Archive for August 31st, 2009

A Kid’s Gotta Eat

For two full minor league seasons now, I’ve kicked around the idea of figuring out a way to put together a comprehensive list of major leaguers who appear in the minor leagues on rehab assignments. One of the best things about the bus leagues is that every so often, you get the chance to see major league talent at minor league prices. Daisuke Matsuzaka was supposed to pitch in Manchester on Saturday (he pitched on Sunday instead, when the weather was much better) – I paid $20 for two tickets with an excellent and close view of the mound. I shudder to think what they would have cost me at Fenway (okay, I looked it up: about $250 for the pair, twelve and a half times as much, not including fees).

Minor league players look forward to rehab assignments for another reason: when a big leaguer comes down to the minors, tradition dictates that he feeds the team before and/or after the game.

There have been a couple stories about this during the summer, but it wasn’t until Matsuzaka came to town and fed the Sea Dogs with pre-game sushi and post-game steak dinners that I realized something: as a group of fans that revels in the weird aspects of minor league baseball, we really should be talking about this more.  And we will – well, not this season, but next year, mark my words, there will be more in-depth coverage of what major leaguers are doing to help the kids out while they’re down on the farm.

I’m not sure we can do it without help, however, so if you happen to read a story that talks about this tradition, drop me a line at onemoredyingquail@gmail.com.

Texas League All-Stars Announced

The Texas League announced its postseason All-Stars earlier today:

Catcher: Hank Conger, Arkansas Travelers
First Base: Chris Carter, Midland RockHounds
Second Base: Daniel Descalso, Springfield Cardinals
Third Base: Darin Holcomb, Tulsa Drillers
Shortstop: Wladimir Sutil, Corpus Christi Hooks
Outfield: Craig Gentry, Frisco RoughRiders
Outfield: Tyler Henley, Springfield Cardinals
Outfield: Drew Locke, Corpus Christi Hooks
Designated Hitter: Chad Tracy, Frisco RoughRiders
Utility: Adrian Cardenas, Midland RockHounds
Right-Handed Pitcher: Jhoulys Chacin, Tulsa Drillers
Right-Handed Pitcher: Samuel Deduno, Tulsa Drillers
Right-Handed Pitcher: Graham Godfrey, Midland RockHounds
Right-Handed Pitcher: Trey Hearne, Springfield Cardinals
Right-Handed Pitcher: Lance Lynn, Springfield Cardinals
Left-Handed Pitcher: Trevor Reckling, Arkansas Travelers
Relief Pitcher: Andrew Johnston, Tulsa Drillers

Manager of the Year: Darren Bush, Midland RockHounds
Pitcher of the Year: Samuel Deduno, Tulsa Drillers
Player of the Year: Chris Carter, Midland RockHounds
Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year: Ken Patterson, Arkansas Travelers

I’d like to pat myself on the back for getting one right, but Carter’s MVP was about as easy a call as anyone could ever hope to make. He dominated the Texas League right up to his promotion to Triple-A.

Southern League All-Stars Announced

The Southern League announced its postseason All-Stars earlier today:

Catcher: Tyler Flowers, Birmingham Barons
First Base: Blake Lalli, Tennessee Smokies
Second Base: C.J. Retherford, Birmingham Barons
Third Base: Juan Francisco, Carolina Mudcats
Shortstop: Pedro Ciriaco, Mobile Bay Bears
Outfield: David Cook, Birmingham Barons
Outfield: Steven Gartrell, Birmingham Barons
Outfield: Desmond Jennings, Montgomery Biscuits
Designated Hitter: Greg Halman, West Tenn Diamond Jaxx
Utility: Todd Frazier, Carolina Mudcats
Right-Handed Pitcher: John Ely, Birmingham Barons
Left-Handed Pitcher: Travis Wood, Carolina Mudcats
Relief Pitcher: Matt Peterson, Jacksonville Suns

Best Hustler: Matt Young, Mississippi Braves
Manager of the Year: Everardo Magallanes, Birmingham Barons
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Travis Wood, Carolina Mudcats
Most Valuable Player: Desmond Jennings, Montgomery Biscuits

Francisco and Frazier were both on my short list. Jennings was ineligible using my criteria because I only considered players currently in the league for the award.

Florida State League All-Stars Announced

The Florida State League postseason All-Stars were announced earlier today:

Catcher: Austin Rome, Tampa Yankees
Catcher: Robinson Chirinos, Daytona Cubs
First Base: Chris Parmelee, Fort Myers Miracle
Second Base: Eric Farris, Brevard County Manatees
Third Base: Brandon Laird, Tampa Yankees
Shortstop: Starlin Castro, Daytona Cubs
Left Field: Ben Revere, Fort Myers Miracle
Center Field: Logan Schafer, Brevard County Manatees
Right Field: Caleb Gindl, Brevard County Manatees
Utility Outfield: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, St. Lucie Mets
Utility Infield: Shawn O’Malley, Charlotte Stone Crabs
Designated Hitter: Tim Kennelly, Clearwater Threshers
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher: David Bromberg, Fort Myers Miracle
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher: Darin Downs, Charlotte Stone Crabs
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher: Lance Pendleton, Tampa Yankees
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher: Amaury Rivas, Brevard County Manatees
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher: Matthew Gorgen, Charlotte Stone Crabs
Right-Handed Relief Pitcher: Jonathan Hovis, Tampa Yankees

Player of the Year: Austin Romine, Tampa Yankees
Pitcher of the Year: David Bromberg, Fort Myers Miracle
Manager: Jeff Smith, Fort Myers Miracle
Coach: Mike Guerrero, Brevard County Manatees
Coach: Luis Sojo, Tampa Yankees

My picks for Player of the Year were Parmelee and Revere, although I distinctly remember giving Romine some consideration. Past Players of the Year include Derek Jeter, Victor Martinez, and Ryan Howard.

