Tag Archives: Randy Ready

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.

TinCaps Continue History Book Makeover

The Fort Wayne TinCaps dream season at Parkview Field continued Saturday as the team won its 80th game of the year, breaking the franchise record with 21 regular-season games left to play. The previous record of 79 was set in 1998 when the club was an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

The TinCaps set a franchise record for wins in a half-season earlier this year, when they went 45-25 in the first half. They have continued a sensational pace in the second half despite promotions of several key players.

“The depth of this team has been unbelievable all year,” TinCaps president Mike Nutter said. “They play with a lot of hustle and every player has worked incredibly hard to improve themselves. That’s a testament to the coaching staff and the San Diego Padres’ organization. We’re proud of the season these guys have had so far and we’re looking forward to even more memories in the playoffs.”

Several more records are expected to go by the wayside in the coming days. With Saturday’s victory, manager Doug Dascenzo is four shy of setting the franchise record for wins by a manager. Randy Ready, now the San Diego Padres’ hitting coach, won 209 games during his three-year stint, 2004-06.

The TinCaps are also closing in on the franchise attendance record. With Saturday night’s sellout crowd of 8,375, the TinCaps’ season attendance at Parkview Field reached 315,970. That is just short of the record total of 318,506, set with the franchise’s inaugural season of 1993.

Saturday night’s crowd was the second-largest in Parkview Field history. The TinCaps have sold out six of their last 11 home games.

Parkview Field will also play host at least one Midwest League playoff game on September 10th at 7:05pm against an undetermined opponent. The TinCaps qualified for the post-season with a firsthalf Eastern Division championship.

Deadline Deals and Fort Wayne Connections

There were a lot of deals and moves at the non-waiver trade deadline that have Fort Wayne ties. Here’s a rundown of those that I noticed:

Lobaton Claimed

The Tampa Bay Rays claimed former Wizards catcher Jose Lobaton off waivers from the Padres. Lobaton made his MBL debut earlier this season, but was designated Lobaton for assignment on Monday. In total, he played in seven games, going 3-for-17during his stint in San Diego.

Ready Promoted

Former Wizards skipper, Randy Ready was promoted to the Padres hitting coach. Ready managed in Fort Wayne for three seasons (2004-06) and is the all-time leader in wins for a manager. He joins another Fort Wayne coaching alum in San Diego: Padres’ pitching coach Darren Balsley. Balsley was the Fort Wayne pitching coach in 2000.

Peavy Traded

This deal has more ties that what is most obvious on the surface. Former Wizards pitcher, Jake Peavy was traded to the White Soz. In return the Padres got pitchers , Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell and Dexter Carter. In addition to the Wizards connection with Peavy, there is a good chance the trade will make Carter into a TinCap. Clayton Richard is from Lafayette. You might have interest in Paul DePodesta’s thoughts on this deal.

Masterson Traded to Tribe

Okay, the more prominent headline here is probably Victory Martinez traded to Red Sox. However, one of the players that Cleveland got in return was pitcher Justin Masterson. Sure, that club is managed by Fort Wayne native Eric Wedge, but a lesser known fact is that Masterson – the first Jamaican-born baseball player pitcher to appear in a Major League game –  lived in Bluffton for a short while.

Former Wizards Skipper, Ready to Manager All-Stars

Let’s start by stating that IMHO, this will be former Fort Wayne Wizards skipper, Randy Ready’s last season as a Minor League Manager. He was in the running for the Mariner’s spot this past offseason, and the experts agree that Ready is ready for MLB.

But for now, he’ll enjoy managing the Triple-A All Stars for the Pacific Coast League when the Triple-A All-Star Game takes place in Portland Oregon on on July 15th.

The Pacific Coast League All-Star team will be managed by Portland Beavers manager Randy Ready. This is his second season leading the Beavers and his eighth season overall as a Minor League manager. The former infielder played all or part of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues with Milwaukee, San Diego, Philadelphia, Oakland and Montreal.

Ready played in 777 Major League games and hit .259 with 107 doubles, 21 triples, 40 home runs, 239 RBIs, and 312 runs in his career. He began his managerial career in the Detroit Tigers system and was named New York-Penn League Manager of the Year in 2002 after guiding Class A Oneonta to the playoffs. He joined the Padres organization in 2004 and spent the next three seasons as manager of Class A Fort Wayne and led them to two playoff berths.

In 2007, in his only season as manager of Double-A San Antonio, he led the team to a 73-66 record and a Texas League Championship and was the Padres’ Jack Krol Award winner in recognition of his contributions to player development in their system. The Beavers finished 70-74 in Ready’s first season and he was named PCL’s “Best Manager Prospect” by Baseball America.

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I try to make MiLB All-Star Games. Unfortunately, Portland is a bit too far for me at this time.

