Results tagged ‘ Taijuan Walker ’

Audio from Walker’s Complete Game

In case you missed it, 18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker authored another chapter in his amazing first full season in the Mariners’ system last night, tossing a nine-inning complete-game win over the Great Lakes Loons.  After allowing a first-inning two-run homer to Blake Dean, Walker limited the Loons to just one more hit the rest of the way, struck out seven and retired the final 17-straight batters to end the game.

Here’s the final out, Jetsy Extrano to Tim Morris, securing Walker’s CG:  Walker Finishes CG vs. Loons 7.13.11

It’s the first 9.0-inning CG thrown by a LumberKing since right-hander Kenn Kasparek tossed a three-hit shutout on August 3, 2009 against Burlington.

Game notes, additional highlights from last night and a new interview will be posted later today.

-DL

Wednesday Notes (7/13)

I’ll have a special pregame interview tonight with Clinton, IA’s own Krista Voda, a host/reporter for NASCAR and other motorsports on the SPEED Network and also an NFL/BCS sideline reporter for FOX Sports.  I will post the interview either later tonight or tomorrow.

As for your LumberKings content for tonight, the Kings open a six-game homestand against the East Division tonight starting with a three-game set against the Great Lakes Loons (10-8, T-2nd in East).  Right-hander Taijuan Walker (3-4, 2.76) makes his 13 start tonight following an outing against Cedar Rapids on July 7 in which he allowed just one hit and struck out 11 over 6.0 innings.  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.13.11 kingsnotes

Starting  Lineups:  7.13.11 lineup

-DL

Walker on BA’s Top 50 Midseason Prospects List

Maybe if this list had come out today rather than yesterday afternoon, LumberKings’ right-hander Taijuan Walker would be even higher up (he struck out 11 Cedar Rapids batters over 6.0 one-hit innings last night).  Baseball America’s midseason Top 50 Prospects List includes the 18-year-old Walker at #38.

Surprisingly, no sign of left-hander James Paxton on this list.  Check out the whole thing over at BaseballAmerica.com.

You’ll likely be hearing more from “Sky” Walker on an interview segment later today.  Stay tuned for that.

-DL

Retro Interview: Kyle Seager

A disappointing 4-3 loss in the ninth inning to the Cedar Rapids Kernels combined with more exciting pre-game news coming from Seattle means another “retro interview” segment today.

Infielder Kyle Seager, a LumberKing just three seasons ago, is joining the Seattle Mariners today after hitting .455 in 12 games with triple-A Tacoma.  Once he debuts, he’ll be the sixth former Clinton player to make an MLB debut this season and the 230th in the history of the franchise dating back to 1937.  For the full press release on Seager, visit this link from LumberKings.com.

As I mentioned in my “Retro Interview” post on right-hander Blake Beavan (who debuted for the Mariners just last Sunday and won with a run over 7.0 innings against San Diego), my old audio links from the pre-WordPress days are inactive.  So, here’s a re-visit of my 2009 interviews with Seager and a couple of his LumberKings’ highlights:

Seager, wearing #15, will be available for Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge tonight as they take on the LA Angels.  Meanwhile, we here in Clinton prepare for game two of a three-game series against the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.7.11 kingsnotes

Tonight’s Starting Lineup:  7.7.11 lineup

Right-hander Taijuan Walker dominated the Kernels with five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball back on May 26.  That’s the last time the 18-year-old earned a win, as he’s gone 0-2 with four no-decisions since then.  He’ll take the baseball starting at 7:00 PM tonight, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Retro Interview: Blake Beavan

The six-game road trip switches cities tonight as your LumberKings head to Peoria to take on the Chiefs.  Clinton went just 1-9 against the Chiefs in the first half, but are 5-4 and alone in third place so far this half while Peoria is 3-6 and stuck in a tie for last place. 

The Kings nearly pulled off a three-game sweep in the Quad Cities last night as Stefen Romero singlehandedly erased a 3-0 deficit with a 3-for-4 game including a two-run homer to right-center (listen: Romero 2-R HR (#6) 7.2.11) in the fourth inning and a game-tying two-out single scoring Robbie Anston in the sixth.  Right-hander Taijuan Walker settled in after a rough second inning that included back-to-back home runs by Jonathan Rodriguez and Nick Longmire, yielding three runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings and striking out eight.  Unfortunately, right-hander Jessie Nava loaded the bases in the eighth and issued four-straight pitches outside of the zone to walk Packy Elkins, giving the Bandits a 4-3 lead.  Romero doubled to start the ninth (falling a triple shy of the cycle), but Kalian Sams struck out with Romero at third and Kevin Rivers flied to right, ending the game and the chances for the sweep.

