Tag Archives: Mat Latos

Padres Moves Include Fort Wayne Alumni

The San Diego Padres have made some moves that include three former Fort Wayne players. The first TinCap to hit the Majors, Mat Latos has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Latos has a strained muscle on his left side, and the move was retroactive to July 9. He’s expected back  for his July 24th start in Pittsburgh. Let’s hope he has a short stint on the DL. His outstanding season has him currently at 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA.

The Padres recalled right-hander Ernesto Frieri and outfielder Luis Durango from Triple-A Portland. Frieri made his MLB debut  last season. On the year, with Triple-A Portland, he is 3-1 with 17 saves and a 1.43 ERA. Durango also debuted late last season and has appeared in six big league games this year, going 5 for 13 with a .385 with two RBI and three runs scored.

WizCaps Where R They? 2010

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.

Fort Fragments: Blanks, Venable, Ready, Latos, Peavy, Pierzynski

Padres’ youth movement hits Triple-A Portland hard: Several former Fort Wayne players; including Kyle Blanks, Will Venable, Mat Latos and Greg Burke have seen big league action this year. It’s also spelt a drain on talent for Triple-A Portland. With the likelihood of others (such as Triple-A All-Star Home Run Derby winner, Chad Huffman) trickling onto the Padres’ roster in the coming weeks, the chances of Portland improving upon their league worst win-loss record doesn’t look good.

Speaking of Kyle Blanks, he’s starting to earn more widespread attention:

Speaking of Will Venable, the former Wizards outfielder has been fortunate enough to play under close tutilage of his father, Max Venable, a former big leaguer who used to be the hitting coach in Fort Wayne. But apparently it was his mother’s advice that kept her son in baseball rather than the pursuit of hooop dreams. See Also: Venable Has Been a Quick Study.

Former Wizards skipper, Randy Ready has been promoted to the Padre’s hitting coach. Probably a move that also is intended to help keep him in the organization rather than jumping ship to be a big league manager when teams start interviewing to fill soon-to-be vacancies.

Mat Latos is also drawing a lot of acclaim since rising from Fort Wayne to the big leauges earlier this season. He netted his first MLB win in his second start. He allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 6-2 Padres’ win over the Washington Nationals. He went seven innings in his next start before allowing former Wizards, Michael Ekstrom and Burke to finish his win in a game that also saw a Blanks homer.

While it’s early to call Latos the next San Diego ace of the staff, it’s probably refreshing news following the trade of the former incumbant, Jake Peavy, to the White Sox. In fact, Friday night, Latos gave up seven runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, leading to a 9-2 loss to the Cardinals. The 21-year-old had won his last four starts and was the first Padres pitcher in history to win four of his first five career starts.

More Latos:

On another Jake Peavy note, the former Wizard and Padre has begun his rehab work with the White Sox. He struck out five in his first assignment.

TinCaps right hander, Simon Castro took the seventh Midwest League honor earlier in the month when he was selected as MWL Pitcher of the Week for the week ending Augst 2nd. At the time, he was leading the league in strikeouts with 125 and had just concluded two dominant startswhere he allowed just one run while struck out out 15 over ten innings.

Current White Sox catcher, A.J. Pierzynski hopes to remain in Chicago but realizes tha the might have to try the free agent waters if the up and coming (and cheaper) competition continue to press.

Off the DL: Nick Hundley, Torii Hunter

Taking a Look at the Padres Prospects (requires MadFriars subscription):

Speaking of MadFriars, FriarForecast recently caught up with John Conniff following his trip to Fort Wayne. He provides his take on the new erea of baseball in Fort Wayne

Wizards Where R They?

  • Paul McAnulty: After being released by Boston, McAnulty signed with the Colorado Rockies. He’s now playing with the Triple-A SkySox.
  • Jose Lobaton: The Tampa Bay Rays claimed the catcher off waivers from the Padres and assigned him to Double-A Montgomery.
  • Freddy Guzman: Now playing in Triple-A Norfolk with the Orioles organization.
  • Josh Barfield: After not getting claimed off waivers, Barfield was outrighted from Indian’s 40-Man Roster.

Finally, Paul DePodesta shares his thoughts on the current prospects in the Padres’ system. Many of them are former Wizards/TinCaps.

Latos to Start In San Diego on Sunday

Tomorrow, Mat Latos will make his Major League debut when he takes the mound for the San Diego Padres against the Colorado Rackies. When he does so, he will have gone from A-Ball to the Majors is what amounts to half a season. Granted, this was not his first year in A-ball:

He made his professional debut with the short-season Single-A Eugene Emeralds in 2007, going 1-4 with a 3.83 ERA, although he struck out 74 in 56 1/3 innings. Latos was limited to 56 innings last season with three low Single-A and Rookie teams due to spending three months on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. After spending time in the Padres’ major league camp this spring, Latos’start of the season was slightly delayed by a sprained ankle. He opened with low Single-A Fort Wayne [signonsandiego.com].

