Results tagged ‘ John Tamargo ’

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 LumberKings.com.  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).

-DL

On the 40

wilhelmsen27.jpgThis isn’t breaking news, but in case you missed it, there were seven former LumberKings added to 40-man rosters over the weekend in order to protect them from December’s Rule 5 draft.

Right-hander Fabio Castillo (’08) and outfielder Engel Beltre (’08) were added by the Texas Rangers, while right-handers Maikel Cleto (’09), Josh Lueke (’07-’08), Yoervis Medina (’10) and Tom Wilhelmsen (’10, pictured left) were added by the Seattle Mariners.  Right-hander Evan Reed (’07-’08) was added by the Florida Marlins.

All but Reed and Medina (who is playing for John Tamargo’s Cardenales de Lara) appeared in the Arizona Fall League this year.

Speaking of which, AFL MVP Dustin Ackley and the Peoria Javelinas fell to Bryce Harper’s Scottsdale Scorpions in the Championship Game on Saturday.  Wilhelmsen took the loss with a run on two hits over an inning of work, while Lueke fared better with a scoreless final inning to keep it close at 3-2.  Nate Tenbrink (’09) went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.

-DL

MWLCS Game Four – Notes and Lineups

100_2056.JPGI can’t help but feel we’ve been here before.  Up against the wall again are the LumberKings, trailing the best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series two games to one after last night’s 7-3 loss to the Lake County Captains.  Clinton didn’t have too much going offensively against the Captains aside from Mickey Wiswall’s solo homer in the sixth (listen: 
Wiswall Solo HR 9.18.10.mp3) and Tim Morris’s monster shot in the ninth (listen:
Morris 2-R HR 9.18.10.mp3).  On the mound, right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen struggled with five walks and also allowed an uncharacteristic two home runs in his first playoff loss.

James Jones looked to have legged out an infield single that would have loaded the bases and brought Nick Franklin to the dish as the tying run, but the call went Lake County’s way to end the game.

Here’s my silver lining of the day…the last time Jones made the last out on a bang-bang play at first to end the game was in a 3-2 loss to Cedar Rapids on September 8, the opening game of the West Division Quarterfinals.  The Kings then went on the road and took two straight to eliminate the Kernels.  They’re in that same situation again, needing to win the next two here in Lake County to take the title.

John Tamargo’s club is 4-0 in elimination games in these playoffs.  Aside from the two wins in the Cedar Rapids series I just mentioned, they also took two at home over Kane County to win the West.  I can already tell you this club is relaxed and not in panic mode today.  They’re ready to force game five.

Game four is what’s in front of us tonight, and it will be right-hander Taylor Stanton taking the baseball for his second playoff start.  He’s 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in one outing in the postseason, but allowed all four of his earned runs in one bad inning in Kane County.  Stanton is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in one start against the Captains and will hopefully have a similar outing tonight (1 ER on 5 hits, 6.0 IP, 7 strikeouts).

Read more in tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.19.10 kingsnotes _mwlcs.gamefour_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Nick Franklin (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS) 

RHP Taylor Stanton

Lake County:

  1. Delvi Cid (CF)
  2. Tyler Holt (DH)
  3. Casey Frawley (SS)
  4. Adam Abraham (3B)
  5. Chase Burnette (LF)
  6. Roberto Perez (C)
  7. Jason Smit (1B)
  8. Greg Folgia (RF)
  9. Argenis Martinez (2B)

LHP Vidal Nuno

First pitch is once again scheduled for 5:30 PM central time, cheer on your Kings by listening online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL 

MWLCS Game Three – Notes, Lineups and Game Two Highlights

100_2053.JPGAfter playing (and winning) the longest Midwest League Championship Series game in recorded history on Thursday night at Alliant Energy Field, it’s been nice to have a day off.  The LumberKings embarked on the nine-hour drive to Eastlake, Ohio yesterday and are now at Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains for the remainder of the MWLCS.

In case you missed the 18 innings of white-knuckle baseball including the game-tying RBI single from Carlos Ramirez in the bottom of the 12th and the error by Adam Abraham that scored Blake Ochoa in the 18th, I’ve saved a few highlight clips for your listening pleasure:

That thrilling victory plus the addition of Nick Franklin (yes, the same one) to the playoff roster has given the LumberKings a needed boost of confidence in this best-of-five series.  With no more home games remaining, John Tamargo’s club must take two of three on the road to hoist the Midwest League Championship trophy.

Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0, 0.71 in 2 playoff starts) takes the hill tonight for the Kings, he’ll go head-to-head with right-hander Brett Brach (0-0, 5.00 in 2 playoff starts) of the Captains.  Full lineups are below.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.18.10 kingsnotes _mwlcs.gamethree_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Nick Franklin (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

Lake County:

  1. Delvi Cid (CF)
  2. Tyler Holt (DH)
  3. Casey Frawley (SS)
  4. Adam Abraham (3B)
  5. Chase Burnette (LF)
  6. Roberto Perez (C)
  7. Jason Smit (1B)
  8. Greg Folgia (RF)
  9. Argenis Martinez (2B)

RHP Brett Brach

Game three begins at 5:30 PM central time and will air on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Kings Open MWL Championship Series Wednesday

Tickets still available for Wednesday’s 6:30 game vs. Lake County at Alliant Energy Field

 

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings continue their quest for the city’s first Midwest League title since 1991 as they open the best-of-five Championship Series against the East Division champion Lake County Captains with game one set for Wednesday night at Alliant Energy Field.  Gates will open at 5:00 PM with the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.

 

Right-hander Yoervis Medina has been tabbed by manager John Tamargo to make the game one start.  Medina went 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in six regular-season starts and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one playoff start.  He’ll be opposed by right-hander Jason Knapp of the Captains.  Knapp went 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA in four regular-season starts for Lake County and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in one playoff start.

 

A breakdown of the series:

 

Date / Game

Teams / Site

Time (CT)

Wed, September 15 (Game 1)

Lake County vs. LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field

6:30 PM

Thu, September 16 (Game 2)

Lake County vs. LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field

6:30 PM

Fri, September 17

OFF DAY – Travel to Eastlake, OH

 

Sat, September 18 (Game 3)

LumberKings @ Lake County, Classic Park (Eastlake, OH)

5:30 PM

Sun, September 19 (Game 4)

LumberKings @ Lake County, Classic Park (Eastlake, OH)

5:30 PM

Mon, September 20 (Game 5)

LumberKings @ Lake County, Classic Park (Eastlake, OH)

5:30 PM

 

Tickets for game one are currently on sale and can be purchased by visiting the Alliant Energy Field box office or by calling 563-242-0727.  Tickets for game two will go on sale following Wednesday night’s game.  Playoff ticket prices remain the same, with box seats at $8, adult general admission at $7 and students/seniors general admission at $6.  No regular-season tickets (bonus books, unused tickets, etc.) will be honored for the playoffs.

 

Catch all the continuing playoff action for your LumberKings on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.

 

-DL

Franklin, Ramirez Named Post-Season All-Stars

In case you didn’t see it via LumberKings.com…

Clinton, IA – Clinton LumberKings shortstop Nick Franklin and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez have been named Midwest League Post-Season All-Stars by the Field Managers of the league’s 16 teams.  The entire list was announced today by president George Spelius from the Midwest League office in Beloit, WI.

 

Both Franklin and Ramirez were voted as mid-season All-Stars and join the likes of Matt Adams (Quad Cities), Scooter Gennett (Wisconsin), Ian Krol (Kane County) and league Prospect of the Year and MVP Mike Trout (Cedar Rapids) on the list of the league’s best.

 

The 19-year-old Franklin, Seattle’s first-round pick (27th overall) out of Lake Brantley High School (FL) has enjoyed a memorable first full season in professional baseball.  Ranked the ninth-best prospect in the entire Mariners’ organization prior to the season by Baseball America, Franklin has gone on to hit .284 (129-for-454) with 20 doubles, seven triples, 20 home runs (2nd most in the MWL) and 57 RBI and has stolen 23 bases in 34 attempts.  The Longwood, FL native is just two homers shy of tying Clinton’s own single-season franchise record of 22, set back in 1961.

 

Ramirez, 20, came to the LumberKings in mid-April after an award-winning 2009 campaign.  He was the Mariners’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009, going 11-1 with a 0.51 ERA with Aguirre of the Venezuela Summer League.  In 2010, Ramirez has proved worthy of All-Star status as the league’s top right-handed starter.  He’s 10-4 with the league’s second-best ERA of 2.75 and also ranks amongst league leaders in WHIP (2nd at 1.04), fewest walks per 9.0 innings for starters (2nd at 1.17) and fewest baserunners per 9.0 innings for starters (3rd at 10.36).

 

Great Lakes Loons’ manager Juan Bustabad took home the Manager of the Year award.  A full list of the All-Star selections can be viewed at http://www.MidwestLeague.com.

I’ll be talking about the All-Star selections on tonight’s pregame show in lieu of an interview (I’ve interviewed both Franklin and Ramirez recently, as well as their manager John Tamargo).  One thing I MIGHT bring up is the double selection of South Bend’s Matt Davidson as both the third-baseman and DH.  He’s certainly deserving of ONE selection, but what about the now-forgotten Jerry Sands of the Loons for DH?  Or Clinton’s own Vinnie Catricala?  It’s worth thinking about.

There’s plenty to catch up on in tonight’s Game Notes following last night’s 3-1 win over Peoria.  Left-hander Nick Czyz tossed seven innings of one-run baseball and Catricala went 3-for-4 with the game-tying home run and an RBI single for insurance.  Mickey Wiswall had the game-winner on a seeing-eye single, and the bullpen combo of right-hander Jonathan Arias (H, 1) and Forrest Snow (S, 4) held on to the slim margin.

