With the 2011 season over and the playoffs about to start, here is a look back at the year that was in Major League and Minor League Baseball brawls and benches clearing incidents. If you see any that we are missing, please send us the link on our twitter page @MinorLeagueBlog. Enjoy the videos.
3-8-2011 – Milwaukee Brewers vs Los Angles Dodgers
4-26-2011 – Hagerstown Suns vs West Virginia Power
5-11-2011 – Baltimore Orioles vs Seattle Mariners
5-13-2011 – Greenville Drive vs Charleston River Dogs
The Hagerstown Suns, the Low-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals honored the late Nick Adenhart with a night in his honor as they took on the Lexington Legends. Adenhart’s mother Janet Gigeous threw out the first pitch, a plaque honoring Adenhart was placed on the Suns Wall of Fame, and a silent auction was held to raise money for the Nick Adenhart Foundation. The late Los Angeles Angels pitcher was killed by a drunk driver hours after pitching six scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics in April 2009. He was a native of Williamsport MD which is located just a few miles from Hagerstown. In the story, Adenhart’s mother talks about the fun her son had growing up watching the Suns play, the memorial foundation created in his honor, and keeping his legacy alive through contributions to youth baseball.
An outstanding job by the folks at BaseballNewsHound.com who taped all of Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg‘s rehab start on Sunday for Hagerstown. They have edited down the footage into an eight minute clip showing all 31 of Strasburg’s pitches against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In addition at the end of the video they show the sea of people hoping for Strasburg’s autograph after the game. Outstanding job both with the video taping as well as the editing process. You can follow Baseball News Hound on twitter @BBNewsHound
Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg is likely days away from beginning a minor league rehab assignment according to MASNSports.com. The 23 year old Strasburg is coming off Tommy John surgery. He is likely to begin his rehab with the Low-A Hagerstown Suns before progressing to High-A Potomac and moving up from there. The former first overall pick back in 2009 created a frenzy, selling out stadiums across the northeast, as he moved through the minors in 2010, going 7-2 with a 1.30ERA in 11 combined starts for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators and Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. Strasburg made his major league debut on June 9th against the Pittsburgh Pirates and struck out 14 batters. He went 5-3 with a 2.91ERA in 12 big league starts before he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow on August 21st, 2010 against the Philadelphia Phillies and had Tommy John surgery on September 3rd. If Strasburg’s rehab assignment runs smoothly it is likely he will be back in the Nationals rotation sometime in early September, a little over a year after the injury occurred.
The Cincinnati Reds have traded Jonny Gomes to the Washington Nationals for Bill Rhinehart and Chris Manno. The 26 year old Rhinehart is in the middle of his 4th season at Double-A Harrisburg. He is currently having a career year hitting .289 with 17 Doubles, 21 Home Runs, and 59 RBI’s. The outfielder was a 2011 Eastern League All Star. He was an 11th round pick of the Nationals in the 2007 draft. Manno was a 26th round pick out of Duke in 2010. Since turning pro, the 6’3″ lefty has been a force out of the bullpen. This year at Low-A Hagerstown, Manno posted a 1-3 record with 12 saves in 34 appearances out of the pen. He’s struck out 69 batters and opponents are hitting a ridiculously low .135 against him. The 22 year old was a 2011 Sally League All Star.
This is sure to be a story that will get a ton of publicity over the next few days. Sports Illustrated has posted on their website, Tom Verducci’s latest story on Bryce Harper that will hit news stands in the August 1st issue of the magazine. If you remember it was Verducci that introduced Harper to the world with the cover story back in 2009 with his Baseball’s Chosen One cover story. Among the standout items of the new article is quotes by Washington Nationals director of player development Doug Harris, and minor league coordinator Tony Tarasco comparing Harper’s scrutiny to that faced by Jackie Robinson. The in depth story focuses on Harper’s rise through the Nationals’ minor league system, the backlash he’s seen from opposing players and fans, the infamous kiss blowing incident, buying his #34 from a Harrisburg Senators teammate, and day to day life as baseball’s biggest prospect. It’s a very good read.
The staff of the Low-A Augusta GreenJackets worked overtime Wednesday night as a 50 foot section of the centerfield wall at Lake Olmstead Stadium was blown down during a Thunderstorm. After a tireless effort, that included a battle with a cluster of fire ants, the fence was rebuilt before the scheduled game time Thursday evening. However depsite their efforts more rain came into the Augusta area, and the GreenJackets Thursday night doubleheader with the Hagerstown Suns was postponed. See the full story including comments from Jackets general manager Nick Brown.