Results tagged ‘ Edinson Volquez ’
Yesterday was the official opening of the MLB season, but tonight is the night we get our first look at the 2011 Seattle Mariners. Tom Wilhelmsen, Josh Lueke, Justin Smoak and company take on the Oakland Athletics at around 5:00 PM central time tonight. I could very well have a Major League debut or two to talk about tomorrow.
As for yesterday, some interesting news relating to fomer Clinton players coming from that wild Cincinnati walk-off win over Milwaukee. Right-hander Edinson Volquez (’04) was hammered from the get-go by back-to-back home runs from Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez, ironically the first tandem to go back-to-back to start a season since Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan did it for the Reds in 1969. Volquez also served up a shot to Ryan Braun and allowed five earned runs on seven hits over 6.0 innings. Kameron Loe (’03) appeared in relief for the Brewers, yielding a solo home run to Joey Votto over his one inning of work.
Of course, he got the no-decision as Ramon Hernandez lit up John Axford for a walk-off three-run homer. As Dusty Baker celebrated, Ron Roenicke, the new manager of the Brewers could only shake his head at his first managerial loss. Roenicke played here in Clinton in 1977 as a member of the Dodgers, the same team that produced LA Angels skipper Mike Scioscia.
Our old pals Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland get their season started against Boston this afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. On Saturday, they and the rest of the 2010 club will receive their American League Champions rings.
On that note, I’m still waiting for my 2010 MWL West Division Championship Ring. Wait…they don’t make those?
The 2010 Major League Baseball Postseason begins in just about 40 minutes as the Texas Rangers start things off with the opener of their ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays. With Texas’s return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 there’s an extra-high volume of former LumberKings to watch this postseason. Not all of them, however, are Rangers.
The 25-man playoff roster for the Rangers includes former LumberKings second-baseman Ian Kinsler (’04), first-baseman Mitch Moreland (’08), right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) and left-hander Derek Holland (’08). Left-hander Michael Kirkman (’06-’08) was left off the playoff roster but will probably still be with the club in Tampa in case of injury.
The man traded for four former ’08 LumberKings (Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Matt Lawson and Josh Lueke) in Cliff Lee gets the game one start for the Rangers, who have never won a playoff series.
Over in the NL, the Central Division Champion Cincinnati Reds also begin their NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies today. They’ll start a former LumberKing in right-hander Edinson Volquez (’04, pictured left as “Edison Volquez”) against the defending NL Champs.
The Reds also have right-hander Nick Masset (’03) on their playoff roster, while the Phillies decided not to include their only Clinton alumnus, outfielder John Mayberry, Jr. (’06) amongst their 25 players.
To my knowledge, there’s no former LumberKings with the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays or Minnesota Twins. I could be wrong.
Given the high volume of former recent Kings with Texas, the Rangers have my backing this year. Feel free to weigh in on the 2010 MLB Playoffs (and all your old favorite Kings) by commenting below!
Today is my final game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, my 149th and most likely last game (139 Minor League games, four Spring Training games, six Major League games) this season.
For any fan of Midwest League baseball, Great American Ball Park is a must-see, especially given the current Reds roster. MWL alumni like Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Paul Janish, Drew Stubbs, Juan Francisco, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Nick Masset and others are all here, all part of the exciting youth movement with the Reds.
As for the park itself (as you’ll see in the pictures below), it’s a great place to take in a game. I came here in 2003 and a lot has been upgraded even since then. From the all-inclusive FS Ohio Champions Club where I spent my first game to the outstanding facilities in the GABP Press Box, this place certainly knows what the fans and media are looking for in a ballpark.
Photos from my trip to Great American Ball Park and the Reds Hall of Fame:
Most of the photos are self-explanatory. The final photo is with veteran broadcasters Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley, both who were kind enough to share some time with me and talk shop. I also got the chance to meet the legendary Marty Brennaman, who also had some encouraging words. I can’t say enough about how friendly and accomodating everyone with the Reds was during my trip.
Thanks as well to my friend Jim Misudek and the Reds Media Relations Department. Jim helped me arrange the entire trip, including my media credentials and my interview 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.
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.
Nick Masset Interview 9.30.09.mp3
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.
Masset works to Pujols in the ninth.
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.