Results tagged ‘ clayton richard ’

Spring Training story time

It seems like there’s something of a split when it comes to the value of Spring Training. Do the stats matter? Do wins and losses matter? Well, take this Spring Training story into account when you think about it.

This weekend I talked to a well-placed source about minor-league Spring Training games. There was a minor-league game in Florida. Team A, the visitors, had a big lead the whole game, but their pitchers were using a lot of pitches and not lasting very long. Team B was coming back in the bottom of the ninth, two outs and bases loaded. Team A Manager calls time and tells the umpire his pitcher has reached his pitch limit and he’s the last guy who needed to get his work in that day. The umpire tells Team B Manager that the game is over because Team A is out of pitchers.

Then something happened that is completely unheard of in Spring Training baseball:

Team B Manager flips out. Completely loses it.

Says Team A is chicken, doesn’t want to lose the game. He’s furious and isn’t going anywhere.

Team A Manager calls his farm director. Tells him this other manager is a whack-job. This is a Spring Training game, right? Who cares?

So Team A Farm Director calls Team B Farm Director, who is at the complex where the game is being played. Would you please remind your manager that this isn’t the World Series?

Team B Farm Director walks over to the field, tells his manager to relax and that the game is, in fact, over.

The moral of the story is this: Stats mean virtually nothing. If you’re on the bubble of getting released or not making the big-league team, it’s more about how you look. How’s your bat speed? Do you have command of the strike zone? Are you throwing harder than 82 mph on your fastball?

And wins and losses mean nothing.

And so ends today’s Spring Training story time.

Random thoughts:

  • Just heard former TinCaps RHP Anthony Bass is starting today’s big league game.
  • TinCaps manager Shawn Wooten gets some pub in a New York Times blog about disciples of Mike Scioscia. Padres manager Bud Black, Rays manager Joe Maddon and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke were on Scioscia’s staff when the Angels won the World Series. And Wooten played on that team.
  • Usually needles are discouraged around baseball, but Stitch N’ Pitch is an exception.
  • LHP Clayton Richard struggled against the Angels yesterday. Fort Wayne alums OFs Will Venable, Blake Tekotte and Daniel Robertson and INFs Andy Parrino and James Darnell got playing time.
  • On Saturday, former TinCaps RHP Brad Brach was in the middle as the Padres and Dodgers “got spirited” with some beanballs. Mat Latos stopped in the middle of an autograph session and jogged to the field, just in case the jaw-jackers started to get a little more heated.
  • Latos was supposed to start that game, but he skipped it with shoulder soreness and now might be headed to the DL.
  • SS Everth Cabrera is going to make San Diego’s Opening Day roster. When the Padres released Kevin Frandsen on Friday, this looked likely. Also, OF Cameron Maybin is expected to return to the lineup today after a bout with quad stiffness.
  • Former TinCaps RHP Dexter Carter was released by the Padres. I’ve heard he’s already been picked up by the White Sox, the organization that drafted him.
  • The San Diego U-T‘s Padres preview asks if the Padres can catch lightning in a bottle again.
  • The U-T also has profiles of the 2011 Padres.
  • Tony Gwynn is cancer-free.
  • Here’s the 819th prospect ranking list of the year, this one by FanGraphs.
  • The Royals’ loaded farm system is like a really good garage band: They might hit it big as Royals, they might end up with other successful teams, they might flame out completely. You just never know. Just ask the Diamondbacks, circa 2005. They had OF Carlos Gonzalez, SS Stephen Drew, LHP Brett Anderson, OF Justin Upton, etc.
  • Mariners RHP Michael Pineda… He’s good.
  • Mariners LHP Erik Bedard is still alive, and he’s having a good spring.
  • Remember when the Cardinals were toast because they lost Adam Wainwright? Well, since then, Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum have had injuries for the Brewers, half the Reds rotation (Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey) has health problems and Carlos Silva, who was kind of good for the Cubs last year, is gone. And that’s just the NL Central… The Phillies are just as depleted with Chase Utley out, Brad Lidge hurt and Jayson Werth gone to Washington.
  • The Red Sox got slammed by injuries last year, but they’re investing big in injury prevention.
  • Well what happened was, Buck Showalter was all like, “Derek Jeter’s a baby and Theo Epstein’s overrated,” and now Terry Francona’s getting all like, “Yo, why you hatin’?”
  • The Indians’ payroll is down for the third straight year.
  • The Cubs hired their new PA announcer after holding a giant PR campaign/dog-and-pony-show/employee search.
  • Did you know there have been 90 space shuttle missions since the Pirates’ last winning season? NINETY!
  • Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman’s translator was the trainer at Triple-A Louisville, but now the trainer got the call to the big leagues. Also in that notebook, Hal McCoy makes an exquisite point: When you’re flying, why is it that the people who play by the rules and check luggage at the airport counter are charged a decent chunk of money, but the people who act completely shocked when their their gigantic bags don’t fit into the overhead bins get to pay nothing? The luggage ends up in the same place, under the plane.
  • Apparently the Canseco brothers are kind of like those wrestlers who dressed exactly the same, right down to their masks, then when one of them got wailed on, they’d both go under the ring. When they came out, nobody knew who the legal man was, so the fresh guy would get back in the ring. You know what I’m talking about, right?
  • Buster Olney told the story of his dogs. When the TinCaps go to Lake County in mid-May, I’m going to hang out with my dogs so much they’re going to get sick of me.
  • America’s Next Great Restaurant” is a decent idea for a show, but it’s almost like they ran out of good contestants. I can’t believe some of the ideas ever made it to the show. A restaurant totally based on meatballs? A fast-casual grilled cheese sandwich restaurant? These must be the William Hungs of the restaurant reality show business.
  • I’m also proud to announce that I made my first omelet yesterday. And it was delicious. My breakfast arsenal is expanding pretty quickly.
  • I picked up a cold and my voice is almost completely gone. This is the radio guy’s equivalent to a pitcher having shoulder soreness two weeks before Opening Day: Better now than during the season.
  • Even though my post from Friday got deleted with the changes to MLBlogs, I do like the new format. It’s MUCH easier to use on my end and I don’t think you have to be registered to comment anymore. So comment away!

