Results tagged ‘ Jace Peterson ’
The second half opened in a way the first half did not–with a win. Fort Wayne toppled Lake County 4-3 on Friday night at Parkview Field. Although the TinCaps’ overall record is still just 32-39, a 1-0 mark in the second half means that they’re over .500, something the club did not achieve in the first half.
Now it’s a matter of winning series, and stringing together more than four wins in a row. The longest winning streak of the year has been just four games, while the longest losing streak has been five. The second half represents a fresh start and has fewer playoff competitors (six, opposed to eight in the first half), making the road to the playoffs an easier one.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, Manager Jose Valentin showers praise upon leadoff hitter Jace Peterson, who he says did a great job stretching a first-inning single into a double. Valentin says he’d like to see his shortstop be even more aggressive:
REMEMBERING DARRYL KILE
It was ten years ago yesterday that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile passed away. The Cardinals were at Wrigley Field for a series against the Cubs, and the two teams were scheduled to play a game the day of Kile’s death.
The two clubs were notified of the news, but couldn’t tell anyone in the stadium exactly what had happened because Kile’s family had not yet been notified. Joe Girardi, now the manager of the Yankees and then a member of the Cubs, stepped to the microphone in front of the Wrigley Field crowd.
“I thank you for your patience. We regret to inform you because of a tragedy in the Cardinal family, the commissioner has canceled the game today. Please be respectful. You will find out eventually what has happened, and I ask that you say a prayer for the St. Louis Cardinals’ family,” Girardi said.
I watched the video of those words (link below) this morning while I was eating my breakfast. Girardi addressing the crowd is a small piece as part of a feature that MLB Network has put together on that day, having spoken to those who were involved. It’s hard not to shed a few tears while watching it–especially when Girardi speaks.
Baseball is sometimes looked at as “just a game”, but it can be so much more.
Rodney Atkins…take it away!
Feeling like a bear coming out of winter hibernation, I’m ready, refreshed and excited to jump into the second half of the 2012 Midwest League season. While the team was on the All-Star break I caught up on some reading, got some sun by the pool and had a good time relaxing.
Here are a few notes to catch you up on what’s been going on:
-Infielder Casey McElroy was promoted to Advanced-A Lake Elsinore of the California League. That amounts to the first real promotion the TinCaps have had this season. McElroy was a first-half rock for the team, playing in all but 11 games, hitting .237 and knocking home a team-high 30 runs. Congrats, Casey.
In other transaction-related business, pitcher Chris Haney was transferred to Short-Season Eugene. He worked three games for the TinCaps and had an ERA of 15.75. Also, infielder Felix Cabrera was added to the roster to replace McElroy. Cabrera was signed as a free agent in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic, and before this year had never played above the Arizona League. He’s played in six games this season between Double-A and Triple-A.
Austin Hedges went 2-3 with a double and 3 RBI. Jace Peterson went 1-2 with a double. Adys Portillo pitched a scoreless first and was named the winning pitcher. Frank Garces worked for 2/3 of an inning and picked up a strikeout.
-Speaking of Austin Hedges, Reggie Hayes of The News-Sentinel put together a feature piece on the 19-year-old catcher.
“I try to stay away from goals and numbers and just try to get better every day,” Hedges said. “I’m always trying to make adjustments and do something to get better every day. When you’re doing that, then obviously you are achieving some of those goals you have.”
Hedges expects the game to be much like showcases he has been involved with as a player. He’ll talk with and warm up pitchers prior to their appearance to try to get a feel for what they throw. In an all-star setting, the pitchers won’t be on the mound long.
Hedges is one of the younger players on the TinCaps and in the Midwest League. But he says he tries not to be too anxious about how fast he can move up the farm system ladder.
“It’s a long process and I want to do everything the right way,” he said. “I’m happy to be where I am right now. …It was hard for a little bit to be so far away (from his California home), but there’s nowhere I’d rather be right now. This is a good town, a good baseball town.”
A UNIQUELY TALENTED TRYOUT PARTICIPANT
Before coming to Fort Wayne, my only familiarity with Ron Howard was from his involvement with Arrested Development. However, there’s also a Ron Howard who is a member of the Mad Ants, the NBDL franchise located in town. The TinCaps and Padres held an open tryout at Parkview Field over the break and Howard gave it a shot. Once again, Reggie Hayes has the details:
Unlike a few, Howard showed up in perfect shape, toned by his always working basketball career. In fact, he made the Mad Ants at a similar open tryout. Yet while most, if not all, of the 50 other players Wednesday spent their youth concentrating on baseball, Howard is a novice. He’s also 29.
