Results tagged ‘ Jesus Azuaje ’

Tonight’s Interview: Jesus Azuaje (Vol. 2)

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


Tuesday Notes (4/12)

Usually when I don’t post an interview, that means the LumberKings played a rather uneventful game and probably lost.  By the very title of this post, you can already tell how last night’s game went without reading any further.

For the third time in three games, the LumberKings scored first, failed to widen the gap, let a costly error put the opponent back into the game and lost.  This time, it was a 7-2 decision at the hands of the Beloit Snappers in Clinton’s first road action of the season.  The Kings scored twice off left-hander Andrei Lobanov thanks to four-straight singles including an RBI single by Marcus Littlewood, but never scored again after the second inning.  Beloit scored on a pair of errors in the bottom of the second, then plated four runs over the 4th and 5th innings to send right-hander Seon Gi Kim to the loss in his LumberKings debut.

A 1-4 start isn’t exactly what we all envisioned, but it’s nowhere near time to be worried.  Especially since the top of the rotation comes around again tonight with right-hander Forrest Snow (0-0, 9.00) looking to bounce back from an abnormally-shaky Opening Night outing.  The offense, too, has not been as bad as it looks…the LumberKings pounded out 10 hits total last night — including 2-for-4 performances from Matt Cerione and Stefen Romero — but also left 10 on base.  They’ve been getting on, now it’s just time to get them in.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  4.12.11 kingsnotes

Manager Jesus Azuaje has shaken up the lineup today, we’ll see if that turns the tide of this three-game losing streak.


Beloit (3-2):  Daniel Santana/SS, Derek McCallum/2B, Lance Ray/RF, Oswaldo Arcia/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/LF, Tobias Streich/C, Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Andrew Leer/3B, Manuel Soliman/RHP

LumberKings (1-4):  Julio Morban/CF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Stefen Romero/LF, Tim Morris/1B, Ramon Morla/3B, Kevin Rivers/RF, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Phillips/2B, Forrest Snow/RHP

Hopefully the pregame interview will return for tomorrow.  Listen in tonight starting with the pregame show at 6:15 PM on


Opening Night Interview: Jesus Azuaje

It’s finally here…the Opening Night of the 75th season of Clinton Baseball At Riverview Stadium/Alliant Energy Field.  The LumberKings open their West Division Title defense against some familiar foes wearing different uniforms.  They didn’t face the Burlington Bees in last year’s playoffs, but they did take on Bees’ manager Aaron Niekula, his staff and several returning players from last year’s Kane County club in the West Division Championship Series.

Interim manager Jesus Azuaje wasn’t on the Clinton staff last year, but he’s a familiar face all the same.  Azuaje was the hitting coach here in 2009 under manager Scott Steinmann.  As I’ve mentioned, he’ll be leading the team while manager Eddie Menchaca waits for his second child to be born in Phoenix.  For the first two weeks, we’ll be in Azuaje’s capable hands.

My first pregame interview of the year naturally is with the skipper.  Jesus and I talk about his interim role, the 12 returning players from last year’s squad including Matt Cerione, Mickey Wiswall and Tim Morris, exciting new prospects like Marcus Littlewood and Ramon Morla, tonight’s Opening Night start for right-hander Forrest Snow and more.

The new WordPress setup for MLBlogs won’t let me host MP3’s yet, but hopefully this works… 

Listen Here:  Azuaje Interview 4.7.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  4.7.11 kingsnotes


Burlington (0-0):  Tyreace House/CF, Nino Leyja/2B, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Tony Thompson/3B, A.J. Kirby-Jones/1B, Jose Rivero/DH, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Royce Consigli/RF, John Nester/C, Seth Frankoff/RHP

LumberKings (0-0):  Matt Cerione/CF, Ramon Morla/3B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Stefen Romero/DH, Tim Morris/1B, Steven Baron/C, Julio Morban/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Anthony Phillips/2B, Forrest Snow/RHP

First pitch is at 6:30, listen online at!


Opening Night Roster Released

The 25 players that will comprise the 2011 Clinton LumberKings’ Opening Night roster have now been announced over at  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.


2011 Coaching Staff is Announced

We’ve just learned who will be guiding the LumberKings as they attempt to defend their West

Menchaca_Eddie.jpgDivision 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  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).