Tag Archives: Al Yevoli

Where Are They Now? Player Updates

Recently, a follower of this site sent me an email asking if I could provide an update about how some of the players I had previously covered are doing.

As the halfway mark of the season has approached, here are the updates of 18 players that I have covered on Indy Ball Island. (Clicking their names will take you to their original articles.)

John Holdzkom – In my very first blog post, I remarked that John Holdzkom’s story was the reason I wanted to start this website. John is currently on the DL for the second time this year. He has spent the entire season with the Pirates Triple A team, the Indianapolis Indians. After getting off to a rough start, he is 2-0 on the season with a 3.38 ERA and 27 Ks in 21.1 IP.

indyholdzkom

(Mark Dickhaus)

Matt Sergey – Another personal post I made early on was covering Matt Sergey’s perfect game for the Washington Wild Things. Matt is back with the Wild Things for the 2015 season. In 9 starts, he is 3-3 with a 2.33 ERA. He has already passed his career-high professionally for innings pitched (54) and has 59 Ks.

Chris Peacock – After being signed in the offseason by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Peacock was released and then returned to the American Association, this time with the St. Paul Saints. He has a 1.59 ERA with a 1-0 record in 11 games.

Three of the players that I covered from the Pecos League TV show are playing this season :

Tony Smith – Tony was traded right before the season started from the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League to the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the American Association.  He is 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA in 16 games (2 of which were starts).  He has 33 K in 37 IP.

Sam DiMatteo – Sam is playing with the Old Orchard Beach Surge of the newly formed North Country Baseball League.  He is batting .344 in 23 games (102 plate appearances).  He also has 2 HR, 16 RBI and 9 stolen bases.

Jacob Fabry – Jacob is once again teammates with Sam and has been playing on the Surge as well. He is batting . 296 in 26 games (129 plate appearances).  He has contributed 12 RBI and stolen 8 bases so far this season.

sam and jacob

(Sam DiMatteo. Sam took a ball off his ankle.. he’ll be okay!)

Tim Henry – Another one of the Pecos League stories, Tim is back with the Alpine Cowboys in the Pecos League for the 2015 season. In 42 games (118 AB), he has a .246 average with 2 HR and 21 RBI.

Omar Artsen – Omar was signed by the Miami Marlins out of the Pecos League last year; However he was eventually released by the Marlins organization.  He then went to the American Association and played 2 games with the Winnipeg Goldeyes going 1-7 at the plate.  After being released from the Goldeyes, he played for the Garden State Grays in the Can-Am league for only 3 games with 1 H in 8 AB.

Brandon Cunniff – After earning his second chance at affiliated ball with the Braves, Brandon never looked back. This year, Brandon started the season in the bullpen for the Atlanta Braves. He set an Atlanta rookie record when he didn’t allowed a hit in four relief appearances (four innings) to start his major league career. Brandon has a 2-2 record, 4.23 ERA and 30 K in 30 games with the big league club. At one point in the season, he was sent to AAA Gwinnett where he has a 1-0 record in 3 games. He has since returned to the big league club but is currently on the major league 15 day DL for a groin strain.

brandon-cunniff-braves-pic

(emspeedtraining.com)

Javy Marticorena – Javy achieved his dream of landing on Indy Ball Island when he signed a contract to play in the Mt Rainier League.  Sadly, the MRPBL folded after just a few weeks, and Javy is back home working hard for another opportunity.

Nick Renault – Nick, like Javy, was caught up in the MRPBL drama, but he still made the most of his few weeks being back in his hometown in Oregon and enjoyed his short stay. He is now back home in Hawaii.

CJ Beatty – CJ used his never give up attitude to bounce back after being released from the White Sox organization at the beginning of the season.  He came back to the Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League and is batting .262 in 42 games with 2 HR and 21 RBI.  CJ will have to use his positive attitude once more to get through another tough situation as he now finds himself on the DL with a quad injury.

CJ

(CJ Beatty)

Al Yevoli – Al was picked up by the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2015 Frontier League season, but was released during spring training.  Instead of returning to the Wild Things, Al landed a spot with the Wichita Wingnuts in the American Association.  He has a 3-0 record with a 3.67 ERA and 26 K in 26 games (27 IP).

Stewart Ijames – Stewart started the season with the High A Visalia Rawhide for the Arizona Diamondbacks. After batting .267 with 15 HR and 37 RBI in 60 games, he was promoted to the Double A Mobile BayBears. In 14 games (31 AB), he is batting .323 with 1 HR (his first hit in AA) and 7 RBI.