Jeff Stewart, Midwest area scout for the Padres, talked with Howard after the tryout and gave him an honest assessment. He saw a great athlete. And he told him to keep working on his basketball career.
“If he was in a baseball uniform on a daily basis, his throwing would improve quickly, his fielding would improve quickly, just through repetition,” Stewart said. “But I’m not sure he would ever hit. He’s (29) years old. He’s well, well, well below average at this point, and that’s in batting practice, seeing a ball intended for you to hit exercising a swing.
“You get in a game situation where pitchers are using varying velocity, breaking planes with curveballs, changeups, sliders – I’m not sure the learning curve would be quick enough.”
It was definitely worth a shot, right?
AND OH, BY THE WAY…
Bob Dylan will be performing at Parkview Field on August 24th. MLB.com’s Corey Brock has a great take on the concert:
Follow The Padres (@FollowThePadres) June 21, 2012
Carly Rae Jepsen (miraculously avoiding one-hit wonder status) partners with Owl City (it’s near Albatross Township) for this latest earworm:
Filed under the “You never know what you’ll see” category of baseball games, the TinCaps picked up a win on Tuesday night, and almost didn’t have a hit to show for it. Fort Wayne manufactured a run in the first inning on a walk to Jace Peterson, a stolen base, a wild pitch and then a sacrifice fly.
The only TinCaps hit came on a Travis Whitmore leadoff single in the eighth.
Here’s what my scorebook looked like for the one-hit game:
Up in the press box we had to dig up the record book because the Fort Wayne franchise, dating back to 1993 when the team was the Wizards, has never been no-hit. The streak of 2,693 games is still intact. Phew!
Arrival at West Michigan’s Fifth Third Ballpark on Wednesday was optimistic, as the TinCaps had lost two in a row and were looking for a turnaround in the opener of a three game series against the Whitecaps. Even the first inning started well, with a single from the returning Jace Peterson, a stolen base and then an RBI single from Tyler Stubblefield.
The second inning was good, too, as Frank Garces retired the side in order for the second straight frame, and the TinCaps held a 1-0 lead into the third. However, it was that pesky bottom of the third that would unravel the Fort Wayne ballclub. Garces surrendered three runs, which would be all the Whitecaps would need as they rolled to a 6-1 victory.
The first four hits for Fort Wayne came within their first six batters, and there were then only four hits to be had for the remainder of the game: A Yeiscon Asencio leadoff single in the fourth, a Peterson leadoff double in the sixth, an Austin Hedges one-out double in the seventh, and an Asencio leadoff single in the ninth. The TinCaps finished the night 1-11 with runners in scoring position.
Fort Wayne has dropped three in a row, and part of that that production from two players who had been chipping in offensively, has temporarily waned. Lee Orr has one hit in his last 21 at bats and Donavan Tate has one hit in his last 24 at bats. Within those respective time frames, Orr has struck out 13 times and Tate has fanned 15 times.
Yeison Asencio has managed to continue hitting, though, whether he’s batting third, fifth, or sixth in the lineup. In the last four games he’s hit in all three of those spots, sometimes flip-flopping between third and fifth with Casey McElroy. Asencio has gone 15 for his last 34 (.441) with nine RBI over a 10-game span. In 17 games with the TinCaps, he’s collected five multi-hit performances. He may not walk much (4 BB in 60 AB), but he’s only struck out five times, too.
Today Adys Portillo looks to snap the Fort Wayne losing streak as he takes the mound against West Michigan. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, and I hope you can tune into the broadcast on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear my chat with TinCaps Pitching Coach Willie Blair. We’ll talk about Frank Garces and Adys Portillo, the two TinCaps All-Star pitchers, the decision to pitch to MLB rehabber Carlos Santana on Monday night and the addition of Dennis O’Grady to the bullpen:
A LOVING RELATIONSHIP
In an absolutely fantastic read by Dave Sheinin, the national baseball writer for The Washington Post, we learn about Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey’s relationship with his knuckleball:
“It is Tuesday afternoon, and Dickey, 37, is headed to a therapy session — relationship therapy. Dickey and his knuckleball, they are making great progress these days, their understanding of each other growing deeper and richer. But the work must never stop, lest they drift apart again. Later that afternoon, in the bullpen at Nationals Park, they will take their places and pick up where they left off last time.
