Results tagged ‘ Eddie Menchaca ’
My apologies for not posting yesterday, it’s a rarity. Myself and the rest of the LumberKings had a short night after waiting for an hour before starting up on Tuesday night, beating the Cedar Rapids Kernels 7-1 to halt a five-game losing streak, driving two hours back to Clinton, getting up the next morning and boarding the bus at 8:30 AM, making the two-hour drive back, playing baseball at roughly noon and losing the middle game, 2-1 to the Kernels.
There’s been plenty to talk about. As you’ve likely already seen, left-hander James Paxton struck out a career-high 12 batters on Tuesday night to win for the first time in affiliated pro baseball. Steven Baron homered and Stefen Romero doubled to give him a 2-1 lead, and the Kings scored five times in the ninth to put the game out of reach. Yesterday, right-hander Forrest Snow turned in his team-leading fifth quality start but still fell to 1-7 on the season as Kernels’ right-hander Heath Nichols outdueled him for the win. Kalian Sams homered for the third time in four games in the ninth to end the shutout, but neither pinch-hitter Jabari Blash nor Anthony Phillips could continue the comeback against closer Dakota Robinson.
Thus, today is the rubber match between the Kings and Kernels. Manager Eddie Menchaca is my pregame guest today as we talk about the trip so far (Clinton is 2-7 but has been close in all seven losses), the chance for a rare series win today behind 18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker (who is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last two starts), the success of Sams in the lineup (he’s hit in 10-straight games), the club’s realistic goals for the remainder of this first half and more.
Listen Here: Menchaca interview 5.26.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.26.11 kingsnotes
Your Daily Roster Move: Right-hander Jandy Sena has been promoted to double-A Jackson, effective today. No counter-move was made, leaving the LumberKings’ roster at 24 players out of a possible 25.
LumberKings (12-35): Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Stefen Romero/3B, Matt Browning/DH, Kalian Sams/RF, Steven Baron/C, Jabari Blash/LF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP
Cedar Rapids Kernels (23-23): Travis Witherspoon/CF, Wes Hatton/2B, David Harris/RF, Brandon Decker/1B, Jeremy Cruz/3B, Ricky Alvarez/DH, Marcus Nidiffer/C, Jerod Yakubik/LF, Jesus Campos/SS, Suammy Baez/RHP
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, hopefully the Kings can get some runs off slippy-slappy-swimmy-Suammy-Swanson-oh-yeah-Samsonite and take the series this evening. Listen online at 1390kcln.com.
For the second-straight game, the LumberKings’ offense stormed out to a 7-0 lead on Beloit. Unlike Sunday, the offense kept rolling late and the bullpen survived meltdown as Clinton won by its largest margin of the season, 13-6 over the Snappers. Ramon Morla (2-for-4) and Carlos Ramirez (3-for-3) each drove in three runs apiece and Jabari Blash went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI to lead the offense, all backing 5.0 scoreless innings from right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen.
With the offense finally starting to produce, the starting rotation coming back strong (3-0, 0.75 over the last four games) and the addition of two new arms to the roster — including one very high-profile right-hander that you’ve likely heard about already), it’s the perfect time to catch up with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca for the second time this season.
We talk about the offense including Morla and Ramirez, Julio Morban, Tim Morris and others, the additons of right-handers Taijuan Walker and Jandy Sena, Chaca’s “win the inning” philosophy and more.
Listen Here: Menchaca Interview 5.3.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.3.11 kingsnotes
Beloit Snappers (13-9): Jamaal Hawkins/SS, Andrew Leer/3B, Nate Roberts/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/LF, Lance Ray/RF, Kyle Knudson/C, Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Derek McCallum/2B, Logan Darnell/LHP
LumberKings (8-17): Julio Morban/LF, Carlos Ramirez/2B, Stefen Romero/DH, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Cerione/CF, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP
First pitch is once again at 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
The LumberKings and Cedar Rapids Kernels were washed out at Alliant Energy Field last night, meaning we’re set for doubleheader action for the third time already this season. Games two and three of the series get started at 5:00 PM this evening. Right-handers Brandon Maurer (1-0, 1.29) and George Mieses (0-0, 2.08) will make the starts for the Kings, who look to snap a two-game slide.
