Flintoff & Dunn's NEWS ARCHIVE
APRIL 2008

It is intended that this page will maintain a historical record of previous news published on this site. From time to time we will archive old or outdated news on our "WHAT'S NEW" & "AUSSIES IN THE US LEAGUES" pages. It may interest some people to read the developments in chronological order right here.

ARCHIVED NEWS FROM APRIL 2008 BEGINS BELOW:

ARCHIVE
APR 2008

To make things easier for our loyal suscribers we will adopt a new format of
providing news involving
AUSTRALIAN Players in yellow text, while 
news about former AMLB IMPORT Players will be in white text.

 

 

28 APR 2008 - HARMAN, HUBER & THOMPSON PLAY!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Brad Harman


Rich Thompson


Justin Huber

Australia’s 26th major leaguer BRAD HARMAN made another big league appearance for the Philadelphia Phillies today when he pinch hit during their 1-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Brad pinch hit for Brett Myers in the top of the sixth and he milked a five pitch walk from lefty Pat Maholm with one out in the inning. That was all for him today after making a small contribution with his 0-0 (.250).

MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) pitched 1.0ip 2h 0er 0bb 1k (2.16ERA) for the Colorado Rockies near the end of their 2-3 defeat by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

… and from yesterday’s MLB games:

Aussie pitcher RICHARD THOMPSON made a solid return to major league action, pitching 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (22.50ERA) in relief for the Los Angeles Angels during their 4-6 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Thompson replaced Darren O’Day to start the bottom of the eighth and he kept the ‘Halos’ in the contest by hurling a scoreless 1-2-3 inning. He firstly battled the dangerous Brandon Inge before having him called out on strikes with a full-count fastball, then he battled leadoff man Curtis Granderson before having him ground out to the first baseman on his sixth pitch. ‘Rich’ finished the job by having the tough Placido Polanco ground out to the short stop on his second pitch. It was an effort that should restore some confidence for Thompson after he took some lumps at the big league level earlier this season.

Australian slugger JUSTIN HUBER also earned a couple more plate appearances with the San Diego Padres in their 8-7, 13-inning win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Justin took over at left field after joining the game as a defensive replacement as part of a double-switch involving pitching legend Trevor Hoffman in the top of the tenth frame. He hit the ball hard both times in this game for almost identical results, beginning in the bottom of the tenth when his laced line drive from the first pitch of Doug Slaten found the centre fielder. Huber also lined out to centre field from the second offering of Yusmerio Petit with two out in the bottom of the 12th inning… it completed his 0-2 (.250) game.

RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) recorded his third hold of the season while pitching 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (2.45ERA) for the Kansas City Royals during their 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

26 APR 2008 - BRAD HARMAN STARTS & DOUBLES!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Brad Harman


Justin Huber
 

 

 

 

 


Ryan
Rowland-Smith

 


David Ross


Gary Matthews

Having made his cameo big league debut this week, Australia’s newest major leaguer BRAD HARMAN made his first start in “The Show” today when he played at first base and batted in the #8 slot for the Philadelphia Phillies in their tight 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. With none on and one out in the top of the second inning Brad flied out to the centre fielder from the sixth pitch of ‘Bucs’ starting pitcher Zach Duke. In the top of the fourth Harman demonstrated his hitting class with a lashing RBI double to left field from Duke’s first pitch fastball with one on and none out. Facing Duke again in the top of the sixth he grounded out to the first baseman on a 2-0 count with none on and one out. Harman didn’t get to bat again when he was replaced before the eighth inning by pinch hitter Greg Dobbs, finishing his day with 1-3 (.250) that included his important RBI and a run scored himself. He would have enjoyed his first major league hit!

Aussie JUSTIN HUBER earned another start at left field today when he batted in the six-hole for the San Diego Padres during their 1-5 defeat by the Arizona Diamondbacks. We would have cause to wonder whether D-Backs’ future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Randy ‘Big Unit’ Johnson may have been stung by Huber’s home run against him in their previous clash? The first suggestion of this was the four pitch walk he issued with none on and two out in the bottom of the second frame. The suggestion would be heightened in the bottom of the fourth when the ‘Big Unit’ nailed Huber with a hit by pitched ball with runners on the corners! Our boy may have been a little frustrated with the events when he struck out swinging on three pitches by Johnson with none on and two out in the bottom of the sixth. His final at bat saw him called out on strikes from five pitches by reliever Brandon Lyon with none on and one out in the bottom of the ninth. Huber batted 0-2 (.278) with a walk today.

JUSTIN HUBER also came off the bench in the final two games of the Padres previous series against the San Francisco Giants. In yesterday’s 2-3 defeat in 13 innings, Huber batted 0-2 after coming into the game as part of a double-switch for pitching legend Trevor Hoffman. With none on and two out in the bottom of the tenth he flied out to right field from the third pitch of Tyler Walker. In the bottom of the twelfth he flied out to centre field with two on and one out from the third pitch fastball of Keiichi Yabu. In Thursday’s 0-1 loss to the Giants, Huber pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth with one out and he was quickly struck out by the hard throwing Brian Wilson. It can be tough coming off the bench, but even tougher when you need to tune into the velocity of Wilson’s 96-97mph flame throwers. Huber, who never saw a fastball that he didn’t like, was in a hurry to tie the game with one swing when he fanned on three successive fastballs!

Also on Thursday, Australian pitcher RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH found out one of the reasons that relief pitching can be such a thankless task when he took the loss for the Seattle Mariners, pitching 1.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 1k (4.91ERA) in their 2-3 defeat by the Baltimore Orioles. Entering the game in the top of the eighth to replace Sean Green, Rowland-Smith started with a 90mph “get me over” strike which Mick Markakis promptly deposited over right field for what turned out to be the game-winning home run. He polished off the inning by having veteran Kevin Millar ground out to the short stop, Luke Scott struck out swinging and Aubrey Huff ground out to the short stop. Ryan was then substituted for Brandon Morrow who pitched the ninth inning for the M’s.

In today’s other action:

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) pitched 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (1.69ERA) for the Tampa Bay Rays in their 4-3, 11-inning win over the Boston Red Sox.

Veteran Texas Rangers stalwart KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) did not have his best start of the season today but he took a no-decision in his team’s 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. ‘Big Kev’ pitched 6.0ip 8h 5er 3bb 6k (3.32ERA) on this occasion.

