Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jeff Bailey signs with Arizona

Former Cougar Jeff Bailey signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a free agent yesterday. He played in 26 games last year for the Boston Red Sox. Hitting .208 in 77 at bats with three home runs. In three years in Boston and his only years in the majors, he has hit .228 in 136 at bats with 6 homers and 16 runs batted in.

Bailey played in the Boston system for six years. The last four years at Pawtuckett. Last year he hit .262 with 10 homers in 63 games. His best year was 2008 in which he hit .301 in 109 games with 25 homers and 75 runs batted in. He matched his career high in hits with 126.

Jeff began his career in the Flordia system. Spending two years in the gulf coast league before becoming a Cougar in 1999. He hit .278 in 76 games with Kane County. In the playoffs he has a it in five of the seven games, along with a homer and a triple. Plus seven runs batted in.

After that he played a couple of more seasons in the Florida system before signing with Montreal as a free agent in2002. In 2004 he signed with Boston. Jeff made his major league debut on July 6th, 2007 with Boston.

Bailey was originally a second round pick by the Florida Marlins in 1997 out of Kelso High School in Washington. He turns 31 during the 2010 season.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lots of Signings and News

Lots of signings and news of former Cougars tonight

Former Cougar manager Juan Bustabad (98) has been assigned to manage the Great Lakes Loons in the Midwest League for the third straight year.

Nic Ungs (02) has been re-signed by Florida
Larry Cobb has been released by Oakland
John Suomi was signed by Philadelphia
Brian Stavisky was re-signed by Philadelphia
Javier Herrera was signed by the Yankees

Ungs played for the Cougars in 2002 for the Jacksonville Suns last year going 10-3 in 18 starts with a 2.37 era.

Larry Cobb played for the Cougars in 2007 and 2008. He was suspended for most of last year due to testing positive for an amphetimine.

John Soumi played for the Cougars in 2003. He has bounced around since then between Philadelphia, Washington and Kansas City. Suomi has been picked in the rule 5 draft twice in his career. Last year he spent time in both Nortwest Arkansas and Omaha both in the Royals system

Brian Stavisky played for the Cougars in 2003. He left the A's system in 2007. Brian spent time in 2008 in independent ball in Lancaster. He hit .282 and earned a shot with Arkansas in the Angels system. Last year he spent in Reading in the Phillies system where he hit .279 in 118 games.

Javier Herrera played for the Cougars in 2005. He was suspended for the begining of the 2005 season due to steriods. Javier has spent the majority of his career on the disabled list, but was once a five tool prospect. Last year he played in one game for Midland in the A's system

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wes Long (05-06) signs with Winnepeg

Wes Long signed with the Winnepeg Goldeyes of the Northern League Last year the 27 year old played for the Goldeyes also. He started out the year by getting play of the month honors in May. He hit .313. He was named to the Northern League all star team. His season ended early though, on June 30th in Schaumburg he would fracture his left ankle and be done for the season. He hit .343 with three homer and 15 stolen bases.

His previous two season he played for the Windy City Thunderbolts in the Chicago suburbs. He hit .331 in 2008 with 11 homers and 71 runs batted in. In 2007 he hit .334 with 7 homers and 67 runs batted in. He also hit 36 doubles in 2007.

In 2006 he would be a Cougar for 84 games, he hit .198. His other time with the Cougars was in 2005 when he hit .193. Wes started out his career hitting .345 for the Arizona Athletics in 2004 before ending that year in Vancouver hitting .286.

He attended the University of Alabama at Huntsville and was a 29th round selection of the A's in 2004.

Matt Treanor (99, 01) signs with Milwaukee

Matt Treanor signs with Milwaukee to be their backup catcher. Treanor who is going to be 34 this season and has been in the majors for six years is on his third team. He played five years with Florida begining in 2004-2008 as the backup catcher. He only played in 274 games hitting .237. Matt played last year for the Detroit Tigers, he only got into 4 games and did not have a hit.

Treanor has played 12 years in the minors, ten before his first taste of the big leagues. In 2008 he spent most of the year on the disabled list. His last time before that in the minors was 2004 in Albuquerque. Matt began his career in 1994 in the Kansas City Royals system. He would spend three years there before being traded to the Marlins. He was originally a 4th round pitch of the Royals in the 94 draft out of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. He was traded straight up to the Marlins for Matt Whisenant just before the trade deadline in 1997.

