Tagged: Mitch Haniger
BREAKING TRADE NEWS: Brewers Send Prospects Haniger, Banda to Diamondbacks
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a pair of minor-league prospects; outfielder Mitch Haniger and left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda.
Parra is expected to join the team tomorrow in St. Louis.
The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin. “The addition of Parra gives us a veteran player who helps to balance our lineup and also brings Gold Glove defense,” said Melvin. Parra, 27, is batting .259 with 6 HR and 30 RBI in 104 games this season. He has made 98 starts (96g in RF, 2g in CF).
Signing as a non-drafted free agent on 8/30/04, Parra had spent his entire professional career in the Diamondbacks organization. He is a career .274 hitter with 39 HR and 250 RBI in 787 Major League games (2009-14). Known for his exceptional defense, Parra has won National League Gold Glove Awards in left field (2011) and right field (2013). Entering today, his 62 outfield assists since 2009 were tied for second (with two others) in the Major Leagues, trailing only the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista (63).
To make room for Parra on the 25-man roster, outfielder Logan Schafer will be optioned to Triple-A Nashville. To make room on the 40-man roster, pitcher Tyler Thornburg was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Haniger, 24, was selected by the Brewers in the supplemental first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .255 with 10 HR and 34 RBI in 67 games at Double-A Huntsville this season.
Banda, 20, was selected by the Brewers in the 10th round of the 2012 draft. He was 6-6 with a 3.66 ERA and 2 saves in 20 games (14 starts) at Class-A Wisconsin this season.
2014 Opening Day Affiliates Rosters
Opening Day is here for the minor leagues!
What follows are the announced rosters for each of the full-season minor-league affiliates for the Milwaukee Brewers, broken down by position group.
Class-AAA Affiliate (Twitter: @nashvillesounds)
Manager: Rick Sweet
28 Total Players
- Michael Blazek (Twitter: @MichaelBlazek34)
- Hiram Burgos (Twitter: @Burgos196)
- Jose De La Torre
- Mike Fiers (Twitter: @Fiers64)
- Alfredo Figaro
- Donovan Hand (@DonovanHand)
- Kyle Heckathorn (@KyleHeckathorn)
- Johnny Hellweg
- Brad Mills
- Dustin Molleken
- Jimmy Nelson (@Jimmy_J_Nelson)
- Ariel Peña
- Rob Wooten (@RobWooten35)
- Robinzon Diaz
- Lucas May (@LukedogKC)
- Matt Pagnozzi (@MattPagnozzi)
- Irving Falu (@irvingfalu)
- Hector Gomez
- Taylor Green
- Sean Halton (@SeanHalton11)
- Elian Herrera
- Hunter Morris (@HunterMorris15)
- Pete Orr
- Stephen Parker
- Eugenio Velez
- Caleb Gindl
- Jeremy Hermida
- Kevin Mattison (@stachemaster4)
Class-AA Affiliate (Twitter: @HuntsvilleStars)
Manager: Carlos Subero
28 Total Players
- Tyler Cravy (@TylerJayCravy)
- Drew Gagnon (@Dgags24)
- David Goforth (@DavidGoforth7)
- Brooks Hall
- Greg Holle (@GHolle44)
- Taylor Jungmann
- Brent Leach (@brentle24)
- Arcenio Leon
- Johnnie Lowe (@jlowe390)
- Eric Marzec (@MarzMLB)
- Casey Medlen (@cmeds13)
- Andy Moye (@AMoye22)
- Kevin Shackelford (@Shackeldaddy)
- Brent Suter (@bruter24)
- Joey Paciorek
- Adam Weisenburger (@aweisenburger)
- Shawn Zarraga
- Greg Hopkins (@StJonnyHopkins)
- Josh Prince (@JoshPrince17)
- Nick Ramirez (@N_Ramirez33)
- Jason Rogers (@jasonrogers2003)
- Nick Shaw (@NShaw3)
- Hainley Statia (@HStatia4)
- Shea Vucinich
- Kentrail Davis
- Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19)
- Brock Kjeldgaard
- D’Vontrey Richardson
Class-A Advanced Affiliate (Twitter: @BCManatees)