Musical guest… Milli Vanilli!

Take care!

DW

What’s the opposite of congress?

As of yesterday afternoon, the TinCaps have a podcast (more on that soon). This morning, I drove to work with the windows down for the first time this year. Tomorrow is the first outdoor “get the stadium ready for the season” day. In the words of perhaps the greatest manager of all time, it’s starting to come together, Pepper… Starting to come together.

Random thoughts:

  • We kind of saw this coming, but the highlight (for me) of yesterday’s Union-Tribune chat was when somebody asked about OF Donovan Tate. The answer was, “He will start this season in Fort Wayne.” Barring injuries, etc., of course.
  • The Padres smoked the Rangers last night. I watched it on MLB Network and Cameron Maybin homered and made a really nice catch in the gap in right-center. LHP Clayton Richard worked quickly and pitched four solid innings. RHP Chad Qualls looked really good. Also, the green St. Patrick’s Day hats were hideous. Richard must have a giant melon head, because his hat (which was adjustable, mind you) barely fit.
  • RHP Tim Stauffer will miss his next start because of some hip irritation.
  • The Padres’ move-the-Triple-A-team-to-Escondido effort has just gotten a(nother) jolt of controversy.
  • Former Fort Wayne RHP Jake Peavy may miss his start on Saturday because of a stomach virus.
  • Former MWLer Jerry Sands is apparently the object of “everyone’s man-crush” at Dodger camp. But he’s still going to the minor leagues for a while.
  • Here’s a “10 Questions” feature with Royals OF prospect Wil Myers, who played in the MWL All-Star Game at Parkview Field last year.
  • Rangers RHP Neftali Feliz, who played in the MWL, wants to be a starter, but knows the team might be better with him closing games.
  • The news isn’t good about Phillies 2B Chase Utley.
  • Giants OF Pat Burrell says “it’s almost scary” how well the Giants are playing this spring.
  • If you don’t think this commercial is funny, we’re not friends anymore.
  • Neil Diamond lounging with disinterested kangaroos. Just click it.
  • Dave Hutte Status Update: “It’s close enough to Opening Day. I’m wearing my ’84 Cubs Sandberg jersey.”
  • My love affair with Wofford basketball is officially over. Bad on-ball defense, bad help defense, weird offensive scheme against the zone, poor free-throw shooting… I guess that’s why you shouldn’t pick your bracket upsets based on watching 10 minutes of one game.
  • I know everybody loves March Madness and claims it’s because they love buzzer beaters. That’s a lie. You know the real reason… Gambling. Even if your bracket pool isn’t for money, it gives you someone to root for (at least until Wofford loses).
  • Next time I hear someone rip baseball for being too slow, I want to pull up the video of the Richmond-Vanderbilt game from yesterday. It took literally 15 minutes to play the last 90 seconds of game clock. Daisuke Matsuzaka’s starts are excruciating, but at least he’s out of the game after four innings.

