Results tagged ‘ 2010 Cactus League Spring Training ’

Three Kings to Minor League Camp

The big-league Spring experience is over for Mitch Moreland (’08), Justin Smoak (’08) and Chad Tracy (’07).  All three have been reassigned to Minor League camp by the Texas Rangers.


More Photos from Scott Lucas

They just keep coming, and they’re all awesome.  Scott Lucas of the Newberg Report posted more photos today of Texas Rangers camp in Surprise, AZ.  Former LumberKings amidst this set include Blake Beavan (’08), Kennil Gomez (’08), Derek Holland (’08), Michael Kirkman (’06-’08), Marcus Lemon (’07), Michael Main (’08), David Paisano (’07-’08), Zach Phillips (’06-’07), Evan Reed (’07-’08) and Ryan Tatusko (’08).

View them here:

Also, yesterday’s elusive Kasey Kiker (’07) footage is now available here:


Photos and Video from Rangers Camp

Dedicated LumberBlog followers will recall that during my six-day trip to Arizona, I was sadly cheated out of a chance to see many former LumberKings due to Mother Nature.  My plan to see the Texas Rangers take on the Cleveland Indians in Goodyear was cut off by the rare desert rain.

Thankfully, I’m not the only blogger in the world who has ventured to the Cactus League this Spring.  Scott Lucas of Newberg Report fame is down there right now covering the back fields.  He has shot some pictures and video on many of your favorite former Kings.

Here’s some photos from a “B” game, including Craig Gentry (’07), Mitch Moreland (’08) and Chad Tracy (’07):

Scott has also posted some very sharp looking video on his YouTube site:

He’s got a link to some video on Kasey Kiker (’07) as well, but I wasn’t able to get that to work.  I will post it if that changes.

You can check out more from Scott at


Cactus League Update – March 16

It’s been almost a week since I last updated you on former LumberKings in Spring Training.  Rather than update you on every specific game that took place in Texas Rangers’ and Seattle Mariners’ camps, I thought I might try a “stream-of-consciousness” approach.  Here goes.

Rangers Camp

Former Kings’ hitters can be categorized in three ways.  Hot, Cold and Barely Seen.

tracyplayoffs.jpgMarcus Lemon
(4-for-9, double, RBI, .444 average), Mitch Moreland (7-for-18, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, .389 average) and Chad Tracy (4-for-11, double, triple, 2 RBI, .364 average) have all looked impressive so far in big-league camp with the Rangers.  Mainstay Ian Kinsler has played in just four games, but is 4-for-10 with a double and 2 RBI in that action.

Justin Smoak (2-for-13, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, .231 average), Craig Gentry (4-for-19, 3 runs scored, 1 stolen base, 7 strikeouts, .211 average) and Brandon Boggs (1-for-10) all look like they’re playing their way into Oklahoma City.  Smoak might get a longer leash than the other two.

Emerson Frostad (0-for-7, 3 strikeouts) and Kevin Richardson (2-for-10, 2 runs scored, RBI) have combined to catch nine games.  Both have been overshadowed by a solid start from non-LumberKing Max Ramirez, who is hitting .333 (6-for-18) with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI in nine games.  Right now, Ramirez has the edge to be the OKC catcher and COULD open with Texas if non-King Taylor Teagarden (2-for-13, 7 strikeouts) continues to struggle.

It’s been fairly surprising (to me, anyways) that John Whittleman has had just one at-bat with the big club.  He did walk once in his one game, though, showing that classic Whit eye.

David Paisano (1-for-1), Davis Stoneburner (1-for-3, RBI) and Engel Beltre (1-for-3) have had brief tastes of camp.

On the mound, Kasey Kiker has looked like his ’07 self.  He’s allowed just two hits over 3.0 innings against Major League-caliber hitters.  Could he be the Feliz of 2010?

Derek Holland has pitched twice, starting once.  He’s yielded four runs, but only one earned over his 3.1 innings thus far.  Derek continues to battle for a back-end rotation spot after a hot start and rough finish in ’09.

Most other alumni arms in Rangers’ camp have struggled.  Neftali Feliz (6 ER in 4.0 IP) might be feeling the pressure of the “rotation or reliever?” debate.  First-time campers Zach Phillips (4 ER in 2.0 IP), Michael Kirkman (1 ER in 1.1 IP) and Evan Reed (1 ER in 0.1 IP) have been touched up in very limited action.

Mariners Camp

Denny Almonte didn’t get into the split-squad game against Milwaukee that I saw, but apparently he did suit up at least once.  Still no at-bats for Denny, who’s most likely out on the back fields in Minor League camp now.

In the “Future LumberKing” and “Wishful Thinking LumberKing” categories, second-baseman Nick Franklin has earned five at-bats, going 1-for-5 with two stolen bases.  Meanwhile, the Dustin Ackley experience has officially ended with his move to AA camp today.  Ackley went 3-for-19 with 3 RBI in 10 games.

Neither Kenn Kasparek nor Anthony Vasquez has pitched on a big-league mound since they both got called upon in Seattle’s March 3rd game against San Francisco.


