Former Fort Wayne TinCaps outfielder and Midwest League MVP Rymer Liriano will represent the San Diego Padres in the 2012 Futures Game that will be played on July 8th in Kansas City, Missouri. The game, played during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend, showcases some of the top prospects in the minor leagues.
Liriano, the 2011 Midwest League Prospect of the Year, was third in the league in batting average, hitting .319, adding 12 home runs and 62 runs batted in for the TinCaps in 2011. He also stole 65 bases, second most in the league. Liriano also played 50 games for the TinCaps in 2010.
The 14th annual Futures Game takes place Sunday, July 8, at 5 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV and ESPN2. The 25-man rosters for the U.S. and World teams are selected by Major League Baseball, along with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League baseball clubs.
After a hot spring, Cedric Hunter made the Padres Opening Day roster. Then, Cameron Maybin made Hunter’s debut possible. After hitting a game-tying two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth, the game went into extra innings in St. Louis.
In the top half of the 11th, Maybin left after singling in the go-ahead run. Hunter replaced him as a pinch runner and later scored. He stayed in the game and played center as the Padres pulled out a 5-3 victory.
Hunter becomes the 94th former Fort Wayne Wizards or TinCaps player to make his Major League debut.
Hunter was selected by San Diego Padres in 3rd round (93rd overall) of 2006 draft. He played in 129 games with the Wizards in Fort Wayne during the 2007 season, hitting .282 with 7 home runs and 58 RBI.
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.
Chad Huffman became the 90th former Fort Wayne WizCap to debut in Major League Baseball. Taking the roster spot of the injured Marcus Thames, Huffman got his first hit in the third inning.
“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.
Every year, it never fails. Draft time appraoches and bloggers, columnists, and self-reightous sports pundits are quick to point to the San Deigeo Padres when they selected you number one overall.
They don’t remember that Matt Bush is a person.
They only mention Matt Bush the prospect. They like to use you as the example for draft day busts. They like to remind us that just because it’s a number one pick, success is no promise. They like to tell us how your lack of success all but ruined the Padres. They like to tell us that your personal indiscretions ruined the potential of a great career.
They forget you are human just because someone took a chance.
They don’t like to talk about how you’ve struggled personally. They don’t mention that maybe – just maybe – you’ve faced undying regret.
Padres fans, get over it.
Last I looked, you were in first place with some promising young talent coming up. Truth be told, the years that Matt Bush played in Fort Wayne as a position player were not exactly great squads. Maybe there’s more than one poor decision to blame.
Matt, I truly and sincerely hope you succeed. But not just on the field. In life.
You were thrown a lot of cash with massive expectations at a young and impressionable age. I hope you’ve discovered peace and overcome the grips of addiction.
Now, I’m not making any attempt to get religious and make it my life mission to make sure you are saved. But Mr. Bush, I hope you’ve found God. That way, whether you throw another pitch or not, you’ve at least got faith on your side and have the rest of your life to make good on His purpose for you.
Finally, Matt, I hope you are aiming to make the comparisons to Ryan Leaf end – and ready to make comparisons to Josh Hamilton begin. I’m rooting for you Matt.
Former Fort Wayne Wizards speedster, Luis Durango has been called up by the San Diego Padres.
Durango made his MLB debut last season as a September call up. He’s got virtually no power threat, but is capable of swiping mor ethan a couple bags because he does a solid job of getting on base. Friar Forecast has a great analysis if you’re interested.
After waiting a couple days since being called up, former Fort Wayne Wizard, Lance Zawadzki made his MLB Debut. Slotted for eighth in the starting lineup, Zawadzki came to the plate in the bottom have of the third inning and singled to shallow right in his first Major League at-bat. A garland bunt sacrifice moved the former Wizard to second. He then scored on a Tony Gwynn Jr. triple.
He grounded out to third in his second at-bat, which came in the next inning. In the fifth, Zawadzki was intentionally walked with two outs to get to the pitcher, Garland, who promptly ended the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Zawadski popped out to right center to end the inning with fellow former Wizard, Will Venable on second.
Joining Zawadzki in the Padres lineup, in addition to Venable, were former Wizards Chase Headley, Kyle Blanks and Chase Headley. From the visitors’ dugout, the Brewers lineup included former Wizards catcher, George Kottaras, and relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins.
Yeah. That’s a game that included seven who played A-ball in Fort Wayne. Not too shabby.
Photo by Chad Gramling, autograph obtained in person at Memorial Stadium on June 29, 2008.
The San Diego Padres have called up former Fort Wayne Wizards infielder, Lance Zawadzki. The move was made possible when the Padres placed Evereth Cabrera on the disabled list and moved another former Wizard, Matt Antonelli to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.
In 17 games with Triple-A Portland, Zawadzki is hitting .162 on the season with 8 runs on 11 hits.He was with the Padres in Spring Training this year, appearing in 18 games were he hit .308 with 8 hits and 5 RBI over 26 at-bats.
With the Wizards in 2008, he appeared in 119 games, hitting .273 with 66 runs, 7 dingers, 58 RBI and 54 walks. He also swiped a career high 28 bases.
Zawadski is not in the starting lineup tonight, but I’ll keep a watch and recap his debut when/if he makes it.
Random notes and signings involving Fort Wayne players and other local ties:
Former Wizard, David Pauley has signed a minor league deal with the Mariners. The 26-year-old spent 2009 in the Orioles system, posting a 4.37 ERA in 152.1 Triple-A innings. (h/t MLBTradeRumors)
The Padres have invited a slew of former WizCaps to spring training, including; Simon Castro, Ernesto Freiri, Mat Latos, Jackson Quezada, Wynn Pelzer, Wade LeBlanc, Steve Garrison, Cory Luebke, Mitch Canham, James Darnell, Lance Zawadzki, Matt Antonelli, Kyle Blanks, Luis Durango, Chad Huffman, and Will Venable. I don’t think this is an all inclusive list. You’ll also note that Michael Ekstrom and Greg Burke are on the list. Neither are with San Diego any longer. Ekstrom was snatched by the Rays off waivers and Burke has been placed on unconditional waivers and will likely be claimed or become a free agent.
Former Fort Wayne Wizard, Ernesto Frieri becamse the 87th former Fort Wayne Wizare/TinCap to make his Major League Baseball debut last night when he entered the eight in place of San Diego Padres starter, Luke Gregerson.
He faced the minimum for the inning by striking out the Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra and then getting Chris Young to line out to third baseman and fellow former Wizard, Chase Headley. He then struck out Stephen Drew to end the inning and his outing.
Frieri appeared in one game with the Wizarads in 2006. He returned in 2007, where he appeared in 40 games, compiling a 1-2 record with a 2.64 ERA and striking out 65 while walking 23 over 64.2 innings piched.
Photograph (Daryl Jones #28 and Ernesto Frieri #19) by Chad Gramling taken at Memorial Stadium during the 2007 season. Autographs are authentic and obtained in person.