Tag Archives: MiLB

Travis Chick Signs Minor League Deal with Bucs

Several sources on the Internet are reporting that former Fort Wayne Wizards pitcher, Travis Chick has signed a Minor League deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates have signed 26-year old righty reliever/starter Travis Chick to a minor league deal. Chick has not pitched yet this season. He has pitched in 3 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 0-0 with a 12.60 ERA and a 3.40 WHIP. Chick has also pitched in 189 games (142 starts) in his 8 years in the minors and he is 48-45 with 1 save, a 4.26 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. It will be interesting to see if Chick can work his way to Pittsburgh before the 2010 season is over.

Related BBIFW Travis Chick Posts:

TinCaps Take Top Honors in Minor League Baseball

The honors keep coming for the Fort Wayne TinCaps; recently being named MiLB.com’s Team of the Year. The Midwest League champion won a record 101 games in 2009 and beat out Triple-A Durham, Double-A Akron and Advanced-A San Jose for the overall Team of the Year award.

“Nobody could’ve dreamed for a better opening to Parkview Field in 2009 and our team on the field was a big part of that,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “The guys went out and won more games than anybody in the minors this year. They were talented players but the team chemistry was what put them on another level. We can’t thank the San Diego Padres enough for their support.”

In all, the TinCaps broke sixteen franchise records, including wins in a regular season (94) and wins in a half-season (49) and longest winning streak when they opened the season with 10 straight wins.

Additional honors on the season included infielder, James Darnell and right hander Simon Castro being named Padres’ Minor-League Player and Pitcher of the year while Manager Doug Dascenzo won the Padres’ award for top player development staffer. The TinCaps’ front-office staff also received the Midwest League President’s Trophy.

Jose Lobaton Makes MLB Debut, Plays at Second

Wow. This has got to be up there in terms of the strangest of MLB debut scenarios for former Fort Wayne Wizards. Catcher, Jose Lobaton was called up from Triple-A Portland due to Henry Blano being inured. For those following at home, the Padres primary catcher is former WizardJose Lobaton, who is also on the DL. Lobaton’s debut comes one year and one day after Hundley’s.

But here’s where it gets strange. Having played the catcher position throughout his entire eight season minor league career, Lobaton entered the game at second base, having lost David Eckstein due to injure in the twelfth inning. The play involving Eckstein ended the bottom of the twefth, so Lobaton entered at second in the top of the thirteenth. Los Angeles would score in that inning. Former Wizard Kyle Blanks struck out to make the third out in the bottom of the inning and Lobaton therefore did not get an at-bat.

With the Wizards in 2006, Lobaton hit .279 with 17 hits in 61 at bats. Over 20 games, he collected three doubles, one homer and 11 runs batted in. He also drew 12 bases on balls. He’s got a great arm, handles the staff well and tends to hit in streaks (ending his Wizards run with an eight game hitting streak). He also appeared in 9 games with the Wizards the year before.

Lobaton is the 82nd former Wizards to make his MLB debut and hte sixth this season. In case you are wondering, we are one ahead of last year’s record-setting pace.

Taylor Kinzer Signs, Reports to Angels Camp

Taylor Kinzer achieved a lifelong dream Wednesday afternoon when he signed a professional baseball contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the team’s spring training complex in Tempe, Arizona.

“This is my dream,” Kinzer said after the signing. “It’s what I’ve wanted to pursue my entire life.”

Kinzer will report to a five-day minicamp in Arizona with other Angels draft picks who signed early with the organization. The next stop will be Orem, Utah, where he will suit up for the Orem Owlz, one of the Angels’ two rookie league affiliates.

Opening day for the Owlz is June 23, followed by a two-and-a-half-month season consisting of approximately 80 games.

A right-handed pitcher who played the last two seasons for Taylor University, Kinzer was 8-0 on the mound for the Trojans this past spring as they captured the Mid-Central College Conference Tournament championship and a trip to the NAIA National Tournament.

“My experience at Taylor has been life-changing,” Kinzer said. “The community is awesome and my team was the best group of guys I’ve ever played with. Coach [Taylor head coach Kyle Gould] has prepared me and pushed me to be the best I can be—both on and off the field. I really respect him and it’s been a blessing to have him as my coach.”

By signing a professional contract, Kinzer will forego his final two years of eligibility at Taylor, but the Angels will help Kinzer financially to complete his Taylor education.

“I definitely had my mind set on playing, but it depended on getting school paid for,” Kinzer said. “When the Angels made that happen, it made my decision that much easier.”

Following the signing, Taylor head coach Kyle Gould had high praise for his former ace.

“I knew when we signed Taylor two years ago, that his goal since he was a little kid was to play professional baseball,” Gould said. “Although we would have loved to have him back for his final two years of eligibility, I couldn’t be happier for Taylor as he has earned the opportunity to pursue his life-long dream of playing professionally as a member of the Los Angeles Angels organization.”

Even with Kinzer’s departure, the family ties to Taylor baseball will continue. Kinzer’s father Matt Kinzer, who played professionally for the St. Louis Cardinals, is the pitching coach for the Trojans. He will be joined by Taylor’s younger brother and incoming freshman, Derek Kinzer, this fall.

See also: WANE TV Story and Video of Kinzer leaving Fort Wayne to Report to Angels’ Camp

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Carroll, Bass Sweep Weekly Midwest League Honors

Fort Wayne TinCaps outfielder, Sawyer Carroll received Midwest League Hitter of the Week honors on Monday while right-hander, Anthony Bass snagged his second Pitcher of the Week award on the season. Both are MidWest League All-Stars and their performances are the latest headlines from an amazing run which has Fort Wayne on the verge of its first playoff berth since 2006.

