Posts Tagged ‘Ted Kubiak’

Scrappers Winter Notes


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will not be playing a game anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean that there has not been a ton of things going on in the busy Scrapper offices.  Here is a rundown of some news from Eastwood Field.

  • HWS Baseball announced that Jordan Taylor will be promoted to Vice President-HWS Baseball effective immediately. Taylor will continue his duties as General Manager of the Scrappers as well as have increased involvement in the other teams owned by HWS Baseball.

HWS Baseball owns and operates four baseball franchises. In addition to the Scrappers, the HWS family includes the Mobile BayBears (Class AA Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks), Modesto Nuts (Class A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, and the Columbia Blowfish (Summer Collegiate Coastal Plain League). “Jordan has done a great job as General Manager the past 3 seasons,” Michael Savit, Managing Partner of the HWS Group said. “Last season, in particular, we had our highest average attendance since 2008, and a 10% attendance increase overall. He is highly deserving of this promotion.”

  •  The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and M.V.P.B.A. Scrappers Backers with media partner Sports Radio 1240 are pleased to announce that they will be hosting a Hot Stove Banquet Thursday, January 30th from 6-8 pm at Ciminero’s Banquet Center in Niles.  The event will feature several top prospects from the Indians’ organization.  Tickets may be purchased for $35 for adults and $25 for children twelve years of age and under at the Scrappers Eastwood Field Box Office, Scrappers Holiday Store at the Eastwood Mall or by calling (330) 505-0000.
  • The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are pleased to announce a bus trip ticket package to the Cleveland Indians Home Opener against the Minnesota Twins on Friday, April 4, 2014.  The cost of the trip is $68 per person and includes the bus trip and upper reserved seat ticket to the game.

    The bus will leave Eastwood Field a few hours before first pitch and return after the conclusion of the game.  The Scrappers will contact all ticket purchasers with a departure time when the April 4th game time is announced.  Seating is limited to the first 50 people.

    For more information, contact the Scrappers Front Office at (330) 505-0000 or visit for a registration form.

Roberts And Rodriguez (And Six Errors) Help Scrappers Win


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers used the momentum of a ninth inning comeback one night earlier to win their second in a row, a 6-1 conquest of struggling Hudson Valley.  With the win the Scrappers improved to 22-28, inching closer to the .500 mark.  Hudson Valley tallied six errors to help the Scrappers come away with a win.

Dace Kime (bottom photo) got a plethora of run support that the Scrappers have failed to give starting pitchers all year.

Hudson Valley hit the scoreboard in the top of the first inning.  Ariel Soriano doubled down the left field line to start the game.  He would score later in the inning on a single off the bat of Darryl George.


In the bottom of the first, the Scrappers responded with three runs of their own.  Joel Mejia reached safely on a throwing error.  Mejia stole second and then advanced to third when Hudsn Valley’s catcher, Omar Narvaez, threw the ball away on the steal attempt.  Mejia would score the Scrappers first run on a clean single from James Roberts.

Nellie Rodriguez then followed the Roberts single with his own one-bagger to put runners on first and second.  Roberts and Rodriguez both scored when Friday’s hero, Paul Hendrix, tripled to make it 3-1 in favor of Mahoning Valley.

The Scrappers would take a 4-1 lead when they tacked on a run in the fourth.  Cody Ferrell singled with two outs.  Ferrell advanced to second on a fielding error, the fifth of the game for the Renegades.  Mejia then knocked in Ferrell with a single.


The Mahoning Valley offense continued to produce in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Roberts and Rodriguez both had RBI singles for the Scrappers.

Kime picked up his first win of the season despite having a decent 2.87 ERA coming into the game.  Kyle Blair and Trevor Frank pitched solidly in relief.  All three Scrapper pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

The Scrappers and Renegades play one more game on Sunday to close out the series.


Scrappers Tie Franchise Consecutive Loss Record With Tenth Setback


Figure this one out… The Mahoning Valley Scrappers tied the mark of futility with their tenth straight loss Friday, a 2-1 setback to Tri-City.  It is the tenth loss in a row for the Scrappers tying the all-time consecutive loss record set in 2001.

Here comes the twist, attendance is up about 400 fans a game this season.  Credit Scrappers GM Jordan Taylor and staff for keeping their nose to the grindstone and performing.  It is hard to put bodies in seats when the home team has a batting average of .185.

Friday night the people showed up to enjoy fireworks after the game.  They showed up to admire Luke Holko’s progress as the youngster threw out the opening pitch.  They showed up for the mystery ball auction.  Saturday they will show up for Victor Martinez bobblehead night.  Martinez, a Tiger these days, was a Scrapper in those days.

