April 2010

Opening Day in Portland, Maine

Pre-Game Conversation with Kevin Thomas – kevinthomas415.mp3

The Sea Dogs just completed batting practice and get set to open up their 2010 season at home against the Trenton Thunder…News and Notes below


HOME SWEET HOME: Tonight the Sea Dogs begin their 17th season at Hadlock
Field against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate)…Portland completed a
3-game sweep of the Rock Cats with yesterday’s 3-1 victory at New Britain
Stadium… All-Time Opening Days at Hadlock: Portland is 8-8 on opening days in Maine but has dropped three straight
to teams from Connecticut:  3-0 loss to
the Defenders last year and dropping two straight against the New Britain Rock
Cats in 2007 & 08.

YOU BOTH EARNED NUMBER ONE: RHP Robert Coello notched his first
Double-A victory with three strong innings of relief in yesterday’s game…RHP Jason Rice worked around a one-out walk
to secure his first Double-A save…SS Yamaico
Navarro
snapped a 1-1 tie with a homer to lead-off the ninth inning – his
first of the season.

ALMOST QUALITY: Portland starters worked at least 5 innings in five of seven games on
the trip…LHP Felix Doubront (4 IP)
and RHP Casey Kelly (2 IP) failed to
work five frames…Kelly lasted only two innings but was removed due to pitch
count…Tonight’s starter RHP Kyle
Weiland
took the loss in his Double-A debut on April 10 at Reading.

FINDING THE RIGHT PLACE: OF Jason Place
leads the team with 7 RBI, despite going 3-for-25 (.120) in seven games on
the roadtrip…Place picked up his first Double-A triple in New Britain and
smacked a 3-run homer last Sunday against the Reading Phillies…The Sea Dogs hit
8 homers in seven days, including four on Opening Night.

OH THE RIVARLY:
The Sea Dogs and Trenton Thunder met in the Eastern League playoffs in four
consecutive seasons from 2005-08…Portland beat Trenton in the 2005 & 06
Northern Division Championship Series but Trenton returned the favor with series
victories the following two years and went on to win the Eastern League
Championship Series against the Akron Aeros, 3 games to 1 in both series
finals.

DO YOU REMEMBER HIM? Trenton C Austin
Romine
is the #2 prospect in the Yankees’ system according to Baseball
America…Romine is the son of former Red Sox OF Kevin Romine, who
appeared in 331 games with Boston from 1985-91, hitting 5 career homers with
the Sox.

WHAT’S
ON DECK
:
Portland continues their 4-game series against
the Thunder tomorrow night beginning at 6:00 PM…The two teams conclude the
series with back-to-back 1:00 PM starts Saturday and Sunday…On Monday night,
the ‘Dogs entertain the Binghamton Mets beginning at 6:00 PM.

Baseball in a few minutes – Part 2 of Alan Embree Interview

Click here for Alan Embree interview with Pawtucket radio broadcaster Dan Hoard. 

Yeah, that’s right.  In New Britain, they play about five 10:35 AM starts per season and many of those in the past have been against Portland.  A sellout crowd of over 6,000 is expected – most of those being the younger generation.

This has been a very nice start to the season for the ‘Dogs, entering today’s game with a 2-game winning streak.  
I’ll check back before game time.

Tuesday in the Hardware City

4:15 PM – Just completed my Tuesday tradition by appearing on the JAB 96.3 in Portland with Chris Sedenka.  The Sea Dogs are getting ready for batting practice, as they take on the Rock Cats in the middle game of the series.

Few notes from today’s media notes

SECOND LEG OF THE TRIP: Portland continues their 7-day roadtrip on Tuesday
night against the Rock Cats (Twins affiliate) at New Britain Stadium…Last
night, the ‘Dogs snapped a 3-game losing streak with an 8-2 victory over the
Rock Cats…Portland put a 4-spot on the board in the first inning off losing
pitcher RHP Deolis Guerra.  C Luis Exposito drove in the first run with a
sac-fly but 3B Yamaico Navarro, 2B Ray Chang and SS Jose Iglesias followed with 2-out, run-scoring hits….Chang cracked
a 2-run double during Portland’s 3-run 7th.