John Danks has come out sharp with the White Sox, giving up just 2 earned runs over 8.2
danks.JPGinnings spanning 3 starts.

At Milwaukee Brewers camp in Maryvale, Kameron Loe has allowed 3 runs over 5.0 innings in a pair of relief appearances.  Ruben Flores has not seen game action.

In “Dave Lezotte enemy territory” otherwise known as Chicago Cubs camp, new Northsider Thomas Diamond has yet to allow a run over 4.1 relief innings and has one save.

Nick Masset has a 9.00 ERA (3 ER in 3.0 IP) with Cincinnati.  No Edinson Volquez so far for the Reds as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery.

Grady Sizemore has homered and driven in 7 over just 9 at-bats with Cleveland.

Manny Pina is 0-for-4 over his first four games with his new club, the Kansas City Royals.  No sign of Tim Smith.

Switching over to the Grapefruit League, there’s been no reported sightings of Brett Lorin or Aaron Pribanic over in Pittsburgh Pirates camp, despite their usual young crop of arms.

Jason Bay has just one Spring homer so far with the Mets, and is 6-for-23 with 5 RBI in 9 games.

John Mayberry, Jr. is doing what John Mayberry, Jr. does.  He’s hitting .280 (7-for-25) with 3 doubles, a HR and 6 RBI with the defending NL Champion Philadelphia Phillies.

Does anyone know where Brandon Watson is hiding these days?


Day 6 – Video and Pictures

My Spring Training trip officially ended yesterday as the Seattle Mariners took on the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale.  Whoever said that Arizona never gets rain and is always scorching hot was wrong.  It was a damp, cold morning in which the area temperature was –get this — just six degrees warmer than Milwaukee.

Still, it was an enjoyable afternoon.  I got up close to Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and company out by the batting cages, then ran into former LumberKings closer Ruben Flores (’09) on the practice fields.

“Flo” had the opportunity to suit up for the Crew as the emergency man in the bullpen and was hoping to face the team that drafted him.  Unfortunately for him (and me, as it would have made for great video), it didn’t happen.

My dream matchup was Flores against fellow former King Denny Almonte (’09), who was brought along as part of Seattle’s split squad that day.  Sadly, Denny also did not get into the game.

I did get some video on Dustin Ackley, who got the start at second base and went 1-for-5 with a triple.  The video I have wasn’t of the triple, but rather a frozen rope that would have dropped for a single if not for the ageless wonder Jim Edmonds, who made a shoestring catch to rob him.

By the way, the Brewers won, 6-2.

Video of my last day in the Cactus League can be found here:  “Scenes from Maryvale“.


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The Maryvale back fields.  It looks dreary, but that’s really only because of the weather.  The fields are each named after a famous Brewer.  I was somewhere between Paul Molitor Field, Rollie Fingers Field and Robin Yount Field.


Field this way, clubhouse that way.


Jim Edmonds stops to sign a few.  A Brewer this Spring, a Red or a Pirate next year?


Ruben Flores suited up in Brewer blue.


Flores in the Brewer bullpen.


Denny Almonte on equipment bag detail.


Almonte up close.


Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik talking with Brewers broadcaster Bill Schroeder.  I used to be Bill’s research/stats guy.


Dustin Ackley faces Brewers’ lefty Manny Parra.


Maryvale, my last Cactus League stop this year.  I’ll be back.

And there you have it, five Cactus League games in six days (one rainout, unfortunately), five former LumberKings sighted and pictures/video of four different Spring Training facilities.  Every baseball fan needs to experience Spring Training at least once in their lives, and I highly recommend the Cactus League because of the close proximity and overall quality of the parks.

If you have just one day to spend in AZ, I’d recommend going to Camelback Ranch.  It’s the biggest of the Cactus League parks and has probably the best Southwestern feel and most unique back fields.  You also can’t go wrong with the laid-back atmosphere in Peoria, where the palm trees lining the berm make you feel like you’ve gone to a tropical locale.

Now, with under 30 days left until the start of the season, it’s back to Clinton.  See you there.


Days 4 and 5 – Video and Pictures

Unfortunately, steady rain kept the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians off the field in Goodyear today.  Fortunately, I still got to the ballpark and shot some video of the Cactus League’s newest facility.  Also, I’ve gotten around to uploading my video from yesterday’s visit to Camelback Ranch.  Enjoy.



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goodyear 1.jpg
goodyear 2.jpgMy trip closes tomorrow in Maryvale as the Seattle Mariners (split squad) take on the Milwaukee Brewers at 1:05 PM.  Pictures and video to follow when I return to Clinton on Monday.


Days 2 and 3 – Videos and Pictures

You’ve already read the story, now here’s the videos and pictures.




Scottsdale Stadium, Spring home of the San Francisco Giants.

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Former Timber Rattler Cody Scarpetta pitches for the Brewers.


Myself at the Avalanche/Coyotes game.  Yes, that’s a Joe Sakic jersey.


The Avs’ starting five lined up for the National Anthem.


Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik interacting with a fan.


Dustin Ackley (center) prepares to hit on one of the practice fields.


The game ball from Cliff Lee’s simulated game today.  Thanks again, JT.