“It’s definitely a relationship,” Dickey, who carries the best record in the National League (8-1) into Thursday’s start against the Nationals, says before throwing his standard, between-starts bullpen session. “Sometimes we fight. There will be times where I’m yelling at the baseball — like, ‘Do I really know you?’
“That’s what keeps me invested. [The knuckleball] can grow. It’s not just an inanimate thing. It’s very much a living thing. It’s very organic.”
“He’s got the rising one, the sinking one, the sideways one — it’s tough to hit,” says Nationals slugger Michael Morse. “You see it, and by the time you swing it’s in another spot. Squaring up his knuckleball is tough. You basically have to go up there and take all your mechanics and everything you’ve learned, and throw it out the window, and just kind of go Little League — just swing as hard as you can and hope you make contact.”’
Let’s remember that this is a professional baseball player saying that. He’s paid millions of dollars to hit a baseball, and yet the knucleball reduces him to a “little league” swing. That’s incredible. It just goes to show you that hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports. That, and learning the rules to cricket.
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BREAKFAST CLUB
If you’ve never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express (the preferred lodging for visiting teams here in Walker, Michigan), you’re missing out on one of the great continental breakfasts that the Midwest League has to offer. Bagels, Yogurt, Eggs, Milk–delicious. There are also free copies of USA Today, in which you can read about food while you eat food.
Today I came across: “Food as fashion: We eat what we are”. Bruce Horovitz, take it away:
“What Americans eat and drink has become such an emotional roller coaster for so many of us that it’s utterly changing the way the nation’s biggest restaurant chains, foodmakers and grocery chains do business. Food used to feed our bodies. Now it also needs to feed our brains. Our egos. Our nostalgic memories. And maybe even our social-media appetites.”
“I’ll have an order of Instagram, with some MySpace on the sid…” Oh, that’s not what he meant by social-media appetite. Got it.
“Talking about food has become so fashionable that we may be doing more of it than ever. Social-media chatter about food — which is where we do much of it — is up more than 13% over the past year, says Nielsen Media Incite, which tracks buzz across social networks, blogs, forums and consumer review sites. That’s millions of additional social morsels just on food. “
Here’s the best part of the story:
“Then, there’s British Airways. It recently realized that its first-class passengers don’t want fancy-dancy desserts. Last fall, it started serving what passengers told them they wanted most: comfort food. Its Crumb Crumble cobbler was such a smash, when caterers tried to replace it on the menu with a different dessert, passengers went ballistic, says Lynn McClelland, head of catering. It’s all about emotions — even the most primitive, childhood emotions, she says. When stuck high above the ground for hours in a plane, she says, “Passengers tell us what they want most is what their moms used to feed them when they were 12.”‘
Soon, though, eating what you had when you were 12 won’t be cool enough any more. I can see this devolving into someone trying to make it cool to eat Gerber baby food. It’s the botox injection of “fancy-dancy” food.
Pearl Jam…take it away!
Just three hits for the TinCaps in Thursday’s 5-1 loss for Fort Wayne. Six innings in, there were no hits on the scoreboard for the TinCaps and it was looking a little dicey. Noah Syndergaard, who apparently wolfs down Chiptole before each start, worked four innings and didn’t give up a run or a hit. Only two men reached against him during his outing. Here’s how he prepares for each game:
” I start my day off with Chipotle, it’s like a pregame ritual with [reliever Anthony] DeSclafani. Then I get to the stadium around 5 p.m. and get my leg stretches and arm stretches in, then I’m ready to go.”
“Tonight, I went down to the bullpen after I came out and worked on my curveball. It depends on my pitch count. Then I did some shoulder maintenance and rotator cuff stuff.”
The TinCaps didn’t fare much better against DeSclafani, as the righty struck out the side in both the fifth and sixth innings, and ended up with a career-high eight strikeouts.
Donavan Tate notched the first hit of the night for Fort Wayne in the seventh, and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Duanel Jones. The TinCaps loaded the bases in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate against reliever Brandon Berl, but Lee Orr grounded out to end the game. The three-game winning streak came to and end for the TinCaps.
While Cody Hebner pitched well through five innings, it was the first time all year that fewer than three runs were scored when he was on the mound. Entering Thursday’s game the team had averaged 8.1 runs per game during his starts. Frank Garces starts in the rubber match.
