June 2009

Roster Move

Victor Castillo was activated off the Disabled List today.  Castillo was placed on the DL on June 13th after injuring his hamstring in the series against Kannapolis in early June.  In 13 games this season, Castillo is hitting .188 (6-32) with a home run and two RBIs. 

Unfortunately, in order to make room for Castillo, the Baltimore Orioles decided to release Dustin Black.  In 18 games this season, he was hitting .159 (7-44) with two home runs and four RBIs. 

We all certainly hope that Dustin Black is able to catch on with another organization.  I can tell you that he was well liked amongst his teammates.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!


News and Notes

Early morning arrival at about 3:30 AM from Lakewood.  Not a bad bus trip.  We watched Baitshop on the ride home.  Skipper Orlando Gomez bought the movie in Lakewood and wanted to watch it on the ride back.

Here are some little nuggets regarding the first five games of the second half:

  • L.J. Hoes is 7 for his last 10 at the plate with five runs scored (his batting average has jumped from .236 to .255)
  • After registering just six runs in the first three games, the Shorebirds plated 20 runs in the final two
  • Tyler Kolodny is five for his last 12 at the plate with five runs scored and five RBIs
  • Kyle Hudson had a career high four hits in the finale against Lakewood
  • T.R. Keating has earned the win in the last three games he has appeared in (he has not allowed a run in 9.2 innings)
  • The Shorebirds do not play another game at FirstEnergy Park this season
  • The ’09 Shorebirds are on nearly the same pace as the ’08 Shorebirds.  The ’08 team was 40-34 after five games in the second half and the ’09 team is 39-35.

Switching gears, Delmarva welcomes in Hickory tonight at 7:05 PM.  The starting pitcher for the Crawdads is highly touted Venezuelan Martin Perez.  He is the youngest player the South Atlantic League.  He just turned 18 years old this past April. 

I found an article about him written by Jason Parks in Baseball Time in Arlington.  The first part of the article is below.  To access the Q & A section with Perez CLICK HERE.

Baseball Time in Arlington

Martin Perez is the most heralded international signee in recent memory for the Texas Rangers. The Venezuelan southpaw was considered the top left-hander available in the 2007 international market, and thanks to the hard work and brilliance of the Rangers’ scouting department, most notably A.J. Preller, Don Welke, and Manny Batista, Perez signed for $580,000.

It’s easy to sit here and wax hyperbolic about the promise Martin Perez has to offer. He clearly represents top-of-the-rotation potential, and despite his young age (17), Perez is slated to start the ’09 season in Low-A Hickory’s prospect-laden rotation. With his advanced arsenal and natural feel for pitching, Perez stands on the cusp of becoming one of the very best prospects in minor league baseball.

Martin Perez has all the physical gifts necessary to be a major league pitcher, but his finest attribute, the one that could take his natural skill set to the next level, is his intelligence. Perez has an exceptionally precocious mind that always seems to be a few steps ahead of everybody else. If his ability to retain and process information can translate to the mound, the Texas Rangers could be looking at a player that hints at the physical gifts of a Johan Santana in combination with the intellectual gifts of a Greg Maddux (obviously I’m not trying to suggest Perez will be equal to Santana or Maddux). Basically, Martin Perez, much like Michael Main, is the complete package; the perfect storm of pitching prospects.

I had the privilege of speaking with Perez during the Fall Instructional League, and if you hadn’t guessed by now, I came away quite impressed. We discussed the circumstances that led up to his signing with the Rangers, as well as the pressures associated with being a 17-year-old playing professional baseball 4,000 miles away from home. 

Philly Phanatic Today


I know it has been a couple days since I have checked in.  I apologize for that.  My family came into town on Saturday so I have been occupied this weekend here in Lakewood.

Been a very tightly contested series between these two teams.  Three of the four games were decided by two runs or less.

Jason Stark from ESPN was here yesterday signing copies of his new book Worth the Wait.  It is the story of the 2008 World Series Championship for the Phillies. 