They had a chance.  Martin Cervenka started the inning with a single.  Robel Garcia was called upon to pinch-run for Cervenka.  Garcia moved to second on a Josh McAdams sac bunt.  A wild pitch advanced Garcia to third.  With two outs, Claudio Bautista came to bat with the tying run 90 feet away.  Unfortunately, Bautista struck out to end the game – it’s how things go during a ten game losing streak.


Luis Lugo is having a decent year. Most of the Scrappers starting pitchers have fared better than the other facets of the team.  Lugo pitched five complete innings for the Scrappers giving up two runs, one earned.  Lugo threw 78 pitches, 47 were strikes.  He lowered his ERA to 2.08.  He, again, got no run support.

James Ramsey reached first trying to move the runner with a bunt for Tri-City.  Conrad Gregor then walked to make it first and second with one out.  Michael Martinez hit a ball to Scrappers shortstop Juan Herrera threw away, allowing Ramsey to score and put the Valley Cats ahead, 1-0.  Ryan Dineen then hit a ground rule double to plate Gregor.

Lugo then clamped down to shut Tri-City out for the rest of his start.  Manuel Carmona started the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings for the Scrappers.  Ben Heller finished the game for Mahoning Valley.


For Tri-City, Michael Feliz was tough on the Scrappers bats.  Every time Mahoning Valley would get someone on base, the Scrappers seemed to squander the chance to score.  Feliz threw 77 pitches in his five innings of work to get the win.

Nellie Rodriguez took some frustration out with a high blast that cleared the left field wall in the eighth, but the Scrappers could not muster more in the loss.

So the all-time mark in futility has been tied with ten consecutive losses.  I believe in Ted Kubiak.  I believe him when he says that these kids are out there trying every night.  I believe that the people will keep coming no matter how many losses in a row.

Come Saturday….  Victor Martinez bobble heads (below) are limited to the first 1,000 fans, and I would bet my bottom dollar that Taylor and the Scrappers staff can keep ’em coming.


Scrappers Open 15th Season On Sour Note


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers opened their 15th season of existence on Monday night at Eastwood Field.  The Jamestown Jammers didn’t give the Scrappers much to celebrate in handing the home team a 5-0 setback in front of a good crowd of 5,531.

Scrapper starter Luis Lugo (below) pitched five innings scattering five hits, one of them a home rub to Dan Collins to start the second inning.  That run would be all that Lugo would yield, yet exited the game trailing 1-0.

The Scrappers had a chance to hit the scoreboard in the third inning with runners at first and third with nobody out.  Jamestown starter Isaac Sanchez was able to wiggle out of the inning without giving up a run.  Sanchez struck out Juan Romero for the first out.  Scrapper leadoff hitter, Tyler Booth then tried to lay down a squeeze bunt that resulted in an inning-ending double play as Martin Cervenka was thrown out at home after starting the inning with a double (top photo).


Jamestown put together a productive seventh inning.  Jin-De Jhang reached when Scrapper left fielder, Josh McAdams, dropped a fly ball.  Jhang advanced to second on a wild pitch by Scrapper reliever James Stokes.  Jhang later scored on a clean single to center by Edwin Espinal to make it 2-0 Jammers.  The Scrappers were fortunate to escape the seventh giving up just the single, unearned run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Juan Herrera doubled to start the frame.  He would advance to third on McAdams infield single.  Ryan Battaglia drew a walk to load the bases.  Robel Garcia popped out to third for the first out.  Battaglia was then picked off of first base by the Jammers catcher Jhang.  Cervenka struck out to end the inning.


Joshua Nervis relieved Stokes for the Scrappers in the eighth inning and Rafael Homblert threw the ninth.

Elvis Escobar had three singles to lead the Jammers 14-hit attack.  In the eighth inning, he reached on his third single.  He would score on a double by Harold Ramirez.  The Jammers went ahead 4-0 when Jhang singled home Ramirez.  Jamestown would tack on another in the ninth to round out the scoring.

The Scrappers (0-1) and Jammers (1-0) will play Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Eastwood Field to complete the season-opening three game set.

Ted Kubiak Will Reassemble Scrappers Puzzle From Top To Bottom


As a new year of Mahoning Valley Scrappers baseball gets ready to move forward each season, a whole new cast of characters appears, usually in the form of players.  Minor League Baseball is the melting pot of sports.  There are plenty of Latino prospects mixed with the Americans.  There is an Australian catcher – it is the usual array of language and customs being assimilated in the Youngstown area.

