June 16, 2008 – Travis Minix Talks June 16, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Gibbons Signs With Ducks: As we told you last week, the Long Island Ducks have reached a deal with Major League veteran Jay Gibbons. Gibbons, who has spent the majority of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, was one of several names mentioned in last year’s Mitchell Report.
Gibbons, an outfielder with solid power, might just be making the most money in the league this season. Not because of what the Ducks are paying him, but because the Orioles owe him nearly $11.9 million over the next two seasons after releasing him this spring.
I’ve spoken with Jay before, a few years back in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse. He was a great guy and I really have never heard anything bad about him. Sure, he got tangled in baseball’s steroid web, but the guy just wants to play baseball. I’m glad the Ducks are giving him a shot. – Scott Stanchak
Minix Excelling In Eastern League: Former Somerset Patriot P Travis Minix was only a few days away from leaving the team to pitch in Italy.
Instead, the Phillies essentially came to the rescue and re-signed their former farmhand, who had spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons in Double-A Reading and Triple-A Scranton before leaving to pitch in Taiwan last year.
Minix is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three appearances for Reading this season, and I was recently able to sit down the 30-year-old right-handed reliever to ask him about his experience in Somerset, and why he chose to go back to the Phillies instead of pitch in Italy.
AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com: It’s only been about a week or so since you left the Patriots to sign with the Phillies organization. What can you tell me about your experience in Somerset?
Travis Minix: “It was great, you know. A bunch of great guys, great clubhouse. It was a good experience, it definitely kept my career rolling. I’m thankful for that opportunity they gave me, and here I am today.”
ALB.com: You were pretty close to playing in Italy. How close was that to happening before you ultimately ended up signing with the Phillies?
Minix: Actually, I was supposed to fly out on June 10th, and I was driving home June 2nd. Talk about timing, that was good timing. This worked out well.”
ALB.com: You’ve been in the Phillies organization before. Was there a level of surprise on your end that they’d want you back?
Minix: “Not so much. Like you said, I’d been with them before and I’d had pretty good seasons for them, as far as health-wise and staying out of trouble, all the stuff that they look for. I did my job for them when they gave me the ball, and I think that helped out for this year.”
ALB.com: Were you a little hesitant to return there considering how well you had pitched and how you didn’t receive an opportunity at the highest level despite that?
Minix: “No. Any opportunity that’s given to you, you wanna take it, especially if it’s a better situation. At this point in my career, the opportunity they gave me is definitely a better situation. Any time in baseball you get an opportunity like that, you’ve got to go with it.”
ALB.com: Have they told you anything about what the plan for you is in terms of how long they expect you to be in Double-A?
Minix: Right now, they haven’t really said anything to me. I think it’s more of a situation where they needed some arms and we’ll see what happens. If something does happen, I’ll be thankful for that, too.”
ALB.com: Your teammate, Joe Valentine, was also signed out of the Atlantic League as well. Even though he came from a different AL team, do you guys still compare your experiences in the league or talk about that at all?
Minix: “Yeah, a little bit. Sometimes, here and there, we talk about it. But coming from the Atlantic League, it’s a little different kind of baseball. The Atlantic League is a little more of the older guys, the more experienced guys who’ve been around the game for a while. But here, it’s great being around these guys too, because they’re a bunch of great athletes with great talent, and it’s fun to watch them play every night.”
ALB.com: I would imagine some of the hitters here would be a little more free-swinging than what you might see in the Atlantic League. What kind of adjustments do you have to make in terms of your approach when you come here?
Minix: “Not much, the game doesn’t change much. You’ve still got to make your pitches and make quality pitches down in the strike zone. But the difference from there to here, basically, is one through nine there’s a lot of guys there who’ve been in the big leagues and have experience at the upper levels. With that being said, you’ve got to make good first or second pitches here, because they are swinging a little bit more often than in the Atlantic League.” – Mike Ashmore
Taylor Released: Former Lancaster Barnstormers/Long Island Ducks outfielder Reggie Taylor was released from Triple-A Richmond (Atlanta Braves). In 53 games this season, Taylor was batting just .248 with 11 RBI and 17 runs scored. He also struck out 28 times, compared to just 11 walks.
This could mean a return to Lancaster for the former big leaguer. Taylor hit over .300 in each of his two seasons in the league and would be a welcome addition to Von Hayes’ roster.
Navarrete Returns: I don’t think we wrote about this, but just in case: One of the league’s most popular players, Ray Navarete, has returned to the Long Island Ducks. Navarette left for Mexico last week, but realized it wasn’t the right move and packed his bags to come home.
Olivares Octivated: The Somerset Patriots activated infielder Teuris Olivares from the D.L. Sunday. Olivares, who was batting .288 in just 25 games this season, hasn’t played since May 23. To make room for the former New York Yankees’ prospect, the club de-activated catcher Michael Muscato, who will remain with the team as its bullpen catcher. – Scott Stanchak