Cuba (2) vs. United States (3)
10:30 PM EST: Bronze-Medal Game

Saturday, August 23
6:00 AM EST: Gold-Medal Game

San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg will start for the United States against Cuba, the defending Olympic champions, and manager Davey Johnson suggested that injured players Jayson Nix and Matt LaPorta could benefit from Thursday’s off-day and return in time for Friday’s semifinal.  Also, Trevor Cahill, who started against Japan, was pulled after three innings in case he is needed out of the bullpen.

*I didn’t mention this when it was first introduced, but is there a stupider rule in any sport than the new extra innings rule that was put in place for these Olympics?  If you’re unfamiliar with the particulars, here they are:

Beginning in the 11th inning, runners go to first and second and teams can start at any point in their batting order.

I always thought that a homerun-hitting contest would be the worst idea I ever heard for resolving tie games that dragged deep into extra innings.  I was wrong.  Call me a traditionalist, but I hate this rule.  Two runners on and the opportunity to lead off the inning with your best hitter?  Why not start off every batter with a 2-0 count as well?  Let’s just get totally wild and crazy.

Your Olympic Baseball Update

Man, now that Michael Phelps is out of the water and into the record books, these Olympics just seem to be flying by, don’t they?  It feels like baseball just started a couple of days ago…now we’re nearing the end of preliminary play and getting ready to move on to the medal rounds.  By Saturday, it’ll be all over.

The good news is that with a 4-2 record entering Wednesday’s 7:00 AM (EST) game against Japan, the United States will be one of the four teams that advances to the next round.  The bad news?  Their draw is still uncertain, and will be for another twelve hours or so.  Cuba, currently in second place with a 5-1 record, is finishing its preliminary schedule right now against China (1-5); they are scoreless in the first inning.  South Korea (6-0) plays The Netherlands (1-5) at 11:30 EST.  Win or lose, the South Koreans should be guaranteed the top spot (they beat Cuba head-to-head), but the articles I’ve perused seem to indicate that Cuba has a chance at being the top seed.  Maybe if the team they lost to comes into play – Cuba’s lone defeat would have been to a team with a better record than South Korea’s.  Anyway, we’ll know the answer to that question in just a few short hours.

The three and four seeds are actually easier to figure out.  The United States and Japan are both 4-2.  As noted above, they play each other tomorrow morning.  The winner gets the third seed, the loser gets the fourth.  Thursday is an off day, with the medal round starting on Friday

The 1-4 game will be played at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, and 2-3 will be at 6 p.m. that night. The losers of those two games will play for the bronze medal starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the two winners of those semifinals will meet at 6 p.m. to decide who gets the gold and who gets the silver. It’s all getting much clearer now.

Win or lose, the United States has three games left: tomorrow against Japan, the first elimination game against Cuba or South Korea, and the medal round game.  On the bright side, they will have San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg, who allowed one hit in seven innings in his only appearance thus far, on the hill for at least one of those contests – it’s just a question of throwing him on Friday or holding him back for the medal game on Saturday.  Trevor Cahill – 5 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K in his only start – is scheduled to go against Japan, leaving Brandon Knight, Brett Anderson or Jake Arrieta as the likely candidates to get the call in the remaining game.  Knight started on Tuesday against Chinese Taipei and is probably out.  

On the gloomy side, the American offense is nicked up: second baseman Jayson Nix fouled a bunt attempt off his eye in a loss to Cuba and is expected to miss the rest of the tournament, Matt LaPorta has a mild concussion and is 1-for-15 overall (he also ran over China’s catcher, a minor leaguer in the Mariners’ system, and tore the guy’s ACL – just an overall awesome week), and Mike Hessman doesn’t seem to have recovered from a heel injury.  Still, our guys have to win just one of their remaining games to take home a medal, and they’ve played every opponent tough so far.  If they can get past that Cuba/South Korea road block on Friday, the gold is certainly not out of the question.

(Random question here: Jayson Nix is Laynce Nix’s brother.  Why did their parents feel the need to drop random Ys into their names?  This has me very confused.)

UPDATE: Cuba is beating the crap out of China, 10-0, in the third inning.  South Korea and The Netherlands are just underway, with the South Koreans taking an early 2-0 lead.

