Results tagged ‘ Washington Nationals ’
A few more news and notes from Spring Training 2011 in Florida….
* The last Chiefs pitcher to toss a nine inning no-hitter – Mike Pazik now a scout with the White Sox was seen at Space Coast Stadium taking in Nationals games this week.
* Former Chiefs outfielder Justin Maxwell now with the Yankees has a new batting stance – this time very similar to Alex Rodriguez. Maxwell still in camp with the Yankess has made an impression on manager Joe Girardi and could make the team as an extra outfielder.
* Righthander Ryan Tatusko who came to Syracuse in January for the Chiefs 50th Hot Stove Dinner is turning some heads in Nationals Minor League Camp and could be with the Chiefs in April.
* Infielders a plenty - Nationals have first baseman Chris Marrero, Mike Aubrey and Kevin Barker in minor league camp as well as infielders Seth Bynum, Chris McConnell, Alex Cintron and Matt Antonelli are in the mix for 2B, SS and 3B while Brian Bixler is still batting for a spot at the major league camp.
* Outfielders too - With Corey Brown, Jeff Frazier, Buck Coats, Jonathan Van Every and Boomer Whiting all playing for the AAA club it will be interesting to see if the Nationals send either Nyger Morgan or Roger Bernadina to the Chiefs or possibly both.
* Nats believe Syracuse pitching staff could be really good. Already in minor league camp are JD Martin, Shairon Martis, Garrett Mock, Luis Atilano, Adam Carr, Cole Kimball, Atie Severino.
With Jason Benetti and Kevin Brown back in Syracuse, they have left me to keep you updated on the comings and goings of Spring Training 2011.
* Tigers defeated the Nationals Monday afternoon at Space Coast Stadium 4-2. In the game former Chiefs manager Garth Iorg’s son Cale Iorg doubled in a run and played flawless at shortstop for the Tigers. Look for Cale to begin the season with the Mud Hens.
* Another former Chief’s son, Patrick Leyland, (son of Jim Leyland) caught the final three innings.
* Today (Tuesday) was able to catch the Blue Jays and Phillies in lovely Dunedin, Florida. Phils had most of their starters on hand and former Chiefs Pete Orr and Michael Martinez played in the later innings. Both have a chance to be with the Phillies on opening day after injuries to Chase Utley and Placido Polanco.
* Visted the Chiefs former winter home for 31 years – Englebert Recreational Complex and took in a few innings of their AAA and AA games. Former Chiefs still with Toronto include Doug Davis (Minor League Field Coordinator), Dane Johnson (Minor League Pitching Coordinator), Omar Malave (Gulf Coast League Manager), Jim Czjawski (Pitching Coach at Vancouver-rookie) who was the winning pitcher in the first game ever at then P&C Stadium on April 6th, 1997. Dennis Holmberg will be in Bluefield-rookie and big Sal Fasano will be in AA-New Hamphsire all came over to say hello.
* Former Chiefs outfielder in 2009-10 Leonard Davis is in the Jays camp trying to catch make the AAA-Las Vegas team, closer to his California home.
* Off to Legends Field on Wednesday to see former Chiefs outfielder Justin Maxwell and Chiefs Wall of Famer Ron Guidry who is in camp as an instructor.
Just four weeks until the Home Opener in Syracuse…..
More on this later, but here’s a list of players sent to AAA camp this morning (with last year’s team in parentheses):
I come to you today from Digital Domain Park, the spring training domicile of the New York Metropolitans. It bears the name of James Cameron’s animation company. Everyone involved with the Nats is hoping this game goes in fast motion as compared to yesterday’s Homeric 3 hour, 30 minute bullpen-exploder. For in-game updates, follow us on Twitter @ChiefsRadio. Some pregame notes for you:
The Washington Nationals have re-signed catcher Carlos Maldonado for the 2011 season and assigned him to AAA-Syracuse.
Maldonado, 32 next week played in 63 games for the Chiefs last season batting .223 with 3 HR and 27 RBI. He appeared in 3 games with the Nationals and was 2 for 9 with 2 RBI during his two week stay.
He is currently catching for Magallanes in the Venezuelen Winter League and is batting .267 with 5 HR and 21 RBI in 39 games.
The Nationals have also signed righthanded pitcher Harvey Garcia for the 2011 season.
Garcia, 26 began his career in the Red Sox organization in 2003 before being traded to the Marlins in the Hanley Ramirez deal. Last season at Chattanooga-AA (Dodgers) he appeared in only 15 games and was 1-1 with a 8.02 ERA.
