Results tagged ‘ Josh Rupe ’

Old Faces, New Places

With a little help from LumberKings’ public address voice and resident Midwest League nut
Thumbnail image for bay ('01).jpgBrad Seward
, here’s a list of former Clinton players who have switched uniforms so far this offseason.

While Jason Bay (’01) is easily the most notable former LumberKing to change teams, he’s not the only former Clinton player who will be settling in to new digs in 2010. 

Bay’s four-year, $66 million deal with the New York Mets is certainly the headliner.  The ’01 LumberKing hit .267 with a career-high 36 homers and 119 RBI with Boston last year, but Theo Epstein’s four-year offer apparently wasn’t sweet enough to keep Bay on Yawkey Way.

Never fear for the Red Sox, not only did they get John Lackey, Adrian Beltre and Mike Cameron, but they also replaced Bay with another former LumberKing.  On November 25, the Sox swung a deal that sent cash to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for infielder Tug Hulett (’05).

Boston becomes the fourth organization already for the young Hulett, who hit .265 with 70 runs scored and 20 steals for the ’05 LumberKings.  He debuted two seasons ago with Seattle and was traded to the Royals last winter.  Hulett has combined to hit .194 with a home run and three RBI over 45 big-league games.

The Royals subtracted Hulett on the same day that they added another former LumberKing.  Josh Rupe (’03), who went 3-1 with Texas in 2008 but pitched in only four games in 2009, signed a minor league deal after being granted free agency by the Rangers on November 9.  Rupe went 4-1 with a 3.90 ERA over six games with the Kings in 2003.

2003 Rupe Pitching-2.jpgWhile technically old news from the end of the 2009 season, reliever Roy Corcoran (’02) is now in the Houston system after signing a minor league deal last August.  Corcoran was notable as the only former LumberKing on the 25-man roster with Seattle when Clinton signed on as a Mariners’ affiliate last winter.  In 82 Major League outings, Corcoran is 8-3 with a 4.17 ERA and three saves.  He was 3-4 with 11 saves in 2002.

Rounding things out, former Clinton Giant Matt Williams (’86) was named the first base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Clinton Dodger Mitch Webster (’78) is now the Midwest Regional Scouting Supervisor for the Royals.  As reported in an earlier post, former manager Andy Fox (’06) is now in the Mariners’ system as the hitting coach for double-A West Tennessee.

If you have news to share about a former Clinton player or ARE a former Clinton player and want to update the fans on what you’re doing, send me an email at  I’d be happy to post it here on the LumberBlog.


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


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.    


Masset works to Pujols in the ninth.


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.