Results tagged ‘ Josh Spence ’
James Beresford had his first multi hit game today, going 2-4 including a double and scored a run in New Britain’s 6-5 win over Portland. After 6 games he is hitting .200
Trent Oeltjen is continuing to struggle at the plate going 0-2 yesterday and 0-3 today. After 11 games he is hitting a disappointing .133
Another tough outing for Josh Spence today in the first inning. Buffalo had quickly scored 3 runs and Josh came on with two out and bases loaded. He immediately gave up a double to LF which scored another 3 runs before finishing the inning. He then struck out his only hitter in the 2nd. Buffalo beat Scranton 6-1.
Ryan Rowland-Smith got his first win today coming on in the 9th with the score locked at 2 all. He then threw 3 scoreless and hitless innings, including 2Ks until Pawtucket won it in the 11th with a walk off 3RBI home run giving Ryan a well deserved win.
Stefan Welch scored Altoona’s only run yesterday in their 3-1 loss to Harrisburg. Brought on as a pinch hitter for the pitcher in the 10th he drove an RBI single to CF.
MOOSIC —Whether in his native country Australia or in college in Arizona or professionally, Josh Spence has always played in warm weather climates.
So when he got to PNC Field two weeks ago for the start of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ season, he was in 30-degree temperatures for the first time.
“It was a bit of a culture shock that’s for sure,” said Spence, a left-handed reliever for SWB. “But I’ve always been taught that the most important games are played in the worst weather. Especially in the postseason. So I might as well get used to it now and get that feeling and try to get better.”
Being in the States since he was 18, the 25-year-old still has a strong love for his hometown. The sport of baseball isn’t that popular in the Commonwealth as most Australian athletes pick up cricket, soccer, tennis or even football. But it’s starting to pick up popularity with the Winter League’s Australian Baseball League, which just finished its third season.
It just so happened that when Spence was younger he started playing those other sports as well. But when he picked up a bat for tee ball, he fell in love with baseball and stuck with it ever since.
When he came to America, he attended Central Arizona College and started his collegiate baseball career. From there, he played for Arizona State two years helping the Sun Devils reach the College World Series in the final year the event was held at Rosenblatt Stadium. A strong season also helped the left-hander get drafted by San Diego. He’s piled up 51 career Major League games for the Padres totaling 40 innings in 2011 and 2012 before being claimed by the Yankees this past offseason. It’s been success that warranted other teams’ interest. He has a 3.15 career ERA for San Diego during his time in the Majors and in his Major League debut against Atlanta, he sent all-stars Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann down in order. With the Padres he was in the bullpen with stars like Heath Bell, Chad Qualls and Mike Adams.
Although he’s had success, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from. And to remind himself of that, he keeps a jar of vegemite, an Australian spread, in his locker. But Spence his teammates are “too scared to try it.”
“I guess (I keep it because) it’s motivation that I’ve come this far and to keep working and keep giving it 100 percent and enjoy it,” Spence said.
If you’ve seen Spence at PNC Field during the first homestand you’ve notice that he throws sidearm with a motion that could be devastating to lefty hitters. But he didn’t throw that way until he got drafted and became a reliever. Not being a pitcher with overpowering stuff, he wanted to try to something different. So the lefty from down under is still learning about throwing from down under. There was even a game during the recent homestand when Spence was pitching against Pawtucket he threw sidearm on one pitch then overhand on the next.
“I think it was something I just really hadn’t showed but something that I’ve always done,” he said. “But right now I’m just trying to get outs and I’ll get them anyway I can.
“I got into pro ball and was prone to lefties so one inning I felt I had a little more deception from down there so I just stuck there. It’s still a learning curve for me still working hard on staying with myself and making a lot of pitches.”
He’s been tabbed as a left-handed specialist over the years with teams. It’s true Spence has had more success against lefties holding them to a .158 batting average in his Major League career. But he’s also had success against right-handed hitters too limiting them to a .224 average.