His best season came in 2006 at Jupiter-A (Marlins) when he was 0-7 with a 2.92 ERA and 21 saves. He also recorded 83 strikeouts in 65 innings that season. For his career he has 353 strikouts in 327 innings.
Garcia is also pitching in Venezuela (Magallanes) and is 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA as a starting pitcher.
The Washington Nationals have signed infielder Matt Antonelli to a minor league deal and have invited him to their major league spring camp for the 2011 season.
Antonelli, 25, was the Padres 1st round pick in the June 2006 draft after earning All-American honors while at Wake Forest University.
In his second year in 2007 he split time between Lake Elsinore-A and San Antonio-AA. Combined he batted .307 with 21 HR, 78 RBI, 123 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. He was named to Baseball America’s Class A All Star team that season.
In 2008 in only his third season he played at AAA-Portland and struggled batting only .215 with 7 HR and 39 RBI in 128 games. He was called up to San Diego in September of that season and appeared in 21 games batting only .193 but hit his first major league home run – a three run blast in Dodger Stadium.
He returned to Portland in 2009 and played in only 59 games batting .196.
Last season he had a great spring camp with the Padres and made the team out of spring training batting over .300. Unfortunately, in his first game was hit by a pitch and broke his wrist and was lost for the season.
The Washington Nationals signed righthanded pitcher Chad Gaudin yesterday to a minor league contract and invited the former Chiefs pitcher to spring training as a non-roster player.
Gaudin, still only 27 pitched for the Chiefs in 2005 and came within one out of tossing a no-hitter vs Columbus at Alliance Bank Stadium that season.
He spent the 2006 and 07 season with Oakland – pitching in relief 4-2 3.09 ERA in 55 appearances in ’06 and was 11-13 with a 4.42 ERA in 34 starts in ’07.
Chad began the 08′ season with the A’s but was traded to the White Sox in July and finished the season 9-5 with a 4.40 ERA in 50 games.
In 09′ he moved back to the starting rotation with San Diego before being traded to the Yankees again in July and posted a 6-10 record with a 4.65 ERA in 31 starts.
Last season he moved back to the bullpen and for the third straight season split time with Oakland to start the season and finishing with the Yankees. In 42 games he was 1-4 with a 5.65 ERA.
Wang, now 30, missed all of the 2010 season. He pitched in games in September/October at the Nationals Instructional League and was impressive.
Coming up, an all new Hogan’s Heroes…..find out what the boys from Stalag 13 are up to this afternoon…..then, on the news at 5 o’clock, one pitcher’s journey from San Diego State to Central New York…..a touching, compelling story that you’ve never, ever heard…..
But first, time for America’s fastest growing sensation….Rate the IL Hotel! Now, let’s check in with our host with the most (subjectively, of course), Jason Benetti!
Alright, folks, you know how it works. I’ll detail the pros and cons of the IL hotel in question. Then, I’ll arbitrarily assign a point score from 0 to 50 to the hotel.
First, let’s flash back to last week’s contestant….
The Park Inn Toledo. Score: 12. Shoddy web-surfing dooms duck-in-room-obsessed housekeeping staff to 25th percentile.
This week’s contestant: The Hyatt Regency, Downtown Columbus.
They said it: “Without question, one of the finest we stay in. When you couple its proximity to the ballpark with the ability to walk to the local establishments in the arena district, it’s one of the best! Too, the fact that it’s a couple miles from the finest university in America makes It all the better.”
-Matt Andrews, Voice of the Louisville Bats, unabashed Buckeye partisan and exclamation mark abuser.
- First impression. As we walked into the spacious, neo-contemporary lobby, the not-so-faint sound of screaming emanated from the “Big Bar” on the 2nd floor. It sounded as though there was a party of 200 upstairs, all laughing and howling at once. After completing a nighttime bus ride through Ohio, there’s nothing more uplifting than life happening for others. It makes you, embattled baseball traveler, want to keep your eyes open for a little longer.
- The internet. The Park Inn should take wi-fi lessons from the Hyatt. The thing is meteorically fast. Al Cowlings-in-a-Bronco fast. A white Bronco. Yeah, that fast.
- Room size & view: To crib a line from one of our traveling party, I could have played football in my room. There was enough space for 20 of my suitcases beyond the foot of my bed. Something about openness in a room makes the place seem more inviting. Also, the landscape directly outside of my 17th-floor window included quite the maze of Columbus highways. That was fun to look at for at least 30 seconds.
- Food radius. Within short walking distance: Gordon Biersch, Buca di Beppo, Starbucks, Boston’s Pizza and Ted’s Montana Grill, among others. That’s four-game-set heaven.