Manager: Joe Ayrault
26 Total Players
- Jacob Barnes (@j_barnes30)
- Jed Bradley (@Jed_Bradley)
- Hobbs Johnson (@hojo31)
- Jorge Lopez (@yabiee18)
- Damien Magnifico (@D_Magno32)
- Stephen Peterson (@SPetey22)
- Chad Pierce (@pierce_chad)
- Tanner Poppe (@TannerPoppe)
- Austin Ross
- Michael Strong (@Strong_Mike1188)
- Tommy Toledo (@TommyToledo13)
- Martin Viramontes (@martilious19)
- Tyler Wagner (@_TylerWagner_)
- Parker Berberet (@Parkcity16)
- Cameron Garfield (@CAMgGARFIELD)
- Orlando Arcia
- Garrett Cooper (@CoopaLoop1)
- Michael Garza (@Miguelito_G_21)
- Brandon Macias (@Cias12)
- Nathan Orf (@NateOrf4)
- Yadiel Rivera (@YADIELRIVERA13)
- Alfredo Rodriguez (@Arodss2)
- Jose Sermo (@j_weesy21)
- Michael Reed (@MReed1119)
- Victor Roache (@_Heavy28Hitter_)
- Tyrone Taylor (@Ty_roneTaylor)
Class-A Affiliate (Twitter: @TimberRattlers)
Manager: Matt Erickson
27 Total Players
- Tyler Alexander (@LilLefty12)
- Tristan Archer (@TRISTAN_archer)
- Barrett Astin (@BarrettAstin17)
- Victor Diaz
- Rodolfo Fernandez (@cuba900321)
- Preston Gainey (@friendpresto)
- Tyler Linehan (@tylinny39)
- Harvey Martin (@Martin_Time15)
- Zach Quintana (@Slummdog)
- Chris Razo (@RazBerry02)
- Trevor Seidenberger (@trev15berger)
- Tyler Spurlin (@TyroneG4)
- Taylor Williams (@TWilly_KSU)
- Clint Coulter (@ccoulter12)
- Paul Eshleman (@EshPaul)
- Rafael Neda (@rafaelneda88)
- Francisco Castillo
- David Denson (@_DavidD_41)
- Steven Halcomb
- Chris McFarland (@cmcfarland116)
- Angel Ortega
- Taylor Smith-Brennan (@TaylorBrennan88)
- Johnny Davis
- Omar Garcia
- Jose Peña
- Michael Ratterree (@MRat_Ocho)
- Lance Roenicke* (@LTRoenicke)
Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers ’14 – Bonus Column!
Despite my pleas for expediency, the Milwaukee Brewers just announced their jersey number updates for 2014 on Wednesday, January 22nd. That’s 66 days away from Opening Day already.
Veteran readers know how this works. As we count down to Opening Day for the Milwaukee Brewers, I preview a different player on certain days along the way. Those days are determined by the jersey number that the player will be wearing while in big league camp.
The reason for this bonus article is that, as mentioned above, a lot of players were announced after the day on which they would have otherwise had their individual article written and posted.
These won’t be in-depth profiles of these players but I wanted to make sure you knew a little something about them before camp opens and you see their names popping up in box scores.
#77 – David Goforth
David P. Goforth was a 7th round draft pick out of the University of Mississippi back in 2011. He’s a full-term college guy and enters 2014 as a 25-year-old who has seen time at four different levels of the minor leagues. He has started more than he has relieved, but that was by design in part so he could develop his pitching arsenal. It was finally at Double-A Huntsville this past season when he began he transition to the bullpen. The Brewers had him targeted for that move anyway, and it should definitely assist him in his possible ascent to the MLB roster.
Goforth’s statistical measurements have shown that the move looks like a wise one. His K/9, HR/9, H/9, WHIP, and more have taken moves in a positive direction as Goforth has performed in shorter outings. Goforth has increased his profile through his production and he’s earned this NRI designation heading to camp in 2014. He won’t break camp with the Brewers, not that anyone is expecting him to, but the experience will be valuable as he could very well start the regular season as Nashville’s closer.
