Posts Tagged ‘Chad Huffman’
“I looked up on the jumbotron and saw my family jumping up and down,” Huffman said. “It was a great feeling… I’m going to give (the ball) to my mom so I don’t lose it.”
Huffman was a 2nd round selection of the San Diego Padres (53rd overall) in the 2006 amateur entry draft. With the Wizards in 2006, Huffman appeared in five games as the seasoned waned at Memorial Stadium. He started the following season at Lake Elsinore.
Huffman is the thirteenth player from the 2006 roster to make the Major Leagues. That is easily the most of any year, whether Wizards or TinCaps.
Related BBIFW Posts
Marcus Thames left in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game with a strained hamstring. He will be placed on the disabled list and his spot will be taken by former Fort Wayne Wizard, Chad Huffman.
The Yankees claimed Huffman on waivers from the Padres in April. With Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, he was hitting .279/.344/.416 with five homers and 22 RBIsin 190 at-bats.
Huffman was a 2nd round selection of the San Diego Padres (53rd overall) in the 2006 amateur entry draft. With the Wizards in 2006, Huffman appeared in five games as the seasoned waned at Memorial Stadium. He started the following season at Lake Elsinore.
Thought I would take a little time and update where many of the former Wizards and TinCaps are playing currently:
Let’s start with the easiest – that being the Padres. On their active roster, are former WizCaps, Mat Latos, Wade LeBlanc, Nick Hundley, Chase Headley, Lance Zawadzki, Kyle Blanks and Will Veneble. Others who are on their 40-man roster (but not active roster) are; Ernesto Frieri, Seve Garrison, Cesar Ramos, Matt Antonelli, and Luis Durango.
After having been released by the Padres during spring, Chad Huffman was quickly picked up by the Yankees. Padres front-office exec Paul DePodesta expressed regret. Friar Forecast called it “no big deal.” In 14 games with the Triple-A Scranton Wiles-Barre Yankees, Huffman is batting .204 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI. He’s struck out 12 time sin 54 at-bats.
Leo Rosales is still in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization and has seen big league action this year. However, he has landed on the DL due to a stress fracture in his right foot. Oddly, he first felt discomfort when he got fellow Fort Wayne alumnus Kyle Blanks (Padres) to ground into a double play
Luke Carlin is nearby in Indianapolis with the the Pittsburgh Pirate’s Triple-A Affiliate, the Indy Indians. The catcher is putting up some pretty solid offensive numbers in 13 games so far on the young season.
Another former ‘zards catcher, Jose Lobaton, is now in the Tampa Bay organization. He served as the backup for two days while Dioner Navarro served a two-game suspension last week. He’s since been optioned back to Triple-A. Also on the Durham Bulls’ roster are former Wizards Dale Thayer and J.J. Furmaniak.
Eddie Bonine is putting logging some big leage innings with Detroit. Perhaps the return of his knuckleball is the magic formula this time around.
“He’s a very useable big league pitcher,” Leyland said of the 28-year-old. “Will he knock your lights out? No. But he’s been a winner wherever he’s been.”
The Camden Riversharks seems to be the preferred indy team for former Wizards. Their current roster includes pitchers Travis Chick and Jon Ellis as well as infielders Brett Bonvechio and Brian Burgamy.
Everyone’s favorite wipping boy, Matt Bush is trying to not only save his career but redeem his life with the Tampa Bay Rays. On the season, he’s seen one game with the class A+ Charlotte Stone Crabs.
Dirk Hayhurst remains with Toronto – but he’s also gained a lot of attention for his New York Times Bestseller, The Bullpen Gospels. He’s also got his own site/blog. Unfortunately, he is likely to miss most of the season following shoulder surgery in February.
Freddy Guzman is in the Phillies organization. He’s currently assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Jared Wells is currently with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks of the Houston Astros organization.
Wilton Lopez is with the Houston Astros organization, currently playing at Triple-A Round Rock, but he has seen big league action on the season already and he remains on the 40-man roster. Another former Wizard, Yordany Ramirez is also on the 40-man roster, but has yet to see big league action at any point in his career. He too is at Triple-A and is hitting .265 with a home run and 6 RBI over 16 games.