I caught up with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca yesterday, not knowing if the rain would push back his Midwest League managerial debut or not. We talked about how he followed the team while still in Phoenix for the birth of his second son, his thoughts on the 4-8 start, the excruciating 4-3 loss to the Kernels that he witnessed from the seats the night prior, his managerial style, excitement over his first game as Clinton’s manager and more.
Listen Here: Menchaca Interview 4.19.11
Today’s Game Notes: 4.20.11 kingsnotes
Tonight’s Game 1 Lineups:
Cedar Rapids (6-5): Drew Heid/LF, Travis Witherspoon/CF, Jeremy Cruz/1B, David Harris/DH, Wes Hatton/2B, Carlos Ramirez/C, Ryan Jones/RF, Jean Almanzar/SS, Jesus Campos/3B, Daniel Tillman/RHP
LumberKings (4-8): Kevin Rivers/RF, Stefen Romero/LF, Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Tim Morris/1B, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Phillips/2B, Brandon Maurer/RHP
The pregame show gets started at 4:45 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
Tonight is the last night in town for interim manager Jesus Azuaje as the regularly-scheduled skipper Eddie Menchaca arrives tonight and likely makes his LumberKings’ managerial debut tomorrow against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. I decided to squeeze in one last interview with Azuaje before he heads back to far warmer temperatures in Peoria, AZ. We talk about Clinton’s 4-7 start, the hot hitting of Julio Morban, the transition to Menchaca running the show, Azuaje’s aspirations for this season and beyond and more.
Listen Here: Azuaje Interview 4.18.11.mp3
I’m admittedly still getting used to dealing with two tandem starting spots in our rotation, as again today I’ve incorrectly listed right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen as the starter. Instead, it will be left-hander Anthony Fernandez (0-0, 6.48) making his third-straight start with Kohlscheen working in relief. My game notes are fairly botched as a result of this switch, so I won’t be posting them tonight. I’ll try and get better next time.
I do have lineups, though.
Cedar Rapids (5-5): Drew Heid/LF, Wes Hatton/2B, Travis Witherspoon/CF, David Harris/DH, Carlos Ramirez/C, Ryan Jones/RF, Ricky Alvarez/1B, Jean Almanzar/SS, Jesus Campos/3B, Suammy Baez/RHP
LumberKings (4-7): Marcus Littlewood/SS, Julio Morban/CF, Kevin Rivers/RF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Steven Baron/C, Ramon Morla/3B, Tim Morris/1B, Stefen Romero/LF, Anthony Phillips/2B, Anthony Fernandez/LHP.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
The 25 players that will comprise the 2011 Clinton LumberKings’ Opening Night roster have now been announced over at LumberKings.com. Here’s a few things to note for the coming days:
- Jesus Azuaje will be the interim manager for Clinton while Eddie Menchaca and wife Lacy prepare for the birth of their second son in Phoenix. When the youngest Menchaca is born, I’ll post about it here. Azuaje, of course, is an old friend — he was our hitting coach in 2009.
- Right-hander Forrest Snow will make the switch from lockdown closer to frontline starter. Pitching coach Rich Dorman is giving him the baseball for the Opening Night start against Burlington on Thursday. Word from the Bees is that right-hander Seth Frankoff will start opposite Snow.
- The LumberKings will be taking the field for an intrasquad game on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:00 PM. It is free to the public! Come on down, get your first look at the Kings, grab some 75th Anniversary Season souvenir items and get your baseball fix.
More to come, including some photos from tomorrow’s 9 AM workout. Also, I’ll begin crafting the initial set of LumberKings’ Game Notes. Tis the season.
Left-handers Anthony Fernandez (left) and Edlando Seco (right) finished 2-3 in the Northwest League in ERA last season.
Part two of my third-annual educated guess at the upcoming LumberKings’ roster is today, with a look at players who I think will make their Clinton debuts at some point in 2011. Again, my disclaimer…I have no advanced knowledge of the roster via the Seattle Mariners at this point in the year, thus this is just my opinion. If anyone I’ve mentioned is no longer with the Mariners’ organization (trade, release, retirement, etc.), please feel free to update me in the “comments” section below.