#76 – Kevin Mattison
For the purposes of Spring Training, Triple-A phase Rule V Draft Pick Kevin Robert Mattison will be just a “camp body” insofar as he doesn’t have any non-catastrophic injuries chance of making the 25-man roster. That shouldn’t lend itself to your disliking the acquisition of Mattison by Brewers GM Doug Melvin back at the end of the Winter Meetings.
Mattison, 6’1″, 195lbs, is already 28 years old and has a total of five big league plate appearances (all in 2012 for Miami) and last year for the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs he only hit .216/.293/.662 but he wasn’t grabbed for his offensive potential anyway. Mattison is a veteran of 606 minor league games over six season, including 563 in centerfield and 21 each in the corner spots. Basically, he’ll be the new Logan Schafer for Nashville in 2014 and someone who could hold his own defensively at the MLB level in a pinch.
#75 – Mitch Haniger
Friend of Brewer Nation, outfielder Mitch Haniger has had his share of publicity around these parts. He’s definitely turning heads on the field as well. Signed as a college junior in 2012, Haniger was taken with the 38th overall pick. He signed and hit the field, being assigned directly to the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers but an injury cost him some games in 2012. As a result, Haniger began 2013 again in Wisconsin. After 41 games of very strong offensive production, Haniger made the jump up to Class-A Advanced.
As a Manatee, Haniger’s numbers took an mostly expected dip. After all, the Florida Gulf Coast League is notoriously difficult for hitters. Still, given his numbers to begin the year and his continued gains in development throughout 2013, the Brewers tapped the prospect as their “preferred” designee to the Arizona Fall League. While there, Haniger rebounded as one would expect. He posted .280/.354/.480 in 100 at-bats over 25 games.
Haniger does profile defensively as more of a corner outfielder, so his ability to reach the Majors will likely hinge on how much more his bat advances over the course of the next couple of seasons.
Suffice it to say, the Brewers are confident in the current trend.
#74 – Michael Olmsted
Back in big league camp again this year, Michael Olmsted was the last player “cut” in 2013 as the Brewers opted to bring Alfredo Figaro north as the long reliever. The reasons Olmsted was acquired last off-season are chronicled on last year’s post so I won’t rehash them, but his 2013 campaign wasn’t ultimately what either side hoped for.
Olmsted made 49 appearances at Class-AAA Nashville. Across 52.1 innings pitched, he allowed 39 earned runs and posted a 1.796 WHIP. He did strike out 52 hitters and allowed only six home runs but he walked 40 on top of the 54 hits he allowed. All told, his 6.71 ERA got him demoted finally in mid-August. He finished the year at Class-AA Huntsville.
To his credit, his small sample size as a Star was a very strong one. That, with his natural ability and potential, has garnered him an encore appearance on the big league fields.
Olmsted was outrighted off of the 40-man roster this off-season though. Add in the other options and a Rule V pick and making the 25-man roster this spring will prove harder than last year.
#73 – Kentrail Davis
Speaking of players on a second consecutive go ’round, Kentrail Latron Davis is back to fill some outfield innings for Ron Roenicke early on in Cactus League play.
Davis is 5’9″ tall and weighs 200 pounds, but just continues to swing the bat as he’s moved up the organizational ladder. He hits left-handed and enters 2014 as a 25-year-old fringe prospect.
After beginning the 2013 season in the Huntsville Stars’ outfield, Davis hit well enough (.266/.372/.405 over 88 games) to get promoted to Class-AAA Nashville on July 11th. You may recognize that day as the one where Khris Davis was promoted to the big leagues for the balance of last year. That left an open spot in Nashville’s outfield and Kentrail Davis got the call.
With Nashville, Kentrail post a slash line of .270/.353/.367 and his rates took a hit as he began to adjust to the increased level of competition.