Matt Fields – After being released from the KC Royals organization, Matt was signed by the Diamondbacks and was sent to Double A Mobile BayBears. In 3 games (11AB) so far, he is batting .364 with 1 HR.

mobile

(Matt Fields)

Sean Conroy – After making news as baseball’s first openly gay active player, Sean is still doing well with the Sonoma Stompers of the Pacific Association. He has a 2-1 record with a 0.69 ERA including 24 K in 26 IP in 10 games (2 starts).

Aussie in America updates

Luke Wilkins – Luke is currently 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA starting in 10 games for the Washington Wild Things. He has struck out 35 in 61 IP. His 61 innings pitched are the most on the Wild Things team.

2015-05-21 22.44.41

Ben Lodge – In 37 games (130 AB) with the Frontier Greys, Ben is batting .208 with 8 RBI.

Stay tuned and subscribe for more updates as the season progresses!

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This Season, Think Outside Your Home Stadium – Fan Perspective

Major and minor league spring training is getting under way. Guys are heading to Arizona and Florida to begin yet another season of their careers, and I am beginning to wish some of my favorite players “Good Luck” for the upcoming season.

But slowly I’ve come to the realization that, while these players are still “my guys”, the majority of them no longer play for “my teams.” I’m sure this realization will come back again when the independent players head to their spring training in a few months too.

For reference, the Pittsburgh Pirates, their affiliates, and the Washington Wild Things are the teams that I would consider “my” teams, more based on location than anything else at this point.

The one player I credit with helping my love for baseball grow, Paul Maholm, is now a Cincinnati Red. Since leaving the Pirates, he’s been a Cub, a Brave, and a Dodger. I’ve followed him everywhere.

My favorite player, Stewart Ijames, had his contract purchased from the Wild Things by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Along with Stew, three of his former teammates, guys I’ve gotten close to, are also heading to spring training with the Dbacks : Scott Kalamar, Troy Marks, and Al Yevoli. The DBacks fans have welcomed me with open arms. They are hands down some of the nicest people I have ever met in baseball.

My mentor and motivator, CJ Beatty, is a member of the Chicago White Sox organization this year.

I can keep going, but you get the idea. I know a lot of guys in a lot of places. I’m not a fan of just one team or one group of players anymore, and it’s been the most amazing and eye opening thing I’ve ever done as a fan.

So this is my challenge to you for this season: think outside the box, AKA your home stadium. Become a fan of the entire sport. Get to know players from other teams. For once, get rid of biased opinions on other teams and fan bases. Even if you don’t think that you have those opinions, if you’re used to one team or one stadium, you probably do.

My baseball playing friends as well as this blog have done wonders for expanding my knowledge of teams and players outside the Pittsburgh area, but that’s not how it all began.

It all started in the left field bleachers at PNC Park. Our season tickets have been next to the visiting bullpen for years. There’s only an aisle and a fence separating us from every team that visits PNC Park during the season.  I used to just sit there and cheer for the Pirates, minding my own business. But then I thought, “Why don’t I start talking to these guys? They seem personable enough.” From that day forward, my entire baseball life changed.

Some teams are standoffish (and rightfully so… some of the things we hear Pirates fans yell at them are ridiculous), but most are bored and don’t mind talking and getting to know you. We have NL Central players and coaches that know us on a first name basis. They greet us as soon as they walk in and ask how we’ve been. I won’t lie. It’s pretty awesome. Over the years, I’ve found myself looking more and more at other players’ stats. I circle home stands on the schedule that I’m excited for based solely on the visiting teams.

I’ve gotten to know players on a first name basis from practically every NL and some AL teams. I had a competition last year with the Braves rookie pitchers that I could pack a bullpen snack bag better than they could. I won and got a ball signed by the entire bullpen in the process. That was totally unexpected but greatly appreciated. I never ask bullpens for anything (that has to do with baseball or autographs), but I will ask for the occasional package of candy, gum, or to fill my water bottle!

I’ve become a better baseball fan and a better person since I’ve opened my horizons. I’ve gotten to know players on a personal level and not by what’s on the front of their jerseys. If I would have kept the bias against the Phillies that most Pirates fans have, I wouldn’t have met pitcher Jake Diekman or learned about his struggle with Chrohn’s Disease. Likewise, I’ve met some of the most amazing fans just by striking up a conversation while they were visiting the area.

I’m not a Pirates, DBacks, Braves, Reds, Phillies, White Sox, whatever fan anymore. I’m a baseball fan.

So when you’re sitting in your home stadium this year, whether it’s the majors, minors, or indy ball, strike up a conversation with the visiting team.  Talk to a fan that made the road trip to your town. Get rid of any preconceived notions. Expand your mind. You might just realize what you’ve been missing in your one team world.