Results tagged ‘ Interviews ’

Retro Interview: Blake Beavan

The six-game road trip switches cities tonight as your LumberKings head to Peoria to take on the Chiefs.  Clinton went just 1-9 against the Chiefs in the first half, but are 5-4 and alone in third place so far this half while Peoria is 3-6 and stuck in a tie for last place. 

The Kings nearly pulled off a three-game sweep in the Quad Cities last night as Stefen Romero singlehandedly erased a 3-0 deficit with a 3-for-4 game including a two-run homer to right-center (listen: Romero 2-R HR (#6) 7.2.11) in the fourth inning and a game-tying two-out single scoring Robbie Anston in the sixth.  Right-hander Taijuan Walker settled in after a rough second inning that included back-to-back home runs by Jonathan Rodriguez and Nick Longmire, yielding three runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings and striking out eight.  Unfortunately, right-hander Jessie Nava loaded the bases in the eighth and issued four-straight pitches outside of the zone to walk Packy Elkins, giving the Bandits a 4-3 lead.  Romero doubled to start the ninth (falling a triple shy of the cycle), but Kalian Sams struck out with Romero at third and Kevin Rivers flied to right, ending the game and the chances for the sweep.

While we get ready to see left-hander Tony Butler, Seattle’s third-round pick in 2006, take another step in his comeback as he debuts for the LumberKings tonight, the spotlight shines bright on a former King making a much higher-profile debut.  As  you’ve already likely seen, 2008 right-hander Blake Beavan is making his Major League debut today for the Mariners as they host San Diego.

Ok, so, maybe this was already featured in “The Interview Vault” this offseason, but I thought it’d be a prime opportunity to post my May 1, 2008 interview with Beavan following his first professional start, a win over the Great Lakes Loons.  With the recent “great WordPress migration” of the MLBlogs, my old interview links no longer work, so here’s a re-post of Blake’s first Minor League interview…the topics covered ranged from the start in front of his parents and then-Rangers-pitching coordinator Rick Adair, his fastball/slider/change arsenal, getting drafted in the first round by his hometown team (the Rangers) and more.

Listen Here:  Blake Beavan Interview (after first pro start on 5.1.08)

The man Blake is starting in place of today, Mariners’ lefty Erik Bedard, is also the player acquired by Seattle in the deal that sent Butler to Baltimore (along with Adam Jones and others).  Butler, the top player ever drafted out of Oak Creek High School (my alma-mater)  is making his first Midwest League start since, ironically, defeating the LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field on August 31, 2007.  Hopefully his comeback path goes as successfully as Tom Wilhelmsen’s did in Clinton last year.

More on Butler, Romero and others in tonight’s Game Notes:  7.3.11 kingsnotes

The game begins at 6:30 PM, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rich Dorman (Vol. 3)

The LumberKings are 2-0 in the “show-and-go” after last night’s 5-3 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park.  Clinton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out double by Tim Morris (listen: Morris 2-R double 7.1.11) and raised the lead back to two in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Carlton Tanabe.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez dealt over 7.0 innings, limiting the Bandits to a run on four hits and turning in a highlight-reel-worthy 1-6-3 double play on a line drive back to the mound in the sixth inning (listen: Fernandez 1-6-3 DP 7.1.11).  The 3-1 lead wouldn’t last in the eighth as right-hander Keli’i Zablan loaded the bases and yielded a run on a wild pitch, but right-hander Tyler Burgoon gave up just one run in a bases-loaded no-out situation, keeping the game tied at 3-3.  In the ninth, the Kings went right back ahead as Kevin Rivers was hit by a pitch and scored on a Mickey Wiswall single to center (listen: Wiswall Go-Ahead RBI single 7.1.11).  Stefen Romero executed a safety squeeze bunt scoring Matt Browning in the ninth as well, and Burgoon worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to improve to 5-3.

With the outstanding outing from Fernandez, a seven-game losing streak snapped by George Mieses, the double-A promotion of James Paxton, the addition of left-hander Tony Butler and the three-win run by Burgoon, it’s high time to catch up with pitching coach Rich Dorman again.  Dor talks about those pitchers plus tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker on tonight’s pregame interview.

Listen Here:  Dorman Interview 7.2.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.2.11 kingsnotes

Walker and the Kings go looking for the sweep of the Bandits tonight, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Stefen Romero (Vol. 2)

As you’ll recall from yesterday’s post, I planned to air part two of my conversation with Mariners’ Special Assistant Tony Blengino on tonight’s pregame show, but I can’t pass up a chance to interview Stefen Romero following his 12th inning walk-off single last night against Beloit.

