Results tagged ‘ Shaver Hansen ’

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 5)

After a four-day hiatus for the Midwest League All-Star Break, your LumberKings are back at it tonight as they open the second half at home against the Burlington Bees.  With the second half beginning, it’s back to a 0-0 record and an eight-way tie for first in the West Division, although the Kings no longer have to worry about both Burlington and Wild Card winner Quad Cities as far as the standings are concerned.

Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings might get treated like the underdogs as the second half begins, but a 9-8 record so far in the month of June indicates a club ready to turn things around with the fresh start.  My first interview of the second half is with the Clinton skipper, and we’ll talk about the team’s refocused attitude, the strong starting rotation including tonight’s starter Jandy Sena and Futures Game representative James Paxton, an offense now featuring a healthy Julio Morban and a new second-baseman in Jetsy Extrano, setting the tone against the first-half champion Bees and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 6.24.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.24.11 kingsnotes

Roster Moves:  Yesterday, the LumberKings swapped second-basemen as Shaver Hansen was promoted to high-A High Desert and Jetsy Extrano was received from short-A Everett.  Today, catcher Billy Marcoe was sent to the AZL to make room for Steven Baron, who has been reinstated from the disabled list.  Extrano and Baron are both in tonight’s lineup.

Starting Lineups:

Burlington Bees (0-0, 45-25):  Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Tony Thompson/3B, A.J. Kirby-Jones/1B, Josh Whitaker/DH, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Yordy Cabrera/SS, John Nester/C, Tyreace House/CF, Sean Murphy/RHP

LumberKings (0-0, 24-46):  Stefen Romero/DH, Julio Morban/CF, Matt Browning/3B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Tim Morris/1B, Steven Baron/C, Kalian Sams/RF, Jetsy Extrano/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Jandy Sena/RHP

The quest for the 10th playoff spot in the last 14 seasons starts tonight at 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rick Waits

After allowing a career-high five earned runs in his previous start, it’s clear that left-hander James Paxton had a rebound outing last night against Quad Cities.  He set a new career high with 13 strikeouts and yielded just one run on four hits over 6.1 innings as the LumberKings beat the River Bandits, 5-1 at Alliant Energy Field.  Paxton struck out six-straight batters at one point in the game (listen:  Paxton 11th Strikeout 6.16.11), but left in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out.  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon came on and left them loaded as he induced a highlight-reel double play started by second-baseman Jorge Agudelo (listen: Agudelo Flip to Ramirez for DP 6.16.11).  Burgoon did not allow a run over 2.2 innings to secure his seventh save, making Paxton a winner for the third time.  Mickey Wiswall had the clutch hit of the night, singling home two runs to open up a 4-1 lead in the fourth (listen:  Wiswall 2-R single 6.16.11).

The efforts for K-Pax and Burgoon were well-timed as they took place in front of Mariners’ Minor League Pitching Coordinator Rick Waits.  After coaching for 15 seasons with the New York Mets (including 2003 as their Major League Bullpen Coach), Waits has inherited a minor league system chock full of potential impact arms.  Waits is my pregame guest tonight, and he shares plenty of his own insight into Paxton, tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker, Burgoon and the Clinton bullpen, former LumberKing and current Tacoma Rainier right-hander Blake Beavan and how close he is to a Seattle call-up, the outstanding arms in double-A Jackson including Andrew Carraway, Erasmo Ramirez, Anthony Vasquez, Kenn Kasparek and Tom Wilhelmsen and more.  It’s definitely a worthy listen.

Listen Here: Rick Waits (Minor League Pitching Coord) Interview 6.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.17.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Roster Move:  Despite the potential game-saving play last night, Agudelo has been sent to short-A Everett to clear space for infielder Shaver Hansen, who has been reinstated from the DL and will play tonight in Kane County.

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (22-45):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Tim Morris/D, Matt Browning/3B, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Robbie Anston/LF, Billy Marcoe/C, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Kane County Cougars (27-39):  Angel Franco/2B, Ryan Stovall/3B, Brett Eibner/CF, Brian Fletcher/LF, Jake Kuebler/1B, Geulin Beltre/DH, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Leonel Santiago/RHP

First pitch is at 7:00 PM here at Elfstrom Stadium, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Kalian Sams

The LumberKings fell by five runs for the first time since April 29 yesterday afternoon, dropping their fourth-straight game on this road trip by a final score of 8-3 in Peoria.  Kalian Sams got the Kings off to a good start with a solo home run on top of the left-field berm in the second inning and finished 2-for-4, adding a double and scoring a second time later in the game.  Shaver Hansen went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the leadoff spot to keep Clinton close at 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, but the Chiefs scored four unanswered runs over the next two innings to win convincingly.

