Results tagged ‘ Durham Bulls ’

Catching Up With Rich Hill

Following a combined five rehab appearances with Single-A Greenville and High-A Salem, left-handed reliever Rich Hill has joined Pawtucket’s roster as he rehabs from Tommy John Surgery. The Milton, Ma. native made his 2012 PawSox debut on Saturday against Durham (Tampa Bay) where he allowed one run (a homer) in one inning of work.

“The rehab process has been going well,” Rich told me. “The ball is coming out of my hand the way I want it to, and all the work I put in this off-season is starting to pay off.”

Hill had a busy off-season rehabbing from his June 9th surgery. “I was in the gym everyday of the week except for Sundays,” he said. “[Three days a week] I was working on my shoulder program and throwing, [four days a week] I was at the gym lifting and conditioning.”

Hill on the mound at McCoy Stadium Saturday afternoon. The left-hander has appeared in 29 games for the PawSox over the past two seasons. (Kelly O'Connor)

The lefty stated that at this stage of his rehab, he can do everything he did before. “[The surgery] hasn’t changed anything, really. I just think that it’s about your approach, the way you go about your business, the way you take the ball when you are given it.”

“You have to stay aggressive, you have to stay on the attack,” Hill continued. “You have to pitch with conviction. All the work you put into getting back is all for nothing if you don’t go out there and let it come out of your hand the way you want every time.”

Aside from facing more advanced hitters in Triple-A, Hills rehab process has changed from the standpoint that he is no longer starting, but coming out of the bullpen. “It’s a different environment when you come in as a starter,” he told me. “You come in, you pitch your one or two innings, and you’re done.”

“Here, you come in with a score on the board, in a certain situation, and that gets the adrenaline going even more so than before.”

Rich will be in uniform tonight and, although the tarp is still on the field here at McCoy, the rain has stopped and we should be good-to-go for a 5:05 p.m. doubleheader against Durham. Justin Germano starts Game 1, followed by Aaron Cook in Game 2.  We’ll be on-air with the pre-game show at 4:45.

Talk with you then,



From the Backfields to the Broadcast Booth

Yesterday was as much fun as I thought it would be. Not only did I get to watch the PawSox game in Port Charlotte followed by the Red Sox game at JetBlue Park, I had the great privilege of watching the majority of the Red Sox game from the WEEI broadcast booth above home plate.

Joe Castiglione is entering his 30th year as the “Voice of the Red Sox” and it was a real thrill to be in the booth next to him while he was calling the game.  Joe and his broadcast partner Jon Rish are terrific guys and they were even kind enough to answer some of my questions between innings.  What I maybe found most interesting is that Joe carries with him a small blue three-ring binder that contains a hand-written notecard with information on every Red Sox player and every opposing player as well.

Joe writes down things he reads in the media guide, online, or that he gets directly from a player.  He told me that when he physically writes it down, he retains the information much better than when he types it (I’m the same way).  Throughout the game he would write new information on certain players’ cards for use later in the season.

Here’s a look inside the Red Sox broadcast booth at JetBlue Park.  To the left is Jon Rish, on the right is Joe Castiglione. Through the glass to the right you can see former PawSox broadcaster and current Red Sox TV broadcaster on NESN, Don Orsillo.  Next to him in the navy shirt is the one-and-only Jerry Remy.

Today the Red Sox are on the road playing the Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, but I’ll be in attendance for the PawSox 1:00 game this afternoon at home against Rochester.  But before I leave for the ballpark I wanted to share with you some more pictures I took from yesterday’s game in Port Charlotte.

Not many hot dogs were served from this concession stand behind the minor league field where the PawSox and Durham Bulls played yesterday.  It did, however, provide some shade which was in short supply.

So much for the shade! This was my view for most of the game (throwing a Gatorade towel over my head never seemed like such a good idea).  Although it got a little warm at times, I was at least grateful that they had bleachers set up for spectators to sit on.

PawSox outfielder Daniel Nava getting loose before the start of the sixth inning.

Only in Spring Training can you find a dugout as charming as this one.

Eammon Portice pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning including two strikeouts, but before he took the mound he was busy charting pitches behind home plate.

The Texas Rangers called Port Charlotte their Spring Training home for 15 years before leaving in 2002 for a newer ballpark in Surprise, Arizona.  In 2009 the Tampa Bay Rays reached an agreement with the county to invest over $27 million in renovation costs in order to bring Charlotte Sports Park up to state-of-the-art standards. The renovation costs were more than five times the ballpark’s original cost of $5 million.

I’ll talk with you again late this afternoon/early evening to update the blog on today’s PawSox game.  For live updates during the game you can follow me on Twitter.  Have a great day!



An MVP, a Hall of Famer, and a Papa Gino’s Pizza

As predicted, I had to skip a blog entry yesterday because of my long-awaited move from Dallas.  All of my belongings have been stored in Dallas for the last month as my wife and I lived with my in-laws in Hingham, Ma.  I miss one day of work, and one day on the blog, and what happens?  Our team President, Mike Tamburro, gets inducted into the International League Hall of Fame.

One day!

Well, I didn’t fell great about missing that piece of big news which has been covered nicely by Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. To make up for my poor timing, I’ll be conducting a video interview with Mike in the next day or two which I’ll post right here.

The move to our new townhouse in Mansfield, Ma. went well overall and it’s nice to start feeling like a more full-time area resident.  While my wife Heather and I were grateful that we had movers to do all of the heavy lifting, I did feel pretty terrible watching other guys break their backs carrying my stuff into my house.  But, like Heather reminded me, that’s why we paid them a small fortune.

Seeing how all of our dishes and silverware were buried somewhere in our new place, I had visions of eating carry-out Chinese food directly from the containers for dinner, and using an empty cardboard box turned upside-down as our dining room table.  However, we finished Moving Day off with what what seemed more appropriate, and even tastier: Papa Ginos.

Now it’s back to work while Heather is back home unpacking and trying not to get buried in boxes and packing tape.  Today I’ve been helping out Bill Wanless, the PawSox VP of Public Relations, gathering info on some of the Red Sox January minor league signings.  That information will be used in the first PawSox Patter publication of 2012 that will be mailed out in roughly a week.

As I was catching up on the latest baseball buzz this morning, I happened to notice that 2011 International League MVP Russ Canzler of the Durham Bulls was acquired by the Cleveland Indians in exchange for cold hard cash.  Canzler is a 25-year-old right-handed hitting corner infielder and outfielder.

He hit .314 with 40 doubles, 18 home runs, 83 RBIs, a .401 on-base percentage and a .530 slugging percentage for Durham last year.  For what’s it’s worth, in eight games versus the PawSox last season, he hit just .241 with no homers and three RBIs.

After appearing in 131 games with the Bulls, Canzler finished the season playing in three games with the Rays, one against Boston on September 15.

Right now it’s back to work then it’s back to unpacking tonight.  If you have any dinner suggestions in the Mansfield area, Heather and I are all ears.  It might be a few nights before our kitchen gets in order.