MORE UPDATE: Make that 14-0 and 2-0.  I’m gonna go all Brokaw on this and call it South Korea #1, Cuba #2.

FINAL UPDATE: 17-1 and 10-0, respectively.  South Korea gets the top seed and will play the loser of the USA-Japan game that starts in about 3 1/2 hours.  Cuba is the second seed and will, of course, play the winner.

Bowling Green Nickname Contest Down to Seven Finalists

I relayed the news a while back that the Columbus Catfish (Rays) would soon be moving to Bowling Green, Kentucky. An open call for a new nickname was issued by the franchise, and fans responded. Our Buddy Will G. suggested Bowling Green Corvettes, because the automobile is made in BG. I actually think that’s better than any of the auto-themed choices below, but there may have been a copyright issue we are not aware of.

Here are the finalists:

Bowling Green Speedsters: Speedsters combines Bowling Green’s automotive heritage with the speed of Minor League Baseball pitching. Imagine fast cars, fast players and fast pitches!

Bowling Green Cave Shrimp: Bowling Green’s Mammoth Cave is home to the endangered Kentucky Cave Shrimp, a sightless albino shrimp. The blind cave shrimp has been registered as an endangered species since 1983.

Bowling Green Hot Rods: For years, Hot Rods have raced on the drag strip at Bowling Green’s Beech Bend Park. The area hosts the annual Hot Rod Reunion and Buick Grand Nationals. Hot Rods celebrates the Corvette heritage and the city’s love of motorsports.

Bowling Green Bluegills: Many Bowling Green citizens fish in the nearby Barren River for Bluegill, a freshwater fish notorious for nibbling and stealing bait off a fisherman’s hook.

Bowling Green Turbos: Turbo is the key ingredient to giving an automobile more power! And a turbo-charged team will be taking the field at a high rate of speed!

Bowling Green Sparkplugs: Sparkplugs celebrates the Corvette heritage and the city’s love of motorsports while embracing the fun kind of team name Minor League Baseball is known for.

Bowling Green Mammoths: Mammoth Cave is the longest underground cave system known in the world. Mammoths celebrates Bowling Green’s connection with the cave region while providing great mascot opportunities.

[Our Sports Central]

Words cannot express how much I want this nickname to be Cave Shrimp. God I love that name. What terrorizes an opponent more than a blind, translucent crustacean? And, if you can’t terrorize your opponents, at least you can scare the pee-waddins out of the young children with a visit from the mascot.

Vote here for your favorite.

This Week in Bobbleheads Part 13

Pennant races are heating up in baseball, and bobbleheads are there to continue to lead the charge in promotions as well. Follow past, present and future bobblehead giveaways here and on my website at http://www.thetruebobbleheadboard.yuku.com. Come trade with us in baseball and the other major sports as well. Here’s the week ahead:

Altoona Curve 8/20/08 Todd Parnell – Can’t think of a player to honor? Why not use the GM’s image? It’s a no brainer, lol.

Corpus Christi Hooks 8/20/08 Hunter Pence Figurine – Big week in Corpus with the Pence figure followed by a Presidential bobble.

Long Island Ducks 8/20/08 Bud Harrelson/Dan Dantona Double – Dantona Industries has always been the sponsor for Buddy’s bobble, now we get to see what the owner of the company looks like.

Philadelphia Phillies 8/20/08 Chase Utley – Another Utley? Can’t Philly come up with someone else to honor?

Trenton Thunder 8/20/08 Jose Tabata – Was part of the deal that brought Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte to the Yankees from the Pirates, yet too late to switch bobble likenesses.

Los Angeles Dodgers 8/21/08 Joe Beimel – The fans spoke up and Beimel wins a figure giveaway.

Norfolk Tides 8/21/08 Justin Upton – Iustin completes the Local Heroes series.

Sioux Falls Canaries 8/21/08 Dan Christopherson – Part of the Cartwright Brothers group. Dan stands alone this time.

Lexington Legends 8/22/08 Josh Anderson Figurine – Astros prospect now has something for the mantle.

Peoria Chiefs 8/22/08 Roofman (Mascot) – I guess this is different from a prior Dayton one.

Salem Avalanche 8/22/08 Tim Wakefield – Another bobble for the knuckler.