… and from Thursday and Friday’s other MLB action:

Backup catcher DAVID ROSS (MLB All-Stars 2001) made his second appearance for the Cincinnati Reds this season in their 3-9 loss to the Houston Astros when he batted a handy 2-4 (.500).

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) also batted 2-4 (.302) for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 3-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Taking full advantage of a Boston Red Sox team suddenly crippled by a flu bug was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) and his Los Angeles Angels team. Matthews launched home runs numbers three and four for the season while batting 2-4 with the two RBI’s in a 6-4 win for the ‘Halos’.
In another 7-5 win yesterday, he batted a massive 3-5 (.266) with three RBI’s.

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) claimed his second hold of the season with 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (1.86ERA) for the Tampa Bay Rays in their 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

23 APR 2008 - BRAD HARMAN 26th MLB AUSTRALIAN!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Brad Harman


Justin Huber


Geoff Blum

22yo Victorian short stop BRAD HARMAN today (23 April 2008 AUS time) became the 26th Australian to reach baseball’s pinnacle; the US major league. Harman made his big league debut as a pinch hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies during their 8-6 win over the Colorado Rockies in front of a 26,665 crowd at Coors Field, Denver, Colorado. In fact our Brad was to make the last out of the game for the Phillies when he replaced Ryan Madson as a pinch hitter with two out in the top of the ninth. Brad battled Rockies closer Manny Corpas until he popped out to short stop on his fifth pitch fastball. He was then lifted before the bottom of the ninth in a defensive adjustment when he was replaced by closing pitcher Brad Lidge. 
‘Flintoff & Dunn’ CONGRATULATES Brad on making it all the way to the top and we hope that he gets plenty more opportunities to become a regular big league player.

Fellow Victorian JUSTIN HUBER added another pinch hit appearance for the San Diego Padres yesterday during their 3-10 loss to the Houston Astros. Huber replaced Kevin Cameron with two out in the top of the ninth inning and he delivered again with a ringing double to deep centre field after battling Oscar Villarreal for a six pitch full count. Justin further improved his solid record this season with his 1-1 (.385).
In this game
GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-3 with a RBI, before nailing his third home run today with 2-5 (.233) for the Astros in their 11-7 victory over the Padres.

In today’s other MLB action:

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) “went yard” for the fourth time this season while batting 1-4 (.293) for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 4-6 defeat by the Tampa Bay Rays.

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-5 (.235) for the Los Angeles Angels who were beaten 6-7 by the Boston Red Sox.

And, pitching for the Colorado Rockies in yesterday’s 5-9 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies were MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) with 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (2.13ERA) for his second hold of the year and MICAH BOWIE (Melbourne Monarchs 1998) with 1.0ip 3h 3er 0bb 1k (9.00ERA). 

 

21 APR 2008 - HUBER HOMERS & RRS SAVES!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Justin Huber

 

 

 

 




Ryan
Rowland-Smith

 

 


Geoff Blum

Australia’s JUSTIN HUBER seems to have finally found himself in the right place at the right time, earning another start at left field with the San Diego Padres in their 9-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The former catcher may not be a natural outfielder, but his hitting potential was obviously good enough for the Padres to give him a shot, and he batted in the seven-hole today. He emphasised this potential with a performance that might see him earn a more regular start and in what was probably his best major league performance to date. On this day Huber’s Padres would face the ever daunting visage of Arizona’s pitching legend Randy ‘Big Unit’ Johnson… the 6’10” left hander who has terrorised major league hitters in a 21-year career that has witnessed no fewer than 4,623 strikeouts… third all-time in major league history!

Huber’s first plate appearance in the top of the second inning came with one out and it produced an uneventful ground ball out to the short stop. In the top of the fourth he came to bat again with one out and he became just one of the long list of Johnson’s strike out victims when he fanned at a full count slider after seeing nothing else but fastballs in the at bat. Just when the ‘Big Unit’ may have thought that he had the measure of Huber, our guy turned the tables in the sixth frame with two on and one out when he drilled a 92mph 1-2 pitch fastball for a three-run 'jack' over left field… his first major league homer!
Next time up in the top of the eighth frame, Justin lined a spanking single up the middle with one on and none out off Doug Slaten’s second pitch fastball. He had a fifth at bat in the ninth inning when he grounded out to the first baseman facing a Tony Pena 96mph fastball with one on and one out. In all it was a most productive and satisfying day for Justin Huber with his 2-5 (.333) that included his three-RBI long ball and he also scored twice. 

Another Aussie to enjoy a valuable day in his major league office was Seattle Mariners’ reliever RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH who survived a high-pressure situation to come away with his second save of the year. Our Ryan was asked to get the final out of the game for the Mariners in a game that they would ultimately win 4-2 over the Los Angeles Angels. To achieve this he would need to get the better of one of the Angels’ all-time RBI leaders, the clutch-hitting veteran Garrett Anderson who had the chance to turn the game on its head with the bases loaded and two out after the Halo’s had already rallied to score two runs in the ninth to halve the lead. It is a tribute to Rowland-Smith’s poise that he was able to win the full-count battle with his seventh pitch slider finding Anderson called out on strikes. RRS pitched 0.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (4.26ERA) today. In the same game GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) batted 1-2 (.237) with the only two RBI’s for the Angels.

Texas Rangers veteran starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) was deprived of another win when his team was overrun by the offensive force of the Boston Red Sox 5-6 in late innings again today. ‘Big Kev’ had slightly the better of Boston’s wily knuckleballer Tim Wakefield for most of the game as he was able to scatter ten hits, but he was consigned to a no-decision when the Red Sox pummelled his bullpen for two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth innings. His finishing line was an unfortunate 6.0ip 10h 2er 2bb 7k (2.53ERA).

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) did his best for the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching 1.2ip 1h 0er 1bb 2k (2.16ERA) during their 0-6 shutout loss to the New York Yankees.

Unable to stem the flow for the Kansas City Royals in their 1-7 defeat by the Oakland Athletics was RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) who pitched 1.0ip 2h 1er 2bb 2k (2.70ERA)

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) batted 1-4 (.212) with a RBI to help his Houston Astros to edge out the Colorado Rockies 6-4.

