Results tagged ‘ zach cates ’
Pitching coach Willie Blair updates us on the progress of the TinCaps’ arms, then Fort Wayne wins a wild one in Burlington.
The TinCaps got beat by Dayton, 9-1, but RHP Zach Cates had things to say about his development in his first season pitching professionally.
Robert Lara stops by for a conversation before making his return to the TinCaps (as a pitcher). Fort Wayne beats Dayton, 8-2.
After four days of frisbee golfing, watching Karate Kid II (on DVD, not cable), laying near swimming pools, cooking my own meals, laughing at people who asked me if I was going to the All-Star Game, wowing manager Shawn Wooten by running down fly balls during team workouts and general lounging, it’s back to my version of real life.
But hey… If every day was a vacation, at some point it would stop being a vacation, am I right?
In any case, the four-day break was a chance to assess lots of things. Like THE FIRST RANDOM THOUGHTS SESSION IN MONTHS!
- Last year, TinCaps OF Rymer Liriano was a really raw kid trying to hit a million home runs. This year, he’s a less-raw 19-year-old who’s much more under control, trying to hit line drives. He has changed his approach, upped his walk rate, cut his strikeout rate and stolen 31 bases in 50 games. If you watch an at-bat from last year (or even from his first few games with the TinCaps this year) followed by an at-bat from the past month, you’d never believe it’s the same guy. Incredible turnaround. He was one of the most frustrating guys to watch last year because it looked like he had this potential but wasn’t tapping into it. Now he’s the most fun guy to watch on the team. I’m on the bandwagon.
- Also, 3B Jake Blackwood can H-I-T. With James Darnell killing it at Double-A and Jedd Gyorko running wilder than Hulkamania on the California League, seems like third basemen all over the Padres’ system are due for promotions.
- LHP Mark Hardy really knows how to pitch. It’s just the team hasn’t scored runs while he’s pitching (2.1 runs/game in support; even less while he’s actually in the game). Last two starts: 13.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (2ER), 2 BB, 15K… And an 0-2 record. They’ve scored exactly one run in those two games combined. I don’t know why, but this makes me angry for him.
- RHP Zach Cates pitched extraordinarily well in shutting out the Great Lakes Loons on the last day before the All-Star break. I mean, fastball in the mid-90s (topped out at 96 if I remember correctly and if you trust stadium radar guns), good hook. Best I’ve seen him this year. And it kept the Loons out of the playoffs, so there’s that.
- If you’d given me ten guesses as to who would be the 100th Fort Wayne alum to get to the major leagues, I wouldn’t have guessed Josh Spence. I suppose he hasn’t gotten into a game yet (and therefore isn’t #100 yet), but still.
- Legendary author Ben Hill visited Parkview Field (as you found out on the podcast). And he filed several expert reports. He did virtually everything, including dancing with the Bad Apple Dancers. Good times were had by all.
- I’m not at liberty to disclose anything more than this: The Bad Apple Dancers will have an array of special guests joining them for the remainder of the season. Stay tuned.
- During the team workout on Wednesday night, I decided to shag some fly balls (since most of the pitchers were allowed to leave during batting practice). It had been at least a year since I’d picked up a ball and probably more like three since I’d taken a fly ball. Actual quote from Shawn Wooten: “I’ll be honest… you’re fast!” I just felt like running.
- Belting out Mumford & Sons songs in the car on the way to work is becoming a daily thing, which may or may not be a good thing for my voice/on-air performance.
- There’s a black Lab in northeast Ohio who was placed on the 15-day DL with a toe infection today. Had to undergo surgery. Hopefully he’s the Chase Utley of injury rehabs.
- As of two days ago, former TinCaps video dude Allan Wertheimer is engaged. To be married. Which is neck and neck for “2011’s most shocking ‘yes’ answer to a marriage proposal,” in close competition with my homeboy Dave Hutte. (Honorable mention: South Bend Silver Hawks radio guy Owen Serey). The Wertheimer Effect is about to rain down on an entire family. God help us all. There will be an entire entry dedicated to Wertheimer-Whitmore Wedding Prop Bets soon, I promise.
Musical guest… One last little piece of relaxation before the second half starts… John Butler!
Padres Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mike Couchee breaks down the progress of some of the TinCaps’ top pitching prospects.
LHP Andrew Werner talks pitching and guitar playing, and the TinCaps beat Lansing before the rain comes.
Call me a jerk, but once the season gets going, I tend to get into a baseball cocoon and not really notice what’s really going on in the world. You know, other than the earth-shattering story of figurehead monarchs getting married in a country we rebelled against specifically to get AWAY from said monarchy (the only acceptable discussion of that wedding is going in-depth on schemes to crash the reception. That’s it.).
Anyway, yesterday a reporter called and wanted to talk to some of our players (Chris Franklin, Chase Marona, Zach Cates) about the storms down south. I didn’t really know what he was talking about, so I turned to the internets for help, and holy cow. Monster tornadoes, towns leveled, people killed… Terrible stuff. Turns out the players’ families are OK despite some damage to their houses, but you can imagine it would be tough to focus on a dumb game when things are devastated back home.