The LumberKings are 3-2 so far in the second half, and all three wins have come in the last at-bat.  Steven Baron’s two-run double highlighted a four-run eighth inning as the Kings won 5-4 over Burlington last Friday night, and Robbie Anston’s walk-off ninth-inning single scored Carlos Ramirez for a series-clinching 5-4 win over the Bees again on Sunday.  Romero was the hero last night, lining a no-out single to right-center scoring Jetsy Extrano, who had walked to lead off the inning and moved to third on a throwing error by Snappers’ left-hander Nelvin Fuentes.  That made a winner of right-hander Tyler Burgoon, who turned in a season-high 4.0 scoreless innings in relief to get his fourth victory of the season.  Lefty Nate Reed (2.0 scoreless innings) and catcher Carlton Tanabe (game-tying sac fly scoring Mike McGee in the bottom of the ninth) also deserve “unsung hero” mention.

Listen to Romero’s first-career walk-off winner:  Romero Walk-Off Single 6.28.11

Tonight, I chat with Romero for the second time this season.  We talk about his first-career walk-off hit, his red-hot .424 month of June, the task of working on multiple defensive positions, his focus for the second half and more.

Listen Here:  Romero Interview 6.29.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.29.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  6.29.11 lineup

Right-hander Jandy Sena (4-3, 3.69) makes his 12th appearance, fourth start tonight looking to extend his quality-start streak to three-straight in his first-career match-up against Beloit.  The 6’6″ Sena takes the mound for the first pitch at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Tony Blengino

Seattle Mariners’ Special Assistant of Baseball Operations Tony Blengino has been in town this homestand evaluating the 2011 LumberKings in first-person for the first time this season.  Last night, he witnessed an up-and-down performance from right-hander Taijuan Walker (career-high 5 ER, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts) and the bullpen in a 9-2 loss to the Beloit Snappers, but still had plenty of praise for the 18-year-old Walker and his Clinton teammates.

Blengino, who shared his time with me last year to talk about prospects like Nick Franklin, Erasmo Ramirez and Vinnie Catricala, turns his sights to the 2011 edition of the Kings including the likes of Walker, tonight’s starter James Paxton, Mickey Wiswall, Tim Morris, Kalian Sams and others on this special pregame interview.  We also talk about the talent coming up through the Mariners system, Tony’s involvement in and thoughts on the 2011 Draft, some on-the-cusp former LumberKings like Blake Beavan and Kyle Seager and more.

It’s a nearly 12-minute interview that will air in two parts on the pregame show and is definitely a worthy listen.  Listen Here:  Blengino Interview (Full Version) 6.28.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.28.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  6.28.11 lineup

K-Pax makes his first post-Futures Game nomination start tonight for your LumberKings, looking to avenge a May 30 loss to the Snappers.  Since that outing (4 R, 2 ER over 5.0 IP, 4 BB, 7 K), Paxton has combined to go 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA.  Last time out against Quad Cities, he fanned a career-high 13 batters over 6.1 innings in a 5-1 win.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Robbie Anston

The LumberKings recorded just their second “walk-off” win of the season yesterday afternoon, knocking off the Burlington Bees and winning the series with a 5-4 win at Alliant Energy Field.  Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Ramirez singled to center and advanced to third on an Anthony Phillips sacrifice bunt and subsequent throwing error by Bees’ catcher Juan Nunez in an attempt to force out Ramirez at second base.  After falling behind 0-2 to right-hander Zack Thonrton, Robbie Anston (who replaced injured Julio Morban midway through the game, more on that below) singled up the middle past the drawn-in infield to score Ramirez (listen: Anston Walk-Off Single 6.26.11).

Anston’s hit made him my Espresso, Cigars & More Player of the Game yesterday, but a huge honorable mention has to go to Kalian Sams.  The Swinging Dutchman went 2-for-4 with a game-changing three-run homer (surprisingly the first three-run blast by a LumberKing this season) in the fourth inning (listen: Sams 3-R HR (#8) 6.26.11) and drove in a season-high four runs.  On the mound, left-hander Anthony Fernandez looked less than sharp with solo homers allowed to Nino Leyja and Tony Thompson, but he kept the game tied and so too did the relief combo of right-handers Jessie Nava and Tyler Burgoon.  As a result, the Kings are now 2-1 and tied for third in the West Division this half.

My interview guest tonight is Anston, Seattle’s 26th round pick in 2010 out of Boston College.  We talk about yesterday’s walk-off hit, his time at BC along with Mickey Wiswall, staying ready in a crowded outfield, his 2010 season in Everett and more.