Focusing on Sams, who in his first 10 games back showed more in the way of patience than the raw power we saw for most of 2010, homered off Chiefs’ left-hander Austin Kirk who had dared to pitch him inside.  The blast (listen here:  Sams Solo HR (#1) 5.22.11) was a bit of the old from “the Swinging Dutchman”, his 17th career home run as a LumberKing and his 21st in the Midwest League.  Still, the slimmed down slugger has showed more speed than pop so far (four steals in four tries and more than a few tough running grabs in right field), and that’s a main topic of tonight’s pregame interview.

Sams talks about his first home run back in the black and green, losing 20 pounds with a new trainer this offseason, utilizing his eye and his speed more this year, coming down from High Desert to join the Kings again and more.

Listen Here:  Sams Interview 5.23.11

More on Sams and company in tonight’s Game Notes:  5.23.11 kingsnotes

I’m laying off the lineups again in an attempt to see if it’ll  help us start a winning streak.  Either that or I’m lazy, you decide.  I can tell you that left-hander Edlando Seco (0-0, 5.30) makes his second start for Clinton tonight and that the Chiefs counter with right-hander Dallas Beeler (1-1, 0.86).  Looks like another challenge for these LumberKings’ bats as Beeler hasn’t allowed a run over his last 15.0 innings.

First pitch is at 6:30 PM, listen in on1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Shaver Hansen

It was a character-building win for the LumberKings yesterday in Peoria as they overcame 3-1 and 4-3 deficits over the eighth and ninth innings to beat the Chiefs, 5-4 in 14 innings.  Shaver Hansen (pictured left) went a career-best 4-for-6 with a two-run homer that tied the game in the eighth, and Ramon Morla doubled to score Mickey Wiswall to tie the game again in the ninth.

Finally in the top of the 14th, two walks and Wiswall’s infield single loaded the bases against Chiefs’ right-hander Bryce Shafer.  With two outs, Steven Baron worked the count to 3-2 and took a pitch high from Shafer for a go-ahead bases-loaded walk.  The relief work of right-handers Jandy Sena (3.0 scoreless innings for the win) and Willy Kesler (scoreless bottom of the 14th for the save) helped make Baron’s team-leading 12th RBI stand up.

Yesterday’s Highlights:

Tonight, I catch up with Hansen, Seattle’s sixth-round pick out of Baylor University in 2009 and a third-year member of the LumberKings.  We talk about yesterday’s monster effort, his thoughts on stint #3 in the black and green, shaking off an 0-for-14 start at the plate, his growth as a player in the last three seasons and more.

Listen Here:  Hansen Interview 5.7.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.7.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Burlington Bees (20-7):  Tyreace House/CF, Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Jose River/DH, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Josh Whitaker/1B, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Ryan Pineda/3B, John Nester/C, Tyler Vail/RHP

LumberKings (9-20):  Julio Morban/CF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Stefen Romero/LF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Steven Baron/C, Carlos Ramirez/SS, Brandon Maurer/RHP

First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tuesday Notes (4/26)

Hidden deep within last night’s 14-3 loss to Peoria were a few bright spots.  Shortstop Marcus Littlewood hit his first professional home run in the second inning, taking Chicago Cubs’ first-round pick Hayden Simpson deep to the Lumber Lounge in right for a solo shot.  Right-hander Willy Kesler lowered his ERA to 1.38 with 4.0 scoreless innings of relief including two strikeouts.  Matt Cerione went 3-for-4 with his first RBI of the season and is now 5-for-8 over his last two games.   Tim Morris recorded his third multi-hit game in the last four games, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Listen to the not-so-little blast: Littlewood solo HR (first of career) 4.25.11

Aside from that, last night was tough to watch.  The Chiefs batted around and then some on right-handers George Mieses and Jonathan Arias during an eight-run second inning, the second eight-run frame Clinton pitchers have allowed in the last three games.  The offense went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and have scored Mieses just three runs of support in four starts.