While we get ready to see left-hander Tony Butler, Seattle’s third-round pick in 2006, take another step in his comeback as he debuts for the LumberKings tonight, the spotlight shines bright on a former King making a much higher-profile debut.  As  you’ve already likely seen, 2008 right-hander Blake Beavan is making his Major League debut today for the Mariners as they host San Diego.

Ok, so, maybe this was already featured in “The Interview Vault” this offseason, but I thought it’d be a prime opportunity to post my May 1, 2008 interview with Beavan following his first professional start, a win over the Great Lakes Loons.  With the recent “great WordPress migration” of the MLBlogs, my old interview links no longer work, so here’s a re-post of Blake’s first Minor League interview…the topics covered ranged from the start in front of his parents and then-Rangers-pitching coordinator Rick Adair, his fastball/slider/change arsenal, getting drafted in the first round by his hometown team (the Rangers) and more.

Listen Here:  Blake Beavan Interview (after first pro start on 5.1.08)

The man Blake is starting in place of today, Mariners’ lefty Erik Bedard, is also the player acquired by Seattle in the deal that sent Butler to Baltimore (along with Adam Jones and others).  Butler, the top player ever drafted out of Oak Creek High School (my alma-mater)  is making his first Midwest League start since, ironically, defeating the LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field on August 31, 2007.  Hopefully his comeback path goes as successfully as Tom Wilhelmsen’s did in Clinton last year.

More on Butler, Romero and others in tonight’s Game Notes:  7.3.11 kingsnotes

The game begins at 6:30 PM, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rich Dorman (Vol. 3)

The LumberKings are 2-0 in the “show-and-go” after last night’s 5-3 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park.  Clinton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out double by Tim Morris (listen: Morris 2-R double 7.1.11) and raised the lead back to two in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Carlton Tanabe.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez dealt over 7.0 innings, limiting the Bandits to a run on four hits and turning in a highlight-reel-worthy 1-6-3 double play on a line drive back to the mound in the sixth inning (listen: Fernandez 1-6-3 DP 7.1.11).  The 3-1 lead wouldn’t last in the eighth as right-hander Keli’i Zablan loaded the bases and yielded a run on a wild pitch, but right-hander Tyler Burgoon gave up just one run in a bases-loaded no-out situation, keeping the game tied at 3-3.  In the ninth, the Kings went right back ahead as Kevin Rivers was hit by a pitch and scored on a Mickey Wiswall single to center (listen: Wiswall Go-Ahead RBI single 7.1.11).  Stefen Romero executed a safety squeeze bunt scoring Matt Browning in the ninth as well, and Burgoon worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to improve to 5-3.

With the outstanding outing from Fernandez, a seven-game losing streak snapped by George Mieses, the double-A promotion of James Paxton, the addition of left-hander Tony Butler and the three-win run by Burgoon, it’s high time to catch up with pitching coach Rich Dorman again.  Dor talks about those pitchers plus tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker on tonight’s pregame interview.

Listen Here:  Dorman Interview 7.2.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.2.11 kingsnotes

Walker and the Kings go looking for the sweep of the Bandits tonight, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Robbie Anston

The LumberKings recorded just their second “walk-off” win of the season yesterday afternoon, knocking off the Burlington Bees and winning the series with a 5-4 win at Alliant Energy Field.  Tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Ramirez singled to center and advanced to third on an Anthony Phillips sacrifice bunt and subsequent throwing error by Bees’ catcher Juan Nunez in an attempt to force out Ramirez at second base.  After falling behind 0-2 to right-hander Zack Thonrton, Robbie Anston (who replaced injured Julio Morban midway through the game, more on that below) singled up the middle past the drawn-in infield to score Ramirez (listen: Anston Walk-Off Single 6.26.11).

Anston’s hit made him my Espresso, Cigars & More Player of the Game yesterday, but a huge honorable mention has to go to Kalian Sams.  The Swinging Dutchman went 2-for-4 with a game-changing three-run homer (surprisingly the first three-run blast by a LumberKing this season) in the fourth inning (listen: Sams 3-R HR (#8) 6.26.11) and drove in a season-high four runs.  On the mound, left-hander Anthony Fernandez looked less than sharp with solo homers allowed to Nino Leyja and Tony Thompson, but he kept the game tied and so too did the relief combo of right-handers Jessie Nava and Tyler Burgoon.  As a result, the Kings are now 2-1 and tied for third in the West Division this half.

My interview guest tonight is Anston, Seattle’s 26th round pick in 2010 out of Boston College.  We talk about yesterday’s walk-off hit, his time at BC along with Mickey Wiswall, staying ready in a crowded outfield, his 2010 season in Everett and more.

