Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Skipper's First Mates announced

Joining Riggleman for the Wahoo's first season on the bench will be hitting coach Tony Jaramillo and pitching coach Tom Brown. Last season was Jaramillo's second season at the Advanced-A level, but his first season with the Bakersfield Blaze out in the California League. While there, the Blaze finished second in the California League in hitting with a team average of .282, and they led the league with the fewest strikeouts as a team. Brown returns for his third season as the Double-A pitching coach for the Reds. Prior to joining the Reds system, he spent time as a minor league pitching coach, mostly at the Triple-A level for the Marlins, Giants, Padres and Orioles. As a player, Brown pitched in both the Kansas City and Seattle chains, making six Major League appearances for the Mariners in 1978.

Both players have a ton of Minor League issued team set cards.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tale of the Sharpie: Southern League Coaching Staffs

     All of the Southern League teams have announced their 2012 Player Development Staffs with the exception of the Wahoo's. We are still waiting to know the names of the hitting coach and pitching coaching. However, its never to early to start preparing for autographing at Wahoo Park ( that is what I call it ). Chances are if you have a box of baseball cards from early 1990's, you have cards of several coaches that will be visiting Pensacola several times this season. You can even go search your late 80's boxes. I recently purchased two 1987 Topps vending boxes with the hope of getting some of the cards signed TTM and in-person this year.
     A typical minor league coaching staff will  feature a manager, a pitching coach, and a hitting coach. All three during the season will assume the roles of the first and third base coach and bullpen coach. Also, teams have Coordinators who might visit each of the affiliates during the season to give additional instruction on the side and to make sure that the overall development philosophy of the organization is being implemented daily. The main goal of the Minor League Staff regardless of level, is to develop players for the majors. How are these staffs selected ?  Some teams choose players that had a lengthy coaching career while other teams implement the "Those Who Can't Do, Teach" mentality. Overall,  the majority of the coaches are hoping for a coaching stint in the big leagues. I mainly get excited about a coaching staff because it features players that I remember watching on TBS & WGN from my youth.

 I listed out the 2012 Minor League Coaching Staffs for easy reference:

Chattanooga Lookouts- Manager: Carlos Subero PC:Chuck Crim HC: Franklin Stubbs
Pensacola Blue Wahoo's- Manager: Jim Riggleman, PC: Tom Brown,  HC-Tony Jaramillo
Montgomery Biscuits: Manager Billy Gardner Jr. PC: R.C. Lichtenstein HC: Ozzie Timmons

Birmingham Barons- Manager: Bobby Magallanes, PC: Bobby Thigpen HC: Brandon Moore
Mobile Baybears-  Manager: Turner Ward, PC: Dan Carlson HC: Jay Bell
Jackson Generals-  Manager: Jim Pankovits, PC: Lance Painter HC: Cory Snyder
Jacksonville Suns- Manager: Andy Barkett, PC: John Duffy HC: Kevin Randel
Tennessee Smokies- Manager: Buddy Bailey, PC: Jeff Fassero HC: Mariano Duncan
Huntsville Stars- Manager: Darnell Coles, PC-John Curtis HC: Dwayne Hosey
Mississippi Braves- Manager: Aaron Holbert, PC- Mike Alvarez HC: Garey Ingram

I seen several of these coaches in the past but I am very excited about having the opportunity to get Cory Snyder to sign my Starting Lineup figurine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meet the Skipper: Jim Riggleman

Various news sources have reported that the Cincinnati Reds have offered Jim Riggleman the Blue Wahoo's managerial job. You might have heard of Mr. Riggleman after he resigned as the Washington Nationals manager this June immediately after a win due to his contract not being extended. In his defense, it's not that hard to go back in see that he was one of the lowest paid managers when he quit. He was quickly offered a job employed as a scout with the San Fransisco Giants and was re-offered the same position once the season concluded. I imagine the Wahoo's job is his way of paying his dues with some long Southern League bus trips with the hope he replaces Dusty Baker in Cincinnati or offered a MLB managerial job elsewhere. For those wanting to get his autograph on something, he has several Topps baseball cards from his earlier managerial stints and was very accommodating the one time I met at Turner Field in Atlanta.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Wahoo's Logo is a mix of good and bad.....