Former LumberKing Andrew Carraway.


The Peoria press box cleared out a bit after Ichiro exited the game.


Spring Training, Day 3

Hello again from the hotel computer lab!

I’m still unable to load pictures and video (trust me, there’s plenty more), but I’ll give you a brief update of my day thus far.

I spent the afternoon back out at Peoria, this time checking out the back fields as the Mariners geared up for a 1:00 PM game against the San Diego Padres.  I didn’t run into any former LumberKings out there, but I did get the chance to see current Kings manager John Tamargo, Special Assistant John Boles, Director of Player Development Pedro Grifol and General Manager Jack Zduriencik.

I unfortunately missed the Felix Hernandez/Cliff Lee simulated game by just minutes, but I did get a nice souvenir.  Upon seeing JT, he handed me the last baseball used by Lee in his session.

I shot a few photos of Dustin Ackley getting some cuts and also got a good look at Eric Byrnes and Franklin Gutierrez as they took BP.

Following that, I met up with Jeff Evans and Fernando Alcala of the Mariners’ Media Relations staff and was able to talk shop and get a behind-the-scenes look inside their offices.  I also got my hands on my first Mariners’ 2010 Media Guide and a trip to the pressbox.

At the game, I was able to chat with former LumberKings right-hander Andrew Carraway (’09), the man scheduled for emergency duty out of the bullpen today.  I snapped a few pictures and got video of Carraway throwing in the pen, but unfortunately he did not get into what turned out to be a 9-3 Mariners’ loss.

As soon as I can, I’ll get pictures and video up on the Peoria back diamonds and Carraway’s big-league bullpen session.

Tomorrow, I venture out to Camelback Ranch to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Chicago White Sox.  Hopefully I’ll see Manny being Manny, some “he gone” action and more.


Spring Training, Day 2

Hello once again from Arizona, this time from the computer center at my hotel in Scottsdale.  I found some free internet (although no way to hook up my digital camera) and thought I might take advantage.

No former LumberKings suited up for the Mariners today, however, Seattle did win their first Cactus League game 9-3 over San Diego.  Ryan Garko and Tommy Everidge each went yard in their Mariner debuts.  You can read the box score here.

I was nowhere near Peoria today, rather, I was checking out the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants (again) at Scottsdale Stadium.  A quick summary of my day there:  I snagged three batting practice homers without the aid of a glove (thanks, Aubrey Huff), was interviewed by a writer from the Arizona Republic for a Saturday feature and got sunburned beyond belief.  Oh yeah, and Prince Fielder got the long-awaited retalitory plunk from Barry Zito as the main highlight of a 5-3 Giants win.

Elsewhere, Mitch Moreland (’08) went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI as the Rangers pounded Kansas City, 13-3 in Surprise.  Several former Kings had a nice day at the plate, including Craig Gentry (2-for-3, 2 runs scored) and Chad Tracy (1-for-1, RBI triple, 2 runs scored).

Now, for the “this has nothing to do with baseball” news.  This evening, I attended my very first regular-season NHL game to watch my favorite team, the Colorado Avalanche take on the Phoenix Coyotes.  John-Michael Liles tied the score at 1-1 with a power-play goal in the second period, but the Coyotes won in the final seconds as the just-traded former Avs winger Wojtek Wolski beat Craig Anderson for the winner.  Deflating, but still the most fun I’ve had at a hockey game.

I will have some pictures and video of my day in Scottsdale coming up next week.  Tomorrow, it’s back to Peoria as the Mariners take on the Padres again.  The buzz will be out on the back fields as Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee are scheduled to throw simulated games.  I might get some pictures of that, if I can get close enough.  Stay tuned.


The LumberBlog from the Cactus League

Thumbnail image for CactusLeague.jpgCactus League play for the Seattle Mariners officially begins next Wednesday, March 3 as they take on the San Francisco Giants at the Peoria Sports Complex.  I will be there shooting photos as Don Wakamatsu’s club takes the field for the first time this Spring.

My trip won’t stop there.  I’ll also be heading to Scottsdale Stadium (Giants), Camelback Ranch in Glendale (White Sox), Goodyear Ballpark (Indians) and Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix (Brewers).  Here’s my day-by-day:

March 3 – San Francisco Giants @ Seattle Mariners (1:05 PM, Peoria)

March 4 – Milwaukee Brewers @ San Francisco Giants (1:05 PM, Scottsdale)

March 5 – San Diego Padres @ Seattle Mariners (1:05 PM, Peoria)

March 6 – Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago White Sox (1:05 PM, Glendale)

March 7 – Texas Rangers @ Cleveland Indians (1:05 PM, Goodyear)

March 8 – Seattle Mariners Split Squad @ Milwaukee Brewers (1:05 PM, Maryvale) 

I’ll also be sneaking in some NHL action at the arena on March 4.  I finally get to see my favorite hockey team in action, the Colorado Avalanche, as they take on the Phoenix Coyotes.  Maybe I’ll take some pictures of that as well.

I will attempt to post some updates from AZ, but if not, expect a bunch of stuff when I get back on March 10.