Cougar fans would remember him for the 1999 season in which he hit .286 in 86 games with 10 homers and 53 runs batted in. He also made a stop to Geneva in 2001 on a rehab outing in which he gota hit and two walks in his three plate appearances. His big moment for the Cougars came in game three of the Midwest League semi finals in which he hit a homer in the 8th inning off of Burling pitcher Brandon Whatley. The Cougars would eventually lose that game.

Claudio Vargas (99) signs with Milwaukee

Claudio Vargas re-signed with Milwaukee. He spent most of the year in 2009 with the Brewers, going 1-0 with a 1.78 era in 28 relief appearances. He only pitched 30.1 innings, giving up 18 hits. He did walk 11 while striking out 20. He started out the year in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, there he had no record but a 1.64 era in eight relief appearances. He was traded to Milwaukee on July 31st for Vinny Rottino.

The reason he didn't pitch that much in the begining is he was placed on the 60 day disabled list on April 6ththe with elbow tendenitis by the Dodgers.

In 2008 he pitched for the New York Mets. He went 3 and 2 with a 4.62 era in 11 games. The Mets had him start four of those games. He only had 37 innings for the year. He spent a good portion of the year in AAA-New Orleans. Where he went 5-2 with a 4.36 era in eight starts.

He has bounced around the majors since his debut in 2003 with the Montreal Expos. He pitched two year with Montreal going a combined 11-13 in 68 games, 34 starts. In 2005 he started out the year with Washington going 0-3 with a 9.24 era. In June he would be claimed on waivers by Arizona. He ended up going 9-6 with a 4.81 era in 21 games, 19 starts with the Diamondbacks.

The next year he went 12-10 with a 4.83 era in 31 games, 30 of them starts. He gave up 185 hits in 167.2 innings and 27 home runs. In November he was traded by the Diamondbacks to Milwaukee.

Claudio came up with the Marlins, he made his pro debut in 1996 as a 17 year old in the Dominican. In 1999 he would come to Kane County. He went 5-5 with a 3.88 era in 19 starts with one complete game. He walked 41 and struck out 88 as a 20 year old.

His complete games came on June 4th in Cedar Rapids. He would get the win, giving up two hits and one run. He walked two and struck out five.

After Kane County he went to Brevard County, Portland and Calgary in the Marlins system. He was sent to Montreal in July 11th, 2002 in a traded forCarl Pavano, and four others for Cliff Floyd and Wilton Guerrrero. With Montreal he played in Harrisburg and Edmonton. He would be named Eastern League (AA) pitcher of the week in 2003. He has also pitched for New Orleans twice 2005, 2008 and a rehab start in St. Lucie in 2008.

Vargas is 31 years old comming into the 2010 season and has a major league record of 47-40 with a 4.76 era in 200 appearances with 114 starts and on save.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Marcus McBeth signs with Oakland (03, 05)

Marcus McBeth signed with the Oakland Athletics, a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. This will be his second time with Oakland, as he came up with them.

Marcus spent last year in AAA Pawtucket in the Boston system. He went 2-3 with a 2.69 era in 44 games with 3 saves. He pitched 67 innings, and gave up only 43 hits, and 30 walks while striking out 66. Before that in 2008 he pitched in both Louisville and in Pawtucket. He combined to go 2-1 in 28 games. In Louisville he went 1-1 with a 6.20 era in 24.2 innings.

McBeth made his major league debut with the Cincinnati Reds on June 6th, 2007. He would get into 23 games with the Reds that season, going 3-2 with a 5.95 era. He also pitched in Louisville that season for the Reds AAA affiliate, going 1-1 with a 2.56 era in 30 games with 12 saves.

He was traded On April 27th of 2007 from Oakland to Cincinnati for Chris Denorfia. Before the trade McBeth was in Sacramento, AAA for the A's. He was 1-0 with a 1.80 era in 8 games with 5 saves.

In 2006 Marcus pitched in three diffrent stops for the A's. He went from A-Stockton to AA-Midland to AAA-Sacramento. His start of the year was great he gave up no runs in eight games in Stockton with seven saves. After that he would spend the majority of the year in Midland. In 44 games he went 3-2 with a 2.53 era with 24 saves. He really struggled in a six game stretch in Sacramento with a 11.05 era.

The amazing thing about McBeth is that he started out as a right fielder with a cannon of an arm. He was drafted by the A's in the 4th round of the 2001 draft out of the University of South Carolina. He would play his first games in 2002 and would combine to hit .227 in the Arizona rookie league and A-Visalia. The next year he came to Kane County as our right fielder. He would hit .256 in 68 games with 4 homers, 9 doubles and 3 triples. His season would end prematurly on July 26th as he tore some ligaments in his hand going after a ball in the outfield.