Okay, I know I took the offseason off. Probably will not get back to posting as frequently as in the past, but the locla landscape has changed a lot and there is plenty of news sites out there to keep you in the know. I’ll do what I can to supplement with intriguing and interesting content as time allows.
Here’s a recap of some offseason news and info you might have missed:
Matt Stairs is the first position player in the modern era to play for 12 teams. It comes at the expense of former Wizard, Chad Huffman, who was DFA’d by the Padres. I personally don’t understand that move.
Former Wizards infielder, Ray Chang is playing for the Double-A Portland Salt Dogs in the Red Sox’s organization.
Former Wizards catcher, Luke Carlin could not crack the Pittsburgh lineup and was sent down. Good chance he’ll be playing in Indiana again – with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.
Former DeKalb High School standout and Colorado Rockies farmhand, Jarrett Grube returns to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. He joined them midway through the 2009 season. Although he was used as a reliever during his Coloradotenure “Grube excelled as a starter for Southern Maryland last season. In 16 total appearances he started 12 times, and put together a 3-1 record with a 3.36 ERA. He struck out 56 opposed to just 21 walks in 75 innings.”
In other Indy League news, former Wizards infielder, Brett Bonvechio signed a one-year contract with the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League.
Former TinCaps’ pitcher, Simon Castro captured a lot of attention this spring. Particularly, from former Wizards catcher, Nick Hundley:
“Castro has been amazing,” Hundley said. “He’s got great energy. He has really got a feel for every one of his pitches. I didn’t realize he was as advanced as he is.”
The Padres’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year went 10-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 28 games and was a big part of the TinCaps taking the Midwest League crown.
Here’s a brief roundup of some Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana player movement (or transactions) since the end of the season:
Veteran catcher, Chad Moeller has resigned with the Orioles.
The last player form the Wizards association with the Twins that is still associated with the Twins, Michael Cuddyer has had his option picked up by Minnesota.
Possibly in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft, the Padres made some 40-Man roster changes, adding three. Among those is former Fort Wayne Wizard and this year’s Triple-A Home Run Derby champ, Chad Huffman.
The Atlanta Braves have resigned free-agent former Wizards pitcher, John Huber.
Been a while since I’ve done a Fort Fragments post, so ths one may get a bit long. Here’s some news and info tidbits related to Fort Wayne:
Former Wizard and Major League, Cory Doyne has signed with the Long Island Ducks.
Doyne joins the Ducks for his first season in the Atlantic League . . . Prior to last season, the Florida native spent eight years in the minors toiling in the Astros, Padres, Cardinals and Orioles organizations, earning a call up to the Major Leagues on June 16, 2007. The former eighth round draft selection appeared in five games for the Orioles that season, pitching three and two-thirds innings, while striking out three. He has 29 career minor league victories with a 3.32 ERA in 586 innings pitched.
Norwell native and current Arizona Diamondbacks’ farmhand, Jarrod Parker is ranked number twevle on Baseball America’s top 25 Prospects list. He’ll also pitch in the Baseball Future’s Game.
After a quick whip through the high Class A California League, Parker moved up to Double-A Mobile, where he has shown a fastball that can sit 92-96 mph with a plus slider and the makings of a potentially above-average changeup. A line drive off his wrist slowed the 20-year-old Parker down a bit, but he’s on pace to be one of the youngest pitchers in the big leagues by 2010 [Baseball America].
TinCaps in Full Motion: If you haven’t seen the commercial yet, take a look here (John King of Metta Audio).
Former (and recently retired) Wizard, Shawn Garrett is helping to develop players on an American League League roster.
I didn’t get to cover any of his visits to Parkview Field, but like Kyle Day, Justin Parker was wowed by the park when he visited with his South Bend Silverhawks.
“It’s a beautiful place,” Parker said Sunday. “I heard a lot of nice things about it, but I had no idea it was going to be this nice. It’s a really nice place.”
