After having their last two games postponed due to cold weather, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (10-7) will head to Arizona to face the Tucson Padres (9-10) for the second time this season.
Last Time Out:
Sky Sox (4/21): Against the Las Vegas 51s the Sox recorded their fourth walk-off win of the year when Tyler Colvin hit a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the 51s 8-7.
Tucson (4/23): The Padres faced the Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday and only managed six hits and lost their tenth game of the year, 4-2. The loss also snapped their six-game winning streak.
Season Series (2-1 Sky Sox):
The two teams first played each other in early April at Security Service Field. The teams were scheduled to play a four-game series, but only managed to play three games due to snow and cold. The first game was played on April 8th and only lasted five innings because of high winds. The Padres managed to get the win in the shortened game by scoring 14 runs. Shortstop Dean Anna led the way with four RBIs and left fielder Travis Buck added three.
Two days later both teams returned to Security Service Field to play in a doubleheader. Colorado Springs managed to sweep the doubleheader in dramatic fashion. In game one the contest was deadlocked at four entering the bottom of the seventh when Ryan Wheeler hit his first home run of the year to give the Sky Sox the 5-4 win. The Sky Sox had their second walk-off hit in the second game when Charlie Blackmon unleashed a two-run triple to win 4-3.
The Tucson Padres enter this series ranked tenth in the PCL in average at .279. Despite their low average the Padres are tied for first in the league in doubles at 49 and have struck out only 117 times which is the lowest amount in the league.
Offensively the team is led by Travis Buck who has a team-high 17 RBIs and eight doubles. Centerfielder Daniel Robertson is also off to a great start for Tucson. The 27-year old leads the team in average (.347), runs (18), triples (2) and stolen bases (7).
Reliever Brad Boxberger is also off to a good start. The righty has a 3.27 ERA, three saves and 17 strikeouts in eight games.
Sky Sox Notes:
POSTPONED: April 22nd’s and April 23rd’s postponement was the team’s third and fourth postponed games this month. The last time the Sky Sox had this many postponements in April was in 2007, when they had five.
TRANSACTIONS: On 4/21, the Rockies’ recalled RHP Rob Scahill from Colorado Springs. Scahill has pitched in 12.2 innings for the Sky Sox and is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA, one save and 13 strikeouts. RHP Justin Berg was added from Extended Spring Training on 4/22 and is expected to join the starting rotation. On April 24, the Rockies optioned Scahill back down and recalled RHP Tyler Chatwood who was 1-0 with a 1.84 ERA with the Sky Sox. The Rockies also called up INF Ryan Wheeler on April 25, and added OF Greg Golson to the Sky Sox roster from Tri-City.
STREAKIN’: Outfielder Corey Dickerson has started off his first season at the Triple-A level in grand fashion having hit safely in a team-high 15 straight games. Dickerson’s 15-game hit streak is the longest by any Sky Sox player in team history to start a season. It is also the longest by any player in their first 15 games as a member of the Sky Sox. During that span, he has hit .389 (21-for-54) with two homers, three triples, three doubles, 10 runs and seven RBIs. He has also gotten a hit in five different spots in the lineup and has gone 3-for-3 as a pinch-hitter.
4/25 @ TUC CSP LH Drew Pomeranz (2-0, 3.31)
7:05 PM MST TUC RH Keyvius Sampson (0-0. 3.07)
4/26 @ TUC CSP RH Justin Berg (NR)
7:05 PM MST TUC RH Tim Stauffer (1-1, 5.09)
4/27 @ TUC CSP RH Aaron Cook (0-2, 11.68)
7:05 PM MST TUC RH Sean O’Sullivan (1-1. 5.40)
4/28 @ TUC CSP RH Chris Volstad (0-0, 6.75)
1:05 PM MST TUC RH Thad Weber (2-0, 0.82)
On Tuesday, May 19th, the Dominican Republic became the first country other than Japan to take home the World Baseball Classic Trophy by defeating Puerto Rico, 3-0, in the championship game. Yankees’ second baseman Robinson Cano was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, but several former Sky Sox players also had a hand in the Dominican Republic’s victory.