After that he would move up to A-Modesto in 2004 and hit .234 in 99 games. His arm was always really strong, so the A's made a pitcher out of him.On May 30th, 2005 he came back to the Cougars this time to work out of the bullpen and learn how to pitch.

He would go 1-2 with a 5.03 era in 16 games for the Cougars. His season was over a early that year as on July 29th he was placed on the disabled list with a right pinky contusion.

Marcus is 29 years old going into the 2010 season, his arm is pretty fresh as he has only thrown less than 300 innings. He will either be in the A's bullpen or more than likely will be in AAA-Sacramento as insurance.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Josh Wilson (00-01) signs with Seattle

Josh Wilson was re-signed by the Seattle Mariners as a utility man. He is going to be 29 going into the season and this will be his 4th major league year, and his sixth team. Last year he played for Arizona, San Diego and Seattle, he hit .219 in 72 games, 192 at bats. He did hit 3 homers and have 11 doubles. As a big leaguer he has hit .227 in 188 games.

He played for the Cougars in 2000 and 2001. In 2000 he came up on June 3rd. He would play with the Cougars for two weeks then get assigned elsewhere. Josh came back for the final two games of the regular season and the playoffs. In the playoffs he would go 2-12 with a homer.

Wilson spent the entire 2001 season with the Cougars. That would be the only championship the Cougars have ever gotten. In the playoffs he had a hit in each game, including three doubles and a homer in the final four. During the 2000 season he hit .269 for the Cougars in 13 games. In the 2001 season he hit .285 in 123 games.

After his time in Kane County he went up through the Florida Marlins system, and would make his major league debut in 2005. After that he went to Colorado, Washington, Tampa and Seattle .

Wilson was a third round pick by the Marlins in the 1999 draft out of Mount Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh.

Santiago Casilla (03-04) released by Oakland

Santiago Casilla was released by the Oakland A's. He was in their bullpen for six years, the last three as a mainstay. He appeared in 152 games in relief, with a 6-4, 5.11 era and 4 saves.

Santiago or as Cougar fans remember him by Jairo Garcia, pitched as a starter for the Cougars in 2003. In 14 games he started nine of them and had one complete game. The next year he came back and was the closer and was lights out. In 25 games he had 16 saves and a .30 era. He shot through the rest of the minors in the A's system and made his major league debut. Over the next two years he would be going back and forth between the A's and AAA Sacramento.

Casilla is a free agent, after the A's released him, eventhough some reports suggest they were going to non tender him anyways. He is going to be 30 this coming season, he was born in the Dominican Republic.

Ben Jukich (06) Taken in Rule 5 draft by St. Louis

Ben Jukich was taken in the rule 5 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Cincinnati Reds. He was taken in the major league portion of the draft which means that he must be on the Cardinals major league roster all season in 2010 or be offered back to the Reds.

Jukich pitched for the Cougars in 2006, while he was still in the Oakland system. He went 3-2 with a 2.38 era in 13 games. Only four of those were starts as this was his first year in pro ball. He pitched 41.2 innings and gave up 41 hits, but got 40 strikeouts. He did walk 25 that year. He pitched two games in the playoffs and one won of them. He would have a 1.15 era in the playoffs that year for the Cougars. In the first game he pitched in the playoffs he went into the eighth inning while only giving up four hits and no runs. He ended up striking out eight and walking two. He threw 119 pitches. In the second game, this would be the championship round against West Michigan, he went eight innings in a no decison. He gave up three hits and two runs.

Ben came to the Cougars on July 6th and started that game at home against Dayton. He would win his next three games. He did move permanatly into the rotation untill his last couple of starts of the season.

From Kane County he went to Stockton for the 2007 season. He would get traded in June to the Cincinnati Reds to complete the deal in which the A's sent Marcus McBeth to the Reds for Chris Denorfia.. He got assigned to Sarasota and made 14 starts, going 8-2 with a 3.55 era.

In 2008 he pitched in both AA Chattanooga, 10-4, 3.82 and AAA Louisville 1-1, 4.37. In Chattanooga he would throw 139 innings, which would be the most in his career.