 

19 APR 2008 - HUBER PLAYS IN 22 INNING EPIC!

Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Justin Huber

 


M
icah Bowie

Well folks, you'd have been waiting a heck of a long time if we had stalled our report yesterday, waiting for the conclusion of the San Diego Padres 1-2 defeat by the visiting Colorado Rockies. As most of you would have heard by now, the game rambled on to become one of the longest in major league history with a 22-innings epic that lasted a draining six hours and sixteen minutes! As it turned out, our JUSTIN HUBER did not get to bat again after his third plate appearance that we reported yesterday, but this doesn't mean that he wasn't part of an historic game. In fact Huber, stationed at left field, took a deceptively difficult catch almost touching the fence the centre-left field in the top of the ninth when it looked like super-hitter Todd Helton may have hammered a go-ahead home run. He was replaced by pinch hitter Paul McAnulty in the bottom of the tenth in what might have been a match-winning move but for some horrendous base running. In early extra innings McAnulty crushed a deep double to right field but was thrown out trying to stretch a triple, thereby making the first out of the inning at third base... that's a NO NO folks!! McAnulty may well have scored in that inning to win the game for the Padres and to give the home fans a much earlier night! MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) and MICAH BOWIE (Melbourne Monarchs 1998) were just two of the Colorado Rockies pitchers to take the mound in a game that used up every available arm on both teams before it was done!

In today's game our JUSTIN HUBER was only allowed a brief trot as a defensive replacement at left field, but he did not get to bat during the Padres' 0-9 shutout defeat by the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.

In a quite amazing testament to competitiveness and durability, the Colorado Rockies travelled overnight after the 22-inning epic to topple the Houston Astros 11-5 today. Backing up to good effect were MATT HERGES who pitched 2.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 3k (2.31ERA) and MICAH BOWIE who pitched 1.0ip 2h 1er 1bb 0k (6.43ERA). They may have been running on pure adrenaline today, but tomorrow might be tougher?

  18 APR 2008 - HUBER STARTS, MOYLAN OUT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan
 

 

 

 

 



Justin Huber


Matt Herges

First and foremost, ‘Flintoff & Dunn’ extend our very best wishes to Australia’s finest current baseball ambassador PETER MOYLAN who has been cruelly struck down with injury at the height of his baseball career. Our loyal subscribers would be well aware of the quite brilliant performances of ‘Big Pete’ over the past few years after making his amazing climb to the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves.

Unfortunately, after another strong start to the 2008 season, Pete has recently been placed on the disabled list with an elbow injury and it now seems that the most likely prognosis is season ending “Tommy John surgery”. While this is by no means a career crippling injury these days, it is a nasty speed hump that Moylan hardly deserves after battling so hard to reach the top.

Here is some text transposed incomplete from the Atlanta Braves MLB web site: After evaluating Moylan on Wednesday in his Birmingham, Ala., offices, Dr. James Andrews determined it was too early to determine whether the Australian reliever would need to undergo Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. But Andrews confirmed the ulna collateral ligament in Moylan's right elbow has been compromised by a bone spur. The Braves' medical staff made this same diagnosis during its evaluation in Atlanta on Monday. Andrews wants Moylan to continue rehabbing over the next two weeks in hopes that the elbow might return to health. But because the spur is affecting the ligament, the Braves aren't able to be too optimistic. "I think, realistically, we know that it's a long shot that we can get Peter back this season," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "But we're going to give it two weeks to see what happens."

In much better news, Australia’s JUSTIN HUBER earned a start at left field with the San Diego Padres today and he batted in the #8 spot against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park. With one on and one out in the bottom of the second inning Justin flied out to centre field off a Jeff Francis changeup. In the bottom of the fourth he led off the inning and he battled a full count before Francis had him ground out to the second baseman. Huber led off again in the bottom of the eighth but this time he grounded out to the short stop from the third pitch of new hurler Brian Fuentes. The game was still deadlocked at 0-0 at the time of reporting. We’ll add anything more after the game is concluded.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) batted 1-3 (.328) with a walk today for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 1-4 defeat by the Texas Rangers. He also batted 1-6 for the Blue Jays in their “wild” 5-7 loss to the Rangers over 14 innings yesterday.

… and from yesterdays other later finishing games:

Unable to do enough to help his Los Angeles Angels prevent a 2-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted a solid 2-4 (.262).

MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) earned his first hold for the season with a most efficient 1.2ip 0h 0er 1bb 2k (3.12ERA) for the Colorado Rockies in their 10-2 thrashing of the San Diego Padres.

  17 APR 2008 - SNELLING PHILS HOME RUN HERO!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Chris Snelling
 



Gary Glover

Firstly, from yesterday, we were caught out again by posting our report before the conclusion of some later finishing games and we missed out on mentioning the heroics of Australia’s own CHRIS SNELLING. Chris played a vital role in what was to be an historic moment in the history of his new club the Philadelphia Phillies, assisting them to their first comeback victory when trailing by three runs in the ninth inning since 1955… and the only previous time they had achieved this was in the late 1890’s! The catalyst for the unlikely comeback was our feisty Aussie Snelling who had his name called from the bench to pinch hit for Carlos Ruiz as the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth. Snelling wasted no time in reducing the deficit to two when he drove the first pitch from reliever Jose Valverde for a dramatic home run over the right field wall. Snelling’s 1-1 (.500) effort with his first home run of the young season would prove to be the spark-plug for a “wild” comeback victory for the Phils that sent their home fans into hysteria! We are guessing that Chris Snelling will be a “fan favourite” for quite a while after this performance.

Chris Snelling also pinch hit for the Phillies again in today's 1-2 loss to the Astros, but on this occasion he couldn't get the ball safely into play for his 0-1 (.333)

In other later games yesterday:

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) was again solid in relief for the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching 1.1ip 2h 0er 2bb 0k (2.70ERA) at the end of their 3-5 loss to the New York Yankees.

Once again at the forefront of the Toronto Blue Jays 11-3 hammering of the Baltimore Orioles was their star slugger VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who batted 2-4 (.245) with a RBI.

  16 APR 2008 - ROWLAND-SMITH HOT & COLD!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith

 

 

 


Gary Matthews

Australian reliever RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH assumed the role of a fireman yesterday, helping his Seattle Mariners to escape a bases loaded jam in what turned out to be a 1-5 loss to the surprise packet Kansas City Royals. Ryan’s bullpen team mate Sean Green started the top of the seventh inning but he was unable to secure an out while allowing two hits and a walk to juice the bags. Rowland-Smith was promptly asked to tidy up the mess and he did so most effectively. He allowed David DeJesus to lift a sacrifice fly to centre field, but then he won the battle with experienced Mark Grudzielanek who popped out to the first baseman on an infield fly. He concluded the inning with Mark Teahen grounding out to the second baseman for his very solid 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (2.25ERA).