San Francisco Giants 8/22/08 Renel Brooks-Moon (PA Announcer) – First female PA announcer in MLB to have this honor.

Arizona Diamondbacks 8/23/08 Eric Byrnes – Byrnes has his first NL bobble after being honored previously by the A’s.

Auburn Doubledays 8/23/08 Rich Wild (Groundskeeper) – Follows in the footsteps of Opie Cheek, Thomas Marks and Nicole Sherry as the only groundskeepers with bobbles.

Batavia Muckdogs 8/23/08 Chase Utley – 2nd Phillies All-Star to have a bobble here along with a previous Ryan Howard.

Binghamton Mets 8/23/08 Steve Kraly – Popular Yankees pitcher in the 1950s still is the official scorer for the BMets.

Charleston Riverdogs 8/23/08 Ken Carrington (PA Announcer) – Carrington won the fan’s hearts so he gets his bobble.

Charlotte Knights 8/23/08 Homer (Mascot) – The lovable dragon continues as a mainstay for the Knights.

Colorado Rockies 8/23/08 Todd Helton – A future HOFer with Colorado.

Corpus Christi Hooks 8/23/08 Teddy Roosevelt – Finishes off a busy promo week in Texas.

Lake County Captains 8/23/08 Wally Walleye (Mini) Mascot) – Completes the mini fish series.

Portland Beavers 8/23/08 Lucky (Mascot) – Never really knew that Beavers were lucky.

Potomac Nationals 8/23/08 Justin Maxwell (Mini) – Up and coming Nationals star was supposed to have a regular size bobble but got cut down to size as a mini.

Vermont Lakemonsters 8/23/08 Orlando Cabrera – First ever bobble giveaway in Vermont for this popular former Expo.

Milwaukee Brewers 8/24/08 J.J. Hardy – Streaky SS gets to immortalize himself.

Obama doesn’t need the Goldklangs to win another BobbleElection

The eyes of the nation were focused on Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday night, as Iowa’s first unofficial election ahead of the 2008 Presidential Election was held at Modern Woodmen Park prior to the Quad Cities River Bandits’ 6:00 p.m. game against the Burlington Bees.

The result of the “Bobble-Election” was an emphatic show of support for the Democratic Party, as Barack Obama defeated John McCain in a landslide, taking 1,000 votes to McCain’s 575.

“The people have spoken, and there is no question that the campaigns are watching,” said team owner Dave Heller. “As the first major straw poll being held, this unofficial election at Modern Woodmen Park will set the tone for the race that is to come. The Quad Cities have sent a clear message to the rest of the country and John McCain will have to try to overcome that.”

When the gates opened at 4:30 p.m., the River Bandits had 1,000 bobblehead dolls in the likeness of each candidate. Fans passing through the turnstiles had a simple choice: enter through the left gate to receive an Obama bobblehead, or the right gate to get a McCain bobblehead. When the 1,000th Obama bobblehead was handed out at approximately 5:15 p.m., the polls closed and Democratic candidate Barack Obama earned the River Bandits official endorsement for the 2008 Presidential Election.

“We were very impressed by the large number of fans that arrived early to Modern Woodmen Park tonight,” said team Vice President/General Manager Kirk Goodman. “It shows how much the people of the Quad Cities care about the upcoming Presidential election. Providing premium giveaways like these bobbleheads are something that we take pride in offering our fans, and there is still one bobblehead giveaway left featuring former Quad Cities outfielder Rick Ankiel on August 29.”

Obama did not have a verbal comment when asked about his resounding victory, but the Senator did not hide his ear-to-ear grin while repeatedly nodding in the affirmative and giving his supporters and enthusiastic “thumbs-up”.

“Pawtucket, You Win”

“I’ve been to probably 14 or 15 professional ballparks,” my friend Chris said nearly two weeks ago as we were driving home from a trip to Pawtucket, Rhode Island’s McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, “and the crowd at this place was, by far, the strangest group of people I have ever seen.  Pawtucket, you win.”

The other three people in the car – Chris’ friend Billy, my brother Tim, and me – laughed and quickly nodded in agreement.  I made a mental note to remember the quote because really, nothing I wrote on my own could possibly convey the weirdness with which we were confronted at McCoy Stadium.

