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2006 Erie Seawolves Diary

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Supposedly they're having a hard time dealing with thier current provider. They have a hard time getting it updated and adding new features. I think this new site is going to be much better, and I believe they're going to be linking to motownsports somewhere on their site.

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Jones knows ups, downs

Former big leaguer travels long road on way to 'Wolves

By Ron Leonardi

ron.leonardi@timesnews.com

On a young Erie SeaWolves team loaded with Double-A rookies and high-profile prospects, Bobby Jones might seem out of place.

At 34, the journeyman pitcher has been around the professional baseball block, having pitched at every level of the minors, for nine major league organizations and in the majors with four teams.

For the first time since 1995, Jones is back in Double-A baseball, this time with the SeaWolves, and just two years removed from a relief role with the 2004 world champion Boston Red Sox.

"At this point, I feel like I need to pitch and the opportunity is here," said Jones, a left-hander. "I wouldn't do this if I wasn't trying to get back to the big leagues. I feel like Detroit is a good organization for me. I think this is going to work out well."

Jones, a native of Rutherford, N.J., is entering his 15th season in professional baseball. He signed with the Tigers in January, a year and a half after undergoing Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on his left elbow.

After spending most of spring training in Lakeland, Fla., with Triple-A Toledo, Jones was assigned to the SeaWolves on Saturday.

As the oldest player on the team, Jones is the veteran reliever of a young SeaWolves bullpen, whose seven-man staff includes five pitchers making their Double-A debuts.

"Hopefully I can lead by example," Jones said. "I'm not really an outspoken person. I kind of stay to myself, but I think I will lead them if they are willing to follow. I'm going to work hard and I'm going to do the things and make the adjustments so, ultimately, I can get back to the big leagues. I know for each one of these guys, that's their goal. I remember when I stepped into Double-A. There's only one place to play and that's the big leagues."

Drafted by the Brewers in 1991, Jones made his major league debut with the Colorado Rockies in 1997. He pitched for the Rockies again in 1998 and 1999, for the Mets in 2000 and 2002, the Padres in 2002 and the Red Sox two years ago.

Jones went to Boston's spring camp in 2004 as a non-roster invitee, threw consistently well and earned a bullpen spot on the opening-day roster.

"It was a great thrill to make that team, which had a lot of great players," Jones said. "It didn't take a rocket scientist to see the talent that was there in Boston at that time. The chemistry was there and you could almost sense the first day we all got together that we were going to win the whole party."

Early in the 2004 season, Jones never felt better. He was healthy and his fastball was touching 93-94 mph. Then, almost overnight, his party ended when he developed a problem with his left arm.

After throwing back-to-back relief outings in Baltimore, Jones' velocity on his fastball dropped to 84 mph and he could no longer throw his curve.

"It was like an overnight experience and nothing you can even explain," Jones said.

After just three relief appearances, and a lengthy stay on the disabled list, Jones left the Red Sox in July and had surgery on his left elbow in August 2004.

The operation was performed by nationally renowned Tommy John surgery specialist, Dr. James Andrews, in Alabama.

Jones returned in June 2005, pitching for Newark of the independent Atlantic League.

In July, the White Sox purchased his contract and assigned him to Charlotte, their Triple-A affiliate. He pitched in 16 games, including two starts.

"I went to Newark because I was itching to do something pretty much against what my agent and my doctor wanted, but it all worked out and I felt pretty good," Jones said. "I went to Charlotte with no expectations and without the doctor's consent. I didn't go there for any other reason than I missed baseball and I wanted to get back on the field. I knew this season I would be able to sign with a major league organization, so the White Sox signing me last year was a huge surprise."

Jones was granted free agency in mid-October and signed with Detroit three months later.

"I didn't have Bobby this spring, but I've heard nothing but great things about his character and what a good teammate he is," SeaWolves manager Duffy Dyer said. "With his experience, I'm sure he's going to be a very positive influence on the younger kids and, hopefully, show them what it takes to be on a winning team and what it takes to be a winner."

There's no disappointment for Jones being back in Double-A, only anticipation of being healthy and proving that he can still be effective. He wants to attain the level that enabled him to earn a major league job as recently as two years ago.

"Things happen for a reason and I'm excited to possibly get an opportunity on this ballclub,"Jones said. "My job is to go out there and pitch well, whatever role it's going to be.

"I keep myself in great shape and I'll probably pitch as long as my arm holds up and as long as I really feel like I can pitch. This is what I love to do, and that's how I look at it."

