Results tagged ‘ Miami Marlins ’
First off, thanks to everyone for their efforts yesterday. Unfortunately, Bolt could not slay the defending Mascot Madness champion–Webster University’s Gorlok. Still, Bolt is incredibly thankful for all of your support.
Believe it or not, the 2012 Carolina League season begins in nine days. To get you set for the action, we are debuting a new feature in advance of the season. It’s the “Carolina Countdown,” and it will preview all seven Carolina League opponents for the Dash this season.
To kick things off, we will begin with the newest entrant into the CL: the Carolina Mudcats.
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Carolina Mudcats
Introduction: After 21 years in the Double-A Southern League, the Mudcats are at the Advanced-A level here in the Carolina League. During the shuffle this past offseason, the Mudcats replaced the Kinston Indians as Cleveland’s Carolina League affiliate. The Mudcats had been Cincinnati’s Double-A stop, but now the Reds have the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Last season: The Mudcats didn’t wrap up their Southern League run in style. Carolina stumbled to a 53-86 overall mark, which was the worst in the SL’s Southern Division. However, this record is completely irrelevant because of the affiliation switch.
Manager: Edwin Rodriguez enters his first season with the Indians’ system. His name may sound familiar to big baseball fans, because he was the manager of the Florida Marlins for 360 days. Rodriguez replaced Fredi Gonzalez June 23, 2010, and resigned June 18, 2011. Rodriguez’s resignation began the process that ultimately led to Ozzie Guillen’s job with the new-look Miami Marlins.
System: The Indians’ system took a hit last year when the organization shipped its top two pitching prospects–Drew Pomeranz and Alex White–to Colorado for Ubaldo Jimenez. That trade, plus the promotion of top hitting prospects Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall to the big leagues, has helped to water down the Tribe’s system.
However, if there is a glimmer of hope, it is in the lower level of the minor leagues. Per Tony Lastoria of Indians Prospect Insider, top prospect Francisco Lindor should join Luigi Rodriguez (fifth-best Indians prospect according to Baseball America) and Tony Wolters (seventh) in Low-A Lake County. This trio could make it up to Carolina by season’s end.
Best promotion: From June 8-10, Scooby Doo will be at Five County Stadium to hang out with Mudcats fans. Unfortunately, the Pelicans are coming to town that weekend, so I won’t be able to hang out with Scooby.
Fun fact: From short season to the big leagues, there are six teams in the Indians’ farm system, and all but Carolina are in the state of Ohio. Triple-A Columbus is a two-hour drive south of Cleveland. Double-A Akron is less than an hour away from Progressive Field. Low-A Lake County is about the same. And short-season Mahoning Valley is near the Pennsylvania border, but it is still less than a two-hour trip to C-town.
Travel to Carolina: This is a pretty easy trip for the team and for Dash fans. Head east on I-40 and you’re there in a little more than two hours. It’s a 131-mile journey to Zebulon, which is the Dash’s second-shortest trip in the Carolina League.
Mudcats in Winston-Salem: These two clubs will share Opening Day April 6 in Zebulon. One week later, the Mudcats make their first ever CL road trip April 13-15 here at BB&T Ballpark. The Mudcats also invade Winston May 25-27 and July 23-26.
Tomorrow: The Frederick Keys, who won last season’s Mills Cup.
Enjoy the last few baseball-less Fridays while you can. After March 23 and March 30, Fridays will be packed with baseball (and, in most spots, including BB&T Ballpark, fireworks).
Stay tuned to the blog tomorrow for a “Tale of the Tape” featuring Dash mascot Bolt and Gorlok, Bolt’s second-round matchup in Mascot Madness.
Just a few Friday notes for you today.
- ESPN’s Baseball Tonight made its way to Camelback Ranch for its annual stop at White Sox spring training. Be sure to check out new Chicago skipper Robin Ventura’s interview here. Included in this interview is Ventura’s take on Adam Dunn, big offseason surprise, and important roster secret.
- Ventura is replacing Ozzie Guillen, who is the new manager of the new-look Miami Marlins. In this feature from the New York Times, Guillen said, “I swear to God, the only way I root for the White Sox is because Robin is the manager, that’s it. If Robin wasn’t the manager, I don’t. But I really root for the White Sox because the manager’s my friend.” Guillen did not exactly exit the Sox’s organization on great terms, so it’s nice to see a positive connection remain between a man and an organization that benefited a lot from one another.
- Completely switching gears, have you seen the pictures of the Marlins’ new stadium? Forget the full view of it. Here are two shots, courtesy of Zimbio, that will boggle your mind.
The backstop is an aquarium, which seems to be the best seat in the house.
Apparently, this thing will pop up when a home run is hit, a la the Mets’ Apple. If that isn’t the most distracting oval-shaped thing you’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is. OK, time for a few more Dots.
- Next week, we will start a series on the seven other teams in the Carolina League. We will break it all down, including the team’s coaching staff, possible players, and a few quirky things, too.
- We are also working on some special features for the All-Star Game, which is in less than three months. We can’t wait to introduce all of those things to you.
- The Kannapolis Intimidators, the White Sox’s South Atlantic League affiliate, have restarted their blog. Check it out here, with much of the content to come from team broadcaster Josh Feldman.
- Go OHIO. Sorry, UNC fans.
We’re back tomorrow with a “Tale of the Tape” for Bolt and Gorlok. Talk to you then.
Let’s rewind to September 28, 2011. It was 160 days ago, and the White Sox’s 2011 season came to an end with a 3-2 loss at home against the Blue Jays.
Since then, the White Sox lost their most recognizable face–manager Ozzie Guillen–to the Miami Marlins. Arguably their most consistent player in the last decade–left-handed starter Mark Buehrle–followed Guillen to South Beach.
This afternoon at 3:05 ET, the Sox begin a new era under first-time skipper Robin Ventura. 160 days after the 2011 season ended, the White Sox are back on the field against their Camelback Ranch buddies, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The White Sox have 59 players in Spring Training at this point, and 19 of them made a stop at some point in Winston-Salem. Here’s a list:
- Dylan Axelrod (2009 and 2010)
- Anthony Carter (2008 and 2009)
- Gregory Infante (2009 and 2010)
- Nate Jones (2008, 2009, and 2010)
- Charles Leesman (2010)
- Brian Omogrosso (2007)*
- Jake Petricka (2011)*
- Addison Reed (2011)
- Chris Sale (2010)
- Hector Santiago (2009, 2010, and 2011)
- Mike Blanke (2011)*
- Josh Phegley (2010)*
- Eduardo Escobar (2010)
- Jim Gallagher (2009)*
- Tyler Kuhn (2009)*
- Brent Morel (2009)
- Jordan Danks (2009)*
- Jared Mitchell (2011)*
- Brandon Short (2010)*
* = non-roster invitee
So, what’s the take away from this? Only three of the 19 players on this list played in Winston-Salem as Warthogs. It means that the 40-man roster is largely made up of free agent signings or trade acquisitions.
For example, seven of the nine offensive players above are non-roster invitees. The White Sox’s 40-man roster is loaded with offensive pieces that were developed, to some extent, outside the organization.
However, this is an exciting time for the prospects in White Sox camp. With the change in scenery, this could be a new era, and any production from the organization’s youth will be a huge bonus. The Dash have provided a solid chunk of that youth in the Chicago’s system.
Over the next few days, we will take a look at these 19 players and what their expectations are during camp. Let us know in the comments which former Winston-Salem players you think will make the 25-man roster when the big league club heads to Arlington for Opening Day against the Rangers April 6. It’s 32 days away!