“This team just continues to impress,” TinCaps president Mike Nutter said. “The players have more than lived up to the high expectations and we’re thrilled to be on the brink of making the postseason.”

Carroll, 23, went 12-for-25 during the past week (June 8-14). The University of Kentucky product ripped four doubles and a home run, scored eight runs and drove in six. In Sunday’s game at West Michigan, Carroll went 4-for-5 and finished a home run shy of the cycle. Last week he was selected to his second All-Star Team in as many seasons; he was a Northwest League All-Star for the Eugene Emeralds in 2008.
Bass, 21, won both of his starts last week, allowing two runs (one earned) in 12 innings of work to lower his ERA to 2.17, second-best in the Midwest League. This is his second time winning Pitcher of the Week honors; he was also selected on April 20th after delivering 12 scoreless innings to open the season.
It is the first time this season any team in the Midwest League has won both Pitcher and Hitter of the Week.

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Jaff Decker Added to All-Star Team

You gotta think that if he had been there all year, Fort Wayne TinCaps’ outfielder Jaff Decker would have been on the Midwest League All STart team. Turns out, it didn’t take a whole season. In fact, Decker was added to the Midwest League Eastern Division All-Star team today, becoming the sixth TinCap on the squad.

South Bend Silver Hawks OF Brendan Duffy was promoted to Advanced-A Visalia, opening the roster spot. The move also pushed Fort Wayne OF Sawyer Carroll into the starting lineup for next Tuesday’s game in Clinton, Iowa.

Decker, 19, burst onto the scene this year, blasting a home run in his first at-bat with the TinCaps. He remains the only player to hit a home run onto the TreeTops Rooftop Party Area beyond the right-field wall at Parkview Field in a game. Decker was selected 42nd overall in last year’s draft and led all of Minor League Baseball with a .513 on-base percentage. He was the Arizona League MVP with the Peoria Padres. He is listed as the No. 3 prospect in the San Diego organization by Baseball America.

Decker, Carroll, INF James Darnell, RHPs Anthony Bass and Brad Brach along with LHP Zach Herr are on the All-Star roster for the Eastern Division

Fill the Triple-A All-Star Game with Wizards

Okay Fort Wayne faithful. Here is your mission: Let’s fill the Triple-A All-Star Game with former Fort Wayne Wizards. By my count, we could get 18 of them in the game. Padres bloggers should also feel free to join in the fun. Let’s do this!!!

Here’s the ballot I submitted today, and I suggest you do the same by clicking here:

International League:

  • Starting Pitcher – E. Bonine (2004) and D. Pauley (2003)
  • Relief Pitcher – J. Link (2006) and Dale Thayer (2003)
  • First Base – P. McAnulty (2003)
  • Second Base – J. Barfield (2002)
  • Third Base – J. Furmaniak (2001)
  • SS – No former Wizard available. I voted for R. Brignac
  • C – No former Wizard available. I voted for E. Kratz
  • OF – M. Restovich (1998), I also voted for D. Stubbs and J Van Every
  • DH – No former Wizard available. I voted for J. Frazier

Pacific Coast League:

  • Starting Pitcher – M. Buschmann (never a Wizard, but close enough) and W. LeBlanc (2006)
  • Releif Pitcher – M. Ekstrom (2004/2005) and J. Ellis (2005)
  • First Base – Kyle Blanks (2006)
  • Second Base – M. Antonelli (2006)
  • Third Base – B. Dowdy (2005)
  • SS – S. Kazmar (2004/2005)
  • C – J. Lobaton (2005/2006)
  • OF – W. Venable (2006), D. Macias (2003/2004) and I also voted for R. Ambercrombie
  • DH – No former Wizard available. I voted for J. Clement

TinCaps Saturday Attendance Challenges Home Opener

The Fort Wayne TinCaps welcomed their second largest crowd of the season to Parkview Field on Saturday to witness the TinCaps 6-4 victory over the Burlington Bees. The only game to attract a larger crowd was the festivities of the first game at the new ballpark, Opening Night on April 16th.

“Fort Wayne has really gotten behind the TinCaps and Parkview Field,” said TinCaps Team President, Mike Nutter. “The support that the team has received since Opening Day has been fantastic. To have a crowd of over 7,700 tonight, and to have welcomed our 100,000th fan through just 24 games, is a testament to how the community has embraced the team and this beautiful new facility. The weather is getting warmer, and school is letting out, which means the season’s biggest games are still to come.”

”We are confident that attendance at the remaining 46 games will continue to be strong and that we have several more sellouts ahead of us,” stated Michael Limmer, TinCaps Vice President of Marketing. “You really can’t underestimate the impact that warm weather and school being out has on attendance. Baseball teams in the Midwest typically see nearly 75% of their entire season’s attendance during the months of June, July and August and we have the majority of our fireworks nights and some of our best entertainment still to come in 2009.”

“While we don’t enjoy having to tell people that walk up to purchase a ticket that the game is sold out, that is just the reality on nights like this,” said Nutter. “We continue to strongly encourage fans to purchase tickets in advance. The best way to purchase TinCaps tickets is online at TinCaps.com, where you can select your seat and print your tickets all from the comfort of your home.” Tickets can also be purchased by calling the TinCaps at (260) 482-6400 or visiting the Parkview Field ticket office.

Bass is First TinCap to Earn MWL Honors

If you were paying attention to the seasoning opening roadtrip, it would come as no surprise to you that Fort Wayne TinCaps RHP Anthony Bass was named the season’s first Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honors on Monday. 

Bass was the TinCaps’ Opening Day starter April 9th in Lansing, when he worked six shutout innings against the Lugnuts. He allowed three hits and struck out four. Bass then silenced the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ bats on April 15th, going six innings, allowing three hits and striking out six. The Trenton, MI native picked up the win in both starts and has not walked a batter this season [TinCaps.com].