Twin’s James Beresford returned from the DL yesterday. He’s in the middle of a very hot streak and his two weeks on the sidelines didn’t cool him down it seems. He went 2-5 and scored a run in New Britain’s 4-3 loss to New Hampshire which leaves James with a phenomenal .424AVG over his last 10 games.
Andrew Russell had his 2nd outing since being reassigned to AA Mississippi Braves. He came on in the 8th in the Brave’s 2-1 loss to Jacksonville yesterday throwing a perfect 1-2-3 inning which included 2Ks. That sort of outing goes a long way to getting back to AAA.
Nathan Haas from behind the plate for the Bandits (SMP Images)
Hass starts chasing dream in Orlando
By Chuck Ellis/Brisbane Bandits
Young Bandit catcher Nathan Hass is currently in Orlando, Florida on the first stop of his trip into professional baseball. Scouts from the Atlanta Braves organisation were impressed by Hass during the 2012 Under 18 World Championships in Seoul, impressed enough to sign him to a seven year contract. After he finishes the teams’ extended spring training, Hass will be assigned to play “rookie” ball for the Gulf Coast Braves in Florida.
In an interview with a Sunshine Coast newspaper recently Hass was quoted as saying:
“I’m more worried about flying than going over”.
And on the start of his quest
“It’s only minor league, but everyone’s got to start somewhere, I suppose.”
Hass comes from deep sports bloodlines with his mother Julie having represented Australia in softball and his father Wayne being a former Windsor A Grade player himself.
The 19 year old made his debut for the Bandits on January 25 of this year after being on several series rosters as a designated youth player along with fellow recent signees Connor MacDonald (Houston) and Todd McDonald (Texas). Hass also finished out the Greater Brisbane League season as part of the A Grade premiership winning Windsor Royals. Prior to Windsor, he started his baseball playing days as a junior catcher with the Redcliffe Padres.
Hass has proved to be a versatile player who can play first base and in the outfield along with catching.
The Bandits network and Queensland baseball wish him well for the season and look forward to having him back with the clubs for the 2013-2014 campaign.
Trent Oeltjen pounded his 5th home run of the season with a long smash to RF in the 1st inning of Salt Lake’s 12-6 win over Nashville yesterday. He went 2-5 scoring 2 runs along with the 2RBI home run as well as stealing 2 bases. That’s the best way to remind them that you want to be back in the Majors.
For only the 2 nd time this season RRS gave up an earned run in Pawtucket’s 5-4 win over Gwinnett. Coming on in the 6th he threw 3 innings for 1 run on 2 hits with 1K. The 6th and 8th innings were 1-2-3 affairs. There is every chance that at this rate he will be back in the Show sooner rather than later.
Josh Spence threw in the 4th, 5th and one hitter in the 6th in Scranton’s 12-11 loss to Toledo. He was brought on with 2 on and 0 outs in the 4th, with 1 run scoring on a sac fly. He then threw a scoreless 5th and gave up a single to the lead off hitter in the 6th after which he was relieved. He has a 3.18ERA over his last 10 games.
Dan Vaughan is a Texan who spent time with the Perth Heat last season and he summarises the performances of Heat players, including imports, in the various US Leagues. We have drawn your attention to his excellent blog, sportsdandotcom before and today he gives an update on the Heat players.
We encourage you to read the full article but thought this comment on the Matt Kennelly release was worth posting here.
When we saw Matt Kennelly last week he had just had his best week of the season for the AAA Gwinnett Braves. That week included a multi hit game and his first AAA homerun. The high of that week was met with the news this week that the Braves have released Kennelly from AAA.
Just looking at the situation on paper the Braves have a log jam at the big league level with Brian McCann and the surprise of the NL in Evan Gattis. Also, there is 21 year old Christian Bethancourt at AA and he can be found on every prospect list in baseball. Some of those list also include Gattis who is in the big leagues now. The Braves actually signed Matt Pagnozzi who catching everyday at AAA as the big league backup. This should show fans what an uphill battle player’s face and each and every successful jump is a huge accomplishment.