Pacific Coast League All-Stars Announced

The Pacific Coast League’s postseason All-Stars were announced earlier today:

Catcher: John Hester, Reno Aces
First Base: Randy Ruiz, Las Vegas 51s
Second Base: Eric Young, Jr., Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Third Base: Esteban German, Oklahoma City Redhawks
Shortstop: Alcides Escobar, Nashville Sounds
Outfield: John Bowker, Fresno Grizzlies
Outfield: Terry Evans, Salt Lake Bees
Outfield: Matt Miller, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Designated Hitter: Mitch Jones, Albuquerque Isotopes
Right-Handed Pitcher: Bud Norris, Round Rock Express
Left-Handed Pitcher: Lenny DiNardo, Omaha Royals
Relief Pitcher: Scott Strickland, Albuquerque Isotopes

The four major awards – Rookie of the Year, Pitcher of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Manager of the Year – will be announced, in that order, over the next four days. Randy Ruiz was my pick for MVP but may be harmed by the fact that he has missed the last three weeks after being called up by the Blue Jays.

Rinku And Dinesh, Immortalized In Cardboard And Chrome

Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel are kickin’ some boo-tay for the GCL Pirates in this, their debut season – Dinesh has a 1.42 ERA and no walks in six games, Rinku has only allowed one earned run since returning from a nineteen day layoff on August 13.  And now, the ultimate in awesome: they have their own baseball cards:

rinku and dinesh baseball cardsNow I know what I want for my birthday.

South Atlantic League All-Stars Announced

The South Atlantic League postseason All-Stars were announced earlier today:

Catcher: Jordan Pacheco, Asheville Tourists
First Base: Josh Mazzola, Augusta Green Jackets
Second Base: Stephen Lombardozzi, Hagerstown Suns
Third Base: Corban Joseph, Charleston River Dogs
Shorstop: Tim Beckham, Bowling Green Hot Rods
Outfield: Scott Robinson, Asheville Tourists
Outfield: Anthony Gose, Lakewood Blueclaws
Outfield: Ronnie Welty, Delmarva Shorebirds
Utility OF: Melky Mesa, Charleston River Dogs
Utility INF: Erik Morrison, Hickory Crawdads
Designated Hitter: Derek Norris, Hagerstown Suns
Right-Handed Pitcher: David Phelps, Charleston River Dogs
Left-Handed Pitcher: Rudy Owens, West Virginia Power
Manager: Dusty Wathan, Lakewood Blueclaws
Coach: Bob Kipper, Greenville Drive

Most Outstanding Pitcher: Rudy Owens, West Virginia Power
Most Outstanding MLB Prospect: Derek Norris, Hagerstown Suns
Most Valuable Player: Jordan Pacheco, Asheville Tourists

I came closer on this one: Norris was my MVP candidate.

Now Pitching For The Cleveland Indians…

The Indians are planning to call up top prospect Carlos Carrasco, obtained from the Phillies in a trade deadline deal for Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, to make his major league debut on Tuesday:

It’s no surprise that the Indians, who have taken major heat from their fan base for dealing Lee and catcher Victor Martinez before the deadline, are anxious to show off some of the talent they got back. Marson will also join the Indians, and chances are Donald would have too if it weren’t for back spasms that landed him on the DL at Columbus.

Carrasco, 22, was 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 20 starts for Lehigh Valley prior to the trade, 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts for Columbus after.  He struck out 148 batters in 157 innings between the two stops.

As noted above, he is expected to be joined by Columbus teammate Lou Marson, a 23-year-old catcher who also came over from the Phillies in the Lee trade.  The move has had the opposite effect on Marson, who has gone from .294/.382/.370 with the IronPigs to .235/.300/.309 with the Clippers.  He is currently mired in a 1-31 slump.

Dominican Summer League All-Stars Announced

These were announced last Wednesday, just before the start of the playoffs:

Catcher: Jaime Del Valle, White Sox
First Base: Reymond Nunez, Yankees 2
Second Base: Carlos Willoughby, Giants
Third Base: Eric Avila, Pirates
Shortstop: Juan Silverio, White Sox
Outfield: Dioris Robles, Indians
Outfield: Rafael Ortega, Rockies
Outfield: Kelvin Duran, Yankees 2
Designated Hitter: Jhonatan Javier, Orioles/Brewers
Right-Handed Pitchers: Pedro Guerra, Twins; Randol Rojas, Rangers 2
Left-Handed Pitcher: Andy Otero, Braves
Relief Pitcher: Miguel De Los Santos, Rangers 2

Player of the Year: Carlos Willoughby, Giants
Pitchers of the Year (tie): Pedro Guerra, Twins; Randol Rojas, Rangers 2
Manager of the Year: Jayce Tingler, Rangers 2

For the record, I’m officially 0-1 on MVP guesses.  I had Reymond Nunez or Alexander Sanchez taking home the award.

Giants Win Dominican Summer League Championship

Earlier today, the DSL Giants beat the DSL Twins, 2-1, to finish off a three game sweep in the Dominican Summer League championship series.

All three games were tightly contested, low-scoring affairs – 4-3, 3-1, 2-1.  In the first, the Giants came from behind to win in extra innings; in the final two, they scored in the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie.

If the box scores are to be believed, all three games also featured a strange occurrence in which the pitcher threw back-to-back wild pitches that allowed a base-runner to advance twice.  It happened for the Twins in Game One and the Giants in Games Two and Three, predictably resulting in a run for the offense each time.

Lorenzo Mendoza, a perfect 8-0 in the regular season, went 2-0 in the postseason, including a complete game four-hitter to clinch the championship.