RON LEONARDI can be reached at 870-1680 or by e-mail.

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This write-up from Harrisburg side:

MLive meet PennLive

http://www.pennlive.com/senators/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/114441600661200.xml&coll=1&thispage=2

Heroes plentiful for Senators

Friday, April 07, 2006

BY GEOFF MORROW,

Of The Patriot-News

Pick a hero, Senators fans. Your 2006 Harrisburg club presented a handful of them in last night's season opener, a 2-1 triumph over the Erie SeaWolves in 10 innings before 3,698 fans at Commerce Bank Park. Catcher Salomon Manriquez certainly qualifies.

It was his deep sacrifice fly to left with one out in the 10th that plated Cristian Guerrero with the winning run.

Guerrero deserves praise for starting the rally against reliever Frankie De La Cruz (0-1) with a solid one-out single, erasing the memory of strikeouts in his first three at-bats.

Josh Whitesell followed Guerrero's single with a long double into the left-center gap, and manager John Stearns, coaching third base and waving his arms, saved his own hide by putting the brakes on Guerrero at the last minute as he rounded third.

It's a safe bet Guerrero would have been toast.

"I was going to send him," Stearns said. "But [Garth McKinney] made a great play getting the ball to the relay man. I had just enough time to stop him."

The play most of the team talked about was the catch by left fielder Frank Diaz, who leaped against the wall in left-center and robbed Erie's Danilo Sanchez of a home run with two outs in the top of the 10th.

Diaz said he was lucky because with two outs he was in a no-doubles defense, meaning he was playing deeper than usual. It helped him get a jump on tracking Sanchez's bomb.

There were also the heroics of Dan DeMent and Kory Casto in the bottom of the ninth. DeMent drew a one-out walk off reliever Chris Homer and scored the Senators' first run of the season from first on a two-out, opposite-field double by Casto.

"My first two at-bats, I was a little antsy and anxious," Casto said of two strikeouts. "The third at-bat was a little better, and by my last at-bat I was really staying within myself."

But really it's impossible to talk about this game without mentioning the sensational performance by Harrisburg's starting pitcher, Shawn Hill, and his three relievers, Chris Schroder, Oscar Alvarez and David Gil.

Hill, a right-hander from Ontario, fired six brilliant innings but was on the hook for the loss until Casto's double in the ninth.

His only real mistake was hanging an 0-2 fastball to McKinney in the top of the third. McKinney nearly introduced the baseball to the Pepsi sign behind the left-field wall for a home run.

Other than that, Hill was nothing short of fantastic. He didn't walk a batter, scattered four hits and whiffed six in a 75-pitch effort.

Same acclamation for Schroder, Alvarez and Gil.

Gil (1-0) picked up the win by retiring the final four batters, with Diaz providing one healthy assist.

"I was saying thank you, thank you," Gil said of the conversation after Diaz's catch. "It was a big moment. For a team with a lot of young players like this, we showed a lot of character in this win. It's a very good sign."

Alvarez struck out all three batters he faced over the eighth and ninth innings, and Schroder walked one and didn't allow a hit in 12/3 innings.

In all, the bullpen pitched four hitless innings and struck out five.

Erie's pitchers equaled Harrisburg's in productivity, at least through the first eight innings.

The Senators were limited to three singles -- by Manriquez, Alex Escobar and Ian Desmond -- over the first eight innings. Only Escobar reached scoring position after he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher in the fourth.

SeaWolves starter Nate Bumstead allowed just two hits to go with six strikeouts in five shutout innings.

Relievers Brian Rogers and Bobby Jones teamed for three scoreless innings before giving way to Homer in the ninth.

Homer's one-out walk to DeMent was the only free pass issued by Erie vs. 12 strikeouts. Harrisburg also walked only one and whiffed 11 batters.

"All the pitchers threw very well," Erie manager Duffy Dyer said. "They were hitting spots and had good command. [Harrisburg] just started to swing a little better in the ninth and 10th."

NOTES: Designated hitter Tony Blanco was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game and was replaced on the 24-man roster by outfielder Jesus Feliciano, who started at DH. ... Erie lost its 11th straight game dating to last season and has lost five in a row against Harrisburg. ... Stearns and Dyer tried to out-think each other to start the bottom of the ninth. Lefty Bobby Jones warmed up on the mound for Erie, and Stearns called on the right-handed Melvin Dorta to pinch-hit for Feliciano, a lefty. Then Dyer called on Homer, a righty, for relief. Stearns countered by pinch-hitting Rich Lane, a lefty, for Dorta. All this before a pitch was thrown. For the record, Dyer won the battle because Lane struck out. But Stearns' club won the war with the 2-1 victory. ... The Senators improved to 8-12 on opening day.