Musical guest… the Ohio State Marching Band!

Take care!

DW

The best Colt in Indiana

OK, technically Colt Hynes isn’t in Indiana anymore, but he used to be. And he’s the subject of today’s “you just never know” story.

The year was 2009. TinCaps president Mike Nutter handed me a piece of paper with the handwritten last names of the team’s Opening Day roster, just received from the braintrust in Arizona. He said it looked good and the biggest question was the bullpen. “They like the closer and the setup guy, but they’re not sure about the rest… Colt Hynes is going to be the situational lefty.”

You know, the Colt Hynes who would turn 24 years old that June and was still kicking around A-ball. The one who put up a 4.60 ERA the previous year (with decent peripherals). The 31st-round pick in the 2007 draft. I don’t know if Mike rolled his eyes, but chances are I did.

Hynes came in and made 13 appearances for the TinCaps in 2009. He only allowed runs in two games. Great for Fort Wayne, but let’s see him do it at a higher level, right? How do 49 appearances with a 2.90 ERA and no homers allowed at Lake Elsinore strike you? That’s pretty good, right? Well, there wasn’t a job for Colt at Double-A last year so he went back to Lake Elsinore to start the season. He did pretty much the same thing for half a season, except he cut his walks by more than half. Then he went to Double-A in mid-July and continued being a professional butt kicker. You know, if you’re into 1.19 ERAs.

Now, he’s been listed as a guy who “has impressed in camp” for the Padres. Maybe he’ll get to the big leagues this year and keep getting people out, maybe he won’t. But either way, for haters like me who doubt Colt Hynes and players like him, let’s all say it together: You just never know.

Random thoughts:

