Category Archives: New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Eduardo Rodriguez shelled in rehab outing at Portland

Eduardo Rodriguez in front of the Hadlock Field scoreboard before the game

ERod peers at one of the many Fisher Cat baserunners.

(Portland ME) Not hard to figure out what was going on.

It was a spring training outing for Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez at Hadlock Field on Thursday night.

The 24-year-old lefty pitched “competitively” for the first time since his knee injury in Baltimore on June 1st.

Tonight’s performance by Eduardo centered on  throwing strikes and using an assortment of pitches.  Getting outs were of secondary concern.  The score didn’t matter.

I have no doubt that those who came to see a major leaguer in action were stunned by the way Eduardo’s three innings went.  How do five earned runs and nine hits sound?

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats feasted on Eduardo’s heavy dose of strikes.  Leadoff hitter Jonathan Davis took ER out of the park on the second pitch of the opening inning.  Eduardo did end up striking out three batters in the 3rd inning but before that it was bang, bang, bang for the Manchester (NH) team.

Jonathan Davis homered on Eduardo’s second pitch.

Not sure when Eduardo will return to the Red Sox rotation.  I would have to believe that there will be more rehab starts ahead for him.

Tonight I got another look at 3B Rafael Devers.  I am stunned that he hasn’t been moved to Pawtucket yet.  Rafael is comfortable in the field and is making regular solid contact at the plate.

The times I saw celebrated Yoan Moncada last season I was not overwhelmed by him because of his lack of consistent contact.  Rafael puts the ball into play regularly.

The “other pitcher” in tonight’s game was Jon Harris.  Jon was Toronto’s #1 pick in the 2015 draft.  He pitched seven terrific innings against Portland giving up only five hits and two runs.

Jon’s 3-8 record would suggest a tough season to date but not tonight.  Jon’s last win, before tonight, was on May 23rd against Portland.

Got my first look at Michael Chavis.  Michael will be taking over 3B exclusively when Rafael heads south to either Pawtucket or Boston.  Michael was Boston’s #1 pick in 2014.  He swings hard and may strike out often the rest of this season.

How long will 3B Rafael Devers stay with Portland?

Also on hand was former Sea Dog Henry Owens.  Two years ago, Henry was on the fast track to Fenway.  However, to date he has not been too effective above Portland.  Much of the trouble was over ever-changing mechanics that led to too many walks.  Henry will seek to get a consistent handle to his mechanics in the weeks ahead at Portland.

What about Slugger?  The drizzle started after Eduardo finished his three innings.  I value my camera too much to risk damage from rain.  I wonder if Slugger ended his lifetime losing streak?

Thanks to Chris Cameron for arranging my Hadlock visit.

(Pictures from the Portland/New Hampshire game.)  Clicking on a picture will cause it to enlarge significantly.

Eduardo Rodriguez backs up a throw home

Shortstop Richard Urena chases an infield popup

Rafael Devers at 2B

Michael Chavis batting

Winning pitcher Jon Harris

Eduardo heads for the dugout

Eduardo pitches with Rafael in the background

Henry Owens is back at Portland

Eduardo Rodriguez ready to pitch

Eduardo Rodriguez

Rafael Devers

Jeremy Barfield had a 3-run homer in Portland’s 9-5 loss

Newcomer Michael Chavis

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers in the Portland dugout.

Danny Mars made the Eastern League All-Star team

ERod stretches before the game

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Filed under Eduardo Rodriguez, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Prospect Blake Swihart sighted at Portland in 6-2 win over New Hampshire

Blake Swihart was the Portland catcher today.  How much longer?

Blake Swihart was the Portland catcher today. How much longer?

Danny Bethea returns to the Portland dugout after getting an RBI in his first at-bat with the Sea Dogs

Danny Bethea returns to the Portland dugout after getting an RBI in his first at-bat with the Sea Dogs

(Portland ME) The Portland Sea Dogs are playing so well that when you arrive at Hadlock Field and find a player missing you assume that there has been a promotion to AAA Pawtucket.