GEOFF MORROW: 255-8250 or gmorrow@patriot-news.com

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Not a good hitting day anywhere north of WM, but some nice starting pitching.

Didn't get a chance to listen to the game last night. Tonight's game is a 6:30 start, so maybe someone can follow it prior to switching to the Tiger game.

For Erie, Nate Bumstead had a great first start.

2 hits, no walks, and 6 k's in 5 innings. His ball was definitely moving yesterday.

Brian Rogers carried over his "quiet" success from Lakeland with some nice middle relief. A nice player that no one (except us) knows about. Any thoughts on his repetoire and how it currently looks as he performs at AA and maybe beyond?

Of course, Bobby Jones performed well on the opening day of The Masters. :classic:.

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Bullpen blows 5-run lead; 'Wolves fall to 0-2

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060408/BASEBALL01/604080427

From staff reports

HARRISBURG -- For the second straight night, the Erie SeaWolves got superb a outing by their starting pitcher.

And for the second straight night, the 'Wolves bullpen could not hold a lead.

The Harrisburg Senators rallied from a 5-0 deficit to top the 'Wolves' 11-7 in front of 2,751 fans at Commerce Bank Park on Friday.

Erie will send Virgil Vasquez to the mound tonight to face Harrisburg's Anatacio Martinez in a matchup of right-handers that begins at 6:05 p.m.

Friday's loss spoiled a fine outing by Humberto Sanchez, who shut out the Senators over the first five innings. Sanchez, who pitched for the 'Wolves last year, struck out eight and allowed four hits before departing with a 5-0 lead.

When manager Duffy Dyer went to his bullpen, things fell apart. The Senators scored four runs in the sixth inning, took the lead for good with five runs in the seventh, and scored twice in the eighth.

Erie scored two runs in the first inning on Kurt Airoso's two-out home run, one of three hits for the 'Wolves designated hitter. Erie made it 5-0 on Kelly Hunt's two-out, two-run homer off of Harrisburg starter Kip Bouknight.

Pete Sikaras (2/3 inning, four hits, four runs), Daniel Zell (2/3 inning, two hits, one run), Eulogio De La Cruz (2/3 inning, five hits, four runs) and Ian Ostlund (one inning, two hits, two runs) could not hold Erie's lead.

Alex Escobar blasted a two-run homer off Sikaras in the sixth inning, and Frank Diaz added a two-run homer off Ostlund in the eighth. Diaz also had a double and single and three RBIs.

Kory Casto and Salomon Manriquez each had three singles for the Senators.

Tony Giarratano had three hits, including two doubles, and he drove in the other two 'Wolves runs.

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From Thursday's game:

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060407/BASEBALL01/604070474

SeaWolves start season on sour note

From staff reports

HARRISBURG -- One out away from preserving a shutout win on opening night, Erie SeaWolves closer Chris Homer couldn't slam the door on the Harrisburg Senators.

Harrisburg third baseman Kory Casto tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the ninth with a two-out, RBI double off of Homer.

The Senators completed their rally in the 10th, winning 2-1 Thursday on Salomon Manriquez's sacrifice fly off of Erie reliever Eulogio De La Cruz.

An opening-night crowd of 3,698 at Commerce Bank Park saw four Harrisburg pitchers limit the SeaWolves to four hits and shut down Erie's No. 1 through No. 5 hitters, who finished a combined 0-for-20.

Still, Erie carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth thanks to Garth McKinney's home run in the third.

With one out, Homer, who led Class A Lakeland with 29 saves in 2005, walked Harrisburg second baseman Dan Dement on four pitches (Erie's only walk of the game). It proved costly.

After Homer struck out Ian Desmond for the second out, the left-handed-hitting Casto went with an outside pitch and lined a slicing double toward the left-field line. The ball skipped past McKinney, enabling Dement to score easily.

"He did a good job of hitting," SeaWolves manager Duffy Dyer said. "We had our outfield playing deep at what we call no-double depth, but the ball took a big skip or something and I was surprised it got by him."

