Posts Tagged ‘Tulsa Drillers’

The Z-Meter: 7/27/2009; Jhoulys Ascendant!

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.


Jordan Zimmermann: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) to Washington Nationals (MLB)
Matt LaPorta: Columbus Clippers (AAA) to Cleveland Indians (MLB)
Daniel Bard: Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) to Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Mat Gamel: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)
Fernando Martinez: Buffalo Bisons (AAA) to New York Mets (MLB)
Matt Wieters: Norfolk Tides (AAA) to Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
Antonio Bastardo: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA) to Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Andrew McCutchen: Indianapolis Indians (AAA) to Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)
Jhoulys Chacin: Tulsa Drillers (AA) to Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Antonio Bastardo: Reading Phillies (AA) to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
Justin Smoak: Frisco Rough Riders (AA) to Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)
Yonder Alonso: Sarasota Reds (A) to Carolina Mudcats (AA)
Pedro Alvarez: Lynchburg Hillcats (A) to Altoona Curve (AA)

Mauricio Robles: West Michigan Whitecaps (A) to Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+)
Josh Vitters: Peoria Chiefs (A) to Daytona Cubs (A+)

As Brian reported earlier, Jhoulys Chacin has been called up from AA Tulsa to the big club in Colorado. As happy as I am to see one of my favorite Bus Leaguers move up, I have to question the way it was done. The Rox have just taken a young guy from the smothering heat and humidity of Oklahoma directly to the dry altitude of Denver. Had Jhoulys been able to make a couple of starts in AAA Colorado Springs, he might be a little better prepared for the way his ball is going to move, or, as the case will most certainly be, not move.

But to hell with that stinkin’ thinkin’. Go get ’em, Jhoulys!

In other news, I’ve officially given up on Shooter Hunt. The balls-out amusing name was not enough to save him when his rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League turned into a further demonstration of how he just can’t pitch. 0-4 with an ERA over 9.00 is more than I can take. He’s gone.

So, welcome two new members. Eddy Martinez-Esteve, who has the triple-bonus of 1) a lengthy, hyphenated last name that stretches across his entire jersey like a rainbow 2) I saw him play in college when FSU won the ACC tournament in Salem, VA and 3) is actually pretty damn good. Also, Travis Wood, who maintained a 1.21 ERA with 103 Ks with the Carolina Mudcats, which earned him a post-break promotion to AAA Louisville. Travis, you’re our first L’ville Bat since “The Deal”, so be gentle with us.

Welcome aboard, fellas.

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

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 20 Games – 8 W – 6 L – 3.22 ERA – 47 BB – 103 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .264 – 60 R – 13 HR – 41 RBI – 77 BB – 0 SB – .466 SLG – .869 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .304 – 67 R – 3 HR – 31 RBI – 26 BB – 35 SB – .418 SLG – .772 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 20 Starts – 6 W – 9 L – 5.18 ERA – 38 BB – 112 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .313 – 47 R – 4 HR – 39 RBI – 33 BB – 17 SB – .432 SLG – .807 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B – Oklahoma City RedHawks (Rangers): .171 AVG – 9 R – 1 HR – 8 RBI – 10 BB – 0 SB – .244 SLG – .510 OPS

Travis Wood, RHP – Louisville Bats (Reds): 1 Game – 0 W – 0 L – 1.35 ERA – 4 BB – 5 K

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


Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .259 AVG – 43 R – 8 HR – 47 RBI – 46 BB – 1 SB – .390 SLG – .739 OPS

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .272 AVG – 64 R – 19 HR – 69 RBI – 63 BB – 0 SB – .534 SLG – .930 OPS

Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .324 AVG – 58 R – 13 HR – 86 RBI – 34 BB – 1 SB – .489 SLG – .863 OPS
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 12 Games – 7 W – 1 L – 1.74 ERA – 20 BB – 52 K
 Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 15 Starts – 7 W – 3 L – 3.54 ERA – 27 BB – 71 K
Yonder Alonso, 1B (injured) – Carolina Mudcats (Reds): .246 AVG – 4 R – 1 HR – 8 RBI – 6 BB – 1 SB – .377 SLG – .686 OPS
Kyle Drabek, RHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 9 Games – 6 W – 1 L – 3.12 ERA – 19 BB – 44 K
Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Altoona Curve (Pirates): .283 AVG – 18 R – 6 HR – 17 RBI – 7 BB – 0 SB – .525 SLG – .849 OPS
Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): .300 AVG – 43 R – 4 HR – 41 RBI – 32 BB – 1 SB – .418 SLG – .783 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): .234 AVG – 49 R – 16 HR – 43 RBI – 24 BB – 1 SB – .447 SLG – .738 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .247 AVG – 52 R – 11 HR – 61 RBI – 20 BB – 8 SB – .409 SLG – .693 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .266 AVG – 59 R – 6 HR – 45 RBI – 48 BB – 19 SB – .371 SLG – .727 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Daytona Cubs (Cubs): .227 AVG – 8 R – 0 HR – 10 RBI – 2 BB – 1 SB – .307 SLG – .560 OPS

Collin Cowgill, OF (injured) – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .277 AVG – 39 R – 6 HR – 36 RBI – 29 BB – 11 SB – .445 SLG – .819 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – Lakeland Flying Tigers (Tigers): 7 Starts – 4 W – 2 L – 3.60 ERA – 14 BB – 40 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .278 AVG – 40 R – 5 HR – 54 RBI – 27 BB – 7 SB – .408 SLG – .744 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 18 Games – 8 W – 5 L – 1 SV – 3.06 ERA – 21 BB – 85 K

Brad Brach, RHP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres): 45 Games – 1.17 ERA – 3 W – 2 L – 26 SV – 9 BB – 64 K

Jamie McOwen, RF – High Desert Mavericks (Mariners): .335 AVG – 54 R – 6 HR – 58 RBI – 30 BB – 7 SB – .485 SLG – .878 OPS

NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 14 Starts – 13 W – 1 L – 1.32 ERA – 19 BB – 195 K

Strasburg was the #1 pick in the college draft this season, and will join the Washington Nationals system any old day now. He remains here as an honorary member.

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


Now Pitching For The Colorado Rockies…

The first “Now Pitching For” in forever, and I’m like four days late on it.  That’s how I roll.

Jhoulys Chacin burst onto our radar last season when he went a combined 18-3 with a 2.03 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 177.2 innings for Modesto and Asheville.  His performance earned him a coveted spot on the Z-Meter last May, and he hasn’t left since.  Well, until now, but this is like graduation day, really.

Chacin’s walks were up and his strikeouts were down at AA Tulsa this season, but that didn’t stop the Rockies from calling him up on Friday to take the place of reliever Ryan Speier, who was designated for assignment.  He made his major league debut on Saturday, pitching the ninth in an 8-2 Rockies win over San Francisco.  He walked one, threw a wild pitch, and struck out two.

The Coolbaugh Story Continues

You may remember that the Colorado Rockies’ run to the World Series last year was marked by tragedy. Minor-league first base coach Mike Coolbaugh was struck and killed by a line drive while working a game with the AA Tulsa Drillers. Baseball fans were touched by the parent club’s decision to award a full playoff share to the Coolbaugh family.

Not even a year later, Mike’s brother Scott stood in the exact same place where his brother’s life ended. Not out of curiousity, or as a tribute, but because it’s his job. Scott Coolbaugh is, like his brother, a first base coach; not with the Drillers, but with their rivals the Frisco Rough Riders. His team traveled to the Arkansas Travelers’ stadium on Sunday, bringing up some difficult memories.

I had to go through it a little bit last year after I took off about a week and came back it was the same kinda thing,” (Scott Coolbaugh) said. “It is going to going to take time, but at the same time I know I have a job to do. He would want me to do the job right and not worry about it. But the thoughts are definitely in the back of my mind, knowing this is the ballpark where it happened in and stuff like that. There is no question about it, it brings back some nightmares.

[Maumelle Monitor]

Mike Coolbaugh’s death caused many base coaches to adopt the practice of wearing batting helmets during games. Glenallen Hill at the parent club drew praise for choosing safety over image following the incident last year. We here at Bus Leagues hope a few more coaches decide they don’t mind a little mussed hair, as long as they get to drive home to their families every night.

Spotlight on AA Ball – 4/2/2008

rascal-and-grounder.jpgAs a way to keep up with 300+ Minor League teams, we’ll be spreading things out a bit. We look at Rookie and A Ball on Monday, AA on Wednesday, and AAA on Friday. In-between: whatever strikes our fancy.

