Results tagged ‘ Tony Butler ’

Sunday Notes (8/7)

The Kings dropped the opener of the four-game set in Burlington last night, 8-4 to the Bees.  Left-hander Tony Butler gave up four runs in the first to make a 1-0 lead short-lived, and the Bees added two more runs over the next two innings including a solo home run from Nino Leyja to take a 6-2 lead.  Julio Morban went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored to keep Clinton close, but Tyreace House added a two-run single off right-hander Ben Versnik in the bottom of the eighth to put the Bees back up by four.  Burlington right-hander Jonathan Joseph gave up three runs over 5.0 innings in the winning effort.

Beloit and Cedar Rapids both lost last night, so the LumberKings are still 3.0 games up on the Snappers, 4.0 games up on the Kernels for the second-half West Wild Card spot.  Kane County gained another game for the top playoff spot, meaning the Kings enter the day 4.0 games behind the Cougars.  T-minus 29 games remaining.

Today’s Game Notes:  8.7.11 kingsnotes

Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen returns to the club to make his second start, 17th appearance.  Kohlscheen is 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA in the Midwest League, but was successful in nine game, seven starts at Everett, going 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA.  His only win with Clinton is ironically in his only start, a 5.0-inning scoreless effort against Beloit on May 2.  We’ll see how the Auburn product fares in his return to the rotation today.  Burlington counters with right-hander Nate Long, who is 6-5, 3.27 on the season including 3-0, 2.31 in four outings against the Kings.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

Tonight’s Interview: Anthony Phillips (Vol. 2)

The LumberKings secured their first series split of the season last night in Wisconsin, scoring six runs over the first four innings and getting another impressive outing from right-hander Taijuan Walker in a 6-1 win over the Timber Rattlers.  John Hicks connected on his first-career home run in the second inning (listen: Hicks 2-R HR (First of Career) 8.5.11), Stefen Romero added his 14th blast in the fourth and Anthony Phillips provided a spark with a 3-for-4, tw0-run, three-steal game including a heist of home plate (listen:  Phillips Steals Home (3rd Steal of Inning) 8.5.11).  Walker allowed a run over 5.0 innings and struck out six for his fifth win, ending his night with an athletic play off the mound on an attempted squeeze bunt by T.J. Mittelstaedt (listen:  Walker Defends Squeeze Bunt 8.5.11).  Right-handers John Taylor and Jonathan Arias combined on eight strikeouts over the final 4.0 innings with Arias picking up his fifth save.

Tonight, I catch up with Phillips for the second time to talk about his career-high-tying three hits, three-steal second inning including the daring sprint to the dish, his defense behind Walker and more.

Listen Here:  Phillips Interview 8.6.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.6.11 kingsnotes

The eight-game road trip continues with the second leg beginning tonight as your LumberKings take on the Burlington Bees at Community Field.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-1, 2.41), pushed back from the Wisconsin series, starts tonight.  Last time Butler pitched here on August 26, 2007, he shut down then-Kansas City-affiliated Burlington to four hits in his first (and only) career complete-game shutout.  Butler is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in three outings against Oakland affiliates.  The Bees throw right-hander Jonathan Joseph (2-4, 6.52) tonight, he’s a career 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in one start against Clinton.

Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com beginning with the pregame show at 6:15 PM, first pitch at 6:30.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 7)

The six-game East Division swing wraps up tonight in West Michigan, and your LumberKings are again looking to avert a sweep after a close loss.  The Whitecaps scored five runs over the first two innings against a struggling Taijuan Walker and the Kings never fully recovered, scoring four times to keep it close but ultimately falling, 6-4.  John Hicks had a breakout offensive game, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI (listen: Hicks RBI double 7.24.11) and Kevin Rivers sealed his Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week award with a solo home run (listen:  Rivers Solo HR (#8) 7.24.11). 

