Florida State League Log

A blog on Florida State League Baseball, for the fans, by the fans.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guerrero sent down, Krebs joins Sara Reds

Sarasota Reds

Evidently, Sarasota starter Alex Smit wasn't pulling my leg then he told me Danny Guerrero had be reassigned to Dayton.

A press release from the Dayton Dragons reported that Midwest League All-star Joseph Krebs was promoted to the Sara-Reds.

The left hander, who pitched a scoreless inning in the Midwest League All-Star Game last Tuesday, went 6-2 with a 2.25 earned run average and six saves for the Dragons. He appeared in 26 games out of the bullpen.

Guerrero rejoins the Dragons after making 30 starts for Dayton over the last two seasons.

He started Monday night against the South Bend Silverhawks, giving up 5 runs on 9 hits and striking out just one in 2.2 innings work.

Guerrero spent the first half of the 2008 season with Sarasota and struggled, going 3-6 with a 7.48 ERA in 13 starts. He made 18 starts for the Dragons last season and went 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA.

The 22-year-old native of Mexico was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 2005 season.

Where do they go from here? Next stop for outgoing Sara-Reds on the road the Majors is the AA Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League. That's where Danny Dorn is hiding out at, as well as Cody Straight, Chris Valaika, Craig Tatum and Ben Jukich.

Sarasoa is 2-3, five games into the second half of the season, and two games behind division leading Dunedin. The Reds fell last night on the road to the St. Lucie Mets.

Rafael Gonzalez took the loss in the first game of a double header, allowing 4 runs, 3 earned on 5 hits and a pair of walks. Sarasota lost 9-3, managing only six hits in the contest.

In game two, Misael DeJesus suffered the loss, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 in 4.1 innings.

St. Lucie, who finished the first half dead last in the league, is leading the FSL East Divison with a 4-1 record in the early going.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ray of Hope

I have absolutely no reason to have done Vero Beach layouts. It's not like I'm going to see them again this season, and the chances of any of these guys hanging around next season is slim. But hey, why not.

One of the local Graph Sellers had used the old kid trick to get something like 40 autographs off David Price on Monday. At least, that's what I'd heard and as a result, he was pulling a bit of a major league attitude on Tuesday night. If you're not familiar with the "Kid trick" it's where you round up a group of kids, give them balls and offer them something - money, trading cards, etc. - to go up to a certain player, get the ball signed and return it to you. In most case, you can recycle the kids unless they are wearing something really stand-outish.

In any case, he wanted security on the section where he was charting on Tuesday. I really don't like major league attitude, especially at the High A level. It's all well and good that you're a top prospect, but I've seen too many kids fail over the years to feel that anyone deserves to act like a major leaguer until they've actually made it to the major leagues.

Wednesday I remembered to dig my Rays logo ball out of the trunk. Justin has some Rays stuff in the gift shop last year that I'd bought, but did not this year because "No one bought it." It's good to be reminded that I'm no one.

I was going down to get it signed and stopped by to say Hi to Lynn.

"Are you going to get David Price to sign that?"

Actually, if I'd wanted Price's autograph, I'd have brought a real, not a logo, ball.

"Naw. I was going to get a sign to hold up. No top prospects. Crap players only please. I can't stand major league attitude, you know that.

"Their shortstop is kind of cute, I thought I'd get him to sign it."

Or as Manny would say, I like them more for the sentimental value. I was more interested in the other pitcher in the stands with Price as he was nice and said hello than I was in Price.

As a result, the only "top prospect" I got off Vero Beach was Ryan Royster on the FSL Top Prospects set. He'd not seen them before, so it's always amusing to watch them with a new card.

He wasn't sure about his top prospect rating though as he's only hitting .222 this year with 4 home runs. He said he was sick over the winter and lost about 20 pounds and that it was effecting his performance.

The other player in the FSL set for the Rays is Jeremy Hellickson who was supposedly with the team, but had a blister. As a result, he never came out of the dugout to the best of my knowledge. T.J., who's generally more aggressive than I in autographing activities, didn't get him either.

Anyway, if any of you want to print them and use them, feel free. I suppose I could try TTM if I really wanted to.

