Results tagged ‘ Taijuan Walker ’

Sunday Notes (6/12)

The second leg of this nine-game, three-opponent homestand comes to a close this afternoon as the LumberKings take on Bowling Green for game three of the three-game set.  The Hot Rods, needing another win last night to stay at least a half-game behind first-place Lansing in the East, got what they needed as Phil Wunderlich clubbed a two-run homer off right-hander Jandy Sena in the eighth to give thema 4-2 lead and ultimately the win by that count.

Steven Baron shined in the loss, doubling home Stefen Romero in the second inning off left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser and singling in Romero again in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2 (listen: Baron RBI single 6.11.11)  The Romero-Jabari Blash-Baron trio went a combined 6-for-11 with a double, two runs scored and two RBI while the rest of the lineup went 2-for-20.  Still, the Kings had a shot in the bottom of the ninth with Carlos Ramirez on and just one out against Hot Rods closer Chris Rearick, but pinch-hitter Matt Browning grounded into a game-ending double play as shortstop Derek Dietrich dove to make the stop and flipped to Hector Guevara from the ground for the 6-4-3 twin killing.

Clinton’s streak of three-straight series wins has stopped, but they’re still 7-4 against the East and will attempt to keep the Hot Rods from sweeping today.  18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker pitched just 3.0 innings with some minor back soreness his last time out against Dayton on 6/7 but is still riding a rotation-best 14.2-inning scoreless streak over his past three starts.  Walker puts his 2-2 record, 2.81 ERA on the line today as he faces Bowling Green for the first time.

More about Baron, Walker and others in today’s Game Notes:  6.12.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Bowling Green Hot Rods (35-28):  Cody Rogers/LF, Hector Guevara/DH, Phil Wunderlich/1B, Derek Dietrich/SS, Steve Tinoco/RF, Robby Price/3B, Kevin Kiermaier/CF, Luke Bailey/C, Robi Estrada/2B, Enny Romero/LHP

LumberKings (21-42):   Carlos Ramirez/2B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Tim Morris/DH, Stefen Romero/3B, Kevin Rivers/RF, Steven Baron/C, Jabari Blash/CF, Matt Browning/1B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

First pitch is at 2:00 PM, join me for the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Jandy Sena

The LumberKings carried over the road success in the opening game of a nine-game homestand last night, shutting out Dayton in a 1-0 win last night.  Right-hander Taijuan Walker lasted only 2.0 innings in his seventh start of the season as a result of a high early pitch count, but right-handers Jandy Sena and Jessie Nava picked him up, combining on 7.0 innings of one-hit baseball.  The lone run came in the second inning when Carlos Ramirez deliverd a two-out RBI single to left scoring Kevin Rivers (listen: Ramirez RBI single 6.7.11).

Tonight, I catch up with Sena, the Cuban-born and Miami-raised right-hander and former first-baseman at Marion Military Institute.  Sena was drafted by the Mariners in the 23rd round of last year’s draft and has already pitched as high as double-A Jackson this season.  He talks about last night’s outing in relief of Walker, his stint with the Generals, his pitches, going to MMI and more.

Listen Here:  Sena Interview 6.8.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.8.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Dayton Dragons (28-30):  Billy Hamilton/SS, Tucker Barnhart/C, Dominic D’Anna/D, Yorman Rodriguez/RF, Donald Lutz/1B, David Vidal/3B, Juan Duran/LF, Devin Lohman/2B, Jefry Sierra/CF, Josh Smith/RHP

LumberKings (20-39):  Robbie Anston/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, Jabari Blash/LF, Steven Baron/C, Jorge Agudelo/2B, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, George Mieses/RHP

19-year-old right-hander George Mieses looks to finally get on track after going 0-4 with an 8.69 ERA in his last six starts.  Join me for the broadcast beginning at 7:00 PM on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Friday Notes (5/27)

The LumberKings won just their third series all season and first in the month of May last night as right-hander Taijuan Walker and relievers Nate Reed and Jessie Nava combined for a six-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels last night.  Walker went 5.0 innings and allowed just two hits, improving to 2-2 on the season and 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last three starts.  Stefen Romero and Jabari Blash drove in Clinton’s runs with a single and double, respectively.

Listen to the RBI hits:  Romero RBI single 5.26.11  |  Blash RBI double 5.26.11

Tonight, it’s back home to start a four-game series against the slumping Beloit Snappers, losers of nine-straight.  Right-hander George Mieses will hope to revisit his last start against the Snappers (a 7.0-inning, two-hit, scoreless effort) as he attempts to snap a three-game losing streak (0-3, 10.80 during that span).

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.27.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Roster Move:  NONE!