“I haven’t’ showed it so far this year but I’m confident I can get both righties and lefties out,” Spence said. “I can understand why I’d be pigeonholed as a lefty specialist, but I have a strong passion for the game. I’m really enjoying my time with the RailRiders, but it’s no secret that the ultimate goal is to be wearing pinstripes in Yankee Stadium and I’ll do whatever they ask me to do to hopefully get there.”
Ryan Rowland-Smith and Josh Spence went head to head in the 7/8th inning in the Scranton/Pawtucket AAA game today.
Josh pitched both innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a walk. Ryan came on in the 7th with 1 out, finished the inning and then threw the 8th allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. Pawtucket won 6-2.
Trent Oeltjen went 0-3 in the Salt Lake Bees’ 9-1 loss to Tucson. He is hitting .100
Peter Moylan came on on the 6th for Albuquerque and threw 2 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits, including a home run whilst striking out 2.
Trent Oeltjen went 0-2, collecting a walk and scoring a run in the Salt Lake Bees 2-1 win over Tucson.
Andrew Russell had a good spring and his opener for the Gwinnett Braves was just as impressive. He was brought on in the 8th with score 5-4 to the Braves with 1 on and 0 outs but with Charlotte beginning to rally. Andrew soon put a stop to that and threw two 1-2-3 innings to get his 1st Save of the season.
Josh Spence pitched the 9th for Scranton who went down 9-4 to the Pawtucket Red Sox. He faced 5 hitters allowing a run on 3 hits.
It’s not been a good week for Aussie potential major leaguers with Travis Blackley and Josh Spence being sent down. Now comes news that the Dodgers have dropped Peter Moylan to the minor leagues. That leaves only Grant Balfour and possibly Liam Hendriks as our representatives in The Show. Disappointing.
A number of minor leaguers got some playing time in the final games of Spring Training today. David Kandilas got a good run with the Rockies going 0-1 and a walk and a run. Both Matt Kennelly and Stefan Welch went 0-2 and rookie Darryl George didn’t get to bat but got to play at third late in the Rays’ game today. This no doubt softened the disappointment he felt when he was unable to crack a place in a full season team and has to return next week to extended spring.
The A’s announced Friday that they have designated left-hander Travis Blackley for assignment, meaning he has been moved off the 40-man roster and must be traded, released or accept an assignment to the minor leagues within the next 10 days.
Blackley had a nice season for the A’s last year, going 6-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 games, including 15 starts. But he was brutal in spring training, posting a 14.21 ERA and allowing 27 hits in 12 2/3 innings. Opponents hit .450 against him.
The A’s got Travis last season when the Giants designated him for assignment and there is a chance they may well lose him the same way if there is another club who is prepared to take a risk with him in the hope that he might find his last season’s mojo.
Josh Spence was sent back to minor league camp today as the Yankees finalise their opening day roster. He will no doubt play in AAA, hoping for an opportunity to get back up with the Yankees during the season.
Brought on in the 6th to relieve the Yankees’ star starter, David Phelps who had reached 90 pitches with one out Josh quickly disposed of the next two hitters, including righty all star J J Hardy.
In the 7th he let the lead off get on with a seeing eye single past 2nd and came out of the game. But he didn’t do any harm to his chances of making it to opening day.
Two Aussie lefties had effective outings today.
For Boston Ryan Rowland-Smith (above) made his debut picking up a win when he was brought on in the 8th to stem a Phillies onslaught who, with back to back home runs had tied the game 6 all. It took RRS just 6 pitches to strike out the first and get a fly ball for the second. With Boston then going on to win the game 7-6 Ryan got the win. Hopefully an indication of a good season for the Newcastle native.
Once again Josh Spence was called upon by the Yankees late in the game to get rid of a lefty hitter. It was the beginning of the 10th and Josh got his hitter to ground out, throwing 5 pitches. The Yankees went on to win 7-6. We see a habit forming here.