Henry Owens and Sean Coyle were absent from the Sea Dogs, 6-2, win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Monday afternoon.  No promotions (yet) for either of them.  They had been participants in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Why Henry hasn’t moved up is a mystery to this reporter.  The 21-year-old lefty has statistically dominated the Eastern League so far in 2014.  Henry tops the EL in wins (12), strikeouts (111), ERA (2.21) and WHIP (1.03).

The Sea Dogs (63-34) have the best record in the Eastern League.  The Binghamton Mets, however, are just 4 1/2 games behind in the Eastern Division of the EL.  The Sea Dogs dropped four straight in Binghamton this month so the race for the top spot in the EL could become very interesting the rest of the way.  And if Henry gets promoted, as well as Sean Coyle and catcher Blake Swihart, that top spot would be even harder to hold onto.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

But on Monday Blake was on hand and Henry and Sean were due back when the EL season resumes on Thursday.

Portland did promote a catcher to Pawtucket but this time it was reserve Matt Spring.  They also brought a new catcher in from the Lowell Spinners, Danny Bethea.

Danny got his first at-bats at the AA level versus New Hampshire (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate) and picked up an RBI in his first at-bat.  That RBI came on a slow dribbler down the first baseline that NH starter Casey Lawrence opted to go to first with allowing Jonathan Roof to score.

Portland starter Mike Augliera gave up his tenth homer of the season to Andy Fermin but benefited from a matching homer from teammate Heiker Meneses.  Mike is now 4-8 and hadn’t won a game in nearly two month.

Part of the Sea Dogs’ success this season has been the way they have dominated the Cats from New Hampshire.  With today’s win the season record favors Portland 10-4.

It was Campers’ Day at Hadlock and the camps each had their own tee-shirts.  On a hot afternoon (the game started at noon) there was plenty of action at the concessions stands.

Slugger has spent the season riding on a jeep instead of working on his base running.

Slugger has spent the season riding on a jeep instead of working on his base running.

It was another sorry day for Slugger in his season-long quest to beat someone (anyone) on the race around the bases.  For some reason Slugger’s opponent always gets a half-base lead.  That seems unfair since Slugger hasn’t won yet this year!  In today’s race Slugger was matched up against a girl.  This kid was small but fast but Slugger is big and fast and crossed second base with the lead. Then for some unknown reason the Sea Dogs mascot decided to head out between first and second for a brief chat with an umpire.  I ask you, what would they have to talk about at this point?  But Slugger still had a chance because as he got to first the little girl was just getting to third….this race was even.  But what happened next, is worthy of a full-blown investigation. A Sea Dogs’ staff member, standing at first base, offered Slugger a drink of water.  I now believe that the staff member and the little girl are related.  Of course, Slugger stops for the drink instead of taking it on the fly. When the mascot resumes running the little girl is home the winner.  Very disappointing.

I’ve seen Slugger lose after falling over second base, but losing because of time wasted chatting and drinking is unacceptable.  I would recommend that he spend some pre-game time running the bases instead of riding around recklessly on the back of a jeep!

Michael Almanzar score first Portland run

Michael Almanzar score first Portland run

Prime photo target for me at Hadlock was catcher Blake Swihart.  I suspect that his days with Portland are numbered.  Blake was a first-round compensation pick for Boston in 2011 after the Red Sox lost Adrian Beltre.  In today’s win Blake caught a NH runner trying to steal.  The 22-year-old has 10 homers and 48 RBI.

I was part of a good crowd (6,552) enjoying the game.  Portland games are affordable and offer glimpses of future Red Sox players.  Think Mookie Betts!

Thanks to Chris Cameron for setting me up to see the game.