Listen Here:  Anston Interview 6.27.11

Roster Move:  Back to Morban…he’s headed to the disabled list for the third time this season after coming out of the game yesterday.  No official word on what the issue is or what the timetable is for his return, but we do have his roster replacement.  The Mariners’ 15th round pick in 2011, outfielder Mike McGee comes to the club after hitting .556 with three triples and four RBI in two AZL games.  McGee was a standout in both the outfield and on the mound at Florida State University.

Read more about Anston, Sams, McGee and others in today’s Game Notes:  6.27.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Starting Lineups:  6.27.11 lineup

Right-hander Taijuan Walker, 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA over his last seven starts, gets the call in game one against the Beloit Snappers tonight.  He’ll go up against Masonville, IA native, right-hander B.J. Hermsen of the Snappers.  The game begins at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Nate Reed

For the first time this season, your LumberKings have a share of first place.  Yes, they’re still 25-46 overall, but with a second-half-opening 5-4 win over the Burlington Bees last night, the Kings are in a four-way tie for first in the West Division.

It didn’t come easy, and it didn’t come without a few breaks going Clinton’s way.  Trailing 3-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth and looking farely overmatched against hard-throwing Bees’ right-hander Pedro Vidal, the Kings looked headed to another close loss at the hands of Burlington.  Stefen Romero ended Vidal’s string of seven-straight batters retired with a flare single to right-center, and Matt Browning reached on a dropped pop-up by recent Midwest League “Star of Stars” winner, Bees’ second-baseman Nino Leyja.  The window of opportunity opened as Mickey Wiswall cut the deficit to 3-2 with a Texas League RBI single to right, and things just got downright odd as Wiswall was caught in an apparent inning-ending rundown between first and second, only to be given second base upon Eddie Menchaca’s appeal to the umpires that Tim Morris had actually been hit by the low-and-in pitch.

That sudden reversal of fortunes put the Bees’ defense back on the diamond (they had gone into the dugout and stayed there in the midst of manager Aaron Niekula’s rebuttal) and brought up Steven Baron, who drilled Vidal’s 1-0 pitch down the third-base line to score Browning and Wiswall (listen: Baron Go-Ahead 2-Run Double 6.24.11).  Kalian Sams then grounded towards All-Star shortstop Yordy Cabrera, but Cabrera booted it, sending Morris home for a 5-3 Clinton advantage.

Left-hander Nate Reed (pictured) would have been a bright spot no matter what the final outcome, given his season-high seven strikeouts (including three-straight against Burlington’s 4-5-6 spots in the eighth) over 2.1 innings last night.  Despite giving up Royce Consigli’s third RBI double of the night in the ninth, Reed closed down the game for his first win with the LumberKings.

And so, he’s my interview guest tonight.  We talk about last night’s outing, his setup role in the bullpen, his long path to the pros (including three seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, a 20th round selection by the Chicago White Sox and one season at Kutztown University) and more.

Listen Here:  Reed Interview 6.25.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.25.11 kingsnotes

Roster Move:  With right-hander George Mieses coming off the disabled list tonight to make the start, someone had to go.  That turned out to be right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen, who was shipped to short-A Everett.

Starting Lineups:

Burlington Bees (0-1, 45-26):  Royce Consigli/LF, Jose Crisotomo/CF, Tony Thompson/3B, A.J. Kirby-Jones/1B, Josh Whitaker/DH, Douglas Landaeta/RF, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Nino Leyja/2B, John Nester/C, Nate Long/RHP

LumberKings (1-0, 25-46):  Stefen Romero/DH, Julio Morban/CF, Matt Browning/3B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Kevin Rivers/LF, Steven Baron/C, Kalian Sams/RF, Jetsy Extrano/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, George Mieses/RHP

First pitch is at 6:00 PM on this “Stay Late Saturday”, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 5)

After a four-day hiatus for the Midwest League All-Star Break, your LumberKings are back at it tonight as they open the second half at home against the Burlington Bees.  With the second half beginning, it’s back to a 0-0 record and an eight-way tie for first in the West Division, although the Kings no longer have to worry about both Burlington and Wild Card winner Quad Cities as far as the standings are concerned.

Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings might get treated like the underdogs as the second half begins, but a 9-8 record so far in the month of June indicates a club ready to turn things around with the fresh start.  My first interview of the second half is with the Clinton skipper, and we’ll talk about the team’s refocused attitude, the strong starting rotation including tonight’s starter Jandy Sena and Futures Game representative James Paxton, an offense now featuring a healthy Julio Morban and a new second-baseman in Jetsy Extrano, setting the tone against the first-half champion Bees and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 6.24.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.24.11 kingsnotes

Roster Moves:  Yesterday, the LumberKings swapped second-basemen as Shaver Hansen was promoted to high-A High Desert and Jetsy Extrano was received from short-A Everett.  Today, catcher Billy Marcoe was sent to the AZL to make room for Steven Baron, who has been reinstated from the disabled list.  Extrano and Baron are both in tonight’s lineup.

Starting Lineups:

Burlington Bees (0-0, 45-25):  Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Tony Thompson/3B, A.J. Kirby-Jones/1B, Josh Whitaker/DH, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Yordy Cabrera/SS, John Nester/C, Tyreace House/CF, Sean Murphy/RHP

LumberKings (0-0, 24-46):  Stefen Romero/DH, Julio Morban/CF, Matt Browning/3B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Tim Morris/1B, Steven Baron/C, Kalian Sams/RF, Jetsy Extrano/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Jandy Sena/RHP

The quest for the 10th playoff spot in the last 14 seasons starts tonight at 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rick Waits

After allowing a career-high five earned runs in his previous start, it’s clear that left-hander James Paxton had a rebound outing last night against Quad Cities.  He set a new career high with 13 strikeouts and yielded just one run on four hits over 6.1 innings as the LumberKings beat the River Bandits, 5-1 at Alliant Energy Field.  Paxton struck out six-straight batters at one point in the game (listen:  Paxton 11th Strikeout 6.16.11), but left in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out.  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon came on and left them loaded as he induced a highlight-reel double play started by second-baseman Jorge Agudelo (listen: Agudelo Flip to Ramirez for DP 6.16.11).  Burgoon did not allow a run over 2.2 innings to secure his seventh save, making Paxton a winner for the third time.  Mickey Wiswall had the clutch hit of the night, singling home two runs to open up a 4-1 lead in the fourth (listen:  Wiswall 2-R single 6.16.11).

The efforts for K-Pax and Burgoon were well-timed as they took place in front of Mariners’ Minor League Pitching Coordinator Rick Waits.  After coaching for 15 seasons with the New York Mets (including 2003 as their Major League Bullpen Coach), Waits has inherited a minor league system chock full of potential impact arms.  Waits is my pregame guest tonight, and he shares plenty of his own insight into Paxton, tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker, Burgoon and the Clinton bullpen, former LumberKing and current Tacoma Rainier right-hander Blake Beavan and how close he is to a Seattle call-up, the outstanding arms in double-A Jackson including Andrew Carraway, Erasmo Ramirez, Anthony Vasquez, Kenn Kasparek and Tom Wilhelmsen and more.  It’s definitely a worthy listen.

Listen Here: Rick Waits (Minor League Pitching Coord) Interview 6.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.17.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Roster Move:  Despite the potential game-saving play last night, Agudelo has been sent to short-A Everett to clear space for infielder Shaver Hansen, who has been reinstated from the DL and will play tonight in Kane County.

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (22-45):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Tim Morris/D, Matt Browning/3B, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Robbie Anston/LF, Billy Marcoe/C, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Kane County Cougars (27-39):  Angel Franco/2B, Ryan Stovall/3B, Brett Eibner/CF, Brian Fletcher/LF, Jake Kuebler/1B, Geulin Beltre/DH, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Leonel Santiago/RHP

First pitch is at 7:00 PM here at Elfstrom Stadium, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Carlton Tanabe

The LumberKings fell 9-5 last night as Quad Cities scored five times in the ninth to break a 5-5 tie.  The winning run scored as Michael Swinson came home on a two-out bases-loaded wild pitch by Jonathan Arias.  Cody Stanley followed with a three-run double to put the game out of reach.

Clinton had overcome a 5-2 deficit with a three-run fourth inning after a 38-minute rain delay.  Carlton Tanabe started the two-out rally with an RBI double to left-center off Rock Falls, IL native Seth Blair.  He’d later score on a single by Julio Morban, who would in turn score on a single to center by Mickey Wiswall (listen: Wiswall RBI single 6.15.11).  The Kings scored five total runs against Blair, including two on a first-inning homer by Stefen Romero (listen: Romero 2-R HR (#4) 6.15.11), his first since April 30.

My interview tonight is with Tanabe, fresh off his 2-for-4 game.  The 24th round pick out of Pearl City, Hawaii has been Steven Baron’s back-up this season but is now getting a chance to play with Baron on the DL.  We talk about last night’s double, staying productive despite playing sparingly, getting an opportunity to start, his experience with former Mariners’ catcher Dan Wilson earlier this year, being the other half of the Hawaiian battery with Keli’i Zablan and more.