Vero Beach Devil Rays

Vero Beach Devil Rays

Vero Beach Devil Rays

Vero Beach Devil Rays

Vero Beach Devil Rays

Vero Beach Devil Rays

I did BTW get the other pitcher - he was charting on Wednesday, right in front of Manny, so I got him to sign the ball, which he did, under their coach's autograph. Ah Manny, I'm gonna miss you. None of the other guys seem to get their tail in a bunch when I get someone else's autograph. He should have been on the 2003 team. They all gave me hell then.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fortenburry hits for the Cycle; Tampa routs Redbirds

Tampa Yankees

Tampa's Seth Fortenberry hit for the cycle Friday night, as the Yankees routed the Palm Beach Cardinals 10-0 at Case de Steinbrenner.

The out break ended a a 0-for-11 drought for the Slugger who has been having some trouble at the plate.

Fortenberry credited some extra work Yankees hitting coach Aaron Lesesma for helping him break out of the slump.

A line drive single in the bottom of the second got the monkey off Fortenberry's back, but he would go no where as Luis Nunez ground into a double play.

The 24-year-old would hit a over the right field fence for this fourth home run of the season, a single shot in the bottom of the fourth at put Tampa on the board.

Nunez and Kevin Smith hit back-to-back singles. Ben Blumenthal would ground into a force out, but Nunez would score on the play makig it 2-0 Tampa.

Fortenberry would lead off the top of the sixth with a triple. Nunez would be called out on strikes, but Smith would single him in. Blumenthal ground into a force out, but Eduardo Nunez singled putting two runners on. Mitch Hilligoss would single to bring in Blumenthal before Andres Perez would go yard over the left field fence to make it 7-0 Tampa.

Following a walk to Josue Calzado in the bottom of the 7th, Fortenberry found his double, with a line drive out to center. Two outs later, Blumenthal would single to drive in the pair of runners for a 9-0 Yankees lead.

Perez would hit a single shot run in the 8th to finish off the scoring.

Tampa's Zach McAllister allowed 7 hits and struck out 6 in 7 innings to pick up the win.

Pending Pinstripes Blog

Friday, June 6, 2008

Two more Tigers named to All-star Team

Lakeland Flying tigers

Lakeland Flying Tigers catcher Jeff Kunkel and first baseman Ryan Strieby have been named to the Florida State League Western Division All-star team.

The pair will join shortstop Cale Iorg and right handed pitcher Matt O’Brien and right handed reliever Rick Porcello Saturday, June 14, in Viera, Florida, for the Annual Showcase.

Catcher James Skelton and second baseman Scott Sizemore, who were named to the team earlier in the week are unable to participate due to injuries. Also selected to the team was Luis Marte, who has been promoted to the Tigers Double A affiliate in Erie, Pa.

Kunkel is hitting .241 in the year, with 20 hits on 83 at bats in 27 games. He has collected 9 runs and 7 RBIs, walked 6 times and struck out 15 times. He has hit for extra bases five times, all doubles. The 25-year old was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the l7th round of the 2005 First-year Player Draft out of the University of Michigan. He split time last year between the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League and the Lakeland club.

Strieby has 49 hits for 198 at bats, good for a .247 average. He has 25 runs, and 35 RBIS, has walked 25 times and struck out 57 times. 19 of his hits have been for extra bases including 11 double, 1 triple and 7 home runs. A native of Seattle, Washington, the 23-year old was selected by Detroit in the 4th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Five members of the Whitecaps have been named to the Midwest League All-star game in Midland, Michigan. First baseman Chris Carlson, outfielder Casper Wells, infielder Joe Tucker, right handed pitcher Alfred Figaro and left handed pitcher Jon Kibler will represent the Tigers' farm on the Eastern Division squad.

Fort Myers Miracle

The announcement comes after the addition of catcher Wilson Ramos from the Fort Myers Miracle. Ramos was named to the team to replace Lakeland catcher James Skelton.

Ramos, a 21-year old native of Valencia, Venezuela, has compiled a .236 batting average, a team-high eight home runs and 38 RBI. Signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent, Ramos is in his first season with Fort Myers.

Last season, he hit .291 with eight home runs and 42 RBI for Beloit of the Midwest League.

The officials for the All-star game have also been released. Adam C. Hamari will be calling the balls and strikes behind the plate at the All-star classic. Jeffrey C. Gosney, Hal H. Gibson III, and Sean M. Barber will be working first, second and third bases respectively. The All-star Umpires will be included in the All-star Game festivities.