It’s easy to get excited about the crop of talent coming up, given that four of the five teams below low-A advanced to the playoffs last year. Everett, the team we’re likely to see the most players from, won the Northwest League title last season under the guidance of Jose Moreno and newly-named LumberKings’ pitching coach Rich Dorman. Pulaski, the other top feeder team, advanced to the postseason under current manager Eddie Menchaca. The players coming up from those two squads will already be well versed in what it takes to win, and they’ll be working with a staff that is more than familiar with their skillset. That should be a solid recipe for success here in Clinton. Now, let’s take a position-by-position look at some of the players who could be wearing black and green in 2011.
As I said in part one of the preview, 2009 supplemental first-rounder Steven Baron, who split his first pro season between Clinton and Everett, should be the everyday catcher here. He started 50 of the AquaSox’ 76 games behind the plate and was named the NWL’s top catcher. Cal State Fullerton product Billy Marcoe (.153, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .383 OPS) appeared in 11 games for Everett as Baron’s backup last year. He could be filling that role again. Pulaski’s catching corps included Venezuela native Larry Gonzalez (.267, 1 HR, 17 RBI, .700 OPS), Dominican native Hassiel Jimenez (.229, 0 HR, 8 RBI, .541 OPS) and Seattle’s 32nd round pick out of Vanderbilt, Andrew Giobbi (.291, 2 HR, 12 RBI, .764 OPS). Seattle’s highest-drafted catcher in 2010 was sixth-round pick Christian Carmichael, who needs a season at short-A before he’s ready for the Midwest League. Carmichael, drafted out of Mililani High School in Hawaii, hit .100 in just 11 games in the AZL. It’s anyone’s guess at this point who the other catcher (or second and third catchers) will be, but I’d put my money on Gonzalez or Giobbi and bank on Carmichael in 2012.
Evan Sharpley, the Mariners’ 50th-round and final selection of the 2009 June draft, was better known as the backup quarterback to Jimmy Clausen at Notre Dame when Seattle selected him. After solid efforts in the AZL in ’09 (.333, 7 HR, 29 RBI) and Everett in ’10 (.231, 6 HR, 42 RBI, .706 OPS), Sharpley has proven he belongs in pro baseball. Granted, .231 with a .318 OBP isn’t lighting up the Northwest League, but he still started 64 of Everett’s 76 games last year and can provide power from the left side of the plate. Pulaski had a first-base platoon situation with Hofstra product and 35th round pick Ethan Paquette (.236, 3 HR, 19 RBI, .643 OPS) splitting time with Matt Browning (.330, 4 HR, 24 RBI, .947 OPS), the 43rd round pick out of James Madison. Paquette is the only natural first-baseman of the group with Sharpley and Browning both moving over from third base, but I think this spot ultimately goes to Sharpley. I projected in my previous post that Tim Morris should return, but we’ll see who emerges this Spring.
LumberKings’ alums Hawkins Gebbers and Terry Serrano handled most of the second-base duties for Everett last year, and either one could be back on the Clinton infield. Since this post is about new faces, I’ll focus elsewhere. Menchaca’s Pulaski team featured an intriguing second-baseman named Jorge Agudelo, who ripped 16 doubles and legged out seven triples in just 59 games while hitting .287. The Caracas, VZ native also exhibited a knack for baserunning, stealing an Appy League-high 24 bases in 31 attempts. The Kings haven’t had a true speedster at the top of the lineup since Engel Beltre in ’08, so it’d be great to see Agudelo flying around the bases. Unless Gabriel Noriega repeats the league and isn’t the starting shortstop (more on that later), I think Agudelo has the inside track on the second base spot. Gebbers, Serrano and Carlos Ramirez are all solid utility choices, while 30th-round pick Derek Poppert (.242, 8 doubles, HR, 11 RBI) could be in the mix also.
When Menchaca was in for the Hot Stove Banquet in January, he raved about third-baseman Ramon Morla whenever he was asked about his players from Pulaski. The 21-year-old San Pedro de Macoris product was a near Triple Crown winner in the Appy League, blasting a league-best 17 homers in 62 games while hitting .323 (2nd) and driving in 49 runs (2nd). Only Elizabethton’s Oswaldo Arcia (who figures to be big in Beloit this year) led more offensive categories than Morla. He won’t be Mario Martinez on defense, given that he committed a team-high 21 errors at the hot corner last year, but his offensive numbers are exciting enough to forgive that fact. The Mariners’ used their 12th-round pick on Oregon State third-baseman Stefen Romero, but he was unable to play last season after fracturing his arm in late May. Romero was hitting .326 with 13 homers and 41 RBI with the Beavers prior to the injury. Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara is high on Romero, but you can’t argue against Morla’s MVP-like season. I say, let’s see them both. Someone’s got to DH.
