Game 51: Pre-Game Notes (Jorge Vazquez Here? Laird POTW)

6:05 PM — Probably my last update for tonight before getting started on my gamer…

Cory Arbiso comes out of the Thunder rotation, Wilkin De La Rosa starts Thursday.

Kevin Smith goes on the DL to make room for Jorge Vazquez.  I believe they’re going with “hand injury” on this one.

Paul Bush’s injury is legit, however.  He had an MRI on his elbow today…could be serious.

4:40 PM — The Florida Marlins have signed former Thunder OF Seth Fortenberry out of independent ball…

4:25 PM — Tarp going back on.  Also, it feels like I’ve been here for 10 hours.

4:20 PM — Lineups are in…

PORTLAND

Nate Spears, 2B
Ryan Khoury, RF
Ray Chang, 3B
Luis Exposito, DH
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Yamaico Navarro, SS
Juan Apodaca, C
Chih-Hsien Chiang, LF
Matt Sheely, CF

Jeremy Kehrt, P

TRENTON

Justin Christian, LF
Austin Krum, CF
Austin Romine, DH
Brandon Laird, 3B
Jorge Vazquez, 1B
Daniel Brewer, RF
Jose Gil, C
Luis Nunez, SS
Justin Snyder, 2B

Hector Noesi, P

4:15 PM — The Jorge Vazquez move is now official…however, it would put the team at 25 players.  This, of course, is not legal.  There is no word on a corresponding move just yet.  I have two guesses, but I’m not going to start publicly guessing about guys careers here.

3:50 PM — Tarp’s off the field.  Sweet.

2:50 PM — For what it’s worth — absolutely nothing four hours before the game — the field is tarped.  It is not raining at this time, but scattered showers may or may not hit the area.  They’re scattered…so, ummm…who knows?

2:45 PM — Yes, there would need to be a corresponding move to put Vazquez on the roster.  Obviously, I’ll be working on this story today…

2:40 PM — I’m actually at the ballpark now, and there appears to be a reward for getting here early.  According to a reliable source, Jorge Vazquez has been spotted at the ballpark.  After missing the beginning of the season due to an appendectomy, Vazquez appears to have been assigned to Double-A Trenton to start his 2010 campaign.

Last year, he hit .329 with 13 home run and 56 RBI in 57 games before being sidelined with a broken finger after stretching a double into a triple, of all things.  Vazquez’s conditioning and hustle came into question at times last year — both points fiercely defended by manager Tony Franklin — but there’s no doubting what kind of impact he can have on a lineup.

Also, congratulations are in order for Brandon Laird, who has been named the Eastern League Player of the Week.  Here’s a snippet from the team’s press release:

The Trenton Thunder announced today that third baseman Brandon Laird has been named the Eastern League Player of the Week for the week ending May 30th.  The 6’1”, 215 lb. slugger had an outstanding week for the Thunder, batting .448 (13-for-29) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs, 11 RBI, eight runs scored and a .862 slugging percentage while leading his team to a 5-2 record.  The highlight of the week for the 22-year old came on Wednesday night at Waterfront Park when Laird completed hitting for the cycle with a two-out, two-run walk-off homer in a 7-6 victory over Erie.  Laird joined former Thunder Shawn Garrett as the only two players in franchise history to complete the cycle. Laird’s 50 RBI leads the Eastern League and is second in ALL of professional baseball.

1:00 PM — Welcome to the “Pretending I’m Actually At The Ballpark This Early” version of the pre-game notes thread.  Basically, I’m just trying to maximize content on a day where I’m covering for The Trentonian and I’ve already got a few posts on here from today that I don’t want to get buried.

Anyway, the news of the day — so far, anyway — is Paul Bush being placed on the disabled list to make room for Grant Duff’s return to the roster.  Bush has made three appearances for the Thunder this season, all out of the bullpen, and has gone 0-2 with a 15.00 ERA.  He has a team-high WHIP of 2.33 and may still be recovering from elbow issues that shut him down at the end of last season, when he was briefly in the team’s starting rotation.

As for Duff, I’ll be curious to see if he returns to the closer role.  Ryan Pope recently picked up a save, and Eric Wordekemper is tied for the team lead (with Duff) with six saves.  The 27-year-old righty is 0-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 18 Double-A appearances this season, all games which he finished.

I’ll actually be at the ballpark a little before 3 PM…stay tuned for some more info then.  If anyone has any questions they want answered, drop them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

5 Responses to “Game 51: Pre-Game Notes (Jorge Vazquez Here? Laird POTW)”

  1. Will Says:

    That’s a hell of a 3-4-5 in Romine, Laird, and Jorge Vazquez, three tough outs with the latter two capable of going yard in any given at bat.

  2. thunderbaseball Says:

    Not sure how long Vazquez will last, but you’re right…very, very potent heart of the order right there.

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