Other players selected to the West Division All-star game are as follows:

From Dunedin: Catcher J.P. Arencibia, right handed reliever Connor Falkenback and 1st baseman Brian Dopirak.

From Sarasota: Outfielders Drew Stubs and Chris Heisey, right handed reliever Ramon Geronimo and designated hitter/3rd baseman Juan Francisco. Right handed pitcher Jordan Smith and shortstop Chris Valaika were also named to the team, but are unavailable due to promotions.

From Clearwater: Right handed pitcher Edgar Garcia and left handed reliever Matt German, and outfielder Gus Milner. It was a no brainer to select the Thresher's lefty pitching pheonom Antonio Bastardo, but - of course - he has been called up to AA Reading and will be unable to play in the showcase.

From Tampa: Righthanded pitcher Ryan Pope, catcher Kyle Anson and outfielder James Cooper. Right handed pitchers Eric Hacker and Alfredo Aceves were also selected but have already recieved promotions to Trenton of the AA Eastern League.

From Fort Myers: 2nd baseman Brian Dinkelman, 3rd Baseman Danny Valencia, right handed pitcher Jeff Manship, and right handed relievers Anthony Slama and Rob Delaney. Outfielder Rene Tosoni was also named to the All-star team but is sidelined with an injury and will not be available for the game.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Shark tank showdown

Clearwater Threshers

Evidently the East Coast appeals the Threshers. Clearwater pounded out 17 hits for 12 runs to win 12-3 over the Jupiter Hammerheads in the battle of the sharks.

Four different Threshers hit home runs including Tuffy Gosewisch (pitctured above).

Clearwater chased Jupiter starter Graham Taylor off the mound, taking 8 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks over 2 innings, including a 6-run first inning.

Edgar Garcia picked up this 5th win for the Phillies farm, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 in six innings.

Clearwater Threshers

The Threshers won on Wednesday night as well, topping Jupiter 6-5. Southpaw Dan Braur took the start, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 4 innings. Andy Curse picked up the win in relief, going 2.1 innings and allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and 1 walk.

In other East-West league action, Sarasota topped the D-Cubs 5-1 on Wednesday, Tampa doubled up Brevard County, 2-1, Lakeland downed Vero Beach 8-4, and Dunein pasted Palm Beach 10-5.

On Thursday the Red Birds took their revenge, pecking the Jays 5-1; Sara again won over the D-Cubs, 3-2; Fort Myers played their first game against St. Lucie winning 7-2 with a pair of back-to-back home runs from Wilson Ramos and Whit Robbins; Tampa again doubled up Brevard County, 4-2; and Lakeland again won over Vero Beach, 4-3.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Manatees to host Damn Yankees night

Fort Myers Miracle

The Brevard County Manatees come up with some very amusing promotions.

With the Tampa Yankees coming to Space Coast Stadium for a four game set starting on Wednesday, Brevard will be kicking off the festivities with Damn Yankees Night.

Damn Yankees were an American hard rock supergroup. The band was formed in 1989, consisting of Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, Ted Nugent of Amboy Dukes and his own solo career, and Michael Cartellone. Presumably inspired by the musical of the same name, Nugent once also explained that he coined the name because whenever someone asked him how he and Tommy Shaw would sound playing together, he would always reply by saying they would sound like "a bunch of damn Yankees." With Shaw from Alabama, Blades from California, Cartellone from Nebraska, and Nugent from Michigan, it did seem as if the band represented all four corners of the nation.

1990's chart-topping rock ballad "High Enough" featured a passionate duet between Shaw and Blades, backed by a string section in the studio. Backed by a popular video, it rose to #3 on U.S. Top 40, and #1 on AOR charts. Ironically, "High Enough" happened to be the first #1 pop single in Ted Nugent's career, despite the fact his career had been built on his "Motor City Madman" image.

How does the promo work? Any male that comes to the ticket office with hair longer than their shoulders will receive $2 off their ticket to the game. Wigs are acceptable. Shades are optional, but recommended, as you probably wouldn't want to be recognized in that wig.

Meanwhile, Space Coast Stadium has added a new video board that can be used for commercials, statitics, information and entertainment.

