Posts Tagged ‘Mahoning Valley Scrappers’
As the Mahoning Valley Scrappers season comes to a close, a couple of players were moved to Lake County for the playoff push. Joe Wendle (above) and Tyler Naquin will join Charlie Valerio, who was promoted last week.
Wendle was probably the most consistent Scrapper at the plate this season. In 61 games, he compiled a .327 batting average and had four home runs. Wendle also showed defensive versatility being jockeyed between second and third base all season.
Naquin had recently played in three games, his first action since hurting his back and being sidelined since August 2nd. The Indians #1 Draft Pick of 2012 showed off a great arm while manning CF and developed good plate discipline before the injury forced him out of action for a month.
With the final series being played at State College, an interesting note was that the Pirates short season affiliate had Starling Marte on a rehab assignment before he rejoins Pittsburgh later this week.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are winding down 2012 with a final home stand. The series against Batavia was delayed a day due to inclement weather, so two games of the seven inning variety would be squeezed into Tuesday. Sometimes the rain would be welcome, but on Tuesday, no such luck, twice.
In the first game, the Scrappers got beat 6-2. Jake Sisco took the loss for the Scrappers. Highly touted Indians prospect, Dorssys Paulino (above), made his home debut a memorable one with a couple of hits. Joe Wendle and Evan Frazar also chipped in with two hits each.
Reggie Williams provided the big blow in the fourth inning when he connected for his first home run of the season off of Sisco. The bomb Williams hit made it 4-2 and the Muckdogs never looked back.
Joe Cuda picked up the victory in game one for Batavia. Cuda pitched five innings and scattered eight hits, walking none and striking out five. With the win, Cuda improved to 7-1.
In the second game, Luis DeJesus pitched well for the Scrappers, and so did Muckdog starter Ben O’Shea. Both starters put up zeroes through five innings. In the sixth with one mighty swing of the bat, Danny Stienstra untied the game with a solo shot to left. That was all it would take for the seven inning, 1-0, Batavia win.
After the game, Scrapper Charlie Valerio was promoted to Lake County. Valerio compiled a good season offensively for the Scrappers finishing up with five home runs, 35 RBI’s in 53 games, and showed good defensive versatility at first and behind the plate. Valerio has leader potential and was respected by his coaches and teammates as a spark plug.
Good luck Charlie!
The Scrappers and Muckdogs meet again on Wednesday at Eastwood Field.
Tyler Naquin was chosen first by the Cleveland Indians in the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Naquin excelled at Texas A & M and earned the distinction to be chosen so high. A humble student of the game, Naquin always signs autographs whether he had an 0-5 night or hit well. His maturity and his poise may be his greatest asset at this early level of his career, but what seems to make him special is how humble he remains.
Paneech: Playing at Texas A & M, did you develop a way to communicate with Spanish-speaking teammates that may help you converse with the Scrappers who don’t speak good English?
Naquin: To be honest, we only had one Domincan and one Spanish kid on my team, so I really wasn’t around it. At College Station, there are a lot of students but I wasn’t around that problem much. Here, you start understanding what they are saying to you and find ways. The communication has not been as big of a problem as I thought it may have been.
Paneech: From personal observance, I see national separation, the Dominicans kind of stick together and the college players stick together. Is this something that you think goes away after a couple of years of being so tightly intertwined?
Naquin: I believe it get easier. We are starting to understand each other and there is effort on both sides to close that gap. They want to learn our language and we want to learn as much as we can about their language. We are coaching and teaching each other as much as we can.
Paneech: I noticed in your last few games, a real effort to hit the ball into left field, not an easy task for a left-handed batter. Is that something the Indians are asking you to get better with or are you just taking an outside pitch that way?
Naquin: I just hit what I am given. If they keep pitching me outside, I will keep taking the ball to left. If they want to come in, I can pull it, but I have been seeing a lot of outside pitches. Pitchers like to live on the outside corner, but I like pitches from the middle of the plate out.
Paneech: I have seen you throw out a couple of runners at home plate. Is your arm your best attribute as a pro so far?
Naquin: I try to show it when I can, but I think that hitting is still my best quality. It definitely helps swing the momentum and you could win a game by a run because of a good defensive play. It is something I take a lot of pride in, trying to throw the ball long, hard, and flat.
Paneech: You are very close with your family. How hard is it to be divided from that lifestyle you grew up with?
Naquin: It is tough in a way, but my love for my family and my girlfriend are unconditional. They have all made their way up here when they could. At first, it is odd, but I know that they will all be home waiting on me. They understand that I have to do this and that this is a job now.
Paneech: What is the best advice you have gotten so far at this level?
Naquin: Just to take it one day at a time and to be patient. Everyone wants to hit.300 or .350, but you will always have the next day. You are going to wake up the next day and hit again. It’s a grind here though. You really have to take care of your body and get enough sleep.