2009 and 2010 Sky Sox pitcher Samuel Deduno was a key piece for the Dominican squad. In the final game the former Colorado Springs’ starter pitched five scoreless innings and struck out five batters.
While in the Rockies’ organization, Deduno was named the Texas League pitcher of the year for the Tulsa Drillers. That year Deduno only started in one game for the Sox, but in 2010 started in six games for Colorado Springs. In those six starts the righty went 3-1 with a 2.93 ERA and had 29 strikeouts. The other former Sky Sox players who were on the winning squad were pitcher Pedro Strop and infielder Denny Gonzalez, who served as a coach for the Dominican Republic. Strop dressed for the Sky Sox in 2008, but never played in a game for the team. Unlike Strop, Gonzalez played a full year for the Sky Sox. In 1989 the infielder hit .288 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs.
After the World Baseball Classic, the Rockies signed another player who played an important role in the championship game. Thirty-five year old pitcher Giancarlo Alvarado was signed to a minor league deal by the Rockies after having a successful stint with Puerto Rico in the WBC. Alvarado was the starting pitcher opposite Deduno in the championship game, but only made it through one inning and gave up two runs in the loss.
Some other notable former Sky Sox players who have played in the World Baseball Classic are:
- Huston Street, Matt Holliday (2006 United States)
- Ubaldo Jimenez, Willy Taveras (2009 Dominican Republic)
- Kazuo Matsui (2013 Japan)
- Jhoulys Chacin, Ramon Hernandez, Carlos Gonzalez (2013 Venezuela)
Now that the WBC is over it means that Opening Day is almost here! Here are some news and notes from the second to last week of Spring Training.
- After last Friday’s win against the Reds, the Rockies struggled, dropping three straight. Colorado began to right the ship on Monday with a 7-2 victory against Kansas City and followed that up with a 10-4 win against San Fransisco on the 21st.
- Former Sky Sox player, and top prospect, Drew Pomeranz out dueled Giants’ ace Matt Cain on Thrusday, only allowing three runs in five innings and striking out four. In four starts during spring training Pomeranz has a 5.50 ERA.
- Outfielder Corey Dickerson continued to have a good spring training this week when he smacked two doubles against the Royals. The 2012 Doug Million Minor League Rockie-of-the-Year has hit .409 with one home run and eight RBIs in 22 at-bats for the team.
The Sky Sox opening day game against the Reno Aces, is less than three weeks away and the Rockies are beginning to shape their roster for the upcoming season. On Monday, March 11, the Rox made a series of roster moves that included optioning nine players down to minor league camp including:
Right-handed pitchers (3): Chad Bettis, Parker Frazier, Dan Houston.
Left-handed pitcher (2): Tyler Anderson, Erick Threets.
Catchers (1): Lars Davis.
Infielders (1): Cristhian Adames.
Outfielder (2): Rafael Ortega, Kyle Parker.
- Pitchers Frazier, Houston, Threets and catcher Lars Davis were non-roster invitees to camp and Christian Adames and Rafael Ortega were on the 40-man roster to begin Spring Training and were optioned down.
- Out of those nine players, Rafael Ortega saw the most action in spring training. In eight games the 21-year old had three hits in six at-bats and two walks. Ortega made his Major League debut late last year, but spent the majority of the time with the Modesto Nuts where he hit .283 with 36 stolen bases.
- The Rockies continued their strong spring training by winning three out of their five games this past week.
- This past week also marked the beginning of Minor League camp. On Thursday, the Rockies and the Diamondbacks played a Double-A game and a Triple-A game. Both games featured players in the minor league camp as well as players still on the big league roster. Juan Nicasio was the star of the Triple-A game for Colorado as he went 4.2 innings and only gave up two hits.
- The Triple-A game also saw the return of 2012 Sox outfielder Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon has been kept out of action since March 1st because of an infected cut on his knee. In his return he went 1-6 with a walk.
