The Rockies have announced that Sky Sox reliever Bruce Billings has been traded to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Mark Ellis and cash consideration.
Billings was the Sky Sox leader in wins so far this season with six. It remains to be seen what kind of impact this will have on second baseman Jonathan Herrera or Eric Young Jr., two players who have seen time at second base this season with the Rockies.
Sky Sox closer Jim Miller has been elected to the 2011 Pacific Coast League All-Star Team the league announced today.
Miller, 28, will be making his first All-Star appearance at the Triple-A level and his third
overall after having also been named to the California League All-Star team in
2005 while playing with Modesto and the Northwest League All-Star in 2004 team
while pitching for Tri-City.
He is currently fourth in the PCL with 11 saves and is tied for the league lead in appearances with 38.
The Rockies organization announced today that infielder Josh Fields was unconditionally released in order to honor an agreement made with the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League. Fields, who had been arguably the Sox best player, had been enjoying an extremely productive season, ranking among the league leaders in average, slugging percentage and runs for much of the season’s first half. He finishes his season with the Sox with a .365 (65-for-178) average with 11 home runs, 20 doubles, 53 runs scored, 45 RBI and a .674 slugging percentage in 50 games.
The loss of Fields is another blow to a Sox offense which has lost Charlie Blackmon, Chris Nelson and Eric Young Jr. already this season.
Here are a few links for your afternoon enjoyment:
- Former NC State QB Russell Wilson commits to Wisconsin
This is relevent for Sky Sox fans as Wilson was the Rockies fourth round draft pick in the 2010 First Year Player Draft and was rated as one of the organization’s top prospects. He was originally planning on sticking with baseball, but has apparently elected to return to football. How this affects Wilson’s future in baseball and in the Rockies organization remains to be seen.
- The 10 Best Managing Jobs In Baseball
In the wake of Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman resigning last week, SI takes a look at the 10 best managing jobs in baseball. The Rockies come in at #8 on the list:
“Payroll is a problem here. (Never greater than $84 million.) But you get a vibrant downtown ballpark, a big homefield advantage, the best spring training facility in baseball, a strong regional fan base, a family atmosphere and amazing stability. Clint Hurdle lasted all or parts of eight seasons with the Rockies despite posting a winning record in only one of them.”
The Sox won their second-straight over the Salt Lake Bees 11-10 Sunday afternoon on the strength of five home runs, including two each by Ian Stewart and Eliezer Alfonzo.
One of Stewart’s bombs was a fifth inning grand slam, his second of the season and fourth in his career with the Sky Sox, becoming the first player to accomplish the feat. All four of Stewart’s grand slams have been on the road (April 17th, 2008 at Las Vegas, May 15th, 2008 at Fresno, April 21st, 2011 at Tacoma, and June 26th, 2011 at Salt Lake). Stewart was previously tied with Cliff Brumbaugh and Alan Cockrell who had three slams each.
The two homers give him 48 career homers with the Sky Sox, moving past Harvey Pulliam into 8th place on the all-time Sky Sox career home run list. Pulliam had 47 homers in his career. Next up on the list in 7th place is Angel Echevarria with 51 homers, followed in 6th place by Joe Koshansky, who had 52 homers. Luis Medina holds the all-time record with 76 homers.
Alfonzo also continued his hot hitting, finished the day 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI. It was Alfonzo’s second multi-home run game in the past five days, as he also smacked two round trippers against Tacoma on 6/22. In his last three games, Alfonzo is hitting .462 (6-for-13) with four home runs, four runs scored and ten RBI.
The Sox will look to make it three-straight against the Bees Monday as Alan Johnson faces off against Ronald Bay. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM MT.
The Sox won their second-straight game against the Tacoma Rainiers last night 9-6 behind three home runs, two off the bat of Eliezer Alfonzo.
Alfonzo hit a three-run shot in the third inning and followed that up with a grand slam in the eighth, giving the Sox a 9-1 lead. He finished the night 3-for-4 with seven RBI.
Mike Jacobs also added a two-run blast, his 12th of the year tying him with Ian Stewart for the team lead.
Perhaps no player in the PCL has produced more in limited playing time then Alfonzo this season. The backup catcher is hitting .338 (22-for-65) with eight home runs, 16 runs scored and 31 RBI in just 24 total appearances including 13 starts.
The Sox are now 14-8 in their last 22 games against Tacoma since 2010 including 5-1 in 2011. Mike Jacobs has thoroughly enjoyed playing against the Rainers this season, hitting .391(9-for-23) with three home runs, five runs scored and eight RBI.
The Sox will look to make it three-straight against the Rainiers Thursday as Edgar Gonzalez (0-1, 6.30) looks for his first win in a Sky Sox uniform. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM MT.
The Sky Sox defeated the Tucson Padres 5-4 in 14-innings last night, with Jordan Pacheco providing the decisive hit with an RBI double in the top of the 14th.
The game marked the sixth time in history that the two teams have gone 13 innings or more and the fourth time a game has gone 14 innings or more. The visiting team has won all six instances. The last occurrence was a 3-1 Sky Sox victory in 14 innings on May 1st, 2007 at Cheney Stadium.
Dexter Fowler tied the PCL and Sky Sox record of five walks in a game. The team record was previously held by Mike McCoy who set the record on August 4th, 2009 at Reno (9-inning game). Two opponents have had five walks in a game against the Sox: Salt Lake’s Brent Brede walked five times against the Sky Sox on August 25th, 1996 in Salt Lake (13-inning game), and Edmonton’s Scott Sheldon walked five times against the Sky Sox on April 24th, 1997 in Edmonton (9-inning game).
Outfielder Dexter Fowler, who had been playing with the Sox on a rehab assignment for the past week, has officially been optioned to the Sky Sox, the team reported Monday. Fowler has struggled since joining the Sox, hitting .093 (3-for-33), while Charlie Blackmon, who was promoted to the Rockies after Fowler suffered an abdominal injury, is hitting .354 (17-for-48).
Fowler previously played in 27 games for the Sox in 2010 , hitting .340 (36-for-106). He was drafted by the Rockies in the 14th round of the 2004 First Year Player Draft.
For the second time in as many days, the Sox lost a heartbreaker to the Tucson Padres. Jim Miller, who was responsible for the loss and blown save in Saturday’s 10-9 loss, picked up his second-straight blown save and loss, allowing three runs in the ninth and turning a 2-0 lead into a 4-2 deficit.
The Sox will look to rebound and split the series in a matinée today starting in just a few minutes (12:35 PM MT). The tarp was taken off the field around 11:00 and it looks like we have a window to play baseball. Check back tomorrow for a recap of the day’s action.
- The Sox took game one against Tucson 7-6 Friday night behind a 3-for-5 performance by Willy Taveras which included a home run and the game-winning single in the eighth.
- Ian Stewart added a solo home run, his 11th of the year, and Jordan Pacheco smacked a bases-clearing, three-run double.
- Taveras extended his hitting streak to 16 games.