Pregame coverage starts at 6:45 on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com with first pitch at 7:05, and I hope you can join me on your Friday night.
FROM THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVES
I want to share a few photos with you from the road trip. Here is an establishment right down the street from the Lugnuts ballpark. This place is a little geographically confused…
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Lee Orr, whose three-run homer lifted the TinCaps to a win on Wednesday night in Lansing. He’ll also talk about his friendship with his college, and current, teammate Jace Peterson and about the time he got covered in mud while helping Jace out of a jam…
HITTING THE ROAD
Today the TinCaps travel approximately two hours north on Interstate 69 to take on the Lansing Lugnuts at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The Lugnuts are red hot and have the league’s best record through 39 games. Not surprisingly, they’ve got the best team ERA in the league, showing that pitching will win you games in this league. That is a promising item for the TinCaps, though, as they have the fourth best ERA in the Midwest League and the second in the Eastern Division behind Lansing.
In Tuesday’s win, Donavan Tate returned to the lineup for the first time since April 28. Tate batted leadoff and was the designated hitter for the TinCaps, going 2-4, scoring two runs and picking up an RBI. Fort Wayne has relied on that leadoff spot to be one of its most productive positions this year, and it was almost exclusively occupied by Jace Peterson until his recent injury. Kyung-Min Na had filled in at the top of the card the last four games, but was 0-14 in four games as the leadoff man. Peterson led the league in runs scored and stolen bases before his injury, and so if Tate can match some of Peterson’s production, that will be a big boost for the TinCaps.
Fort Wayne has now won three out of its last four, and four of the last seven. The TinCaps offense has showed great signs of life, especially with the two eighth-inning home runs on Monday afternoon. Clark Murphy and Casey McElroy each hit solo homers as the TinCaps turned a 4-3 deficit into an eventual 6-5 victory.
First pitch tonight is at 7:05 and I hope you can join me from Michigan’s capital city beginning at 6:45 for pregame coverage on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Manager Jose Valentin as he gives his thoughts on how his team coalesced on the homestand and the return of Donavan Tate to the lineup:
Yesterday’s 3-2 loss for Fort Wayne was overshadowed by an injury suffered by shortstop Jace Peterson in the first inning. On a pop-up behind the mound, pitcher Colin Rea headed out to try and snare it, and Peterson came racing in with the same thought in mind. Peterson dove for the ball, colliding with Rea’s torso, and then collapsed to the grass behind the mound. Rea made the play to end the inning, but Peterson did not get up.
He received medical attention from TinCaps trainer Isak Yoon and Silver Hawks trainer Kevin Burroughs, before being taken off the field on a back board and taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center for evaluation. Peterson’s injury was described by Yoon as a neck injury. Peterson did give a thumbs up as he was taken off the field, but it was a difficult sight to see, especially for a player who has put together some stupendous numbers this year.
“It’s hard to see a guy go down the way he went down. It was scary the way it happened. When I went out there, he stayed down, but he was talking. He knew where he was, and he responded to all the questions the doctors asked him. He wanted to get up and walk on his own, but the doctors said no. He’s a strong kid. He had feeling in his fingers. But that’s something you have to be careful,” said TinCaps Manager Jose Valentin.
Valentin also said he expects Peterson to be out for at least a week as he takes time to recover, especially because of the nature of head and neck injuries.
Entering Thursday’s game, Peterson was first in the league in runs scored (27) and stolen bases (15, tied for second in triples (4), third in hits (39) and fifth in batting average (.315) and on-base percentage (.401).
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Valentin about the way his team responded after that first inning, hear pitcher Colin Rea on making his spot start in place of Joe Ross, and pitcher Robert Eisenbach on how he felt like he was a college pitcher again last night:
With the holiday coming up on Sunday, millions of last-minute boxes of chocolate are bound to be sold on Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
The construction workers who are diligently working on the project beyond the left field wall here at Parkview Field have already got Mother’s Day figured out:
What are you getting your mother? It might not be a message written on a steel beam, but I’m sure there are some creative folks out there…
The TinCaps were gone for a week prior to Wednesday’s series opener against South Bend. While the team was gone, groundskeeper Keith Winter was busy keeping the field in tip-top shape. He even put in a new design on the field, which he calls “Vortex”.