Brevard is currently in Clearwater and is 1-2 against the Threshers. Clearwater lost ace Antonio Bastardo to Reading this last week.

Tampa is currently hosting the Jupiter Hammerheads, and has won the three games they've played so far in the 4-game series. While the Manatees promotional mailing invites fans out to Spacecoast on Saturday to "see the 'Tees finish off the sweep of the Yanks," that might be a tall order for the East Division team.

Jupiter will play host to Clearwater then they return. The Marlins farm is 16-15 on the season, 4 games back from the Division leading Palm Beach Cardinels, while Clearwater is 11-20, still down in the cellar, and 7 games back in the West Division.

The Red Birds are currently facing the Reds in Sarasota, where they have won 2 of the three games played so far in Sarasota. They will host the Blue Jays when they return home on Wednesday for a four game set.

Dunedin is currently hosting Vero Beach, and has lost 2 of 3 to the Rays affliate. The Rays will host the Lakeland Flying Tigers when they return home. After a poor start, the Flying Tigers have won their last five and are part of the pack in the West, tied with Dunedin and Sarasota for 2nd place, 2 games back from the division leading Fort Myers Miracle and Tampa Yankees.

Lakeland has befitted from having the hapless St. Lucy Mets in, having won their last three by wide margins. Fort Myers should benefit from their East Divison swing as they take on Port Saint Lucie starting on Thursday. They have not faired so well against the Daytona Cubs, who had lost six coming in Sunday's game, including Saturday night to the Miracle. Sunday however, they broke the Miracle's home win streak and went on to win 9-1 on Monday. Daytona will host the Reds on Wednesday for a four game series.

Transactions: Tampa has added Anthony Claggett to their roster from Trenton, and Stephen Artz from Staten Island. Palm Beach added Brandon Garner, received from extended spring training. Aside from losing Bastardo to a high league, Clearwater also lost Carlos Monasterios to injury as he went on the disabled list on Thursday, May 1.

Current Standings:

FSL East
Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak
Palm Beach 20 11 .645 - 13- 4 7- 7 5-5 W1
Brevard County 17 14 .548 3.0 9- 5 8- 9 5-5 L1
Daytona 16 15 .516 4.0 6- 8 10- 7 4-6 W2
Jupiter 16 15 .516 4.0 11- 3 5-12 4-6 L3
Vero Beach 15 16 .484 5.0 11- 6 4-10 5-5 L1
St. Lucie 7 24 .226 13.0 4-13 3-11 5-5 L3

FSL West
Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak
Fort Myers 18 13 .581 - 12- 5 6- 8 5-5 L2
Tampa 18 13 .581 - 11- 6 7- 7 7-3 W5
Dunedin 16 15 .516 2.0 7- 6 9- 9 4-6 W1
Lakeland 16 15 .516 2.0 8- 5 8-10 7-3 W5
Sarasota 16 15 .516 2.0 8- 6 8- 9 5-5 L1
Clearwater 11 20 .355 7.0 9-10 2-10 4-6 W1

League Leaders - Batting:

Chris Valaika SAR SS 31 130 19 49 9 0 7 31 79 7 25 1 0 .403 .608 .377 1.011
John Matulia VER OF 19 78 14 28 3 2 0 5 35 6 9 4 2 .412 .449 .359 .860
James Adduci DAY OF 31 117 20 41 7 2 0 14 52 21 23 2 2 .453 .444 .350 .898
Garrett Groce VER OF 22 83 17 29 7 1 1 12 41 4 15 3 3 .375 .494 .349 .869
Justin Turner SAR 2B 26 107 18 37 7 1 0 8 46 9 12 2 1 .407 .430 .346 .837
Logan Morrison JUP 1B 30 111 12 38 11 0 3 18 58 8 17 1 0 .382 .523 .342 .905
Rene Tosoni FTM OF 28 95 18 32 6 1 0 9 40 13 25 3 4 .439 .421 .337 .860
Daryl Jones PBC OF 22 79 8 26 3 2 1 7 36 9 24 4 1 .411 .456 .329 .867
Brian Dopirak DUN 1B 28 107 16 35 9 0 3 15 53 16 30 0 0 .415 .495 .327 .910
Cesar Suarez VER 3B 31 127 11 41 4 0 2 19 51 4 10 6 0 .346 .402 .323 .747