Listen Here:  Tanabe Interview 6.16.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.16.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Quad Cities River Bandits (37-28):  Michael Swinson/LF, Ronny Gil/SS, Oscar Taveras/RF, Starlin Rodriguez/2B, Cody Stanley/C, Nick Longmire/CF, Victor Sanchez/DH, Jonathan Rodriguez/3B, Geoff Klein/1B, Trevor Rosenthal/RHP

LumberKings (21-45):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Tim Morris/1B, Matt Browning/3B, Kevin Rivers/RF, Jorge Agudelo/2B, Carlos Ramirez/SS, Robbie Anston/LF, Carlton Tanabe/C, James Paxton/LHP

Lefty James Paxton makes his final start before the 2011 Midwest League All-Star Game tonight and is looking to snap Clinton’s five-game losing streak.  Paxton gave up a career-high five earned runs over 5.1 innings in his last start against Bowling Green, but is still 2-2 with a 2.63 ERA and 54 strikeouts over his last seven starts.

The broadcast begins at 6:45 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Keli’i Zablan

Not too much to write home about last night as the LumberKings opened a three-game series against the Quad Cities River Bandits with a 5-0 loss, their fourth-straight on the homestand.  Bandits’ right-hander Carlos Martinez has been drawing comparisons to Pedro Martinez (no relation, as far as I know), at least if you believe this article on MidwestLeague.com, and while I still wouldn’t pencil him in as a future Cy Young award winner quite yet, I’d say he pitched impressively.

Martinez limited the Kings to three hits over 6.0 innings, hitting 99 mph on the in-house speed gun and displaying a sharp hook and nasty changeup to go with his heater.  Then, relievers Ryan Copeland and Cale Johnson continued the trend for a combined 7-hit shutout for the Wild Card-hungry River Bandits.

Yes, this is still a post about the Clinton LumberKings, and that’s where I lead in to tonight’s interview guest.  Right-hander Keli’i Zablan was yet again effective in relief last night, tossing 2.0 scoreless frames following up right-hander George Mieses.  Though the Kings already trailed 5-0 at that point, it was still a fifth-straight scoreless outing for Zablan, lowering his ERA to 3.29.  He’s becoming a go-to arm for Rich Dorman, though his path to this point has seen plenty of twists and turns.

After going undrafted out of Southern Utah University, Zablan caught on with River City of the Frontier League.  He pitched and played second base for Rascals, helping them to the 2010 Frontier League Championship.  After that, he tried out for the Seattle Mariners and waited nearly a month to hear back about his signing, ventured to Peoria, AZ to start his career in extended spring training and got the call to Clinton.  We talk about his journey, being half of an all-Hawaiian battery alongside Carlton Tanabe, his goals for his first season in affiliated ball and more.

Listen Here:  Zablan Interview 6.15.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.15.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Roster Moves:  It’s lengthy.  Right-hander Forrest Snow was called up to high-A High Desert today and will make his Mavs debut at Stockton tonight.  Catcher Steven Baron, who exited in the fifth inning last night after being struck on the right wrist by a foul tip, has been placed on the disabled list.  Outfielder Jabari Blash has been sent to Everett.  The Kings have received left-hander Anthony Fernandez back from High Desert, catcher Billy Marcoe from Everett and have activated Julio Morban from the disabled list.  Oh yeah, and right-hander Tyler Blandford came off the DL today as Mieses went on.  And that’s the short version.

Starting Lineups: 

Quad Cities River Bandits (36-28):  Michael Swinson/LF, Ronny Gil/SS, Oscar Taveras/CF, Starlin Rodriguez/2B, Cody Stanley/C, Nick Longmire/RF, Colin Walsh/3B, Victor Sanchez/1B, Chris Edmondson/DH, Seth Blair/RHP

LumberKings (21-44):  Julio Morban/DH, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Tim Morris/1B, Stefen Romero/3B, Kevin Rivers/RF, Jorge Agudelo/2B, Robbie Anston/CF, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Edlando Seco/LHP

Rock Falls, IL native and St. Louis Cardinals’ first-round pick Seth Blair will be a local attraction tonight, but hopefully lefty Edlando Seco continues his uncanny ability to help the LumberKings win.  Despite the fact that Seco is just 1-0 in five starts, the Kings are 4-1 in those games.

Join me for the broadcast starting at 6:45 PM on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.