Former Fort Wayne Daisies player, Dr. Lois Youngen has endowed a baseball scholarship in honor of her father (Elden “Ty” Youngen) at Kent State University.
Baseball was quite prominent among the Youngen household. “Ty” Youngen was a member of the Kent State baseball team from 1924-26, earning three varsity letters and was a captain for his final season. Lois would follow in her father’s footsteps of playing baseball as she was a pitcher and catcher in the All-American Girls Professional League for the Fort Wayne Daisies and the South Bend Blue Sox.
In a game that involved many former Wizards/TinCaps, the Lake Elsinore Storm scored a 33-18 win over High Desert in Adelanto during late June. The Storm set league marks for RBIs, time of game (four hours, 10 minutes) and hits. Former TinCap Matt Clark went 5-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, five RBIs, two walks and scored a record-tying seven runs. Former Wizard, Felix Carrasco was 4-for-7 with two doubles, a triple, six RBIs and four runs.
Left fielder Brad Chalk (4-for-9, two doubles, three RBI) . . . right fielder Sawyer Carroll (4-for-7, double, homer, three RBI, four runs scored) . . . third baseman James Darnell (4-for-7, two doubles, homer, three RBI, five runs scored). Center fielder Dan Payne (4-for-6, double, homer, three RBI, four runs scored). Second baseman Andy Parrino (2-for-6, two doubles, two RBI) . . . Left-handed reliever Matt Teague picked up the win allowing three runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings. Storm starter Jeremy McBryde allowed 11 runs on 13 hits over 4 2/3 innings. But he departed with a 22-11 lead.
Last season, after being released from the Yankees, former Wizard LaTroy Hawkins didn’t go home. He quitely came back to Fort Wayne. While back in town, he reconnected with agent, Matt Kinzer:
Kinzer is more than an agent. He’s a former major league pitcher and scout, and through the years has become the person who knows Hawkins as well as anyone . . Together, they studied video, did some bullpen sessions and attempted to rediscover the command of a fastball that has helped keep Hawkins in the big leagues for 15 years.
Memorial Stadium is pretty much long gone. Just some rubble left. The auction brought in about $20,000.
About 200 people attended the auction Saturday. Stadium general manager Randy Brown says the grand total for the day was $210,588. Aluminum bleachers along the third-base line brought the most money, selling for $65,000.
Former Wizard, Todd Donovan collected two hits off of future Hall of Famer, John Smoltz while the pitcher was rehabbing before making his season MLB debut with the Red Sox.
The TinCaps’ Blake Tekotte was the Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week for the week eneded June 29, 2009:
.538 (7-13), 2 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 SB, 1.154 SLG
Currently on a 10-game hitting streak, Padres prospect Blake Tekotte put together another week of impressive plate appearances. The center fielder homered in consecutive games on June 25 and 26, amassing six RBIs in those two contests. He also recorded three multiple-hit games this week.
A couple transactions you might have missed. The Padres released Josh Alley and Derek McDaid while the Blue Jays called up Dirk Hayhurst. Alley was hitting .192 with Triple-A Portland at the time and has since signed with the St. Paul Saints. McDaid was 0-2 with a 7.42 ERA with Double-A San Antonio. He has since signed with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League. Brockton (also of the Can-Am League) has released former Wizard Stevie Delabar. Hayhurst has quietly been productive with Toronto. In eleven appearances, he has a 1.84 ERA with nine strikeouts over 14.2 innings.
If this headline doesn’t read as a big fat red “DUH!” I don’t know what does. The statement is true no matter the day or time. However, it’s worth stating right now because the Padres are in the midst of utter turmoil adn an uncertain future. With that being the case, it is obvious that the San Diego Padres will be making moves and those moves might change and alter the potential futures of some former Fort Wayne Wizards.