  • Lots of former TinCaps mentioned as the San Diego U-T discusses an improved Padres’ minor-league system. More importantly for speculators like us, it has a rundown of which players could go where to open the year. That’s a big-money outfield he’s listed for the TinCaps. And Portillo/Sampson in the starting rotation (plus Cates, if he’s as good as advertised) would be fun to watch.
  • Former TinCaps RHP Mat Latos got stronger as he went on Friday against the Giants. I don’t know what happened, but for some reason it was blacked out on my TV. Apparently Fort Wayne was mysteriously transported to either San Diego or San Francisco’s TV territory for a three-hour period. Also, lots of guys got sent to minor-league camp. Which is expected, since minor-league camp just got underway.
  • The Padres will face Jake Peavy today in a Spring Training game.
  • Former Fort Wayne hitting coach Riccardo Ingram, who is still working in the Twins’ system, is fighting a brain tumor.
  • LHP Clayton Richard says his shoulder thing is none of your business. He didn’t really say that, but that’s what he meant. Which is fine. Also, solid quote about his pace: “I like to err on the side of quick.”
  • David Newhan is in Padres camp after a scary off-season surfing accident.
  • Padres owner Jeff Moorad has completely sold his share of the D-Backs.
  • Former Fort Wayne INF David Freese is getting a shot to be the Cardinals’ starter at third this spring.
  • Lots of MLB parks are getting upgrades this season.
  • Several prospects could make an impact in the big leagues this year, says Jerry Crasnick. Brandon Belt is not on that list, but I assume they just ran out of room.
  • Yankees RHP A.J. Burnett hasn’t walked anybody in nine innings this spring. They really need him to be good this year.
  • Grady Sizemore is running, but says his knee is still a little stiff. Meanwhile, an injury could open the door for 3B Lonnie Chisenhall.
  • Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann is good and Bryce Harper got sent to minor-league camp. Supposedly he could make his big-league debut this year. Prediction: He gets to Double-A, but the only way he gets to Washington in 2011 is if it’s written into his contract, which is entirely possible.
  • Listen to Peter Gammons. I remember last year when he was raving about Marlins OF Mike Stanton. And he was right.
  • There’s a new MLB historian and he says baseball’s origins are way more complicated than Abner Doubleday and Alexander Cartwright. Which isn’t a huge surprise; history generally isn’t as cut-and-dried as we’d hope.
  • The CEO of the Rangers stepping down was the definition of awkwardness.
  • NBA forward Kevin Love was a good baseball player as a kid.
  • Stay hot, Ohio State… Kirk Herbstreit is moving out of Columbus because idiot fans won’t leave him alone. I can only imagine it’s partially because of what he said about Terrelle Pryor, which I thought was completely on the money.
  • I played baseball and started broadcasting at an NCAA school, so I know there are TONS of good things happening in college sports. But apparently Sunday was “here’s how ridiculous the NCAA is” day. I caught an ESPN report which said the guy who ran the NCAA for 30+ years wrote a book railing against it. Then I watched “The Fab Fi
    ve
    ” about Michigan basketball, which talked about how much money the school made off the players, but then the school got hit with NCAA sanctions including vacating wins because the players received money from a booster. Then I watched “The Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV,” which mentioned that (on two occasions) UNLV basketball had NCAA sanctions delayed by a year, basically because the team was good. Also, Jerry Tarkanian got a $2+ million settlement from the NCAA after he sued them for harassment. Uh, what?
  • I know you’re wondering about my first try at curling. It was
    fantastic. And a tough game to play – the sheet of ice is way longer
    than you think. It’s kind of a mixture of bowling, shuffleboard and
    cornhole with a twist of Canadian tuxedos. And you’d better be used to doing lunges before you start playing, or you’ll be sore the next day. Also, Abby Naas did fall over on the ice (as expected), but it was from a lunging position.

Musical guest… The Jackson 5!

Take care!

DW

Ohio State beats Michigan… again

Last year to spice things up at Padres camp, the big-league team pressured former TinCaps 3B James Darnell into playing “Tequila” on the trumpet and had a basketball shooting contest. There were air horns, megaphones, cans of silly string, balloons… every conceivable distraction short of Speedo guy (side note: Speedo guy married a woman who had dated his brother? That’s like the roommate switch multiplied by infinity!).

Anyway, apparently this year the team decided to have a pigskin-throwing challenge like Uncle Rico meets NFL Quarterback Club. One would think the guy who actually played quarterback in college (LHP Clayton Richard) would want to put his talents on display. But then I remembered he played at Michigan and probably wanted everyone (including himself) to forget that his college football career ever happened. So Richard was designated as the “commissioner” of the competition. Whatever that means.

So who manned up and competed? RHP Casey Kelly (who had an offer to play at Tennessee), C Nick Hundley, 2B Orlando Hudson (who, according to Harold Reynolds, claims he was recruited by all kinds of SEC schools) and LHP (and Ohio State product) Cory Luebke.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the Buckeye triumphed, with the highlight coming when Luebke nailed a trash can on the back of a moving golf cart from 30 yards away. Somewhere, Brent Musburger was smiling. And counting the money he had just won by gambling on the competition.

Just another example of why Ohio State rules and Michigan… doesn’t.