- The Rockies’ next five games are:
- 3/15 vs. Reds 8:05 pm MDT
- 3/16 vs. Mariners 2:10 pm MDT
- 3/17 vs. Giants 4:15 pm MDT
- 3/18 vs. Reds 8:10 pm MDT
- 3/19 vs. Royals 2:05 pm MDT
There is less than one month to go until opening day and the Sky Sox are getting ready for the season. Last weekend the team held their annual National Anthem Tryouts at the Chapel Hills Mall. The tryouts featured over 100 participants competing for a chance to sing the Anthem on April 4. The runner-up will sing “God Bless America” on July 4 and the finishers in the top-ten will receive a free singing lesson from the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Winners will be announced sometime in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned to skysox.com and our Facebook page for updates.
Besides being a busy week for the staff it was also a busy week for the Colorado Rockies. Here are some updates from Spring Training.
- Top Rockies’ prospect Nolan Arenado continues to impress. The third baseman is currently slated to begin the year with the Sox, but his strong Spring Training leads some to believe he might be ready for a spot on the Rockies’ Opening Day roster. Arenado has only played in seven games, but is tied for the lead in home runs with four and leads the Rockies in slugging percentage at 1.235.
- In 2007, pitcher Jeff Francis started in 34 games and won 17 games for the Rockies. Since then Francis has only won 20 games in 101 starts. The lefty is looking to reinvigorate his career and is off to a good start this spring. In nine innings Francis has yet to give up a run and has only allowed six hits.
- Since the last Spring Training update on 2/28, the Rockies have gone 3-2 with wins against the Brewers, Cubs and Team USA.
- On Wednesday, March 6, the Rockies found themselves down five runs in the ninth inning against Team USA before hitting seven straight singles to take the lead and win the game. Colorado began the rally against Rockies’ pitcher Nick Schmidt who was loaned to Team USA from Colorado. Catcher Lars Davis then drove in the game winning run against another Rockie, Logan Kensing.
- The Rockies’ next five games are:
- 3/9 vs. Angels 1:05 pm MST
- 3/10 vs. Dodgers 1:10 pm MST
- 3/11 vs. White Sox 1:05 pm MST
- 3/12 vs. D-backs 1:10 pm MST
- 3/13 vs. Cubs 1:05 pm MST
On Saturday, February 23, the Rockies played their first Spring Training game of the 2013 season. Here are some quick notes about the first week of games.
- The Colorado Rockies are six games into their Spring Training schedule and are off to a 4-2 start. The Rockies’ four wins have been against the Diamondbacks, Rangers, Cubs, and Reds.
- Yesterday was the Rockies’ first of their six split-squad games of Spring Training. The Rox won the game, defeating the Padres 6-3.
- In the team’s six games they have scored 38 runs while only allowing 21 runs.
- Four of the five players who have hit home runs for the Rockies this spring are listed on MLB.com’s list of the top Rockies’ prospects. This includes 3B Nolan Arenado (#2 on the list), OF Tim Wheeler (#7), 2B Charlie Culberson (#14) and OF Corey Dickerson (#16).
- 2012 Sky Sox right-fielder Charlie Blackmon has gotten off to a hot start this spring, smacking three hits in five at-bats and scoring two runs.
- Another 2012 Sky Sox player that has played well to start spring training is pitcher Edgmer Escalona. The right-hander has appeared in two games and has struck out five batters in three innings while only allowing one run.
- The Rockies’ next five games are:
3/1 vs. Brewers 1:10 pm MST
3/2 vs. A’s 1:05 pm MST
3/3 vs. A’s 1:10 pm MST
3/4 vs. Mariners 1:05 pm MST
3/5 vs. Cubs 1:10 pm MST
This past weekend was very busy for Sox the Fox and the Sky Sox. The Sky Sox started off the weekend by attending the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Fashion Show at the Macy’s at Chapel Hills Mall. The fashion show featured people of all ages wearing red to promote awareness for heart disease.
The next day fans could find the Sky Sox at Prospect Lake and the Air Force Academy. Sox the Fox headed to Prospect Lake to support the Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge! While Sox didn’t plunge he did cheer on the participants as they dove into the icy cold water.
The third event the Sky Sox attended last weekend was the San Diego State vs. Air Force basketball game. Air Force fans packed Clune Arena and saw the Falcons knock off the #22 ranked Aztecs 70-67.
