Results tagged ‘ Jimmy Gillheeney ’

It didn’t count, but it was still baseball

The LumberKings hit the field for batting practice and a simulated game this evening in front of a crowd of die-hard fans.  Seon Gi Kim and Edlando Seco got some work in against live hitters, two who already visited the Leinenkugel’s Lumber Lounge.  Both Kevin Rivers and Julio Morban hit home runs…home runs that don’t count for much other than pride.

Still, it was a fun first-time experience.  Probably not as fun as High Desert’s exhibition action against Victor Valley College last night.  Nine Mavs pitchers, including former LumberKings Jimmy Gillheeney (’10), Nick Czyz (’10), Jon Hesketh (’09-’10), Ogui Diaz (’09), Jose Jimenez (’09-’10), John Housey (’10) and Chris Kirkland (’09-’10) threw a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over the Rams.

I doubt we’ll see a nine-pitcher no-no tomorrow night in the 2011 Opener against Burlington, but we’ll get a good look at Forrest Snow and some other solid arms as well.  Here’s a look at the opening series rotation:

Thu:  RHP Forrest Snow vs. RHP Seth Frankoff

Fri:  LHP Anthony Fernandez vs. RHP Josh Bowman

Sat:  RHP George Mieses vs. RHP A.J. Griffin

Sun:  RHP Brandon Maurer vs. RHP Blake Hassebrock

Game notes will be up tomorrow along with an interview with likely interim manager Jesus Azuaje.  See you here at Alliant Energy Field tomorrow!

-DL

Predicting the 2011 Roster (Part 2)

Thumbnail image for 2011previewpart2.jpg

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.

Catcher

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.

First Base   

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.

Second Base

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.    

Third Base

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.

Shortstop 

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?

Outfield

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. 

Starting Rotation 

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.

Bullpen

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.

-DL

A Busy Start to August

100_1952.JPGThe final full month of the 2010 season begins today as your LumberKings continue the series in Wisconsin.  The Kings beat up Rattlers’ right-hander Eric Arnett for seven runs last night, cruising to the 10-0 win.  Matt Cerione homered for the fourth time and fell a triple shy of the cycle, while Blake Ochoa victimized his old team with a towering drive to left for his fourth home run as well.

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez fired 6.2 scoreless innings to extend his scoreless streak to 14.2 and the bullpen kept the shutout in-tact.

I would love to have caught either Cerione or Ramirez prior to today’s 1:05 PM game, but a lot of other things have kept me busy.  For one, the LumberKings’ roster has been changing.  Ace lefty Jimmy Gillheeney and right-hander Ryan Moorer were both promoted to high-A High Desert yesterday, but the move had not been announced until today.

Furthermore, the Kings have received 26-year-old right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen, who is expected to start in the series finale in Wisconsin tomorrow night.  Wilhelmsen’s story is an intriguing one, and I will get to that in another post/interview.

The moves haven’t stopped there.  After tossing 5.2 scoreless innings in triple-A Tacoma’s 8-2 win over Reno last night, right-hander Yoervis Medina was sent down three levels and will join Clinton today.  I doubt he’ll be available to pitch, but you never know.

Plenty of things to read about in today’s Game Notes: 
8.1.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Taylor Lewis (3-1, 6.37) makes a spot start in place of injured righty Nolan Gallagher today, first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL

Off the Diamond: Nate Kreinbrink

Last night’s loss still stings.  Leading 3-2 in the top of the ninth, the LumberKings succumbed
Nate2009.jpgto a three-run Cedar Rapids rally, falling 5-3.  The game hinged on a double by Justin Bass that appeared from my seat to be foul.  I’ll leave last night in the past, and we move on today.

For today’s interview, I continue our “Off the Diamond” segment, highlighting the behind-the-scenes efforts of the Clinton LumberKings’ front-office staff.  Today, it’s Assistant General Manager Nate Kreinbrink joining me.

We talk about the nearly 20,000-plus increase in attendance so far over last year, the first-annual “LumberStock” taking place at Alliant Energy Field this Saturday, improvements made to the park this season and upgrades planned for the future, remaining promotions on the schedule like tomorrow’s John Danks Bobblehead Night and more.

