The Reno Aces finished up a 4-game road trip yesterday at Tucson, and will begin another 8-game homestand at Aces Ballpark starting tonight. The Fresno Grizzlies start off the homestand, and entered Monday’s action in last place in the Pacific Coast League Pacific South division. At 34-37 overall, the Grizzlies trail the division leading Sacramento River Cats by 6.5 games.
Fresno is 16-16 this season away from Chukchansi Park, and have a 18-21 record at home. First basemen Brett Pill leads the team’s offense with a .353 batting average, and has already made a couple trips to the big leagues with the San Francisco Giants. Along with his team leading average, Pill has produced 10 home runs and 51 RBIs in 150 Triple-A at bats.
As a team, the Grizzlies have three batters with double digit home runs. Pill (10), catcher Johnny Monell (12), and outfielder Roger Kieschnick (10) lead the powerful Fresno hitting brigade.
While the team packs a powerful lineup, they haven’t fared as well on the mound, as their team ERA of 4.95 ranks 12th in the Pacific Coast League. Starting pitcher Shane Loux leads the Fresno rotation with a 5-2 record, and a 4.09 ERA. Chris Heston, Mike Kickham, and Boof Bonser round out the team’s staff, and all sit with ERAs over 5.00.
In the month of June, Fresno has gotten off to a rough start, and stand at 5-10 overall. The team began the month with four consecutive losses, as they suffered a four game sweep at home to the Las Vegas 51s. Tonight’s series opener in Reno will be the beginning of eight consecutive games away from Chukchansi Park. They close out June with a 4-game set at home against the Salt Lake Bees.
Jacobs recorded at least one hit in all seven games last week, including six multi-hit games. The veteran first baseman hit an incredible .567 (17-for-34) with four home runs and three doubles. He paced the league with 17 hits, 32 total bases and 13 RBI. Jacobs’ week was highlighted by a streak of four consecutive games with a home run starting on Thursday at home against Sacramento and continuing through three games in Tucson. The record for consecutive games with at least one home run is seven, set by Claude Westmoreland (Albuquerque, 1977) and Dallas McPherson (Albuquerque, 2008).
Born in Chula Vista, California, Jacobs was drafted by the New York Mets in the 38th round of the 1999 draft. After six years in the minor leagues, Jacobs made his Major League debut with the Mets on August 21, 2005. He has played parts of seven seasons in the Majors for four different clubs, most recently in 2012 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. After a brief stint with the Oaxaca Guerreros of the Mexican League earlier this year, the Diamondbacks signed Jacobs to a minor league deal on June 4 and assigned him to Reno. In 12 games for the Aces, Jacobs has hit .438 with five home runs and 15 RBI.
On July 19, 1910, the governor of the U.S. state of Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Father’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
Families often spend Father’s Day with a barbecue in the backyard, going out for brunch, or just simply spending time with dad throughout the day. Another great way to spend today is going out, and enjoying a game of catch with your father!
No matter how you spend Father’s Day, be sure to thank your dad for everything he does, and most importantly…HAVE FUN!
After guiding the Reno Aces to the Triple-A Championship title in only the fourth year of the team’s existence, former Major League All-Star Brett Butler returned as manager of the Reno Aces in 2013 for the fifth-straight season.
Since 2009, Butler has guided the Aces to the third-best record in the Pacific Coast League, recording a 306-268 (.533) overall mark.
The 2013 campaign marks Butler’s ninth season in the Arizona organization, including his seventh stint as a manger in the D-backs chain. He spent the 2005 season at the Major League level, serving as first base coach for a Bob Melvin-led Diamondbacks squad that finished second in the National League West. Butler managed Single-A Lancaster in 2006, and Double-A Mobile a year later. In 2008, Butler served as Arizona’s Minor League outfield and base running coordinator.
Butler’s passion for the game of baseball, and his dedication to the Reno community has made him a fan-favorite since 2009. Everyone within the Aces family wishes him a very happy 56th birthday!
This special day commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777. One of the longest-running Flag Day parades is held annually in Quincy, Massachusetts, which began in 1952.
The entry in the journal of the Continental Congress 1774-1789 Vol. VIII 1777 reads “Resolved that the flag of the thirteen United States be Thirteen stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
Whether it’s waving the American Flag on your front porch, or showing off your favorite sports team’s flag (like the Reno Aces!), be sure to celebrate flag day today with friends and family!
One of the newest members of the Aces roster is RHP Brett Lorin (@TheBuildingBL), a 6-foot-7 reliever who hails from California. The 26-year-old began the season with Double-A Mobile, going 5-0 with a 2.45 ERA (6 ER in 22.0 IP) across 14 relief appearances for the Bay Bears.
“I had a feeling I was going back to Mobile after last year,” said Lorin, who went 3-10 with a 6.40 ERA (73 ER in 102.2 IP) in 2012. “But, I wanted to make sure I had a way better year than last year and prove people wrong.
“That was my mindset coming into Spring Training. I wanted to change people’s perceptions about me from last year. I’m glad I’ve done that so far, and I want to continue it.”
The D-backs acquired Lorin from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft, but he was originally selected as a fifth round draft pick by the Seattle Mariners in 2008.