Starting Lineups:

Beloit Snappers (21-26):  Jamaal Hawkins/2B, Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Nate Roberts/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/LF, Lance Ray/RF, Kyle Knudson/C, Andrew Leer/3B, Daniel Santana/SS, Manuel Soliman/RHP

LumberKings (13-35):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Stefen Romero/2B, Kevin Rivers/DH, Matt Browning/3B, Steven Baron/C, Jabari Blash/RF, Anthony Phillips/SS, Robbie Anston/LF, George Mieses/RHP

It’s a 6:30 start time tonight at Alliant Energy Field, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tuesday Notes (5/24)

The 10-game road trip shifts to Cedar Rapids for the always-fun commuter series against the Kernels.  It’s good to have a change of scenery as the LumberKings were just swept in Peoria and are 1-6 at O’Brien Field this season.

That record includes another loss last night, 9-4 at the hands of the Chiefs.  The Kings showed plenty of mid-game moxy in recovering from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead.  Kalian Sams belted a two-run homer completely over the batter’s eye (listen:  Sams 2-R HR (#2) 5.23.11), easily the deepest home run I’ve seen hit this season and ever at O’Brien Field.  My own unofficial estimate, given a 400-foot wall and batter’s eye of roughly a 30-foot height means Sams’ blast traveled at least 450 feet.  Kevin Rivers lifted a solo shot of his own to right-center to give the Kings a temporary 4-3 lead.

But that bullpen again, the one that has seen so many struggles on this trip, gave up six unanswered runs and the Chiefs won by a margin that didn’t really speak to the closeness of the game.  At this point, though, losses are losses.

This trip is still salvageable.  The LumberKings take on a Kernels’ club that is just 2-12 over their last 14 games, had an eight-game losing streak that included a no-hitter at the hands of Kane County and is hitting just .195 as a club over the last 10 games.  Clinton will roll out left-hander James Paxton (0-1, 2.42), right-handers Forrest Snow (1-6, 4.62) and Taijuan Walker (1-2, 5.19) on the series, all three due for some wins. 

It does look like rain will play a role in the series.  The Perfect Game Field tarp crew is assembling as we speak, and the forecast looks awful for tomorrow should this one get rained out tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.24.11 kingsnotes

Your LumberKings Roster Move of the day:  left-hander Jon Hesketh was officially placed on the DL yesterday after getting hit in the left hand by a Kyung-Min Na liner the previous game.  He’s now replaced by right-hander Jessie Nava, up from the Everett roster.  Shortstop Jake Schlander has switched spots with infielder Anthony Phillips, meaning Phillips is again a LumberKing while Schlander is back with High Desert.

First pitch is at 6:35 PM (maybe), listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL 

Tonight’s Interview: Taijuan Walker

The LumberKings counted on 18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker, making just his third professional start, to take on the role as stopper Sunday afternoon against Wisconsin.  A stopper he was, twirling a no-hitter through the first five frames and finishing with a career-high 11 strikeouts over 6.1 innings of one-run, two-hit baseball.   Of course, nine runs of support didn’t hurt Walker either as the LumberKings destroyed the Rattlers, 11-1.

Listen to Walker’s 10th K here:   Walker 10th Strikeout 5.15.11

The Mariners’ first-round pick in 2010 (43rd overall) showed flashes of promise in his first two outings thanks to a mid-90′s fastball, but it wasn’t until Sunday that we saw the curveball really start to work for Walker.  Should that 12-6 hook continue to improve, Walker will have more than a few more days like Sunday during this 2011 season.  Still, as you can tell in my pregame interview with Walker today, he’s modest about the outing and his first full season of professional baseball.

Walker discusses the outing, getting the unexpected call to Clinton from extended Spring Training, turning into a starter in his final season at Yucaipa High School, cutting ties with basketball after a promising career on the hard-wood and more.

Listen Here:  Walker Interview 5.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.17.11 kingsnotes

The notes attached do not reflect the roster move made today by the LumberKings, but right-hander Brandon Maurer has been promoted to high-A High Desert.  The Kings have received right-hander Keli’i Zablan from extended Spring Training.  Left-hander Edlando Seco is expected to start in place of Maurer tomorrow night against the Burlington Bees.

No starting lineups for you tonight, not because there aren’t any, but because I didn’t post any on Sunday and we won, 11-1.  How’s that for superstition?

Right-hander George Mieses and company take on the Bees at Community Field tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rich Dorman (Vol. 2)

Yes, the LumberKings went 0-3 on the homestand against the West’s first-place team, the Burlington Bees (including a 4-2 loss last night), but there’s no doubt the Clinton pitching staff is coming around.  As you’ll read in tonight’s Game Notes (posted below), the rotation is 3-4 with a 2.67 ERA over the last 11 games and the bullpen is 1-2 with a 1.64 ERA over the last four games. 

