July 11, 2008 July 11, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Home Run Derby Participants Announced: Remember a couple days ago when I assumed that every team would be represented in the Atlantic League All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby?
The six participants were announced yesterday, and it’ll be three Somerset Patriots versus Ray Navarrete, Jesse Hoorelbeke and Ron Davenport.
Somerset’s sluggers are Brandon Larson, Josh Pressley and Matt Hagen.
While the Patriots players are certainly deserving, I’d have rather seen one player from each team so that every team was equally represented.
Each player will get five outs in the first round, and the top three players will advance to the second round, where their slates will be wiped clean and they’ll receive seven outs. The top hitter from the final round will win the derby.
Swindle Getting Some Ink: Former Newark Bears P R.J. Swindle, recently called up to the big leagues by the Philadelphia Phillies, earned a mention in ESPN writer Jayson Stark’s latest column.
You may remember Swindle’s nasty offspeed pitch, and I was lucky enough to ask him about it last season before he got picked up…
So what the hell is this pitch you throw?
“(Laughs) It’s a curveball. I picked it up about a year or two ago, and it usually baffles hitters,” Swindle said. “It comes slow out of my hand and comes out at about 52 or 54, and it’s a good way to get people out in front.”
How do you learn something like that?
“Just practice, really. I was just screwing around in the bullpen, and I hadn’t thrown my curveball in a few years, and it came out a lot differently than when I threw it in the past.”
How beneficial is it for you to be facing someone who’s never seen that pitch before?
“That’s definitely to my advantage. I purposely don’t throw it when I warm up, either. Just so the guy who’s coming up for the first time who’s never seen it has no idea what he’s about to see and has no idea how slow it’s coming in. The first guy who saw it last night, he probably could have taken three or four swings before it got there.”
So when’s the right time to throw it?
“I’ll throw it any time. Usually I’ll throw it early in the count and get a free strike, because nobody’s looking for it that early. Or I’ll throw it with two strikes, too. I’ll throw it any time, because it’s a really tough pitch to wait back on. If I throw a fastball on the next pitch, it looks like it’s coming at 95 instead of 81.”
Riversharks Sign Johnson, Baez: Sadly, this isn’t about the team adding Revolution beat writer Jeff Johnson. Instead, Camden has signed SS Tim Johnson to a contract.
Johnson is a 21-year-old former Astros farmhand who hit .192, .127 and .186 in his first three professional seasons.
The team has also added P Federico Baez. Baez is a 26-year-old righty reliever with parts of three seasons spent at the Triple-A level with the Cubs. He’s a converted middle infielder who pitched for Saltillo in the Mexican League earlier this year.
In four starts there, he went 0-1 with a 21.60 ERA. The league was
only hitting .482 off of him at the time. – Mike Ashmore