Results tagged ‘ Matt Daley ’
Welcome to another season of Sky Sox baseball! The 2011 campaign promises to be an exciting one and we look forward to bringing you a closer look at the happenings in Colorado Springs and beyond.
With the Rockies just a few days away from breaking camp, lets empty the notebook and recap some of the highlights from spring training.
- The surprise (to some) of the spring was catcher/infielder Jordan Pacheco. The budding star was hitting well over .400 for much of camp, finishing at .286 with one homer and 8 RBI, and so impressed the coaching staff that he was one of the final cuts of the spring, despite having never advanced past the Double-A level and playing only 21 games for the Tulsa Drillers last season. His performance has likely earned him the starting nod for the Sky Sox this season.
- The Pacheco situation was fascinating because his presence on the Rockies would have meant they would carry three catchers, a rather rare occurrence for Major League teams.
- Another strong performer from the spring who will begin the year with the Sky Sox is reliever Matt Daley. The decision was a difficult one for Rockies Manager Jim Tracey, who elected to carry a fifth starter instead of an extra reliever. Daley didn’t allow a single earned run all spring over seven appearances and will be a key member of the Sky Sox bullpen.
- The Sky Sox rotation will likely feature a mixture of established Major League veterans and up and coming players. Players with Major League service time including John Maine (Mets), Eric Stults (Dodgers), and Clayton Mortensen (Cardinals, Athletics) will anchor a rotation replete with veteran experience. Mortensen, who won 13 games last season with the Sacramento River Cats, enjoyed a great spring posting a 0.82 ERA over 11 innings.
- Former first round pick Greg Reynolds is rounding back into form after a serious shoulder injury sustained in 2009 and will also begin the season in the Sky Sox rotation.
- Potential outfielders Willy Taveras, Cole Garner and Charlie Blackmon hit .350, .364, and .314 respectively and could prove to be a potent trio for the Sox this season.
- Yesterday, the Rockies acquired third baseman Josh Fields from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Fields is expected to provide depth at the position for the organization and is slated to be the Sky Sox opening day starter at third.
Last night was one of the most amazing baseball experiences that you’ll ever have the good fortune to be witness to. Brandon Hynick’s Perfect Game was truly special to watch and anyone who was there will remember it as just amazing. I’ve seen quite a few special baseball achievements including several cycles (Joe Koshansky’s two in 2009 and Barry Wesson of New Orleans in Nashville in 2002) and the combined no-hitter for the Sky Sox last year (Franklin Morales, Chris George, Matt Daley & Steven Register) but Hynick’s perfecto is by far the best of the best.
Down on the field after the game, Hynick was mobbed by his teammates and inundated by media and fans wanting autographs. Through it all he had the biggest smile on his face that I’ve ever seen. Even though it probably hadn’t sunken in for him yet, he seemed like he was on cloud nine the entire time.
The perfecto was the first ever in the history of Sky Sox baseball and just the ninth in the entire history of the Pacific Coast League’s 100+ years.
For an encore, the Sky Sox welcome into town the Salt Lake Bees for a heated conference battle. Here’s Stu Cole’s lineup for tonight’s game:
Eric Young Jr. – 2B
Mike McCoy – SS
Matt Miller – LF
Matt Murton – RF
Jeff Baker – DH
Dan Ortmeier – 1B
Christian Colonel – 3B
Edwin Bellorin – C
Chris Frey – CF
Jason Hirsh – SP
Three of the top four players in the lineup tonight were name to the PCL’s mid-season All-Star team today. Young Jr., Miller and Murton were all elected as starters to the PCL team with the three elections being the most of any team. A few other teams have three players in the game but not all as starters. McCoy must have been one of the last guys left off the roster but when you’ve only got a limited number of spots to spill someone’s bound to be left off that is more than deserving. McCoy could still be added before the game takes place because there are always injuries and call-ups that could open a spot up for him. For the record, McCoy is ranked among the PCL leaders in average (5th, .340), stolen bases (4th, 26), on-base percentage (2nd, .439) and runs scored (2nd, 64). Those are All-Star numbers.
Joining the Sky Sox today on a Major League rehab assignment is catcher Chris Iannetta. Iannetta becomes the fourth ML rehab player on the Sox roster along with Franklin Morales, Matt Daley and Ryan Speier.
In other roster news, catcher Edwin Bellorin was called up by the Rockies today to take the place of Yorvit Torreabla who has gone home for personal reasons. To replace Bellorin on the roster, the Rockies transfered catcher Austin Rauch from Extended Spring to the Sky Sox. Rauch has not played above Rookie level ball so far in his career having played for Tri-City last year and Casper the two years prior to that. Last season, Rauch hit .200 with four homers and 17 RBI in 49 games.