THE MIGHTY CASEY: RHP Casey Kelly made his Double-A debut last night, throwing 45 pitches
over two innings of work…Kelly is on a strict pitch count, and was relieved by
RHP Eammon Portice, who earned the
win with four innings of work…Kelly yielded one unearned run on three hits, one
walk and two strikeouts…Portice retired the first 11 batters faced until RF Chris Parmelee slammed a homer over the
right-field wall.

FLYING OUT OF THE PARK: Portland already leads the league in home runs with seven;
including four on opening night…New Britain has hit only two homers and did not
have a lead in their 3-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

NICE TO SEE OLD FRIENDS: RHP Chris
Province
was traded in the off-season by the Boston Red Sox to the
Minnesota Twins’ organization worked 1.2 innings of relief in last night’s
game…Province surrendered three runs, two hits, three walks and fanned three…RHP
Boof Bonser was acquired in the
trade for Province.

BACK IN THE LINEUP:
OF Ryan Kalish returned to the
lineup last night and went 1-for-5 as the designated hitter…Kalish missed the
previous two games and singled in his first at-bat…On Opening Night in Reading,
Kalish blasted a home run to lead-off the season…Chang made his first Double-A
start at first base last night and made a diving catch off a line drive hit by
LF Joe Benson in the fourth inning.

ONE TIME A RED SOX AFFILIATE: The Rock Cats became a Twins affiliate back in 1995,
but before that they were affiliated with the Boston Red Sox…Portland became a
Red Sox affiliate back in 2003 after starting their tenure with the Florida
Marlins…New Britain has 13 players returning from last year’s team.

WHAT’S
ON DECK
:
Portland concludes their 3-game series with the
Rock Cats tomorrow morning beginning at 10:35 AM…The Sea Dogs home opener is
set for Thursday night against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate)
beginning at approximately 6:10 PM…After this series, the ‘Dogs will play 14
straight games against the New York affiliates.

Sea Dogs win in New Britain – Kelly makes Double-A debut

Casey Kelly goes two innings in Double-A debut…Ken Lipshez covered the game for the Portland Press Herald Below is his story.
Post-Game soundbytes from Casey Kelly – kellyonfirststart.mp3kellyonfastball.mp3

By KEN LIPSHEZ

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN – New Britain got its first look at Red Sox prodigy Casey Kelly even if was just a passing glance.  Kelly, Boston’s first-round choice in the 2008 draft, hurled just two innings and he was fortunate he went that far after a sharp hit to the box glanced off his glove in the first inning.


Kelly’s replacement Eammon Portice, employing his best Luis Tiant back-to-the-hitter impression, looked more the hot prospect.  Portice tossed four innings of two-hit ball and Ray Chang drove in three runs with a pair of doubles Monday night as the Portland Sea Dogs extended the Rock Cats’ season-opening losing streak to four with an 8-2 win before 3,964 at New Britain Stadium.


Since Kelly started his professional career as a shortstop, the Red Sox have approached his transition with caution. The plan was to limit him to 50 pitches but he was removed after 45. He yielded an unearned run on three hits, walked one and struck out two.

“I felt good out there,” Kelly said. “I threw my fastball in the zone and I threw my breaking pitches for strikes, too.”


Portice (1-0) retired 11 straight hitters until Chris Parmelee rocketed an 0-2 pitch over the wall with two out in the sixth inning. He yielded a single to Joe Benson before retiring the side and turning the ball over to left-hander Andrew Dobies.


For the fourth time in four games, the Rock Cats (0-4) were in a hole before they could swing a bat. The Sea Dogs (2-3) took starter Deolis Guerra (0-1) to the woodshed, pounding out five hits and scoring four runs.