Last year he went 9-6 with a 4.10 era for Louisville. He was originally drafted by Oakland in the 13th round of the 2006 draft. He will be 27 years old this season, and was botn in Duluth, Minnesota.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ross Gload (98) Signs with Philadelphia

Ross Gload who played for the Cougars in 1998 signed today with the Philadelphia Phillies. This is Gload's sixth major league team, he is regarded as a good pitch hitter and excellent first baseman. Last year with Florida he hit .261 in 125 games. He only had 230 at bats in those games. He had six homers and ten doubles. The previous two years he spent in Kansas City. He hit .288 in 2007 and .273 in 2008 for the Royals. Before that he spent three season on the south side of Chicago. He originally came up with the Cubs in the 2000 season after a trade brought him to the north side. He spent 2002 in the big leagues with the Colorado Rockies. In eight big league seasons he is a .283 hitter in 608 games with 28 homers and 192 runs batted in.

Kane County fans will remember him as being the co- MVP of the 1998 team as our first baseman. He shared the award with A.J. Burnett. In 98 he played in 132 games and hit .313 with 12 homers and 92 rbi's. He would move to Brevard County the next year and hit .298 with 10 homers. In 2000 he started the season with the AA Portland Seadogs and finished it with the AAA Iowa Cubs. In all he would hit .309 with 30 homer in 128 games. In nine seasons in the minors he has hit .309 with 120 homers in 892 at bats.

As a first baseman at least at Kane County he was good with the glove. In 129 games at first he had a fielding percentage of .989 with 14 errors for the year.

Gload signed a two year contract with the Phillies to come off of their bench. He is 34 years old and was drafted in the 13th round of the 1997 draft by the Florida Marlins out of the Unviersity of South Florida. He is originally from the Bronx, New York, and went to East Hampton, New York High School

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Greg Zaun Signs with Milwaukee

Greg Zaun signed with the Milwaukee Brewers to be their back up catcher. The 38 year old major league vetern will be entering his 16th major league season. He was an original Kane County Cougar back in their first year in existance in 1991.

Zaun would spend the entire year here as the starting catcher before moving up the ladder year by year in the Baltimore Orioles system. He left the O's in 1996 after spending parts of four seasons with AAA Rochester.

He would get to play for a World Series as the back up to Charles Johnson on the 1997 Florida Marlins, before moving on to Texas, Kansas City, Houston, and Colorado.

He would be able to spend five years with the Toronto Blue Jays as their backup catcher from 2004-2008. In 2009 he played for both Tampa and Baltimore.

Greg started out the season as the starter, basically filling in untill super prospect Matt Wieters was ready to make it to the majors. After that he moved on to Tampa.

Zaun is a career .251 hitter with 86 homers and 432 runs batted in. He has played in 1204 games in the majors.

White Sox

The White Sox have upgraded their bench this offseason, they have signed Mark Kotsay, Omar Vizquel and Andrew Jones. That is a start for them on the bench. Yes, I believe it is an upgrade over last years bench, only in the fact that it has a lot more expierence pitch hitting wise. Kotsay can play corner outfield or first base. Vizquel who was a fantastic shortstop, they now wanthim to play a more utility role. Meaning he will have to play second and third also. We will see how he handles that at his advanced age.

Andrew Jones was once a great hitter, he was once an all star. Everything went south for him all of a sudden in one year in Atlanta. He is an upgrade in the outfield off the bench. Can he return to his former glory?

What the Sox need is an outfield, they set Jeremaine Dye free. Alexis Rios is really a distaster. I dont think he will make it as a starting outfielder. He doesnt seem to be able to hit, hit for power, or seem that interested sometimes.

Only 125 More Days Till Opening Day

Well I rode to work today, it was 25 degrees and the wind chill was 14. The wind was blowing hard out of the west. I made it with no problems. Work sucked but oh well. Thats a story for another day. Thankfully when I got off a 4pm, I ate, and then got offered a ride home.

Coming home I would've been going straight into the teeth of the wind the entire way home. Plus there was frost on the ground and I dont really want to deal with ice.

The training for next season is going well. i went this evening after watching my Hawks lose, over to the gym. Rode 20 miles and did weights. I have the next three days off work, so I probly will spend a lot of time sitting on my ass here in front of the computer working on the website, and over on my ass at the gym on the dam stationary bike. It is supposed to get into the 30's tomorrow and on Sunday. Then we get snow and mid 20's. I hate winter.

The Hawks were probly trying to do too much with the puck tonight, and not getting shots on net, and getting in the way of the goalie. He had clear vision of the shots and was great. Huet also let in two goals in the last five minutes to make it a 4-1 loss. There goes eight in a row at home. Tomorrow they play the deffending champs in Pittsburgh. I have to miss most of the game since I have a dinner to attend.

Cougar news. Greg Zaun, who was an original Cougar in 91 was signed by Milwaukee. He is 38 yrs old.