MoViN' on up...
In past years, I made various promises as to the visual direction of the site. This would be the year I learned html, or hooked into WordPress, or did something else to get away from the stock grey and black of the Blogger template. The day for that change has finally come, albeit in a roundabout way.
About a week and a half ago, I was approached by some of the people who run Most Valuable Network, asking me if I wanted to take on their Mariners minor league coverage as they expanded into that field. They offered me better hosting, site format, and internet visibility, among other things, so I decided to come aboard. In the past few years, MVN has been steadily growing, acquiring All-Baseball (former host of Mariner Musings) and 360thepitch (podcasts), and while their minor league coverage is currently in the experimental phase, there’s some potential in it all. Plus, they already have one guy in High Desert ready to do some groundwork and another who catches the D-Jaxx on road trips, which is pretty neat.
For anyone out there who might be worrying, whatever the reason, I’ll add this much: I still have creative control, I still have the right to do guest bits or comment in other blogs, I can keep my links, I still have the same contact accessibility (or lack thereof in some cases), et cetera. The only things that have really changed is that I’ve ceded my right to drop f-bombs or write about not-safe-for-work things (not that I really did in the first place) and MVN gets first dibs to my content.
So what this all means is that I’m packing up here and moving into my new digs. With almost 360,000 hits over three years, not all of which were me, I think it’s a decent entry into the M’s minor league picture, and as such, I’m leaving it up for archival purposes. But if you’re looking for the current content, or want to update your outgoing links, I’ll be posting elsewhere from now on.Mariner Minors – Most Valuable Network
Triu, Phillips in the Times
If you ever needed a sign that minor league baseball and the M's international signings are getting more attention these days, well, this is it. Greg Bishop of the Seattle Times had a write-up today about IFs Anthony Phillips and Carlos Triunfel
, centering around them both being born in 1990 (for those curious, Mario Martinez was late '89, and didn't fit the mold). There's more on Triu's baseball skill than Phillips, but both get a little bit of coverage on the daily life back home. It's a good read overall, and the kind of depth that you don't ordinarily see.
Dominican Teen to be Showcased
I don't really know what to say about this. I've been trying to come up with a more clever title for a while and it's just not working. According to the New York Times
, the latest Dominican wunderkind is sixteen-year-old outfielder José José. He was just working out at the Mets complex, but word is that his agent it going to be shopping him around, to the Red Sox (who would sign him now if they had the choice, apparently), the Yankees, the Angels, and the M's. The Sox are probably the frontrunners at the moment, but we may hear more should an article ever come up in our local papers.
Picking up this thread from Minor League Ball
, I think it's necessary that the joke runs for as long as it can, so we've already seen refernces to Duran Duran, Major Major Major Major, Bhutros-Bhutros Ghali, and Zsa-Zsa Gabore, while I added that he should move to Walla Walla if signed by the Mariners and that his favorite book is William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!". I'm sure there are a few more out there that we could come up with.
Auty Back in the States
There's not much Mariners prospect news going around at the moment, but in former prospect news, Aussie outfielder and friend of the blog Tim Auty has finally found himself a roster spot, this time, with the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League
Auty hit .352/.424/.519 in over a hundred at-bats in Peoria during the '05 season, but was released following it. He was picked up by the Phillies, but released again after spring training without really being given a chance. Time in Evansville should help him play his way back onto the radar and get another chance in affiliated ball.
Best of luck to him.
Taiwanese Signing on the Horizon?
There's apparently rumors going around concerning prep outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin that the Taiwan Baseball Blog
is reporting on. There have been rumblings of which MLB teams are interested for some time now, but the most recent ones have the M's and the Chicago Cubs hot on his trail, with the M's possibly having extended an invite to Peoria.
Lin is probably the top prep player in Taiwan right now, a strong defender with some offensive potential. If you follow the labels on the blog over there, you'll be able to see some of the videos of him in action.
There's no telling right now when he'll sign, if he's signing with us at all. There were some other rumors weeks back that the Red Sox had picked him up, but that never materialized. Nevertheless, it's great that the M's are invovled in the bidding for a top international player again and I'll report back if anything else goes public.
The Name Game, 2007
I got ahold of some of the media guide sections last night (thanks Jason). Going through the names of newly signed players, I think the 2007 winner of most interesting name is RHP Mayekol Guaipe from Venezuela. Mayekol had a stronger case in being a bit of an unknown. Otherwise, if I had decided to give more credit to the guys who debuted last year, but didn't have their names in the '06 guide, I might've gone with RHP Johalbi Chourio, also from Venezuela, or RHP Nelson Germocen and IF Ameilis Carvajal out of the Dominican.
It wasn't a good crop for names this year, with the other interesting entries including RHP Fello Yan (DR), RHP Angel Raga (VZ) [not quite as cool as Angel Pagan], RHP Jose Perdomo (DR), OF Augusto Marte (DR) [Augusto!], and RHP Miguel Celestino (DR). Of course, we already knew about guys like OF Kalian Sams (Netherlands), IF Rudy van Heydoorn (DR), OF Rey Lebron (DR) and IF Yidio Batista (Colombia) from when the signing period opened.
I also found out that L. Eduardo Garcia and L. Alejandro Garcia, signed out of Venezuela, are indeed twin brothers. I wonder how often throughout the history of the game that there have been twins both playing the game at the pro level, and on the same team no less. Edit, 5:30ish: Cripes, I remembered the Papelbon kids driving in today and I'm astonished no one tried to call me on that one. They were nearly in the same org too
...and yes, according to the guide, catcher Craig Hurba is still in the system, so if news items of interest come up, there is still the possibility of a Hurba Blurb at some point in the season. We won't know for sure until camps break, though.
Grasping at Straws
As if the posting habits weren't evidence enough, this is what could be termed as a slow time of the year for minor league watchers, probably one of the slowest with winter ball over. Baseball is back in town, and that's news enough, even if your hometown nine are four games in the hole in meaningless exhibition standings. We're cycling through the stories that come with every spring, contract this, prove that, but even knowing the trends as most of us do, there's something refreshing about coming full circle again.
This spring, it's been rather quiet so far on the minor league end. There's been a Tui story, a few mentions of Clement, even a Feierabend bit
in the TNT, but nothing too in-depth just yet. As we get further into the Cactus League season, we'll start to see that change a little more, and maybe even catch a few surprise names in the box scores. Justin Thomas has already seen gametime, but if you haven't caught it already Carlos Triunfel made a brief appearance in one of today's split squad games, and is listed on the NRI list
, along with guys like Jason Mackintosh, Yovanny Olivero (another stunner), and Chris Minaker (edit: nevermind, missed him pinch-running
), who haven't quite made it into games yet. It's interesting to see who emerges in that group, as it's sometimes an indicator of who the club has faith in or wants to take a closer look at.
Aside from that, I'll have my hands on a media guide once they hit stores in a few days, and we can go through the more interesting names among the summer league signees. From the looks of it, there's going to be a lot of turnover down there this season, with some talented international players turning up in the lower levels. I'm mote pumped for the start of this minor league season than I have been for most others in recent memory. There's a good chance of the system gaining a lot of momentum this year.