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May 9, 2007 May 9, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Ashmore Photo Journal: Here are some photos I hope you’ll enjoy from my last two days of covering Atlantic League baseball…

Tommy John and Wayne Krenchicki exchange pleasantries before the start of the Newark Bears home opener.

Bobby Brownlie throwing his first Atlantic League pitch yesterday.

Dave Elder took the hill for his second start of the season today.

Road Warriors manager Jeff Scott takes in the action.

Manny Ulloa got the nod for the Road Warriors today.

Anderson (Photo: Ashmore)

Pats Lose Another: P Jason Anderson is the next to go from Somerset, being signed by the Philadelphia Phillies today. He will report to Triple-A Ottawa.

“Jason was one of many players on our team that was receiving a lot of interest from Major League clubs. We feel that just about everybody on our team this year is a strong candidate to be signed and it shows how good the play in the Atlantic League has become each year,” said Patrick McVerry in a team statement.

Noah Hall and Anderson are the first two players to be picked up by affiliated teams this season, although some players are signing elsewhere…

Williams Leaves Lancaster: Jason Guarente is doing what Jason Guarente does — staying on top of things in Lancaster. He reports that OF Clyde Williams has left for Mexico…stay tuned to his blog, as details are forthcoming.

Williams played in three games for the Barnstormers, hitting .222 (1-for-9) with 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Gray’s Anatomy: OF Sean Gamble, who attended Spring Training with the Somerset Patriots, has signed with the Grays of the Can-Am League. The Grays are that league’s version of the Road Warriors.

Surfing the Atlantic?: P Clint Sodowsky’s name came up in a conversation with a team official the other day. He was released by his American Association team today, so who knows what that means for the former Tiger, Pirate, Cardinal and Diamondback.

Brownlie Wins AL Debut: Bobby Brownlie needed 72 pitches over six innings of work to pick up an impressive win on his road back to affiliated baseball. But perhaps that wasn’t even the story last night.

The Bluefish played horrible, embarassing, uninspired baseball. Anyone thinking I’m being too critical need only to look at the box score — they allowed 23 hits while mustering only five of their own in a 14-0 loss to the Bears.

Luis Figueroa had a particularly rough game at third base, making two errors and looking shaky on other plays. I was expecting to see a team that looked like they were 3-0, and they were just flat.

Garrett Berger was disappointing as well, he really had a tough time finding the strike zone. He gave up six runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks in just two thirds of an inning. He couldn’t really locate anything, and threw quite a few 55-footers. He’s a big boy, too…probably somewhere in the 250-260 pound range.

The only real disappointment for me on the evening is being unable to report anything regarding Brownlie’s velocity.

Gary Knotts, who will be starting for the Bears on Wednesday, was in the stands with a radar gun, but the Bears informed the attending reporters that it is team policy not to give out such information.

Mildly surprising to me was that there were no scouts (visibly) in attendance, so it’s not like I could have just asked one of them, either. Considering Brownlie is a Scott Boras client, I would have assumed he’d be looked at pretty heavily.

UPDATE: I spoke to Jim Cerny early this afternoon, and he said there were around five scouts in attendance.

Brownlie struck out two in the win. Whether I go to the game tomorrow night or speak to him on the phone after I leave the Patriots 11:05 game, I do expect to have quotes from him either way at some point today.

Here’s an inning-by-inning breakdown of how many pitches he threw and how many he threw for strikes…

1st: 14/11
2nd: 11/6
3rd: 10/7
4th: 13/8
5th: 11/5
6th: 13/6

TOTAL: 72 pitches/43 strikes (59.7%)

Pals, Headley Injured: Bluefish P Jordan Pals left the game after throwing 61 pitches in 2.2 innings, holding his right elbow after throwing a 1-2 curveball to C John Pachot. There was no update on his status by the time I left, but it didn’t look real great at the time.

The injury to Bears OF Jack Headley seemed far less serious, as he appeared to tweak a hamstring in the early going.

Pitching Matchups Today: Since someone asked, it’s Carlos Mirabal vs. Matt Beech in Newark. Dave Elder vs. Manny Ulloa is the projected matchup for Somerset’s early game.

Free Baseball: As a thank you for fans patient with their very recent change in food service providers, the Bears have offered fans with a ticket for last night’s game the opportunity to redeem that ticket for a ticket to any future Bears home game. 4,460 was the announced attendance last night (they actually did get a pretty nice turnout) and the lines in the concession stands were a little long, but nothing out of the ordinary appeared to be going on.

Either way, nice gesture by the Bears organization…and obviously, a smart gesture as well.

Road Warriors Cuts: Before I went to Newark, I stopped by Somerset for about an hour and asked Road Warriors manager Jeff Scott about the releases of both David Cardona and Alhaji Turay.

Scott said that Camden had sent over Omar Garcia and Rene Aqueron and that cuts needed to be made somewhere. Scott said that he was actually carrying 26 players, since Jeff Tam officially accepted his assignment to the Road Warriors. However, he will remain inactive until likely Thursday.

When pressed specifically on the cut of Turay, Scott pointed to his previous minor league numbers as a bit of a factor as well. Turay has been described to me as “a different kid” by a few people familiar with him now, and I’m not sure how endearing of a term that is. Anyway, if he can’t stick with the Road Warriors, you might see him end up in the Can-Am League somewhere.

All I’ll say is that it’s hard for me to accept that Turay is the low guy on the totem pole when another outfielder (as Jason Guarente noted) went 0-for-6 with 6 K’s in his first two games with the team.

The Obligatory Rickey Wants To Come Back Article: Is here

300: The Newark Bears home opener last night was the 300th professional game I’ve covered. 244 of those games are Atlantic League games, so I certainly owe a lot of my success to the league and everyone associated with it who helped me get started.

My usual thank you to Scott Stanchak for giving me the opportunity to do this five years ago is certainly in order here.

Also, thank you to Marc Russinoff for giving me my very first press pass and for dealing with my crap for five seasons now. – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. BoosterBabe - May 9, 2007

Thanks, Mike, for both the update on Pals and the pitching matchup for tonight. I guess the ‘Fish are going with a 4 man (well, really 3) rotation for now. We’ll be ok until Saturday.

Weather man predicted rain on Friday and Saturday. I hate to say it but that would be the best thing to happen to us right now.

4 games into the season and we’ve already got pitching trouble. My heart hurts.

2. Marge - May 9, 2007

Thanks Mike for an excellent update on last night game. You really need a medal your reports are better than the Star Ledger. Thanks for keeping us informed on all details.

3. Fausto Gabon - May 9, 2007
4. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 10, 2007

Thanks for the kind words, they’re always appreciated.

5. g.m.s. - May 10, 2007

Any idea who the scouts were on hand for Brownlie (ie which teams?) Just trying to find out for a Bears blog I am running. Thanks.

6. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 10, 2007

Probably not info I should be giving out. If you contact the Bears, maybe they’ll tell you…but I don’t think that’s something you should be getting third-hand.


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