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August 11, 2007 August 11, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Headlines: Scroll down for alumni photos, quotes and audio…

Somerset’s Scott Wiggins (Ashmore)

Jodie Talks About Wiggins: Somerset P Scott Wiggins takes a big step on the comeback trail tonight, making his first professional start since August 28, 2001 tonight at Commerce Bank Ballpark against the Road Warriors.

I caught up with Patriots pitching coach Brett Jodie before the game last night, and we talked about the plans and expectations the team has for the former big league lefty.

On how long Wiggins can go…

“We’re going to go by what he feels like, there’s not really a pitch count — but he’s not going to throw 100 or anything. He threw the ball pretty good the other day, he just needs to get some more command right now. I played with him for a little while, so I know he can start and relieve. He seems like the best candidate right now to go out and start for us. So we’ll throw him out there and see what he can do. He’s got all the offspeed stuff going, and he’s got a pretty good fastball. As long as he can locate it pretty good, he’ll be effective.”

On if this is a spot start or a long term move…

“It depends. There’s only a few guys that definitely have spots wrapped up starting, so as long as he does good, if he takes it and runs with it, that’s great and we can put him back in there. But if he struggles or something like that, then obviously we could look at moving him later. Right now, we’re just taking it one start at a time. I hope he does well, so we can leave him in there, absolutely.”

On if Casey Cahill would have been an option had he not gone 4+ innings a few days back…

“This is why I didn’t make my decision until just the other day, because I got a chance to see him pitch, and Cahill did throw a lot, so all those factors go into it. There were about three guys that were in the mix, Richardson was one too, and I told him about that. Cahill did a great job, there may be a chance where he gets a chance to go out there and start too.

Garcia Talks: I spoke to new Road Warriors P Mike Garcia before last night’s 8-3 victory over the Patriots…

The former Pittsburgh Pirate was most recently a pitching coach with Tijuana in the Mexican League before heading back stateside. He hadn’t pitched this season due to bursitis in his shoulder.

On why he returned to pitching…

“I wanted to come back and get some innings in here for next season, so maybe I can put myself out there for another coaching job with another team.”

On how he ended up with the Road Warriors…

“I knew Joe Klein from when I was in the Tigers organization. I was there in 1993, and he was the general manager at the time in the big leagues. I called my agent, and my agent called him, and Jeff Scott knew who I was and said yeah, bring him on over. I haven’t thrown in a while, my arm still hurts a little bit. But hopefully, they’ll let me come along slowly and get back into it and see if I can get my arm back.”

On if he’s going to continue playing after this season…

“If I can get right, and my arm feels right again, I’ll probably pursue playing unless something comes up. I’d rather have options than have no options at all.”

On if, considering his big league experience, players have approached him for advice…

“Sure. They’ll come up and ask different questions, even the hitters will ask questions. Most of the time, it’s the pitchers, and what they should be doing on the mound or what they should be looking for. This is a game of adjustments, and that’s what makes a better player.

On his fondest memories of his big league time with Pittsburgh…

“Just the atmosphere, the fans, the stadiums. The big league ballplayers you’re pitching against.”

On if he was surprised to not get back to the big leagues after putting up solid numbers…

“No. I made decisions along the way…I could have come back stateside, but I chose to go elsewhere. Who doesn’t want to get to the big leagues, but it’s the chance you take. If you go stateside, and you’re in Triple-A, you’re going to see people called up all around you because they’re on the (40-man) roster. If you’re a non-roster player, it’s tougher, and you have to put up all kinds of numbers to get picked up. I did, and you kind of get frustrated, so you just kind of leave it at that.”

On what factors into decisions to play in Mexico, Taiwan and elsewhere…

“Going into Mexico to play, it was my decision. Contracts in Triple-A are a little different now, compared to when I was there. I just felt a little more of a comfort zone over in Mexico pitching. It’s a tough decision to make, but it’s more about getting your innings in and doing the best you can, and maybe somebody will notice you.”

Note: Garcia made his AL debut in Lancaster on August 6th, although his stats were credited to Omar Garcia instead. He did not fare well, allowing three hits, five runs (two earned), a walk and a home run in a third of an inning.