Wiht the Winter Meetings kicking into gear this week, here’s what we know so far:
- Trevor Hoffman will not be the closer in 2009. This is probalby 99.9% certain. He has not signed with another team yet, so I guess there is a glimmer of a chance he’ll be back, but don’t bet on it. That means there will be an opening for a closer. I’ve speculated on this previously, and I probably didn’t give Heath Bell a fair look, but my money is still on former Wizard, Greg Burke.
- The rest of the bullpen needs a little shoring up too. Reliable setup man, Mike Adams is likely out until the All-Star Break, so there are some spots up for grabs there too.
- Kahlil Green will be the starting shortstop . . . for St. Louis (where he may be playing next to former Wizard, David Freese who went to the Cardinals as part of the failed Jim Edmonds experiment. Freese has a very good shot at playing with the Cards in 2009. Back in San Diego, they will need a new starting shortstop. Unless there is a trade, The heir apparent is Luiz Rodriguez, but don’t count out former Wizard, Sean Kazmar.
- Former Wizards Pitcher, Jake Peavy still has a good chance of being traded (most likely to the Cubs). But, even if he remains with the club, the team still needs pitchers to fill the number three and four slots (Chris Young at number 2 and Cha Seung Baek as the number five guy). If he is traded, that leaves three openings. Maybe one or two of those slots will get filled from the ranks of the minors, but I expect trades and/or Rule 5 Draft picks to be used here. Former Wizard, Wade LeBlanc is likely to earn one of the spots up for grabs IMHO. Former Wizar, Josh Geer also would be likely, but there’s a chance he may be heading for Tommy John surgery, which will kill his 2009 season (if anyone has any updates on this, please comment below). Former Wizard Mike Ekstrom may also be a dark horse contender.
- Former Wizard Jon Ellis are unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft and could potentially be snagged by other clubs. The sidearmer is an interesting gamble for a club who is willing to take a chance and I suspect he’s as good as gone.
- The catching corps is owned by former Wizards. Right now, it looks like the starting gig will go to Nick Hundley, with Luke Carlin serving as backup unless a veteran presence is added. Wonder why Colt Morton never gets much consideration. Jose Lobaton probably has a pretty solid chance and playing with the big club in 2009 too.
- Ironically, the Padres seem to have an excess of outfielders. This time last year, they were converting former Wizard, Chase Headley from third base to outfield. Now, they have Headley, and fellow former Wizard Will Venable to slot into the outfield with Scott Hairston, Brian Giles and Jody Gerut. Couple that with an emerging former Wizard outfielders Drew Macias and Chad Huffman, and you have a couple odd men out (yes, that’s seven guys for three slots). It’s still likely that Giles will get traded (proably during the 2009 season). Moving Headley back to third and trading incumbant third baseman Kevin Kousmanoff is an option, but not one that the club seems to endorse.
- Second basse and first base seem to be in good hands with Edgar Gonzales and Adrian Gonzales respectively. Former Wizard Matt Antonelli might serve as a backup or utility player at second. If San Diego doesn’t move Adrian and he stays healthy, first base remains blocked for uber-prospect Kyle Blanks, so you may see him traded. But I suspect Blanks will play a full season at triple-A in Portland and then the club with consider their options at first for 2010.
So there you have it. The Padres season outlook remains dim, but the bright side is that they don’t have a lot of bad contracts and they are in a highly winable division if the Dodgers don’t run away with it early. Methinks, barring any huge trades to fill holes in the field, suspect we’ll see a roster witha lot of former Wizards.
With the news that the Padres will release second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and pitcher Brett Tomko to make room for Wade LeBlanc and Matt Antonelli, anyone can see that the Padres are already making plans for next year. This is the latest in a series of moves that have involved bringing minor league talent to the Padres, and many of them have included former Wizards.
I gotta think there will be many more moves in the remaining days of the 2008 season that could spell opportunities for other former Wizards, which should also make for an interesting Spring Training as the prevailing speculation is that the Padres will continue to slash payroll.
As part of a pitch to get Brian Giles to accept a trade to the Red Sox this past week, a Padres executive painted a stark fiscal picture for 2009, saying club owner John Moores might shrink the payroll to $40 million. [SignonSanDiego -August 9, 2008]
GM Kevin Towers denies this claim, but then again, he also hasn’t seen the budget for 2009 yet. Yet, the Padres already field one of the lowest salaried teams in Major League Baseball.