Kennelly played in 5 games for the G-Braves and was 5 for 12 with a HR and 4 RBI. There is no word on where Kennelly will land but he can play and it will not be too long that he lands somewhere in the states. Remember there are 29 other clubs and numerous independent teams and every day something can happen to necessitate a need on a roster.
by David Laurila/fangraphs.com
From 2007-2009, Ryan Rowland-Smith was an effective pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. The Australian-born southpaw appeared in 88 games and logged an ERA below 4.00 for three years running. His move from the bullpen to the starting rotation had been seamless. His future looked bright.
Then the roof caved in. In 2010, Rowland-Smith went 1-10 with a 6.75 ERA. He allowed 141 hits in 109 innings and walked nearly as many batters as he struck out. He hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since.
He’s on the verge of returning. Inked to a contract by the Red Sox during the off-season, the 30-year-old is pitching like his old self with Triple-A Pawtucket. In 11 games out of the PawSox pen he has a 0.40 ERA and has allowed just nine hits in 22-and-a-third innings. He has walked seven and fanned 17. The reason behind his comeback? Rowland-Smith has overcome fear.
Ryan Rowland-Smith: “I got to the big leagues as a guy who always had that underdog mentality. There are guys who don’t get talked about a lot but sort of come through in the end, and I did that throughout my minor-league career. I got to the big leagues and was having a good ride — a good go at it — and was figuring it out. Then 2010 rolled around.
“I had huge expectations. I put a lot of pressure on myself. We got Cliff Lee in a trade, and we had Felix Hernandez. I looked at them and said, ’Hey, I can be as good as those guys.’
“I had a couple of bad starts at the beginning of 2010. It wasn’t so much mechanics. You think that’s what it is, but it was psychological more than anything. You start to doubt yourself, and the minute you start doubting yourself at the major league level — you can look at stats, you can look at mechanics, you can watch video, but until you overcome that doubt, it’s not going to matter.
“I was pitching away from contact. I doubted I was good enough to really go after hitters and get them out. It was an absolute spiral down. In 2010, I had the worst year I ever had. My numbers were terrible, and I pitched terrible.
“The ball comes out of your hand differently when there’s doubt. What happens is, you have a process and that process is pretty simple. You lift your leg up, get your arm going, and throw to the glove. It’s as simple as that — stuff you learn in Little League. The minute you start getting hit, you start questioning your process. You start trying to make alterations to what you’ve done for years and years and years. I lost who I was.
“People try to help you. They don’t mean any harm, but you have coaches and people telling you ‘try this, try that.’ You end up getting away from what you know, deep down. You’re the one who has to throw the ball. You’re the one on the mound who knows what feels right. You have five or six people saying, ‘try this try that,’ and you start altering what you’re doing physically. That stems from the psychological battle you’re having with yourself.
“It’s great to look at the numbers you can use to try to predict how someone is going to do. But when your confidence is gone — when something is wrong, physically or psychologically — those numbers don’t mean anything. You don’t now what someone is going through.
“When things were going bad, we’d look at video. We’d nitpick, trying to find stuff, find stuff, find stuff. One thing we could see was my presence on the mound; there was none. My head was down, I was walking around — stuff that had nothing to do with mechanics. But then you look at the progression, from when I was doing well to where I ended up, and you see little changes. For one thing, I was slower.
“When something is in front of you, at 60 feet, and you have to attack it, but you’re hesitant, you become timid and slow down. Everything backs up. All of a sudden your release point is back here, instead of here, because you’re not 100 percent convicted.
“When you’re pitching away from contact, there is timid action on your ball. If you’re thinking ‘here it is, try to hit it,’ everything moves faster — your body moves faster, your release point is right, your pitch has more bite. But if you’re thinking ‘if I miss my spot, he’s going to crush it,’ you’re slower and lose a little bit of velocity and bite.
“Is it fear? I think it’s fair to call it that. I’ll admit I still get nervous, whether it’s here or in the big leagues. It’s how you channel it. You can’t be thinking, ‘I can’t get nervous, I can’t get nervous.’ If you’re not 100 percent right, psychologically, you start worrying and doubting. You fear what you’re dealing with out there on the mound.
