Results tagged ‘ Ian Kinsler ’

Kings in Spring (March 19)

The Texas Rangers announced several roster moves involving former LumberKings today as they sent right-hander Eric Hurley (’05) to the AAA Round Rock roster, plus 1B/OF Chad Tracy (’07) and catcher Jose Felix (’08) to the AA Frisco roster.

The Rangers meet the Seattle Mariners in Surprise, AZ today.  Ian Kinsler (’04) and Mitch Moreland (’08) bookend the starting lineup for Texas, while Justin Smoak (’08) hits fifth for the Mariners.  Most notably in this game, right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) makes the start for the Rangers in what will possibly be his last outing before Texas brass decide if he’ll remain the closer or join the rotation. 

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Kings in Spring (March 14)

This may be old news to some, but I was back home in Milwaukee and unable to post it until now.  Right-hander Blake Beavan (’08) made his first Spring start as a Mariner on Saturday against Oakland and earned the win, limiting the Athletics to a run on three hits over 3.0 innings.  Shortly thereafter, Beavan was re-assigned to Minor League camp.  Right-hander Yoervis Medina (’10) also saw his time in big-league camp end as he was optioned to the High Desert spring roster.

In that Beavan start, a 10-2 win over the A’s, first-baseman Justin Smoak (’08) finally woke up his bat with a 2-for-2 game including a two-out two-run single in the fourth inning and a two-run homer to left-center in the sixth.  The blast was Smoak’s first in Cactus League action.

The Mariners’ roster still includes Smoak, right-handers Josh Lueke (’07-’08) and Tom Wilhelmsen (’10) and catcher Steven Baron (’10) at this time.  I have to say, I’m still surprised Baron is there.

Over in Surprise, the Texas Rangers sent outfielder Engel Beltre (’08), right-hander Fabio Castillo (’08) and left-hander Zach Phillips (’06-’07) back to Minor League camp on Saturday.

Continuing with Rangers camp, Ian Kinsler (’04) is hitting a healthy .367 with a .933 slugging percentage…the former Clinton infielder has a team-high five homers and nine RBI in 11 games.  While Chris Davis continues to assert his value to the team as a corner infielder, Mitch Moreland (’08) keeps fighting to hold onto the first-base spot…he’s hitting .375 with a .719 slugging percentage, five doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in 12 games.  Aside from catcher Jose Felix (’08), who is 5-for-5 with a double in big-league action, the group of former Kings that includes Chad Tracy (’07), Craig Gentry (’07), Marcus Lemon (’07) and others has been largely quiet offensively.

Left-hander Derek Holland (’08) is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, no walks and six strikeouts in his two starts, totaling 5.0 innings.  Right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) has pitched just twice in camp, including one start…the flamethrower has not allowed an earned run over 5.0 innings, but has walked three and has hit a batter in that span.  Lefty Michael Kirkman is carrying a 3.00 ERA in three outings and has struck out eight over 9.0 innings.

Scanning other camps, outfielder John Mayberry Jr. (’06) continues to look impressive in a bid for a roster spot with the Philadelphia Phillies…he’s hitting .324 with three doubles, four homers and nine RBI in 14 games.  Right-hander Maikel Cleto (’09) has had two outings with the St. Louis Cardinals and is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA, one save, four walks, three strikeouts and a home run allowed over 4.0 innings.  Right-hander Thomas Diamond (’04) is 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA over four relief outings as he attemps to make the Chicago Cubs’ Opening Day roster.  Catcher Manny Pina (’07) and outfielder Tim Smith (’08) have both seen minor action in Kansas City Royals’ camp…Pina is 4-for-16 (.250) with a home run and three RBI in 10 games, while Smith is hitless in two at-bats. 

There’s plenty more players to track, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

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Kings in Spring (March 4)

Departing from Mariners camp in Peoria for a day, it’s time to check out what’s going on with our old pals with the Texas Rangers.

One of the big Spring storylines not only in Surprise, AZ but across baseball is whether or not defending AL Rookie of the Year and former LumberKings right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) will transition from closer to starting pitcher.  Feliz made his first Cactus League start yesterday in split-squad against the Cleveland Indians, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings but looking less-than-sharp as he allowed two hits, walked a batter and hit another.  I don’t think Nolan Ryan and company are too worried at this point.

Right-hander Eric Hurley (’05) came on and retired six-straight hitters on all of 21 pitches over 2.0 innings in his first action.  Things looked good for Texas, who held an 8-2 advantage heading into the seventh, until the Indians struck for seven runs against a pair of former Kings.  Mark Hamburger (’08) served up a one-out grand slam to Matt LaPorta and left-hander Zach Phillips (’06-’07) allowed all three of his inherited runners to score in a blown save.  Fortunately, Chris Davis saved the day with a walk-off, two-run homer to give the Rangers an 11-9 win.

Ian Kinsler (’04) continued his hot start in his newfound home atop the order, lifting a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first (his third already this Spring) and finishing 2-for-2 to raise his average to .556.  Davis Stoneburner (’08) and Jose Felix (’08) also chipped in…Stoneburner went 1-for-2 with an RBI and is hitting .333…Felix went 2-for-2 as the starting catcher, keeping his average at 1.000.

The other half of the split squad defeated the Chicago Cubs, 8-7.  Left-hander Derek Holland (’08), eyeing a return to the starting rotation, yielded a run on three hits and struck out two over 2.0 innings in his first outing.  Cody Eppley (’08) fired a scoreless inning in relief to get the win. World Series hero Mitch Moreland (’08) went 2-for-2 with a two-run homer and three total RBI, and David Paisano (’07-’08) lined a two-run triple off fellow former LumberKing Thomas Diamond (’04) to lead the offense.  Diamond took the loss for the Cubs with those two runs over 1.0 relief inning.

