Category Archives: Erie Seawolves

Daniel McGrath: How good is this bloke?

Daniel McGrath has been exceptional for Portland lately

One run in the last 59 innings

(Portland ME) The question needs to be asked after the Australian continued on a roll that has had him allow only ONE run in his last fifty-nine innings of pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs.

Daniel was connected to the Doncaster Dragon in Melbourne (Australia) seven years ago as a 17-year-old.  His pitching promise, while with the Dragons, attracted the interest of fifteen major league teams.  The Red Sox signed him for $400,000.

Since then?  He’s had his moments but has hardly turned a whole lot of heads……….until recently.

Daniel was the Player-of-the-Month in the Eastern League for July.

After tonight’s 1-0 win over the Erie SeaWolves, his ERA is a remarkable 1.34.  Daniel toiled seven innings versus Erie and allowed only three hits.  He’s struck out a season-high nine SeaWolves.

Daniel Pinero caught off base in the second inning

Erie had a great chance in the second to put a dent into Daniel’s ERA.  The visitors had runners on first and third with no outs.  But the lefty can not only pitch, he also has a nifty pickoff move.  Daniel Pinero was victimized straying from first and then the next two batters were retired with no runs scoring.

I’ll admit that I didn’t go to Hadlock Field last night to see Daniel McGrath.

It was Casey Mize I wanted to get a look at.  Casey is the Eastern League’s top prospect.  He was the first pick in the major league draft in 2018.  He dazzled at Auburn University averaging nearly thirteen strikeouts per game.

He was promoted to Erie this season after a few starts in the lower minors.  Result?  No-Hitter against Altoona in his first EL start!

Casey Mize gave up only five hits in six innings

Casey scuffled in his last start (Binghamton) allowing seven hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings. He was much better tonight at Portland.

The native of Alabama allowed only five hits in six innings.  Now 6-2, he is very good but on this night, it was Daniel McGrath that had the buzz-worthy performance.

To watch Daniel pitch as masterfully as he did, couldn’t have come at a better time for Red Sox fans.  The last week has been a pitching nightmare for the Boston team.  Those expensive arms on the Big Club have been a tough watch night after night.

Daniel pitched once at Pawtucket (AAA) this season.  He certainly has earned some more time there.  I hope it happens.

Nice crowd with nice weather.

Casey Mize was the first pick in the 2018 major league draft

I have always had the sense that most attendees to minor league games know little about the players.  Tonight was a bit different.  As I waited to get pictures of Casey Mize warming up, there was a good collection of fans nearby doing the same thing.  They had heard about Casey Mize.

Casey, by the way, will reach the majors by this time next year.  He’s just too good to hold back.  Plus they invested $7,500,000 on him when they signed him.

Slugger was in camouflage gear carrying a branch.  It is fair to say that the Big Guy can not be carrying things and expect to compete.  The competition tonight was short in size as well as short in experience.  The young opponent had to be guided onto the field, around the bases, and off the field………..and still he wasted Slugger.  Embarrassing.

Thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging the pleasant visit for me.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Brett Netzer – had the Sea Dogs RBI

Casey Mize

Casey Mize

CJ Chatham

CJ Chatham – leads EL in hitting

Daniel McGrath between innings

Derek Hill – 28th on Tigers prospect list

Luke Tendler (10) slides back into 3rd

Marcus Wilson – 18th on Red Sox prospect list

Matthew Gorst was signing before the game

Slugger’s opponent

Isaac Paredes 5th best prospect in the Detroit farm system

Jhon Nunez (catcher)

Joey Curletta

Josh Lester at 3B

Diving back to first

 

 

 

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Josh Ockimey promoted after Portland sweep

Josh Ockimey runs to cover first.

Josh Ockimey was promoted to AAA Pawtucket today

(Portland MA) I didn’t plan for it, but I was at Hadlock Field and witnessed Portland’s Josh Ockimey’s last game with the Sea Dogs.

Josh was promoted to AAA Pawtucket after Portland took two from the Erie SeaWolves on this hot Thursday afternoon.

The power-hitting 1B finished his time in Maine with a homer, double and three RBI.

Erie is the Double A farm team of Detroit.  Six of their top eighteen prospects are at Erie.  I missed seeing the top two (Alex Faedo #4) and Beau Burrows (#5) because they’re starters.  Beau pitched the second game today but by then I was on my porch about an hour away.

Campers in the crowd

It was hot.  Today was campers’ day and many camps were represented, each with their own brightly colored shirts.  I wondered how many bad sunburns happened after hours in the rays. The concessions stands were very busy.

The four Tigers prospects that I did see came to them when they traded Justin Verlander to Houston, JD Martinez to Arizona, and Alex Avila to the Cubs.

Both 3B Isaac Paredes (#11) and 2B Sergio Alcantara (#18) made errors in Game One today.

I also saw CF Daz Cameron (#8) get picked off first.  Catcher Jake Rogers (#10) had several balls go through him.