Doesn’t mean I’m not gonna try.

In descending order, here are five things that happened at this game that made me lose a little faith in humanity:

5) We decided soon after our arrival that the centerfield bleachers were the place to be.  Problem was, the bleachers are connected to the areas in which pregame picnics and birthday parties are held, which means that they don’t actually open the gates until immediately before the start of the game.  (One of the ushers told Chris that we could find our seats as soon as we heard the word “brave”, which led to over an hour of Chris randomly shouting, “BRAVE!” and hoping for the best.)

We got some food and got into line about twenty minutes early.  Our timing was good – way more people were behind us than in front. A couple of minutes before the game started, it began to rain (again – we’d had about an hour of moderately heavy rain just as we arrived at the ballpark).  People huddled together under umbrellas and tried to find some sort of cover without leaving the line.  Somewhere in the middle of this, I think, two things happened: the Star Spangled Banner began and they opened the gates to the bleachers.

It didn’t really sink in until we had gone about fifty feet: we were walking to our seats during the National Anthem.  Now, I’m not the most openly patriotic person in the world – I love being American, but I don’t feel the need to be all up in your face with that love – and I can’t really pass judgement because I was a part of it, but this just felt WRONG.  I mean, someone like Toni Smith or Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refuses to stand at attention for the Anthem because of deep, important, valid personal beliefs, and we as a society crap all over them for it.  We say that they’re wrong for acting that way.  But two hundred people walk over Francis Scott Key’s sweet tunes for no better reason than securing a couple of metal bleacher seats in prime homerun territory?  That’s cool, man.  Don’t worry about it.  No big deal.

4) The National Anthem is a cool, meaningful song that should be respected; God Bless America is a little different.  Not that it doesn’t deserve much love, but it always feels a little out of place, like we’re trying too hard to showcase our patriotism.  I don’t know if that’s the best explanation.  Bottom line, for whatever reason, I’ve never felt it was nearly on the same level as the Anthem.  You can walk around the ballpark, get a hot dog, talk to a friend during God Bless America and it doesn’t feel strange.

Anyway, they played God Bless America in the seventh inning, we all stood up, Billy and Chris took off their hats – business as usual (I would’ve taken off my hat if I’d been wearing one.  Why?  Because I’m a follower).  As I listened, it seemed like this particular version had a little extra flair thrown in – like they stretched out some of the notes to add some pizzazz.  It was like the instrumental of the Ronan Tynan version.  Eventually it came to what we thought was the end, Billy started to put his hat back on…and the song kept going.  Not for long, but the flair had thrown him off, there was more song to be played, and he had jumped the gun.  He let his displeasure be known by loudly saying, “OH COME ON!”   

This, of course, cracked me up.  He wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, not at all, but the combination of a never-ending song and his failure to secure one of the Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads being given away prior to the game (more on that in a minute) had led him to his breaking point.  Billy wasn’t lashing out at God Bless America, he was lashing out at the inequities and inconsistencies of life, and I thought it was hilarious.

3) The Pedroia Situation has to be number three.  When I bought the tickets, I picked August 2 for two reasons: one, it was the closest date that worked for all four of us and two, they were giving away Dustin Pedroia bobbleheads to the first 4,000 fans.  Unfortunately, I have a problem with not reading things closely, so it took awhile before I learned that the giveaway was planned for the first 4,000 KIDS ONLY.

This took a toll on Billy, who apparently is a big Pedroia fan.  Before the night was through, he had gone to every usher in the place, trying his best to talk someone into giving up the bobblehead.  No dice, even after they started giving them out to random adults.  The best moment, however, was soon after we entered the ballpark.  We were out in left field, checking things out, when a group of three kids wandered by.  One of us, I forget who, suggested that Billy offer them a couple of bucks to get him a Pedroia.  So he did.

It was hilarious, seeing a grown man chatting up three adolescents in the farthest reaches of the stadium.  I expected Chris Hansen to appear at any time.  The kicker, though, the thing that made me lose faith in the children of Rhode Island, was when I asked Billy how much he paid the kid to get the merchandise.  I figured it was at least five, maybe ten.  If the kid was smart, he recognized the desperation and held out for the Hamilton.