The Sky Sox’ next event that they will be at is the Colorado Springs RV, Sport & Outdoor Show at the Colorado Springs Event Center. The Sox will be there all three days, February 15-17, so make sure to come out and stop by their booth for a chance to win four free tickets to opening weekend, April 4-7!
In a little over two months the Colorado Springs Sky Sox will take the field for their first game of the 2013 season. In preparation for the upcoming season Sox the Fox and the Sky Sox staff have been busy attending various events in the community.
Just last week Sox made an appearance at the Home and Landscaping Show at the Colorado Springs Event Center.
At the event the Sky Sox had a prize wheel and were giving out free Sky Sox merchandise to hundreds of fans!
This week the Sky Sox also hosted their first VIP Luncheon. The VIP Luncheon provides the Sky Sox with an opportunity to showcase the ball park and their hospitality options to local groups and organizations.
The Sky Sox will also be out at several events this weekend. Here is the schedule on when and where you can find the Sky Sox this weekend!
2/1 American Heart Association Fashion Show at the Chapel Hills Mall (5:00-7:30)
2/2 Special Olympics Polar Bear Plunge (10:30 -2:00)
2/2 Air Force vs San Diego State MBB game. (Game starts at noon)
2012 SEASON REVIEW: The Sky Sox have already posted the seventh most wins in team history at 75, and the 12th winning season in the Sky Sox 25-year history. The Sky Sox set team records for strikeouts in a season with 1070 and counting, while also setting a new high in team doubles 344 and counting (good for the most in the PCL this season). Andrew Brown (98, tied for 9th most in Sox history) and Matt McBride (87) have combined for the most RBI of any two players on a PCL team with 185 between the two PCL All-Stars (while the Sox will likely be the only team to have three players with 80 or more RBI this season with Chad Tracy’s 81 RBI). The Sky Sox set a new team record with five players with 30 or more doubles this season, and McBride and Tracy became only the second pair of teammates to both collect at least 38 doubles in the same season in Sox history.
SCAHILL THE TRUE SKY SOX: Sky Sox starting pitcher Rob Scahill has been the only pitcher for Colorado Springs that has been on the roster from the start of the 2012 season until today. Scahill set the new individual record for strikeouts in a season with 151 and counting, the first time a Sox pitcher has eclipsed more than 140 strikeouts in a season. Scahill will tie the record of 29 starts set by Joe Skalski in the Sox inauguaral season with today’s outing, and Scahill can become the 23rd pitcher in Sox history to win ten games in a season if he can pull off the win in today’s season finale.
BIG MAC: Sky Sox utility player Matt McBride can become the tenth player in team history to post a season average of .340 or more if he can notch one hit in today’s season finale (even if he goes 1-for-5), and his batting average no matter the outcome of today’s game will be the highest since Garrett Atkins posted the highest average in team history at .366 during the 2004 season. McBride is just the seventh player in team history to collect 40 or more doubles in a season in Sox history. McBride leads the Sox in doubles (40) and is tied for the team lead in triples with Tommy Field (6), and could become only the second player in team history to lead both categories in a season (Geronimo Berroa in 1991).
HUMIDOR REVIEW: The Sky Sox 2012 season started with the installation of the Minor League’s first humidor, and this season the Sox will allow less than 130 homers for the first time since 1995, they could post a top ten team ERA in franchise history (they are currently tenth in team history with a 5.07 ERA). Dating back to the 2005 season, the Sky Sox have given up more than 63 homers at Security Service Field (they are currently at 49 homers allowed at home). The Sox are currently at their fourth lowest homer total in team history at 107.
SOX SET ATTENDANCE RECORDS: With the 8,798 fans in attendance for yesterday’s win, the largest crowd of the season, the Sky Sox have already set a new average attendance record with their 68 total openings this season. The crowds for the last two games, 8,790 and 8,798 respectively, have been the largest back-to-back crowds in team history. Also from 1988-2009 there were a total of 20 games over 8,000, but over the last three seasons there have been 19 games over 8,000 (nine this season, a new team record).