Rowland Smith found himself pitching to a similar part of the Royals’ lineup again today with not quite the same success. On this occasion he started strongly with Alex Gordon flying out to centre field and Ross Gload grounding out to the second baseman. As it so often happens, his troubles started with a two out walk issued to John Buck. He was cashed in by a Tony Pena Jnr. double to left field, then he was scored on a David DeJesus RBI single to right field. A third successive hit came via Mark Grudzielanek’s soft floater to left field. Ryan finally got the third out when Mark Teahen grounded out to the second baseman for his line of 1.0ip 3h 2er 1bb 0k (5.40ERA). Also in Seattle's 11-6 win, reliever RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) pitched 1.0ip 2h 1er 1bb 1k (2.45ERA) for 'KC'.

In the Los Angeles Angels 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers, GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) contributed again with his 1-4 (.246) effort that was highlighted by a big three RBI double. In the same game KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) was the starting pitcher for the Rangers with another decent no-decision performance of 5.0ip 9h 4er 1bb 1k (2.42ERA).

… and from yesterday’s other MLB games:

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) kept his strong batting form rolling with 2-4 (.333) including a run batted in for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 3-4 defeat at the hands of the strong starting Baltimore Orioles.

In the Tampa Bay Rays topsy-turvey 7-8 loss to the New York Yankees, reliever GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) finished the game for the Rays with a competent 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (3.38ERA).

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) demonstrated once again that you don’t have to hit to contribute offensively in baseball when he batted 0-3 (.246) but he walked twice and scored on both occasions for his LA Angels in their 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

  14 APR 2008 - HUBER & SNELLING SWING THE BAT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Chris Snelling
 



Justin Huber

It was great to see Australia’s injury riddled baseball star CHRIS SNELLING back in big league action today when he pinch hit for the Philadelphia Phillies during their5-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs in a ten innings epic. Chris was asked to lead off the bottom of the seventh and he battled Carlos Marmol manfully to a full count before finally popping out to the third baseman in foul territory. At least it was a start to what we all hope will be a positive injury free season for Snelling… he certainly deserves a break!

Also earning another plate appearance yesterday was San Diego Padres’ Aussie JUSTIN HUBER who replaced Jim Edmonds in the bottom of the sixth inning to take over at left field during a 1-11 thumping at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Huber squared up a first pitch fastball from former Boston favourite Derek Lowe and drove it into left field for a one out single in the top of the seventh inning. He didn’t get to bat again in the game for his 1-1 (.500) effort.

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) helped his Toronto Blue Jays to eke out a 5-4, ten inning win over the Texas Rangers with his 2-4 (.320) performance today.

Also helping his Los Angeles Angels to double the Seattle Mariners 10-5 was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) with 1-5 (.259) with two RBI’s.

Seeing regular relief action with the Colorado Rockies this season are MICAH BOWIE (Melbourne Monarchs 1998) and MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999). In today’s 13-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bowie pitched 0.1ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k (9.00ERA) while Herges pitched 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (3.86ERA). In yesterday’s 3-10 loss to the ‘Snakes’ Herges pitched 1.1ip 2h 1er 1bb 0k before Bowie contributed 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k.

RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) also provided some solid relief help for the Kansas City Royals, pitching 1.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 3k (1.42ERA) during their 0-2 defeat by the Minnesota Twins.

  12 APR 2008 - MOYLAN SAVES IN SHUTOUT!
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan
 

 

 



Geoff Blum

 



Kevin Millwood

Firstly, from today:

If anyone was even considering the possibility that Aussie PETER MOYLAN may have found it difficult to back up from such an outstanding season last year, then you might have to think again. Especially if he continues like he did today while collecting his first save of the season for the Atlanta Braves in their 3-0 defeat of the Washington Nationals. Our Pete certainly made up for any lingering negativity about giving up the game winning home run on opening day at the new Nationals Park when he put on a clinic of power relief pitching that would have impressed even Boston’s menacing closer Jonathan Papelbon. Asked to close the bottom of the ninth inning he made Atlanta’s three run lead look more like thirty when he quickly overpowered Cristian Guzman with a 96mph fastball for a called third strike. Next Lastings Millege faced only two pitches when a 95mph heater was followed by a 79mph slider that he could only lift for a fly ball to left field. His final victim was Ryan Zimmerman who was struck out swinging on three pitches to end the game via a 95mph fastball, a 96mph fastball and a wicked slider that left him like an unfaithful wife! Pete combined with Tim Hudson for a superb shutout today with his awesome 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (1.59ERA). WOW!

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) may be as close as he has ever been to cementing his place as a regular major league starter this season after another terrific performance for the Houston Astros despite their 6-10 loss to the Florida Marlins. Blum launched his second long ball for the season in a 2-4 (.320) game that included three runs driven in.

It hardly mattered to the Tampa Bay Rays today in their 10-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles that reliever GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) struggled with 0.2ip 1h 0er 2bb 0k (4.50ERA).

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) continued his hot hitting start to the 2008 season with 3-5 (.341) and two RBI’s for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 8-5 win over the Texas Rangers.

... and from yesterday's games:

Texas Rangers’ veteran starter KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) finally got some reward for his outstanding pitching so far this season when his team finally produced more runs than the opposition in a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. ‘Big Kev’ was able to post his first win for 2008 to go with his already brilliant ERA with another excellent 7.0ip 3h 1er 5bb 2k that improves his season record to an underrated 1-2, 1.29ERA.

PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) batted 1-4 (.233) for the Washington Nationals who were again edged out 3-4 by his former club the Florida Marlins.

Not able to find enough offence to prevent his Toronto Blue Jays to outscore the Oakland Athletics in a 3-2 defeat today was VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who could not be blamed with 2-6 (.306) and a run batted in.

  10 APR 2008 - RRS RELIEVES & HUBER BATS
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith




Justin Huber

Firstly, from today:

Australia's RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH had similar success against a similar lineup of batters today when he pitched a strong inning of relief for the Seattle Mariners during their comfortable 7-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Ryan shut down the bottom of the eighth with Akinori Iwamura popping out to the short stop before Carl Crawford singled to left field. He then struck out Carlos Pena for the second straight day before having B.J Upton fly out to left field. He pitched a solid 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (3.00ERA) today.

PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) batted 1-4 (.231) with two RBI's but it was a long way short of helping his Washington Nationals to get the better of his former club Florida Marlins in a 4-10 drubbing.