Paneech: I see you in the dugout and it looks like you are genuinely having a good time. Comment on the experiences that make this fun.
Naquin: I am getting a lot of money to play this game, how could you not have fun? I don’t want to sit behind a desk for 45 years, I would much rather be doing this. My family, my girlfriend, and my friends are really enjoying watching me. Money comes and goes, that is an accolade of putting in the hard work. God has put me in this position and given me the opportunity.
Paneech: Because you grew up in Texas, were you a Jeff Bagwell fan growing up? Who did you watch and emulate?
Naquin: I had a Ken Griffey Jr. jersey,and I liked [Josh] Hamilton, [Craig] Biggio and Bagwell, but in maybe a selfish way I was different. If I went to a big league game I could care less about getting an autograph. Even though I was only 13 or 14 years old, I knew I wanted to be that guy, not chasing autographs but rather signing them. I definitely look up to those guys, but the flame and drive I have is to be better than they were.
Paneech: You are that guy in a way now. Kids are screaming your name for autographs already. Is the same kid asking you for a bat every night getting old?
Naquin: If it makes a kids day to get a Tyler Naquin autograph, then I am going to sign his baseball. You live everyday as the best person you can be and put yourself in favorable situations. I like seeing a kid smile and I will continue to sign as long as I am playing. It is the right thing to do. Good fans will carry you a long way and Joe [Wendle] and Charlie [Valerio] are that way too.
Paneech: Are you superstitious?
Naquin: I am superstitious. It is all about feeling good. My dad always tells me if you look good and feel good, you are going to play good. One of my things is brushing my teeth. I have to brush my teeth before every game. I have a little routine where I have to take an extra swing in the batters box. It helps me time the pitcher. I like to level the dirt in he batters box.
One Word Answers
Favorite Meal of The Day: Dinner.
Fast Food Order: Taco Bell ~~Bean burrito, no onions, a double decker, two crunchy tacos, and Mountain Dew.
Best Movie Ever Made? Talladega Nights.
Biggest Phobia: Snakes.
Worst Habit: Forgetting Stuff.
Song No One Would Believe Is On Your ipod: Fergilicious.
What Sport If Not Baseball? Probably football.
If there were no sports, what would you do? I would be a rancher. I like to breed animals and genetics. My girlfriend is passionate about horses, so I would try to put something together on a big piece of property.
Auburn used a five-run first inning to coast past the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, 8-4, in the final game before the New York-Penn League All-Star Break. The Scrappers chipped away but could never get the deficit to less than three.
Scrapper starter Jake Sisco dropped to 1-4 as he took the loss. Sisco got roughed-up in the first inning. After walking in the first run, Sisco gave up a grand slam to Carlos Lopez to make it 5-0 in favor of the Doubledays.
Mitch Nilsson (below), who finished the game with two hits, doubled to start off the second. Nilsson moved to third on a single by Erik Gonzalez and later scored on a sac fly by Andrew Cambell.
Trailing 6-1, the Scrappers scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to make it a 6-3 game. Robel Garcia singled in the fifth and moved to third on an Aaron Siliga hit. Garcia would score the Scrappers second run on a Logan Vick groundout. Charlie Valerio doubled and came home on a Nilsson single in the sixth.
Vick had to leave the game with an injury and his status is unknown.
Scott Peoples, Luis Encarnacion, and Josh Martin all had hitless and scoreless innings of relief pitching for the Scrappers. Jack Wagoner did not fare as well as he was touched up for two runs in his seventh inning appearance.
The Scrappers head into the break six games behind the Doubledays. If the Scrappers are to make a run for the postseason, they will have to get hot and win a few in a row with Auburn coming to town next week. The Scrappers are 25-28 and currently find themselves in fourth place in the Pinckney Division.
Brooklyn currently holds the wildcard spot with a 34-20 record, so the Scrappers would probably have to catch Auburn (31-22) to realistically have a shot.
With the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game right around the corner, there are a ton of things that must get done, steps to still be taken, to ensure that the game goes smoothly. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers staff has been working like crazy to ensure the game will go off without a hitch, but there are many things people do not realize that go into planning such a big event.
“We knew this was coming for two years”, said Scrappers Director of Entertainment Heather Sahli. ”A lot of it cannot happen until now though. Things like getting approvals from farm directors, once the roster is finalized we have to hurry and assemble the game program, flights for the players and people attending, pickups from the airport, hotel arrangements, it is endless.”
Considering the size of General Manager Jordan Taylor‘s full-time office staff, which is only ten employees, everyone is hustling and doing more than usual. Within that ten are the head groundskeeper, Matt Rollins, and Radio and Media Relations Director, Tim Pozsgai. Rollins has been doing a great job on the field all year and Pozsgai is on the road with the team, so the working pool of people is actually eight.