NEW DOUBLES RECORD: With three doubles in last night’s win, the Sky Sox set a new team single season record for doubles with 342 on the year and counting, passing the previous mark of 340 set in the 2004 season (a team that featured three players with 40+ doubles: Garrett Atkins (43), Clint Barmes (42) and Andy Tracy (42)). With his double last night, Matt McBride became the third player in the league to reach 40 doubles and only the seventh player in Sky Sox history to collect 40 or more doubles in a season. The Sky Sox have a team record five players with 30 or more doubles on the 2012 team, while Chad Tracy’s 38 doubles ranks ninth all-time in team history.
CASTILLO FINISHING STRONG: Sky Sox catcher Wilkin Castillo notched his second three-hit game in his last three starts (and third of the season) in last night’s win while collecting three RBI, and Castillo has 20 RBI in his last 19 starts. Since the start of August, Castillo is batting .318 (22-for-69) with 14 runs scored and nine extra-base hits (including all three of his triples this season) while more than doubling his RBI total after only having 14 RBI in April through July. Castillo has raised his average from .229 at the start of August to .257.
HARRIS’ STELLAR SECOND HALF: Sky Sox third baseman Brendan Harris collected another multi-hit game last night, and since the second half began on the July 12 Harris is batting .364 (60-for-165) which ranks second in the league only behind Adam Eaton’s .376 average during that same span. Harris leads all PCL players with 19 doubles since the All-Star Break, ranks second in the PCL in runs scored with 41 runs (Omaha’s Irving Falu has 42 runs) and has the second most extra-base hits with 25 (Albuquerque’s Scott Van Slyke has 26). Harris is one of three players who have posted an OPS of over 1.000 at 1.019 (the others former Isotopes slugger Jerry Sands and the Sox Charlie Blackmon).
BIG MAN BERGMANN: Sky Sox reliever Jason Bergmann came in with two men on and none out and held on for the Sox win by retiring three of the four batters he faced for his fourth save of the season. In his last 13.2 innings, Bergmann has allowed only one earned run (and two total runs) while totaling 18 strikeouts over those 13.2 innings. Bergmann led all Sky Sox relievers in strikeouts (18) in the month of August and three of Bergmann’s four saves have come in his last ten appearances.
TULO LOVES THE SPRINGS: Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki homered for the second time in as many games with the Sky Sox this season with his game-tying solo shot in yesterday’s loss, and in his five at-bats in Colorado Springs this year he has reached base in four (good for an OPS of 2.800 this season for the Sox). Since his first appearance with the Sky Sox in 2008, Tulowitzki has scored a run in five of the six games he has played in Colorado Springs and has a batting average of .500 (8-for-16) with 4 RBI.
SOX STRIKEOUT HISTORY: With Rob Scahill striking out eight River Cats in last night’s loss, the 2012 Sky Sox have now set a new franchise record for team strikeouts in a season with 1,049 on the year. Scahill continues to add to his own personal single season record for the Sky Sox, and became the first player in team history to top 150 strikeouts in a season with his 151 punch-outs this year. The Sky Sox rank fourth in the PCL with their strikeout total, while Sacramento became the first team in the PCL to reach 1,100 strikeouts with their five last night.
CULBERSON CONTINUES HOT STREAK: Sky Sox second baseman Charlie Culberson had two hits in last night’s loss, extending his team-high hitting streak to 11 games (tied with DJ LeMahieu for the fourth longest hitting streak by a Sky Sox player this season). In his 25 games with the Sky Sox this season, Culberson has reached base in 22 games, and his 31 hits in the month of August for the Sox rank second on the team behind Tim Wheeler’s 33 hits. Culberson has 32 hits since joining the Sox, after only having 14 hits in his final 24 games with the Fresno Grizzlies.
RARE LOSS FOR THE SOX: Last night’s ninth inning rally by the River Cats handed the Sky Sox only their second loss of the season when leading after the eighth inning, and only their second home loss this season when leading after the seventh inning. The Sky Sox came in to the game last night with a record of 54-9 when holding their opponent to four runs or less, and it was the first loss for the Sox this year against Sacramento when holding the R-Cats to less than five runs.