Getting some relief work with the Colorado Rockies during their 12-6 win over the Atlanta Braves were MICAH BOWIE (Melbourne Monarchs 1998) who pitched 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (9.00ERA) and MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) who pitched 1.0ip 2h 1er 0bb 2k (3.60ERA).

... and from yesterday:

Once again we just missed on reporting the latest big league appearance of Australian JUSTIN HUBER who came off the bench for the San Diego Padres in extra innings of their late-finishing game that ended with a 2-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Justin entered the game as part of a double-switch involving the Padres’ pitcher to take over at left field in the bottom of the tenth inning. He then led off the top of the 11th where he struck out swinging at the sixth pitch from Giants’ pitcher Brad Hennessey for his 0-1 game.

  9 APR 2008 - RRS SAVES & MOYLAN HOLDS
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith



Vernon Wells

 





Peter Moylan

 


Gary Matthews

 

Firstly, from today:

If he was a little shaky in his first big league appearance this year, then Aussie RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH was anything but that today with a most efficient performance to close the game and earn his first save of the year for the Seattle Mariners in their tight 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Ryan joined the action with one on and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning and he kept the scoreboard blank by battling the dangerous Eric Hinske before he flied out to centre field, then having Jason Bartlett ground out to the second baseman for a fielder’s choice. Back for the bottom of the ninth he had Akinori Iwamura called out on strikes and Carl Crawford fly out to centre field before closing the deal with Carlos Pena struck out swinging on three pitches. He fooled Pena with two successive curve balls, then polished him off with a high heater. It was part of his most effective 1.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (4.50ERA) effort today. Taking the loss for the Rays was GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) who hurled 1.2ip 3h 2er 2bb 0k to see his record slide to 0-1, 5.40ERA.

Not able to do quite enough for the Houston Astros in their 3-5 defeat by the St.Louis Cardinals was GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) who batted a valuable 2-4 (.353).

RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) earned his second hold of the year with 1.1ip 2h 0er 1bb 2k (1.93ERA) for the Kansas City Royals in their 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees.

Still holding his hot slugging form for the Toronto Blue Jays is VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) who nailed his third dinger of the year while batting 2-5 (.308) with three RBI’s.

... and from yesterday:

Australian pitching star PETER MOYLAN collected his fourth hold of the season yesterday, but his efforts were pretty much in vain when his Atlanta Braves were “squeaked” 1-2 by the Colorado Rockies. Pitching in the rarefied air of Coors Field in Denver, our Pete shrunk his ERA below the 2.00 plateau with a strong 0.2ip 1h 0er 0bb 1k (1.93ERA) with seven of his eight pitches thrown for strikes. Moylan wasn’t cranking up to full throttle today with more sinkers and sliders featuring for him this time. Entering the fray with one on and one out in the bottom of the seventh, he started by having catcher Yorvit Torrealba ground out on a fielder’s choice to the short stop. Pete then made life interesting for himself when Jayson Nix singled to left field and he then hit the speedy Scott Podsednik with an 88mph fastball. With the bases loaded Moylan bamboozled Willy Taveras with a three pitch “fanned” strike out. Two 89mph sinkers were good morning and good afternoon for Taveras and when he swung over a 77mph slider it was GOODNIGHT! However, while Pete’s offence could not rally for the win, Colorado’s MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) was the eventual winning pitcher of record with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k for his season 1-0, 2.25ERA record.

PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) typically did everything he could with 2-4 (.227) for the Washington Nationals, but they still went down 7-10 to the Florida Marlins.

The Tampa Bay Rays may have dropped the ‘Devil’ from their name this year but they had been performing well against the New York Yankees until their 1-6 defeat yesterday. Closing the losing cause for the Rays was GARY GLOVER with 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA).

Still running hot for the Los Angeles Angels is designated hitter GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted 1-2 (.344) while also milking three walks.

GEOFF BLUM batted 1-3 (.308) for the Houston Astros in their 5-3 win over the St.Louis Cardinals.

  7 APR 2008 - HUBER HITS & MOYLAN HOLDS
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Justin Huber



Peter Moylan

 

 


Vernon Wells


Ron Mahay

 

Firstly, our apologies to Aussie JUSTIN HUBER that we missed his first appearance with his new club the San Diego Padres who lost a late-finishing game 6-9 to the Houston Astros last week. Justin was given a start at left-field and he batted in the #8 slot in the lineup. His very first at bat for the Padres would yield a neat line drive single to left field with one out in the bottom of the second inning; he would ultimately find himself stranded on second base at the end of the inning. His next plate appearance resulted in a ground ball out to the short stop with one on and two out in the bottom of the third frame, both against Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez. He was replaced by pinch hitter Paul McAnulty in the bottom of the sixth.

It hasn’t taken long for star Aussie pitcher PETER MOYLAN to earn his third hold for the young season, with one hold recorded in each of the Atlanta Braves two wins over the New York Mets this past weekend. In today’s 3-1 win by the Braves ‘Big Pete’ threw six of his economical seven pitches for strikes in a 1.0ip 1h 0er 0bb 0k (2.25ERA) performance. Moylan pitched the top of the eighth inning and, for the second straight day he was greeted by a Brian Schneider single up the middle, this time from a hanging curve ball. Any further damage was efficiently averted when Marlon Anderson grounded into a fielder’s choice to the short stop, Jose Reyes flied out to left field and Louis Castillo grounded out to the first baseman following a stolen base by Anderson .

In yesterday’s game Pete found himself pitching to the same part of the Mets’ lineup in the top of the seventh inning during the Braves 11-5 victory over their key division rivals. This time a Brian Schneider single to centre field was followed by a sharp line drive single to pinch hitter Endy Chavez that was deflected by the second baseman to centre field. Typically, our Pete was able to pitch out of the jam with Jose Reyes flying out to centre field, Louis Castillo grounding out to the first baseman and David Wright grounding out to the short stop. This time Moylan threw ten of his 15 pitches for strikes with the radar gun registering as high as 95mph on his fast ball. In fact, Pete used a lot more of his “heat” against the Mets than his more preferred slider in what must have been a tactical decision against the hitters he faced.

Toronto Blue Jays former No.1 overall draft selection VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) continued to haunt the World Champion Boston Red Sox during their three game home sweep this weekend. Vernon “went yard” for the second time in 2008 while batting 1-3 (.286) with two RBI’s in their 7-4 win today. In yesterday’s 10-2 win, he batted 1-3 with a RBI and two walks.

