Big Win, New Guy, PTNBL Explained

With an exciting, come-from-behind 12-7 win Wednesday night, the TinCaps have extended their winning streak to a season-best four games. Once down, 7-2, Fort Wayne scored ten unanswered runs, getting six in the sixth and four in the seventh to bury the Hot Rods at Bowling Green Ballpark. It was a powerful display of offense which counted three home runs–one from Fernando Perez, Jake Bauers and Ryan Miller–in a 14-hit attack. The home runs from Bauer and Miller were the game-changers, as Bauers’ homer tied the game and Miller’s which came in the next at-bat, gave Fort Wayne the lead for good. Here’s how they sounded:



As I mentioned in the tail end of the call of the Miller home run, it was the first time the team had hit back-to-back home runs in nearly two years. The last time it happened was May 26, 2012, when Lee Orr and Yeison Asencio hit consecutive longballs. Strangely enough, that game was also against the Hot Rods, but the TinCaps lost, 11-2.

Tonight the TinCaps send Erik Cabrera to the hill as they try and extend their winning streak to five games. It would be the first time Fort Wayne has won five straight games since the tail end of a nine-game winning streak last season, which ran from June 2 to June 11. First pitch is at 8:05 ET on The Fan 1380 and


Yesterday the TinCaps placed infielder Chase Jensen on the disabled list, and brought aboard all-name team infielder River Stevens. Find out about him here:

Today, they placed pitcher Coby Cowgill on the disabled list, and pitcher Ronnie Herrera was assigned to Fort Wayne. Herrera, if you’re not familiar with the name, was just named as the Player to Be Named Later in the May 15 trade between San Diego and Oakland that sent outfielder Kyle Blanks to the A’s in exchange for a minor leaguer.

Here’s the preseason scoop on Herrera, from the interestingly named A’s blog, The Afroed Elephant:

“The 18 year old Herrera, following his $20,000 signing in 2012, has burst forth to relevance and become a consensus top 25 Athletics prospect with a sound delivery and precise pitch placement that made him one of the most feared AZL arms throughout the league prior to his promotion to Vermont for a brief two outing tenure. Now competing for a Snappers post, Herrera’s remarkable breakthrough makes him one of Oakland’s most sought after farmhands, not turning 19 until May 3rd. 

Featuring as one the breakout performers throughout the entirety of the organization in 2013, Herrera shot out of obscurity and onto the A’s radar with his phenomenal stateside debut in the AZL that produced a two start stint with Vermont to conclude his campaign and now places him squarely in consideration for a coveted Beloit rotation position entering 2014. Only but a diminutive 5’10”, 170 pounds, Herrera initially inked for a modest sum in 2012 and was flown from his Venezuelan home to the Santo Domingo academy to contribute to the DSL squad as a 17 year old and fared well between 58 1/3 IP, constructing a 44:20 K/BB and permitting a lone dinger in a season that caught the attention of the A’s and convinced them to ship Herrera out to the instructional league. The 18 year old wound up remaining domestically in what would be a AZL berth that saw him mixed into the Papago rookie league rotation, and inbetween his 14 appearances (9 starts), Herrera would bomb past collegiate draftees and advanced international batters en route to one of the most dominant stretches of any AZL/GCL pitching prospect in 2013. This was enough to convince the A’s to push Ronnie even further to Vermont to make a two appearance debut with the Lake Monsters. Overall, he would battle through 78 1/3 IP with 66 strikeouts recorded, 13 walks allowed, and three dingers surrendered during his year that now has the organization considering stitching his name onto a Snappers uniform this May.

 Born on 5/3/1995, Herrera is the second youngest player within the organization currently housed within the states (Chris Kohler born 5/4/1995) and would be 18 for the first month of the MWL schedule, a full five months younger than when Alcantara began in Burlington as a 19 year old in 2012. Similarly to Alcantara, Herrera has received acclaim for his precision and possesses a pinpoint changeup, mature curveball and a fastball that can graze 95 MPH despite pitching consistently at 88-92, accompanied by a tendency to keep the ball towards the lower portions of the strike zone that has resulted in plus groundball rates. The Maracay native wowed during this previous September in the instructional league and has the A’s minor league coordinators raving about his potential, so no matter how skeptical you are, Herrera is an absolute must know prospect for Oakland fans. And he, alongside Gregory Paulino, is in all likelihood the next Alcantara/Ynoa down on the farm. Should he not be granted with a shuttle to Wisconsin, he’ll commence in Vermont and undoubtedly receive some sporadic Beloit attempts after his 19th birthday in August.”

According to Corey Brock of, Herrera will start for the TinCaps tomorrow in the series finale against Bowling Green.

If you were wondering what goes on behind the scenes with a Player to Be Named Later situation, fear not…so was I. So I emailed Padres Director of Player Development (colloquially, the farm director) Randy Smith, who is a former MLB General Manager, to find out more about that.

As he explained it, a Player to Be Named Later is very similar to acquiring a player in a normal trade. The decision is made based off of evaluations from the pro scouts the Padres employ, and analysis from the front office. It’s not uncommon for the two teams in this type of a deal to have a list of a few players that could be that PTBNL, and then have a period of time for further evaluation before a final decision is reached.

Thank you, Randy, for the good explanation.


Before yesterday’s game I talked with TinCaps starter Walker Weickel, who had pitched his best start of the year Tuesday morning at Parkview Field:


One of my favorite corners of the internet is the On Leadership blog done by The Washington Post. I’m always curious about different styles of leadership and why people in those positions do what they do. The blog recently talked with Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. He says:

“One of the keys to being a CEO is communication. In the early days of Twitter, we just assumed that since we were all sitting in the same room we were all on the same page, so we didn’t really need to communicate that much. It turns out we were totally wrong. That was one of the reasons why Twitter’s service was constantly breaking in the early days.

With this new company I’ve founded, Jelly, it’s the first time I’m CEO. I now realize that half the job of being a good leader is making sure everyone knows everything at all times that they need to know, because it’s human nature to fear the unknown. And in the business world, fear translates to the assumption that something’s going wrong. If you don’t hear anything, you assume the worst.

So in my new role, I try to over-communicate as much as possible. Every Sunday I spend three hours writing the ups and downs of the week, and I send it to the board and all the employees and anyone who’s an adviser or stakeholder. I have Monday morning meetings, Friday afternoon meetings, as much communication as I can possibly have. Probably too much. But I’ve found that it’s a critical component to being a leader — that and some humor.”

It gets a little more tech-centric as it goes on, but still some interesting insights.


Led Zeppelin…take it away!

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.




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