Ryan Kalish led off with a single and scooted to third on a one-out hit by Nate Spears. Luis Exposito lofted a sacrifice fly for the second out but Yamaico Navarro doubled high off the left-field wall and Chang followed with RBI doubles. Jose Iglesias looped an RBI single to right to give the Sea Dogs a 4-0 start.


“It’s not easy playing from behind all the time,” Rock Cats manager Jeff Smith said. “It really takes away a little identity of your ballclub in terms of what you’d like to do. You can’t always be as aggressive as you want to be when you’re always behind like that.”

The Rock Cats have now yielded 12 first-inning runs.


Red Sox Nation emitted a collective sigh in the New Britain first when Rene Tosoni hit a bullet back to the box that careened off Kelly’s glove and into left field, but he retired the side, stranding runners on first and third.


“Thank God I got my glove on it,” Kelly said. “It was past me before I even knew what was happening. I kind of hit the ground and asked myself, ‘Is anything hurt?’ It was a good thing that didn’t hit me.”


“The first inning challenged me. I got a couple runners on base but it’s good to get into the stretch and feel that pressure of guys in scoring position.”


The Rock Cats reached Kelly for a run in the second. Benson (2-for-3) worked him for a leadoff walk and took second on an error by shortstop Iglesias. Ben Revere’s infield hit loaded the bases and Benson scored on a wild pitch.


New Britain reciprocated by allowing its seventh unearned run of the season in the fourth. Iglesias reached on Juan Portes’ boot at third and cruised home on a triple by Jason Place, and Portland recouped its four-run advantage.


Portland blew it open with a three-run seventh. Exposito drove in hi
s second run of the night with a single and Chang plated a pair with a double.

Red Sox Update 1:50 PM – Daisuke Matsuzaka is scheduled to make his 2nd rehab start with Pawtucket on Thursday at Buffalo
Good morning from New Britain.  The Sea Dogs lost the final three games in Reading and begin a 3-game set against the Rock Cats on Monday night.  Right-hander Casey Kelly makes his Double-A debut for the Sea Dogs.
Kelly (pictured below) was a first round pick by the Red Sox in the 2008 June draft.  He attended Sarasota High School in Florida.  The last two seasons, Kelly has been playing shortstop and pitching, this season he will be a full-time pitcher.

kelly.jpgReading rewind:  The Phillies scored 16 of 22 runs in the series with two outs.  Their roster features some veteran players and those guys killed the Sea Dogs in the final three games.  Tagg Bozied knocked in 5 runs with two outs yesterday, he a majority of last season in Triple-A Indianapolis.  Michael Spidale had seven hits in the series and Brandon Pinckney hit .467 for the series.  In my opinion, playing those type of teams is a good thing for developing.  I’m sure guys like Stephen Fife, Kyle Weiland and Robert Coello have never faced guys near their 30’s during a regular season game.New Britain use to be…the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.  On Wednesday, Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd threw out the first pitch at New Britain Stadium.  The Rock Cats use to play at the beehive, a very tough place to hit a home run.Well, enjoy your day, I’ll check back later.

Sunday News and Notes

Pre-Game:  The Sea Dogs conclude their 4-game series this afternoon with the Phillies at First Energy Stadium.  RHP Stephen Fife will make his Double-A debut for Portland.  Here my conversation with Arnie Beyeler on the pre-game show beginning at 12:45 PM.