Journey man left-hander RON MAHAY (Gold Coast Cougars 1996) earned his first hold of the season today with his 2.0ip 1h 1er 0bb 2k (2.70ERA) for his latest team the Kansas City Royals in their 3-1 win over the Minnesota Twins. The previous day he pitched a tidy 1.1ip 0h 0er 0bb 1k (0.00ERA) in the Royals 4-6 loss to the ‘Twinkies’.

MICAH BOWIE (Melbourne Monarchs 1998) suddenly hit a snag today after a positive start to the new season with his new team the Colorado Rockies. Micah was hit hard with 0.2ip 3h 3er 1bb 0k to take the loss as his team went down 2-5 to the Arizona Diamondbacks; it damaged his season record to 0-1, 11.57ERA. The day before he had been almost bullet proof with 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 2k (0.00ERA), even though his ‘Rox’ were trumped 2-7 by the ‘Snakes’.

In the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers, GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) continued his terrific start to the new season with 3-4 (.346) for the ‘Halos’. A bit unfortunate to be on the losing side for the second time this season after producing a quality start was veteran KM who pitched 8.0ip 12h 2er 1bb 5k while his season record slipped to 0-2, 1.29ERA.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) did his customary pinch hitters job effectively with 1-1 (.429) with a RBI for the Houston Astros in their 7-9 loss to the Chicago Cubs in another game on Saturday (Aust time).

  5 APR 2008 - THOMPSON & ROWLAND-SMITH RAVAGED
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Ryan
Rowland-Smith



Richard Thompson

 

It was a tough day at the office for Australia's newest major league relief pitchers today:

Aussie reliever RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH made his first appearance for the new 2008 season, entering in the seventh inning for the Seattle Mariners who were heading for a 4-7 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Ryan was called from the bullpen immediately after Melvin Mora had added a decisive two-run homer for the ‘Orange Birds’ but, sadly, things were not going to improve much after his arrival. It started well for him when Nick Markakis flied out softly to left field, but then former Boston Red Sox favourite Kevin Millar singled up the middle followed by an Aubrey Huff double to deep centre field. Rowland-Smith was quickly replaced by Roy Corcoran who gave up one of his runs on a wild pitch strike out for his finishing game line of 0.1ip 2h 1er 0bb 0k (27.00ERA).

It was even worse for another Aussie reliever RICHARD THOMPSON who allowed the game to get ugly in his Los Angeles Angels 6-11 hammering by the Texas Rangers. ‘Rich’ was asked to take over in the top of the eighth but things quickly turned ugly for his team when David Murphy singled up the middle, then stole second base, then scampered to third on a throwing error. He was given some breathing room when Ben Broussard reached on a fielder’s choice while Murphy was thrown out at home attempting to score on the play. However, his relief was momentary when he proceeded to walk Gerald Laird and Ramon Vasquez, both on just five pitches.  With bases loaded Ian Kinsler then slashed a ground rule double down the left field line for two RBI’s. Next, Michael Young singled in another run with a ground ball up the middle and Josh Hamilton banked a couple more with a line drive double to deep centre field. His torture was finally over when he had Milton Bradley ground out to the first baseman but, as you can see, plenty of carnage had already been done. Thompson’s line today was a forgettable 1.0ip 4h 5er 2bb 0k (45.00ERA). His team mate GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) fared a little better with 1-5 (.273) including a RBI.

MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999) was pretty good again even though he allowed his first earned run of the year for the Colorado Rockies in their 1-8 shellacking at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Herges pitched 1.1ip 1h 1er 0bb 2k (3.00ERA) today.

Doing his best as usual for the Washington Nationals in their 4-5 loss to the St.Louis Cardinals was feisty catcher PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) who batted 1-3 (.133) with a RBI and two walks.

  4 APR 2008 - GARY MATTHEWS GOES DEEP
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Gary Matthews

 

GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) proved a valuable contributor for the Los Angeles Angels again today despite the fact that a niggling injury is still preventing him from taking his usual place at centre field. Playing as the designated hitter, as he has done in every game so far this season, Gary smacked his first home run of the year while batting 1-4 (.294) with the two RBI’s that were critical in their tight 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Colorado Rockies playoff star from 2007, MATT HERGES (Adelaide Giants 1999), started the new season in a positive note with a strong 1.0ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (0.00ERA) for the ‘Rox’ in their 0-3 loss to the St.Louis Cardinals.

GEOFF BLUM (Hunter Eagles 1995) pinch hit for 0-1 (.333) for the San Diego Padres in their 3-2 win over the Houston Astros.

  3 APR 2008 - MOYLAN HOLDS PIRATES
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan

 

 


Vernon Wells

 

Aussie reliever PETER MOYLAN was back in action today taking over in the top of the eighth inning for the Atlanta Braves who were on their way to a 10-2 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. Like so many of his victims last season, Pete quickly got Freddie Sanchez to ground out back to himself on the mound for the assist. But, after he walked Jason Bay on seven pitches, Moylan was replaced for a lefty-lefty match up when Royce Ring was called in to face former Brave Adam LaRoche. Moylan collected his first hold of the season with 0.1ip 0h 0er 1bb 0k (4.50ERA).

VERNON WELLS (Sydney Storm 1999) was like a one man wrecking crew today when he starred for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 5-2 win over the New York Yankees. Wells batted 3-4 (.375) with two RBI’s via his first home run of the season and two runs scored.

Helping the Los Angeles Angels to sneak a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota twins was GARY MATTHEWS JNR. (Brisbane Bandits 1997) who batted a very handy 2-4 (.308).

GARY GLOVER (Sydney Storm 1999) also collected his first hold of the season pitching 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (0.00ERA) for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays who were eventually beaten 6-9 by the Baltimore Orioles.

And from yesterday’s major league games:

GARY MATTHEWS JNR.  batted 1-5 (.222) to help his Los Angeles Angels to romp 9-1 over the Minnesota Twins.

Not able to do enough for the Toronto Blue Jays was VERNON WELLS who batted 0-4 (.000) in their narrow 2-3 defeat at the hands of the New York Yankees.

MICAH BOWIE (Melbourne Monarchs 1998) did his job in relief with 0.2ip 0h 0er 0bb 0k (0.00ERA) for the Colorado Rockies in their 1-2 loss to the St.Louis Cardinals.