Ezi Does It: One of the more odd plays of the Atlantic League season unfolded last night in Bridgewater. Somerset’s Keith Ramsey was on the mound, and he’d just given up a walk to Ron Fenwick. Fenwick was then bunted over to second by Fleming Baez. Travis Ezi came up to the plate, and that’s when things started to get a little weird. Ezi hit a flare to left, and Fenwick started rounding third to head home. Jason Romano’s throw came to catcher Travis Anderson, who tried to get a retreating Fenwick out at third. Instead, the ball sailed past Jose Morban and into left field. With all the players still out of position from the fly ball, nobody was there to immediately get the ball, and Ezi came all the way around to score.

More Garcia News: Somerset All-Star INF Danny Garcia is very close to returning to the Patriots lineup. Still on the DL, Garcia hit off a tee yesterday, and told me the other day that it’s very possible he could return during this current three-game tilt against the Road Warriors.

Patriot for a day, Jason Anderson (Ashmore photo)

Bridgeport’s Shaun Boyd (Ashmore photo)

Somerset player for a week Mike Kinkade (Ashmore photo)

Newark All-Star Gary Knotts (Ashmore photo)

Somerset’s Chris Rojas (Ashmore photo)

Lancaster’s Charlie Weatherby (Ashmore Photo)

Atlantic League All-Star Game: It’s a good thing I didn’t go to the actual game in Lancaster, because the alumni game has come to me. I’m in Trenton (Noah Hall, Mike Kinkade, Scott Patterson) to see them take on Reading (Chris Rojas, Charlie Weatherby, Jason Anderson, Gary Knotts and Shaun Boyd).

I caught up with Kinkade already, who…ummm, didn’t have a whole lot to say. I’ll be working on getting some of the Reading guys, so stay tuned for that…

I’m looking forward to seeing Knotts pitch, I’ve seen him pitch at every stage of his career…I saw him at Double-A Portland when he was on the way up, I saw him pitch for the Marlins when he was at the top, I’ve seen him pitch for Newark when he was towards the bottom, and now I’m getting to see him in his way back up. Should be a fun night.

UPDATED: I spoke to Rojas, Weatherby, Anderson and Boyd. Quotes tonight or tomorrow…

UPDATED WITH AUDIO: Charlie Weatherby talks about the passionate Lancaster fans HERE.

Jason Anderson talks about his brief stay with Somerset HERE. – Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. BoosterBabe - August 11, 2007

Hmm…maybe Rich Elliott reads this blog?
Both of my questions from last night were answered:

Why a double-header on 8/23 rather than this weekend? Answered in today’s CT Post: “Bluefish general manager Bill Larsen had been contemplating playing a doubleheader Sunday afternoon. But the idea was scratched once he learned that the Barnstormers have a make-up doubleheader at Newark Monday.”

And “where oh where is Brian Boehringer when we need him?” Answered as well: “The Bluefish should also receive a definitive decision today on the status of right-hander Brian Boehringer, who underwent elbow surgery June 5. He was to throw another bullpen in St. Louis Friday and make a decision whether to rejoin the team or retire.”

I hope he rejoins!! And Thanks, Rich, for answering the burning questions.

The rest of the article stated that TJ is looking at Pitcher Chad Bentz today. IMO, the rainout and delay until 8/23 of last night’s game was a fortuitous turn of events, considering the current state of our pitching rotation.

I’d say maybe they could coerce Kevin Hodges into coming back for the last 6-7 weeks, but I just remembered, he’s contracted to York, so that wouldn’t do us any good at all!

THat just leaves one unanswered question: What the heck happened to Mike Porzio? And why aren’t we getting any news about it?

2. tteski - August 12, 2007

Another impressive come from behind win for the Ducks on Saturday night. This is the 5th time this month that the Ducks have won a game after either being behind or tied after 7 innings. They’re posted the best record in the second half so far with good pitching and timely hitting, something that was lacking in the first half. They’ve opened up a 9.5 game lead over third place Bridgeport (I don’t know what boosterbabe is putting in those baked goods for the Bluefish,but keep it up) and they have 8 series wins out of the 10 series played in the second half so far and they’re going for their 4th series sweep in that time span on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully they can keep this up for the rest of the season and not lose any players to the majors (the Rockies scouts have been checking out Carl Everett this past week).


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