Here’s today’s AA roundup:

The Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) have a bit of a problem: Legislators do not make for good mascots. They have a large dog named Grrrrounder, but he isn’t the only costumed team rep, nor was he the first. Since 1998, Sens fans have rooted for Rascal (now that’s a name for a Senator!), who is an 8-foot-tall blue-and-yellow creature of indeterminate genesis. He claims his favorite shows are Sponge Bob Square Pants and Baywatch. Hey, everybody loves the Hoff!

Did you know there are Turf Awards for groundskeepers? Me either. But I say good for these guys, and good for the Sports Turf Managers Association, who took it upon themselves to honor the guys and gals who keep our fields of dreams green and beautiful.

You may remember the Birmingham Barons (White Sox) as the team that let Michael Jordan take his cuts during his first retirement. But they’re also the double-A team least likely to send you home hungry. A quick glance at the daily promotions for 2008 looks like this:

  • Monday: All-you-can-eat menus turn this into “Belly Buster Monday”.
  • Tuesday: Quarter hotdogs (and it’s also Zoo Day, so you can see where your mystery meat came from).
  • Wednesday: Nothing listed. If I were Alka-seltzer, I’d be giving these guys a call.
  • Thursday: “Thirsty Thursday” means dollar drinks and 20-cent wings.
  • Friday: Um. Just Fireworks.
  • Saturday: This is more like it. Super Saturday Fireworks and $5 Little Ceasers Pizza.
  • Sunday: Dreamland Ribs. I’ve never eaten ballpark ribs, but I’m pretty open to the concept.

There’s also something scheduled for August 9th called “Pyro-palooza!”, which might attract the wrong crowd.

The Tulsa Drillers (Rockies) have an exciting season ahead. Not only are they feeding talent to the World Series runner-up, but the club has reached an agreement to build a new stadium in downtown Tulsa. They also host parts of the Bedlam Series between the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, which is one of the best rivalries in college athletics, no matter which sport you prefer.

And, finally, the San Antonio Missions (Padres) will bring an accomplished coaching staff to the diamond this season. New manager Bill Masse comes to the defending Texas League champs from OMDQ’s neck of the woods, where he managed the Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) to a third-place finish. He has also won an Olympic Gold Medal, as a player in 1988, and acted alongside Kevin Costner in “For the Love of the Game”. Masse’s hitting coach is four-time MLB all-star catcher Terry Kennedy, and his pitching coach is Steve Webber, who coached the Georgia Bulldogs to the 1990 National Championship.

That’s it for today. Look for the AAA news on Friday.

Rockies Vote Full Playoff Share to Coolbaugh Family

coolbaugh.jpgMike Coolbaugh had only been coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers for a few weeks when a line drive struck him in the neck and killed him. To the players and administrators at Tulsa’s parent club, the Colorado Rockies, that makes no difference. Coolbaugh was family, and you take care of family.

In this case, taking care of family means voting a full playoff share to Coolbaugh’s wife, Amanda, and his young children Joseph and Jacob (Deadspin commenter Upstate Underdog reminds me that Coolbaugh’s widow is also pregnant with the couple’s third child).

Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was with Hurdle at a press conference when the manager revealed the players’ decision, said some of the veteran players brought up the idea and the rest of the squad agreed.

“We decided as a team … it was the right thing to do,” Tulowitzki said.


And with that, the Rockies’ already impressive run to the MLB playoffs becomes inspirational and meaningful outside of the events on the field. Kudos to the elated Colorado players in the wild-card hunt for taking time out to remember what life is really about.

Former Drillers on the Rockies’ Playoff Roster:

Jeff Baker-Outfielder (2004)
Manuel Corpas-Pitcher (2006)
Jeff Francis-Pitcher (2004)
Brad Hawpe-Outfielder (2003)
Matt Holliday-Outfielder (2003, 2005)
Chris Iannetta-Catcher (2005, 2006)
Ubaldo Jimenez-Pitcher (2005, 2006)
Franklin Morales-Pitcher (2007)
Mark Redman-Pitcher (2007)
Seth Smith-Outfielder (2006)
Ryan Spilborghs-Outfielder (2005)
Ryan Speier-Pitcher (2004)
Cory Sullivan-Outfielder (2003)
Troy Tulowitzki-Shortstop (2006)