  1 APR 2008 - MOYLAN SHARP DESPITE LOSS
Here is an update of what some Aussies and former AMLB imports have been doing in the US major leagues:


Peter Moylan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Paul LoDuca

 


Keivin Millwood

It’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to publish anything for our loyal subscribers because we didn’t feel that it was worth “duplicating” Baseball Australia ’s reports from the 2008 Beijing Olympic qualification series in Taipei. Suffice to say that it was a disappointing, if not somewhat predictable, result for the AROOS. We surely don’t need to got into the well worn “conspiracy theory” about how the selection policies with respect to rostered US professionals affects Australia so much more than other teams… this is a self-evident fact that we have had to deal with very often in recent times. However, it will never make us feel good about the apparent lowly rankings that we are left to bemoan and, in this case, our absence from the last Olympic Games baseball tournament for the foreseeable future. OK, enough of that, it’s not a pleasant thought!

So, let’s move on quickly to the big opening of the US major leagues for 2008. Yes, we’ve had a couple of games from Tokyo where the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics split a two-game series, but there is really nothing like the opening day on American soil… and right there in the heat of the action was Australia’s own PETER MOYLAN, or ‘Pete’ as the Yanks insist!

Now folks, if you are really into left-field conspiracy theories, then you’d almost have to wonder whether our Pete was being a bit “naughty” by securing himself another slice of US baseball history yesterday. Moylan seemed to enjoy those rare moments last season, but we are not prepared go as far as to suggest that he would allow any type of history to get in his way of trying to win for his team… but it was an interesting thought!

The scene was on opening day of the 2008 major league season when the Atlanta Braves visited the brand spanking new home of the Washington Nationals in a game that would attract mega-media coverage. I appreciated the opportunity to watch a replay of the live ESPN game last night… and what a contest it was!

The Atlanta Braves tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the ninth inning after Pete had secured the last two outs in the bottom of the eighth with Ronnie Belliard grounding out to the short stop and an overmatched Felipe Lopez called out on strikes from three pitches… it was typical 2007 Peter Moylan stuff. So effective was Moylan keeping the ball down in the zone with his tailing sliders that he was entrusted to pitch the bottom of the ninth in a freshly tied game.

Pete started brilliantly again by having leadoff hitter Cristian Guzman struck out on a foul-tip swinging at another slide-piece before getting the second out via a Lastings Millege topped grounder to the third baseman. Moylan then got ahead of Washington’s one legitimate star hitter and fan favourite Ryan Zimmerman before hurling his first “mistake pitch” with a fastball that was a little higher than he planned. Having thrown the ball, all Pete could do was watch the winning run clear the centre field fence by a small margin and the home crowd burst into raptures. Washington had prevailed on their big day 3-2.

Moylan may not be feeling too satisfied today after taking the loss but, trust me, he looked very sharp again in much the same way as he did through the 2007 season, throwing eleven of his 14 pitches for strikes. It is a testing part of a relief pitcher’s life that one mistake can cost the game! Pete’s line today was 1.1ip 1h 1er 0bb 2k for his opening game record of 0-1, 6.75ERA.

In the same game, 35yo journeyman catcher PAUL LoDUCA (Adelaide Giants 1995) batted 0-3 (.000) in his debut for the Washington Nationals. ‘Paulie’ would be a relieved man after taking the blame for Atlanta’s tying run in the top of the ninth when the run was scored via his passed ball with two out… is there any other game like baseball?  

… and from today’s MLB games:

PAUL LoDUCA batted 1-4 (.143) with a RBI to help the Washington Nationals to open the season 2-0 with an impressive 11-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Not so fortunate was veteran starting pitcher KEVIN MILLWOOD (Melbourne Monarchs 1997) who was maintaining a shutout until the sixth inning when a couple of unearned runs would consign him to a hard-luck loss when his Texas Rangers were overrun 2-5 by the Seattle Mariners. ‘Big Kev’ pitched a terrific 6.0ip 4h 0er 3bb 4k for his unlucky 0-1, 0.00ERA.

  
  22 FEB 2008 - YANKEES SIGN KYLE PERKINS


Kyle Perkins

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 17yo ACT catcher KYLE PERKINS who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the New York Yankees organisation.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the RUNWAYSPORTS web site:

The world famous New York Yankees announced their presence here in Australia last month when they signed ACT catcher Kyle Perkins to a Minor League Professional contract. The glamour club sent across veteran scout Don Rowland with the express purpose of setting up a permanent base here in Australia and a mandate to sign quality players. Their first stop was the U/18 Australian ‘AAA’ Championships in Perth in January and since then they haven’t looked back .

It was at the U/18 tournament that Perkins first caught Rowland’s eye. “I knew immediately that Kyle was the guy for us” said Rowland, who was responsible for signing all 4 catchers currently on the Anaheim Angels 40 man roster when he was scouting director there a few years ago. According to Rowland “Kyle was a standout behind the plate. He showed solid glove- work which is neat and tidy, an inherent ability to frame the pitch, solid blocking skills and quick transfer to a throw”.

Having found his first quality player Rowland wasted no time in fulfilling the other Yankee goal of setting up a permanent base here down under. This lead him to veteran Australian and Canberra based scout John Wadsworth who had previously been with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Not only did Wadsworth turn out to be exactly what the Yankees were looking for, but being a Canberra native, he was also able to offer additional insight on Perkins as he had been following the young catcher’s progress for the last few years. Wadsworth added “Kyle demonstrates solid and consistent bat to ball contact and we anticipate his current ‘gap power’ will convert to some run producing home run power as he physically develops”.

This was all Rowland needed to hear and he gave the green light for Wadsworth to contact Kyle’s agent Stuart Hanrahan from Runway Sports Management to see what it would take to get Perkins into the famous Yankee pinstripes. Wadsworth didn’t mince his words when he met with Hanrahan suggesting that “We rate Kyle towards the top of our ‘wanted prospects’ list and previous scouting opinions regarding the way Kyle carries himself and plays the game were reinforced for us in the recently completed Australian Under 18 Series in Perth”.

It was clear to both Hanrahan and Kyle’s parents that the Yankees were extremely serious about Kyle. However, not wanting to take Kyle’s focus away from his responsibilities with the Territories team, it was decided that the club would make an offer after the tournament, one they promised would demonstrate just how serious they were. The Yankees were true to their word and a few days later, tabled an offer worth over $100,000 in order to secure Perkins’ services for the next 7 years.  

