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June 13, 2008 – Ryan Drese Talks June 13, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Soler Signs: The Long Island Ducks have added former New York Mets P Alay Soler. Soler entered 2007 as a top 10 prospect for the Mets according to Baseball America, and made six appearances for the Metropolitans in 2006, going 2-3 with a 6.00 ERA.

Soler had been on the Atlantic League radar since last season, and was rumored to possibly be heading to another team several days ago.

Anyone wondering whether the Ducks are trying to make a run for the first half crown need to wonder no more. Clearly, they’re starting to bring in the big guns.

Bonvechio Picked Up, Harris Too: Camden INF Brent Bonvechio and Long Island OF Estee Harris have both been signed by the Chicago White Sox.

Bonvechio was hitting .227 with 7 home runs and 39 RBI.

Harris was hitting .328 with 6 home runs and 30 RBI, and had really seemed to show improvement and better plate discipline than he had last season.

Blosser Signs With Lancaster: Former Boston Red Sox and Somerset Patriots INF Greg Blosser has signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers, who have also added P Sean Yeomen.

Blosser was in spring training with Southern Maryland this year after not having played since 2003, and Butch Hobson indicated he might like to bring him back later this season.

UPDATE: Jason Guarente reports that the club has actually signed P Shane Youman, and not the non-existent Sean Yeomen. Gotta love the Atlantic League transactions page.

Youman has spent parts of the last two seasons in the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

All-Star Skippers: It was announced today that Sparky Lyle and Dave LaPoint will be managing the 2008 Atlantic League All-Star Game.

Drese Talks Atlantic League: I recently caught up with Camden Riversharks P Ryan Drese, and was able to ask him about his experience in the Atlantic League so far…

AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com: You’ve got some pretty extensive big league time. Are you a little surprised that you ended up here this season?

Ryan Drese: “I was surprised, definitely. But it’s a chance to pitch, and I haven’t had a chance to pitch since I had Tommy John surgery. This is an opportunity to get my arm strength built back up. I went to camp with the Braves, but I never really got to get extended work. I’m just here to get ready to hopefully get back to the big leagues soon.”

ALB.com: When did you have the TJ surgery?

Drese: “August 1st of ’06, I had Tommy John.”

ALB.com: I know you came back for a handful of games last season, but how would you say your arm feels right now?

Drese: “I feel great right now. After my last three starts, I finally feel like I’m where I need to be. My first three, I was kind of feeling my way through the game and working on mechanics and that sort of thing. My last three, I finally feel like I’m where I need to be.”

ALB.com: So tell me about being in the Atlantic League. What kind of expectations did you have of the league when you first came here, and how has what’s unfolded matched up with that?

Drese: “I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. I had no clue as to what to expect coming here. I’d heard of it, but I never knew anybody that played here and I’d never talked to anybody that had played here. So far, it’s pretty laid back. The competition’s been a little better than I thought it would be. The good thing here is that you’re playing to win the game. In a lot of minor league systems, you’re playing to develop guys and pitch counts matter more than the outcome of the game. Or certain guys have to get at-bats whether they’re doing well or not, here you’re just trying to win the game.”

ALB.com: Have you been getting any bites from affiliated clubs yet?

Drese: “I let my agent handle that. He’s talked to some teams, I know. But I told him that until you have an actual contract, don’t even tell me about it. Basically, I’m doing the same thing here that I’d be doing in Triple-A, getting innings and getting built up. I’m not disappointed with that at all. I’m actually happy with where I’m at right now.”

ALB.com: I’m sure you’ve seen that guys are starting to get picked up this season. Do you feel as though there’s a timetable as far as when that’s going to happen for you?

Drese: “I just know that if I keep throwing the way I have in the last few games, it’ll probably be sooner rather than later. That’s all I can keep doing. Show them I’m healthy and I can take the ball every fifth day.”

Umpires Gone Wild: Jim Seip writes about Atlantic League umpire Edwin Ortiz on his blog, calling for a suspension after numerous questionable actions.