A Minor league Baseball's logo's main purpose is to promote a brand of entertainment and the Wahoo's did a great job in choosing a regional animal with their team name.  It would seem natural to just use the letter "P" with that animal twisted around the "P".  Next, add any baseball equipment item somewhere around the animal. Finally, use some colors that make sense. For those that do not know what a Wahoo looks like:

The logo below looks menacing.  However, I don't like the already overused colors that we are suppose to call Neon Red, Gulf Coast Royal, Blue Angel Navy, and Tin Roof Tin. I do not understand how these colors represent the Emerald Coast and I give this logo a C. Its a Blue Wahoo circling a baseball bat forming the shape of a 'P' for Pensacola.

The team's alternate cap below features a fishing hook also in the shape of a "P". This in my opinion should be the primary cap logo and color scheme. I like the colors and this will be the hat that I will be purchasing. Nice simple yet creative design. I give it an A.

The overall brand logo below reminds me a lot of the old Birmingham Barracudas logo which I remember got a lot of bad press upon its released. I'm not entirely sure what they were going for here with the font and the coloring, but whatever it was they were going for, they failed. The Wahoo is drawn well. I don't think of baseball when I look at it. It gets a D. I hope this isn't pasted across the chest of home jerseys. If so, doubt I buy one.

Overall, can't wait to get my cap and to see what the uniforms look like.......

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Section 111 Row H Seat 1

is where I plan on spending the majority of my time next summer. In-laws did a good job picking a seat. Below is the view from my seat. Looking forward to the logo now.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Future Wahoo's: Yorman Rodriguez

I first got to see Yorman play in October of 2008 during am Instructs game vs the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota. He was pretty skinny and that looked did not change almost two years later when I saw him in Ogden, Utah when he was playing for the Billing Mustangs in 2010 The Reds signed Yorman at the age of 16 with a $2.5 million out of Ocumare de la Costa, a small coastal town in Aragua, Venezuela. During the two games that I watched in 2008, he was a mess at the plate but when he did make contact the bat made a sound that got your attention. In 2010 with Billings, his only flaw was swinging and missing at breaking balls in the dirt.
 Yorman might arrive in Pensacola sometime late during the 2nd half of the 2012 season if he tears up the Califoria league at High A Bakersfield.  If that doesn't happen, he will more then likely open the 2013 season in Pensacola. The Reds are pretty high on him not based on what he has done so far but rather on what he might be able to do in the future. Yorman completed his first year of full season ball this year at Dayton in the Midwest League at the age of 18 and batted .254/.318/.393 with 10 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 84/25 K/BB, and 20-for-28 SB in 79 games. Not terrible for a player that should should still be in high school. Scouts were impressed with how Yorman still continued to use the entire field with power this season.  In a perfect world, Yorman becomes a athletic right fielder for the Reds roaming Great American Ball Park at the age of 22 with modest power and a high batting average. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Predicting the 2012 Wahoo's Opening Day Roster

Lot can change from now until Opening Day 2012. You have the Rule V draft were its possible the Reds could lose a player or two listed below or add a couple of Minor League Free Agents that will change the 2012 Opening Day designation for a lot of Reds Minor League Players. Trades could also change my guesses.  What we do know for sure is Billy Hamilton and Yorman Rodriguez should start out in High A Bakersfield while other players like Yasmani Grandal move on to AAA Louisville. So with all that said, here is my guess on the 2012 Opening Day Roster:

OF-  Ryan LaMarre, Bill Rhinehart, Josh Fellhauer, and Andrew Means

IF-  Henry Rodriguez, Chris Richburg, Didi Gregorius, Brodie Greene, Stephen Hunt, and Alex Bucholtz

C-   Mark Fluery, Kevin Coddington

SP- J.C Sulbaran,  Pedro Villarreal, Josh Ravin, Tim Crabbe, Matt Fairel, and Mark Serrano

Bullpen- Justin Freeman, Mace Thurman, Curt Partch, Clay Shunick, and Jordan Hotchkiss

Henry Rodriguez- The most interesting player to me. Overall ,he stole 30 bases and hit 13 homers with a nice .320/.372/.469 line split between Bakersfield and Carolina. His nickname is Pollo.

Didi Gregorius - features a nice arm at SS that could really turn into something with a little more work. Didi has no problem making contact and has good base-running instincts. 

JC Sulbaran-  Did pretty well considering he had to pitch in the California League.  His 119/42 K/BB ratio is impressive.

Ryan LaMarre.batted a combined .278 with 18 Doubles, 3 Triples, 6 Home Runs and 47 RBI’s in 117 Games with High-A Bakersfield and 5 Games with Double-A Carolina. He stole 55 bases on the season. Very impressive speed.
Roster is short a couple of players for the Southern league roster limit, I will play around with this roster later on down the road.