AAA – Beresford, Hendriks, Oeltjen, Spence

Josh Spence had his little brother Liam with him in the dugout.   A different version of "Fear the Beard" perhaps

Josh Spence had his little brother Liam with him in the dugout. Liam might be a good luck omen considering Josh’s start to the season.

We reported on the good start that James Beresford is having in this posting yesterday.  In his only game since he went 0-5 leaving him with a .341 average over 12 games and 44ABs.

Liam Hendriks is now 2-0 with a 0.00ERA after 3 games.   Now if he can just repeat his minor league numbers when he returns to the Majors.

We reported on Trent Oeltjen’s home run down in Mexico in the posting below.

Josh Spence is having a good start to his year with the New Orleans Zephyrs.  After 4 outings  he has thrown 4.1 innings for 3H, 1R, 4BB, 5K and a 1.93ERA.

Andrew Russell remains on the 7-day DL.

Grant Balfour Surrenders His First Home Run Of The Season

BALFOURTB2The game was virtually beyond reach when Grant Balfour came on to throw the 9th against the Yankees today.   He hadn’t pitched for 5 days so today was really an exercise in getting in some much needed work as the score was 8-2 at the time.

A single to centre followed by a 1 out 2RBI home run by Yankee Yangervis Solarte [his 1st] ruined that workout.

He then proceeded to get the next two hitters out to leave the Rays with a 10-2 deficit in their 9th but they were unable to add to their score.

So in one game Grant’s ERA went from zero to 3.18 as the Rays went to 7-9 on the season.

New York Yankees Next Major League Baseball Team To Head Down Under

Pitch perfect: David Phelps' New York Yankees will be heading Down Under. Photo: AFP

Pitch perfect: David Phelps’ New York Yankees will be heading Down Under. Photo: AFP

By Andrew Webster/SMH

It is the best-known sporting franchise in the world. No, not the Maitland Blacks Rugby Union Club, but the New York Yankees.

And we have it on exceptional authority they will be the next Major League Baseball team to grace the SCG when baseball returns to Sydney in 2018.

The double header to open the MLB season between the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks in late March was a resounding success.

Negotiations fired up with other teams straight away, and the word is SCG Trust chief executive Jamie Barkley is poised to sign a deal with the famed Yankees midway through this year.

Can you imagine it? The Yankees? The ball club which featured Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and countless hilarious Seinfeld moments with owner George Steinbrenner and George Costanza on the hallowed turf of the SCG?

For some, it evokes memories of the day Sir Donald Bradman and Ruth met in 1932 when they sat next to each other at a baseball match in New York.

“I’ll try this cricket business,” the legendary Ruth reportedly said to Sir Donald. “Maybe it’s my game. Now why don’t you put on a Yankee uniform and see what you can do against our style of pitching? Maybe baseball is your game?”

Naturally, the Trust is very tight-lipped about discussions with the Yankees, and did not want to comment or elaborate when contacted.

But we’re already hearing possible opponents could be another iconic franchise: the Oakland Athletics, who featured in Moneyball.

 

Trent Oeltjen Runs With The Bulls At Toros de Tijuana

Trent Oeltjen celebrates his home run

Trent Oeltjen celebrates his home run

On March 29th, whilst playing for the Toros de Tijuana team [Bulls of Tijuana], Trent Oeltjen signed with his old club the Arizona Diamondbacks giving him the opportunity to attend Spring Training and hopefully make it back to the Major Leagues.   It didn’t quite work out that way and at the end of ST he was slated for AAA Renos Aces, a team that Trent had played for back in 2009.

Seems however, that he wasn’t finished with the Bulls and the D’Backs sent him back down Mexico way, no doubt to the delight of the Toros fans.  The Mexican League is considered to be AAA.

Trent didn’t disappoint them – certainly not today.

Today Trent hit a three-run homer in what was described as a ‘juicy’ six-run rally to lead the Bulls to a 7-5 victory over the Quintana Roo Tigers.  This tied their current series at a game apiece in the Mexican Baseball League at Gasmart Stadium.

So now Trent, back from a stint on the DL and after 4 games, is 3-16, 2R, 1HR, 3RBI

 

AAA – Beresford Named ‘Player Of The Week’

His hot bat helps Wings in first week

Beresford_zucc8yar_02rcdkqiBy Rochester Red Wings

Rochester Red Wings infielder James Beresford has been named the Batavia Downs Gaming and Racetrack Player of the Week for the period of April 3-13.

Beresford is batting .438 (14-for-32) with three doubles, three walks and six RBI – giving him an on-base pct of .486 in the young season. Beresford has played in every game so far, and entered play Monday ranked third in the International League in batting.

Ryan Rowland-Smith Continues To Lower His ERA

RRS16Ryan Rowland-Smith has now appeared in 6 games this season for the ailing D’Backs [4-13] and his latest outing against the Mets was his longest in terms of innings pitched.

He pitched 2 innings and faced a total of 10 batters allowing 2H and 2R, although only 1 was an earned run, whilst striking out a season high 4 batters.   He lowered his ERA to 4.91 from a previous high of 6.23.   Whilst it was the first time he had thrown more than 1 inning it was not his longest outing in terms of pitches thrown as he threw 39 last week in his 1 inning against the Giants whilst he threw 35 against the Mets.