No, he gave him two dollars.  A couple of Georges.  That’s it.  I was shocked when I heard that.  Not so much because Billy lowballed him off the bat – that’s just good business – but because the kid didn’t try to drive up the price at all.  Clearly, Rhode Island schools need to add Economics to the curriculum.

2) For the latter part of the game, there was a drunk fan standing at the top of the bleachers.  At some point, he made it his goal to taunt the centerfielder for the opposing Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.  Only problem was, he didn’t know the name of the centerfielder for the opposing Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.  So for who knows how many innings, we were subjected to witty remarks directed at “Number 36”.  If you’re gonna heckle, at least buy a program.  Make an effort.  And show me something early, or stop shouting.  If you’re giving a guy a hard time for backing up a play – in other words, making a good baseball play – you’re too stupid and/or drunk to heckle. 

The guy disappeared in the eighth, I think, which was sad because I was very close to starting a “How drunk are you?” chant (I think it would’ve caught on).  When he returned, maybe a half inning later, I nudged Chris, who in turn nudged my brother and suggested he trip him on his way up the stairs.  He didn’t realize right away who it was, or he might actually have done it.

Oh, and for the record: Matt Carson, number 36…sorry about the douchebag in the bleachers on August 2.  I’m sure you get taunted a lot by opposing fans, but I was impressed by how well you handled it.

1) As luck would have it, we found ourselves four seats that were almost completely surrounded by families.  Behind us, six or seven kids from a birthday party were sitting with what appeared to be two adults.  The kids kept accidentally kicking Billy in the back; by the fifth inning, he was about ready to give somebody, anybody, a piece of his mind.  (This was the same group that, amazingly, allowed three kids to leave the area without adult supervision and walk down to the bullpen for autographs.  These kids were maybe ten years old – maybe.  Not a parenting move I would have made.)  They did provide me with a moment of levity, however, when the one Yankees fan in the group started a “Let’s go Yankees!” cheer.  His friends responded with, “Let’s go Red Sox!”  Within about ten seconds, I had no clue who was saying what.  I think if you recorded it and played it backwards, it said “Paul is dead.”

Now, to the front was an older guy with a couple of older ladies, one of whom I’m assuming was his wife.  There were a couple of kids down there who were really well behaved.  Barely heard anything out of them the whole night.  Nothing worth complaining about there.

Our left flank carried the greatest threat to our sanity.  The actual composition was fuzzy, but as near as I could figure we were looking at a mother, two young kids, a grandmother, and a father.  Though everyone in the group had their weird little quirks, it was the father that really caught the eye of all four people in our group.  Three incidents in particular stand out:

–He and the mother were bringing the kids somewhere and made it down onto the walkway at the front of the bleachers.  The father was carrying one of the boys.  All of a sudden, my brother noticed him yelling at the woman, “Take him, take him, I’m dropping him!”  Fortunately, she was there to grab the child so he didn’t have to worry about, I don’t know, putting down the beer he was holding.  I like a man who has his priorities in order.

–As the game wore on and this wonderful fellow continued to down as much beer as possible, we noticed that the threat of nudity became greater and greater.  He was completely dressed at the beginning; by the time they left, his Red Sox jersey was completely unbuttoned, and the young lady with him was informing the children that it was time to go, before Daddy took his pants off. 

–On their way out of our section, the ball park, and our lives, the mother tried to give the father a couple of those ice cream-filled batting helmets to hold.  They were empty, of course, save for some sticky ice cream residue.  She was struggling with both kids and the assorted crap that all mothers carry whenever they go out in public with their children; he was holding – surprise – a beer.  His response: “I don’t wanna touch that!”  This happened immediately in front of my brother, who noted on the way home that we were lucky he hadn’t had anything to drink, because if he had, he probably would have said something.  And that, friends, would have been bad.

This guy had one redeeming quality, at least: he showed me that even though I think I’m a bad father sometimes, I really could be doing a lot worse.

Now, I know I’ve made it sound as though this was the worst game and the worst ballpark in the history of the world.  There were some good points, however.  We got to see a six-run Paw Sox rally in the bottom of eighth, turning a 3-1 deficit into a 7-3 victory.  Ben Broussard, waived by the Rangers and picked up by the Yankees, hit a long homerun off the centerfield scoreboard, just above and to the left of us.  The food was terrific – I had never had an italian sausage and peppers with the peppers underneath the sausage; much easier to eat and enjoy that way.  And McCoy Stadium is a nice ballpark, with very good sightlines and a sort of quaint vibe – the luxury boxes, for example, are at field level, which is a nice bit of individuality.