Here’s Stu Cole’s lineup for tonight’s match-up with the Fresno Grizzlies:
Eric Young Jr. – 2B
Mike McCoy – RF
Kenny Perez – 3B
Matt Miller – LF
Chris Iannetta – C
Mark Bellhorn – 1B
Chris Frey – CF
Jonathan Herrera – SS
Brandon Hynick – SP
A few notes on the lineup today: Carlos Gonzalez is not in the lineup after hitting a ball off his right shin during last night’s game. Gonzalez left the game after popping out later in the at-bat, after hitting a homer and driving in four on the night, but the injury is not serious and he should be back in the lineup soon. With his four RBIs last night, Gonzalez now leads all of baseball with 59 RBIs. Evan Longoria leads the Majors with 55 RBIs.
Starting pitcher Brandon Hynick will be batting ninth in the lineup today as the two National League affiliated teams square off. Normally the pitcher’s spot in the lineup is an easy out but not with Hynick in the there. On the year, Hynick is hitting .417 (5-for-12) with a homer, three doubles and three RBIs. Opposing pitcher Matt Kinney should not take Hynick lightly.
Today’s weather here in Colorado Springs is nothing short of fantastic! The thermometer currently reads 81 degrees and with a slight breeze out to left field the conditions couldn’t be better for baseball. The Colorado Springs Convention & Visitor’s Bureau must be smiling and hoping that weather like this will come around often this summer. For the Sky Sox, it currently makes great weather for some early work. Veteran infielders Kenny Perez and Mark Bellhorn are out early today with skipper Tom Runnells working on their swings as they hit off a tee.
As the Sky Sox get their early work in this afternoon, here’s a look at Runnell’s lineup for tonight’s 6:05 PM game against the Omaha Royals.
Eric Young Jr. – 2B
Mike McCoy – 3B
Carlos Gonzalez – CF
Matt Miller – LF
Dan Ortmeier – RF
Kenny Perez – DH
Mark Bellhorn – 1B
Sal Fasano – C
Jonathan Herrera – SS
Jason Hirsh – SP
The big news today is the return of Carlos Gonzalez to the lineup after the center fielder missed the past three games with a minor hamstring injury. Gonzalez has been the team’s best offensive player thus far this season (after Matt Murton was called up by the Rockies) and currently leads the team in homers (5), RBIs (40), Slugging (.629) and triples (6). In his absense, the Sox did go 2-1 but Gonzalez’s dynamic abilities clearly make the Sky Sox a much more dangerous team when he’s in the lineup.
In other developments today, the Rockies purchased the contract of Sky Sox reliever Joel Peralta to take the place of Matt Daley who was very unforutnately hurt in his outing yesterday. To make room for Peralta on the 40-man roster, the Rockies designated for assignment Sky Sox closer Steven Register. Register will be on waivers for the next 72 hours and therefore exposed to any other Major League team. While he is on waivers, Register will be unavailable to play for the Sox. To take the place of Register, the Rockies promoted reliever Ryan Mattheus from Double-A Tulsa.
Today’s pitching matchup pits Sox right-hander Jason Hirsh (3-2, 5.27) versus the O-Royals’ lefty Heath Phillips (1-4, 8.72). Hirsh is coming off his roughest outing of the season when he gave up eight runs on 11 hits over a season-low 4.1 innings against a hot-hitting Iowa on May 13. That outing came after three very solid games (two starts) for Hirsh in which tossed at least 6.0 innings and gave up two runs or less in each appearance.
Our apologize for missing last weeks entry for the Saturday Sox Notes. We’ll make up for it this week by including some notes from last weeks as well.
Saturday, April 25
WHAT A START:With their win last night, the Sky Sox have now matched the best start in team history. Their 10-5 record to begin the season equals the 10-5 start by the 1997 squad that finished that year with a 76-64 record. The ’97 team is also the last Sky Sox team to make the playoffs.
MURTON MASHING: Sky Sox rightfielder Matt Murton has been on a tear. Through the first 15 games of the season, Murton is hitting .413 (26-for-63) with three homers, five doubles, 15 RBIs, 16 runs scored and five stolen bases. He is tied for the Minor League lead with his 26 hits and leads the Sky Sox in hitting, hits, homers and runs scored. Murton has also recorded 10 multi-hit games this.
THICK AS THIEVES:Second baseman Eric Young Jr. is off to a thieving start. Young Jr. has played in 11 games thus far swiping 11 bases to lead all of Minor League Baseball. The Sky Sox record for stolen bases in a single season was set by Wayne Kirby in 1992 with 51. As a team, the Sox have stolen a league-high 26 bags. The team record for stolen bases in a season is 149 set in 2000.