Mat Latos on the Mound at Parkview Field with the TinCaps

The 21-year-old right hander was drafted by the Padres in the 11th round (333rd overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. In 2008, he appeared in seven games with the Wizards, going 0-3 with a 3.28 earned run average. He struck out 23 and walked eight over 24.2 innings pitched.

This year, he began the season with the TinCaps, where he compiled a 3-0 record and a miniscule .036 earned run average while striking out 27 and walking just three over 25.1 inning spitched.

Since his promotion to Double-A San Antonio, he has dominated nearly as much. In nine games that spans 47 innings, Latos is 5-1 with a 1.91 ERA, while striking out 46.

“He’s answered the call on everything we’ve asked him to do,” Padres vice president of scouting and player development Grady Fuson said after Latos was promoted to San Antonio in May. “He’s down in the strike zone, his velocity is great, his changeup is great. He’s ready to be challenged [MLB.com].

Latos’ debut will mark the 83rd Fort Wayne alumnus to make the Majors. He’ll be the seventh on the season and hold the distinction of being the first (and only for the moment) who played while wearing both a Wizards jersey and a TinCaps jersey.

UPDATE: TinCaps Issue Press Release:

“We knew Mat had huge potential, but this has even exceeded our expectations,” TinCaps team president Mike Nutter said. “I can’t express how proud we are of Mat’s maturation. He is a great example of the baseball talent our fans watch every night at Parkview Field.” 

Read the full release at TinCaps.com.

Latos Getting Called Up to San Diego

Word over at MadFriars is Mat Latos – yes the same Mat Latos who started the year at Fort Wayne – is getting called up to San Diego in the near future. He’ll become the first player who wore both a Wizards and TinCaps jersey to make his MLB debut. More on this as it develops. Congratz Mat!

The San Diego Padres will call up right-hander Mat Latos to the big leagues in the coming days. On Monday he put together an impressive performance at the Futures Game.

Latos hit 96 mph five times during an eight-pitch inning, netting two ground outs and a fly out in his lone inning of work at the Futures Game.

He has not allowed a run in four of his nine starts across two leagues and has given up two runs or less in seven of those. He had a perfect game through five innings in his last outing with San Antonio before being removed due to pitch count.

Latos, Zawadzki and Luebke Honored by Baseball America

Three former Fort Wayne Wizards/TinCaps have been select as Mid-Season Minor League All-Stars by Baseball America.

Mat Latos: One of the minors’ most electric arms, Latos already has jumped to Double-A in his first year in full-season ball.

Lance Zawadzki: A switch-hitter with the fine plate discipline typical of a Padres prospect, Zawadzki has hit .371/.459/.543 since being promoted to San Antonio in late May.

Cory Luebke: The Padres tried to put Luebke on the fast track after drafting him in the supplemental first round in 2007 out of Ohio State. He wasn’t ready, and had to go back to the Midwest League last year, but he’s returned to form this year, earning his way to Double-A after going 8-2, 2.34 in the Cal League.

Two Fort Wayne Alumni, Parker, Heading to Futures Game

Mat Latos Luis Durango

Two TinCaps/Wizards alumni were selected Monday to play in the Futures Game, which annually showcases the top prospects in all of Minor League Baseball. Right-hander, Mat Latos and outfielder Luis Durango are headed to Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the game which pits the top prospects from the United States against Team World, the best from across the rest of the globe

Latos played for the TinCaps earlier this season and breezed through the Midwest League. In four appearances with Fort Wayne this year, Latos went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA, striking out 27 with just three walks in 25.1 innings. He has continued his dominance with the Double-A San Antonio Missions, where he is 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA in six starts and was also selected to play in the league’s All-Star Game. He sparked the Missions to a first-half division championship as they won 12 of 15 to charge into first place at the end of the half. Latos, a Florida native, will play for Team USA.

Durango, 23, is also a Texas League All-Star with San Antonio, batting .299 with 26 stolen bases and 46 runs scored in 68 games. Mostly deployed as a leadoff man, Durango played for Fort Wayne last year and hit .305 with a home run and 14 stolen bases in 93 games. Durango will play for Team World representing his homeland of Panama. He also played for Team Panama in this spring’s World Baseball Classic and went 3-for-5 at the plate.