Scrappers Manager Ted Kubiak (above) has some additional pieces of the puzzle to assemble this season.  Last years hitting and pitching coaches, Tony Manzilino and Greg Hibbard, have been reassigned by the Indians organization.  Enter Shaun Larkin and Scott Erickson as the new hitting and pitching coaches.


Erickson spent last season at the AA level for the Indians in Carolina.  Erickson was a very successful big league pitcher who threw for 15 years.  He came up with the Minnesota Twins, and later pitched for the Baltimore Orioles.  He has a World Series title and a wealth of experience to offer the Scrappers.

“I am happy to be here”, said Erickson.  “This is going to be a little different in the sense that when I was at Double A last season, the pitchers thought they were good enough to be that high.  Obviously, they aren’t in the majors yet, so they needed some work.  At this level, it is going to be more of a teaching process.  Once we analyze what the pitchers are good with, we can focus on their weaknesses and make them better.”

“Scott is a great addition to the staff”, said Kubiak.  “He is a great pitching coach and we are lucky to have him here.  He will be a great supervisor of our pitching staff this season and I think the players will benefit from what he will offer.”


Shaun Larkin is no stranger to Eastwood Field.  Larkin was a Scrapper and played here in 2002.  This will be his first shot at coaching and he is happy that it is in a familiar surrounding.

“Ted didn’t know it was me on the phone”, recalled Larkin.  “I called to let him know that the Indians organization was offering me a chance, and he was very surprised, but warm to the idea.  He is a great manager and I got to play for him here in 2002.”

“Coach Larkin will do well with us”, declared Kubiak.  “He is a positive presence and has already offered good input through our meetings.  He will do just fine.”

So Kubiak faces all of the changes with open arms and knows that this team will be exciting.

“They will play hard, they will not showboat, and will want to win”, said Kubiak.

Scrappers Need Host Families, Will Hold National Anthem Tryouts


With a new season coming fast, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers are making a push to get some odds and ends squared away.  One of the big challenges every season is finding host families to house players.

If you were to agree to be a host family, you would receive complementary tickets to each home game, discounts on team merchandise and more. Scrappers host families share their home with a Scrappers player from June through mid-September. The schedule of only 38 home games, practice, and other player obligations result in the player spending minimal time in the host family home. Families wishing to be considered for the host family program are required to fill out a questionnaire.

The Scrappers are also holding tryouts to sing the National Anthem.  The tryout date is this Wednesday, May 29th, between 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Anyone is able to try out and must sing the entire National Anthem to a panel of judges.  The contest is open to instrumentalists, as well as vocalists, of all ages.  If selected, the successful auditioner will be contacted by the Scrappers and assigned a date.

If you would like more information about becoming a host family or auditioning to sing the National Anthem, please contact the Scrappers at (330) 505-0000 or email at


Scrappers 2012 Wrap-Up


This space is usually devoted to a Mahoning Valley Scrappers game summary.  However, with this being my last trip to Eastwood Field, I decided to shift gears and do a season summary complete with comments from the GM, Jordan Taylor.  No worries, game updates and summary will be tied in!

The 2012 version of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers has been marked with some great individual efforts and some unforeseen disappointments.  On the player end of the spectrum, the team lacked a couple of pieces of the puzzle to get over the top.  Among those who excelled and have a good shot at a future playing baseball in the bigs were Joe Wendle, Charlie Valerio, Joe Sever, Tyler Naquin, Luis DeJesus, and Jacob Lee.  These guys were  the most consistent contributors on the field.  Much hyped prospect Dorssys Paulino, who on Thursday was named the All-Star shortstop for the Arizona League, has not been around long enough to be included, but will contribute in the future.

Jairo Kelly, Robel Garcia, and the bullpen were the biggest disappointments.  Kelly, who recently was sent to Arizona, struck out 68 times before being shipped out.  The bullpen blew several quality starts for Scrapper starters and has only become effective in the last three weeks.


The coach of the Scrappers, Ted Kubiak, may have been a bigger disappointment than any of the players this season.  Respectfully, Kubiak seemed tired, fed up with the youthful enthusiasm of his team, and just looked out of sorts sometimes.  The casual observer could tell he was not happy being in Youngstown.  Kubiak is the definition of a meat and potatoes, no-nonsense coach.  He obviously knows the game of baseball to be where he is professionally, but needs to refine his people skills a bit.

From a business standpoint, Jordan Taylor and the Scrappers office staff did an outstanding job.  The Scrappers averaged 3,055 fans per game, a new high since the team started playing at Eastwood Field in 1999.  The staff also had to deal with hosting the 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game and put on a fantastic spectacle for this area to be proud of.