But, there’s more new blood on the roster today with the addition of outfielder Jabari Blash.  He and fellow new arrival Shaver Hansen are both in the lineup tonight for the middle game of this three-game set against Peoria.  Right-hander Brandon Maurer (1-1, 3.00) has lost his “tandem” tag and is now a full-time starter…he lost his last time out against Cedar Rapids on 4/20 despite giving up just three runs over 5.0 innings.  Maurer will be on the hill tonight for start #3.

Read more in tonight’s Game Notes:  4.26.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Peoria (9-8):  Matt Szczur/CF, Rubi Silva/RF, Greg Rohan/3B, Richard Jones/1B, Micah Gibbs/C, Elliot Soto/2B, DJ Fitzgerald/LF, Anthony Giansanti/DH, Arismendy Alcantara/SS, Austin Kirk/LHP

LumberKings (5-13):  Matt Cerione/CF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Julio Morban/LF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Tim Morris/1B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, Brandon Maurer/RHP

First pitch is once again at 6:30 PM, tune in online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Roster Moves, Alumni Notes (4/25)

A few roster-related changes to pass along…over the weekend, right-hander Jonathan Arias was removed from the DL as right-hander Fray Martinez (0-1, 7.00) was added to the DL.  Today, infielder Anthony Phillips was promoted to high-A High Desert and is replaced by infielder Shaver Hansen.  Check out the release here:  http://clinton.lumberkings.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110425&content_id=18236220&vkey=news_t500&fext=.jsp&sid=t500

We just witnessed a third former LumberKing make his Major League debut already this season.  Right-hander Cody Eppley (’08), who went 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in two relief appearances with Clinton back in the day, debuted on Saturday against Kansas City, working 2.0 innings of scoreless relief including a strikeout .  He earned a hold to help Alexi Ogando to his third win of the season in a 3-1 Rangers’ victory.

Eppley was promoted to fill the spot of former LumberKings right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08), who hit the 15-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation.  The 43rd round pick of the Rangers in 2008 out of Virginia Commonwealth was the franchise’s Minor League Reliever of the Year in 2010 (5-2, 2.08 ERA, 16 saves between Bakersfield, Frisco and Oklahoma City) and was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and three saves for triple-A Round Rock prior to the promotion.

He joins Seattle Mariners’ right-handers Josh Lueke and Tom Wilhelmsen as former LumberKings to make Major League debuts this season.

-DL

Hansen Heads West, Gebbers Comes to Clinton

Hawkins Gebbers joins club from extended Spring Training, Shaver Hansen promoted to High Desert

                                                         

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the promotion of infielder Shaver Hansen to high-A High Desert and the addition of infielder Hawkins Gebbers from extended Spring Training.

 

Hansen, 22, hit .167 with three doubles and four RBI over 16 games with the LumberKings this season.  Seattle’s sixth-round pick out of Baylor University last year, Hansen spent all of his 2009 action with Clinton, hitting .205 with seven doubles and seven RBI in 36 games.

 

Gebbers, 23, hit .301 with 13 doubles, two home runs and 21 RBI for short-A Everett last year.  He was Seattle’s 33rd round selection last June out of Biola University.

 

The moves give the LumberKings a total of 25 players with one listed on the disabled list.  No number is known for Gebbers, who joins the club today and will be in uniform tomorrow night in Burlington.

 

The LumberKings (19-19) open up a three-game road series at Burlington (13-24) tomorrow night at Community Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.

 

-DL

A Doubleheader to Remember

In case you missed it today, the LumberKings took both ends of a doubleheader against the Peoria Chiefs at O’Brien Field.  The twinbill sweep is the first for Clinton since they did it on April 12, 2008 against West Michigan.  That itself is great news, but here’s the better news…they did it with six home runs and outscored Peoria 24-5 in the two games.

Mario Martinez went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer and six RBI in the 13-3 victory in game one, becoming the first LumberKing to drive in a half-dozen since Ian Gac did it on May 4, 2008 at Kane County.  Henry Contreras, making his first start of the year (1-for-3 as a pinch hitter/reserve) went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, a solo home run and two RBI as well.  And that was only the beginning.

Rather than hold back all the highlights until tomorrow, here’s the audio from today’s games.