Casto was the Washington Nationals' minor league player of the year last season after hitting .290 with 22 homers and 90 RBIs at Class A Potomac.

Erie nearly regained the lead in the top of the 10th inning. Catcher Danilo Sanchez drove a pitch deep to left field, but Harrisburg left fielder Frank Diaz leaped above the wall and made the catch to rob the Double-A rookie of a go-ahead homer and end the inning.

In the 10th inning, De La Cruz struck out Harrisburg's first hitter, then gave up a single to Cristian Guerrero and a double to Josh Whitesell, putting runners on second and third. Manriquez then lofted a fly ball to left that McKinney caught just in front of warning track, scoring Guerrero with the winning run.

Erie's starter, right-hander Nate Bumstead, and relievers Brian Rogers and Bobby Jones combined to blank Harrisburg on three hits over eight innings.

Bumstead threw five scoreless innings, allowing only two hits while striking out six and walking none. Rogers worked 21/3 scoreless innings and Jones 2 /3 of an inning.

"The bullpen is still a pick-'em situation," Dyer said. "Homer deserves a chance to close most of the time because he did a good job at Lakeland last season. De La Cruz will close some of the time, but the Tigers aren't sure if they want him to be a closer or set-up man, and they want him pitching more than one inning when he's in there."

Harrisburg right-hander Shawn Hill, who missed the entire 2005 season while recovering from elbow surgery, retired the first seven Erie hitters before McKinney hit a towering homer to left in the third.

McKinney played at Lakeland last season and was third in the Florida State League with 23 homers.

The SeaWolves wasted an opportunity to extend their lead in the fifth. With one out, Sanchez doubled and went to third on Kody Kirkland's bloop single to center. McKinney then bounced into a double play to end the threat.

"That was one of the few chances we had to score some runs," Dyer said

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Two great starts by Bumstead and Sanchez. Only one start, but very encouraging.

De La Cruz with back to back poor outings. Very early, but should we be worried? I wish there was someone in the Harrisburg region tuning into this forum who could give us a scouting report on Virgil tonight. Lee, are you going to go see any of the Wolves games when they head up your way?

Hitting: Not real familiar with the Harrisburg pitchers, so I'm not sure if the bats are a little rusty or the Senator pitchers are ahead of our hitters. I think it was mentioned in the Lakeland forum that these guys have not been together long as a team, so there may be some gelling going on. I don't buy that completely. Someone is winning and it just isn't us, yet.

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Clevlen is starting out slow. He is very streaky it seems lets hope he gets back on track soon before he has a terrible start to the season.

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Any reports on Delacruz's velocity? That could be very telling as to whether this is a bad start or something to be concerned about... To be very honest, I would not be shocked if he flamed out.

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Virgil Matt Vasquez was the starter tonight and his line looked good, but took the loss.

Vasquez (L, 0-1) 6.0 3 1 1 1 4 0 1.50

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I remember going to an Oneonta versus Lowell game a couple of years ago and saw Kirkland for the first time. He had a good game and I commented on the board that he looked good. It happened to be Mark's first week on the board so of course he responded with a long diatribe detailing all of Kirkland's weaknesses.

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For some reason, seeing you write this put a smile on my face :classic:

Yeah, I expected as much. Now when he goes 5 for 5 with 5 grand slams today I'll expect you to write something nice about him. ;-)

He's really off to a horrendous start though. Too bad he's not the only one.

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Catching up from the Weekend -

About Saturday's game:

Box: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2006_04_08_eswaax_haraax_1

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060409/BASEBALL01/604090457

Bullpen sinks 'Wolves for 3rd straight game

From staff reports

HARRISBURG -- The Harrisburg Senators took advantage of the Erie SeaWolves' bullpen for a third straight Eastern League victory.

The Senators, subdued by Erie's starting pitchers for most of the season-opening series, scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 3-1 victory Saturday before 1,420 at Commerce Bank Park.

Virgil Vasquez (0-1) became Erie's third straight tough-luck loser. Vasquez went six innings and allowed one run, three hits one walk and four strikeouts.

Harrisburg's lone run off Vasquez came in the bottom of the third, when Richard Lane doubled to center and scored on Melvin Dorta's one-out single.

It was the first run allowed by an Erie starter. In three games, Nate Bumstead, Humberto Sanchez and Vasquez combined for 16 innings, nine hits, two walks and 18 strikeouts.

