Archive for October, 2010

Latest Josh Zeid Blog Entry

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Can be found by clicking here.

I ended up throwing 4 innings, gave up 4 earned runs and had 4 strikeouts. I walked my first batter of the fall league, and I was pretty upset about it. Walks are miserable. I’d rather know the hitter did his best to get a hit, not be given a “free pass.” Rough days happen as a pitcher, it’s how you work out the next week before your next start that shows what kind of competitor/ person/ and pitcher you are.

If you let the bad days pile up, it’ll get harder and harder for you to dig your way out. But if you’re able to wake up the next morning with a smile on your face, and a better outlook, success can be had much easier. Baseball isn’t the end all be all, but it is a great profession to be a part of for the near future. I’m living out my dream, and I should never take that for granted.

Yesterday, Mesa won 7-6 (box score). Matt Rizzotti, back in the lineup, had an RBI single. Tim Kennelly went 2-3. Justin De Fratus struck out the side in the 8th inning and Chris Kissock had a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save.

Rivercats Radio: Adrian Cardenas

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

cardenas1During the off-season, some minor league players get jobs, some rest up a bit before working out, but how many go to NYU? We found one.

Johnny Doskow, the Sacramento Rivercats radio announcer, sat down with Adrian Cardenas (stats), who you know was a BlueClaw in 2007 and decided to apply to and enroll at NYU for the fall term.

Here is the full video (on YouTube) which is embedded below the fold. Below, some quick excerpts.

AC: I’m getting ready to experience my first winter ever in New York City. I’m here for school this offseason. I decided to apply to NYU and was fortunate enough to get in. I’ll be in school for the fall term and go home for a month and get out to spring training in February.

There were five years I could have done it, but I just think everything happens for a reason. These last five years, the first couple I went to instructs and fall league, but the last few I could have done it. But it was a matter of evolving, figuring out what my major was going to be. If I would have gone to school right out of high school, who knows what I would have done? I would have tried to major in baseball, probably.

The main reason I wanted to do this was to get some balance, a back-up plan, challenge myself in a different way. That’s a healthy thing to do.

On his season, which started in AAA Sacramento, included a stint in AA Midland, and finished in Sacramento: You think allright, I got back to AAA, no more AA, but the year didn’t start the way I wanted to. I was happy with myself that I went back and didn’t let it get to me. I just took that mentality again, I guess I was more relaxed. I was able to lay everything out on the table and was free to do everything. I wasn’t worried about being sent down again, wasn’t worried about the league, which is a little different.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the minor leagues, it’s to try to separate all of your inhibitions. It’s the only way you give yourself a fair chance to reach your full potential. If there’s any hindrance, it’s just not going to work. You’re not going to live up to what you could be doing. It will be a lot more rewarding to just go up there, let it all go and see what happens. That’s the point I got to last year, finally, for most of the season. What’s ironic, is with all the ups and downs, it ended up being my best full season yet.

Cardenas, who was the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in 2006, when the Phillies drafted him 37th overall, is an accomplished musician who could have gone to Juliard if baseball never came calling. He was sent to Oakland in 2008 as part of the Joe Blanton trade.


Why You Should Vote BlueClaws

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

champsmilbyfullAs I type this (1:30pm, Tuesday), voting is underway on for their Team of the Year MiLBY Award, the BlueClaws rank 3rd behind Great Lakes and Augusta in the Team of the Year voting among Lo-A teams.

Great Lakes had a nice year. They won 90 games, most in the minors. But they were knocked out in the second round (of three) in the Midwest League playoffs. Augusta had a nice year too. But they didn’t even make the SAL playoffs.

Vote for the BlueClaws (early and often) to support the team that:

And of course, because you love them. Go BlueClaws! That is all.

The Return of Moose

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Not an actual Moose. Or a fake moose like on the right. But Moose.

Travis Mattair, who played with the BlueClaws in 2008 and 2009, sat out 2010 while giving college basketball a try, is going to come back to baseball.

He spoke with our buddy Jay at and discussed his decision.

“This was a huge step in my life and something that I needed to experience,” Mattair told in an exclusive interview. “I knew it was something I always wanted to do. It was something I had to try.”