Trouble at 3B for Isaac Paredea

Frankly, there wasn’t much to pin your hopes on if you were a Detroit fan wondering about the team’s future.

It was the last-place Portland team that had the excellent pitching (Matt Kent) and hitting on this warm afternoon in the 9-1 first-game win.

I started the game shooting from the Erie dugout.  I was hoping to eventually switch to the Portland side, but one of their players (How dare he!) was in a chair that he had set up in the photographer’s area.  I considered shooting from the stands, but it was way too hot.

I switched to a small lens to get some Erie dugout shots and Josh Ockimey chose that time to hit his home run.  Tough later editing action shots with tiny players in them!

Will Castro and Sergio Alcantara

One shot that I have gotten the last two times I’ve been at Hadlock is of the Portland player signing in the Concourse.  Give me someone stationary and cooperative and I can usually get a good picture of them.  It was relief pitcher Jordan Weems this time.

I did make connections with broadcaster Mike Antonellis before the game.  He is in charge of setting up interviews.  I would like to do an interview with a Sea Dogs player before the season ends in a month.  I would probably have to be at Hadlock three hours early.  We’ll see.

I came to Hadlock on Brighton and St. John’s.  Couldn’t resist the GPS way (via Deering) on the way back.  Bad idea!  Too many lights and traffic.  I’m thinking that I could use River Road to get straight onto Brighton.

I violated my nutritarian diet with the meal provided but not by much.  The turkey wrap was tasty.

The Sea Dogs blasted four homers in the first game.  Josh Ockimey, Michael Chavis, Chad De La Guerra, and Luke Tendler all went deep.

Isaac Paredes after a tough inning in the field

Two Erie dugout scenes of note.  In one, the manager (?) had a player translate what he wanted to say to another player.  Knowing Spanish would be absolute gold for anyone connected to teams at any level.  I have heard Spanish in every A ball and AA ball dugout that I’ve been in.  The other dugout scene involved 3B Isaac Paredes.  The 19-year-old had two errors in the first three innings!  He had his head down in the dugout afterwards for the entire half inning.  No one on staff to talk to him?

Boston’s #1 prospect Michael Chavis had his first multi-hit game since he finished his 80-game suspension.  His batting average is close to .200 and I can assure you that he doesn’t get cheated on his swings.  Bo Bichette (New Hampshire Fisher Cats) has the same approach to batting.

I wonder if Michael will be part of the next group that moves up?  Homer-hitting Bobby Dalbec could move up from A ball to join the Sea Dogs.  I would have to get a look at him.

In hardly surprising news; Slugger lost.  This time it was comical.  Slugger tried to psych his female opponent out by getting into a ridiculous starting stance.  The young lady was unimpressed.  The flip-flop-wearing speedster had him in trouble at second and reached home with the big guy nowhere in sight.  The idea of trying to intimidate an opponent with a weird stance needs to be closeted.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for arranging the visit.  Everyone who goes to Portland games seems to have a good time at an affordable price.  And you get to see future Red Sox players such as Josh Ockimey.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Isaac Paredes

Jake Rogers

Matt Kent

Sergio Alcantara leads off first

Michael Chavis – How much longer in Portland?

Daz Cameron

Jeremy Rivera on base

Isaac Paredes

Josh Ockimey homered

Sergio Alcantara to the left

Michael Chavis takes a full cut

Michael Chavis nears third

Josh Ockimey

Luke Tendler after homer

Daz Cameron

 

 

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Justin Haley shines in Sea Dogs 2-1 win over Erie

Justin Haley makes an easy toss to first. Justin allowed one hit during his seven innings of pitching.

Justin Haley makes an easy toss to first. Justin allowed one hit during his seven innings of pitching.

Manuel Margot runs off the field

Manuel Margot runs off the field

(Portland MA) Justin Haley (5-13) had the game of his life allowing just one hit during a shutout seven innings on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Hadlock.

The noon start brought out campers galore on a perfect baseball afternoon.

The battle of the cellar dwellers from each of the Eastern League divisions turned into a pitcher’s duel between the SeaWolves Tommy Collier and Boston’s 6th round pick in 2012.

This game gave me another chance to get some pictures of centerfielder Manuel Margot. Manuel is 7th on the Boston prospect list.

I am also starting to take notice of first baseman Sam Travis. Sam was a 2nd round pick in 2014. He has been solid in the field and at bat and should start in Pawtucket next year.

One player I didn’t get to see was pitcher Michael Fulmer. Michael came to Detroit recently in a trade with the New York Mets. The Tigers also got a couple of other quality minor leaguers in recent trades. The Detroit Free Press described the Tigers farm team as the worst in baseball before the trades.

I have learned to expand my picture taking to as many players as possible. Why? A couple of years ago Travis Shaw was just another Sea Dogs’ player. Xander Boegarts was the one to get…….and I got plenty of him. I did manage a lone shot of Travis and didn’t even recall that I had taken it! So some of the players pictured may be not well known now but who knows about later.