“When I was in Seattle, I tried to talk to Cliff Lee, because he had gone through a bunch of stuff. But he and I just have different personalities. He keeps it simple, no matter what. I’m a guy who tends to think, think, think, and analyze, analyze, analyze. Sometimes that’s not a good thing. Baseball is… I’m not going to say dumb, but most guys want to keep it simple. That doesn’t mean you’re not a thinker in any way, you’re just keeping your thoughts short. It helps to be able to do that. As simple as it sounds, pick the leg up, get the arm up, attack the hitter.
“I talked to Daniel Bard in spring training. I was curious and had to ask him what happened. It’s funny, because I’m sitting there looking at a guy who has some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen. Guys would kill to have that stuff. But here he is, breaking it down like he throws 85 as opposed to 95. It’s so easy to have that happen, especially when you’re in the middle of it. You keep searching and searching for that answer. He just has to get to a place where he realizes who he is, how he got there, and keep it as simple as he can. When you’re on the mound in a situation where you need to bury that fastball, you have to say to yourself, ‘my stuff is good enough,’ and just go after him. It’s speed up and let’s go.
“My stuff was good enough to get me to the big leagues and have some success. Then, somehow, I ended up not knowing how I got there. I lost my confidence and competitiveness. Right now, I’m back to the place I was before 2010. I’m in a great place. I’m waiting for an opportunity to get back to the big leagues and do what I used to do.”
David Laurila grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from February 2006-March 2011 and is a regular contributor to several publications. His first book, Interviews from Red Sox Nation, was published by Maple Street Press in 2006. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA
Allan de San Miguel (above) made a major contribution to Frederick Key’s 11-7 victory over Lynchburg yesterday. He went 3-4, scored a run, hit 2 doubles and had 2RBI. Allan has hit safely in 6 of his last 10 games and is hitting .344 over that period.
Cory Adamson went 1-4, scored a run and stole a base for the Ft Wayne Tincaps and is hitting a healthy .295 for the season so far.
He suffered a loss 3 days ago but Tim Atherton bounced right back with a workmanlike 2 innings yesterday in Cedar Rapids 7-6 win over Burlington. Whilst 2 runs were scored on his watch none were earned and he threw a 1-2-3 8th including 2 Ks. He has a 2.79ERA and is 2-2.
By John Dudley/GoErie.com
In one of those moves that often goes unnoticed by all but baseball junkies, the Detroit Tigers late in 2008 announced they had hired a former Philadelphia Phillies scout named Kevin Hooker to assume their newly created position of Pacific Rim coordinator.
Hooker’s charge was to bolster the club’s scouting efforts in Asia and Australia. The Tigers, two years removed from 95 wins and a World Series appearance in 2006, had slid to 74-88 and last place in the AL Central.
Team president Dave Dombrowski said at the time the Tigers were determined to “actively grow” their presence in the Far East.
Detroit hasn’t reaped major rewards yet from the move. Other clubs, including the Yankees, remain bigger players when it comes to scouting and signing top talent from the region.
But among their discoveries was Warwick Saupold, an Australian-born Erie SeaWolves pitcher who, since breaking into organized ball last spring, has done nothing but figure out how to retire hitters on a consistent basis.
Through 43 professional appearances, Saupold is 7-4 with a 2.76 earned-run average. That includes 29 appearances in 2012 before the Tigers decided to move him from the bullpen to the rotation.
He’s steadily improved since then, getting the victory for Class A Lakeland in the final game of last season’s Florida State League championship series.
He has a 3-1 record and 2.03 ERA in eight starts this season with the SeaWolves.
Saupold’s secondary numbers are equally impressive. He boasts a nearly 3-to-1 career strikeouts-to-walks ratio (120-41), and opponents are batting .192 against him this season.
All this from a 6-foot 1-inch right-hander with a heavy sinker and low 90s fastball who’s less overpowering than he is crafty and smart.
“He does what pitchers need to do,” SeaWolves pitching coach Jaime Garcia said. “He pitches down in the strike zone, and he fills the strike zone with all of his pitches.”
If that sounds like an oversimplification, consider that some top prospects at the Double-A level are still trying to harness their command and learning to stay ahead in the count.
In that respect, the 23-year-old Saupold is notably advanced.
In his last start Wednesday, Saupold clearly didn’t have his best stuff, but he worked through jams in the second and third innings, each time getting a ground ball to end a scoring threat.
Saupold allowed one run over six innings to win his third straight decision in a game the Wolves won 3-1.