Right-hander Forrest Snow fell to 1-4 despite allowing four runs (one earned) over 6.0 innings last night.  Right-hander Brandon Maurer has an ERA of 0.69 over his last two starts.  Left-hander James Paxton made strides in his second start two games ago.  Right-hander Jandy Sena (no runs in two games, 4.0 IP) and left-hander Edlando Seco (no runs in two games, 6.0 IP) are helping the bullpen turn it around.  There’s signs of life amongst the Clinton arms.

Thus, it’s time to talk to pitching coach Rich Dorman again.  In the full-cut interview (a shorter version will air on the broadcast), Dorman talks about Snow, Maurer, George Mieses, Paxton, tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker, Sena, Seco and others.  Definitelya worthy listen as Dorman elaborates with great detail over nearly nine minutes.

Listen Here:  Dorman Interview 5.10.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.10.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (9-23):  Shaver Hansen/2B, Julio Morban/CF, Stefen Romero/3B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Browning/DH, Jake Schlander/SS, Jabari Blash/RF, Steven Baron/C, Robbie Anston/LF, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Quad Cities River Bandits (14-17):  Greg Garcia/SS, Starlin Rodriguez/2B, Oscar Taveras/RF, Cody Stanley/C, Jonathan Rodriguez/1B, Packy Elkins/3B, Chris Edmondson/LF, Romulo Ruiz/DH, Frederick Parejo/CF, Seth Blair/RHP

How will Walker and the rest of the staff fare in this three-game road series against 14-17 Quad Cities?  Hopefully it’s the continuation of the trend we’ve seen for the last 11 days.  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Friday Notes (5/6)

After an 8:00 alarm, a couple of blueberry muffins from the continental breakfast and an 8:45 bus ride to O’Brien Field I’m about set for day baseball here in Peoria.  The LumberKings and Chiefs close up a three-game series starting at 11:00 AM.

In case you missed it, Mariners’ 2010 first-round pick, right-hander Taijuan Walker made his first professional start in his LumberKings’ debut last night.  He looked rocky at the onset, giving up four runs on six hits over the first two innings, but found command of his fastball and curveball over his final two innings to finish with a respectable line.  Walker went 4.0 frames, allowed the four runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out five.  He also turned a fantastic 1-6-3 double play to get himself out of what could have been an even nastier first inning.

Left-hander Edlando Seco also pitched well, striking out five of the nine he faced over 3.0 scoreless innings (I took to calling the evening “Seco De Mayo” during the effort).  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon turned ina scoreless eighth.

Highlights:

You’ll notice no offensive highlights from last night.  The Kings did score once against left-hander Eric Jokisch as Stefen Romero doubled and scored on a single by Mickey Wiswall, but way too many offensive chances slipped through their grasp again as Clinton went 1-for-7 as a club with RISP.  The Chiefs aren’t exactly lighting it up offensively in this series either (with a combined 7 runs in 2 games), but they are now outscoring the LumberKings 38-7 over five meetings and are not surprisingly 5-0 as a result.

Today’s Game Notes:  5.6.11 kingsnotes

There’s not one element to single out right now about this 8-20 club, but if they’re going to avoid the sweep today, they’ll need a second-straight solid outing out of right-hander George Mieses and they’ll need to score him some runs.  Mieses went 5.0 innings and won up in Wisconsin his last time out, but even then received just two runs of support.  Should the Kings get to left-hander Austin Kirk early, I like their chances today.

Today’s Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (8-20):  Julio Morban/CF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Stefen Romero/LF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, George Mieses/RHP

Peoria Chiefs (14-13):  Matt Szczur/RF, Elliot Soto/2B, Rubi Silva/CF, Richard Jones/1B, Smaily Borges/DH, Sergio Burruel/C, Arismendy Alcantara/SS, D.J. Fitzgerald/LF, Anthony Giansanti/3B, Austin Kirk/LHP

First pitch is at 11:00 AM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Nathan Baliva

I’ve seen some crazy games over the past seasons here at O’Brien Field in Peoria, especially last season.  From Chiefs’ right-hander Nick Struck’s 4.0-inning rain-shortened no-hitter, to Matt Cerda’s walk-off grand slam, to Vinnie Catricala and Mario Martinez belting solo home runs to overcome a 9th inning deficit, to Clinton’s double-digit doubleheader sweep, to the Chiefs’ huge ninth-inning comeback, we saw a little of everything at this place in 2010.

Last night, a new chapter was written…and not in a good way for the Kings.  Peoria left-hander Cam Greathouse tossed 7.0 one-hit innings and received help from a triple play started by shortstop Elliot Soto in the seventh as the Chiefs blanked Clinton, 3-0 to start the series.  The lone hit in the game belonged to Tim Morris, who singled to right with one out in the sixth inning.  That was the only support for right-hander Forrest Snow, who fell to 1-3 despite his team-best third quality start.