Listen Here: 
Nate Kreinbrink OTD Interview 7.29.10.mp3

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
7.29.10 kingsnotes.pdf

With a little over a month left in the season, the LumberKings need to get hot.  Thankfully, it’s ace lefty Jimmy Gillheeney (8-7, 2.85) on the mound for his team-leading 21st start tonight.  First pitch against the Kernels is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Playing Two in Loon Land

In case you didn’t see it on the LumberKings’ main page or the Kings’ facebook page, last night’s game against the Great Lakes Loons was rained out.  Thankfully, that rain is now gone (hopefully for good), and we’ll play 14 innings of baseball at Dow Diamond tonight.

You can check out the tonight’s Game Notes (
7.23.10 kingsnotes.pdf), but let me warn you…aside from adding lefty Jimmy Gillheeney’s pitcher page, things look pretty much the same from last night.  Right-hander Taylor Stanton (7-4, 3.91) will still start game one, with Gillly (8-6, 2.73) putting his fourth-best ERA on the line in game two.

My notes are also wrong in one respect.  Right-hander Matt Magill (4-2, 3.38) still starts the first game for the Loons, but it’s now right-hander Edwin Contreras (2-0, 4.26) and the rest of the Great Lakes pen will split up the innings of game two.  Scheduled starter Rubby de la Rosa was promoted up the Dodgers’ chain earlier today.

Keep an eye out for a feature I expect to do on the LumberBlog in the next series at Lansing featuring Kings’ manager John Tamargo and his son, John Tamargo Jr. who will be acting as the Lugnuts’ manager with regular skipper Sal Fasano on vacation.  I’m not sure if it’s the first father-son managerial matchup in the Minors, but it will be the first one I’ve seen.  I’m hoping to capture that interview tomorrow.

Enjoy tonight’s games as always online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL

7/18 Game Notes and Musings

The combination of limited time and a cancelled pregame show from last night means the Terry Pollreisz interview will air on today’s pregame show.  However, it’s not like there weren’t plenty of performers worth talking to in last night’s 6-0 win over South Bend.

In three starts heading into last night’s contest, left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney had already been impressive.  After a second-straight outing of 7.0 scoreless innings, it’s hard to categorize Gillheeney as anything but the hottest pitcher in the Midwest League.  He most likely won’t win the MWL Pitcher of the Week award as his previous scoreless start came last Sunday, but he certainly deserves to be the first 2010 King to capture a league award.  Consider this paragraph my “Gilly for Pitcher of the Week” campaign ploy.

The offense was efficient last night, producing six runs on nine hits, including three extra-base hits.  Vinnie Catricala was the star, aptly busting out as Pollreisz had predicted with a 2-for-3, double, HR, three-RBI game.  The home run came on a hit-and-run in the fifth as Tim Morris took off, then slowed up to watch Cat’s majestic ball land on the left-field berm.  Mario Martinez added a flare double to right but also struck out three times and stranded four on base, and the other two RBI belonged to Blake Ochoa and Gabriel Noriega.  It’s good to see production from multiple parts of the order on a night when Daniel Carroll, James Jones and Nick Franklin went a collective 1-for-12 in the 1-3 spots.

It’s tough to be a Silver Hawk right now…Mark Haley’s club hasn’t scored in 27 innings, spanning three games.  Part of me wants them to score today, but maybe on an unearned run after Clinton has already built an eight-run lead.

Getting to the payoff of this post, here’s today’s Game Notes and some highlights from last night:

It’s Kings-Hawks in game two of this three-game series today as left-hander Nick Czyz (1-1, 2.96) makes his fifth start of the season.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.  I promise we’ll have a pregame show today.

-DL

Off the Diamond: Chris Hadley

the bus.jpgThe behind-the-scenes folks behind LumberKings Baseball are not just limited to Alliant Energy Field.  Peoria Charter motorcoach driver Chris Hadley is in his first season as the man who gets the Kings to their road games.  He’s also tasked with getting them to the hotel, the gym, various places to eat, etc. 

Life on the road isn’t all that glamorous here in the Midwest League, but Chris makes it a lot more tolerable.  He’ll share his wisdom from the driver’s seat on today’s pregame interview.

Listen Here: 
Chris Hadley OTD Interview 7.11.10.mp3

Today’s Game Notes: 
7.11.10 kingsnotes.pdf

The LumberKings try and break a two-game losing streak with left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney (6-6, 3.14) on the mound, making his team-leading 18th start.  Gilly is 2-0 over his last two starts, allowing just three earned runs over the last 14.0 innings.  He’ll face a Kane County club that handed the Kings a stinging 9-4 loss last night.