Random thoughts:

  • The Padres won a game against Arizona yesterday. Box score highlights from former TinCaps: James Darnell went 2-for-2, Luis Martinez went 1-for-2, Rob Musgrave pitched a scoreless inning, Cedric Hunter scored a run. Also, local native RHP Jarrod Parker pitched a pair of shutout innings for Arizona, sitting at 91-92 with his fastball and topping out at 95. If he’s all the way back from Tommy John surgery, he could get to the big leagues soon.
  • Padres bench coach Rick Renteria needs reconstructive surgery after getting hit in the face by a line drive during batting practice. With so many baseballs flying around, I’m continually amazed that more people don’t get hit.
  • RHP Mike Adams is ready for a chance to show he can be a closer. Not happening while Heath Bell is healthy and on the team.
  • Spring Training in Arizona is tough on pitchers, but what better way to train than to do it in a tougher atmosphere than the one you’ll actually be competing in? To me, it seems like a cross-country runner training at high altitudes; once you’re used to the thin air, everything else seems easier. But what do I know?
  • Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy will make his Spring Training debut today.
  • The Triple-A ballpark project in the suburbs of San Diego has hit a speed bump. Looks like it’ll be the Tucson Padres for at least two years.
  • Former TinCaps groundskeeper Mitchell Gary McClary is getting ready to open a new ballpark in Omaha and legendary author Ben Hill tells us their clock is interesting. I hope it has better luck than the one in Hill Valley.
  • They might need two tape measures to figure out how far a Reds catching prospect hit one yesterday. The Reds already have a lot of homegrown talent on their roster and he could be on his way.
  • New Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is trying to run a tight ship.
  • “A lot of people say you can tell a lot about how a season’s gonna go by the first hitter of the year.” – Harry Doyle. What does it mean when your Spring Training park catches fire?
  • “A lot of people say you can tell how a season’s gonna go by the first batter of the year.” – Harry Doyle. What does it mean when your Spring Training park catches fire?
  • Former MWLer RHP Neftali Feliz was not pleased with his first start. The nice thing about him is, if he struggles to transition back to the rotation, they can just send him to the back of the bullpen where he’s been outstanding.
  • Fantasy baseball tip: Draft RHP Jordan Zimmermann late. He’s good and coming off an injury.
  • Fantasy baseball hope: The Yankees catchers continue to leave Jesus Montero as the best major-league option (through injuries or stinking) and owners like me can laugh all the way to the bank.
  • Ever wonder why teams don’t just cut those overpriced, underperforming players? Wonder no more.
  • Fangraphs investigates the most valuable players, dollar-for-dolla
    r, in baseball.
  • A good writer authored a book about the Tampa Bay Rays and how they went from laughingstock to contender. It’s a safe bet this will end up in my bag this summer.
  • Interesting article about prospect flops… Rick Manning (now an Indians broadcaster), alleged clubhouse thief Ruben Rivera and… Matt Wieters?
  • Other once-big-time prospects might be getting their last chance this spring.
  • This idea has been floating around from several sources, including Bill Simmons: If you had a rock band fantasy draft where you had to draft a singer, lead guitarist,  bassist and drummer, who would you pick? I’ve seen others disqualify solo acts (rendering Jimi Hendrix ineligible) and fictional artists (Animal from the Muppets is not allowed). My draft preferences are as follows… Singers: Chris Cornell, 70s Freddie Mercury, 70s Roger Daltrey; Guitar: Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince, Eddie Van Halen; Bass: Jeff Jones from Rush, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce from Cream, Tal Wilkenfield from Jeff Beck’s band (because she’s pleasing to the ears AND the eyes); Drums: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Phil Collins (value pick of the draft – nobody thinks of him as a drummer).
  • The NFL might lock out. Big deal. Minicamps don’t usually start until late April anyway and the draft will happen regardless. The owners, who already have the best labor deal in major sports, are trying to hose the players. Contracts usually aren’t guaranteed, the average player’s career is something like three concussion-filled years long (and the owners want two more games on the schedule, which should shorten the career span), player pension is terrible (although good financial planning would offset that) AND the owners want more money off the top, AND they just got caught trying to lockout-proof themselves with billions from TV networks. Also, most of them are billionaires with other businesses they can fall back on. Sorry for not feeling bad for any of them. Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement comes up after this season – if they’re smart, they’ll figure it out way before that.
  • If you don’t like this, we’re no longer friends.
  • Dave Hutte status update: “Set the date for the wedding. October 29.” Did I mention the reception is going to be a costume party?

Musical guest…Led Zeppelin!

Have a great weekend!

DW

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