  

  
  
  16 FEB 2008 - BJS SIGNS VAN STEENSEL & O'NEILL


T
odd 
Van Steensel

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signings, 17yo NSW  pitchers TODD VAN STEENSEL who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the Phillies organisation and ADAM O'NEILL who has signed with the New York Mets.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the BJS web site:

TWO Sydney high school students have become the latest Aussies to be snapped up by Major League baseball clubs for big dollars. Despite baseball failing to take off Down Under, US scouts from glamour clubs have not stopped taking an interest in the local players with Adam O'Neill and Todd Van Steensel singled out by the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies respectively.


Adam 
O'Neill

Both teenagers are pitchers and were understood to have signed on for $125,000.

Given both O'Neill and Van Steensel are in Year 12, they will complete their HSC before making the trek to the US and work their way up the long ladder to the top.

Van Steensel, from Rooty Hill, said he only took up baseball because of his love of the uniform. "I was tagging along to a game one day with my brother and because I liked the outfits I decided to start playing," said Van Steensel, a pitcher who has no troubles launching them off the mound at 140km/h. "I didn't think I'd ever make a career out of the game, I only hoped, but I'm glad it's happened."

O'Neill, from Manly, failed to make the NSW side for three consecutive years but bided his time and worked on his pitching before reaping the rewards. "I set myself an 18-month goal to make the under-18 NSW side and, if I could do that, then I was going to work towards signing a professional contract," said O'Neill, also a pitcher.

Agent Trevor Jarrett, who signed the pair, said Van Steensel was always destined for the big league.

"It was only a matter of time before Todd put pen to paper, but with Adam, he sort of slipped under the radar," Jarrett said.

Jarrett said US scouts had a great respect for Australia when it came to producing the next generation of professionals.
 
 

  

  
  
  15 FEB 2008 - JAMES LINGER JOINS ATLANTA BRAVES


James Linger

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 18yo Queensland short stop
JAMES LINGER who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the Atlanta Braves organisation.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the NORTHS web site:

James Linger made headlines last month when he was paid US$120,000 (A$132,000) to sign with the Atlanta Braves organisation for five years.  He starred at the Australian Under-19 championships and was picked to represent Queensland in Australia ’s premier baseball tournament, the Claxton Shield. 

Queensland were knocked out of the Claxton Shield last weekend and despite missing the first three games, Linger still knocked up the highest batting average for the tournament. Not bad for a high school kid playing against major league players and Olympians.

And now Australian assistant coach Phil Dale said Linger had the potential become an Olympian too.

“There is a need for his position, shortstop, and we feel like he’s one of the bright young guys who play that position,” Dale said. “We carry an Australian roster that we select the official team from and he’s on the squad. “His selection is a compliment to the way he’s come on the past 12 months. 

“Realistically, he’s a couple of years from holding down the position but the way he’s playing he has every opportunity,” Dale said. “You never know the way he is going. “We wouldn’t bring him in if we didn’t seriously want to have a look at him.

“He is hitting the ball really well, running the bases ... he has some tools, he’s an athlete.  

  

  
  
  10 JAN 2008 - ANGELUCCI SIGNS WITH SAN DIEGO


Alessio Angelucci

'Flintoff & Dunn' congratulate Australia's recent professional baseball signing, 19yo NSW pitcher
ALESSIO ANGELUCCI who is the latest to sign a professional contract with the San Diego Padres organisation.

The following story was transposed incomplete from the RUNWAY SPORTS web site:

Hard work, perseverance and determination paid off this week for 19 year old Manly baseballer Alessio Angelucci. Angelucci proved that it is still possible to achieve the dream of playing professional baseball, even if  you miss out on selection in the U/18 state team, when he inked a deal to play professional baseball with the San Diego Padres. 

While he represented NSW at the U/16 level at the National Championships, Angelucci narrowly missed selection a few years ago when he trialed for the U/18 team.  For many in Australia, the opportunity to showcase a player’s talents at this tournament is the last throw of the dice for aspiring young professional baseballers. However, Angelucci never lost sight of his dream. He hit the gym and continued to work on his hitting and running.  He also turned his hand to some pitching, and the combination of all of it proved that there is life for potential Australian professional baseballers beyond the National Championships and the coveted Australian Academy Program.

Earlier this year Angelucci renewed his relationship with his former U/16 NSW team coach Stuart Hanrahan. Hanrahan took over the first grade coaching position at the Manly Baseball Club in July 2007 and realised immediately that the improvements Angelucci had made meant that he was going to be an integral component in the club’s first grade lineup. After a stellar start to the season, it was apparent to Hanrahan that Angelucci had developed the tools that would interest professional baseball scouts. ‘Alessio’s improvements in power, speed and arm strength certainly put him in a category that would interest professional scouts’ said Hanrahan who also happens to be a baseball agent with Runway Sports. ‘I made a few calls and arranged for scouts from the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs to put Alessio through his paces’.

The workout could not have gone better for the athletic teenager as he registered throwing speeds of up to 90 miles per hour during his pitching workout. The tryout went so well in fact that San Diego scout Trevor Schumm called Hanrahan only days later to make an offer to sign Alessio to a minor league contract. Schumm, who has been the Australian based scout for the Padres for around 5 years was impressed with Alessio’s tryout. ‘Al was impressive at our workout and we are excited with his potential. He has a plus arm and he's a big strong athletic kid’ said Schumm who travelled across from Perth to sign the teenager.

The hard work for Alessio, however, is just about to begin. The Padres will monitor him over the next few months and for the moment consider him to be a two way player with the potential to either pitch or play the outfield. According to Schumm ‘we will let him swing the bat for a while before we decide how best to use his tools. As we see him more, and learn more about his abilities, we will determine where he ultimately ends up’. It is likely that the Padres will send Alessio to the prestigious Major League Baseball Australian Academy Program (MLBAAP) in 2008 in order to extend his skills. ‘At this point he's a two-way player who needs some time to develop and refine his skills’ said Schumm who has also suggested that the club may take Alessio to the USA for Padres Instructional League late next year if he improves the way they expect.  Expectations that are duly warranted when you consider that according to Schumm, ‘Alessio already has an average Major League fastball’. 

For the remained of the story and/or to visit the RUNWAY SPORTS web site visit http://www.runwaysports.com.au

  

  

 

If anyone takes the trouble to contact us with any reasonably substantiated news of interest to AMLB supporters, we will publish this news on this site! Click these to contact Adrian Dunn or Peter Flintoff.