- This year’s San Antonio Missions, also known as the 2009 TinCaps No-Mercy Reunion Tour, have already had quite the season. They’ve scored 20+ runs in a game twice, and now their home ballpark was the scene of an ugly exchange between fans and the Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A Rangers). As Baseball America points out, Rangers prospect Engel Beltre was in the middle of it and was suspended 15 games, and he’s no stranger to stirring up trouble. The Missions really weren’t involved, but it’s ugly anyhow.
- Our old homeboy RHP Erik Davis is (still) getting it done in the Nationals’ organization. He was traded this spring for INF Alberto Gonzalez and is now at Double-A Harrisburg with another old homeboy, former Wizards radio guy (and my former boss in Harrisburg) Terry Byrom.
- In other Harrisburg/baseball news, there’s bad umpiring at every level of this game. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about a handful of bad umps in the big leagues, especially because MLB umps have a Supreme Court Justice-esque ability to keep their jobs despite their job performance. Get used to it.
- Fact: The Padres are bad offensively right now. A .289 team OBP is horrendous.
- Fact: If you think Jed Hoyer’s job should be in jeopardy, you’re nuts. Everything he touched turned to gold last year, the big-league team played over its head, and now they’re coming back to earth. But in the high minors there’s a crop of hitters (led by Anthony Rizzo, who came back in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, and former TinCaps Jaff Decker and James Darnell) who are getting closer to MLB-ready. Plus they have six picks in the first two rounds of the draft this June. Give it time.
- The FIRST-PLACE(!) Indians are calling up their first-round pick from 2009 for a spot start. Prediction: They won’t end this season as the first-place Indians.
- How do we bring sabermetric stats to the masses? By focusing on what the stats MEAN, not how they’re calculated. In an age where we can get the internet on our phones, if people want to know, they’ll find out.
- Browns GM Tom Heckert proved last night he’s a stylin’ and profilin’, jet-flyin’, limosine-ridin’, kiss-stealin’, wheelin’-and-dealin’ son of a gun. Whoo!
- Good story about the Lynchburg Hillcats’ manager. He’s the guy who got hit in the face by a foul ball at Braves spring training and lost his eye. He never lost his optimism, though.
- You may remember our discussion of a phenomenon known as The Wertheimer Effect, named for former TinCaps video guy Allan Wertheimer. In the first month he worked for the Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre’s consecutive starts streak ended, the head coach got canned and the Metrodome roof caved in. Well, it’s rearing its ugly head again… The Vikings took Christian Ponder in the first round of the draft last night. The one and only explanation for such a mistake is The Wertheimer Effect.
- Between a Skyline Chili location within walking distance of the hotel, Montgomery Inn BBQ pork sandwiches at the ballpark and LaRosa’s/Donato’s Pizza being available in Dayton, I may not fit on the bus to come back to Fort Wayne at the end of this trip.
Musical guest… The Strokes!
Today there’s so much going on that a typical audio podcast just won’t suffice. So first, here’s the rest of the Mike Couchee interview:
Now, here’s what happened at Fifth Third Ballpark today… Three inches of snow were on the ground in the morning, but you would’ve have known it by game time. However, it was still brutally cold. TinCaps lost, 7-3. I feel bad for the players because they have to be out in this every night. I also feel like their opinion of the Midwest will forever be negative because of how bad the weather’s been. I promise, in the three years I’ve been in this league, this is easily the worst it’s been for the longest period of time in any season.
- I can’t find a link to it, so you’ll just have to take my word for it… Baseball America did a story on TinCaps RHP Zach Cates. Good luck finding it. We’re all counting on you.
- Apparently a behind-the-scenes lackey on Good Morning America is a TinCaps fan. Good for us, I guess, although probably three people probably noticed. Do you think Robin Roberts stole that shirt and acoustic guitar look from Neil Diamond? Nah… not enough sequins.
- Former Midwest Leaguer Jerry Sands got called up to the big leagues, doubled in his first at-bat, hit a sacrifice fly, then got a pitch thrown behind his head which prompted a revenge pitch-behind-head incident. How did your first day at your job go?
- Come on, Reds RHP Mike Leake.
- I just got back from watching the movie “Limitless.” I had no idea it was based on the meteoric rise of my buddy Dave Hutte.
- Seriously, I give the movie a B-plus. Good concept, good story, bonus points for having The Black Keys on the soundtrack, extra bonus points for me watching it alone in an otherwise empty theater (maximum lounging with minimum weird looks from fellow moviegoers). Points deducted for a young millionaire still using a land-line telephone in 2011 and for a somewhat unsatisfying ending. I won’t ruin it for you. Check it out yourself. It’s not a waste of your money.
That’s it for now. Bed time. Musical guest… The Romantics!
Check out Part 1 of a chat with Padres minor-league pitching coordinator Mike Couchee, plus highlights from a Sunday loss to Great Lakes.
RHP Keyvius Sampson says he’s looking forward to working in more off-speed pitches and the TinCaps split a four-game series on the road.