Related BBIFW Posts:

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Freese, Blanks, Link, +more

Lots of items being written about Wizards alumni lately. I’ve been sitting on a few of the links, so they may be a bit older, but are still relevant and worth the read. Feast on these:

Anthony Contreras (Former Saltdogs Still Chasing Big-League Dreams) is one of a handful of former Lincoln Saltdogs who have gone from Indy leaguer to minor league prospect.

Matt Teague (Relief on the way with Teague) discusses his transition from starting pitcher to reliever, changing his mechanics and his unexpected adventures at Triple-A.

David Freese is the subject of a solid Prospect Watch at rotoprofessor. Cardinals’ general manager John Mozeliak has also stated that Freese may see time at several positions during Spring Training; which is why they aren’t pursuing a backup at first or third during the offseason.

Kyle Blanks’ future with San Diego may be as trade material due to being sandwiched between Adrian Gonzalez and Allan Dykstra according to Marc Hulet at FanGraphs. Speaking of Blanks, he is number three on Project Prospects top five prospect risers in the San Diego System. Kellen Kulbacki, Cedric Hunter, Chase Headley and Steve Garrison are the others. Observers will also note that local native, Jarrod Parker makes the cut ont he Arizona list.

Luis Cruz, according to Black and Gold, still remains a viable option for the Pirates’ infield; especially if Jack Wilson is traded.

Jon Link’s walk rate went up a bit when he went from High-A to Double-A ball. SoxMachine has a theory.

JJ Furmaniak got his MLB cup of coffee with the Pirates and A’s then played 2008 in Japan after refusing his outright from Oakland. He’s back in the homeland. The Phillies gave him a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Speaking of Japan, Dirk Hayhurst’s latest NonProspect Diary talks about the Japan route a minor leaguer might take.

Freddy Guzman was traded by the Rangers to the Tigers for Chris Shelton in 2007. The Dalla Observer rates that trade a C and thinks Guzman still has a chance to be a qualify fourth outfielder.

Cory Doyne was granted free agency from Baltimore.

Matt Bush has added a new pitch. Changeup.

Former Wizards pitching coach, Steve Webber will serve in that role with San Antonio in 2009. JoJo Tarantino, who has worked with the Wizards the last three seasons, will be the Missions’ Athletic Trainer next season. former Wizards skipper, Randy Ready, is back for another round at Triple-A Portland after flirting with the job in Seattle during the offseason. Another former Wizards pitching coach, Wally Whitehurst will serve the role for the Pittsburgh Pirate’s High-A Lynchburg squad.

Finally, several former Wizards pop up on top prospect lists all over the web. Some of them include; Baseball Intellect [1-5] and [6-15], Padres Rundown [top 25], MadFriars’ (subscription required) Denis Savage [top 60] and John Conniff’s [top 30], Ducksnorts’ [top 10],

Former Wizards Skipper, Randy Ready has Shot at M’s Gig

The Seattle Mariners have an opening for a manager. Former Wizards manager Randy Ready was named the Pacific Coast League’s “Best Manager Prospect” in August by Baseball America in their annual “Best Tools” Survey.

And now, he’s on the M’s short list of candiates. USA today is reporting that:

New Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik will hold seven interviews this week as he looks for a new manager.

Ready is on that list of seven. the others include former Seattle second baseman Joey Cora, Arizona third base coach Chip Hale, Boston third base coach DeMarlo Hale, St. Louis third base coach Jose Oquendo, Oakland bench coach Don Wakamtsu, and Boston bench coach Brad Mills.

Ready managed in Fort Wayne from 2004 through 2006 where he compiled a 208-209 record and reached the playoffs each season. He managed Double-A San Antonio to a 73-66 record and a Texas League championship in 2007. 2008 is his first stint as a Triple-A manager.

I believe Ready would be the first former Wizards manager to land the same role on a big league roster if he were to win the gig.

The Seattle Times also has a closer look at all the candidates.

Padres Making Repairs, Begin with Coaches

Following a 99 loss season, you can be certain that there will be speculation that the manager might not return on the next season. However, that’s not the case in San Diego. The Padres have announced that Bud Black will return for next season (despite the endorsement for the opposite from Friar Forum).

That being the case, I suspect he’ll be on a short leash and former Wizards Skipper, Randy Ready might be waiting in the wings. Another former Wizards manager, Bench coach Craig Colbert did not have his contract renewed by the Padres.

“I am grateful to Kevin Towers and the Padres for the opportunities I have had in this organization,” Colbert said. “I am very proud of my accomplishments as a player, coach and manager in my 14 years with the Padres’ organization.”