The outlook for 2014 is starting in Nashville and being available should the need arise. He’ll obviously continue to develop his game as well, but he could be the next Caleb Gindl in terms of waiting for his shot with Milwaukee.
#72 – Cameron Garfield
Look, here’s the deal with non-roster invites for catchers. Early on in camp, every team needs a lot of catchers. There is a plethora of pitchers throwing and they need guys to receive those throws. However, unlike some, Cameron Garfield is not simply “organizational catcher guy” coming to big league camp for a couple of weeks.
On the contrary, Garfield (6’1″, 195lb) is just 22 years old and appears poised to take a big developmental step after staying mostly healthy in 2013. He played in 109 games, all for Class-A Advanced Brevard County. As noted above under the Mitch Haniger mini-profile, the GCL is awful to hitters and Garfield’s posted .250/.280/.379 should improve a bit as he gains more experience and possibly moves up a level.
Garfield has long been a higher profile prospect. That will happen when you’re a second round draft pick. He’s a name to know eventually though as he still projects for a major league career down the road.
#71 – Adam Weisenburger
Speaking of catchers, Adam Robert Weisenburger also is above the line of “just another receiver”. Weisenburger was listed as the Brewers’ best defensive catcher in the system entering 2013. If he is to reach the majors one day, it’ll be as a defensive-minded backup, but for a 34th round draft pick, that’s not a bad place to end up.
As for camp, he’ll share time with Garfield, Robinzon Diaz, and Matt Pagnozzi. Unlike last year, however, Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado won’t be leaving camp for the World Baseball Classic so he may end up seeing less game time in the end.
#70 – Dustin Molleken
Dustin Scott Molleken is a 6’4″, 230 lb right-handed pitcher. He’s 29 years old and spent parts of the last two seasons pitching for the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japanese Pacific League before returning stateside to finish last year with the Nashville Sounds.
Nashville got 14.1 innings and a 3.14 ERA out of Molleken in 10 games, even picking up a Save along the way.
This is the first chance that the big league staff will have to look at him, so while he won’t make the team out of Spring Training he certainly has plenty of incentive to perform well.
#67 – Eugenio Velez
Finally, to the man who should have received a full write-up on January 23 before my time was consumed with all things Matt Garza this morning and getting all of these mini-previews written up this evening, around my other real life commitments.
Eugenio (eh-u-HEN-ee-oh) Velez was signed to a minor league deal by the Brewers in late July of last year after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays. Velez is now 31 years old and comes to big league camp by way of an official invite as part of his new contract with Milwaukee.
Velez had hit .270/.372/.437 for the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto’s AAA affiliate) before his release, but he got to Nashville and was red hot. He posted a .377/.437/.523 and scored 23 runs in just 38 games. He stole bases at a 75% clip for Nashville, which was a slight drop from his 80.8% rate in Buffalo.
Still, after being touted as simple “organizational depth” when signed last year, Velez certainly did enough to earn himself the camp invite this year. He’s not exactly a player oozing with potential anymore, but in a pinch he could fill a void as a backup utility man.
And “utility” is certainly applicable. Listed as an outfielder on Milwaukee’s depth chart, Velez has seen time defensively at every position except for catcher and first base during his 11 minor league seasons. Velez has 520 games in the infield (with 336 of those at second base) and 311 games in the outfield (of which 117 are in centerfield).
Again, barring a slew of injuries, he won’t break camp with Milwaukee but as a potential short-term fill in during the 2014 regular season, he could have value.
You can follow many of the players profiled in this article on Twitter.
- David Goforth: @DavidGoforth7
- Kevin Mattison: @stachemaster4
- Mitch Haniger: @M_Hanny19
- Michael Olmsted: @mikeolmsted52
- Cameron Garfield: @CAMgGARFIELD
- Adam Weisenburger: @aweisenburger
So there you have it. We’re caught up to current with #66 Robinzon Diaz on tap by himself for Friday, January 24th.
Brewers Finally Announce 2014 Jersey Numbers
Earlier today, the Brewers finally announced the jersey numbers that the players coming to big league camp will be wearing whilst at Maryvale.
