The Lake Elsinore Storm’s Grounds Crew Gorilla, who had an epic battle with former Los Angles Dodgers and current Seattle Mariners outfielder Trayvon Robinson back in 2009 (see the second and third videos below), debuted a new act tonight during the Storm’s game Tuesday against the Inland Empire 66ers. He throws jumps through a barrier, barrel rolls down a large berm, and then drops another five or six feet onto the field, and still finds the energy to do the worm. Someone give the Gorilla a raise. Be sure to watch his battle with Trayvon “Gorilla Killa” Robinson if you haven’t seen it. It’s awesome.
He’s a legend in Philadelphia and is a household name on Baseball Tonight and not so long ago John Kruk was the manager of the Double-A Reading Phillies. He sat down with our friend Jessica Quiroli, who is a must follow on twitter @HeelsOnTheField, and talked about his time going through the minors as a player, the frustrations of being a minor league coach, and the baseball landscape has changed since he made his debut with the San Diego Padres in 1986. It’s a great read.
John Kruk Reflects On His Bus Leagues Days, Weighs In On Minors Today — BaseballDigest.com
San Diego Padres prospect Beamer Weems lived through what every baseball player fears. On July 5th Tulsa Drillers pitcher Dustin Molleken had a 95 MPH fastball get away from him, and it ended up drilling Weems square in the face. In a split second the San Antonio Missions shortstop’s future hung in the balance. The impact resulted in two hours of surgery, 29 screws, and seven plates to repair broken bones in his eye socket, nasal cavity, cheekbone, and jaw. In the story Weems talks about the ordeal, describes what he felt at the moment of impact, his thankfulness for the full recovery that is expected, and looking forward to getting back on the field in 2012. It’s a great read.
Weems’ unflinching resolve to play ball MySanAntonio.com
Concussions & Rare Inner Ear Disease Ends The Career Of Padres 2007 First Round Pick Drew Cumberland
Concussions and an inner ear disease known as bilateral vestibulopathy have ended the once promising career of San Diego Padres shortstop prospect Drew Cumberland. The Florida native was forced to hang up his cleats at age 22 after battling excruciating headaches and dizziness he had been experiencing since high school became so severe that doctors feared for his future well being had his career continued. Reading the fascinating article below makes it all the more remarkable that Cumberland was a standout on the diamond as a pro, quickly establishing himself as one of the top hitting prospects in the Padres organization. His best season as a pro came in 2010 when he hit a combined .350 with 18 Doubles, 4 Triples, 7 Home Runs, and 21 Stolen Bases in 75 games between the Low-A Lake Elsinore Storm and the Double-A San Antonio Missions. The performance earned him a spot in the 2010 Futures Game. In the story Cumberland talks about hiding the awful effects of the condition for as long as he possibly could, the nightmare of pain he endured on a daily basis during his career, and coming to terms with moving on. It’s a must read article.
UPDATE: Cumberland is going to try to continue his career in 2012 after finding that his condition can be controlled. Best of luck in his comeback!!! You can read the full story: Cumberland has opportunity to resume career — MLB.com
Long after retirement and after a few years of coaching high school ball, Jimmy Jones picked up the phone and called his old pitching coach Bob Cluck, who was a consultant to the San Diego Padres, with an interest in coaching in the minor leagues. Soon after the conversation Jones, who debuted with the Padres, and pitched for the Astros, Yankees, and Expos before ending his career in 1993, found himself back with San Diego as a pitching coach on their Rookie League team in Arizona. The Padres have thought highly enough of the work Jones did in Arizona to promote him to Double-A where he is currently the pitching coach for the San Antonio Missions. In the story, Jones, who was the 3rd overall pick in the 1982 draft (two picks ahead of Dwight Gooden), talks about how he learned from the Hall of Fame teammates he played with in the bigs, coaching some of the Padres top pitching prospects, and what it means to coach within the organization he made his major league debut. It’s a great read.
The San Diego Padres have traded Mike Adams to the Texas Rangers for pitching prospects Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland. The 20 year old Erlin is the number two ranked pitching prospect in the Rangers organization. This season between the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans and the Double-A Frisco Roughriders, Erlin has posted an 8-4 record with a 3.34 ERA. He has struck out 123 batters in 121 innings pitched while walking just 12 batters. Opposing hitters are batting .219 off him. In 2010 Erlin went 6-3 with a 2.12ERA for the Low-A Hickory Crawdads where he struck out 125 batters in 114 innings while walking just 17 batters. The 6’0″ lefty was a third round pick of the Rangers in the 2009 draft. Wieland, who threw a No Hitter this past Friday has had a breakout 2011 season between Myrtle Beach and Frisco going a combined 10-3 with a 1.80ERA while striking out 132 batters and walking just 15 in 129 innings of work. Opposing hitters are batting just .233. In 2010 between Hickory and the High-A Bakersfield Blaze, Wieland went 11-7 with a 4.07ERA. The 21 year old right hander was a fourth round pick by the Rangers in the 2008 draft.
Texas Rangers pitcher Joseph Wieland threw a No Hitter on Friday against the San Antonio Missions in Texas League action. The only thing separating Wieland from a perfect game was a seventh inning walk to Andy Parrino who was then erased on a caught stealing. Wieland faced the minimum 27 batters in the game. The final out was a ground out to second by Padres prospect Dan Robertson. The 21 year old right hander put up a final line of 9IP, 0ER, 0H, 1BB, 7K’s, and picked up his 4th win since debuting with the Double-A Frisco Roughriders during last week in June. He was 6-3 with a 2.10ERA in 13 starts for the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans prior to the promotion. Wieland was a fourth round pick of the Rangers in the 2008 draft. You can follow Joe Wieland on twitter @JWieland108
In a promotion that will go down as a dog gone success, the San Diego Padres are the new Guinness Book of World Records holder for the record of Most Dogs In A Costume Parade, as 337 dogs in costume paraded around the Petco Park outfield before the Padres game with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night. Check out the video of the July 27, 2011 record setting parade below.
Multiple sources across the web are reporting that former New York Yankees, Montreal Expos, and Texas Rangers pitcher Hideki Irabu was found hung in an apparent suicide earlier today. He was 42. Irabu who was originally purchased by the Padres from the Chiba Lotte Mariners of Japan’s Pacific Coast League refused sign with San Diego and was traded to the New York Yankees where he began his big league career in 1997. Irabu underachieved for most of his career in the states with his best year coming in 1998 when he went 13-9 with a 4.06 ERA for the Yankees. He finished his career going 5-15 over three seasons with the Expos and Rangers before going back to Japan to finish out his career. In 2009 Irabu came back to the states signing with the Long Beach Armada of the Golden League. You can watch his welcoming press conference below. Baseball card collectors will remember the 1997 Hideki Irabu Bowman Chrome Rookie being one of the most sought after rookie cards of the 1990′s when Irabu first hit the major leagues.
The Padres may have a breakout second base prospect in the form of 20 year old Jonathan Galvez. The native of the Dominican Republic is batting .300 with 25 Doubles, 5 Triples, 8 Home Runs, and 60 Rbi’s for High-A Lake Elsinore in the California League. Galvez has also been very effective on the bases stealing 29 in 35 attempts. All of those offensive numbers are career highs, except for Home Runs, he is two off of last year’s total of 10. In the story, Galvez talks about working hard to improve defensive skills (40 errors in 2010) so they match his hitting prowess and the joy his family felt when he originally signed with the Padres.