The Padres don’t have any large contracts on the books for ’09; Giles would be their most expensive player at $9MM unless they choose his $3MM buyout.Â After that it’s Jake Peavy at $8MM, Khalil Greene at $6.5MM, Chris Young at $4.5MM, and Adrian Gonzalez at $3MM.Â By my count they have six arbitration-eligible players, including Josh Bard, Heath Bell, Scott Hairston, and Jody Gerut [MLBTradeRumors.com].
There is also speculation that John Moores’ divorce is a factor that may adversely impact the team.
California is a community property state, which means Becky Moores — the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs.-John — is in play and there already are indications that player payroll will be cut significantly in 2009 (it’s just over $70 million this year). That’s why the Padres already have worked hard to trade Giles and pitcher Greg Maddux this season, positioning themselves for an early start on the payroll-shedding process [CBSSports.com].
So what does this mean for former Wizards who are trying to crack a big league roster? Certainly, the Padres are trying to add by subtracting. There’s the possibility that the Padres may try to move Khalil Greene and his $6.5MM salary, shich might provide a spot for Sean Kazmar, who made his debut just a couple weeks ago. But the rookie is now learning how to play outfield (a la Chase Headley) during this season’s Arizona Fall League. The move could merely be an attempt to get him more at-bats, or it could mean there is nowhere to play Kazmar in the infield.
Kazmar will join the Peoria Saguaros in the AFL with pitchers Greg Burke, Cesar Carillo, Mike Ekstrom, Wilton Lopez, first baseman Kyle Blanks and outfielders Mike Baxter and Chad Huffman. All of them except for Carillo are former Wizards. If Blanks keeps playing the way he has lately, San Diego may have to move him or Adrian Gonzalez or find a place elsewhere on the diamond for one of the two.
Like Kazmar, Brian Joynt, who played third this season with the Wizards before his promotion to Lake Elsinore will see time in the outfield.
Baxter will also get time at an unfamiliar position. The outfielder hit .270 with seven home runs and 47 RBIs at Double-A San Antonio and will get some looks at catcher. This season has seen three different former Wizards serve the backstop role. Luke Carlin and Nick Hundley have seen the most time between the three, which might suggest Colt Morton could be moved to another team during the offseason. the starting catcher, Josh Bard may not be around for 2009 either if the Friars think Carlin and Hundley can do the job.
Longtime closer, Trevor Hoffman has had some troubles while attempting to nail down games this year. There is divided opinion about whether it is time for a change or not. The Portland pitcher who produced the most saves this year, Jared Wells, is now in the Seattle organization (traded earlier this season). That may bring about an opportunity for Greg Burke, who will see action in the AFL and has collected 23 saves at Double-A San Antonio. Lake Elsinore doesn’t have anyone who is ready to fill that void. And while Jackson Quezada collected 27 saves on minimal opportunities in Fort Wayne, that is probably too big of a jump from Low-A to the MLB (but then again, it worked out well for the Royals and Joakim Soria).
All this should make for an interesting winter and 2009 Spring Training. There should be some names that are familiar to Fort Wayne fans on the San Diego Roster come opening day. The best part is that we have the whole month of September to see some of these great former Wizards make the most of their opportunities. Chase Headley, Will Venable, Wade LeBlanc, Sean Kazmar, Josh Geer, Dirk Hayhurst, Matt Antonelli, Nick Hundley have joined Jake Peavy on the parent club roster and maybe some others will soon follow.
When you factor in the former Wizards who are with other organizations, there have been nine former Wizards to debut at the MLB level. This ranks second only to 2002, which saw 11 prospects (including Jake Peavy and Oliver Perez) hit the big leagues. With about a month to go, I am sure we’ll see at least 3-4 more.
I’m predicting we’ll see Dale Thayer (P-Rays), Brett Dowdy (SS-Padres), David Freese (3B-Cardinals) this season.