Mattair was recruited to play baseball, basketball, and football at the Division 1 level, and said that he might well have played basketball at Gonzaga had he been offered a scholarship, but his basketball offers were at lower levels of Division 1.

One of the coaches at Gonzaga at the time, Leon Rice, is now the head coach at Boise State, where Mattair auditioned, and earned a spot as a walk-on, but he got the baseball itch.

“Baseball ended up being something I had to have,” said Mattair. “My parents and people told me I was going to miss it, but until you experience it yourself, (the advice) kind of went in one ear and out the other. Without (experiencing this) I don’t think I could have ever poured everything completely into baseball. And now I feel like baseball is going to be with me for a long, long time.”

Read the whole article.

Arizona Fall League Update

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Again, not a whole lot going on in Arizona from a former BlueClaws standpoint…

Yesterday, BJ Rosenberg and Chris Kissock each threw shutout innings for Mesa.

Matt Rizzotti has not played in a few days.

Josh Zeid, in his latest blog entry, discusses pitching to Bryce Harper, this year’s #1 overall pick, who Zeid faced in Harper’s first professional at bat. He popped out to short.

He had a simple approach. Swing and swing often. I only got to throw him 1 pitch in his very first at bat, and he swung out of his shoes. I threw an inside fastball as hard as I could while hitting my spots, and he tried to hit it a country mile. He hit a very high pop up to my short stop Andrew Romine (LAA), and that was it for my day with him.

He ended up going 1-4, doubling in the later portion of the game, which was a nice piece of hitting, but that’s what we want. Walking him does no one any good, and yet every time he got out, fans were getting frustrated that he wasn’t getting hits much easier. The greatest hitters in the game get out seven out of every ten at bats. THREE hits out of TEN at bats gets you to the Hall of Fame. He’ll be fine; he’s young and he’s very talented.

Sebastian Valle is 6-16 with a home run in the Mexican Winter League, where he played very well last year.

Phillies Off-Season Previews

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Here’s a good one by Jim Salisbury of

The Phils have several free agents, most notably slugger Jayson Werth, who will be one of the prizes of the market. Werth would like to stay in the city where his career came together, and the Phils will have discussions with his new representative, Scott Boras. But it’s doubtful the two sides will reach an agreement. Werth, whom Boras calls a “franchise player,” will seek a contract similar to the seven-year, $120 million deal – average annual value $17.1 million — that Boras’ client Matt Holliday received from St. Louis last winter. The Phils might think about that dollar figure on a short-term deal, but, at 31, Werth wouldn’t go for that. He’s looking for a career payday.

With $143 million already committed to 16 players for 2011, and outfielder Domonic Brown, another Boras client, waiting in the wings, the Phils are likely to make Werth a budget cut, offer him salary arbitration and take the compensatory draft picks he would bring.

Dave Murphy has another here:

Amaro on whether it is safe to say that starting pitching does not need to be addressed: “You can never not address things. We’re pretty pleased with our rotation as good and as it performed at the end of the year. When we acquired Roy [Oswalt], we did some pretty extraordinary things as far as wins … No question having those three guys in our rotation had a great impact … Joe Blanton pitched extremely well at the end of the year. Kyle as a fifth starter, threw 180 innings and had a pretty good performance. As far as addressing it, I don’t know where it is on the totem pole, but we’re pretty please where we are with that.”

Catching Up on the Fall League

Monday, October 25th, 2010

We have a lot to catch up on from the action in the Arizona Fall League. See below.

Thursday: Both BJ Rosenberg and Chris Kissock threw shutout innings of relief for Mesa, who beat Scottsdale 4-2.

Friday: Tyson Brummett gave up one run in two innings of work and was the only former BlueClaw to play for Mesa.

Saturday: Mesa won again, 7-2, but only Justin De Fratus (a scoreless inning) pitched among the former BlueClaws. He threw a perfect inning with two strikeouts, his second shutout inning since re-joining the team from Pan-Am Games.

Recommended Reading

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Some recommended reading from last night…

Sam Donnellon in the Philadelphia Daily News:

“It won’t go down as it, but this may have been the most impressive outing he’s had,” Brad Lidge, who pitched a perfect ninth for the save, said of Halladay. “He gutted it out with a lot less than 100 percent out there.”