“That’s his M.O. — he battles like crazy,” SeaWolves manager Chris Cron said. “He’s got ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ is.”
Saupold honed it far away from the high school and college scene baseball here in the United States. After playing tee ball and pee-wee, Saupold joined the Australian equivalent of a travel team for several years before landing with the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League.
“We don’t really have high school sports,” Saupold said. “It’s kind of a find-your-own-pathway kind of thing.”
Saupold had once played in a tournament in Illinois and pitched for Australia in the 2008 world junior championships in Canada.
But unlike former SeaWolves pitcher Brendan Wise, an Australian who moved to the U.S. to attend Pratt Community College in Kansas and subsequently was drafted by the Tigers in 2005, he was scouted and signed straight out of Perth.
“I thought I was pretty well ready,” said Saupold, who in 2011 was named pitcher of the year in the Australian league, which was dotted with pros like Justin Huber (Twins organization), Chris Snelling (Pirates) and Luke Hughes (Blue Jays).
“You face some really good hitters in that league, and I thought I could match with the best,” Saupold said. “It all comes down to you’ve got to make a pitch. If you can make a pitch, you’re going to get guys out.”
If you do that consistently enough, you’ll keep moving up.
Which means Saupold might soon become the first big payoff from the Tigers’ scouting efforts along the Pacific Rim.
JOHN DUDLEY can be reached at 870-1677 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNdudley.
By Darren Headrick / Carolina Mudcats
Zebulon, N.C. – The Carolina Mudcats’ first walk-off win came from the most unlikely choice on Thursday night. Ryan Battaglia, who entered the game in the fourth inning as a defensive substitution, lined a two-run single into left field that capped a dramatic comeback in a 5-4 win over the Salem Red Sox.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the Mudcats (14-26). The Sox suffered their sixth walk-off defeat, and dropped to 17-21.
Ps Ryan went 1-3, 2RBI, .333
Well really! – what do we know? We no sooner sing Andrew Russell’s praises than the Braves demote him to AA. As we noted at the time of his reassignment whilst his strike outs were impressive he was conceding too many hits and walks. Once he gets that sorted we hope to see him back up in AAA.
Matt Kennelly’s release was a little more puzzling. After a period on the DL following an injury he seemed to have settled in well at AAA hitting .417 in 12ABs. We can only assume that he had become surplus to Atlanta’s catching requirements and that they felt they had other, probably younger, catchers in the wings. Hopefully there will be another organisation who could use a catcher of Matt’s calibre. For the time being we have kept him on the list.
Following continuing injury issues the Padres released Hayden Beard.
Cameron Lamb and Josh Warner have been sent back to Extended Spring Training.
Liam Hendriks has been put on the DL which might explain his recent struggles. Boss Moanaroa has also gone on the DL
Extended Spring Training Participants:
Rookie leagues:Beau Bishop(Red Sox), Dylan Child [Pirates), Alex Da Silva [Angels],Daniel Devonshire(Blue Jays), Sam Gibbons [Twins], Elliott Hargreaves [Reds], Josh Kennelly [Reds], Cameron Lamb [Astros], Jackson Lodge [Pirates], Adam O’Neill (Mets), Logan Wade [Twins],[Red Sox], Josh Warner [Phillies],
Mitchell Nilsson [Indians],
Yet to be assigned: Dean Aldridge (Tigers), Joe Atkins, [Royals], Jared Cruz (Braves), Ryan Dale (Royals), Josh Guyer (Twins), Nathan Hass (Braves), Sam Holland (Padres), Karl Hoschke (Braves), Nick Hutchings (Pirates), Sam Kennelly (Pirates), Tim Kennelly (Rangers), Jason Kilby (Reds), Ben Leslie [Giants], Connor MacDonald (Astros), Todd McDonald (Rangers), Daniel McGrath [Red Sox], Dakota Mitchell (Reds), Robbie Perkins [Rockies], James Philibossian (Tigers), Pita Rona (Orioles), Ben Shorto [Indians], Matthew Wilson [Orioles], Adam Silva [Yankees], Aaron Sayers [Tigers], Zac Shepherd (Tigers), Ricki Swarcz (Twins), Lewis Thorpe (Twins).
Note: We have also included NZ players