Bottom line: Pawtucket will definitely get another chance, if only because I need to see if this game was the rule or the exception.

The Minor Links

Please send your story tips to me, OMDQ, at onemoredyingquail@gmail.com.  As compensation, you will receive my undying love and affection.

Ian Kennedy wasn’t overly upset after a poor outing last week, an attitude that upset Yankees fans and management.  Oh, sweet irony (The LoHud Yankees Blog)

Something I’ve noticed about the minor leagues: oftentimes, great pitching performances don’t translate to wins (MiLB.com)

Jeff Samardzija could be a useful jack-of-all-trades for the Cubs down the stretch (FanHouse)

Tim Beckham, still feeling his way as a professional (BaseballAmerica.com)

Can Cal Ripken Jr. serve effectively as both a minor league owner and the Special Sports Envoy to the Department of State? (The Serious Tip)

The Z-Meter: 8/12/2008

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.

Promoted:

Evan Longoria, 3B, Durham (AAA) to Tampa Bay Rays (MLB)
Luke Hochevar, RHP, Omaha (AAA) to Kansas City Royals (MLB)

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tucson (AAA) to Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB)

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Jacksonville (AA) to Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
Jay Bruce, OF, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Homer Bailey, RHP, Louisville (AAA) to Cincinnati Reds (MLB)
Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Sacramento (AAA) to Oakland (MLB)
Chase Headley, 3B, Portland (AAA) to San Diego (MLB)
Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Albuquerque (AAA) to Marlins (MLB)
Joe Koshansky, 1B, Colorado Springs (AAA) to Rockies (MLB)
Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Iowa (AAA) to Chicago Cubs (MLB)

Justin Masterson, RHP, Portland (AA) to Boston (MLB)

Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Tennessee (AA) to Iowa (AAA)
Luke Montz, C, Harrisburg (AA) to Columbus (AAA)
Wade Davis, RHP, Montgomery (AA) to Durham (AAA)
Kila Kaaihue, 1B, Northwest Arkansas (AA) to Omaha (AAA)
Travis Snider, DH, New Hampshire (AA) to Syracuse (AAA)
David Price, LHP, Montgomery Biscuits (AA) to Durham Bulls (AAA)

Antonio Bastardo, LHP, Clearwater (A) to Reading Phillies (AA)
David Price, LHP, Vero Beach (A) to Montgomery (AA)
Matt Weiters, C, Frederick Keys (A) to Bowie Baysox (AA)
Lars Anderson, 1B, Lancaster JetHawks (A) to Portland SeaDogs (AA)

Travis Snider, OF, Dunedin (A-Advanced) to New Hampshire (AA)

Ian Gac, 1B, Clinton (A) to Bakersfield (Advanced A)
Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Asheville (A) to Modesto (Advanced A)

Josh Vitters, 3B, Boise (Short A) to Peoria (A)

Not a lot to say this week, as Olympic rosters have depleted much of our meter.

The big mover is Rays prospect David Price, who is very close to fulfilling the full promise of the Z-meter. He’s already risen all the way to triple-A in his first season as a pro. He has yet to lose a game. Yeesh. Travis Snyder has jumped from the Florida State League to triple-A in one season as well, but with less fanfare. And hey, look everyone! Antonio Bastardo is finally back!

Let’s see who else is hot this week:


The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, and ready for the call that will change their lives.