Josh Spence was given back to back assignments when he was brought on in the 8th today to pitch against two Boston lefties which confirms the thoughts in the article below by Mike Axisa about Josh perhaps making the opening day roster as a LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY).
Unfortunately Josh only got to throw against the first lefty when he was hit on the hand with a soft comebacker, got the out and then was taken out of the game as a precaution. As it was pretty soft it looked like Joe Girardi was being extra cautious, no doubt considering it was a Spring Training game. Josh certainly didn’t look to be in any discomfort in the dug out talking to the pitching coach.
As it says below he just might sneak onto that opening day roster.
By Mike Axisa/riveraveblues.com
… The Yankees are still without second lefty reliever Clay Rapada. He’s been out for a few weeks with shoulder bursitis, and while he was able to play long-toss yesterday, it’s looking less and less likely he will be ready in time for Opening Day. Opening the year with just one lefty reliever — assuming Logan’s elbow continues to hold up — isn’t the end of the world, but Rapada’s injury does open the door for fellow southpaws Josh Spence and Vidal Nuno these next ten days.
Spence and Nuno are both cut from a very similar cloth. They’re both 25 years old and not on the 40-man roster, plus they’re offspeed-heavy finesse guys. Spence — who pitched to a 3.15 ERA (3.92 FIP) in 40 innings for the Padres from 2011-2012 — is a changeup pitcher while Nuno relies on his slider. They’ve both had strong Spring Trainings but Nuno has been better, striking out a dozen against two walks in 8.1 innings of one-run ball. He’ll also capable of pitching multiple innings while Spence is more of a true specialist. Then again, he has no big league experience.
Carrying a second left-hander in the bullpen won’t be imperative early in the season. The Red Sox are in town for the first series of the year and both David Ortiz (heels) and Stephen Drew (concussion) are likely to start the year on the DL. Assuming Mike Carp fills in for Ortiz, he and Ellsbury will be the only lefty-hitting regulars in Boston’s lineup. The Yankees head to Detroit for three games after that, and Alex Avila is their only lefty bat worthy of a matchup southpaw. Prince Fielder mashes everyone and Andy Dirks has shown no split in his short big league career. The Indians are up next after that and carrying two lefties would be nice starting with that series.
Of course, carrying a second lefty specialist isn’t all that important anyway. Carrying the best pitchers possible is more important than having someone who throws with a specific arm just because, plus the Yankees do have three right-handed relievers who get lefties out in Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, and Joba Chamberlain. Though two of those three are married to specific innings though, it’s not like Joe Girardi will use Robertson to get a tough lefty out in the sixth inning or something. The point stands though, the club has a few guys capable of retiring lefties even if Rapada has to start the year on the shelf.
Now, if Logan’s elbow starts barking again, things will change. I can’t imagine the Yankees would open the season without no lefty relievers at all, meaning Spence or Nuno could be the guy. Both would have to be added to the 40-man and have minor league options remaining, so sending them to Triple-A when Logan and/or Rapada get healthy won’t be difficult. It becomes a question of which guy is the better bet to actually help the team, and I’m not sure we can answer that. Spence has some big league success but is an unconventional lefty specialist because he’s a changeup pitcher. Nuno has no Triple-A experience, nevermind MLB experience, but is more conventional thanks to his slider.
In all likelihood, the Yankees will use either Shawn Kelley or Cody Eppley in Rapada’s place come Opening Day if Logan remains healthy. Both righties are ticketed for Triple-A but have big league experience and would be used in lower-leverage spots anyway. Finding someone capable to fill-in isn’t the problem, it’s just a question of how much the Yankees value a reliever’s handedness. I say take the best pitchers regardless of which hands they throw with, but the Bombers clearly value left-handedness and would like to have two southpaws if possible. There’s at least a small chance Spence or Nuno could sneak onto the roster if they continue to impress in camp.