- Fragrances. While ginger on my snaps, in my ale and on Gilligan’s Island are all encouraged, ginger in my shampoo is frowned upon. Why do hotels feel the need to transform their guests into metrosexual Spago chefs? Editor’s note: The prior term may be redundant.
- There’s no such thing as a free web. The internet at the Hyatt costs $9.99 a night. I doubt I’d be as cranky about this had I not seen a local company’s self-serving commercial which extolled its own virtues for furnishing the community with complimentary internet. Where were you when I was traveling, 21st Century Robin Hood?
- Room service. After Monday’s 6:35 PM game, I was hungry. I also was busy. With the quick turnaround to Tuesday’s 11:35 AM first pitch, I had some homework to do in a short window. So, my solution was delivered food. I opened the guidebook on the desk in the room to the tab marked “Room Service.” The cover page displayed a picture of some pretty little waffles with berries on top. This looked tasty. There’s a reason waffles were featured. The menu consisted of three categories: breakfast, alcohol and snack food. The third category struck me as what I was looking for…..until I noted that one of the signature items was a 70-dollar cheeseboard which allegedly served 20 or 30 people. Imagining the entire roster of the Columbus Clippers gnawing on a wedge of brie the size of the oatmeal crème pie from Honey I Shrunk the Kids, I went to bed smiling and hungry.
- Fits and starts. The beds, once again, suffered from a lack of fitted sheets. For tall baseball-types, this, I’ve been told, makes for a rough night of sleep.
Score: 45. If they hand me 30 bucks for the internet and a late-night burger next year, they’ll get a 48 or better.
Thanks for joining us for Rate the IL Hotel! As always, contestants not chosen will receive a Rate the IL Hotel! jean jacket. Wear it in the fall, winter, spring or summer. It’s truly a garment for all seasons.
Chiefs open an eight-game homestand Thursday at 7 P.M. against the Gwinnett Braves….talk to you then.
We’re all out of catchy titles, so this new feature to the blog will be called Questions and Answers. It’s really pretty self-explanatory.
Jason Benetti (Q): When did you know that life was about to change for you?
Drew Storen (A): Probably the second after Bud Selig said my name. It’s never really something I thought about Since then, having all the people call me and all the people who texted me right after I got picked, I kinda realized, “OK, things might be a little different now.” It changes me as a baseball player, but the big thing for me is to not change as a person.
Q: So it wasn’t before that?
A: It got a little crazy I guess at Stanford when we went to the College World Series. It was a pretty cool experience and I guess my career got put into the spotlight there in my little town. I was not a big child prodigy, I was never a Tiger Woods-type guy.
Q: Have you done much self-reflection over the last six months to a year about how to handle something like this or are you sorta taking it in stride?
A: I’ve kinda always known how to handle it, fortunately. My dad and mom have been very good to me growing up. I was around it, so I’ve seen it. I’ve been fortunate enough to have that kind of support system where I feel like I knew what I was getting into. I feel like I’ve handled it pretty well and it is tough to have it all soak in. Even the experience the last couple of days has been kinda crazy. The Clippers and the Toledo Mud Hens. Those are teams I used to watch the Indianapolis Indians play. That’s a little bit different for me. When I was 10, our hats for our All-Star Team were the Syracuse SkyChiefs. It worked out because we were Skiles Test, so my dad got us Syracuse SkyChiefs hats.
Q: What do you throw?
A: I go four-seam, two-seam fastball. My two-seam I make like a sinker so when I come into situations where I really need a groundball, I can use that. Curveball, slider-cutter, pretty much a slider. I have a changeup I don’t really through too much but I’ll tend to work in once in a while.
Q: What was the experience like at the College World Series (with Stanford)?
A: It’s nuts. It’s different. It’s essentially a Saturday football game for baseball. It’s a cool experience because you’re in Omaha in a great city and with the way it’s set up at Rosenblatt for now is you have the stadium, houses and there’s a state fair atmosphere for baseball. It’s a whole town fired up about college baseball. For us, it was a pretty unbelievable experience all around.
Q: What was it like playing for Mark Marquess at Stanford?
A: It was a blast. I loved it. He’s a legend. He runs a tight ship and he knows what he’s doing, what he needs to win and to get the most out of what he brings in there. I wouldn’t pass it up for anything. It was great. I miss being around Stanford but at the same time this is a great opportunity. I look back with fond memories and still keep in touch with him and I’m really happy to see that they’re doing well this year.
Q: You cracked half a smile when we were talking about Stanford. Do you think about Stanford often?
