Results tagged ‘ Carlos Subero ’

Catching up with Nick Masset

My baseball journey continues to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home of the Reds.  It’s hard to visit a Major League park and not run into a former LumberKing, and that’s certainly the case with the 2009 Reds club.  The team leader in relief appearances his none other than right-hander Nick Masset, who suited up in the black and green for the entire 2003 season.

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Masset on the mound at Great American Ballpark in 2009.  Photo courtesy of the Reds Media Relations Department.

Masset went 7-7 in 30 games 20 starts with the ’03 Kings, breaking through to the Texas Rangers in 2006.  He’s been traded twice already in his brief career, from the Rangers to the Chicago White Sox (in a deal that included 2004 LumberKing John Danks and brought in ’07-’08 outfielder David Paisano) and from the White Sox to the Reds for his boyhood idol, Ken Griffey, Jr.

By his own admission, Masset is settling in to the up-and-coming Reds and is getting more comfortable against National League opponents.  So far this year, that comfort level has shown.  He’s 5-1 with a stellar 2.47 ERA over a team-high 71 appearances as the prime setup man for closer Francisco Cordero.

In our interview, Masset reflects on this season with the Reds, his excitement over the young core in Cincinnati (including another former LumberKing, 2004 hurler Edinson Volquez, former Dayton Dragons Jay Bruce and Joey Votto), the influence of former pitching coach Andy Hawkins on his career, keeping up with old teammates Kameron Loe and Josh Rupe and more.

Listen Here: 
Nick Masset Interview 9.30.09.mp3

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EDIT:  Masset ended up pitching in tonight’s game, replacing starter Bronson Arroyo with two outs in the ninth of a 6-1 Reds lead (much to the displeasure of the home crowd who wanted to see an Arroyo complete game).  He worked around a single by Albert Pujols and a walk to former Quad Cities Swing Colby Rasmus, striking out Ryan Ludwick to end the game.    

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Masset works to Pujols in the ninth.

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I’ve got a ton of pictures from my trip to Great American Ballpark, including my visit to the Reds Hall of Fame.  Look for those coming up in a future post.

-DL

MWL Playoff Update, Etc.

The first round of the Midwest League Playoffs concluded last night, so let’s see how my predictions have fared so far.

It turns out I couldn’t have been more right about the East Division, but I couldn’t have been more wrong about the West.  Fort Wayne survived a scare and beat South Bend 5-4 on Cole Figueroa’s late two-run double last night, taking a series that was much closer than most people thought.  Mark Haley’s Silver Hawks finally won a game at Parkview Field and pushed the TinCaps to the brink.  They should be proud of that.

The Great Lakes Loons won, 3-2 in 10 innings to oust the West Michigan Whitecaps thanks to Jaime Pedroza’s blast.  You’ll recall, Pedroza was my darkhorse for the second round.  Looks like he’s showing up early.  So, the Loons take on the TinCaps in the MWL East Division Championship Series starting tonight, just as I predicted.

Over in the West, it’s a very different story.  The Burlington Bees are now 8-0 in the playoffs over their last two seasons following a clean sweep of the Kane County Cougars.  I thought the Cougars would fare well with Kenny Smalley getting the game one start, but he served up two homers and exited early.  It was all Bees after that (12-7, 4-0 wins) as Jim Gabella takes his club back to Brian Rupp territory, the West Division Championship Series.

It’ll be a rematch of the ’08 MWLWDCS as Cedar Rapids pulled off the stunning upset of offensive powerhouse Peoria.  How did they take out the West’s best team?  In classic Kernel style…seizing opportunities, capitalizing on miscues and winning in frustrating ways.  The Chiefs lost 6-4 in 10 innings in game one, then had a disastrous bullpen lapse in game two as the Kernels loaded the bases on walks.  Closer Chris Huseby tied the game on a bases-loaded walk and then hit Matt Crawford for the walk-off winner.  Season over on a hit-by-pitch?  That hurts Peoria far more than it did Crawford.

So, it’s Bees-Kernels Part Two:  The Revenge.  Since my pick for the West was Peoria, I’ll re-pick amongst these two teams.  It’s really anybody’s guess between these clubs, especially in a three-game series.  Burlington won last year, but I’ll go with the Kernels by virtue of their home-field advantage.  Plus, the Bees have to lose a playoff game at some point, right?

Overall, I’m still sticking by the Loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooons.  I like them over Fort Wayne and whoever comes out of the West.

On to LumberKings Alumni news.  Outfielder Craig Gentry (’07) finally got a taste of big league baseball on September 6, going 0-for-1 with a groundout in his Major League debut with the Texas Rangers in Baltimore.  The Rangers lost, 7-0 with Derek Holland (’08) falling to 7-10.  Gentry has not appeared in a game since.

Former Kings’ manager Carlos Subero (’04-’05) has been called up to join Joe Torre’s coaching staff in Los Angeles.  It’s fairly routine that extra minor league coaches get brought up this time of year, but it’s the first time for Carlos.  Well deserved.

That’s all for now. 

-DL

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