Harrisburg scored the decisive runs off SeaWolves reliever Danny Zell in the seventh. Frank Diaz led off with a single and scored on Cristian Guerrero's opposite-field triple to right with one out.

Harrisburg manager John Stearns then called for the squeeze play. Lane put down the bunt that scored Guerrero for a 3-0 lead.

Erie got its lone run an inning later. Vincent Blue reached on a bunt single off the Senators' Devin Perrin and moved up when Dorta made an error on Tony Giarratano's grounder to second.

Brent Clevlen singled in Blue with two outs, but Perrin struck out Kurt Airoso to quash the rally. Perrin and Chris Schroder combined to strike out the side in the 'Wolves' ninth.

Anastacio Martinez (1-0) got the win for Harrisburg.

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Sunday:

Box:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2006_04_09_eswaax_haraax_1

'Wolves finally notch a W

From staff reports

HARRISBURG -- Kelly Hunt homered and four Erie pitchers combined on a two-hitter as the Erie SeaWolves beat the Harrisburg Senators 3-0 Sunday before 2,667 at Commerce Bank Park.

Erie got its first victory after dropping three consecutive games to start the season.

Hunt got Erie on the board in the top of the third inning with his second home run of the season.

His two-run shot came with two out off of Harrisburg starter David Maust, who fell to 0-1 after allowing seven hits and two earned runs in four innings.

Erie starter Preston Larrison went five shutout innings and did not allow a hit to improve his record to 1-0. He did not issue a walk and struck out five.

Left-hander Ian Ostlund went two innings in relief of Larrison. The Senators (3-1) recorded their only two hits of the game off of Ostlund, who walked two and struck out two.

Bobby Jones and Chris Homer each went one inning for the SeaWolves, with Homer getting his first save of the season.

Erie added an insurance run in the ninth as Vincent Blue got his first run batted in of the season.

Tony Giarratano, Brent Clevlen and Blue each had two hits for the SeaWolves.

The 'Wolves continue their road trip today at Altoona.

After a three-game series with the Curve, Erie will return for its home opener Thursday against Bowie.

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SeaWolves Series Preview

Erie SeaWolves (1-3) at Altoona Curve (4-0)

At Blair County Ballpark

Today-Tuesday, 6:35 p.m.

Wednesday, 4:05 p.m.

Pitching matchups

Today: Erie RH Jeremy Johnson (0-0) vs. Altoona RH Jason Roach (0-0)

Tuesday: Erie RH Nate Bumstead (0-0, 0.00) vs. Altoona LH Mike Connolly (0-0, 1.80)

Wednesday: Erie RH Humberto Sanchez (0-0, 0.00) vs. Altoona RH Landon Jacobsen (0.00)

Altoona notes: The Curve are off to a good start thanks to outstanding pitching. Curve starters Mike Connolly, Landon Jacobsen and Matt Peterson limited the Trenton Thunder to a combined one earned run in the first three games of their four-game series. Former Allegheny College pitcher Josh Sharpless, a native of Freedom entering his fourth season of professional baseball, is a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 40-man roster. Sharpless earned the win in Altoona's season-opening 4-3 home victory over Trenton on Thursday with two scoreless innings of relief.

Erie notes: The SeaWolves carry some momentum into this series after earning their first win of the season Sunday with a 3-0 victory at Harrisburg in the final game of their four-game series.

-- from staff reports

... After struggling in the first three games against Harrisburg, Erie's bullpen did the job on Sunday, with three relievers combining to throw four shutout innings. Closer Chris Homer earned his first save. He led Class A Lakeland with 29 saves last season. Right-hander Jeremy Johnson is scheduled to make his first start of the season for the SeaWolves today. Johnson, a starter for Erie in 2005, was scheduled to open the season in the bullpen, but was inserted into the rotation after the Tigers promoted SeaWolves right-hander Jordan Tata on April 2. First baseman Kelly Hunt leads the club with two homers and four RBIs. Erie's starting rotation of right-handers Nate Bumstead, Humberto Sanchez, Virgil Vasquez and Preston Larrison was outstanding in the Harrisburg series, allowing a combined one run in 21 innings. [!!!!]

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Monday Morning Observations:

Stats:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=t_ibp&cid=106

All I can say about their starting pitching so far is WOW!!

As the Times-News highlighted in the previous post, the 1st 4 starters in the Erie rotation allowed ONLY 1 RUN in 21 innings! To cap off that all Preston Larrison does on Sunday is go out and throw 5 NO HIT INNINGS! (notice the trend in CAPS!) Now I know that they are not going to keep this up, but it is amazing.

