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May 30, 2007 May 30, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Today’s Headlines: Big returns…York loses two…Norton cut…Get Well Kevin Mannix…Pressley breaks homer drought (hits another tonight)…Ten to watch…Harris Quotes…Ironmen…Boehringer hurt…Ezi to the Road Warriors…Turay to the Frontier League…Brownlie watch…Youngbauer coming?

Top Story – Big Returns: Reliable sources tell AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com that a big name is on his way to the Atlantic League, and should be joining the team within the next seven days.

Furthermore, a Major League pitcher will be coming to the league in time for a weekend series.

Both players have Atlantic League ties. Stay tuned for all the latest.

York Loses Two More: After way too many phone calls and e-mails, I’ve finally confirmed that P Ryan Baerlocher and P Adam Thomas have been picked up out of York.

Baerlocher has signed with the Atlanta Braves, and Thomas was scooped up by the Oakland Athletics.

Baerlocher led the league with 41 strikeouts, while Thomas led the team with five saves.

BASA and York officials did not immediately return requests for comment.

Patriots Cut Norton: The Somerset Patriots have released P Phil Norton. The reliever was gracious enough to speak with me in the clubhouse after he found out he’d been let go.

“I couldn’t throw strikes,” said Norton, waiting in the clubhouse and playing cards with his now former teammates.

“I’m not mad or anything. If you don’t perform, then you don’t keep going.”

Norton said he’s going to go home for a while before he decides on his baseball future. At the time of his departure, he had a 7.11 ERA in eight appearances.

Get Well Kevin Mannix: It happened a while ago, but this was the first I’d heard of it…get well to Road Warriors P Kevin Mannix, who was hit by a car while in Cherry Hill, which is just outside of Camden. Unfortunately, the former Duck suffered a broken pelvis in the accident, and will be out of commission for quite some time.

Pressley Homers: 1B Josh Pressley lost his Atlantic League home run virginity yesterday, finally going yard against the Newark Bears. Pressley, who hit 22 home runs in 2005, had 75 at-bats entering last night’s game.

(He homered again tonight)

Here’s a look at the league leaders for most at-bats without a home run.

Quincy Foster, LAN, 104 at-bats
Corey Smith, NWK, 90 at-bats
Bobby Malek, BPT, 90 at-bats
Edgardo Alfonzo, LI, 74 at-bats
Peter Bergeron, YORK, 74 at-bats
Damian Rolls, LI, 69 at-bats
Travis Hake, YORK, 66 at-bats
Matt DeMarco, CAM, 65 at-bats
John Pachot, NWK, 65 at-bats
Sandy Aracena, RW, 62 at-bats

While Smith has been anything but a disappointment, his lack of power has certainly been disappointing. He last homered on August 20, 2006 for Double-A Birmingham, the last of his 12 taters that season.

Elliott Ayala also homered for the Patriots yesterday, his first since August 19, 2005 for Mid-Missouri of the Frontier League, and just his second home run overall since 2002. It was the sixth of his career.

Ten You Should Be Talking About:

Nick Ortiz, INF, Bluefish. All the AL vet is doing is hitting .325 with a home run and 12 RBI in his first 24 games…in fact, he’s one of only two players on the team to have played in all 24 contests. Well-respected around the league, it’s about time the fans start respecting this guy’s game as well.

Eddy Ramos, RP, Bluefish. Chris Fussell has gotten a lot of buzz as the best closer in the league, but don’t overlook what Eddy Ramos is doing in Bridgeport. He’s allowed one run in his first 11 innings (0.82 ERA) and has collected four saves.

Ramon Linares, RP, Riversharks. Middle relievers get very little recognition around all of baseball, and the Atlantic League is clearly no exception. But this guy might be one of the next to get picked up. He’s allowed just two earned runs in 16 innings of work (1.13 ERA), has struck out 17 batters compared to two walks, and the opposition is hitting only .161 off of him.

Jorge Piedra, OF, Ducks. He’s hitting .368 with four home runs and 20 RBI this season. The numbers speak for themselves on that one. The former Rockie can’t be far away from an affiliated team knocking on his door.