League Leaders - Pitching:

Eric Hacker TAM 2 1 0.86 7 7 0 0 0 42.0 22 6 4 0 1 5 28 0.64 0 0
Antonio Bastardo CLE 2 0 1.17 5 5 0 0 0 30.2 20 4 4 2 1 10 47 0.98 0 0
Jeremy Hellickson VER 3 0 1.29 6 6 0 0 0 35.0 28 6 5 1 3 2 46 0.86 0 0
Jordan Smith SAR 5 1 1.52 7 7 0 0 0 47.1 41 11 8 1 2 5 31 0.97 0 0
Luis Marte LAK 3 1 1.54 6 6 0 0 0 35.0 22 8 6 0 1 10 35 0.91 0 0
Jeff Allison JUP 0 4 1.60 7 7 0 0 0 33.2 23 13 6 1 3 15 24 1.13 0 0
Jesse, Todd PBC 3 0 1.65 7 4 0 0 1 27.1 18 7 5 0 1 7 35 0.91 1 1
Rick Porcello LAK 2 4 1.98 7 7 0 0 0 36.1 25 13 8 1 4 12 22 1.02 0 0
Travis Wood SAR 3 2 2.05 6 6 0 0 0 30.2 24 8 7 0 1 14 31 1.24 0 0
Kyle Winters JUP 3 0 2.14 6 6 0 0 0 33.2 26 8 8 0 1 10 17 1.07 0 0

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Red Sox contemplate move to Sarasota

A couple of articles - one in the Fort Myers News Press, the other in the Cape Coral Breeze - indicate that the Boston Red Sox may be contemplating a move to Sarasota, Florida.

Team Chief Operating Officer Mike Dee has told Lee County officials the team is exploring moving its spring training home from City of Palms Park in Fort Myers to Sarasota.

Sarasota is pitching a new 50-acre facility on the current site of Ed Smith Stadium, the previous home of the Cincinnati Reds. Currently, the Red Sox facility is split between two parcels in Fort Myers with the stadium miles (like 2 or 3) away from the training facility.

Dee said the separated situation is not conducive for spring training and is complicated by Red Sox Nation, which flocks to Southwest Florida every spring.

"It's not ideal for any team," said Dee. "It's extremely challenging for us when we have 4,000 fans show up on any given day at the practice facility."

Dee said the team was approached by officials from the city of Sarasota after the Cincinnati team announced they’d be moving to Arizona before 2010. The contact came while Red Sox officials were negotiating a lease extension with Lee County officials.

(One has to wonder why the City of Sarasota did not have the money to upgrade the existing facilities for the Reds, but will do it for the Red Sox.)

Meanwhile, Lee County is scrambling to see what they can do to keep the team in Fort Myers. The Red sox pay the city $320,000 each year on the stadium. However, it's true that their training facility, while greatly improved, is far down Edison from City of Palms Park. Both sites have inadequate parking.

Now here's an interesting piece from Charlie Whitehead's story in the Breeze:

"Florida locations could continue to fight over the state’s teams. Lee Commission Chairman Ray Judah sent off an urgent memo to legislators Wednesday, asking them to oppose an amendment to a House bill that would allow Sarasota to use state grant money to woo the Red Sox.

"That money, Judah said, was meant to allow Florida locations to fight to keep the teams they have, not lure away other Florida teams."

One thing that the move to Sarasota could do for the Red Sox which remaining in Fort Myers can't, is allow the Red Sox to move their High-A team back into the Florida State League. They have long wished to play in Fort Myers, the Fort Myers Miracle, who serve as the High-A team for the Minnesota Twins, have the FSL territorial rights and will not waive them.

The Red Sox played their High-A team in the FSL and Ed Smith Stadium through 2004. The Sara-Reds have played in the facility since.

I should note that this entire scenario could be a ploy for the Red Sox to gain lease concessions from the city of Fort Myers.

Meanwhile the Reds have considering their move, and seem likely to join the Cleveland Indians in the city of Goodyear, Arizona.

After searching, I did find an article in the Naples Daily News. The Sarasota Herald Tribune has a whole section on story, with a photo gallery and video talking about Sara's history with the Red Sox organization.