As you can see, it was a fun day of baseball.  Hopefully it continues tomorrow as we close out the series in Peoria.

-DL

Predicting the 2010 Roster (Part 1)

As promised, it’s the second annual “Predict the Roster” segment here on the LumberBlog.  With this being the second season as a Seattle Mariners affiliate, I can now talk about players that might return from last year’s club in addition to new faces from the Everett, Pulaski and Peoria rosters.

09anthem.jpg

Part 1 starts with a look at who might be returning from the 2009 squad.  The LumberKings suited up 57 players last year, many of whom saw limited action in black and green.  Twelve position players appeared in less than 20 games, while 12 pitchers appeared in less than 10 games.

There’s also some regulars from last year’s club that might get a re-visit.  We’ll start there.

Last year’s Opening Day roster featured a pair of highly-touted 2007 draft picks in Denny Almonte (2nd round) and Daniel Carroll (3rd round).  Both have had a measure of success in the Midwest League, but both have also had their struggles. 

After hitting .262 with 12 HR in the first half, Almonte suffered through a dismal second half.  He hit just .183 following an All-Star appearance and hit just one more homer over his final 153 at-bats.  Amongst league leaders in RBI at one point, Almonte finished with 58 (only 14 in the second half).  Is he dominant when he’s on?  Absolutely.  He practically carried the team through May with 8 HR and 21 RBI.  Still, it’s hard to ignore his .091 month of August and his 148 strikeouts in 409 at-bats. 

Carroll’s season was derailed by a pair of injuries.  He missed two weeks with a groin issue suffered on Opening Night in Burlington and then spent nearly all of May and June coming back from a broken thumb.  Once he got truly healthy, Carroll started to hit.  Following the All-Star break, he hit .240, scored 29 runs and stole 15 bases.  He’s been at High Desert before and should get a chance to make that roster with a good Spring.

Bottom line, I believe both Almonte and Carroll will be in High Desert to start 2010.  Almonte’s key to staying there is making consistent contact, while Carroll’s I believe is simply staying healthy.  Only time will tell.

martinez.jpgIf Almonte is gone, who will step in to be the primary power threat?  I think we see the return of ultra-talented third-baseman Mario Martinez (pictured left).  At age 19 last year, Martinez hit .214 with 2 HR and 24 RBI in 61 games with Clinton.  He was getting hot down the stretch of the first half, but was then sent to short-A Pulaski at the All-Star break.  There, he hit .308 with 20 doubles, 3 HR and 33 RBI in 71 games.   Yes, he hasn’t hit for consistent power yet in his career, but the Mariners have high hopes for him and this could be the breakout year.  Defensively, he looked great at both third and first base.  Where he plays next year will likely be determined by whether or not Jharmidy DeJesus makes the roster.

Other position players who could return include Travis Howell (.205, 8 HR, 29 RBI in 66 games), Maximo Mendez (.213, 8 triples, 38 runs scored, 20 steals in 64 games) and Terry Serrano (.236, 40 runs scored, 18 steals).  All three should go to High Desert, but very well could see time back with Clinton next year following injury-plagued 2009 seasons.

Pitching-wise, there shouldn’t be too many returners from the staff that led the Midwest League in ERA.  Starters like Kenn Kasparek (10-6, 2.41), Andrew Carraway (4-0, 2.50) and Bobby LaFromboise (8-9, 4.03) will certainly move up.  Relievers like Cheyne Hann (2-2, 1.32, 12 saves), Blake Nation (3-5, 3.16), Matt Renfree (3-2, 2.60), Jose Jimenez (4-2, 3.38), Brandon Josselyn (0-1, 0.75, 3 saves) and others should all move as well.

Now that we’ve covered some of the more familiar faces, let’s move on to the guys who had brief stints in Clinton last year.

When talking about position players, I’m excited to see what a guy like Ryan Royster can do with a full season in the Midwest League.  In eight games last year, Royster hit .333 with 3 doubles, 2 HR and 7 RBI.  He spent most of his year at Everett and performed there, hitting .325 with 7 HR and 27 RBI in 41 games.

Another intriguing hitter is Welington Dotel.  He exhibited tons of raw power in batting practice, but belted just one homer in 19 games.  Dotel did hit a solid .286 and drove in 11 runs in 49 at-bats.  I believe we’ll see him in the Clinton outfield this season.