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

Michael Almanzar

Michael Almanzar

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

fun with young fans

fun with young fans

Heiker Meneses (home run in game)

Heiker Meneses (home run in game)

Shannon Wilkerson

Shannon Wilkerson

Jon Berti (28 stolen bases)

Jon Berti (28 stolen bases)

Blake Swihart consoles starter Mike Augliera after home run pitch

Blake Swihart consoles starter Mike Augliera after home run pitch

Andy Fermin in home run trot

Andy Fermin in home run trot

Jonathan Roof scores as Casey Lawence throws to first

Jonathan Roof scores as Casey Lawence throws to first

Danny Bethea batting for the first time in Portland

Danny Bethea batting for the first time in Portland

Peter Hissey

Peter Hissey

newspaper toss

newspaper toss

NH starter Casey Lawrence

NH starter Casey Lawrence

shortstop Ryan Dent sets to throw to first

shortstop Ryan Dent sets to throw to first

Olympian Julia Clukey threw out the first pitch

Olympian Julia Clukey threw out the first pitch

Derrik Gibson back after short time with Pawtucket

Derrik Gibson back after short time with Pawtucket

Jonathan Roof

Jonathan Roof

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Top Toronto Blue Jays prospect Aaron Sanchez sighted in visit to New Hampshire Fisher Cats game

 

The top prospect of the Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) warms up

The top prospect of the Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) warms up

Aaron Sanchez views the action from the Fisher Cats dugout

Aaron Sanchez views the action from the Fisher Cats dugout

(Manchester NH)  I saw the Binghamton Mets defeat the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 6-0, on a Wednesday morning/afternoon Eastern League game.

The weather was beautiful with plenty of Manchester (NH) school kids on hand for the 10:35AM start.

New Hampshire is the AA minor league team of the Toronto Blue Jays.  With a little bit of homework I learned that the Blue Jays #1 prospect, pitcher Aaron Sanchez, was on the New Hampshire roster.

Pitchers are the most challenging to get pictures of unless they are pitching.  Otherwise they’re usually out in the bullpen far away from any pictures ……… unless they’re pitching the next game.  And that was the case today with Aaron. He was scheduled to pitch tomorrow (Thursday), so he warmed up briefly before the game and then was in the dugout.

Aaron was drafted in the first round by Toronto in 2010.  The 21-year-old can get over 95MPH with his fastball and is developing pitches to go with the heater.

Similar to Mookie Betts of Portland, Aaron should be at AAA before the 2014 season is over.

Greg Peavey pitched a 2-hitter for Binghamton

Greg Peavey pitched a 2-hitter for Binghamton

Even though Aaron didn’t pitch, I saw a pretty good pitcher in Binghamton’s Greg Peavey.  The Mets rightly pitched a complete game two hitter.

Fisher Cats starter Casey Lawrence served up a 3-run homer down the rightfield line to Brian Burgamy in the third inning.  That shot provided more than enough runs for Greg Peavey.

Third baseman Andy Burns is off to a nice start with New Hampshire so I took a number of pictures of him.

I was disappointed with the efforts of Fungo the mascot.  He tried to outrun one of the kid spectators and didn’t come close to getting the job done.  The big problem was the bad start.  The kid was so confident that he was looking over his shoulder as he went from third to home.

They had a shirt shoot that stirred plenty of excitement.  I have seen that done at the TD Garden but not at an outdoor event.

Shortstop Kevin Nolan made a nice stop and throw on a ball deep in the hole.

Andy Burns turns a popup into an adventure

Andy Burns turns a popup into an adventure

Andy Burns nearly misjudged a foul popup.  He came in for it and then started fading back eventually ending up on his back after he made the catch.  His teammates were merciless to him when he returned to the dugout.

I continue to recommend a visit to a minor league baseball game at the home of the Fisher Cats, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.  The prices are good and the entertainment is constant.  You can get close to the action and you may well see one of the future stars of major league baseball.

Thanks again to media relations boss Tom Gauthier for arranging for my visit.

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

Kevin Nolan (SS) jumps and throws

Kevin Nolan (SS) jumps and throws

shirt shoot

shirt shoot

Aaron Sanchez in the dugout

Aaron Sanchez in the dugout

Andy Burns at third

Andy Burns at third

Andy Burns

Andy Burns

Andy Burns throws

Andy Burns throws

Aaron Sanchez warms up

Aaron Sanchez warms up

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Fungo loses again

Fungo loses again

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Aaron Sanchez

Andy Burns

Andy Burns

NH starter Casey Lawrence

NH starter Casey Lawrence

Binghamton catcher Xorge Carrillo eyes a popup

Binghamton catcher Xorge Carrillo eyes a popup

Andy Burns in on a bunt

Andy Burns in on a bunt

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Filed under Binghamton Mets, New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Mickey Pena debuts in 4-2 Portland Sea Dogs win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Peter Hissey hustles to beat the throw to first enabling the Portland Sea Dogs to score their first run.