Pete Rose, Jr., INF, Ducks. Rose, who traditionally does not get off to a hot start, has done just that this season. His batting average is hovering around .350, and he’s second on the team in both home runs (4) and RBI (16). Perhaps most impressive is that he’s struck out just nine times in 86 at-bats.

Ramon Castro, INF, Bears. Hello, .414 batting average, good to see you there. Castro hasn’t seen his average dip below .413 after going 0-for-3 on Opening Day, and has only two games all season in which he hasn’t reached base. While the Bears success is highly contingent on their pitching staff, losing this guy might cripple them.

Edwin Almonte, RP, Bears. Could he be the next reliever signed out of Newark? Holding opposing batters to a .184 batting average, the former Met is 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA in nine games. His 15 strikeouts tie him for the team lead among relievers with Jason DiAngelo.

Estee Harris, OF, Road Warriors. Harris is property of the Ducks, and don’t be surprised to see him there sooner rather than later. Harris and Sandy Aracena are the two best position players the Road Warriors have, with the former Yankee prospect hitting .298 with four home runs and 13 RBI this year.

Bernie Gonzalez, RP, Road Warriors. The guy was an outfielder last season, and yet his 2.25 ERA is third best on the team to fellow relievers Benito Baez and Alberto Castillo. Hitters are batting just .194 against him, but he does have more walks (8) than strikeouts (7).

Andy Van Hekken, SP, Patriots. The lefty has improved on last year’s numbers in a big way, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.64 ERA in his first five starts. The ex-Tiger doesn’t have a fastball that’s going to light up the radar gun (although one of his former catchers referred to it as “heavy” recently) but instead relies on his secondary stuff to overpower Atlantic League hitters.

On The Road With Estee Harris: Estee Harris doesn’t mind the 126-game road trip, but he wouldn’t mind playing in front of his hometown fans either.

The Central Islip native’s rights are owned by the Long Island Ducks, who play in the same town.

“I really don’t try to think about it that much, it’s out of my control,” Harris said.

The Road Warriors recently played in Long Island, where the former Yankee prospect got to play in front of some family and friends.

After being released by New York this spring, Harris has played well in his first stint in independent ball, hitting .298 with four home runs and 13 RBI.

“This is tougher than anything I’ve ever done in pro ball, so I look at it as a challenge. I have a lot of respect for the guys in this league — a lot of guys have played in the big leagues, and Triple-A and Double-A, so it’s a very competitive league.”

Atlantic League Ironmen: The following players have played in all of their team’s games so far.

Bridgeport (24): Bobby Malek, Nick Ortiz
Camden (24): L.J. Biernbaum, Justin Singleton
Lancaster (24): Danny Gonzalez, Jeremy Todd
Long Island (23): Jorge Piedra
Newark (23): Ramon Castro, Victor Rodriguez, Corey Smith
Road Warriors (22): NONE
Somerset (24): Danny Garcia, Mike Lockwood, Jeff Nettles, Josh Pressley
York (22): Matt Dryer

Last season, no Atlantic League player played in all of his team’s games –Raul Marval came the closest, playing in 124 of Atlantic City’s 126 games.

Previous Leaders

2005: Jeremy Owens (SOM) 137/140
2004: Jeff Nettles (SOM) and Bo Robinson (NAS)123/126
2003: Elvis Pena (LI) 123/126
2002: Mike Glavine (SOM) 125/125*
2001: Steve Hine (NWK) and John Adams (LVY) 123/126
2000: Ric Johnson (LVY) 138/139
1999: Sharnol Adriana (NWK) 139/139
1998: Will Pennyfeather (AC) 100/100

* Somerset played in 126 games that year, but one was declared a tie and did not count in the standings.

So, what trend do we see here? Somerset has the most players that have played in every game this season, and have had a player lead the league in games played three out of the past five seasons.

Also, in the history of the league, there are only three occurences where one player played in all of his team’s games.

Boehringer Injured: Rich Elliott of The Connecticut Post reports that Bluefish P Brian Boehringer left yesterday’s game with apparent arm discomfort. Read more about it and see quotes from the former Yankee here.