Today, the Philly Phanatic is going to be here.  According to Forbes.com, the Philly Phanatic is Amercia’s top sports mascot.

Here is the rest of the top 10:

2) San Diego Chicken (Padres)

3) Mr. Met (Mets)

4) Racing Sausages (Brewers)

5) Benny the Bull (Chicago Bulls)

6) Rally Monkey (Angels)

7) Sourdough Sam (49er’s)

8) Rowdy (Cowboys)

9) Rally (Atlanta Braves)

10) Miles (Denver Broncos)

USA Today also did some mascot research back in 2005.  Top 10 “Most Recognizable Mascots”…Philly Phanatic is #1.  It is interesting to note that Wool E. Bull from the Durham Bulls was #6 on that list. 

Sorry to be so off topic today. 

Shorebirds get Justin De Fratus today (he is making his first start of the season).  He has pitched in 24 games out of the pen this season.  He is expected to take the rotation spot of Tyler Cloyd, who was promoted to Clearwater two days ago. 

A bunch of us went to the movies last night.  I recommend Pelham 123 with Denzel Washington and John Travolta.  Transformers 2 also got amazing reviews from the people that saw it.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!



Friday Game Suspended

The game has been suspended on Friday due to heavy rain.  The Shorebirds and BlueClaws will resume the suspended game in the bottom of third on Saturday at 6:05 PM.  Then, they will play a seven-inning game following.

Mid Season Promotions

The Baltimore Orioles decided to promote four Shorebirds pitchers from Delmarva to Frederick (Advanced-A). 

Joe Esposito, Eddie Gamboa, Pat Egan and Rick Zagone were all officially sent to Frederick today.  All four were tremendous for Delmarva in the first half.

Here is a quick look at what the Shorebirds will miss:

Esposito: 3-0, 1.08 ERA (18 appearances) – 52K’s/14BB

Egan: 0-0, 2.78 ERA (13 appearances) – 31K’s/5BB

Gamboa: 6-0, 1.86 ERA (18 appearances) – 35K’s/3BB

Zagone: 4-5, 4.66 ERA (12 starts)

Pat Kantakevich was also transferred to Aberdeen to join the rotation there.

To fill the large void left by the promotions, the Orioles have sent three pitchers from Frederick down to Delmarva.  LHP Chris Salberg, RHP Cliff Flangello and RHP Andy Barb are currently with the team here in Lakewood.

Here is a look at the newcomers:

Salberg, who will take the rotation spot of Zagone, went 1-3 with a 6.80 ERA with the Keys.  Last season, he posted a 1-4 mark with a 4.08 ERA in 10 starts with Delmarva

Flagello went 1-2 with a 7.55 ERA in 21 outings for the Keys.  Last season, he led the Shorebirds staff in appearances with 39.  He went 5-3 with a 2.29 ERA in Delmarva.

Barb went 0-0 with a 3.93 ERA in 10 outings for the Frederick Keys.  He did not pitch in 2008.

No promotions were made to the position players. 

Bus ride was fairly smooth to Lakewood.  We watched the movies Taken and My Best Friends Girl on the ride up. 

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!

All-Star Game Recap for ‘Birds

The SAL All-Star Game was contested on Tuesday night in Charleston, West Virginia.  Both Shorebirds representatives had significant roles in leading the North to an 8-7 win over the South in the 50th annual mid-season classic.

Rick Zagone started the game for the North team and tossed a scoreless frame.  He allowed a one out triple to Tim Beckham but struck out Sean Ratliff and got Jordan Pacheco to ground out to second.  He also fanned Scott Robinson.

Ron Welty entered the game in the top of the sixth inning.  In his first at-bat in the seventh, he struck out.  With the score tied at seven, Welty led off the ninth with a line drive single into center field.  Two batters later, Calvin Anderson singled and Ron Welty scored the game winner.  There was a throwing error on CF Scott Robinson.

‘Birds hit the road around 9:00 AM on Thursday to begin the second half of the season in Lakewood, NJ.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!

