Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sal Fasano talks development, swag

Sal Fasano: "In the developmental ranks, you hope to have interchangeable parts because you’re going to need 40 or more guys to win. It’s a never-ending process of trying to get players to fill in, execute and have success.”

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jason Marquis talks about his daughter's recovery

Big leaguer Jason Marquis split the plate in half for eight innings, making a final tuneup for New Britain before rejoining the Twins next week at Yankee Stadium. Marquis gave up two runs, including a solo homer by Koby Clemens, to beat New Hampshire, 5-3, on opening night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. The 104-game winner fanned seven Fisher Cats without issuing a walk. Following the game, he talked about 7-year-old daughter Reese's recovery from a bicycle accident and how she is likely to make a full recovery from internal injuries and surgery. Great news. 

Fisher Cats Opening Day 2012

Sal Fasano's first lineup card at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in 2012. "Your Gs have gotten better," I told him.
Tonight the Fisher Cats will show off their 2011 Eastern League championship banner and embark on a ninth home season in Manchester, NH ... New Hampshire righty Chad Jenkins (1-0 ERA) goes against New Britain's Jason Marquis, a big leaguer who needs work since returning from home in Staten Island, where his daughter was involved in a serious bike accident. She is expected to make a full recovery ... Jenkins turned in one of his best outings with the Fisher Cats last week, allowing one run through six innings and striking out two (no walks). That's exactly the type of pitching line Toronto wants from the Kennesaw State product. Jenkins does his best work when he's inducing contact, letting his sinker get the outs. Strikeouts are a bonus for Jenkins, who posted a 2.04 grounder-to-fly ball ratio last year ... "Chad came back in way better shape this year. He's a strong kid. Hopefully he's going to be a horse for us," NH manager Sal Fasano said. "He's a contact pitcher with a low walk rate. He's not going to strike a lot of guys out, but he'll get outs by putting the ball in play early in the count, kind of like how Henderson Alvarez pitches." And, now, Justin Jackson in the laundry room:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fisher Kitties are on the bus

Fisher Cats owner Art Solomon will say a few words and the 2011 Eastern League championship banner will be unfurled at the team's home opener Thursday night. NH went 3-3 on the trip to Trenton and Reading. A.J. Jimenez threw out 4 of 5 base stealers (I just hate saying "would-be base stealers") and picked off a runner. My story on A.J. here. Brad Glenn hammered the team's first homer of the season, and my 7-year-old old predicts Glenn will lead the Fisher Cats in HRs this season. It's Chad Jenkins vs. Jason Marquis in the lid-lifter at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. NH manager Sal Fasano is the "Man Behind the Mustache," a great headline written by colleague C.J. McCarthy.
"The first part of the year is always fun because you always feel like you have a chance to get kids better, get them to the big leagues and develop them the way you think they should be -- and hopefully win a championship at the end of the year. It's the best time of the year for me," Fasano said.

Looking at the Fisher Cats ...

Road Trip -- Three wins, two losses (so far). Brad Glenn cranked the first homer of the season for New Hampshire. Jonathan Diaz stole five bases, and Justin Jackson had a pair of extra-base hits. Mike McDade (.389) has taken the most Quality ABs.
Prospects -- RHP Drew Hutchison retired 15 straight and during the course of two starts, winning at Trenton and Reading. The kid allowed two runs in his first inning of the season, then pitched 10 straight scoreless. "He got into a little bit of trouble in the first inning, and then went four straight innings and looked as good as he looked last year," manager Sal Fasano said. "He commands both sides of the plate. Hopefully he's only give a little taste of what we can expect down the road."
RHP Deck McGuire pitched on a windy day in Trenton, elevated, and got teed up for eight runs at Trenton. Catcher A.J. Jimenez has thrown out 3 of 4 base stealers and picked off a runner. And also impressed manager Sal Fasano with his blocking and receiving. "I'm trying to get used to the cold," Jimenez said, "but I'm feeling good about how I'm playing right now. (The Eastern League) is not easy, but it's not that hard, either."

Kevin Littlefield/Staff
Defining Moment: Hutchison stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning at Reading and kept the R-Phils scoreless through a career-high six innings at Double-A. Game story here. Hutch is now 5-0 in five career starts for NH.