The majority of the players who saw time at the MLB level in 2013 have not changed numbers, though two did. One coach gave up his number for a player. And of course the newest acquisitions and non-roster invitees all need number assignments as well.
Here are all the changes. (Keep in mind that my uniform number repository only counts players wearing a specific number while on the big league roster. I’ll update those pages after camp breaks.)
New Players on 40-Man Roster:
- #50 – Jose De La Torre
- #63 – Brooks Hall
- #60 – Kevin Shackelford
- #13 – Will Smith
- #51 – Wei-Chung Wang
- #25 – Hunter Morris
- #61 – Jason Rogers
- #3 – Elian Herrera
Players on 40-Man Roster Last Year With New Numbers:
- #30 – Tyler Thornburg (switched from #63)
- #38 – Wily Peralta (switched from #60)
- #58 – Ariel Pena (switched from #73)
Both New Non-Roster Invitees (Players on MiLB contracts invited to big league camp) and Repeat Invitees w/New Numbers:
- #59 – Zach Duke
- #77 – David Goforth
- #70 – Dustin Molleken
- #66 – Robinzon Diaz
- #72 – Cameron Garfield
- #68 – Matt Pagnozzi
- #71 – Adam Weisenburger (switched from #91)
- #65 – Irving Falu
- #24 – Lyle Overbay
- #7 – Mark Reynolds
- #67 – Eugenio Velez
- #73 – Kentrail Davis (switched from #93)
- #75 – Mitch Haniger
- #76 – Kevin Mattison
Brewer Nation Interview Series: Mitch Haniger
As you all know, I like to interview players shortly after they’re drafted in an effort to help the fan base get to know them as well and learning more about them than just the numbers from college or high school say or what’s in a scouting report. I interviewed the Brewers’ 2013 11th round draft pick Andy Hillis back in June this year, for example.
I also like to follow up with the players every now and then, and that’s what I had the pleasure of doing yesterday with 2012 1st Round draft pick Mitch Haniger.
(If you missed my original interview with Haniger in 2012, you can find a link to it here.)
In the conversation we talk about his 2013 season which was split between Class-A Wisconsin and Class-A Advanced Brevard County, his being selected as the Brewers priority exception to the 2013 edition of the Arizona Fall League, and what his off-season plans are.
Please take a listen, learn a little bit more about an up and coming outfield prospect in the Brewers system, and get to know Mitch Haniger a bit better.
Thanks again to Mitch for his time. Be sure to follow him on Twitter: @M_Hanny19
Brewers Arizona Fall League Participants Announced
Each year, for quite some time now, prospects from every MLB organization come together to form six teams which compete over the course of about 5.5 weeks in the Arizona Fall League.
This year the AFL runs from October 8 through the league championship game on November 16. The annual All-Star Game, appropriately dubbed the “Fall Stars Game” will be held on November 2.
Brewers prospects will be a part of a new team this year. After a few years as a part of the Peoria Javelinas and competing last year with the Phoenix Desert Dogs, Milwaukee’s contributions to roster composition will play their home games at Surprise Stadium as members of the Surprise Saguaros.
(For the record, a “Saguaro” is a large, tree-sized cactus which can grow to 66 feet in height and whose branches are shaped like candelabra.)
Brewers prospects will join prospects from the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox.
The Brewers will be sending six players (and one Athletic Trainer, Steve Patera) to Surprise this fall. Here are the participants, broken down by position:
- David Goforth – RHP – Twitter: @DavidGoforth7 – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2013: Double-A)
- Taylor Jungmann – RHP – (Double-A)
- Kevin Shackelford – RHP – Twitter: @Shackeldaddy (Double-A)
- Jason Rogers – 1B – Twitter: @jasonrogers2003 – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2013: Double-A)
- Mitch Haniger – Twitter: @M_Hanny19 – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2013: Class A-Advanced)
- Adam Weisenburger – Twitter: @aweisenburger – (Highest Minor League level played at in 2013: Double-A)
Official Release: Brewers On Deck To Feature Over 50 Players, Coaches
Thirty-two current Milwaukee Brewers players from the 40-man roster plus a host of alumni, Minor League prospects, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, which is set to take place Sunday, January 27 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Delta Center. The event is presented by Time Warner Cable.