Listen Here:  Anston Interview 6.27.11

Roster Move:  Back to Morban…he’s headed to the disabled list for the third time this season after coming out of the game yesterday.  No official word on what the issue is or what the timetable is for his return, but we do have his roster replacement.  The Mariners’ 15th round pick in 2011, outfielder Mike McGee comes to the club after hitting .556 with three triples and four RBI in two AZL games.  McGee was a standout in both the outfield and on the mound at Florida State University.

Read more about Anston, Sams, McGee and others in today’s Game Notes:  6.27.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Starting Lineups:  6.27.11 lineup

Right-hander Taijuan Walker, 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA over his last seven starts, gets the call in game one against the Beloit Snappers tonight.  He’ll go up against Masonville, IA native, right-hander B.J. Hermsen of the Snappers.  The game begins at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

2011 First Half Highlight Reel

James Paxton's All-Star-worthy performance (3-3, 2.70 ERA, 73 K in 50.0 IP) was one of the bright spots for Clinton in the first half.

Sometimes, first halves go by in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes, they drag on.  The 2011 first half falls somewhere in the in-between for me.  I’ve seen some impressive things so far out of these LumberKings (a red-hot week by Kalian Sams, the dominant outings of James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, the resurgence of Mickey Wiswall in June, the impressive range at short for Anthony Phillips, the emergence of Keli’i Zablan and Jonathan Arias out of the pen, etc.), yet also a lot of struggles as evidenced by a current 23-46 record.

But, as hitting coach Terry Pollreisz reminded me on our way into Elfstrom Stadium today, anything can happen in the second half.  Polls cited his 2002 San Antonio club that finished 25-45 and 17 games out of first place in the Texas League West Division in the first half.  That club (including for just six games a 21-year-old Eddie Menchaca) rebounded to win the division with a 43-27 second-half record and went on to win the Texas League title in seven games over Tulsa.  Something to keep in mind as we head to the second half of 2011 on Friday.

While looking forward here on the half’s last day, it’s also time to look back at some of the high points of the season so far (unfortunately last night’s game-winning homer by Matt Browning just missed the cut).  With that, I present the third-annual “First Half Highlight Reel”.

Listen Here:  2011 First Half Highlight Reel

Today’s Game Notes:  6.19.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (23-46):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Matt Browning/1B, Kevin Rivers/LF, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP.

Kane County Cougars (28-40):  Angel Franco/2B, Geulin Beltre/CF, Cheslor Cuthbert/3B, Brian Fletcher/LF, Brett Eibner/DH, Jake Kuebler/1B, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Jason Adam/RHP.

Happy Father’s Day as well to you regular readers.  After today’s 1 PM game at Kane County, I’ll be heading home to Oak Creek, Wisconsin to spend my All-Star Break with family.  I won’t be covering James Paxton’s All-Star appearance in the Quad Cities on Tuesday, but you can follow along at with the MiLB Gameday Feature on MiLB.com.

I’ll be back on Friday to start with a clean slate.  Can’t wait.

-DL

Saturday Notes (6/18)

Right-hander Taijuan Walker gave us another “no way this guy is 18 years old” start last night in Kane County as he tied a career high with 11 strikeouts over 7.0 innings in his fourth quality start of the year.  Walker gave up just a run on two hits in his second-longest start of the year, but that run — coming in the second inning on a two-out single by Orlando Calixte — proved to be the difference as the Cougars won, 1-0.  The LumberKings couldn’t sniff Kane County right-handers Leonel Santiago and Chas Byrne as they were shut out for the seventh time this season, the third time in the last nine games.  Santiago, by the way, is now 3-0 with a sub-1:00 ERA in three starts against Clinton this year.

No audio highlights or interview today, but rest assured I’m still working hard here on the road.  I’m currently editing audio for my third-annual “Highlights from the First Half” segment.  Despite a 22-46 record this half, believe me, there’s more than a few worthy highlight clips to choose from.  Keep an eye out for that post tomorrow.

Until then, tonight’s Game Notes:  6.18.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (22-46):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Matt Browning/3B, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Robbie Anston/LF, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Jandy Sena/RHP

Kane County Cougars (28-39):  Angel Franco/2B, Alex Llanos/RF, Cheslor Cuthbert/3B, Brian Fletcher/LF, Brett Eibner/CF, Ryan Stovall/1B, Jake Kuebler/DH, Yowill Espinal/SS, Juan Graterol/C, Yordano Ventura/RHP

The battle for little more than bragging rights continues tonight at Elfstrom Stadium, first pitch scheduled for 6:00 PM.  Join me for 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

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