Look familiar? Well if you’re an NBA fan, it just might:
That’s where the inspiration for the new look came from.
Paul Simon…take it away!
TAKIN’ CARE OF BUSINESS
That was the view that construction workers had for Monday morning’s game at Parkview Field. Not bad, I’ll say.
The TinCaps won 8-4, behind seven first inning runs as they sent 11 men to the plate and hit for the cycle as a team. Austin Hedges hit a home run, Jace Peterson hit a three-run triple, and Cody Hebner picked up his third win of the year tossing a career-high five and two thirds innings. Listen to the highlights and hear post-game comments from Hebner and second baseman Casey McElroy in today’s TinCaps Report Podcast:
Imagine having to choose between trying to play basketball or baseball as a pro. For those of us who celebrate over just touching the rim while playing basketball, this choice seems like it would never be in the realm of possibility. However, for Amir Garrett, a St. John’s University student, it’s his reality:
“The Cincinnati Reds drafted him out of high school based on a left arm they believe is full of potential.
The Reds were undeterred that the 6-foot-6 Garrett had committed to play basketball and baseball at St. John’s. They signed him to a $1 million contract, agreed to let him play forward for the Red Storm this winter and asked him to be ready to report to their player development complex in Goodyear, Ariz., once the academic year ended.
Now a month away from doing just that, Garrett is in a springtime no man’s land. The basketball season is over. N.C.A.A. rules prohibit him from playing baseball for the Red Storm. Classes remain. Eligibility pitfalls abound. And a question lingers.
“Everybody asks me which sport I like more,” Garrett said. “I can’t really pick between the two right now. They’re both the same. I love them both.”’
It’s quite a story, and it’s not without precedent either. The most recent example is Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker:
“It has not been uncommon for football players to play baseball, too, even signing contracts with professional teams while finishing out their college football careers. Washington’s Jake Locker, Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and Michigan’s Drew Henson, all quarterbacks, and the Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ricky Williams are notable examples.”
Although Garrett will report to the Reds complex in Arizona, it doesn’t sound like a stretch that he could make his way to Dayton and play for the Dragons this season. The TinCaps have plenty of games left against their Eastern Division rivals, and that’d be one opposing pitcher you wouldn’t want to miss at Parkview Field.
LOTS OF HATS
I found this cool picture yesterday courtesy of Ben Hill, the business blogger for MiLB.com. Can you find the TinCaps hat in there? If you need a hint and are a minor league baseball junkie, you’ll easily identify it when I tell you that it’s located in between the Fort Myers Miracle hat and the Frederick Keys hat.
Looking at all of the logos for minor league team is pretty fun. On Monday’s TV broadcast, Kent and I were talking about logos, and the Casper Ghosts came up. They’re no longer in Casper (now Grand Junction, CO), but when they were in Wyoming, they had a glow-in-the-dark logo, the only such of it’s kind in Minor League Baseball.
Because…why not, right?
OFF DAY AT THE MALL
While Bryce Harper’s only got a handful of Major League games under his belt, he did have a recent off day with the Nationals while they were back in Washington, D.C. So what did he do with that off day?
He stopped by a pick-up softball game on the National Mall:
Today also happens to be an off-day for the TinCaps. So if you happen to see anyone that looks like they’re way too good and has never been in your Tuesday night softball league before, they may be a Midwest Leaguer enjoying a rare day off.
May has begun. After plenty of cool weather took April into the rear view mirror, I’m hoping those 75 and 80 degree nights are right around the corner.
With that in mind, today’s musical guest is…Rascall Flatts!
The first two games between the Bees and the TinCaps have been extremely enjoyable to watch. The games have featured strong pitching, timely offense and well-played defense. In Thursday night’s game, it was the offense that broke out early with both teams scoring two runs in their respective halves of the first inning. For Fort Wayne, it was Travis Whitmore hitting a two-run shot over the wall in right, which as he said after the game, carried up into the “jetstream”. The wind was blowing out to right, but he got enough on it that it would’ve been gone either way.
Fort Wayne’s Frank Garces pitched five innings and struck out seven, vaulting himself into the lead for strikeouts within the Padres player development system. The bullpen was as good as it’s been all year as Johnny Barbato, newcomer Daniel Cropper and Matt Stites worked four innings without giving up a hit or a walk. Cropper pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for his first win.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear the highlights from last night’s game, including post-game reaction from Whitmore, Donavan Tate and Manager Jose Valentin: