Segura trade includes three former Midwest Leaguers

The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers made a five-player trade Saturday involving three former Midwest Leaguers.

The Brewers sent shortstop Jean Segura (2010 Cedar Rapids Kernels) and RHP Tyler Wagner (2013 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) to the Diamondbacks for RHP Chase Anderson (2010 South Bend Silver Hawks), infielder Aaron Hill, and shortstop Isan Diaz.

Segura batted .313 with 10 HR, 79 RBI and 50 SB in 130 games with the Kernels. (You can see a photo of him playing second base for the Kernels here.) Last year he batted .257 with 6 HR, 50 RBI and 25 SB in 142 games with the Brewers.

Wagner went 10-8 with a 3.21 ERA, one shutout, 116 strikeouts and 56 walks in 148.2 IP (27 games/25 starts) for the Timber Rattlers. He made his major-league debut last year, but spent most of the 2015 season in Double-A. His 2.25 ERA for the Biloxi Shuckers led the Southern League.

Anderson made seven starts for the Silver Hawks, including a shutout. He went 2-4 with a 2.82 ERA, 31 strikeouts and nine walks in 38.1 innings. Last year he made 27 starts for the Diamondbacks, going 6-6 with a 4.30 ERA, 111 strikeouts and 40 walks in 152.2 innings.

Diaz was named the Pioneer League MVP last year after batting .360 with 13 HR, 51 RBI and 12 SB in 68 games with the Missoula Osprey. The 19-year-old likely will play for the Timber Rattlers this year.

Hill did not play in the Midwest League. He batted .230 with 6 HR and 39 RBI in 116 games with the Diamondbacks last year.

Posted in Biloxi Shuckers, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Midwest League, Missoula Osprey, Pioneer League, South Bend Silver Hawks, Southern League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Dickerson-McGee trade includes two ex-Midwest Leaguers

Thursday’s four-player trade between the Colorado Rockies and the Tampa Bay Rays included two former Midwest Leaguers.

The Rays traded closer Jake McGee and minor-league pitcher German Marquez to the Rockies for outfielder Corey Dickerson and minor-league third baseman Kevin Padlo. McGee and Marquez played in the Midwest League.

McGee was a MWL pitcher in 2006, when he went 7-9 with a 2.96 ERA, 171 strikeouts and 65 walks in 134 IP (26 starts) for the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. The left-hander made his major-league debut in 2010.

Marquez pitched for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2014, going 5-7 with a 3.21 ERA, 95 strikeouts and 29 walks in 98 innings (22 games/18 starts). The right-hander pitched in High-A last year, going 7-13 with a 3.56 ERA, 104 strikeouts and 29 walks in 139 IP (26 games/23 starts) for the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Brewers acquire Liriano from Padres

The San Diego Padres traded former Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year Rymer Liriano to the Milwaukee Brewers, in exchange for former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers lefty Trevor Seidenberger.

The Padres designated Liriano for assignment late last week. I wrote about the outfielder’s tenure with the Fort Wayne TinCaps here.

Seidenberger pitched for the Timber Rattlers in 2014, going 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA, one save, 37 strikeouts and 11 walks in 39.2 innings (20 relief appearances).

Posted in Bowling Green Hot Rods, Charlotte Stone Crabs, Florida State League, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

New D-backs cap looks like a T-Rats hat

AZ Dbacks ST cap 2016

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2016 spring training cap.

Major League Baseball unveiled the spring training uniforms for its teams Thursday, and one of the caps has a Midwest League flair to it.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will wear the cap seen at the top of this post. It bears a passing resemblance to this Wisconsin Timber Rattlers hat:

T-Rats cap

For the record, I think the T-Rats snake looks cooler, but I like the baseball in the D-backs snake’s mouth.

The Timber Rattlers are affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers, whereas Arizona’s Midwest League team is the Kane County Cougars.

You can view a slideshow of all the MLB spring training caps here.

Rattlers seek unique food ideas

The Timber Rattlers are seeking ideas for a new food item to be added to their concessions menu for the 2016 season.

Ideas may be submitted on the team’s Facebook page, to @TimberRattlers on Twitter, or via email to cprentice@timberrattlers.com, by Friday, Feb. 5. Submissions will be narrowed down to a group of finalists that will be put to a fan vote to determine which one will be added to the menu at Fox Cities Stadium.

The person with the winning submission will receive four tickets to the Timber Rattlers home opener on Saturday, April 9, a ceremonial first pitch before the game, and four vouchers for their food item.

Posted in Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Former Bees infielder traded to Tigers

Kody Eaves

New Detroit Tigers farmhand Kody Eaves was a Midwest League All-Star when he played for the Burlington Bees in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Former Burlington Bees second baseman Kody Eaves was traded to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. In return, the Los Angeles Angels received third baseman Jefry Marte, whom Detroit designated for assignment after inking outfielder Justin Upton to a six-year deal.

Eaves was a Midwest League All-Star in 2014, when he batted .268 with 10 HR, 45 RBI and 25 SB in 130 games with the Burlington Bees. He spent the 2015 season in the California League (High-A), where he batted .248 with 11 HR, 71 RBI and 21 SB in 134 games with the Inland Empire 66ers.

Tigers general manager Al Avila told reporters Eaves will start the 2016 season in Double-A.

Marte did not play in the Midwest League. To make room for him on their 40-man roster, the Angels designated former Dayton Dragons infielder Ronald Torreyes for assignment. The Angels selected Torreyes off waivers from the New York Yankees two days earlier.

Torreyes batted .347 with 3 HR, 43 RBI and 12 SB in 73 games with the 2010-11 Dragons. Since playing with the Midwest League affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, he has belonged to six different MLB teams — the Chicago Cubs, the Houston Astros, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees, and the Angels. He played in eight major-league games for the Dodgers last year.

Angels trade Navarro to Orioles

On Tuesday the Angels traded 1B/OF Efren Navarro to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations.

Navarro batted .269 with 2 HR and 45 RBI in 94 games with the 2008 Cedar Rapids Kernels. He split the 2015 season between Triple-A and the major-league level.

Brewers sign lefty Capuano

The Milwaukee Brewers signed lefthander Chris Capuano to a minor-league deal Monday. He previously pitched for the Brewers from 2004 to 2010, and most recently pitched for the Yankees, in 2014 and 2015.

As an Arizona Diamondbacks farmhand, Capuano pitched for the South Bend Silver Hawks in 2000. He went 10-4 with a 2.21 ERA, 105 strikeouts and 45 walks in 101.2 innings (18 starts).

Posted in 2014 All-Star Game, Burlington Bees, California League, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Dayton Dragons, Inland Empire 66ers, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment

Padres DFA former Midwest League MVP Liriano

Rymer Liriano heads back to the Padres dugout after striking out in his first MLB at-bat. (Photo by K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune)

Rymer Liriano heads back to the Padres dugout after striking out in his first MLB at-bat. (Photo by K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune)

The San Diego Padres designated prospect Rymer Liriano for assignment Friday to make room on their 40-man roster for former Chicago White Sox infielder Alexei Ramirez, who signed a one-year contract with the Friars.

Liriano played 166 games with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, split between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. After batting only .191 in 50 games with the 2010 team, he had a breakout season in 2011, batting .319 with 12 HR, 62 RBI and 65 SB for the TinCaps. That earned him the 2011 Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year awards.

After missing the entire 2013 season as he recovered from reconstructive elbow surgery, Liriano made his major-league debut for the Padres in 2014. He batted only .220 in 38 big-league games, prompting the outfielder’s return to Triple-A El Paso for the 2015 season. He batted .292 with 14 HR, 64 RBI and 18 SB in 131 games with the Chihuahuas.

Rymer Liriano swings at a pitch while playing for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2011. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Rymer Liriano swings at a pitch while playing for the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2011. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Posted in El Paso Chihuahuas, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Midwest League, Pacific Coast League | Leave a comment

Ex-Midwest League pitcher suspended 50 games

Jared Burton, a righty who pitched for the Kane County Cougars and the Dayton Dragons, was given a 50-game suspension Friday after testing positive a second time for a drug of abuse.

The veteran reliever is a free agent after the Texas Rangers released him in June. He pitched in the big leagues for the Cincinnati Reds from 2007 to 2009 (and briefly in 2010 and 2011) and for the Minnesota Twins from 2012 to 2014.

He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2002 and pitched for the Cougars in 2003. He went 2-1 with a 2.27 ERA, one save, 33 strikeouts and seven walks in 31.2 IP (15 games/two starts) for Kane County.

He also pitched an inning for the Dragons during a rehab stint in 2009. He struck out three batters and was awarded the win.

Posted in Dayton Dragons, Kane County Cougars, Midwest League | Leave a comment

Upton agrees to six-year deal with Tigers

Justin Upton bats for the South Bend Silver Hawks in April 2006. (Photo by Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune)

New Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton bats for the South Bend Silver Hawks in April 2006. (Photo by Santiago Flores/South Bend Tribune)

Former South Bend Silver Hawks outfielder Justin Upton reportedly agreed to a six-year, $132.75 million deal with the Detroit Tigers on Monday night. The 28-year-old All-Star’s contract reportedly will include an opt-out clause after the second year.

The Tigers are expected to hold a press conference announcing the signing later this week after Upton takes a physical.

Upton was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005, selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks. His professional playing career began the next year in the Midwest League, where he batted .263 with 12 HR, 66 RBI and 15 SB in 113 games with the Silver Hawks. He made his major-league debut with the Diamondbacks in August 2007; in addition to Arizona, he also has played with the Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres during his nine-year MLB career.

Upton is projected to bat second for the Tigers, between fellow former Midwest Leaguers Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera. Kinsler batted .402 with 30 doubles, 11 HR and 52 RBI in 60 games with the 2004 Clinton LumberKings. Cabrera batted .268 with 7 HR and 66 RBI in 110 games with the 2001 Kane County Cougars.

Posted in Clinton LumberKings, Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment