Tag Archives: Luke Carlin

Off Season Catchup: Huffman, Ramos, Chang, Carlin, Castro, Grube

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.

They also added lefty Cesar Ramos when they put Joe Thatcher on the DL. He’s excited to be back with the big club after having made his debut last year.

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.

Fort Fragments: Former Wizards Player Movement

Playing a little catch up on some Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana related notes:

Add LaTroy Hawkins to the Brewers’ roster of growing former Fort Wayne players. He’s signed to a two-year deal, joining him with Luis Cruz and George Kottaras, who joined Milwuakee earlier this off-season. Reportedly, he wanted to return to Houston, but wouldn’t settle for a one-year deal.

Luke Carlin has signed a Minor League deal with the Pirates. “Carlin, 29, hit .321/.430/.481 for the D’Backs’ Triple A club.  They still chose to outright him in early December.”

The Dodgers signed free-agent outfielder Michael Restovich to Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 31-year-old has played parts of six Major League seasons, most recently with Washington in 2007. He spent last season with the Triple-A Charlotte, slugging 21 homers.

The Twins have added right-handed reliever Clay Condrey to a one-year contract for the 2010 season. The 34-year-old became a free agent after he was non-tendered by the Phillies on December 12. In 2009, he went 6-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 45 relief appearances.

The Colorado Rockies have brought right-hander Juan Rincon back, signing him to a Minor League deal that calls for an $800,000 salary if he hits the big leagues. Rincon also got an invite to spring training.

Jon Link has gone to the Dodgers as part of the Juan Pierre trade. Link was 1-2 with a 3.99 ERA and 13 saves in 48 games at Triple-A Charlotte in 2009. He was acquired by the Sox in 2007 season in a trade with San Diego for Rob Mackowiak.

Carlin Preparing for WBC, D-Backs Audition

Former Wizards catcher, Luke Carlin has a busy Spring ahead of him. Last month, he signed a Minor League deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is among the D’backs’ 17 non-roster invitees to Spring Training. In addition to trying to win a job, Carlin will be playing with the Canadian team during the World Baseball Classic; joining fellow former Wizard, Eric Cyr.

Carlin was one of 14 former Wizards to debut in the Major Leagues last season. In that game, he caught Greg Maddux’s 350th win. In 36 games that spread over 3 separate stints, he hit .149 with 14 hits in 94 at-bats with the San Diego Padres.

While with Fort Wayne in 2003 and 2004, Carlin appeared in 44 games and had 144 at-bats. He scored 12 runs on 33 hits with 15 bases on balls.

Related BBIFW posts about Luke Carlin:

Former Wizards Look to Monopolize Friars’ Backstop Duties in 2009

Padres catcher, Josh Bard will likely miss the remainder of the 2008 season. The Padres have reportedly decided that they will not offer Bard arbitration during the offseason and will likely non-tender him, effectively ending his tenure in San Diego. .

The means good news for former Wizards Nick Hundley and Luke Carlin. Hundley will  probably go into Spring Training as the candidate most likely to win the starting catching gig unless there is a trade or free agent signing – but either is not real likely. Carlin is likely slotted to be the backup catcher.

I gotta wonder if Colt Morton is in the mix in any fashion. Doesn’t seem real likely given that he barely got a chance earlier in the season.

September Callups Feature Former Wizards

As evidenced by the recent call-ups of Antonelli and LaBlanc and some other recent player additions, the September callup period is in full swing. Thought I would take a moment to look into those with Fort Wayne Wizards ties:

  • P Dirk Hayhurst (SD) – Has made two starts since being called up. Is 0-1.
  • P Josh Geer (SD) – Made his debut on 8/31/08 – Got the win.
  • 3B Matt Antonelli (SD) – Made his debut on 9/1/08
  • P Wade LeBlanc (SD) – Set to start (MLB Debut) on Wednesday 9/3/08
  • SS Luis Cruz (PIT) – Made his Debut on 9/2/08 (4-1)
  • P Jack Cassel (HOU) -Returns for another round with the big club
  • 2B Josh Barfield (CLE) – Returns after a real up-and-down season. This might be a final shot.
  • P Jared Wells (SEA) – Called up yet again. Is there an All-Star roster they can cheat him out of this time?
  • P David Pauley (BOS) – Called up on 8/24. Had a chance to start, but they called up Michael Bowden instead and put Pauley int he pen. Finally pitched on 9/2. Pitched two innings. Gave up one run on two hits.
  • C Luke Carlin (SD) – Called up for his third stint with the Friars this season.
  • C Chad Moeller (NYY) -Adding depth to their catching corp.
  • Portland Manager Randy Ready – The rest of the team is there, and it’s starting to fill with former Wizards, so I guess you might as well call up the skipper who last got the Wizards into the playoffs.

Padres to Slash Payroll? What it Means for 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.  After that it’s Jake Peavy at $8MM, Khalil Greene at $6.5MM, Chris Young at $4.5MM, and Adrian Gonzalez at $3MM.  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].

Sean Kazmar with the WizardsSo 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.

Colt Morton with the WizardsBaxter 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).

Jackson QuezadaAll 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)?