“It was really exciting, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me,” said Lorin, regarding the Rule-5 Draft experience. “I was hoping that the Pirates would protect me and put me on the 40-man, but they didn’t.”
Lorin then became hopeful he would have a shot of getting picked up by a new team, following avery successful 2011 season. He went 7-6 with a 2.84 ERA (37 ER in 117.1 IP) for Class-A Advanced Bradenton, and was named a Florida State League midseason All-Star for his efforts there. Across 25 games (17 starts), Lorin recorded 99 strikeouts for the Marauders.
“I had a pretty good year in 2011, so I thought I had a shot,” he said. “And, I did.
“My first big league camp was awesome, and I learned a lot. I’m glad to still be here with the Diamondbacks.”
Switching organizations is not always readily accepted from players, but Lorin noted he is grateful for the experience.
“Some guys stay their whole career with one organization,” he said. “I’m glad I’ve gotten to see how different organizations work, and I like this one the best.”
Lorin shined for the Aces in his Triple-A debut on Tuesday night, throwing 2.0 perfecting innings of relief. He recorded three strikeouts along the way, and was credited with a hold.
“I just wanted to get my first outing out of the way, and put those scoreless innings up,” said Lorin. “I was glad I was able to do that, and I’m happy with the way it went.”
The Pacific Coast League is notorious for being hitter-friendly, and Lorin was no stranger to that information.
“I heard all about that, so definitely it was in the back of my mind,” he said. “I was just trying to get ground balls and keep the ball down.
“If you do get the ball in the air, hopefully it just doesn’t go out.”
Following the 2012 season, Lorin had the unique opportunity to participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifiers. As a member of Team Israel, his squad took on South Africa and Spain last September at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida.
“That was something that I never thought I would ever experience,” said Lorin about the WBC. “It was great—everybody was playing for the country and not for themselves.
“We had a lot of support, a lot of feedback, from Jewish American people all over the place.”
Team Israel featured just three players from Israel, with Jewish-American Minor Leaguers completing the roster. The squad was victorious in their first two games, but a 9-7 loss to Spain in the third game eliminated them.
Still, the experience is one Lorin remembers fondly.
“Every pitch mattered, because we were trying to quality to get into the tournament,” said Lorin. “It was just a hectic couple days.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get there, but it was still fun.”
The Aces look forward to having Lorin as part of the team, and he is ready for the rest of the season.
“I just want to keep pounding the strike zone as much as I can, and throw quality strikes,” he said. “Just get as many people out as possible.”
Double-A Mobile BayBears
Entering play today, the BayBears are 35-29 (.547) are are tied for first in the Southern League South division. Mobile shares the top of the division with the Mississippi Braves (Atlanta Braves affiliate). The BayBears are an impressive 20-15 at home, but only stand one game above .500 on the road (15-14).
Mobile’s pitching staff continues to lead their team, with a team ERA of 3.12. Archie Bradley (1.34), David Holmberg (2.57), and Bradin Hagens (2.69) pace the BayBears starters with sub 3.00 ERAs. Bradley has continued his dominant 2013 campaign, after getting the promotion from Class-A Visalia. For the season, Bradley is a combined 7-1 with a stellar 1.31 ERA, and 90 strikeouts in 75.2 innings pitched.
Advanced-A Visalia Rawhide
Visalia joins the BayBears with a successful start to the season, and currently sit at 35-29 (.547) overall. The Rawhide are tied for 2nd place in the California League Northern Division, and only trail the San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants affiliate).
First basemen Ryan Court highlights the team’s lineup, with a .333 batting average, 7 home runs, and 22 RBI in just 120 at-bats. Third basemen Jake Lamb leads the team in home runs with 8, while outfielder Tom Belza paces the Rawhide in RBI (31).
Single-A South Bend Silver Hawks
While Mobile and Visalia’s starts to the season has been impressive, they still trail the Silver Hawks, as they are 42-20 (.677) and lead the Midwest League Eastern division by 3.0 games. South Bend is 20-12 at home, and also has an incredible 22-8 record away from Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium.
Third basemen Brandon Drury leads the Silver Hawks in every major hitting category (.321 BA, 10 HR, 46 RBI), as he continues to impress since being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Drury was part of the deal that sent outfielder Justin Upton and infielder Chris Johnson to the Atlanta Braves. Along with Drury, Arizona received RHP Randall Delgado and RHP Zeke Spruill, who are current members of the Reno Aces roster.
The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) selected eight additional players in rounds 3-10 of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft today, according to D-backs’ Director, Scouting Ray Montgomery. Of the D-backs’ first 11 picks over the first two days, they have selected one catcher, two infielders, three outfielders, four right-handed pitchers and one left-handed pitcher. Yesterday, the D-backs selected University of Nevada right-handed pitcher Braden Shipley in the First Round (15th overall), Marshall University right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair in the Competitive Balance Round-A (36th overall) and Terrebonne High School (Houma, La.) outfielder Justin Williams in the Second Round.