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Following Former Kings in the MLB Playoffs


Volquez ('04).jpgThe 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!

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Danks Immortalized in Bobble-Form

danksbobble.JPGThe star of tonight’s show as the LumberKings close out a three-game series against Cedar Rapids will be neither an active King or Kernel, but rather, the John Danks bobblehead.

Folks from miles around flock to Alliant Energy Field once a year for this day.  In the past, the likes of Dave Stewart, Mike Scioscia, Orel Hershiser, Jason Bay, Grady Sizemore and Ian Kinsler have been immortalized with their Clinton likeness in bobble form.  Danks takes his turn tonight.

Danks pitched with the LumberKings in 2004 a year after being drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers.  That season, he went 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 14 games, eight starts.

Since then, he’s passed through the upper levels of the Rangers’ system before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2006 in a deal that brought Brandon McCarthy and former LumberKing David Paisano to Texas.  Since his 2007 debut with the Sox, Danks is 42-40 with a 3.89 ERA, including 11-7 with a 3.23 mark in 20 starts this season.

The giveaway bobbleheads aren’t expected to last long tonight, but we will have some available to sell through the Souvenir Store.  You can obtain one in the near future by calling the Kings at 563-242-0727.

As for tonight’s game, the LumberKings try to break free from a 1-8 skid that has dropped them from third place to seventh place in the West.  The playoff hopes are still very much alive with 38 games remaining, but a winning streak needs to start soon. 

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
7.30.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Left-hander Nick Czyz (2-2, 4.34) will be on the hill this evening facing the Cedar Rapids Kernels, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Listen to the game on 1390kcln.com.

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Moreland Goes 2-for-4 in Debut

moreland debut.JPG

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Former LumberKings’ 1B/OF Mitch Moreland is a .500 career hitter in the Major Leagues.  Ok, so it’s through one game, but still exciting.  Starting at first base and hitting in the eight spot for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, Moreland singled to right in his first big-league at-bat and added another single in a 2-for-4 game.

Check out the Rangers’ article on Moreland, including video from his first professional hit here:  http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100729&content_id=12785732&notebook_id=12785738&vkey=notebook_tex&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex

He also got the shaving cream pie to the face afterwards on what has to have been a magical night for the former 17th round pick out of Mississippi State in 2007.

To add to the excitement, the Rangers have sent down first-baseman Chris Davis, meaning that Moreland will stay with the club for the forseeable future.

On another note, I incorrectly reported yesterday that Moreland is the second former Clinton player to make a Major League debut this season.  I did leave out right-hander Omar Beltre, who made his debut with the Rangers as well this season.  Beltre pitched for the LumberKings in 2003, going 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 16 games, five starts.

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Rangers Call Up Moreland

moreland2008.JPGWith former LumberKing Ian Kinsler hitting the 15-day disabled list today, the Texas Rangers announced the inevitable promotion of 1B/OF Mitch Moreland today.

Moreland was hitting .289 with 12 HR and 65 RBI with triple-A Oklahoma City this season, following a 2009 campaign in which he won the Rangers’ Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year Award.  With the LumberKings in 2008, Moreland hit a team-best .324 with 37 doubles, 18 HR and a league-high 99 RBI.

Mitch will become the second former Clinton player to make a Major League debut this season, following Justin Smoak.  Smoak debuted with the Rangers before being shipped to the Seattle Mariners as part of the deal for Cliff Lee.

More to follow once Moreland plays.

EDIT:  I was doing some digging through my audio archives and found my favorite Moreland highlight from 2008, his Grand Slam against Beloit on May 31.  Please excuse the crude quality, this was recorded back before I updated my recorder: 
Moreland Grand Slam 5.31 vs Beloit.mp3

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Former Kings Seeing Stars

feliz asg.jpgI should have put this out yesterday, but you probably already know anyways.  Former LumberKings’ second-baseman Ian Kinsler (’04) and right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) are American League All-Stars.  Both were named amongst five Texas Rangers to play in the game at Angels Stadium in Anaheim coming up on July 13.

Kinsler is a second-time All-Star, replacing Boston’s Dustin Pedroia on the roster.  Feliz, who was an active LumberKing through early July three seasons ago is a first-time All-Star.  I’m especially excited about Feliz going, as he is the first player from a team I’ve covered to be named an All-Star.

In other less-exciting but still exciting none-the-less news, word has it that right-hander Blake Beavan (’08) has been promoted to triple-A Oklahoma City.  Center-fielder Engel Beltre (’08) had just joined double-A Frisco, so they had apparently reached the “08 LumberKings” quota.

It’s good to be a former member of that 2008 club right now.

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Feliz Gets the Call to Arlington

Feliz Splitscreen.JPGAnother former LumberKing will be making his big-league debut.  Right-hander Neftali Feliz, whose 96-plus MPH fastball stifled Midwest League opponents for 17 starts in 2008 has joined the Texas Rangers, effective yesterday.  Feliz went 6-3 with a 2.52 ERA (23 ER in 82.0 IP) and struck out an astounding 106 batters while walking just 28, earning a trip to the Midwest League All-Star Game and an eventual promotion to double-A Frisco later that year.

Feliz replaces a fellow former LumberKing, Ian Kinsler (’04).  Read more in the article on TexasRangers.com here:  http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090802&content_id=6214378&vkey=news_tex&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex

More to come on Feliz once he pitches.

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