Here is their composite starters' line:

21 ip

9 hits

1 run

1 earned run

2 walks

23 strikeouts

DAMN!!!

That was the good news...now for the not so good news, the hitting & bullpen -

Well not all the hitters had a bad week,

The hot hitters:

Vince Blue 5-13, sb, 2r

Tony G 6-17, 2 2b, 4 k

Kurt Airoso 5-16, 2b, hr, 4k

Not so good:

Kelly Hunt 3-15, 2 hr, 5 k

Brent Clevlen 3-16, 0 r, 0 rbi, 5 k

Juan Francia 1-14

Kody Kirkland 2-15, 7 k

Garth McKinney 2-11, 2b, hr, 6 k

Bullpen:

Eulogio De La Cruz 2g, 1.1 ip, 7 h, 5 r/er, 1 bb, 2 k

Pete Sikaras 1g, 0.2 ip, 4 r/er, hr, bb, k

Danny Zell 2g, 1,2 ip, 4 h, 3 r/er, 3 k

Surprisingly, the whole Eastern League apparently is not hitting this early. It could be the early spring weather (not sure what is was like in Harrisburg) if Toledo & Grand Rapids weather is any indication. I do know that Erie weather is usually not good for another month (thus in the past some prospects playing in Lakeland until it warms up in PA, then moving up).

League hitting:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=l_tba&lid=113

Erie is hitting .219, which places them right in the middle of the pack, 6th of 12 teams. Reading & Portland are hitting dismal .172. Granted, we are talking 3 or 4 games.

On the pitching side, in spite of their phenomenal starting pitching, the Seawolves are 10th in the league with a 4.15 ERA. No doubt the bullpen woes are THE factor in that.

League pitching:

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=l_tpi&lid=113

In wrap, a 1-3 record or their early hitting/bullpen woes may not be encouraging, but the system's strength, starting pitching is definitely showing 1st time through.

All 4 are encouraging, Bumstead having a great 1st AA start, Vasquez, Sanchez, & Larrison all doing well.

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Recap from MiLB:

Box: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&gid=2006_04_10_eswaax_altaax_1&cid=106&t=g_box

Pond leads unbeaten Curve

April 10, 2006

Simon Pond smacked two homers and drove in three runs to help Altoona stay undefeated with a 9-1 win over visiting Erie on Monday.

Pond finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored for the Curve (5-0).

Rich Thompson had a double, two singles and an RBI for Altoona, while Travis Chapman and Adam Boeve each contributed two hits and two RBIs. Vic Butler also had a multi-hit night, going 2-for-4 with a double against the SeaWolves (1-4).

Jason Roach (1-0) tossed six scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out five. Brandon Knight pitched the final three innings, allowing a run in the ninth but picking up his first save.

Jeremy Johnson (0-1) lasted five innings but gave up four runs on nine hits. Eulogio De La Cruz came on to pitch in the eighth and only got two outs. He was touched up for five runs on six hits.

Garth McKinney led the SeaWolves offense with a double and a single. Kelly Hunt also contributed an RBI single.

Altoona will try to stay unbeaten on Tuesday when it faces Erie again at 6:35 ET in Altoona. --Christopher Heine/MLB.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------

From Erie Times-News

Curve baffle 'Wolves

From staff reports

Altoona coasts past punchless Erie

ALTOONA -- The Erie SeaWolves' offense has struggled since the Eastern League season began last week.

On Monday, their starting pitcher struggled, too.

Right-hander Jeremy Johnson and three Erie relievers were touched up for 16 hits and three home runs by the Altoona Curve. First baseman Simon Pond hit two of the homers, as Altoona improved to 5-0 with a 9-1 victory before 3,063 atBlair County Ballpark.

Erie (1-4) shut out Harrisburg for its lone win Sunday. In three of their four losses, the 'Wolves have scored only one run.

Erie averted a shutout in the ninth inning when first baseman Kelly Hunt hit his third home run of the season off of Curve reliever Brandon Knight.

Altoona starter Jason Roach (1-0) allowed no runs, three hits and struck out five in six innings. Knight was credited with his first save because he pitched the final three innings.

Pond gave the Curve a 4-0 lead with a two-run homer off of Johnson (0-1) in the bottom of the fifth. Pond led off Altoona's five-run eighth with a solo shot against Eulogio De La Cruz.