Colbert led the Wizards to a 72-65 record during the 2000 season. The only position player from that squad who had made his way to the big leagus is Ben Johnson. However, several pitchers have stood out from the 2000 team. Cy Young winner Jake Peavy, Cliff Bartosh, J.J. Trujillo, Dennis Tankersley, Jack Cassel (brother of the New England Patriots quarterback, Matt Cassel), Eric Cyr and Mike Thompson have all made it to the MLB level.

In related news, former Wizards manager, Tracy Woodson looks forward to another challenging season at the helm of the Valparaison baseball team this year.

“I’m excited about the challenge this year’s schedule provides us,” head coach Tracy Woodson said.  “This is something we want to do every year, playing a couple of top-25 opponents.”

With that, it appears the Padres will need, at the least, a new Bench Coach and a New Hitting Coach for 2008. My money is on Max Venable for Hitting Coach.

Any thoughts on those two spots?

Fort Fragments (Wizards): Cuddyer, Ready, Antonelli, LeBlanc, Coundrey, Hayhurst

There are many Wizards-related headlines that I need to catch up on. I’ve been passively collecting them as the final week of the season took place, so some may seem a bit old to you. Enjoy..

  • Michael Cuddyer still hopes to return to the Twins this season. He has had an injry plagued 2008 season.
  • Former Wizards Skipper, Randy Ready in enjoying being around familiar company with the Padres after September callups (himself included). Meanwhile, Wade LeBlanc and Matt Antonelli are hoping to make a splash during their opportunities this season.
  • Clay Coundrey is happy to be nearing a personal milestone of staying with a Major League squad (the Phillies) for a full season.
  • Dirk Hayhurst is hopefull that he’ll write the perfect ending (but not for a while) to the new era of his professional career.
  • The Casper Ghosts recently won the Baseball America’s logos contest for “Coolest Redesign” and the Trenton Thunder took “Best Redesign” honrs. Wonder where this set’s the bar for the Fort Wayne team’s chances next year? Do you think they can do it? Let’s put out thinking hats and see what we can come up with!
  • MadFriars has posted four segments of a Paul DePodterview. In part 1, he talks about prospects, Dominican players, trades and the draft. In part 2 DePodesta answers whether the Padres think Will Venable can be an everyday centerfielder in the big leagues, Matt Antonelli’s tough and if San Diego will ever move Kyle Blanks to the outfield. In part 3, DePodesta gives his assessment of Cedric Hunter, how Cesar Carrillo is progressing from his Tommy John surgery and sleepers in Fort Wayne. Finally, part 4 offers a posible glimpse into the Fort Wayne future; he let us know who may be the best player to come out of Eugene, the goods on Jeff Decker and breaks down some prospects from the Dominican League.
  • Speaking of Paul DePodesta, he blogs about his thoughts on Antonelli and LeBlanc’s callups and chances.
  • In what might have been Paul McAnulty’s last month in the Padres’ system, he earn’s one of the player of the month awards from MadFriars. Kyle Blanks, Eric Sogard, and Andy Parrino round out the other levels over Low-A ball. All of them are former Wizards. Methinks we’re going to see Blanks as a big leaguer sooner than later. Wade LeBlanc, Mike Ekstrom, Rolando Valdez and Jeremy McBryde take the pitchers of the month honors. Again, all of them are former Wizards. MadFriar’s also posted an interview with former Wizard, Manny Ayala.
  • SignOnSanDiego has two good articles about former Wizards. In the first, they suggest that Matt Antonelli could finally be the answer to “who is going to play second base” – let’s just hope they don’t trade him to Cleveland. In the second, the article discusses how a move to a relief role for starting pitcher Mike Ekstrom may have saved his career.

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.

Is Former Randy Ready Ready to Manage in MLB?

Randy Ready as a Fort Wayne Wizards skipperPortland Beavers manager and former Wizards skipper, Randy Ready, was recently named the Pacific Coast League’s “Best Manager Prospect” according to Baseball America’s annual “Best Tools” Survey.

In addition, left-handed starter Wade LeBlanc was selected the pitcher with the “Best Control” in the PCL, center fielder Will Venable was selected for “Best Strike Zone Judgment” and left fielder Chase Headley, who is already with the Padres, was selected as the “Best Batting Prospect.” All three are former Wizards.

“It’s quite a compliment, because it’s peer-driven,” Ready said before Friday night’s home game against Fresno. [Source: Portland Tribune]

But the question now becomes, is Randy Ready ready to manage in Major League Baseball?  If he is, where would it be?

“I’d like to get an opportunity to manage in the major leagues,” Ready says. “The resume is coming together, and I think I’m earning the opportunity to at least earn an interview.”

Ready managed in Fort Wayne from 2004 through 2006 where he compiled a 208-209 record and reached the playoffs each season. He managed Double-A San Antonio to a 73-66 record and a Texas League championship in 2007. 2008 is his first stint as a Triple-A manager.