Houston Astros: Top 10 Prospects
Jim Callis ranks the Top 10 prospects in the Astros farm system.
Jim Callis ranks the Top 10 prospects in the Astros farm system.
The Pirates signed 23-year-old Cuban defector Serguey Linares yesterday, but details of the signing still remain somewhat vague.
Editor's Note: These were some of Chris Kline's musings from the first day of the tournament, but now that he has photos of the Aguilas mascot, we've bumped it back to the top to give visual evidence of the mascot, and to let you all decide whether this is supposed to be an eagle, a chicken or parrot.There are so many things to say about the atmosphere here at Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium on the first day, but here are just a few observations and breakdowns . . .â€¢ The Aguilas mascot is unlike any other in baseball. It's supposed to be an eagle, but looks more like a poor man's version of The Chicken . . . kind of. The eagle changes outfits throughout the night--and obviously in an 18-inning game there are plenty of opportunities to run through the entire schitck--but I think the one where he wore a sheriff costume and rolled around on the turf, then paused to act like he was shooting at the Venezuelan dugout (complete with sound effects followed by maniacal laughter from the PA system at least five times) was the one that had my jaw dropping the farthest.Or there was the one where he came out dressed as a ninja and was doing karate moves about five feet from the right field line--during the game and not between innings. That one was a personal favorite of an American League scout. Oh, or the one where he came out with his clothes all ripped up and had huge green hands doing some pseudo Incredible Hulk impersonation. But he looked more like a chicken with plastic green hands that wanted to go a few rounds with Yorman Bazardo. I keep trying to picture the Phillie Phanatic trying to pull any of those off and it's just not happening.
Here's to home plate umpire Francisco Ramirez--yelled at consistently by players and managers all night long in Puerto Rico's 4-2 win over Mexico.I just hope the guy got home OK.After Jon Weber was ejected in the 10th inning, it looked like the ringleaders of the Mexican contingent--led by the rancher guy, the dude with the wrestling mask and a Hermosillo jersey and the guy with the green, red and white beard that sparkled--seemed like they were out for blood.
So Puerto Rico wound up keeping Mexico winless after scoring a pair of runs in the top of the 10th inning, but things teetered on getting ugly in the bottom half of the inning.As I earlier 'reported,' Durazo was ejected in the fifth inning. Well, let's just say it was a rough night for home plate umpire Francisco Ramirez all around.
Or I think it's II. It's late, I'm exhausted and don't really remember.Leaning back on the 'ignorant American slob' line one more time, it took me nearly 10 minutes just to negotiate the transaction to acquire food for dinner tonight.And that was for chicken on a stick.
Mexico designated hitter Erubiel Durazo had been going at it with home plate umpire Francisco Ramirez during his entire at-bat in the fifth inning, and let him know about it.After Durrazo whiffed to end the inning, he turned and yelled something at Ramirez over his shoulder. One of those words must have fallen under the 'umpire taboo' category, and Ramirez wasted no time tossing Durazo.Mexico manager Lorenzo Bundy came running out of the dugout after Ramirez and proceeded to argue for a solid three minutes, the last 30 seconds of which was the best--after a spotlight shone down from the top of the stadium on the two.
Royals righthander Leo Nunez has been exceptional in the Series, working out of pressure situations and throwing straight gas at 94-97 mph. His slider hasn't been as sharp . . . but it's February.
Well it was close . . . for a while anyway.The Dominicans remained unbeaten in the Series on Monday, trouncing Venezuela, 7-1.
The Dominicans beat Venezuela again, but the big news isn't news at all. Red Sox righthander Julian Tavarez left the game in the fifth inning after being hit by a line drive in the foot.
We're about a half hour away from today's rematch of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, and if anyone's going to steal the DR's momentum, this is the chance.Still no word on the pitching matchups--which is the norm in this series. But the only close game in the tournament came between these two teams in the opener on Friday.Let's just hope this one doesn't go 18 innings.
It's tough to do a scout's view on a player that hasn't pitched in the tournament where you are, but we caught up with a veteran National League scout to give us the rundown on 24-year-old lefthander Oscar Rivera.Rivera, who recently received a non-roster invite to spring training from the Rockies, dominated the Mexican Pacific League this winter with 8-2, 1.51 numbers in 77 innings.
Jim Callis chatted about the Cubs top prospects.
Based on an apparent error in the minor league baseball database, Mets prospect Fernando Martinez was listed as having a birthday of December 10, 1986 on his player page at minor league baseball's website. Obviously, this would mean he is 20 years old and not the 18-year-old phenom that he was believed to be.If this were true, it would certainly dim his prospect status. You can breathe out Mets fans, because it is not true.
I know I've been raving about the Mexican fans--and they do deserve a ton of credit for continually showing up in team colors and bovine costumes throughout the series--but the DR fans rule.After they shoved it in a 12-0 win over Puerto Rico, Dominican fans stormed the field and celebrated for over 30 minutes . . . waving flags, jumping for joy and setting up individual pictures of people with DR flags while standing on the mound.
So . . . getting back to Mexico a second, the words "center fielder" and "Karim Garcia" don't exactly go hand-in-hand in this day and age. Garcia was tossed from Sunday's afternoon game for arguing with an umpire after getting thrown out on the back end of a double play in the fifth inning . . . while Mexico was already down nearly 10 runs.
You know that Bud Light commercial where the guy just recently had rubber floors installed in his house and he bounces beers to his friends sitting around his living room?Well, I wouldn't be surprised if they used the surface at Roberto Clemente Walker Stadium as a testing area before they filmed.
Juan Gonzalez is the only player in the Series that has the same walk-up music for every AB. And it isn't quite what you might expect.
Jonathan Albaladejo--the Puerto Rico starter tonight--and I go back to 2004 when I did a series of stories in uniform in the Pirates organization. He was with the high Class A Lynchburg team I traveled with, so I sought him out on Saturday night to say hello more than anything else.
So the big showdown between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic hasn't exactly turned out that way so far . . . the DR jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and is now up 9-0 in the sixth.And I actually came up to the press box to tell you that, but then something weird happened. Like bad weird.