We won’t see 2009 third-rounder Kyle Seager back, but we might see the return of sixth-rounder Shaver Hansen if for no other reason than shoring up his defense (13 errors in 36 games, primarily at third base).  Hansen hit .205 with 7 RBI and could probably use another year against Midwest League pitching as well.

Others we might see back include outfielder Dwight Britton (.192 in 11 games), infielder Jetsy Extrano (.045 in 6 games) and catchers Henry Contreras (.167, 2 RBI in 4 games) and Tommy Johnson (.167 in 5 games).

Back to pitching, there’s several 2010 rotation candidates that spent brief time with the LumberKings last year. 

At the top of the list is hard-throwing righty Maikel Cleto (pictured right), who arrived in latecleto.JPG June after some visa issues.  Two stints on the disabled list and a very strict pitch count allowed us a very brief look at Cleto, and it was hard to determine if he was the 0-3, 5.33 guy we saw over eight starts or the guy who struck out six over 3.0 innings in a matchup against Carlos Zambrano and the Peoria Chiefs on August 20.  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see Cleto mature in the rotation.

Another potential starter coming back could be Anthony Vasquez.  Seattle’s 18th round pick out of USC went 3-3 with a 5.66 ERA in 7 games, all starts.  The numbers aren’t overly impressive, but Vasquez did win each of his last two starts, lowering his ERA from 7.71 to 5.66 in the process.  He also shut down a volatile Great Lakes Loons’ offense to a run on eight hits over 5.2 innings in his LumberKings’ debut on August 1.  The left-handed Vasquez could be a top-flight starter next season. 

Right-handers Andres Esquibel (1-1, 4.91 in 8 games) and Chris Kirkland (0-1, 5.00 in 4 games), and left-hander Jon Hesketh (1-1, 12.60 in 3 games) could all potentially be starters next year as well. 

Esquibel was 2-4 with a 5.00 ERA in Everett, but flashed dominance with a three-hit complete-game shutout win over Boise on August 6.  Kirkland, meanwhile, led the Northwest League with 85 strikeouts.  He went 4-5 with a 4.83 ERA in 15 starts.  Hesketh didn’t fare well in Clinton, but did limit opponents to a .188 average while going 0-1 with a 1.67 ERA in seven outings with the Aqua Sox.

The 2010 bullpen is less clear.  Daniel Cooper, a teammate of Vasquez at USC and Seattle’s 21st round pick, went 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA in eight relief appearances with the LumberKings last year.  Ogui Diaz spent most of 2009 as an infielder, but converted to right-handed reliever and went 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in four games with Pulaski.  The rest of the pen is a guessing game.

That’s just the first part of my two-part “Predict the Roster” segment.  Next week, I’ll look at potential LumberKings coming from Everett, Pulaski and Peoria.  Feel free to add your comments on my predictions below, especially if any of the players I’ve mentioned have changed organizations without my knowledge.  Hey, I’m human.

-DL  

Sixth-rounder Hansen Joins LumberKings

Infielder Shaver Hansen heads to Clinton, Ogui Diaz sent to Arizona

                       

Fort Wayne, IN – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the addition of infielder Shaver Hansen to the 25-man roster.  Hansen replaces infielder Ogui Diaz, who has been sent down to Peoria, Arizona.

 

Hansen was drafted by the Mariners in the sixth round of the 2009 June draft out of Baylor University.  The Grand Junction, Colorado native hit .330 with 15 doubles, 17 home runs and 59 RBI in 56 games, all starts for the Baylor Bears in 2009.  The big campaign came after Hansen won Baylor’s Larry Isbell team MVP award as a sophomore in 2008.  He hit a team-high .326 that season, hitting six home runs and driving in 47 RBI.   Clinton is his first professional assignment.

 

Diaz leaves the LumberKings after hitting .208 with six doubles, a home run, 11 RBI and seven steals in 43 games.  He also pitched once, tossing a scoreless inning on July 7 vs. Kane County.

 

The move gives the LumberKings a maximum of 25 players on the active roster, with two listed on the disabled list.  Hansen (#8) will be in uniform tonight in Fort Wayne.

 

The LumberKings (7-12) continue the three-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps (16-3) tonight at Parkview Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM central time.  Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at www.kcln.com.

-DL

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