Brewers On Deck is the annual Fan Fest that bridges the gap between winter and Spring Training. Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include the following (all subject to change):
- John Axford (@JohnAxford)
- Burke Badenhop
- Jeff Bianchi
- Ryan Braun
- Nick Bucci (@nickbooch)
- Hiram Burgos (@Burgos196)
- Khris Davis
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers (@Fiers64)
- Yovani Gallardo
- Mat Gamel
- Scooter Gennett (@Scooterg11)
- Caleb Gindl
- Carlos Gomez (@C_Gomez27)
- Michael Gonzalez
- Tom Gorzelanny (@TGorz)
- Taylor Green
- Corey Hart
- Johnny Hellweg
- Jim Henderson (@JimHenderson29)
- Brandon Kintzler
- Jonathan Lucroy (@JLucroy20)
- Martin Maldonano (@Machete1224)
- Chris Narveson (@sleep_trick)
- Michael Olmsted
- Wily Peralta
- Josh Prince (@JoshPrince17)
- Mark Rogers
- Logan Schafer (@LoganS22)
- Josh Stinson (@JStinny19)
- Tyler Thornburg (@TylerThornburg)
- Rickie Weeks
- Ron Roenicke
- Joe Crawford
- Marcus Hanel (@Markoos55)
- Garth Iorg
- Rick Kranitz
- Jerry Narron
- Johnny Narron
- Ed Sedar
- John Shelby
- Lee Tunnell
- Clint Coulter (@ccoulter12)
- Kentrail Davis
- Drew Gagnon (@Dgags24)
- Mitch Haniger (@M_Hanny19)
- Taylor Jungmann
- Hunter Morris (@HunterMorris15)
- Jimmy Nelson (@Jimmy_J_Nelson)
- Victor Roache (@_Heavy28Hitter_)
- Matt Erickson (Mgr.)
- Jerry Augustine (@jaugie46)
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
- Gorman Thomas
- Bob Uecker
Tickets for Brewers On Deck are currently on sale. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for children ages 14 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Miller Park ticket office, by calling the Brewers Ticket office at 414-902-4000, or online at Brewers.com/ondeck. On the day of the event, only cash will be accepted for purchases made at the door. Tickets the day of the event are $20 for adults and $15 for children 14 and under.
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players and coaches, interactive games in the Kids Area, Q&A sessions and game shows with coaches, players and staff, vendor booths with baseball memorabilia, the Brewers Community Foundation Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
The same system for autographs will be used for Brewers On Deck that was used last year. Recipients of any “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced at a later date) will be chosen through a random selection process. Numbered coupons to be entered into the random selection process will be available the day of the event only and will be distributed beginning at 8 a.m. at the Delta Center. Coupon distribution will be available up to an hour before each designated autograph session. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted later this month.
Fans can receive one coupon per event admission ticket and can use that coupon to enter the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding coupons that are chosen must pay $25 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the PREMIER autograph sessions.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information regarding the lottery process, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
All autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
Timber Rattlers Report – Friday, June 29, 2012
Outside of a terrible third inning which saw the best-fielding infield in the Midwest League post four errors and allow four earned runs (six total in the frame), the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers played a pretty good game Friday evening.
It was a departure of sorts from my usual coverage of the Milwaukee Brewers, but the opportunity arose to actually report on the game up in Appleton, WI Friday night between the Timber Rattlers (Class-A affiliate of the Brewers) and the Peoria Chiefs (Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs).
The final score ended up at 8-7 in the home team’s favor, but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
A run in the first inning and a five-run fourth negated a third inning outburst from the Chiefs.