The five Scrappers players named to the team are (L-R) Jacob Lee, Joe Sever, Charlie Valerio, Joe Wendle, and Luis DeJesus. Ted Kubiak and staff will also have the honor of coaching the American League team. A full slate of activities, starting Monday, will keep everyone involved tremendously busy.
“Every day seems to get harder and harder”, said Sahli. ”There are so many things to keep track of because there are different things than we are used to. We are adding a local twist to everything. This game seems like a season in itself because of the preparation involved.”
Sahli joked that August 16th couldn’t come soon enough, yet she is looking forward to being part of a staff that has really taken the challenge head-on and done a superb job.
Pozsgai, the voice of the Scrappers, knows how big of a deal this game is and what his role will be.
“The production crew will have a lot of sleepless nights leading up to the game”, said Pozsgai.
“I think the league did well with their selections. Tyler Naquin would have probably been named if not for his back issues. None of this years first rounders in the league were named to either all-star team.”
Naquin would have been chosen if healthy. The Indians first round pick has had a good year with the numbers to back it up. Going into the break, Naquin, who didn’t even make the current road trip, batted .310 over his last ten games played which included seven doubles. He will be involved in all-star games at higher levels in the future.
“It is going to be fun to broadcast that game that will be carried by everybody”, added Pozsgai. ”I really like it here and don’t want to go anywhere, but that kind of opportunity can really be looked at as a resume booster for sure.”
The agenda for the week is as follows:
6 pm Valley Gala at Packard Music Hall
11:30 am – Luncheon at Magnuson Grand Hotel
3:30 pm – Gates open at Eastwood Field
3:30 pm – American League autograph session
4:30 pm – National League autograph session
5:30 pm – Home Run Derby
7 pm – All-Star pre-game ceremonies
7:35 pm – New York – Penn League All-Star Game
Postgame – Fireworks and Postgame Party in the Bud Light Bullpen (picnic area)
A few extra tickets for the All-Star Game have been released and if you act quickly, you may still be able to get in. Be a part of a great moment in Scrappers history and prove that baseball is alive in well in the valley. Call 330-505-0000 for ticket availability and information.
Wednesday, the New York Penn League named five Mahoning Valley Scrappers to the 2012 All-Star team. The five Scrappers named were (above, l-r) Jacob Lee, Joe Sever, Charlie Valerio, Joe Wendle, and Luis DeJesus.
The game will be held at Eastwood Field in Niles for the first time ever. Scrappers Coach Ted Kubiak and his staff will handle the duties of mentoring the American League team while the Jamestown Jammers will handle a Tri-City laden National League squad.
All-Star week kicks off on Monday, August 13 at Packard Music Hall when the participants for both teams will be introduced. The All-Star Gala begins at 6 and will feature foods unique to the Mahoning Valley. A culinary diversity will be on display for sure.
Tuesday is loaded with activity featuring an All-Star luncheon at the Magnuson Grand Hotel featuring keynote speaker, Mike Hargrove. Following the luncheon, the players from both the American and National League teams will partake in an autograph signing. The home run derby is next at 5:30 followed by the game itself which will begin at 7:35.
Small quantities of tickets remain and you can still get in by calling the Scrappers box office at 330-505-0000.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will return home to play two games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The bus couldn’t pull out of Tri-City’s parking lot fast enough as the Scrappers were swept following Monday’s 5-1 loss.
In what is turning out to be the normal scenario for these Scrappers, a starting pitcher does real well and turns the ball over to the bullpen. Things go downhill from there. Jacob Lee was the latest Scrapper starter to pitch his heart out only to get a ‘no decision’.
Lee worked himself out of a bases-loaded first inning jam and went on to surrender just one hit over his four innings. Lee walked two and struck out five to increase his team lead in strikeouts to 38 on the season. Geoff Davenport came in and allowed five hits and two runs in taking the loss for the Scrappers. Cody Penny and Luis Encarnacion followed in relief and also gave up at least one run in their stints.
Evan Frazar had three hits for Mahoning Valley. His RBI-double knocked in Joe Sever with the Scrappers only run in the contest.
Williamsport will be in town for a pair of games, the last two home games before the All-Star game at Eastwood Field. Two-dollar Tuesday is a good deal! Get there early and take in a game!
Luis DeJesus has been the best starter the Mahoning Valley Scrappers have had all season. Friday, DeJesus, a converted reliever, threw his best foot forward in a 2-0 win over Vermont. In earning his fourth win, DeJesus definitely stuck his flag in the dirt to be the starting pitcher on August 14th at the NYPL All-Star Game to be held at Eastwood Field.