Andrew McCutchen, CF – Indianapolis Indians (Pirates): .276 – 65R – 9HR – 44RBI – 28SB – 62BB – .393 SLG – .764 OPS

Matt Tuiasosopo, 3B – Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): .270 – 75R – 10HR – 63RBI – 43BB – 2SB – .429 SLG – .784 OPS

Colby Rasmus, LF (injured) – Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals): .249 – 56R – 11HR – 36RBI – 15SB – 49BB – .395 SLG – .741 OPS

Nelson Cruz, RF (injured) – Oklahoma Redhawks (Rangers): .344 – 93R – 37HR – 98RBI – 24SB – 56BB – .710 SLG – 1.144 OPS

Luke Montz, C – Columbus Clippers (Nationals): .225 – 11R – 2HR – 14RBI – 8BB – 0SB – .325 SLG – .598 OPS

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 5GS – 3W – 0L – 2.32 ERA – 13BB – 27K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals: .375 – 15R – 7HR – 12RBI – 10BB – 0SB – .813 SLG – 1.295 OPS

Travis Snyder, DH – Syracuse Chiefs: .400 – 1R – 1HR – 6RBI – 0BB – 0SB – .733 SLG – 1.133 OPS

David Price, LHP – Stats reset with promotion


These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Austin Jackson, OF – Trenton Thunder (Yankees): .287 – 69R – 9HR – 61RBI – 53BB – 15SB – .431 SLG – .789 OPS

Dexter Fowler, OF (Olympics) – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): .337 – 86R – 9HR – 61RBI – 61BB – 20SB – .514 SLG – .944 OPS

Cameron Maybin, CF – Carolina Mudcats (Marlins): .276 – 63R – 13HR – 43RBI – 50BB – 18SB – .466 SLG – .834 OPS

Elvis Andrus, SS – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .287 – 67R – 4HR – 53RBI – 30BB – 47SB – .360 SLG – .702 OPS

Trevor Cahill, RHP (Olympics) – Midland RockHounds (Oakland): 7GS – 6W – 1L – 2.19 ERA – 19BB – 33K

Antonio Bastardo, LHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 10GS – 2W – 4L – 3.49 ERA – 29BB – 41K

Matt Wieters, C – Bowie Baysox (Orioles): .366 – 29R – 9HR – 42RBI – 28BB – 0SB – .641 SLG – 1.102 OPS

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .315 – 14R – 4HR – 19RBI – 13BB – 0SB – .75SLG – .989 OPS

Matt LaPorta, CF (Olympics) – Akron Aeros (Indians): .277 – 60R – 21HR – 73RBI – 48BB – 2SB – .534 SLG – .915 OPS

Mat Gamel, 3B – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .333 – 89R – 17HR – 86RBI – 51BB – 6SB – .545 SLG – .945 OPS

Fernando Martinez, CF – Binghamton Mets (Mets): .286 – 40R – 7HR – 30RBI – 18BB – 5SB – .432 SLG – .764 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Huntsville Stars (Brewers): .343 – 84R – 8HR – 67RBI – 27BB – 31SB – .452 SLG – .829 OPS


These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .272 – 23R – 9HR – 34RBI – 13BB – 0SB – .462 SLG – .792 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Modesto Nuts (Rockies): 9GS – 6W – 2L – 2.81 ERA – 10BB – 50K

Rick Porcello, RHP – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit): 23GS – 7W – 6L – 2.80 ERA – 32BB – 68K

Mike Moustakas, SS – Burlington Bees (Royals): .265 – 66R – 20HR – 63RBI – 34BB – 5SB – .464 SLG – .790 OPS


Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and my own irrational sense of whimsy.

USA Baseball Schedule

OK, we’ve been very patient, waiting for our Bus League roster to finally take the field in Beijing. Wednesday is the day for their Olympic debut, and we’ll let you know when they’ll take to Wukesong Field:

Wednesday, August 13 – 6pm: USA vs Korea

Thursday, August 14 – 10:30am: Netherlands vs. USA

Friday, August 15 – 11:30am: USA vs. Cuba

Saturday, August 16 – 10:30am: USA vs. Canada

Monday, August 18 – 7pm: USA vs. China

Tuesday, August 19 – 7pm: USA vs. Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)

Wednesday, August 20 – 7pm: Japan vs. USA

[Olympic Baseball Schedule]

The semis and finals happen on the 22nd and 23rd. The top four teams advance to the medal round, where the top team plays the fourth-ranked qualifier, and the 2nd and 3rd teams play one another to advance to the final. There is also a “consolation game” to decide the bronze, matching the losers of the first two games. If anyone can figure out the TV schedule, you are a better man than I.

We’ll be updating the results as we go, and help you keep track of Team USA’s chances to medal.

[Olympic Groundskeeper’s Blog]