Timber Rattlers’ starting pitcher David Goforth battled through that third inning which saw the entire infield struggle to record outs (his own throwing error costing him some runs). Manager Matt Erickson, after the game, said that “the third inning was uncharacteristic of our game” and that “all six of the guys in the infield…all had a mental or physical error in that one inning and when you do that obviously you’re going to give up a big inning.”
Ironically, in talking to the previous game’s starting pitcher and friend of the podcast Chad Pierce before Friday’s game, Pierce lauded the play of what he rightfully called the infield “by far the best in the Midwest (League)”. To their credit, SS Yadiel Rivera and 2B Carlos George each had plays where they ranged far up the middle and converted hits into outs.
Before the game among other questions I asked first baseman Nick Ramirez, another friend of the podcast, about the infield play and how the quality of the field helps them make plays.
“This is one of the better fields I’ve played on in my professional career. We drag it every three innings and no one really knows how much that takes effect on your mentality. (Having a) fresh drag (means) I’m not going to get a bad hop. They take of this field, they keep it looking nice, and it’s really level.”
In my conversation with Chad Pierce he also had high praise for the Rattlers’ outfield which saw a tremendous diving play from Ben McMahan in LF late in the game Friday night to save a couple of runs for relief pitcher Stephen Peterson.
I asked Friday night’s starting center fielder, and yes…friend of the podcast, Mitch Haniger about the play of himself and his fellow outfielders. Haniger said that the right-center gap (405 feet to the wall) is always in the back of his mind and that the wind changes from day to day but that having speedy outfielders in all three spots really helps.
“All five of the outfielders on this team are real fast. I didn’t think that I was going to get to a ball last night in the gap and I just hear Lance (Roenicke) saying ‘I got it. I got it.’ and just pulled up right next to him and back him up. So it’s been great having guys by your side that if you can’t get to balls, they’re going to be there.”
Goforth pitched well otherwise including a six-pitch fourth inning which no doubt helped his offense out by limiting Chiefs starter Michael Jensen’s downtime between frames. Erickson praised Goforth after the game for his ability to bear down and get through three additional frames after the long third.
The Timber Rattlers got back in the box quickly and struck hard in their half of the fourth resulting in a 28-pitch fourth for Jensen where he let the Rattlers right back into the game by surrendering a pair of two-run home runs and another run. That tied the game up at six after four innings.
The game remained tied until the seventh though a lead-off triple in the sixth inning by Cubs uber-prospect Javier Baez looked to put the Chiefs back on top first. Goforth pitched around it however and completed six full innings in front of a short bullpen on this night.
Goforth’s final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 99 pitches (70 strikes)
Stephen Peterson took over in the 7th and walked a pair of batters around two outs. The lead runner stole third and then scored on a wild pitch from Peterson, before the reliever got out of the jam. That run would not prove the game-winner, however, as the Rattlers had yet another rally in them.
Peterson pitched a scoreless 8th inning, thanks in large part to that aforementioned tremendous diving catch in left field by McMahan. 1B Nick Ramirez then tied the game back up in the bottom half of the frame with a mammoth home run just fair inside the RF foul pole and “exactly” 398 feet away from home plate. That came off of Chiefs reliever Yao-Lin Wang who started the eighth inning for Peoria.
Current closer Tommy Toledo entered for the 9th and kept the Chiefs off the board. But Wang countered with a scoreless bottom half to send it to extra innings.
Following a second perfect frame in the 10th inning from Toledo, the Chiefs called upon Luis Liria to handle Greg Hopkins, eighth-inning hero Ramirez, and McMahan, he of the earlier two-run home run back in the big 4th inning.
Hopkins led off the frame with a single back through the box. Ramirez struck out after Hopkins advanced to second on a wild pitch. They intentionally walked McMahan to pitch to SS Yadiel Rivera who worked a walk to load the bases after being down in the count 1-2.
Up stepped Rafael Neda who earlier in that same big fourth inning had hit the first home run of his professional career. Neda was nearly hit by a pitch early in the at-bat, but ended up singling through the left side of a partly drawn in infield for the game winner!