The Notes: 
8.24.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (3-1, 2.55) has a key fifth start tonight as he looks to prove that the 4.2-inning, six-run blowup from his last outing is only a brief misstep in his magical 2010 season.  He’s on the hill for the finale against the Chiefs tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Sunday Interview: Blake Ochoa

It’s been a busy Sunday for me as I’ve gone the extra mile and recorded two interviews today.
Ochoa.Blake.jpg  Last night’s action here in Lansing forced my hand.  The big story heading into the contest was the John Tamargo Sr. vs. John Tamargo Jr. managerial battle, and I’m happy to say I have both video of their lineup card exchange (be it from long-distance) AND an interview with both JT’s as well.

As much of a broadcast golden nugget as that conversation is, I’m saving it for tomorrow’s pregame show.  Why?  Because one Blake Ochoa did something last night that I’ve never seen a LumberKing do.  He drove in seven RBI on the strength of two home runs (one of which was a grand slam) and provided all of the offense in an otherwise forgettable 12-7 loss.

Highlights:

Yes, the Kings have lost five-straight games, including the first four on this trip, but Ochoa’s attempt to bring his team back from 5-1 and 11-3 deficits is nothing short of amazing.  He easily could have had nine to 10 RBI in the contest as his first RBI came on a sacrifice fly to center field.  Kenny Wilson saved his liner from one-hopping the wall with a diving catch, allowing only one of the three baserunners to score.

Ochoa made sure no outfielder would catch his next two hits, dropping his second home run of the season onto the berm in left in the fifth inning before absolutely destroying a ball onto the street in left for the slam in the sixth inning.  Both homers came off of right-hander Ryan Shopshire of Lansing, who must have seen Blake in his nightmares last night despite improving to 7-8 with the win.

I’ve been doing my best to look back in the Clinton history books for the last time a player has driven in seven runs, but have been unsuccessful so far.  At least we know Ochoa is the most recent, and today we’ll hear more about just how he did it on the pregame interview.

Listen Here: 
Ochoa Interview 7.25.10.mp3

Today’s Game Notes: 
7.25.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (6-4, 2.90) looks to snap this five-game losing streak and get the Kings back to .500 in his 15th start of the season today.  First pitch in Lansing is scheduled for 1:05 PM central time, listen online at 1390klcn.com.

-DL   

Tamargo vs. Tamargo

 
tamargovstamargo.jpgThe six-game Michigan swing heads here to Cooley Law School Stadium (formerly known as Oldsmobile Park) in Lansing.  The LumberKings are ailing after being swept in a doubleheader by the practically-double-A Great Lakes Loons last night, leaving them suddenly in fifth place and a half-game behidn Burlington for the West Wild Card.

The playoffs are on the line every day here in the second half for the Kings, but that takes a backseat to a degree to an unusual occurrence.  Tonight, we get to watch Clinton manager John Tamargo (pictured left on the front page of MiLB.com) face his own son, hitting coach and acting manager John Tamargo, Jr. of the Lugnuts.  I’ve been asked by a few folks if this is the first time a father and son will have managed against each other in Minor League Baseball, and to be quite honest, I haven’t been able to find out.

One thing is for sure — both Tamargos want to win this one.  JT Senior mentioned that in his speech to LumberKings’ fans at the 2010 Hot Stove Banquet way back in January.  Meanwhile, I can only imagine that JT Jr. wants to keep the playoff-hungry Lugnuts on a roll.  They’re coming off a series sweep of the Kane County Cougars, formerly the West’s first-place team.

My intention is to catch up with the Tamargos prior to tomorrow’s Sunday game.  Neither team was able to take the field today as a result of a major promotion going on at the ballpark all afternoon.

What I do have for you tonight is more LumberKings Game Notes and some highlights from last night’s doubleheader.  Enjoy:

Left-hander Nick Czyz (2-1, 3.51) makes a very important start tonight as he attempts to help snap a four-game losing streak.  The Kings have not lost five in a row this season.  The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM central time, 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

Opening Day is Here

100_1730.JPGReady or not, here it is.  The LumberKings open the 2010 season against the Peoria Chiefs tonight at Alliant Energy Field, game time slated for 6:30 PM.  If you’re coming down, prepare for some chilly, windy weather.

To help get your baseball brain churning, here’s the first edition of LumberKings Game Notes: 
4.8.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Lefty Jimmy Gillheeney gets the starting nod against right-hander Robert Whitenack of the Chiefs.  You can listen online at 1390kcln.com starting with the Pregame Show at 6:15 PM.  I’ll have my interview (it’s probably going to be manager John Tamargo) posted on here in case you miss it!

-DL

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.