Derrik Gibson hustles to beat the throw to first enabling the Portland Sea Dogs to score their first run.

Christian Vazquez had three hits and drove in the 4th Portland run

Christian Vazquez had three hits and drove in the 4th Portland run

(Portland)  They fought like cats and dogs.

I’m sorry, I just had to use that.  Why? Because it was true.

Tight game this afternoon with the Portland Sea Dogs getting three runs in the eighth inning on their way to a 4-2 win over the visiting New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

The Wednesday noon start brought out over six thousand fans and they saw the home team win an important game.  The Sea Dogs are currently in 4th place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League.

The top two teams will make the playoffs.  Binghamton will get first but the race for second place is tightening up.  Second place Trenton (Yankee farm team) leads Portland by 4 ½ games with 13 games left.  However, by the luck of the schedule, the two teams will meet a remarkable nine times the rest of the way including the last five at Hadlock Field.  The opportunity to move up in the standings is certainly there for the taking for the Sea Dogs.

Many of today’s attendees were disappointed to learn yesterday that phenom Henry Owens would not be pitching in today’s game.  Henry has pitched once at Hadlock and that was after a two-hour rain delay.  Let’s just say that not too many have seen him pitch in person at the AA level in Portland.

Mickey Pena made his AA debut pitching seven shutout innings

Mickey Pena made his AA debut pitching seven shutout innings

Mickey Pena got the start today for Portland and the lefty looked very good.  There was no indication that this was his AA debut.  He has been with Salem (A) this season.  Mickey went seven innings giving up only five hits and no runs.

Marcus Walden of the Fisher Cats was just as effective as Mickey was.  Marcus came in with the deceiving 6-12 record but he had won four games against Portland with a very impressive 1.56 ERA.

The Sea Dogs scratched out a run in the 4th inning.  Christian Vazquez (three hits/1 run/1 rbi) scored from third as Derrik Gibson’s hustle prevented an inning ending double play.

That 1-0 looked safe after reliever Jeremy Kehrt retired the first two batters in the eighth inning but then the wheels came off.  Jeremy gave up six hits to the next nine batters he faced.  He did manage to escape with only one run given up in the eighth but the score was now tied.

Michael Almanzar had a two-out, two-run triple in the eighth inning.

Michael Almanzar had a two-out, two-run triple in the eighth inning.

A hit batsman and a walk surrounded two outs for Portland in their half of the eighth.  Out went Marcus Walden and in came Evan Crawford.  That switch did not go well!  Michael Almanzar tripled to right bringing both runners home.  That was the 24th run this season that Michael has delivered with two outs.  Christian Vazquez followed with a single and Portland had a 4-1 lead.

In the ninth Jeremy Kehrt continued to struggle.  He gave up a run (now 4-2) and he left with two outs and the bases loaded.  Noe Ramirez came on to save the game getting Andy Burns to pop to shortstop Derrik Gibson along the left-field line.

I will have to admit that I was a bit disappointed not to see Henry Owens in action. However, maybe I’ll look back in a few years and say I saw Mickey Pena debut in AA ball.  He could be a good one.

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

With Henry out of the mix, I was left to get recently called up Deven Marrero.  Would you believe that he wasn’t playing either!

I did, however, get some shots of Deven before and during the game……but not any action shots.

Minor league baseball is a great take for the family.  There certainly is plenty of entertainment for everyone.  I did notice the there were few buses in front of Hadlock so obviously camps are over and the resumption of school is at hand.

I continue to be disappointed with the Sea Dog mascot Sluggo.  How many times can he lose to opponents ¼ his size?  He always gets a bad start and usually falls down, which gives him no chance.  I wonder if he’s heard of the Washington Generals??