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Blanks, Carlin, Torii Hunter, Carrasco, Chulk, Garrison

  • Kyle Blanks, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound former Wizards first baseman went 5-for-7 for the Double-A San Antonia Missions on Wednesday. He tied a career high with six RBIs and had run-scoring singles in the first and fourth before hitting a two-run shot in the sixth. In the eighth, he doubled (his 20th of the season). Then, he slugged his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 12th to give lead the Missions to a 14-12 win.
  • Josh Bard returned to the Padres from the DL on Friday. To make room on the 25-man roster, former Wizards catcher, Luke Carlin, was optioned to Triple-A Portland. Carlin made his MLB debut earlier in the season and was hitting .154 in 91 at-bats on the season.
  • Torii Hunter still feels strange when facing the Twins, the team with whom he spent the first 15 years of his career.”Hunter’s connection to the Twins can still be felt by the way he speaks about the organization. But with his team chasing the top record in the American League, Hunter wants to pull off as many victories over the Twins as he can right now. Still, he said he’s hoping that the two clubs might perhaps meet up again in the playoffs.”
  • Lots of Wizards related news over at MadFrairs.
    • John Conniff interviews one of my personal favorites, Felix Carrasco and Brad Chulk (subscription required).
    • Padres minor league field coordinator, Tom Gamboa, and Padres vice president of scouting and player development, Grady Fuson, talk about the Padres’ prospects – which include many current and former Wizards players. (subscription required)
  • Speaking of prospects, Padres’ front-office executive, Paul Depodesta talks about this year’s draft picks – both that were signed and those who were not. Hopefully we’ll be seeing many of them come through Fort Wayne real soon (seventh rounder, Adam Zornes is already here).

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Carlin, Hunter, Cuddyer, Breit

  • With the return of catcher, Josh Bard, from the disabled list, former Wizard, Luke Carlin was optioned back to Triple-A Portland. Since his May 10th debut, he had been behind the plate in 30 games including 23 starts. At the plate, he has gone 11-for-80 (.138) with three doubles, one triple, two RBI and 10 runs scored. But, with the July 31 trade deadline looming, it might be a short-lived stint. There’s been a lot of speculation that the Friars are trying to move Barrett or Bard. Padres GM Kevin Towers indicated otherwise, so we’ll have to wait out the week or so and see what happens.
  • Torii Hunter returned to the Angels’ lineup yesterday. He had been placed on bereavement to spend time with his ailing grandmother, Edna Cobbs, who passed away Friday after a five-year illness.
  • Still no set date for Michael Cuddyer’s return to the Twins’ lineup. He’s been on the DL since June 28th due to a strained tendon in the knuckle of his left index finger. The outfielder has also had soreness in the palm of his hand. An exam found no additional problems in Cuddyer’s hand.
  • MadFriars has a good interview with current Wizards’ right hander, Aaron Breit. (Subscription required). He discusses the nerve problems he had in his elbow before returning to Fort Wayne, mechanical changes and overcoming early career struggles.

Former Wizards, Headley and Carlin, Learning from Mistakes

Luke Carlin’s ninth-inning throwing error contributed to a 9-5 Padres loss against the Cardinals. With slugger, Albert Pujols on first base in a tie game and the pitcher at-bat, Carlin threw to first base in a pick off attempt. The ball sailed past Edgar Gonzalez (who was covering first during the bunt attempt) and rolled into right field. Pujols went to third and later scored on Aaron Miles’ grand slam.

Like Carlin, another former Wizards player is a rookie, Chase Headley, with the Friars this season. Both are learning in the midst of a miserable season. But neither will allow their inexperience to be the scapegoat.

“From having played in the Minor Leagues, we know how to play the game … and we expect to play the game the right way here,” Headley said. “But you know that mistakes are going to happen, and they’re probably going to happen more to the younger guys than the older guys. But I don’t look at it as an excuse. When you make mistakes, you try and learn from them and never make them again. But I don’t think it’s acceptable, [just because] we are young, that we make mistakes” [source: MLB.com]

Wizards Watch: McAnulty, Carlin, Hundley, Venable, Antonelli

If you’re looking to keep up with some of your favorite former Wizards, here’s some links you’ll enjoy, courtesy of SignOnSanDiego.

  • Chase Headley: “The jewel of the Padres’ minor-league system, the player that every other major league team mentions first when San Diego’s looking to make a trade, Headley’s a big-time ballplayer in the making and likely not much longer for Triple-A.” [See Also: “Headley’s Portland apprenticeship is a matter of dollars and sense” by Tim Sullivan]
  • Will Venable: “Desperate for a center fielder who can handle the spaciousness of Petco Park, the Padres think that guy could very well be Venable, whose gait is built more for chasing down fly balls and legging out triples than stealing bases.”
  • Matt Antonelli: “Even with his batting average under .200, Antonelli is among the PCL leaders in walks (28). His patience at the plate belies the belief that Antonelli put way too much pressure on himself the first several weeks of the season.”
  • Luke Carlin: “I wanted to call my dad (to tell him about the call-up), but he’s a civilian contractor in Iraq. The funny thing was we were in Omaha when I was promoted. We were headed for Iowa and my wife and daughter were coming down from Wisconsin. I called Kim and when I said `There’s a change in plans,’ she was silent for a moment.”
  • Paul McAnulty: Fun short Q/A where McAnulty, an American retro car buff, reveals his five favorite machines.