That’s Why I’m Ezi: OF Travis Ezi, who hit .170 in 14 games for York, has re-surfaced on the Road Warriors. No word on what move, if any, was made to accomodate him on the Road Warriors roster.

The Evening Sun reports that he was “traded” for a player to be named later.

Turay Time: OF Alhaji Turay, who lasted approximately eight seconds as a member of the Road Warriors, has signed with the Rockford Riverhawks of the Frontier League. Not the most popular guy in the clubhouse, so let’s see how long he lasts there.

Brownlie Watch: Newark Bears P Bobby Brownlie makes his fifth start of the season tonight, this time facing the Long Island Ducks at Citibank Park. The former Cubs prospect is slated to make start #6 in Somerset on Monday, and I’ll keep everyone on top of the Brownlie story when that happens.

I have tried to make arrangements to get his line after he leaves the game tonight.

Infielder Coming?: INF Scott Youngbauer, who was released by the Boston Red Sox on Monday, may be headed to the Atlantic League according to various rumors. Youngbauer is a 28-year-old minor league middle infielder who’s reached Triple-A. He was hitting .167 for Double-A Portland at the time of his release, and was on the radar of one team very early this off-season before signing with Boston. – Mike Ashmore



1. mnlem - May 30, 2007

Where would Somerset be without Van Hekken. He has been great and seems to be pitching very smart. Seems like a totally different pitcher than last year.

2. fishyfan - May 30, 2007

today’s CT Post reports a possible bone spur as the cause of Boehringer’s leaving the game yesterday.

Maybe Spivey got the day off as Angel Espada was playing again.. just this fan’s take on it. Don’t think Junior is hurt.

Pat Ahearne is off to Taiwan after one appearance in his Bluefish uniform.

Agree with Mike that Nick Ortiz is one to watch.. he has been playing really well this year both at the plate and in the field.

3. BoosterBabe - May 30, 2007

WOW…can’t believe Ahearne is gone already.
Hoping the only reason Spivey was off Tues was to rest and let Espada play. That would be a good reason but with all the comings and goings we see in this league, you can’t blame me for going right to “uh oh, is he going somewhere?” We’ve seen it happen before. We wonder why they aren’t playing, and poof, next day or so we read in the papers…”He’s gone”. Good for them, that’s what the league seems to be for. But as a fan, it’s not always the best news.

Hope Boe’s ok and back soon….thought we had our #5 guy in Ahearne. Now that he’s gone to Taiwan…and with Boe out injured…we’re down to 3. Beech, Porzio and Edwards. (and I had to stop and think about who #3 was for a second!!!) 🙂

Here’s to a Win for Beech in Lancaster tonight. Go Fish! Does Lancaster webcast? Amy, if you say hello, send my regards, too! LOL I know you remember him from Reading.

Got the Sox on ESPN tonight vs. Cleveland but I can also monitor the Fish on the web if they webcast.

4. Fausto Gabon - May 30, 2007
5. BoosterBabe - May 30, 2007

Thanks. Got it! Come on Fish!

6. chuckerd58 - May 30, 2007

Great job today with all the AL info.Glad to see the props for Nick Ortiz.I think he is one of the more underrated players in the league. I wonder if the big name coming back is Radmanovich.Just a guess since he is playing in his home country,but,you never know.

7. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - May 31, 2007

Thank you — I always appreciate any feedback.

That’s pretty much all the info I can give you on the big name. It’s a legit big name, I can assure you of that.

8. BoosterBabe - May 31, 2007

wow. BLuefish got bombed tonight. I’m seriously worried about their pitching.

9. Sportswriter - May 31, 2007

Brownlie allowed two homers, a three-run shot by Ray Navarrete following a walk and hit batsman and a two-run shot by Kevin Haverbusch following a walk. He only struck out one, not much of an outing considering the Ducks can be prone to striking out. On the other hand, Randy Leek is now 3-0, went 8 innings, allowed five hits and two runs, one walk and three strikeouts.

10. www.BrickCityBruins.com - May 31, 2007

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