Sluggo loses to another youngster

Sluggo loses to another youngster

Thanks to Portland Sea Dogs media director Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.  I may try to get back to Hadlock during their five-game series with Trenton that ends the season.  There is a big if.  Henry Owens has to be pitching.  I would like to think that in a five-game series, that might mean something, the 20-year-old would get a start.

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

Rich Gedman

Rich Gedman

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

pre-game chat

pre-game chat

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

JC Linares and Michael Almanzar

JC Linares and Michael Almanzar

loose ball

loose ball

Derrik Gibson

Derrik Gibson

Christian Vazquez gets high five from Shannon Wilkerson after scoring first run

Christian Vazquez gets high five from Shannon Wilkerson after scoring first run

sea of green

sea of green

Marcus Walden

Marcus Walden

Kenny Wilson takes second

Kenny Wilson takes second

sliding results

sliding results

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf

Mickey Pena throws to first

Mickey Pena throws to first

Kevin Heller

Kevin Heller

Ryan Dent steals second - he had two steals in the game.

Ryan Dent steals second – he had two steals in the game.

Garin Cecchini

Garin Cecchini

Gary Allenson and Garin Cecchini

Gary Allenson and Garin Cecchini

Mickey Pena

Mickey Pena

Deck McGuire

Deck McGuire

Richie Hebner signs

Richie Hebner signs

Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

Garin Cecchini

Garin Cecchini

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Franklin Morales and Dave Ross rehab at Portland

Portland infield - Michael Almanzar, Xander Bogaerts, Derrik Gibson, Matt Spring

Portland infield – Michael Almanzar, Xander Bogaerts, Derrik Gibson, Matt Spring

(Portland)  Third straight win for the Sea Dogs as they defeated New Hampshire, 8-4, on a Thursday morning/afternoon Eastern League game.

The treat for the 4,622 attending was that two Boston Red Sox players (Franklin Morales and David Ross) were rehabbing with the Sea Dogs.

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Portland (27-18) is currently at the top of the Eastern League East with a two-game lead over the Binghamton Mets.  The Sea Dogs have gone to Binghamton (NY) for a weekend series.

The announcement that Morales and Ross would be playing came late.  I was geared to take a look at Portland pitcher Anthony Ranaudo.  Anthony has pitched well enough in 2013 (5-1/1.67 ERA/0.91 WHIP) to deserve a promotion to Pawtucket before too long.

I anticipated a small turnout at Hadlock Field.  An 11AM start on a Thursday with overcast conditions drove that point of view.  I realized the error of my thinking when I saw 30 (?) school buses lined up outside the stadium.

The students were entertained and talked to for about an hour before the game.

As part of the education segment, a lady involved with science launched a rocket.  Something about that activity always gets me a bit nervous when I think of something like that being tried by one of these school kids when they get home.

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales

Catcher Dave Ross told the Press Herald that he had to borrow a glove from Jason Varitek for the game.  There were two other former Red Sox catchers on the scene – Rich Gedman (Portland hitting coach) and Gary Allenson (New Hampshire manager).

Ross (36-years-old) has been on the DL since May 11th after he took a couple of pitches off his mask against Toronto and suffered a concussion.

Ross headed back to Boston after five innings were over expecting to be checked out the Boston team physicians.

Franklin Morales got the win for Portland.  He went five innings and gave up six hits and one run.

Franklin (27-years-old) has been on the DL since opening day with a back strain.   This was his fifth rehab start.  I don’t know if he’ll have anymore or not.

I did not see Matt Barnes, the Red Sox’s first round pick in 2011.

Ryan Schimpf had a big game for the Fisher Cats going 4-for-5.

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

The top player at Portland, in my opinion, is Xander Bogaerts.  Young (20) and at the top of his game.  Good fielder (shortstop) and an improving bat.  Xander had a triple in today’s game.

This was my second time seeing New Hampshire.  Their top player (again, in my opinion) is Kevin Pillar.  This 24-year-old outfielder plays quality defense and is currently 7th in the Eastern League in batting at .316.