It wouldn’t be too surprising to also see Jon Link who had 35 saves with the White Sox’s Double-A Birmingham Barons and was named the Southern League’s Top Reliever of 2009. He was one of 15 players, and the only reliever, named to the league’s post-season All-Star team and was the lone Baron selected. He was one save shy of the league saves record. But given the Sox’s playoff race, he’s probably a 2009 debut.
Anyone else have thoughts on the Padres prospective 2009 squad and/or which prospects we’ll see make their MLB debuts this season (whether they are in the Padres’ system any longer or not)?
- Jaun Rincon on His Way Out? – Kelsie Smith (St. Paul Pioneer Press) reports that former Wizards pitcher, Juan Rincon has a feeling he may soon be traded or released. Ricon tested positive for an illegal substance in 2005 and was suspended for 10 games. He pitched well the remainder of the season, but things have gone downhill since 2006. (Hat tip to MLBTradeRumors). According to MLB.com, a roster move in Minnesota will come soon and Rincon looks to be the likely odd man out.
- Josh Barfield Gets Called Up, Gets Hurt – Former Wizards infielder Josh Barfield left Tuesday’s game after the fourth inning with a left middle finger sprain. He is listed as day-to-day. He was 0-for-2 in the game and is hitless on the season after going 0-for-4 in his season debut on Monday’s.
- Torii Hunter Hits Number 200 – I guess if Griffey Junior’s 600th was under the radar and with little fanfare, we shouldn’t expect too much out of Hunter’s 200th. But regardless, he hit it on Monday during the Angels’ series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
- Jake Peavy Returns Tomorrow – The Padres’ ace will come off the disabled list and face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. Peavy’s last start was on May 14 against the Cubs. But he was shut down when a lingering pain in his elbow persisted afterwards and hasn’t pitched in a live MLB game since.
- Justin Baum Finds His Power Stroke – The 22-year-old third baseman went 4-for-5 with two homers, a career-high seven RBIs and three runs scored Friday (June 6th) as the Wizards rallied past the Lansing Lugnuts, 11-5, at Oldsmobile Park.Â Luis Durango was the only other Fort Wayne player with more than one hit.
- Chad Huffman is Padres Player of the Month – The 23-year-old former Wizard was recently selected as a starter for the 2008 Texas League All-Star Game. He hit .357 (35-for-98) with seven doubles, four home runs, 19 RBI, 21 walks and 18 runs scored over 28 games for Double-A San Antonio during May. He put together 10 multi-hit games, including three three-hit games and one four-hit effort. In addition, he tallied a 13-game hit streak from May 4-15, batting .396 (19-for-48) over that span.
- Time to WorryAbout Antonelli - Tom Krasovic (SingonSanDiego) questions whether it’s time to worry about Antonelli who is producing an average below .200 and an equally tragic slugging percentage during his first season at Triple-A Portland; who was the Padres’ first round pick in 2006.
The Padres’ Spring Training camp has a lot of players already. As one would expect given the length of San Diego’s player development contract with Fort Wayne, there are many former Wizards on hand. And, with the WBC looming, the Friars have called even more former Wizards into camp.
infielder/outfielder Brett Dowdy and infielder Sean Kazmar — two players who are not on the 40-man roster — will join the team in case there is a need for bodies during spring games.
Both Dowdy and Kazmar are former Wizards. Also as expected, Kyle Blanks is going to get a lot of starts since Adrian Gonzalez is heading to the WBC:
“He’s going to get starts,” Black said. “He would have gotten starts on an alternating basis. Blanks isn’t going to play every day, he’s not going to be the Cal Ripken of Spring Training. He’s climbed the ladder to the point where he projects to go to Triple-A. He had a great year last year. He’s a guy who is approaching the Major Leagues.”
Former Wizards Drew Macias and Chad Huffman have also been working out at first and will see time there. Jose Lobaton, Colt Morton will get looks at catcher as the team decides upon the backup to Nick Hundley, who seems to have secured the starting role. All three catchers are former Wizards.