“This is a testament to the type of talent we’ve had here in Fort Wayne over the last few years,” TinCaps president Mike Nutter said. “We thought Mat and Luis were on their way to becoming stars at the game’s highest level, and playing in the Futures Game only validates that thought.”

Jarrod Parker Fort Wayne native, Jarrod Paker, will pitch for Team USA in the Futures Game. The 20-year old right-handed Parker is 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 10 starts with the Mobile Bay Bears this season. He’s third on the club with 49 strikeouts in 47.1 innings.

Named as the number one prospect in the D-backs’ organization by Baseball America in the offseason, Parker was 1-0 with a 0.95 ERA in four starts at Visalia before his call-up to Mobile. 

The 11th Annual XM All-Star Futures Game will be shown live on MLB.TV, ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD on Sunday, July 12 at 1 p.m.

Latos, Baxter Receive Padres Monthly Honors

Two players who honed their craft in Fort Wayne were honored by the San Diego Padres for their performance in the m onth of May. RHP Mat Latos was named the Padres minor league Pitcher of the Month while OF Mike Baxter took home the honors as Player of the Month.

Latos, 21, made four appearances (two starts) with the TinCaps in May, then was promoted to Double-A San Antonio. He combined to go 4-0 with an ERA of 0.50 (2 earned runs in 36.1 innings). In his second Double-A start, Friday against Springfield, Latos took a no-hitter into the 7th inning before allowing a two-out single. With the TinCaps this year, he went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA. He is rated the #2 prospect in the Padres’ organization by Baseball America.

Baxter, 24, hit .426 (49-for-115) in May for Double-A San Antonio. He hit safely in 24 of 28 games in the month and was named the Texas League Player of the Month. He was a 4th-round selection in the 2005 draft out of Vanderbilt University. Baxter played for Fort Wayne in 2005 and 2006, totaling a .246 average with 40 doubles, 4 home runs and 57 RBIs in 162 games.

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Latos, Rincon, Geer, Hefner

The Padres started trimming spots in Spring Training camp today by optioning two players to Double-A San Antonio and sending five to their Minor League camp. Former Wizards Ernesto Frieri and Wilton Lopez were sent to Double-A San Antonio. Right-handed pitchers Mat Latos, Gabe DeHoyos, Will Inman, Oneli Perez and left-hander Nick Schmidt to their Minor League camp. Latos, DeHoyos and Schmidt are former Wizards. Sounds like Latos is slated to start the year at Lake Elsinore.

Jaun Rincon is having a good start to the Spring camp with the Tigers as a non-roster invitee:

“I thought he threw the ball extremely well with some late movement,” Leyland said. “Threw a couple four-seamers in. Threw some high fastballs that had some late tail to them, actually ran like a cutter.

Josh Geer is vying for one of two open rotation spots:

“It feels really good to know that there are two spots open for the starting rotation,” Geer said. “It gives everyone a good chance of making the team. I feel real confident that I can be one of those guys.”

Cesar Ramos also wants one of those spots. Today was not a good day for either of them.

Hot-Prospects has the dish on laster year’s standout Wizards pitcher, Jeremy Hefner:

The Oral Roberts alum increased his stock significantly with an excellent showing at Low-A Fort Wayne last season going 10-5 with a 3.33 ERA and 43 BB/150 K in 145 IP.  Hefner controls his three pitches quite well, an 89-91 MPH fastball, a sweeping slider, and a heavy changeup that he uses effectively against . . .

Lake Elsinore recently interviewed Peter Ciofrone.

Greg Burke has a good chance to make the Padres’ roster sometime this year, if not breaking camp with the Big League squad:

despite being 26, Burke is considered one of the Padres’ top advanced arms in their system, especially after a breakout season with Double-A San Antonio in 2008 as well as a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League.

A Spring Training That Mat Latos Will Never Forget

Imagine being 21-years-old and taking the mound against tried and true Major Leaguers during your first Major League Spring Training Camp after a year in the minors that was hampered by injuries. That’s gotta be nerve racking and memorable no matter the situation.

But imagine taking he mound to start the fourth inning, only to be greated by the likes of Victor Martinez. That’s exactly the sitaution Mat Latos experienced today. After three quick passes that missed the zone, Martinez didn’t give the kid any slack:

Anticipating a fat fastball on the 3-0 pitch, Martinez got one and unloaded. The ball soared in the hot, thin air, cleared the 380-foot sign in right-center and went at least another 100 feet.

Latos seemed to take it well, even after giving up another solo shot to Ben Francisco and a single before inducing an inning ending double play.

Welcome to the big leagues Mat. Hope we get to see you regroup this April in the Fort. We’ll have a much better facility for you this time around!