A – Adamson, Atherton gets 1st Win, Battaglia, George, Kandilas, Wade

A win for Tim Atherton

A win for Tim Atherton

Corey Adamson hit 3-13  in his last 4 games including a triple and scored 2 runs in what for him was a relatively quiet patch.  After 11 games he is hitting .275 for his Lake Elsinore Storm.

In his best outing so far this season Tim Atherton threw 6 innings, allowing runs in only the 2nd inning, to earn his first win of the season for Stockton Ports.  His line was 6IP, 6H, 2R, 1HR, 1BB, 5K.

Ryan Battaglia had his first game with his new club, the Caroline Mudcats, and struck out three times whilst going 0-4.

Darryl George has had only 1 outing this week so far but it was a productive one going 3-5 with 1 run.

Modesto Nuts’ David Kandilas went 2-11 in his last 4 games with 1RBI.  After 12 games he is hitting .229.

Logan Wade is 2-11 in his last 4 games, scoring 3 runs.  He is hitting .297 for the Cedar Rapids Kernels after 10 games.

Grant Balfour Comes To Baltimore For First Time Since Deal With Orioles Fell Through

balf13By Eduardo A. Encina/The Baltimore Sun

The last time Grant Balfour was in Baltimore, he thought he had landed in the place where he’d spend the next two years of his career.

In December, Balfour arrived at the Warehouse to take a club physical that he believed would be the last step in finalizing a two-year, $15 million deal to replace Jim Johnson as Orioles closer.

But instead of being introduced as the Orioles’ new closer as he had expected, Balfour left town frustrated after being told that team doctors found something in the physical that they did not like.

The deal with the Orioles fell through, and Balfour, 36, eventually signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Tampa Bay Rays later in the offseason.
Monday was his first time back in the city since his physical.

“When I walked out of here last time, I [knew I] was not going to be an Oriole,” Balfour said before the Orioles’ series opener Monday against Tampa Bay.

“There was no meeting. It was basically my agent telling me they had failed you on the physical, and you will not be an Oriole.

“I was here. I had just gotten the physical done a couple hours earlier. I said, ‘All right, get me the next flight out of here because I want to go back home.

If they’re not signing me, then get me the [heck] out of here, because someone else is going to sign me.’”

Balfour, who entered the season having converted 62 of 67 save opportunities over the past two years with the Oakland Athletics, has successfully saved all four opportunities this season for Tampa Bay and has allowed just one hit over 4 2/3 scoreless innings entering the series.

Asked whether Balfour now has any added motivation while facing the Orioles — he has already pitched against the Orioles in spring training — he said he didn’t need any extra incentive.

“I’m not going to let them dictate what I do,” Balfour said. “Whatever they did is what they did, and they know what they did, and that’s all going to take care of itself. For me, it’s all about playing and winning for my team. I don’t need to do anything more than what I’m doing.

“I’ve told myself every year, I don’t have to go out and try to do any more. Keep doing what you’re doing and stay consistent and within yourself in what you do. I know what I can do and what I’m capable of.”

Balfour said he didn’t make contact with any Orioles players before the deal fell through.

“I never talked anyone on the other side to be totally honest with you,” he said. “I don’t have anyone’s number over there.”

And now Balfour said that he’s glad that he landed back with Tampa Bay, where he played for four seasons and has a home.

“To me, they’re no different than anyone else,” Balfour said. “That’s why it’s not a big deal to me. You guys want to talk to me about it. I don’t want to talk about it.

“I’ve really got nothing to say really other than that there’s 29 other teams out there, and they’re one of them, and I want to beat them because I’m here to win. That’s pretty much it.”

 

Fourth Person Charged Over Chris Lane Murder

Lane5A fourth person has been charged over the death of the Australian baseball player in southern Oklahoma.

Oddesse Barnes, of Duncan, has been charged with accessory after murder following the death of 22-year-old Christopher Lane, of Melbourne, the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office said.

Lane was jogging in Duncan last August when he was shot and killed.

Two teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder.

Source: SMH

AA – Kennelly, Saupold, Searle, Welch

Stefan had an incredible 5RBI in 1 game this week

Stefan had an incredible 5RBI in 1 game this week

The Braves’ Matt Kennelly has played in 3 games so far this week and gone 3-12 with 1RBI.  After 5 games and 18ABs he is hitting .278.

Warwick Saupold had his 2nd start this week for the Erie SeaWolves throwing 4.2 innings for 4H, 1R, 1BB, 5K.   It was another impressive outing but he fell 1 out short of completing 5 innings and so did not get awarded the win in the statistics but he would certainly have earned it in the minds of his Detroit coaches.

The Cubs Ryan Searle had his best outing so far in his 3rd game of the new season this week throwing 2 scoreless innings in which he allowed only 1 hit whilst striking out 3 and earned the win.  So after 3 outings and 6.1IP he has a 1.42ERA and a 1-0 record.

Stefan Welch is turning it on with the Portland Sea Dogs.   This week he has gone 6-14, including 2 doubles and 6RBI, 5 RBI in one game.  After 8 games and 25ABS he is hitting an impressive .360.   No doubt his Boston coaches would be well pleased.

John Hussey remains on the DL.

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