No question, the shortstop position will be the biggest shoes to fill in the eyes of most LumberKings’ fans. Nick Franklin enjoyed one of the best offensive seasons in club history last year and emerged as the #3 prospect in the entire Seattle system. With respects to Pulaski’s Jake Schlander (the 31st-round pick out of Stanford, hit .259, one HR, 25 RBI, .671 OPS) and Everett’s Anthony Phillips (.204, 2 HR, 12 RBI, .627), 2010 second-round pick Marcus Littlewood should be a more-than-capable replacement to Franklin. The 19-year-old Littlewood was drafted out of St. George High School in Utah and didn’t play for an affiliate last year, yet was ranked the #8 prospect in the system by Baseball America. Like Franklin, Littlewood has Team USA experience, suiting up with the 16-and-under National Team at the 2008 Pan Am Youth Games (they won gold) and the 18-and-under squad last year. BA projects him to hit for average and put up 10-15 home runs as Clinton’s everyday shortstop in 2011. How can I disagree?
Two of Everett’s top four hitters resided in the outfield, with left-handed hitting right-fielder Kevin Rivers leading the way. Rivers, signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2009 out of the same school that produced Scott Savastano (Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire), shook off pedestrian numbers in the AZL and hit a team-best .332 (3rd in the NWL) with 11 blasts, 48 RBI, a league-best .466 on-base percentage and a 1.022 OPS for the AquaSox. Centerfielder Robbie Anston also had a productive year for the AquaSox after a 26th-round selection out of Boston College, hitting .292 with 13 doubles, two homers, 24 RBI and 15 steals in 23 attempts. Anston was one of Everett’s top playoff hitters, batting .333 with three doubles.
Menchaca’s Pulaski team was also anchored by powerful outfielders, most notably Venezuelans Jose Rivero (.295, 7 HR, 35 RBI, .817 OPS) and switch-hitting Mario Yepez (.231, 12 doubles, 6 HR, 27 RBI, .652 OPS). Left-handed hitting James Wood, the 47th-round pick, hit .291 and had a .794 OPS in 28 games. The one I’ve heard most about, however, is the eighth-round pick out of Miami Dade Community College, Jabari Blash. Originally from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Blash looks like the heir apparent to James Jones in right field. The 6’4″ Blash is just about the same size as JJ, plus he hit at a similar clip (.266, 5 HR, 20 RBI, .839 OPS) over his 32 games in the Appy League. BA rated Blash the fastest player of the Mariners’ 2010 draft class, and we’ll see if he can cover JJ-like ground when he patrols right-field. I expect him to be joined by Rivers in left and Anston in center, with Rivero, Yepez, Kalian Sams and Ryan Royster fighting for the fourth spot or stepping in to the DH role. In regards to Menchaca’s lineup, I’d like to see Anston and Rivers in the 2-3 spots with Blash protecting Morla around the five spot.
One thing the Mariners have always supplied the LumberKings since the affiliation began in 2009 is brilliant starting pitching. The 2009 club led the Midwest League in ERA at 3.35 and featured league ERA champion Kenn Kasparek, while the 2010 team ranked second in ERA at 3.66 and sported the league’s top right-hander (Erasmo Ramirez) and second-best left-hander (Jimmy Gillheeney). Will the rotation live up to the standards of the last two years?
Looking just at the top three starters in Dorman’s Everett rotation, it looks like the 2011 starters should be outstanding. The AquaSox posted a Northwest League-best 3.22 ERA thanks largely to a pair of southpaws, Edlando Seco and Anthony Fernandez. The duo finished 2-3 in the league in ERA, with the Calabozo, VZ native Seco going 3-3 with a 2.48 ERA in 14 starts while Fernandez, from Santiago, DR went 8-3 with a 2.59 ERA over 15 starts. Fernandez finished atop the league in fewest baserunners per 9.0 IP (10.26), tied for first in wins (8), second in WHIP (1.12) and third in fewest walks per 9.0 IP (1.94) while Seco held opponents to a league-low .169 average, finished third in WHIP (1.20) and third as well in strikeouts per 9.0 IP (9.52). Simply put, the lefties put on a show for the eventual champs.
