Results tagged ‘ John Danks ’

Kings in Spring (March 3)

A few things via the Seattle Mariners to pass along…

Right-hander Yoervis Medina (’10) made his spring debut in relief for the Mariners yesterday following two sparkling innings from current “it” prospect Michael Pineda and another scoreless frame from Jamey Wright.  Medina gave up two runs — both coming on a Juan Miranda homer — and a total of three hits over his one inning of work and took the loss as Seattle fell, 5-3.  Justin Smoak (’08) went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, dropping his Cactus League average to .125.

The Mariners (2-1-1) take on left-hander John Danks (’04), last year’s LumberKings bobblehead honoree, as they head to Camelback Ranch to face the Chicago White Sox today at 2:05 PM central.  I visited Camelback Ranch last year and it quickly became my favorite spring facility.

In other news, the Mariners shipped infielder Matt Lawson (’08) to the Cleveland Indians along with cash in exchange for left-hander Aaron Laffey.  The 25-year-old Lawson finds himself traded for the second time since July (he came to Seattle via the Texas Rangers in the Cliff Lee deal)…the former LumberKing hit .293 with 26 doubles, seven triples, nine homers and 56 RBI combined between double-A Frisco (Rangers) and double-A West Tenn. (Mariners).  Laffey, meanwhile, was 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in five starts with the Indians and also rehabbed at just about every level of their system last year — including Clinton foe Lake County.

Good luck to the Law-dog as he moves from Peoria to Goodyear.   His move gives me another reason to check in with Indians’ camp aside from Grady Sizemore (’01).

-DL

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.

-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

Catching up 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 reds.jpg

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.

Listen Here: 
Nick Masset Interview 9.30.09.mp3

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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.    

100_1157.JPG

Masset works to Pujols in the ninth.

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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.

-DL

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