First pitch from Elfstrom Stadium is at 1:00 PM today, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Independence Day Comeback

In case you missed it amidst your holiday fun last night, the LumberKings stunned the Peoria Chiefs with a four-run ninth inning outburst to erase a two-run deficit in a 5-3 win at O’Brien Field.  James Jones and Vinnie Catricala each singled to start the inning, and after a walk to Tim Morris loaded the bases, Mario Martinez came through with a game-tying two-run double just inside the third-base bag.  Brandon Bantz plated the game-winner with a sacrifice fly to left and Daniel Carroll added an RBI single for good measure, giving the Kings just their second win when trailing after eight innings this season.

Even if you missed it last night, you don’t have to miss the highlights today.  I’ve condensed them into a two-minute clip.

Listen Here: 
Independence Day Comeback.mp3

Today’s Game Notes: 
7.5.10 kingsnotes.pdf

With a 6-4 record, the LumberKings are back into a three-team tie for first place in the West.  They’ll attempt to gain momentum from last night’s win as left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney (5-6, 3.19) makes his team-leading 17th start today in Peoria.  Game time is set for 1:00 PM, tune in to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

No Interview, Plenty of Content

I’m airing part two of the Tony Blengino interview from yesterday on tonight’s pregame interview, so I will not be recording a new one tonight.  I do, however, have plenty to share with you.

First off, the LumberKings won the series with Kane County with a 4-2 victory in the finale last night.  Left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney looked as impressive as we’ve seen this season, limiting the Cougars to two runs (one earned) over 7.0 innings and fanning six.  The Kings came back from a 2-1 deficit thanks to a three-run sixth as Vinnie Catricala, Tim Morris, Brandon Bantz and James Jones singled in succession off right-hander Rob Gilliam.  Mario Martinez recorded the game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly.

Read more about last night’s game in the Game Notes: 
7.1.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Check out some highlights here:

carroll family living.jpgIn other news, the LumberKings were recently featured in the Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Family Living” Magazine.  Daniel Carroll gets some face time on the issue’s cover, and there’s photos of various LumberKings’ players, fans and staff (myself included) in the feature. 

This feature is reprinted with permission from Iowa Farm Bureau’s Family Living.

Check it out: 
Clinton LumberKings Family Living Article.pdf

 

  

Third off, a former LumberKing has been included in a Major League trade today.  The Texas Rangers shipped former Kings lefty Michael Main along with reliever Chris Ray to San Francisco, acquiring catcher Bengie Molina.

Main, one of two first-round picks by the Rangers in 2007, went 2-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 10 starts for the LumberKings in 2008.

Finally, the LumberKings open a six-game road trip tonight starting with a three-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.  Left-hander Nick Czyz (1-0, 0.68) will try and duplicate the success from his first start (5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 K vs. Beloit) tonight against the Kernels.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Crossing Enemy Lines: Jeff Isom

The LumberKings have lost three-straight games and are now on the ropes in a playoff sense
isom.jpg (the next Quad Cities win or LumberKings’ loss knocks them out of first-half playoff contention), but we’ll stay upbeat tonight with another Crossing Enemy Lines segment.

Tonight, I’m joined by a man very familiar to the first-base-side clubhouse, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ manager Jeff Isom.  A former 18th round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1993, Isom found his way to the San Diego system and was a left-handed pitcher with the 1995 Clinton LumberKings.  He went 8-8 with a 3.40 ERA over 35 games, 15 starts that season, the best of his minor league career.

On tonight’s pregame interview, Isom reflects on his ’95 season in the Gateway City, playing alongside Gary Matthews, Jr. and under manager Ed Romero, finding his way to the Milwaukee Brewers’ system, going to the South Atlantic League Championship Series in 2008 with West Virginia, the prospect-loaded Rattlers roster and more.

Listen Here: 
Jeff Isom (Rattlers Manager) CEL Interview 6.16.10.mp3

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
6.16.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney (4-4, 2.82 ERA) makes his 14th start of the year tonight in game two against the Timber Rattlers.  I’ll be joined by a special guest in the booth at some point tonight as IRL driver Charlie Kimball stops up to promote diabetes awareness.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com starting with the pregame show at 6:45 PM.

-DL

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