DeJesus entered Friday nights game against the Lake Monsters ranked 4th in the NYPL with a 1.64 ERA. He was masterful throwing 76 pitches, 62 of them for strikes in the win. DeJesus was perfect through 4-1/3 innings before giving up a single. The Scrapper hurler completed 7 strong innings, only giving up three hits. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out six.
Rafael Homblert started the eighth and after recording a quick out, he got into a jam. Homblert was yanked with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth but Jack Wagoner was able to come in and prevent DeJesus losing another victory after leaving with a lead.
Wagoner struck out Chris Bostick to leave the bags loaded to end the inning. He would also pitch a scoreless ninth to earn his first career save.
The Scrappers offense scratched out just enough run support to chip in. Erik Gonzalez walked to start the third inning. A passed ball and a groundout got Gonzalez to third base with two outs. Jairo Kelly, who has really been struggling at the plate, came through with a big situational single to right to plate Gonzo.
The Scrappers would tack on an insurance run in the 7th inning.
Mahoning Valley boards the bus and heads to Tri-City for a three-game set before coming home to face Williamsport on August 7th.
Catch the road games on AM-1570 with Tim Pozsgai calling the action.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers wrapped up a seven game homestand. Brooklyn got the best of the host team riding the strong pitching performance of Rainy Lara. Lara gave up one run in the first inning and his Cyclones buckled down to tame the Scrappers, 5-1.
The Scrappers got on the scoreboard in their half of the first inning. Tyler Naquin slapped a double to left. One out later, Charlie Valerio singled to plate a hustling Naquin. The Indians first round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, Naquin, finished the game with three of the Scrappers four hits.
The momentum shifted in the third. Scrapper starter Luis Morel (below) caught a bad break when Eudy Pina broke for second and Scrapper shortstop Jairo Kelly went to cover second base on the steal attempt. The vacancy Kelly left turned a routine double play ball into runners at first and second with nobody out.
Brandon Nimmo singled home Pina. Nimmo had been killing the Scrappers the whole series. With that hit, Nimmo was 8-14 in the series. Jayce Boyd had an RBI single later in the inning to plate Nimmo that gave the Cyclones a 2-1 lead.
Morel did not get out of the fifth inning. Brooklyn added a couple of unearned runs in the inning to make it a 4-1 game. Robbie Aviles relieved Morel and gave up a run in the fifth.
The Scrappers struggled offensively after the first inning. In fact, they did not get another hit until the sixth inning. Rainy Lara settled in for Brooklyn and pitched into the seventh inning with a four run lead. Lara struck out ten Scrappers in picking up the win.
The Scrappers head to the road for awhile in pursuit of league-leading Auburn before welcoming Williamsport to Eastwood Field on August 7th and 8th.
Catch Tim Pozsgai on AM-1570 for all of the action on the road. If you haven’t had a chance to yet, treat yourself to a very unique and entertaining broadcast style.
Following this Sunday’s Scrapper game, the MCW rolls in for a postgame wrestling card. The card has become an annual tradition at Eastwood Field and this year’s schedule is loaded. Watch the Matt Hardy video above for more details.
Kevin Bellew, the promoter for MCW is delivering serious talent for the 2012 card. Hardy will be joined by Tommy Dreamer, Rhino, and Carlito. All four of these wrestlers were main event status superstars in the WWE and none of the four are washed-up glory seekers, but rather still among the elite wrestlers in a crowded industry.
Bellew also guaranteed a surprise appearance by a current belt holder from one of the two televised promotions (WWE or TNA) to be at Baseball Brawl on Sunday.
“I can’t say who the mystery superstar is”, said Bellew via telephone. ”I can guarantee that the mystery superstar is a current champion and is on television every week. He will be there (not a women’s champion) signing autographs and greeting fans in Niles on Sunday.”
The Scrappers give Bellew an allotted budget to work with each year. Bellew then contacts stars that would draw, sometimes risking his own money over the budget amount, to guarantee the fans will enjoy the show filled with some recognizable names.
“We probably could have just used Matt Hardy and any one of the other three and it would have drawn”, said Bellew. ”By using all four superstars, plus a confirmed huge name as a mystery guest, we are proving to everyone that the commitment is strong to provide the best and most entertaining lineup we can.”
The wrestlers will greet fans and sign autographs throughout the day before the ring will be set up on the infield for the wrestling show. This is the day to be there! Call the Scrappers box office at 330-505-0000 for VIP and ticket information.
Should be a great day, as it is also Luke Holko day. Luke will be in attendance, as will Ben Carlson. Holko and family and Carlson have remained in contact, which is another story worth hearing. All parties involved are the best kind of people created.
Don’t miss a Sunday at Eastwood Field that will offer something for everyone and an unsolved mystery to boot!