A: I’m excited at some point to go back and finish. It’s not just the baseball. It’s the whole thing. It’s the people, the learning. It’s just a unique experience all around. A lot of people don’t know there are only 6,000 or so undergads there. It’s a campus full of extraordinary individuals who are excelling at the top of what they’re doing. Whether it’s in writing, science or their respective sport. You have so many Olympians there too. You meet a lot of cool people. I lived in the same building as Michelle Wie, so I got to know her a little bit. It’s one of those experiences I never really expected to have.
Q: You used the word “extraordinary.” When did you realize that you fit in there?
A: <laughing> I guess I feel like I’m kinda tagging along. I feel fortunate. I wouldn’t say I’m extraordinary, but I feel fortunate with where I’m at.
Q: People have written about the fact that you draw and that you’re an avid designer. Do you still do that during baseball season?
A: it’s tough. There’s not a whole lot of time. A lot of the free time is spent sleeping. Whenever I do have the free time, I like to do it. That’s one of the things I’m really excited about going back to school for is ’cause it is something I’m really passionate about and would love to do something where I can combine baseball and design–maybe work for Nike and design cleats or something.
Q: What have you designed?
A: One of the last classes I took was a drawing class where we got to design stuff and I actually designed a pair of cleats. That was probably my best work.
Q: What was special about those cleats?
A: They looked cool. They’re kinda like the Kobe Bryant basketball shoes from a couple years ago. They’re different. They’re kinda clean. When I played in the field, I was pretty slow, so I was trying to make sure if I was designing a cleat as a fielder, I’d want something that makes me look fast regardless. I used to rock the Pumas when I played in high school just ’cause I thought they made me look fast. It’s maybe something I do when I design cleats.
Q: You used to umpire?
A: It was my sophomore or junior summers I did that. It was Babe Ruth. A pretty recreational league. I have some pretty solid stories about guys going full wind-up with guys on base, trying to pick somebody off, I call a balk, coaches would come out and argue with me….it was an interesting experience. It makes you appreciate the umpires behind the plate a little bit.
Q: What did you do this offseason?
A: I finished up the fall league right before Thanksgiving, went home, spent Thanksgiving and Christman with the family and kinda relaxed. After that, I went down to Sabblebrook Resort in Tampa after New Year’s and worked out with other guys from our agency. I got to work out with Ryan Zimmerman, Maxwell, Clippard. Ryan Howard and Jeter were down there. It was a bunch of guys who were big time guys. It was a great experience to be around those guys and see how hard those guys work. They’re that good and you see the reason why.
Q: You’re a Stanford guy, people assume that you’re kind of a dork and read a lot. Do you?
A: It’s something I’m starting to get into a little bit more. I just finished the bullpen gospels. That was a great book. A buddy of mine just gave me a list of books that I’m gonna try to order some when I get back. I listen to audio books when I drive when I make the standard long trips. With the long bus rides and a lot of down time, instead of fooling around and playing games on my iPhone, I’ve started to read a little bit more.
Q: Your parents were in town. What was that like?
A: It’s cool to have them see where I’m at. My dad’s only seen a handful of games in person and it was the first game my mom had seen in person. They listen to all of the games on the radio and they follow it. It’s great. It’s cool to be around Indianapolis. I have a few of my friends coming over tonight from Indianapolis to see me play. I haven’t been able to experience this being on the far east coast and on the far west in college. There’s not a lot of times when people from your hometown get to see you play so it’s pretty special.
Q: If I were in Brownsburg, Indiana for 24 hours, what would I do?
A: You could go to Wal-Mart. There’s Pizza King. It’s a pizza place where they have a train that delivers your drink on a train.
Q: Honestly? That actually happened?
A: Yeah, that was our junior high hang out. There’s a movie theater in Brownsburg now, so that’s bigtime. If you’re there in August, you can see the NHRA Drag Race. If you google Brownsburg, Indiana, that’s one of the coined terms, “The Drag Racing Capital of the World”, I guess…..oh, and sit in traffic. Maybe in the winter, high school basketball’s good to go to.
Q: Did you play?
A: I did.
Q: Were you good?
A: I act like I was. I was a good shooter. I hung. I was actually high school teammates with Gordon Hayward from Butler. I got to play against guys like Eric Gordon. Playing Indiana high school basketball was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
Q: Gordon (Hayward) is a pretty tough rebounder now.
A: He was about as tall as me when I was playing with him. Once I was done, he decided to grow a foot and move on to bigger and better things. I grew up with him, we lived in the same neighborhood when I moved to Brownsburg. I was so fired up watching him play in the tournament.
Good morning, Vietnam…..or, alternatively, Columbus.