All-Star Game Broadcast/Challenger’s League Game

First half just came to a close with a 3-2 Shorebirds win.  Solid first half for the ‘Birds, 36-33.

I just spoke to Andy “Bull” Barch, the radio voice of the West Virginia Power, who is going to be broadcasting the South Atlantic League All-Star Game.  In case you are interested in listening to how Rick Zagone and Ron Welty do in the game, here is how to do so.

There are three ways to access his broadcast:

If I find a direct link to the broadcast I will pass it along. 

Ron Welty, Rick Zagone and the Shorebirds GM Chris Bitters are leaving for Charleston on Monday morning at 6:45 AM. 

On another note – I am sitting up in the press box writing this blog and watching the challenger league play on the diamond.  I found a link on the Little League Baseball website with more information about the Challenger Division. CLICK HERE

It is really fun watching these young boys and girls having a blast on the field at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.  As I look in the stands, the majority of our staff members are just sitting and watching as well.  Really cool stuff.

I will check in during the all-star break…

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!


Long Nights at Perdue

Hard to believe that the first half finale is only five hours away.  Season is flying right by.

The last three nights here at Perdue Stadium have been very long nights at the park.  Part of the job for sure.

Here is a look: The times listed are from first pitch to final out (they do not include breaks between doubleheaders or delays)

(6/18 – Thursday): 3:15 (1:18 rain delay)

Game 1 (6/19 – Friday): 2:33

Game 2 (6/19 – Friday): 2:28

Game 1 (6/20 – Saturday): 2:15

Game 2 (6/20 – Saturday): 3:15 (It went nine innings)

If you do the math, thats 13 hours and 46 minutes of baseball in the last three nights.  That does not take into account the 30 + minute intermission between games of the doubleheader or the hour and 18 minutes worth of rain delays.

A lot of credit is due to the staff here for making sure the field is in good shape with all the hours of baseball being played on it.  Also, most of our fans have stayed late during the last three nights – they all got to watch a walk off win for Delmarva last night. 

Good first half of the season…I’ll check in during the break

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!

#10 Overall Pick in ’09 Draft Will Be Here

The Washington Nationals picked Drew Storen from Stanford in the first round (10th overall) in this years First Year Player Draft.  He signed just days following the draft and reported to Hagerstown within a week of the draft (quite rare for a high round guy).  We actually saw him in Hagerstown last week, but he wasn’t officially on the roster. 

When the Suns come to Salisbury starting tonight, he will be on the roster.  He is wearing jersey #21. 

He made his debut last night against the Lakewood BlueClaws so I am not sure if he is going to pitch here.  However, something tells me that he will pitch because he only tossed 1.0 inning against the ‘Claws.  On top of that, the Suns and Shorebirds will play five games in the next three days.  By the way, he surrendered a home run to Travis D’Arnaud in his debut. 

Just thought some of you might want to know.

Until nex time, Go Shorebirds!

Big League Pitcher at Perdue Stadium on Friday

Matt Chico, a starter for the Washington Nationals, will pitch game one of the doubleheader at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium for the Hagerstown Suns on Friday night.

It will be his third rehab start of the season for the Suns.  He pitched two innings against the BlueClaws on June 9th.  Then, he pitched four innings against Delmarva on the 14th of June.  He allowed just two hits against the Shorebirds (Greg Miclat & Joe Mahoney).

Chico moved into the Nationals starting rotation in 2007.  In 31 starts, he went 7-9 with a 4.38 ERA.  In 2008, he posted an 0-6 mark with a 6.19 ERA for the Nats.

He was originally selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third round of the 2003 draft.  He moved over to the Nationals organization in 2006 as part of the Livan Hernandez trade. 

Chico is working his way back to the big leagues after left elbow surgery in the off season.

Come out to Perdue Stadium tonight to see a big league pitcher.  He is not overpowering but he is really crafty.  FIRST PITCH AT 5:35.

Until next time, Go Shorebirds!