Here were some comments from Taylor:

On The 2012 Season:  “I thought things went really well.  I feel like everything that we could control, we did a really good job with.  We were one of the few teams in the Penn League who had an upswing in attendance.  Considering some of the bad luck we had, mostly with the weather, we are really proud about the increase.  I couldn’t have been happier with the All-Star game and surrounding events.”


On Promotions:  “Obviously, we aways do really well with the wrestling promotion.   Some of the traditional promotions, like Buck Night, are really our bread and butter.  The soap star promotion is successful like the wrestling promotion in the sense that the fans get an experience.  Some of the fringe promotions, like 50’s night, don’t usually do as well as we would hope, but they are more for the entertainment factor rather than trying to draw people in.  I’m excited about Zombie Survival Night, where we pay tribute to some of the cult classics and will have employees running around in zombie makeup and attire.”

(Game Update)  Fourth inning and Estarlin Martinez hits what might be the longest home run in Scrappers history.  Tie game, 4-4.

On The Air:  Tim Pozsgai was great for us this year.  It is my hope that we will keep Tim with us next year.  Usually the radio job is a year-to-year thing and traditionally a seasonal stepping stone type thing.  I would put Tim up against anyone that we have had here as a former baseball player and the learning perspective he had.  He also learned a lot from Tom Hamilton.  My hope would definitely be to keep him.”

On The Field And Condition:  “Matt Rollins was above and beyond this season.  It was not just us, it was the visiting teams commenting on the shape the field was in. Because of the weather, we easily could have lost a few more games this year, but due to his ability to forecast the weather and be on top of things, but also once the weather hit to deal with it effectively.”

So on paper, 2012 was not the best season in Scrappers baseball history, but it was filled with memorable moments, franchise firsts, and milestones.

Game Summary:  Sever hits a three-run triple in the eighth, the improving bullpen comes through and holds off Auburn, Scrappers win!



Eastwood Field Delivers Fantastic 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game


The 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game was all that and more.  Eastwood Field hosted the contest for the first time and after a one hour rain delay, and a hustling grounds crew, there was a baseball game.  The National League won the game, 6-1, in a contest that seemed to showcase pitching.

“It has been a lot of fun”, said AL Manager Ted Kubiak.  “Before the game, we told these young men to play.  There were no signs, no set plays, just get up there and hit.  They are all here for a reason and there was quite a bit of talent on that field tonight.”

Kubiak said before the game that the five Mahoning Valley Scrappers that were named to the team would get in early.  The three position players would go four innings and the two pitchers would hurl the first and second innings.


How the Scrappers did:

Luis DeJesus – Started the game for the American League team and pitched a scoreless first inning without giving up a hit.  He struck out one batter.

Jacob Lee – Pitched the second inning for the American League team, also a scoreless and hitless frame.  Lee (above) struck out two of the three batters that he faced.

Charlie Valerio – Started the game as the American League catcher.  Valerio batted second and grounded out to first in the first inning.  In the third, Valerio grounded out.

Joe Wendle – Started the game at third base for the American League team.  In his first at-bat, Wendle struck out.  Wendle singled in his second at-bat.   He was thrown out at secnd to start a double play.

Joe Sever – Stated the game at DH for the American League All-Stars.  Sever singled in his first at-bat and advanced to second on a wild pitch.  Sever was stranded there however.  In his second at-bat, Sever struck out.


The game itself:

The National League scored the first run of the game.  Consecutive broken bat singles by Patrick Wisdom and Juancito Martinez put runners at first and third with one out.  Breyvic Valera hit a long sac fly to center to make it 1-0 in favor of the National League team.

Estarlin Martinez doubled to start the fifth and scored when Juancito Martinez singled.  Juancito then stole third and catcher Sam Kimmel sailed the throw into left field allowing Martinez to jog home and make it a 3-0 advantage for the National League.

Roman Quinn had an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning to make it 4-0.  Quinn showed terrific speed whizzing around the bases before crossing the plate uncontested.  The Nationals tacked on four in the ninth.

The American League got on the board in the bottom of the ninth on a Tyler Hanover home run to very deep left field to close the scoring.

The entire Scrappers staff did a phenomenal job putting the game and everything it entails together.  One Scrapper staff member who could be nominated for the MVP would be Matt Rollins (above).  The head groundskeeper battled the elements all day in getting the field in near mint condition.  Big pat on the back to him and his staff.

All-Star Game Activities Planned, Nothing Is Easy


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.



Five Scrappers Named To All-Star Team


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.