Slugger congratulates the winner

Slugger congratulates the winner

Slugger was in big trouble today. His opponent was a young 7-year-old named Cru. I heard Cru described as “fast” by someone who was with him. That proved to be true. Slugger had one of his cleanest runs but just never was even close to making things close. One commendation for Slugger, however, was that despite a life-time losing streak he displayed wonderful sportsmanship afterwards by congratulating the youthful winner.

Wynton Bernard (leading base-stealer in the Eastern League)

Wynton Bernard (leading base-stealer in the Eastern League)

Sam Travis slides into Harold Castro

Sam Travis slides into Harold Castro

Tzu-Wie Lin after scoring the second Portland run

Tzu-Wie Lin after scoring the second Portland run

Tzu-Wei Lin

Tzu-Wei Lin

Henry Ramos after scoring the first Portland run

Henry Ramos after scoring the first Portland run

Keury De La Cruz

Keury De La Cruz

Carlos Asuaje

Carlos Asuaje

Manuel Margot works on sprinting

Manuel Margot works on sprinting

Manuel Margot in the dugout

Manuel Margot in the dugout

Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez

Olympian Julie Clukey

Olympian Julie Clukey

Second baseman Harold Castro

Second baseman Harold Castro

Austin Green eyes a foul popup

Austin Green eyes a foul popup

infield grounds crew

infield grounds crew

Shortstop JaCoby Jones throws to first

Shortstop JaCoby Jones throws to first

Sam Travis

Sam Travis

Dean Green (big numbers in the Eastern League this season)

Dean Green (big numbers in the Eastern League this season)

 

 

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Nick Castellanos and Jake Marisnick sighted at Erie Seawolves – New Hampshire Fisher Cats game

Top Tiger prospect Nick Castellanos played for the Erie Seawolves.

(Manchester NH)  The Erie Seawolves defeated the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 3-2, on a warm Wednesday afternoon of Eastern League (AA) baseball at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester.

Mascot in hot pursuit of a young fan.

There is nothing quite like minor league baseball in my opinion.  Today was Camp Day at the stadium and of the 6,831 paid more than half were kids from numerous area camps.  And with kids you have to have non-stop activities going on and the Fisher Cats’ staff made sure there were plenty.  Whether it was in the stands or on the field between innings the “kids” show was continuous.

Another attraction to minor league ball is that you get to see young players and, in some cases, prospects.  Some of the prospects are well known while others are hoping to get known.  (I saw Bryce Harper at Portland with Harrisburg last August.)

The prospects I wanted to get for sure in this game were Jay Marisnick of New Hampshire and Nick Castellanos of Erie.

Jay (21) was selected in the third round in 2009 and is rated as the third best player in the Toronto minors.  The 6-4/200 outfielder stole thirty-seven bases for Lansing in 2011.

Nick (20) is the Tigers’ top prospect.  Originally a third baseman, the 6-4/210 youngster has been moved to the outfield because Miguel Cabrera is unlikely to vacate 3rd for many years.  Nick’s bat is apparently ready for the majors although he was hitless in this game.  Recently, however,  he was 3-for-4 in the Futures Game including a three-run homer and was the game MVP.

Avisail Garcia heads for third. Avisail was 3-for-4.

Erie’s Avisail Garcia (21) was big versus New Hampshire on this afternoon.  He was 3-for-4, scored two of Erie’s three runs, and drove in one.  Baseball America rates Avisail as the best defensive outfielder in the Tiger system.

Bruce Rondon came on to get the save for Erie.  Bruce (21) started with Lakeland (15 saves) and has moved up to Erie (12 saves).  He also has a terrific 1.29 ERA so far.

The most controversial play of the game was John Tolisano’s home run off the pole in left in the third inning.  The umpires conferred and the homer stood up giving New Hampshire a 2-1 lead at the time.

The best play in the field was a diving catch by Erie second baseman Brandon Douglas hustling into right field.

Fisher Cats catcher Koby Clemens

Another player I wanted a picture of was Roger Clemens’ 25-year-old son Koby.  He is a catcher with the Fisher Cats.  My picture revealed a significant family resemblance.

I also got pictures of two former major leaguers: Ray Burris (Erie pitching coach) and Sal Fasano (New Hampshire manager).

The Fisher Cats were the Eastern League champs in 2011.  This year they’re at the bottom of the Eastern Division (42-68).  The most painful stat is their 17-35 home record.

I thank NH media relations manager Tom Gauthier for making the arrangements for my visit.  With all the activities going on in the park besides baseball I suspect that Tom’s job is very demanding.

(The pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Nick Castellanos

Jake Marisnick

James McCann

Sal Fasano

Bruce Rondon

Ray Burris

Jake Marisnick

Yohan Pino

Niuman Romero

Chad Jenkins

Deck McGuire

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