This comes several days after an umpire allegedly grabbed his crotch (that’s gotta be the first time I’ve ever used that word on this site, and hopefully the last as well) and used profanity with fans during a Patriots-Blue Crabs game.

Yesterday, that same umpire — Bryan Childe — ejected Lancaster’s Ivanon Coffee during an exchange where Coffee only allegedly asked him the previous pitch was a strike. Apparently, the kids attending the early game were treated to a lovely array of language from the umpire

I said it then, and I’ll say it now…if this league wants to maintain its credibility as a professional organization, everyone has to be professional. I’ve seen umpiring that has flat-out sucked in my six years of covering this league, and I’ve seen some guys who weren’t too bad.

But good or bad, everyone needs to be held to a certain code of conduct.

Revolution Moves: Seip and Jeff Johnson also write about the York Revolution acquiring P Frank Castillo and losing P Wayne Franklin to Mexico.

“I’m not disappointed,” Adam Gladstone told Seip about Franklin leaving.

“He’s going to go down there … and get a lot more money than we could offer him.”

Which probably opens up the debate of whether or not the phantom $3,000 maximum salary should be raised in the league or if players who leave for foriegn countries should be allowed to return.

As for Castillo, he became available after some sort of wacky loophole in the expansion draft rules was uncovered. You may recall that the Blue Crabs drafted him…but it’s the Revolution that end up getting him.

Guys showing up and coming back when they please, expansion draft loopholes, players from previous seasons returning in mid-year when teams need guys, shady umpires…is that sucking the fun out of it for anyone else, or is it just me?

Bad Job By Bridgeport: You may recall that P Tim Drew was injured about two weeks ago when he was sent in to pinch run because there were apparently no healthy position players.

You would think that would teach them some sort of lesson…like, maybe we shouldn’t put our pitchers in that position again.

So imagine my surprise when I was looking at last night’s box score and I saw P Matt Pike listed as a pinch-runner in the game.

I don’t know if it’s an issue with Tommy John, or it’s an issue where the front office doesn’t want to pay another guy…but if it’s the latter, they pretty much need to go out and get an extra guy so they aren’t putting guys at risk unnecessarily.

Frankly, it’s amazing that Bridgeport’s over .500 with as bad as their pitching has been. – Mike Ashmore



1. Kevin - June 13, 2008

Wow, expansion draft loophole…I’d like to think Castillo would at least reach out to the Blue Crabs out of courtesy, but whatever.

And I come real cheap if Bridgeport wants a pinch-runner…

2. playballnyy - June 13, 2008

Tommy John and the organization are frustrating. I’ve said it before, I’m of the theory that they are not invested in the long term presence of the team. There’s so many investments that they’re not making to improve attendance, media/marketing, or the team itself.

3. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

with regards to Matt Pike going in to pinch run last night in Bridgeport, there was no position player left to go in.. Pickering was put in to pinch hit (he had not been playing in game) and someone with speed was needed to pinch run for him to try to pull out a win.. all other non-pitchers had already been used in game.. it was a risky move.. especially with what had happened to Drew. this shows the limitations of having a DH who can’t play any other position

on another note, I wish Hertzler had pitched the 9th.. he was doing a great job through 8.. would have thought he’d like the chance at complete game

4. Big Tony - June 13, 2008

About the umps, you’re right on when you said that all umps need to be professional, at least up to AAA caliber. There must be at least 100 umps who would die for the chance to officiate these games. We need to put pressure on the ownership to weed out the few bad apples, otherwise it’s one more nail in the Atlantic League coffin. Just look at the poor attendance so far! I’ve been to games in the Frontier and Northern Leagues, and their umps are far more professional and really know the strike zone and the game overall.

5. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

Maybe you need a break, Mike. Go on a bender or something.

This is shaping up to be an exciting last 20 games or so in the first half. Patriots and Newark in a dead heat. 3 temas plus maybve the Ducks in the other division (still North in my head). I am enjoying this AC season as much as ever.

6. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

Estee Harris of the Ducks has been signed by the Chicago White Sox organization. He will report to their single A affiliate in Winston-Salem. Dave LaPoint has been named to manage the Liberty Division and Sparky Lyle has been named to manage the Freedom Division for the All Star game.

7. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

With Estee Harris and Ray Navarrete leaving this week the Ducks have no healthy outfielders. Carl Everett left last nights game with an injury, Kevin Haverbusch has a calf injury and Alex Sanchez, although playing, is still nursing a sore shoulder. Look for the Ducks to make some deals very quickly.

8. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

In regards to the umpires, I have been to several Atlantic League games where I believe the Umpires were professional in their every day manners. I am not sitting here saying that they are on every day every single game, but to be critizing them the way that some people do is just uncalled for. I can personally say I would not want to be in their shoes day in and day out making those close calls on the baseball field. I believe umpires are just like ballplayers and they can also “tend” to have their fuses blow as well. I just dont understand why when a bad call is made where ever big leagues or minor leagues we ride the umpires and get all over them, but when they make a great call we “Expect” that from them. Again, I have been to a few games this year and have seen almost all the crews and each time I have been to the ballparks the Umpires are professional, so I must not attend the so called “unprofessional” umpiring games.

9. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

tell the ducks to trade for Joe Jiannetti> he is playing in Edmonton and I know he would love to play in Long Island!!!

10. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

Wasn’t it last year in a York vs Lackluster game when an umpire was replaced during the game for going on an ejection spree? As I recall, he was replaced by a cop or a commissioner or something like that. I was hopeful the league would have done something about the lack of polish on the umpiring staff but apparently not. I’ve seen fewer questionable calls so far this year, but the year is young and I guess that hasn’t stopped them from being differents kinds of blowhard.

11. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

The league brought in alot of new umpires this season so they have been trying but the issue is one all leagues deal with, not just the AL – in MLB, umps get hot all the time – look what happened with the home plate ump in Tampa on Wednesday. In the NBA, they blatantly fix games. In the NFL, they’re just plain terrible. This isn’t an Atlantic League issue. Human error and ego is a human issue.

12. Anonymous - June 13, 2008

The Ducks have added Jason Simontacchi and Alay Soler to their roster today. Soler pitched 8 games for the Mets is 2006 and Simontacchi is coming off of the DL. Still no mention of Jay Gibbons. I hope some of these pitchers they have added in the last few days can play the outfield.

13. Anonymous - June 14, 2008

Quack Quack!!!!!!!!!

14. www.BrickCityBruins.com - June 14, 2008

And the Bears had to hand that disgusting fat lump Castillo a win tonight. Ugh. What a let down. Benito pitched so well tonight, too. Oh well.

15. Sharks52 - June 14, 2008

Nate Buttonfield is back with the Sharks.

16. Sharks52 - June 14, 2008

I meant ButtEnfield.

17. Anonymous - June 14, 2008

Sott and Mike, Can you please do us all a favor and take off brickcitybruins last post refering to castillo as a “disgusting fat lump”. This is a fan site to discuss the league, team and players but there is no need to make personal attacks on these athletes. I am disgusted to read that post and if this is the way the site is going to be it makes me not want to come on anymore.

18. www.BrickCityBruins.com - June 14, 2008

Don’t let my comment ruin this site for you. Don’t blame Mike and Scott. Come after me. I’m not anonymous. I sign my name to my posts. Perhaps I should have kept my emotions off this blog. Okay. My fault. But take it out on me not Mike and Scott.

19. John - June 14, 2008

Just one more voice on the umpiring. I’ve seen at least 200 games in the last five years and some of these umpires are absolutely brutal. When they blow calls at the bases that aren’t even close and can’t tell the difference between a fair ball and a foul of the batters foot or whether or not a pitch hit the batter it’s time to get rid of that ump. One thing I’ve have noticed though is I haven’t seen the really bad umps as much this year so maybe the league is trying to find better ones.

20. Mike - June 14, 2008

“All views and comments made from outside parties, other than AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com reporters, are subject to their own permission. They are not the views of AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com employees.”

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