The Curve sent 10 batters to the plate and scored all five runs in two-thirds of an inning against De La Cruz.

Right fielder Adam Boeve also hit a home run for Altoona. Boeve was one of six Curve players with at least two hits.

Pond went 3-for-5, drove in three runs and scored three times. Center fielder Rich Thompson also had three hits.

Garth McKinney had two hits for the 'Wolves.

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From the Times-News:

BOX: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2006_04_11_eswaax_altaax_1

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060412/BASEBALL01/604120463

Airoso launches 'Wolves to win

From staff reports

Erie hits 3 homers, tags Altoona withfirst loss of season

ALTOONA -- Veteran Kurt Airoso smashed a pair of two-run home runs, and right-hander Nate Bumstead again pitched five strong innings to lead the Erie SeaWolves to a 6-2 victory over the Altoona Curve on Tuesday night.

A crowd of 3,371 at Blair County Ballpark saw the SeaWolves improve to 2-4 and hand the Curve their first Eastern League loss in six games.

The 31-year-old Airoso raised his franchise-leading career home run total to 93 with a pair of shots to left field against Curve left-hander Mike Connolly (0-1), who also gave up a two-run blast to Kody Kirkland.

Airoso, the designated hitter, hit his second homer of the season in the top of the first after Brent Clevlen's two-out single. He hit his third of the year in the fifth inning one out after Tony Giarratano led off with a double.

Kirkland hit his first home run with the SeaWolves to left in the second inning to score Danilo Sanchez, who had singled. Clevlen had a pair of hits for the SeaWolves.

The 23-year-old Bumstead (1-0) allowed one hit and struck out eight after an opening-day no decision against Harrisburg, when he allowed two hits in five shutout innings and fanned six.

The Curve scored their two runs in the sixth against reliever Bobby Jones. Carlos Maldonado and Adam Boeve had two hits apiece in the loss.

Erie right-hander Brian Rogers struck out four in 2 1/3 scoreless innings to earn his first save..

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MiLB:

Airoso blasts Altoona

April 11, 2006

Kurt Airoso blasted two-run homers in the first and fifth inning as Erie handed Altoona its first loss of the season, 6-2, on Tuesday.

Kody Kirkland hit a two-run shot of his own in the second to complete the scoring for the SeaWolves (2-4). Brent Clevlen added a pair of singles against the Curve (5-1), which beat Erie on Monday, 9-1.

Nathan Bumstead (1-0) dominated the hot-hitting Curve by striking out eight in five shutout innings. Brian Rogers blanked Altoona over the final 2 1/3 innings to get the save.

Curve starter Michael Connolly (0-1) surrendered all six runs in 4 1/3 innings and took the loss. Shane Youman struck out two and Jorge Vasquez fanned four to shut down the SeaWolves the rest of the way.

Carlos Maldonado smacked two doubles for Altoona, going 2-for-4. Adam Boeve and Vic Buttler had RBI doubles off reliever Bobby M. Jones in the sixth to wrap up the scoring.

The teams meet at 4:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday in the rubber match of their three-game set. --Christopher Heine/MLB.com

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Another nice outing for Nate. 4 walks not great, but 1 hit is.

Wonder whose record Kurt Airoso broke?

Nice first 3 appearances for Brian Rogers.

5.1 ip, 3 h, 0 bb, 7 k

Kind-of overlooked last year with Verlander, Tata, Bumstead, Homer(?) at Lakeland. Nice steady job.

Any scouting reports on Rogers?

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Anyone feeling too happy? Take a glance down the walk and strikeout columns of Erie's hitters. Not pretty. Ten walks as a team. 58 strikeouts. Kirkland and McKinney are (unsurprisingly) leading the way, but Giarratano's right behind them and that's pretty disappointing.

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Redshark, I can't give you a scouting report, but what I've read of Rogers (might just have been around here) is that he's a bit of a soft-tosser who needs to hit his locations with precision to be effective.

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Brian Rogers throws a fastball (89-92) with good movement. His best pitch is his slider and has developed a nice change-up since joining the Tigers. He has always had excellent control as witnessed by his K/BB ratio in Oneonta, West Michigan, and Lakeland. Either his velocity was up or he was getting good movement on his fastball last night as listening to the game, several of the Curve players he struck-out were swinging and missing at fastballs. The move to the bullpen last year at Lakeland seems to have been a good move for Brian.

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