Yet, they weren’t the only stellar starters for Everett. Right-hander Chris Sorce, Seattle’s 26th-round pick out of Troy in 2009, made the move from the bullpen to the rotation this season and was fantastic in 15 starts, going 8-2 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. I had him projected to be in Clinton’s pen last year, but there’s no doubt in my mind he should be in the Kings’ rotation this season.
Pulaski has an ace of their own to offer up. Right-hander Tim Boyce, the 44th-round pick out of the University of Rhode Island, won an Appalachian League-best nine games (9-3) and had the league’s 10th-best ERA of 2.98 over 13 games, eight starts. In the mold of Ramirez, Boyce is a control artist — he walked seven while striking out 42 over 47.1 innings as a starter and had a paltry 1.03 WHIP, fourth-best in the Appy League.
Continuing with Pulaski…right-hander Jessie Nava (4-3, 4.36 ERA, 1.56 WHIP) was a reliable starter aside from his propensity to give up home runs (a league-high 8 in 13 starts). Righty George Mieses went 4-4 with a 3.45 ERA and the league’s third-lowest walks per 9.0 IP average (1.19) over his 13 starts. Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen went 3-0 with a 2.51 ERA in seven games, five starts after his 45th-round selection.
All of those pitchers could quickly be overshadowed if Seattle’s supplemental first-round pick, 18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker, comes to town. Walker was the 43rd player drafted last year despite having more experience as a high school basketball player than as a pitcher. That’s because of a large frame (he’s 6’4″ according to most reports) and a live arm (his fastball has touched 95 mph, and he backs it up with a decent slider and change). Walker went 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA and a stingy .087 opponent average over his four appearances in the AZL last year, a very encouraging start to a career that might take a few seasons to develop. The Mariners are in no need to rush Walker here to Clinton, but I think he’ll factor into the rotation once the weather gets warmer (much like Kasey Kiker and Blake Beavan did in ’07 and ’08).
Even if Walker doesn’t arrive this year, the Kings could be in for some other surprises from the Dominican Summer League and the Venezuela Summer League much like Ramirez was in 2010. Left-hander Henry Perez went 7-1 with a 0.86 ERA in 11 starts in the DSL, striking out 76 while walking only 10 (can someone say Erasmo-like?) and limiting opponents to a .187 average over 73.0 innings. He’s not particularly young (he’ll turn 22 after the season), meaning he likely can handle the jump to the United States. Left-hander Brandol Perez might be more likely to stay in the DSL despite going 7-0 with a 0.19 ERA (yes, you read that right) over 11 games, six starts last year…he’ll be 18 in August. Right-hander Vicente Campos was the DSL Mariners’ top starter, going 8-2 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and .231 opponent average in 12 starts. Campos will turn 19 in July, leading me to believe we’ll probably see him in 2012.
If the Clinton rotation features any combination of Walker, Seco, Fernandez, Boyce, Sorce and Perez this year, we could witness the most dominant LumberKings’ staff in recent history. Given all that we’ve seen as a Seattle affiliate, that’s saying a lot.
Things certainly look promising for the first six-to-seven innings, but will the Kings’ bullpen be able to finish things off? A lot of Everett’s bullpen made their way to Clinton and were sent back down, but there’s a few arms out there we haven’t seen. Right-hander Willy Kesler, the 18th-round pick out of the University of New Mexico, went 3-2 with a 1.47 ERA in 19 relief outings and held NWL opponents to a .213 average. Kesler led the team in holds (5) and was tied with Jason Markovitz and Stephen Pryor for the saves lead (4-for-4). Right-hander Austin Hudson, the 27th-round pick in ’09, went 4-2 with a 2.92 ERA over 20 games (including seven starts) but was just 3-for-6 in save attempts. New York, NY native Eric Valdez was also impressive in seven relief outings for the AquaSox, going 0-0 with a 0.64 ERA and a .192 opponent average. Right-hander Tyler Burgoon, the 10th-round pick out of Michigan, had decent numbers outside of a 4.40 ERA…his 0.98 WHIP ranked third on the team amongst pitchers with eight-plus outings.