For tonight’s pregame interview, I check in with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca.  We talk about the tough trip so far, Rivers’ offensive breakout, Hicks’ season-best performance, Walker’s setback outing, the promotion of Tim Morris and addition of Julio Morban off the DL, tonight’s starter Tony Butler and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 7.25.11

Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.25.11 kingsnotes

Butler (1-1, 2.61) starts against West Michigan for the second time in his career, first time since April 22, 2007 while he was with Wisconsin.  The Whitecaps counter with right-hander Kevin Eichhorn (7-3, 3.65).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM CT, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Going Green with Brad Seward

The LumberKings led 1-0 on a Carlos Ramirez solo home run heading into the seventh inning last night, but the bullpen combination of Edlando Seco, Tyler Burgoon and Jessie Nava surrendered three late runs as the Great Lakes Loons came back for a 3-1 win last night.  Left-hander Tony Butler had his most impressive start to date, striking out a career-high-tying nine batters while limiting the Loons to four hits over 6.0 scoreless innings, but Seco tied the game on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh and Burgoon allowed the game-winning run on a walk and two singles in the eighth.

Read more in tonight’s Game Notes:  7.15.11 kingsnotes

Tonight is not only the rubber match as Eddie Menchaca’s Kings look for their sixth series win in seven tries this half, it’s also “Going Green Night” at the ballpark sponsored by the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency and WQAD-TV.  Thus, it’s time for my yearly chat with Brad Seward, the Director of Operations and Education for the CCASWA and the veteran Public Address voice for the LumberKings.

Brad and I talk about the annual “Going Green” event, the expanded efforts by the LumberKings to recycle at Alliant Energy Field, the Enviro-Kids program and baseball topics such as the memorable 2010 season and this year’s second-half turnaround.

Listen Here:  Brad Seward Interview 7.15.11

Starting Lineup:  7.15.11 lineup

Left-hander Nate Reed, a winner in his first start of the year his last time out on July 9 at Beloit (5.0 IP, 3 ER), makes his second start and 16th appearance for the LumberKings in the series finale tonight against the Loons.  He’ll have a tough challenge as he tries to outduel Los Angeles’ Dodgers’ first-round pick, right-hander Zach Lee (5-3, 3.32).  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Matt Browning

Right-hander Taijuan Walker’s nine-inning complete game effort might have stolen the show last night, but the LumberKings also put together their third six-run inning (tying a season-high for most runs in one frame) in the last week, scoring six times in the third inning to beat Great Lakes, 6-2.  Mike McGee doubled home a run, Mickey Wiswall added an RBI double (listen:  Wiswall RBI double 7.13.11) and Stefen Romero launched a two-run homer (listen:  Romero 2-R HR (#9) 7.13.11), but it was Matt Browning’s clutch two-run single to center (listen:  Browning 2-R single 7.13.11) that actually produced the tying and game-winning runs.

And so, it’s time to chat with Browning for the first time.  Seattle’s 43rd round pick out of James Madison University enjoyed success in Pulaski last season (.330, 4 HR, 24 RBI in 34 games) and is making an impact both defensively and offensively as Clinton’s third baseman in 2011.  Browning is 3-for-8 with three RBI over his last two games, just over 10 days removed from being struck in the helmet by a pitch from Quad Cities’ right-hander Trevor Rosenthal.  He talks about last night’s performance, coming back quickly from the injury, his time at James Madison University, his hot start in Pulaski last season and more.

Listen Here:  Browning Interview 7.14.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.14.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  7.14.11 lineup

Left-hander Tony Butler, a career 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the Loons (both with Wisconsin in 2007), makes his third start for the LumberKings in game two tonight…he’s 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA over the first two outings.  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Tony Butler

Happy Independence Day!  The LumberKings freed themselves from a 2-2 tie in the top of the 10th last night in Peoria as Mike McGee ripped a one-out double into the left-field corner, moved to third on a single by Carlos Ramirez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mickey Wiswall.  Right-hander Jonathan Arias struck out six over the last 3.0 innings including two in the bottom of the 10th, securing his third win and giving the Kings a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Chiefs.

The “Cardiac Kings” have won five of their six games this second half in the last at-bat, with Wiswall now providing the game-winning RBI in the last two of them.  Wiswall also drove in Kevin Rivers for the deciding run in Clinton’s 5-3 win at Quad Cities on Friday night.