After the game, Neda said that not only getting his first home run but also being able to walk-off in extra innings was the biggest moment of his career to this point other than his first professional hit but it wouldn’t have been possible without the earlier rally. I asked Neda to describe how it happened and he said that “One hit started leading to another one. We just wanted to help our pitcher because there were four errors in the inning. As a catcher I wanted to help him a little more and we luckily came back in that inning.”
So despite the one rough inning, the Timber Rattlers played a very solid game all around. Most importantly, the win brought the team back to even on the second half of the year at 4-4. It was the fourth consecutive Win for the T-Rats.
This of course comes after a first-half which saw Wisconsin finish with the best record in their division. This assures them of a playoff spot but several key pieces to the success in the first half were promoted up the organizational ladder.
Therein lies the dynamic of managing at the Minor League level. I asked Erickson about that dichotomy of not only wanting to win but needing to get his players better and to move them along. His answer was perfect.
Said Erickson, “It’s player development until the first pitch of the game. Then we’re trying to beat somebody’s ass.”
Friday night, that ass belonged to Michael Jensen and the rest of his Peoria Chiefs teammates.
Your Brewer Nation Timber Rattler of the game was Rafael Neda. 2-for-5, 1 R, 3 RBI, including his first professional home run and the walk-off single in the 10th inning.
(FULL AUDIO OF OUR INTERVIEWS FROM FRIDAY NIGHT WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE SOON FOR DOWNLOAD. I WILL UPDATE THIS SPACE WHEN THAT HAPPENS.)
Until then, here are the highlights from last night’s 8-7 Timber Rattlers victory:
Mitch Haniger Interview – Recorded: June 15, 2012
I had the pleasure of being joined on the phone earlier tonight by recently inked 2012 First-Year Player Draft Pick, and the 38th player taken overall this year: Mitch Haniger.
Haniger is an outfielder who played collegiately at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.*sharp inhale*
We discuss why Haniger didn’t sign after being drafted out of high school by the Mets, what led him to Cal Poly, his experiences playing in a wood bat league last summer in Wisconsin, where he’ll be playing the rest of this summer, and a multitude of other things.
Download the file and give it a listen. Then, if you’re on Twitter, be sure to give Mitch a follow and a congratulatory tweet on his account: @M_Hanny19
Click Here to hear Big Rygg interview Mitch Haniger.
Brewers Announce 21 Additional Signings From 2012 First-Year Player Draft
The Milwaukee Brewers today announced that they have signed 21 additional players from the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. With these signings, the Brewers have now signed each of their first six draft selections and 12 of their first 15 selections. Last Friday, the Brewers announced the signings of both of their first-round picks: Clint Coulter and Victor Roache. Today’s draft signings include:
Round / Player / Position / Initial assignment
1A. Mitch Haniger – RF (Wisconsin)
2. Tyrone Taylor – CF (Arizona)
3. Zach Quintana – RHP (Arizona)
4. Tyler Wagner – RHP (Helena)
6. Angel Ortega – SS (Arizona)
7. David Otterman – LHP (Helena)
9. Alex Lavandero – RHP (Arizona)
10. Anthony Banda – LHP (Arizona)
12. Eric Semmelhack – RHP (Helena)
13. Alan Sharkey – 1B (Arizona)
16. Adam Giacalone – 1B (Helena)
17. Alfredo Rodriguez – SS (Helena)
20. Michael Garza – 3B (Helena)
21. Austin Blaski – RHP (Arizona)
24. Michael Turay – C (Helena)
25. Lance Roenicke – OF (Helena)
30. Jonathan Armold – RHP (Arizona)
31. Brent Suter – LHP (Arizona)
33. Austin Hall – RHP (Arizona)
35. Jose Sermo – SS (Arizona)
Undrafted: Taylor Mangum – RHP (Arizona)
The advanced rookie-level Helena Brewers begin their season on Monday, June 18 when they host the Great Falls Voyagers. The rookie-level Arizona Brewers begin their season on Thursday, June 21 when they host the Arizona Dodgers.