Back over to Pulaski, right-hander Bryan Leigh (2-0, 1.71 ERA, 3-of-3 in saves, 1.05 WHIP, .203 opponent average) was their most reliable reliever. Right-handers Lance Abbott (0-0, 2.25 ERA) and Preston Vancil (2-1, 2.84 ERA) also checked in under the 3.00 ERA mark, although they had just one hold and one save combined. I’m pulling for right-hander Ben Versnik, the 38th-round pick out of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, to make the roster. Versnik, born in West Allis, Wisconsin (my birthplace as well) went 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in six outings.
The AZL offers up a few names as well, including left-handers Kody Kurowski (1-3, 4.30, 5-for-7 in saves) and Scott Ronnenbergh (0-1, 2.13, 1-for-1 in saves) and right-handers Danny Cruz-Ayala (1-0, 4.05, 3-for-4 in saves) and Jandy Sena (4-2, 4.01, 1-for-2 in saves).
As you can see, there’s no clear-cut closer amongst the players I’ve named, but we might not know who fits into that role until well into the season. It will be fun to see how it all pieces together, especially with a lot of returnees to the pen from last year’s playoff club.
Whew, that was a long one. If you’re still reading by this point, congrats…you’ve stuck with me until the end of this preview and you’re truly a diehard LumberKings’ fan. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the “comments” section below, I’d be interested in hearing what others think. Of course, we won’t know for sure until just prior to April 7 when the team arrives from Peoria, AZ. Check out this blog and LumberKings.com around that time to find out the official word on the Opening Night roster.
Front row (left-to-right): Head Groundskeeper Dusty Krogman, Accountant Ryan Marcum, myself, Director of Operations Mitch Butz. Middle row: PA Announcer Brad Seward, Athletic Trainer Jake Naas, Manager Eddie Menchaca, General Manager Ted Tornow. Back row: Clubhouse Manager Tyler Hildreth, Assistant GM Nate Kreinbrink.
A synopsis of the 2011 Hot Stove Banquet, held at Eagle Point Lodge this past Saturday, is online now at LumberKings.com. Through ticket sales, a silent auction and a raffle, we were able to raise over $1,700 to benefit the Friends of Riverview Stadium non-profit group.
If you missed the event, I encourage you to check out the photo gallery here: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com//gen/clubs/t500/photogallery/standard/year_2011/month_01/day_31/cf16536636.html
Thanks to all the fans and supporters that came out, it was definitely the most fun of the three banquets I’ve hosted. While we’re due to get another blizzard here in Clinton, I can feel the season just around the corner.
Menchaca’s LumberKings will take the diamond in just 66 days. Believe me, there’s plenty to do here in the office before then!
We’ve just learned who will be guiding the LumberKings as they attempt to defend their West
Division Title in 2011. Eddie Menchaca, manager of the playoff-qualifying Pulaski Mariners in 2010, will become the 44th manager in Clinton baseball history. The 29-year-old former infielder (yes, he won’t turn 30 until February) will be joined by former Everett pitching coach Rich Dorman, returning hitting coach Terry Pollreisz and trainer Jake Naas.
Read up on Menchaca and Dorman right now over at LumberKings.com. I’ll have more information on Naas’s background later in the winter. No Performance Specialist has yet been named to replace Jim Bose (assuming he doesn’t come back).
Wondering where all your favorite former LumberKings coaches from ’09-’10 are? Well, they’re all still with Seattle. Manager John Tamargo is taking over as the Latin America Field Coordinator, which means we’ll still see JT yell “little man hit it” and “pick ’em up” a few times when he passes through AEF this year. Dwight Bernard has ascended back to his old post as the pitching coach for triple-A Tacoma, where he was for four seasons prior to coming to Clinton. He’ll have a nice, renovated Cheney Stadium to come back to. Trainer B.J. Downie will be with short-A Pulaski next year.
Elsewhere, Scott Steinmann is back as a manager for the first time since helming the 2009 LumberKings. He’ll try and lead Everett to a second-straight Northwest League title after serving as the AquaSox’ hitting coach last year. Jesus Azuaje (’09) is back as the manager of the AZL Mariners in Peoria, and Lance Painter (’09) will once again be the double-A pitching coach for Jackson. Eddie Tamez, the 2009 Midwest League Trainer of the Year, returns to high-A High Desert for his second season with the Mavs (which on another note were formally purchased by Main Street Baseball LLC today, the same group that owns the Quad Cities River Bandits).