Cabrera in Town, Talkin’ Padres, Lifer in MiLB
Tuesday night’s series opener against South Bend falls into the “Wanna Get Away?” category. South Bend one-hit the TinCaps and took a 2-0 victory, improving to 9-1 against Fort Wayne this season.
But, on the bright side, the TinCaps had their second-ever MLB player join them on a rehab assignment, as Everth Cabrera, the starting shortstop for the Padres, was in a Fort Wayne uniform for 5.5 innings last night. He went 0-3, but showed off a great glove at shortstop.
From the “Why not?” department, this is hanging in South Bend’s elevator:
Mike Maahs and I will bring you the action tonight from South Bend, with pre-game coverage starting at 7:15. I’ll be joined by Padres Assistant GM/Vice President of Player Personnel Chad MacDonald to talk about his role on draft day (he has final say on picks), his thoughts on Norwell High School’s Josh Van Meter, who the Padres took in the fifth round, and on first-round pick Hunter Renfroe, who he called, “the best athlete in the SEC”. Hope you can join us on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.
TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST
Yesterday I chatted with San Diego Padres VP/Assistant General Manager AJ Hinch, and you can hear our conversation where we talk about the young pitchers on the TinCaps, and much more, here:
LIFE IN THE MINORS (PLUS 18 AT-BATS)
When I started working in Minor League Baseball in 2010, one of the players I saw was Mike Cervenak, who at the time was a Mets farmhand playing for the Buffalo Bisons. Cervenak is now 36 years old, and despite having played 15 seasons in the minors, has only seen 18 big-league at-bats. He does, however, have a World Series ring. If you want to read about a lifer in Minor League Baseball who has the right attitude, this is the guy.
Brian Curtis of Grantland writes a great story about Cervenak and the path he’s taken. With Cervenak having played overseas, it almost reminds me of TinCaps hitting coach Morgan Burkhart in a way. Burkhart, if you didn’t know, played parts of threes seasons in the bigs between Boston and Kansas City.
Here’s an excerpt from the story on Cervenak:
I tried to watch Cervenak like a scout. He was almost exactly how he’d been described. He didn’t make many spectacular plays at third, but he made all the routine ones. As Zahn put it, “Mike has something inside him that says, ‘Somebody’s going to have to prove to me that I can’t hit.'” Cervenak came up in the top of the second, took a strike, and then slapped a double down the left-field line. He rounded first like an offensive lineman. He finished 1-for-4, with a walk and a run scored.
This is what organizational depth is. “It’s a player that 30 clubs say can’t play in the big leagues,” says Merrill. “That’s essentially what they’re saying. Yet they’re paying him money to be a backup to a backup.”
“Every night,” said Phil Nevin, the Mud Hens manager, “he goes about his business in a professional way. You see why a guy like him keeps getting jobs.”
I do have to take exception with one part of the story, though:
Fifteen minutes before the first pitch, the Chiefs grounds crew removed the infield tarp and dragged it into left field. Then the crew seemed to think better of it and put the tarp back on the infield.
Curtis shows that he’s not sat through many baseball rain delays here. This is known as “dumping” the tarp, or getting the rain water off of it and letting it drain onto the field. Other than that, great story. I know Syracuse Chiefs groundskeeper John Stewart (I worked for the Chiefs in 2010) and I can assure you that he would not mistakenly remove the tarp.
Here’s the link to the story: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9428218/mike-cervenak-not-prospect
AC/DC…take it away!