In addition to the big nights for McGee (2-for-5, five-game hitting streak), Wiswall (1-for-4, 7-game hitting streak) and Arias (3-0, 2.16 ERA since May), the LumberKings also received a solid start from a familiar name to Mariners’ fans.  Left-hander Tony Butler, making his first Midwest League start since August 31, 2007, turned in 5.1 innings of two-run, four-hit baseball in a no-decision.  Despite walking five, Butler fanned three (listen:  Butler Strikes Out Rohan 7.3.11) and did not allow an extra-base hit.

Seattle’s third-round pick in 2006 out of Oak Creek High School (WI), Butler has taken quite a journey already through six seasons in Minor League Baseball.  As you’ve likely already read, he went from a top prospect in the Mariners’ system (#4 rated by Baseball America back in 2007) to injury-plagued in Baltimore following the Erik Bedard trade, then was released by the O’s, signed by Milwaukee and released again.  This past Super Bowl Sunday, Butler made the decision to stick with his dream of playing professional baseball, moved to Arizona, worked out to get back into baseball shape and secured a tryout with the Mariners.  Now at age 23, he’s using the lessons learned from the ups and downs to make his way back.

Butler talks about his return to the organization that drafted him, last night’s start against the Chiefs, pitching in short-A Everett for the first time since ’06, comparisons to right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen’s 2010 comeback  and plenty more.  It’s an all-OCHS interview that will likely make my old TV teacher Mr. Stock smile.

Listen Here:  Butler Interview 7.4.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.4.11 kingsnotes

An excerpt from tonight’s notes to keep in mind on this Independence Day:

The LumberKings are 4-0 on July 4th dating back to 2007, including 3-0 on the road.  Clinton erased a 3-1 deficit with a four-run ninth inning last year at O’Brien Field in Peoria as Mario Martinez laced a bases-loaded two-run double off Chiefs’ reliever Frank Batista and Brandon Bantz (sac fly) and Daniel Carroll (RBI single) added runs against Yohan Gonzalez…right-hander Daniel Cooper (W, 3-2) got the win and closer Brandon Josselyn (S, 10) the save.  In 2009, the Kings hosted Kane County at Alliant Energy Field and won 5-0 behind 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings from right-hander Aaron Pribanic (W, 7-4)…Blake Ochoa had a three-run double, finishing 1-for-4.  Clinton won in 2008 at Beloit behind 7.0 scoreless, three-hit innings from right-hander Blake Beavan (W, 5-5) and RBI from Mitch Moreland (2-for-3, RBI #49) and Miguel Alfonzo (solo HR, his third of the season).  The 2007 season started the trend as right-hander Kasey Kiker (W, 3-2) handcuffed the Swing of the Quad Cities with 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings and seven strikeouts.  Craig Gentry powered the road win, going 2-for-4 with a solo HR (his third of the season).  Chad Tracy, Marcus Lemon and Mauro Gomez each had an RBI.

Can right-hander Jandy Sena (4-4, 4.75) bounce back from his 10-run (6 ER) outing against Beloit and secure a fifth-straight July 4th victory for the Kings?  We’ll find out tonight starting with the first pitch at 6:00 PM, 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

Paxton Jumps to Jackson, Kings Receive Butler

All-Star left-hander James Paxton sent to double-A Jackson as Futures Game nears

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the following transactions to the Clinton 25-man roster, effective today: left-hander James Paxton has been promoted to double-A Jackson and is replaced by left-hander Tony Butler, called up from short-A Everett.

Paxton, 22, dominated the Midwest League for 10 starts with Clinton, his first stint in affiliated baseball after the Mariners chose him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of the independent American Association. The Ladner, BC, Canada native went 3-3 with a 2.73 ERA (17 ER in 56.0 IP), struck out 80 while walking 30 and limiting opponents to a .225 average. Paxton struck out 10-plus batters on a team-best three separate occasions, including a 13-strikeout game against Quad Cities on June 16 leading up to the Midwest League All-Star Game.