Friday, April 24
TRIPLE TIME: Aces centerfielder Alex Romero had a big game last night going 4-for-5 with two triples, two runs scored and two RBIs to lead Reno past Colorado Springs 8-5. His two triples tied the most ever by an opposing player in Sky Sox history and marked the 13th time an opponent knocked out two, three-baggers. The last player to accomplish the feat was Jon Knott for Portland on June 30, 2006 at Security Service Field.
Thursday, April 23
GONZALEZ GOES OFF:Centerfielder Carlos Gonzalez was an RBI machine in yesterday’s 16-8 thrashing as he finished the game going 2-for-5 with six runs driven in. It was the most RBIs in a single game for the Sox this season and the most since Matt Miller plated six runs on August 12, 2008 against Tucson at Security Service Field.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION:That same August 12th game against Tucson last year also featured the last time the Sky Sox scored at least 16 runs and knocked out at least 20 hits as they did yesterday. In the game last year, the Sox outscored the Sidewinders 21-5 runs and registered 24 hits.
Tuesday, April 21
DALEY DOMINANCE: Through his first five outings of the seaons, Sox middle reliever has been very impressive. In five games, the right-hander has tossed 8.0 innings and given up just one run (1.13 ERA) while striking out a team-high 15 batters which ranks third in the PCL. He has also inherited seven runners and not allowed any of them to score.
Sunday, April 19
ORTMEIER ON HIS GAME: Sky Sox first baseman Dan Ortmeier is off to a hot start in 2009. In each of his first seven games, Ortmeier has recorded at least one hit and turned in five two-hit games for a .429 batting average (T-4th in the PCL). He also has two doubles and a triple as well as seven RBIs. Dating back to the end of last season, Ortmeier has put together a nine-game hitting-streak.
Friday, April 17
DOUBLE OUTBREAK:Yesterday, the Sox batters knocked out a season-high seven doubles off Reno pitchers. Despite that high number, the seven doubles fell short of the Sky Sox record of nine that was recorded at home on September 4, 2005 vs. Fresno.
Sky Sox relief pitcher Matt Daley is a guy a lot of baseball fans may not know about. Flying under the radar is nothing new to him seeing as how he wasn’t recognized initially by any Major League scouts either.
Instead of being drafted, Daley was signed by the Colorado Rockies the week following the 2004 MLB draft as an undrafted free agent.
“I was expecting to be drafted but it just didn’t happen,” Daley explained, “After the draft, my summer coach called me and asked me what had happened and I just told him, ‘I really don’t know.’ So, he ended up calling some of his contacts and one of them was with the Rockies and the Rockies ended up signing me based off that.”
Daley has never let not getting drafted bring him down. He instead has channeled that situation and used it as motivation.
“To know that not one or two, but all 30 teams overlooked you and didn’t think you were good enough has pushed me pretty far and pretty hard,” Daley said, “I knew I had to outwork everybody because I wasn’t a prospect.”
Daley is no stranger to pushing himself, as he has improved every year since being signed. Last year, in fact, Daley was one of four pitchers that contributed to the first ever no-hitter at Security Service Field, the other pitchers involved were Franklin Morales, Steven Register and Chris George . Daley recorded 1 1/3 shutout innings striking out two giving the Sky Sox their second no-hitter in team history and first at home.
This spring the Rockies organization decided to reward Daley with an invitation to his first ever major league training camp.
“It was a dream come true. It was a great experience getting to know the major league coaches and having them getting to know me,” Daley said
All his hard work is starting to pay off this season. Although its still very early, Daley is out to a spectacular start. He has appeared in four games this season and has allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings with 11 strikeouts posting an ERA of 1.59. His most impressive appearance came in the Sky Sox third game of the season where Daley made quick work of the Las Vegas 51′s tossing two perfect innings retiring six straight batters, four via strikeouts, and only needing 18 pitches to get the job done.
In his most recent game against the Reno Aces, Daley was called upon in a two-out bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh inning where he was able to strike out Aces second baseman Guillermo Reyes to end the scare.
Daley attributes his fast start to having a healthy arm and using the advice the Rockies gave him in spring camp.
“Just getting some confidence in me from spring training has carried over to the beginning of the year,” Daley said, “From my talk with the Rockies they said one of the things I’m going to need to do is get off to a quick start, so I’m trying to use that as motivation.”
He also attributes a lot of his success to his trio of catchers Sal Fasano, Edwin Bellorin and Paul Phillips.
“The catchers are my best source, they are all veteran guys that have been around the game and know how to attack the hitters,” Daley mentioned, “I think that’s a pretty cool thing to be able to pick their brains.”
When asked about what he, personally, and the Sky Sox wanted to accomplish this season Daley was humble in saying, “As a team, obviously, the goal is to get to the playoffs. On a personal level, I didn’t really set any goals, I just want to do the best that I can and pitch the way that I know I can, and if I do that good things will happen.”
So far so good for Daley who will have this entire season to keep on showing people that he is a talent worth making note of.