Stephen Strasburg will make his professional debut today for the Harrisburg Senators in Altoona.  ESPN News will have live cut-ins of the game.  There is a rumor that MLB is going to take the pitching rubber from the game.  Altoona sold 4,000 tickets after it was announced that Strasburg would be pitching this game.
Lineup for Portland:
Chang – 3B
Chiang – LF
Spears – 2B
Lin – CF
Anderson – 1B
Apodaca – C
Iglesias – SS
Place – DH
Sheely – RF
Fife – P
Reading
Gillies – CF
Galvis – SS
Brown – RF
Bozied – DH
Mahar – 1B
Pinckney – 3B
Dorta- 2B
Gosewisch – C
Spidale – LF

Flande – P
The Phillies have won the last two games and have scored 10 runs with two outs.  I love day baseball!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday night is all right for Baseball

After last night’s loss, the Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies play game three of the their series, all tied at one game apiece.

http://weei.radiotown.com/soxbooth/ – check out this link, the official website for the Boston Red Sox announcers.  This year all the radio broadcasters in the league will be providing interviews for the site.  I have a feature on Robert Coello and Dan Hoard (voice of the PawSox) interviews Alan Embree.
Notes for today’s game.

BACK AND FORTH: The Portland Sea Dogs produced 17 baserunners but went 2-for-12 with
RISP and suffered a 7-5 loss at Reading on Saturday night…The Phillies scored
the game-winning runs off losing pitcher RHP Bryce Cox in the eighth inning. 
LF Chih-Hsien Chiang knocked
in two runs and tied the game with a solo-homer (first in Double-A) to lead-off
the eighth…1B Lars Anderson and SS
Yamaico Navarro each had two hits
for the Sea Dogs, who have homered five times in two days.

 

YOUR 2010 PORTLAND SEA DOGS: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for
the entire season…Portland has 14 players returning from the 2009 season and
two players on Boston’s 40-man roster: Thursday night’s starting pitcher LHP Felix Doubront and SS Jose Iglesias…The Sea Dogs have four
of Boston’s Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America.

Top Prospects on Portland's roster according to Baseball America: Casey Kelly # 2, Lars Anderson # 4, Ryan Kalish # 5, Iglesias # 9, Yamaico Navarro # 12, Stephen Fife # 17, Felix Doubront # 18, Che-Hsuan Lin # 20, Luis Exposito # 24, and Kyle Weiland # 26. 

 

RACKING UP THE K’S: RHP Ryne
Miller
yielded four runs on over 5 IP last night but matched a
career-high in strikeouts with eight…Miller fanned eight last August 26 in
his first professional start at Binghamton.

 

TWO DEBUTS IN RELIEF: RHP Eammon
Portice
and RHP Jason Rice
made their Double-A debuts in Friday’s game…Portice relieved Doubront in
the sixth inning and worked two innings to secure a hold…Rice fired a perfect
ninth inning to preserve the win…Weiland will be making his Double-A debut in
tonight’s game.

 

CASEY AT-BAT…NOT ANYMORE: RHP Casey
Kelly
is scheduled to pitch the series opener Monday at New Britain…The
former 30th overall pick in the 2008 draft split last season as
pitcher and shortstop…Kelly hit a combined .222 (36-for-162) with 3 homers
and 16 RBI for Greenville and the GCL Red Sox in 2009…For his career, the
Florida native hit .219 (64-for-292) with 4 homers in 29 RBI’s…His father, Pat Kelly, played 13 years of pro
ball, making his Major League debut for the Blue Jays in 1980…His cousin,
Dustin, played in 25 games with the Sea Dogs in parts of two seasons (2004
& 2006).

 

WHAT’S ON DECK: Portland continues their 4-game series with Reading
tomorrow afternoon beginning at 1:05 PM from First Energy Stadium…The Sea Dogs
stay on the road Monday by opening up a 3-game series against the Rock Cats (Twins
affiliate) at New Britain Stadium.

Iggy Suarez on the pre game show!

Great to see Iggy Suarez, who is playing Indy Ball for the Somerset Patriots this year.  Suarerz, the former Sea Dogs, was not re-signed by the Red Sox this past fall.