Paxton was Clinton’s lone All-Star representative at the June 21 game at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport, IA. He struck out West Michigan’s Hernan Perez and South Bend’s Ender Inciarte over a scoreless third inning of relief in the West Division’s 8-3 victory. Shortly afterwards, he was named to the World squad for the 2011 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game, taking place at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ on Sunday, July 10. He was set to be just the second active LumberKing to appear in the prospect showcase, joining third-baseman John Whittleman who went 1-for-1 with a home run in the 2007 game in San Francisco.

 Butler, 24, arrives in Clinton after a three-start stint at short-A Everett where he went 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA (4 ER in 14.0 IP). He walked seven, struck out 18 and limited Northwest League opponents to a .196 average while with the AquaSox.

The 6’7” left-handed Butler was originally drafted by the Mariners in the third round of the 2006 June draft. He went 4-7 with a 4.75 ERA with Wisconsin of the Midwest League in 2007 and was included in the trade with Baltimore that brought in left-hander Erik Bedard. After an injury-plagued three seasons in the Orioles system in which he combined to go 4-9 with a 5.91 ERA, Baltimore released Butler in 2010 and he was signed by Milwaukee. He went 1-1 with an 8.62 ERA in three stops within the Brewers’ chain including another trip back to Wisconsin. Following a release by Milwaukee last year, Butler worked out for the Mariners this spring and was signed as a free agent.

Butler attended the same high school as LumberKings’ broadcaster Dave Lezotte, Oak Creek High School in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

With the move, the active Clinton roster stands at 24 players with two on the disabled list. Butler is expected to join the LumberKings (4-3, 28-49) as they take on the Quad Cities River Bandits (3-4, 43-33) tonight at Modern Woodmen Park, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM. Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Everett Roster Announced, Mariners Sign 21 Picks

News from elsewhere in the Mariners’ system today that will likely have an impact on the Clinton roster in the near future…

The defending Northwest League Champion Everett AquaSox announced their 2011 Opening Night Roster today, and it features two former LumberKings on the roster and one on the bench.  Manager Scott Steinmann’s (’09) crew includes infielders Jetsy Extrano (’09) and Marcus Littlewood (’11).  No sign of Ramon Morla (’11).

Interestingly enough, former Wisconsin Timber Rattler and Oak Creek (WI) High School product, left-hander Tony Butler is back in the Seattle system and with the AquaSox.  This is of course notable for Mariners fans that the 6’7″ Butler, a third-round pick in 2006 who was later dealt to Baltimore as part of the Erik Bedard deal, released by the Orioles, signed and released by the Milwaukee Brewers after a second brief stint with the Rattlers (he faced the LumberKings on 7/31/10 and gave up a three-run HR to Blake Ochoa) and signed again by the Mariners, has come full circle.  It’s notable for me, because I too am a graduate of Oak Creek High (class of ’01).  If only Butler and the West Allis, WI born right-hander Ben Versnik could make their way to the Clinton bullpen, it’d be a regular southeast Wisconsin reunion.

The Mariners also announced the signing of 21 picks from the recently-completed first-year player draft.  From the official press release:

“The Seattle Mariners Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara announced today that the club has signed 21 players from the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, including infielder Daniel Paolini (10th), left-handed pitcher Cameron Hobson (11th), catcher Michael Dowd (12th), outfielder Jamal Austin (13th), right-handed pitcher Cody Weiss (14th), outfielder Nate Melendres (17th), infielder Dillon Hazlett (20th), right-handed pitcher Joe DiRocco (21st), infielder Kenneth Straus (26th), right-handed pitcher David Colvin (34th), right-handed pitcher Brett Shankin (28th), left-handed pitcher Kyle Hunter (31st), right-handed pitcher Alex Sunderland (38th), infielders Chris Andreas (39th), right-handed pitcher Trevor Miller (40th), right-handed pitcher Robert Shore (41st) catcher David Villasuso (42nd), right-handed pitcher Marcos Reyna (43rd), infielder Josh Corrales (44th), outfielder Charles Jimenez (45th) and right-handed pitcher Max Krakowiak (48th).”

Pulaski’s roster should also be announced soon, as the Appy League season starts June 21st.  I’ll post something about that as soon as I see it.

-DL

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