I am again grateful to Chris Cameron (media relations director) for setting up my visit to Hadlock Field today.  Chris also puts in time with the Sea Dogs grounds crew.

The dugout view that I was allowed to have is the best picture-taking spot at Hadlock.  It also can be a bit dangerous.  During this visit I had a one-hop grounder come toward me, bounce over my head, carom off the brick behind me, and back onto the field.

I hope to get back to Hadlock in July.  I notice that there is one of those “getaway” games on July 8th.

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

Ryan Schimpf

Ryan Schimpf

Dave Ross and Amadeo Zazueta

Dave Ross and Amadeo Zazueta

play at second

play at second

mascot

mascot

Rich Gedman

Rich Gedman

Matt Spring

Matt Spring

youngster outruns mascot to get prize

youngster outruns mascot to get prize

lady contestant

lady contestant

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs

Third annual visit to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Antoan Richardson dives back as Clint Robinson waits for a throw during the New Hampshire/New Britain game on April 25th.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Plenty of fun at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

(Manchester NH) I made my third annual visit today to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I usually collect stats and then try to describe a game.  No need to do that at the AA level of the minor leagues because their websites have all that taken care of.

So instead, I go strictly to take pictures.  Action shots always have an interest to me but the big attraction is getting photos of prospects.

Ever since I got Bryce Harper two years ago when Harrisburg visited Portland I have assumed that the next phenom may turn up at an AA game.

I chose the New Hampshire/New Britain game because of the 10:35AM start.  The reason for the early game time is because NH is playing at Reading (PA) tomorrow night.  That’s a long bus ride!

Manchester is less than an hour away from the readership in the weekly newspaper (The Town Common) that I take pictures for.  Minor league baseball is an affordable, entertaining activity that the whole family can enjoy.

The weather was terrific for an April 25th morning – sunny with temps close to 60 degrees.

The two best players in this game were Alex Meyer and Kevin Pillar.  As is usually the case, I had never seen these players before so there is some mental scrambling needed to prepare.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Fortunately, Alex was the starting pitcher for New Britain.  Kevin was in the starting lineup as the leftfielder for New Hampshire.

I also wanted to get Danny Ortiz and Danny Santana of New Britain.

Alex Meyer is a 6-9, 23-year-old.  The Red Sox drafted him in 2008 but he wouldn’t sign even though they offered him a $2 million bonus.  He signed for that same number in 2011 when the Washington Nationals drafted him in the first round at #23.  Last November Alex was traded to Minnesota for Denard Span.

Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Alex pitched six innings today to get the 4-1 win (his second) against the Rock Cats.  He gave up eight hits, one earned run, and had seven strikeouts.

When I first got onto the field I learned that the Twins had just moved from New Britain up to Rochester (AAA).  My Murphy’s Law mentality imagined that it was Alex……..but it wasn’t.

Kevin Pillar came from a Division 2 college background in California.  He had a 54-game hitting streak but the D2 level of competition minimized that achievement in the minds of major league scouts.

Kevin Pillar

Kevin Pillar

Kevin was drafted in the 32nd round by the Twins in 2011.  He did very well (.347 batting average in sixty games) in the Rookie League in 2011.

In 2012 he played at Single A and high Single A and had a monster year – .323 average/6 homers/91 RBI/ and 51 stolen bases.

The 24-year-old is also an excellent outfielder.

I would strongly suspect that both players will be at Triple A before the 2013 season is over.

Special thanks to Tom Gauthier (media relations director) for arranging my visit.

Here’s a look at some of the things I saw today at the New Britain/New Hampshire game.

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

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Danny Ortiz

Danny Santana

Danny Ortiz

Bruce Pugh

Bruce Pugh

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

New Britain pitching coach Stu Cliburn

pre-game rocket launch

pre-game rocket launch

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Fisher Cats coach Richie Hebner

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Reynaldo Rodriguez

Mark Sobolewski

Mark Sobolewski

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

New Britain manager Jeff Smith

Josmil Pinto

Josmil Pinto

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

James Beresford

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson

Danny Santana

Danny Santana

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Filed under New Hampshire Fisher Cats

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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