Chatting with Peoria Chiefs’ voice Nathan Baliva following Struck’s no-no last year seemed to provide better luck for the Kings, so I renew that interview today with my broadcast counterpart.  We cover Greathouse’s performance last night, manager Casey Kopitzke’s second season at the helm of the Chiefs, tonight’s all-first-round mound matchup and more.

Listen Here:  Nathan Baliva Interview 5.5.11

There’s rain clouds brewing just outside Peoria that could put a serious damper on tonight’s game, but if they hold off, we’re in for one heck of a pitcher’s duel.  Right-hander Taijuan Walker, Seattle’s first-round pick (43rd overall) out of Yucaipa High School will make his first pro start and fifth appearance tonight for the LumberKings.  The Chiefs counter with Chicago Cubs’ first-round pick, right-hander Hayden Simpson.

Read more about Walker’s first start in tonight’s Game Notes:  5.5.11 kingsnotes 

Tonight’s Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (8-19):  Julio Morban/LF, Matt Cerione/CF, Tim Morris/D, Stefen Romero/2B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Peoria Chiefs (13-13):  Pierre LePage/2B, Elliot Soto/DH, Rubi Silva/CF, Richard Jones/1B, Micah Gibbs/C, Smaily Borges/RF, Arismendy Alcantara/SS, DJ Fitzgerald/LF, Anthony Giansanti/3B, Hayden Simpson/RHP

First pitch, as far as I know, is still scheduled for 6:30 PM.  You’ll want to be listening to this one, so tune me in online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 2)

For the second-straight game, the LumberKings’ offense stormed out to a 7-0 lead on Beloit.  Unlike Sunday, the offense kept rolling late and the bullpen survived meltdown as Clinton won by its largest margin of the season, 13-6 over the Snappers.  Ramon Morla (2-for-4) and Carlos Ramirez (3-for-3) each drove in three runs apiece and Jabari Blash went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI to lead the offense, all backing 5.0 scoreless innings from right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen.

With the offense finally starting to produce, the starting rotation coming back strong (3-0, 0.75 over the last four games) and the addition of two new arms to the roster — including one very high-profile right-hander that you’ve likely heard about already), it’s the perfect time to catch up with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca for the second time this season.

We talk about the offense including Morla and Ramirez, Julio Morban, Tim Morris and others, the additons of right-handers Taijuan Walker and Jandy Sena, Chaca’s “win the inning” philosophy and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 5.3.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.3.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Beloit Snappers (13-9):  Jamaal Hawkins/SS, Andrew Leer/3B, Nate Roberts/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/LF, Lance Ray/RF, Kyle Knudson/C, Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Derek McCallum/2B, Logan Darnell/LHP

LumberKings (8-17):  Julio Morban/LF, Carlos Ramirez/2B, Stefen Romero/DH, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Cerione/CF, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP

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

-DL

Kings Add First-Rounder Taijuan Walker

18-year-old right-hander joinsClintonfrom extended Spring Training, joined by right-hander Jandy Sena

Clinton, IA– The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the following transactions for the Clinton25-man roster today: right-handers Taijuan Walker and Jandy Sena have been added to the 25-man roster via extended Spring Training.  Right-hander Seon Gi Kim has been transferred to extended Spring Training, while right-handers Tyler Blandford and Matt Bischoff have been placed on the 7-day disabled list.

Walker, 18, was Seattle’s first-round selection (43rd overall) in the 2010 draft out of Yucaipa (CA) High School.  He began his pro career with the Peoria Mariners of the Arizona League last year, going 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA (1 ER in 7.0 IP) in four appearances.  The 6’4” Walker was named as the Mariners’ fourth-best prospect by Baseball America entering this season.

Sena, 21, was the 23rd round pick by the Mariners in 2010 out of Marion Military Institute.  He went 4-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 14 appearances, four starts between the AZL and short-A Everett last season.

Kim, 19, went 0-2 with a 4.74 ERA across four starts this year.  The South Korean-born right-hander allowed 10 runs over 19.0 innings, walked five and struck out 13.

Blandford, 23, went 0-1 with a 17.61 ERA in six relief appearances with the LumberKings this season.  Bischoff, 23, went 0-2 with one save and a 5.56 ERA over seven relief outings with Clinton.

Walker and Sena are expected to be in uniform for tonight’s game against the Beloit Snappers.  Neither have yet chosen uniform numbers. Walkeris slated to join the rotation and will pitch Thursday night at O’Brien Field inPeoria.  The moves give the LumberKings an active 24 players on the roster with four listed on the disabled list.

-DL

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