Here’s the pre-game interview: suarez409.mp3
2010-04-09 17.05.32.jpg

Pre-Game Notes

The Sea Dogs prepare for game two at Reading…Ryan Kalish talked to me before the game about his home run and last night’s starter LHP Felix Doubront

Day 2 in Reading

Updated 3:52 PM…The Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies are out stretching and preparing for the middle game of their series…Some tidbits from the Portland Media Notes

WHAT A START: The Portland Sea Dogs began their 17th season in the Eastern
League with a 10-5 thrashing of the Reading Phillies on Opening Night…LF Ryan Kalish began the game with a
solo-homer off losing pitcher RHP Vance
Worley
…The Sea Dogs received four homers from the first 4 batters in the
lineup: Kalish, C Luis Exposito, CF Che-Hsuan Lin and 2B Nate Spears…Lin drove in four runs and
stole two bases in his Double-A debut…LHP Felix
Doubront
earned the win with five strong innings, retiring the final 11
batters faced.

 

YOUR 2010 PORTLAND SEA DOGS: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for the
entire season…Portland has 14 players returning from the 2009 season and two
players on Boston’s 40-man roster: last night’s starting pitcher LHP Felix Doubront and SS Jose Iglesias…The Sea Dogs have four of
Boston’s Top 10 prospects according to Baseball America.

HE KID AT SHORT: Iglesias (20-years old) went 2-for-4 in his professional debut,
nailing a double off Worley in the fifth inning...The Cuban defector scored twice
and stole a base in the eighth inning.

TWO DEBUTS IN RELIEF: RHP Eammon
Portice
and RHP Jason Rice made
their Double-A debuts in last night’s game…Portice relieved Doubront in the sixth
inning and worked two innings to secure a hold…Rice fired a perfect ninth
inning to preserve the win…LHP Andrew
Dobies
allowed three hits and one run in one inning of work.


CASEY AT-BAT…NOT ANYMORE
: RHP Casey
Kelly
is scheduled to pitch the series opener Monday at New Britain…The
former 30th overall pick in the 2008 draft split last season as
pitcher and shortstop…Kelly hit a combined .222 (36-for-162) with 3 homers and
16 RBI for Greenville and the GCL Red Sox in 2009…For his career, the Florida
native hit .219 (64-for-292) with 4 homers in 29 RBI’s…His father, Pat Kelly, played 13 years of pro ball,
making his Major League debut for the Blue Jays in 1980…His cousin, Dustin,
played in 25 games with the Sea Dogs in parts of two seasons (2004 & 2006).

________________________________________

I have received many emails about the audio for the online broadcasts today.  The Sea Dogs do not control how the games are streamed, that is something that Minor League Baseball sets up.  This year, they have partnered with a new company called AIC, which handles the streaming of the games.  I’m not sure if the games will be archived this year.  I’ll try and find out.

This morning I joined the Fox Morning Show in Portland, Maine to recap last night’s opener here in Reading.  As I broadcaster, I learned the hard way back in 2003 when I wasn’t ready for a home run to lead-off the game.  I will be completely honest, usually I’m anticipating one, but last night, I was not.  The first four guys in the Portland lineup went deep and Felix Doubront retired the final 11 batters faced to earn the win for the ‘Dogs.

Tonight Ryne Miller will make the start for the Sea Dogs.  I will have more news and notes later on.

First road trip has officially started

6:23 PM…Just arrived in Reading, PA, we left early this morning, so we could get a good night’s rest for tomorrow night’s opener against the R-Phils.

I’ll have more later.
9:24 PM…Felix Doubront has officially been named the opening day starter for the Portland Sea Dogs.  Doubront is a member of Boston’s 40-man roster and was the Sea Dogs’ 2009 Pitcher of the Year.  RHP Vance Worley gets the starting nod for the Reading Phillies…A couple of minor league transactions took place today.  1B Mike Jones and C Ty Weeden were released by the Red Sox.  Jones received a lot of playing time with the Sea Dogs during spring training.
I’ll have a full report tomorrow leading up to Opening Night!
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