Halladay struck out Juan Uribe with two runners on to end the sixth. Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero worked a scoreless seventh. Ryan Madson struck out the heart of the Giants’ order in the eighth, as impressive a performance in power pitching as Halladay was with his guile.

Halladay has now thrown 272 2/3innings this season, and that’s a ton for even him.

The groin?

“I was able to keep pitching and it didn’t get worse,” he said. “I’ve got some time to rest, so, hopefully . . . ”

Hopefully, he won’t be needed again in this series. Hopefully, that rest will last long enough, but not too long. Next week, not next spring.

Joe Posnanski in

Baseball stories tend to get exaggerated over time, and it’s certainly probable that in time people will remember Halladay limping around the mound, pitching off one leg, shouting in pain when he threw his curveball, falling down in agony. And no, it wasn’t like that. Except for the slight drop in velocity and a couple of out-of-character moments, there were no hints that Halladay was hurting. “It was a tweak,” Jimmy Rollins said with a bit of exasperation in his voice.

But you know, the real story is pretty good. Tweak or not, the best pitcher in baseball, with his team a loss away from failure, hurt himself in the second inning. It clearly affected him. But he refused to come out, he kept on pitching, he pitched six good innings while his teammates wondered what was wrong. He left with the Phillies ahead. The Phillies went on to win. The Phillies are still thinking about the World Series. That begins Wednesday.

“Right after the game, I was kidding with him,” Manuel would say. “I said: When are you going to be available? Next year?”

“He said: ‘Five days.'”

Jayson Stark on

Madson came stomping out of the ‘pen to pitch the bottom of the eighth, as “Don’t Stop Believing” pumped through an electrified ballpark. Great Giants moments of 2010 played on the video board. Orange pom-poms were shaking halfway to San Jose. You could feel adrenaline shooting through every vein in the park. Just, in this case, it wasn’t shooting through the veins of a guy in the right uniform.

“Great song,” Madson gushed later. “That song pumped me up. When they started playing it, I got chills. It kept me loose. It took my mind off everything. I guess they probably won’t do that again now that you’re going to write it.”

Onto game 6.

A Clawd Stencil

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

halloweenstencilStencil Clawd into your pumpkin this Halloween.

Click here to download a Clawd pumpkin stencil.

When you are done, email a picture to us  for a chance to win tickets to 2011 BlueClaws Opening Day on April 7th, when we raise the 2010 South Atlantic League Championship Banner!

Good luck!

We’ll post the entries here and on our Facebook page. Should be fun.

HT to the Toledo Mudhens


Thursday, October 21st, 2010

tballblueclawsSome miscellaneous leftover items…

  • We hit on this briefly the other day, but it was noted again by Dave Murphy at High Cheese that Jonathan Singleton was working in left field down in Instructional League.
  • At right, you see a picture of the Tyrone (Georgia) T-Ball BlueClaws. They are a part of BlueClaws Across America, a program through which teams can call themselves the BlueClaws, and we’ll dress you like the BlueClaws. Details here.
  • Loved this article from Rob Neyer on I’m not saying that Charlie Manuel managed a great Game 4. I’m saying that Game 4 was so entertaining and could have gone so many different ways that it seems, while we’re still basking in the afterglow of so much excitement, churlish (if not pointless) to examine every move under a microscope with a wicked wit.  The Giants and the Phillies played a wonderful baseball game, and either team could easily have won. Tonight, maybe that’s enough.
  • Championship Merchandise is available in the ClawsCove (hats, shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies).
  • Blaming a manager can be hit or miss, writes Mike Lupica (through a Yankee perspective, though you could look at it through a Phillies lens too).
  • Below is what Chris Russo said to us on the radio during a BlueClaws game in August (he is a big Giants fan). How has it translated?

“I didn’t like Sunday’s loss. Lincecum has not pitched well. The Giants cannot make thep layoffs unless Lincecum pitches like Lincecum and he has not pitched well. From what I heard he wasn’t terrible but they scored five runs against him. They can’t win without him, bottom line. The offense is better, I’ll give you that. And Posey is going to be great.

“Now, the one negative about the Giants. Their record in a lot of ways is a product of beating Arizona, Milwaukee, the Cubs, the Mets and the Nationals. They are 21-5 against those teams since July 1st. And they have a road trip, Philadelphia and St Louis this week. They have San Diego and Colorado later on. The Padres are going to win the division. They’ve been the best team since day one.

On the Phillies acquiring Roy Oswalt: “Good for the Phillies. it was the right move. I think he’s hittable. He’s a good number two man, a great wing man for Halladay. Their bullpen is the problem. They could have won one last year with Lidge. I don’t think they’re going to win one last year with Lidge.”

For starters, Lincecum has pitched like Lincecum lately.

Game Four

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

A crazy game last night in San Francisco with plenty to think about.

David Murphy from the Daily News looks at some of the key decisions, including removing Joe Blanton in the 5th inning, not bunting Jimmy Rollins in the 8th inning, and after he popped out with the go-ahead run on 2nd base, choosing to have Ben Francisco hit rather than Raul Ibanez (or Mike Sweeney or Ross Gload).


Trick Or Treat With Buster

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

trick-or-treat-buster-fullHere’s a chance to trick or treat with Buster this Halloween.

Buster will come to your neighborhood and trick or treat with your family, adding to an already fun afternoon.

The opportunity is on eBay, with all proceeds benefiting BlueClaws Charities.

Click here to bid. Best of luck!

Fall League Update

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

BlueClaws pitcher Josh Zeid got to face Bryce Harper, the #1 overall pick in the 2010 draft (by the Nationals), who made his pro debut yesterday in the Arizona Fall League.

Star of the Day: Zeid gave up one run in three innings for the second straight start (two hits, no walks, two strikeouts). So far so good for Zeid, who is making the rare jump from Lo-A straight into the Fall League, which routinely features top prospects from Double and Triple-A.

Also: Justin De Fratus made his Fall League debut, throwing a shutout inning. He had been pitching with Team USA who was knocked out in the semi-finals of the Pan-Am Qualifier by the Dominican Republic…Also, Tim Kennelly went 1-4 for Mesa…Box score.

Here is more on Harper, who popped out to short in his only at bat against Zeid.

Harper’s first at-bat had the fans at the park smiling. The phenom hit a sky-high fly on the first pitch he saw from Mesa Solar Sox starter Josh Zeid in the second inning and as if on cue, it began to rain as soon as shortstop Andrew Romine caught the ball for the out.

The sky cleared up by the time Harper resumed his position in right field for the top of the third inning. He later cleanly fielded a single off the bat of Mets prospect Josh Satin as if the grass were as dry as cardboard.

Those in attendance chuckled at the fantasy of Harper’s fly making it rain.

Catching Up on the Fall League

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Here are two days worth of Arizona Fall League Notes.

First, Monday:

Star of the Day: BJ Rosenberg…the 2009 BlueClaws pitcher threw two scoreless innings for Mesa, rebounding from a shaky Fall League debut, where he gave up three runs in 1.2 innings following Josh Zeid’s start on Tuesday.

Elsewhere…Matt Rizzotti went 1-4 for Mesa. Box score.

And Tuesday:

Only one former BlueClaw played for Mesa, with 2008 pitcher Tyson Brummett allowing one run over two innings of relief. Box score.

So far, Michael Taylor is 8-23 with two home runs. He is 3rd in the league with 16 total bases…Matt Rizzotti is also off to a good start, 7-20 with five walks and just two strikeouts.

Josh Zeid talks about pitching to Carlos Ruiz on July 9th in Lakewood

Having no idea of who I was, or the scouting reports on the other teams batters, he quickly learned who I was from my 38-pitch bullpen before the game and carried it throughout the game. He led me to a no hitter through 5 full innings. Granted, I let the magnitude of the situation get the best of me in the sixth, where I gave up 3 runs on a bunch of badly executed pitches, but it was still a fantastic experience. He called pitches I would have never thrown in certain counts and at certain locations, but since he was calling them, I was going to throw them. For the most part, his confidence in his own calls gave me a sense of confidence in myself, as well.

Zeid is pitching today.

Bryce Harper, taken #1 overall in June’s draft by the Nationals, will make his AFL debut today.