“Today we continued to target position-specific, athletic players and I think we definitely accomplished that,” said Montgomery. “We worked to bring in good-character guys and players we know will take their work seriously. We were able to select a mix of high school players who are ready to start their careers and college players who are ready for the next level.”
Today’s selections of note include:
- Infielder Daniel Palka (Third Round, 88th overall) garnered 2013 All-Atlantic Coastal Conference First-Team honors after batting .342 (81-for-237) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 66 RBI. The Collegiate Baseball Third-Team All-American was rated by Baseball America as the ninth-best college outfielder in the draft.
- Outfielder Matt McPhearson (Fourth Round, 120th overall), a University of Miami, Fla. recruit, was named a 2013 Rawlings Second-Team All-American. The 2012 Under Armour All-American, is rated by ESPN as the No. 62 overall prospect and by Baseball America as the 13th-best centerfielder in the draft.
- Infielder Jamie Westbrook (Fifth Round, 150th overall), a Chandler, Ariz. high school standout, batted .434 with 6 home runs, 13 RBI and 17 runs scored. The D-backs Elite Scout Team participant has committed to play at Pepperdine University.
- Outfielder Colin Bray (Sixth Round, 180th overall) is rated by PerfectGame.Org as the No. 1 junior college prospect in the draft. He batted .444 with 8 doubles, 4 triples, 3 home runs, 32 RBI, 60 runs scored and 23 stolen bases this season.
- Left-handed pitcher Daniel Gibson (Seventh Round, 210th overall) appeared in 32 games for the Gators, going 2-1 with a 4.42 ERA (19 ER in 38.2 IP) and 31 strikeouts. He is ranked by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect in the state of Florida.
- Right-handed pitcher Brad Keller (Eighth Round, 240th overall) was named to the Georgia Region-8 5A All-Region First-Team and garnered Second-Team pitcher of the Year honors. He is committed to play at Presbyterian College.
- Catcher Grant Nelson (Ninth Round, 270th overall) batted .338 (77-for-228) with 8 doubles 3 triples, 5 home runs and 32 RBI for the Bilikens and was added to the 2013 Johnny Bench Award Watch List during the year.
- Right-handed pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (10th round, 300th overall) went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA (10 ER in 40.0 IP) with 21 saves for the Ducks and is a finalist for the 2013 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award for the second consecutive year.
The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) selected right-handed pitcher Aaron Blair (@A_Blair19) from Marshall University with the 36th selection in the Competitive Balance Round A and outfielder Justin Williams out of Terrebonne High School (Houma, La.) with the 52nd selection in the Second Round in today’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, according to D-backs’ Director, Scouting Ray Montgomery.
Blair, 21, went 5-5 with a 2.85 ERA (26 ER in 82.0 IP) with 84 strikeouts and 36 walks in 2013. He was named to the USA Baseball preseason and midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List and garnered All-Conference USA First-Team accolades after tossing 10 quality starts this season. Blair earned NCBWA & Louisville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week honors after tossing an 8.0 innings while allowing only 2 hits against No. 19 Houston on April 6 and was named C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors twice (March 25 & April 8). Ranked by Baseball America as the 11th-best college pitcher, Blair was previously drafted by the Astros in the 21st round of the 2010 draft but did not sign.
Williams, 17, batted .333 (22-for-66) with 7 doubles, 4 home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored and 8 stolen bases this season. He earned Louisville Slugger and Collegiate Baseball preseason All-American accolades and was recently named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Associated 5A All-State Team. Williams participated in the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic at PETCO Park and the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field, winning each showcase’s home run derby. He has committed to Louisiana State University.
Rounds 3-10 will take place on Friday starting at 10 a.m. PT and Rounds 11-40 on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT.
Infielder Ryan Wheeler enjoyed a stand-out season with Reno in 2012, his first stint at the Triple-A level.
The lefty went 127×362 (.351) before he was called-up to join the D-backs on July 20. Although he did not play in the Pacific Coast League past that date, he finished the season ranked third among all PCL batters in RBI (90), second in batting average (.351) and fifth in slugging percentage (.572).
“It was the best time I’ve had playing baseball,” said Wheeler about his 2012 season with the Aces, during which he was named a Triple-A All-Star.
The California native was traded to the Colorado Rockies last November, for LHP Matt Reynolds, and he has spent time with the Rockies and Triple-A Colorado Springs to begin this season.
This series marks the second time Wheeler has been back to Aces Ballpark since the trade.
“This place is really the best place to play,” he said. “As far as a Triple-A experience, you’re not going to get better than the Aces.
“How well you’re taken care of with the restaurants [at the Freight House District], and the staff you deal with on a day-to-day basis is top-notch.”
While Wheeler enjoyed his time with Reno, he is glad to have become a part of the Rockies.
“The energy in the Rockies organization is awesome,” said Wheeler. “It’s led by [Manager] Walt Weiss, Tulo [short stop Troy Tulowitzki] and CarGo [left fielder Carlos Gonzalez]. The way those guys carry themselves on the field makes you feel comfortable.
“Just seeing how those guys interact with every player, no matter how much [Major League] time you have, how much money you make…it’s really awesome.”
Good luck to Ryan with the rest of the season!