Results tagged ‘ Mark Rogers ’

Tired Rogers satisfied with AFL stint

mark-rogers.jpgForget what the numbers say. Brewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers is satisfied with his stint in the Arizona Fall League and the end of a long but healthy season. He’s also ready for a break.

Speaking Friday on a well-deserved day off, Rogers thought there was a “good chance” that he would get at least an inning of work in Saturday’s AFL Championship game. It would offer one last chance to put a positive finish on an up-and-down experience.

Rogers has been pitching — and struggling — for the Peoria Javelinas, a team of Brewers, Mariners, White Sox, Tigers and Dodgers prospect in the prestigious AFL. His team is set to face the Phoenix Desert Dogs on Saturday in a 1:35 p.m. CT game that will air on MLB Network. 

“I’m really fortunate to be with a great group of guys,” said Rogers, one of eight Brewers prospects on the team. “I’ll chalk it up as another great experience in my career.” 

It’s almost over, and that might not be a bad thing. Rogers, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, is coming off the longest season of his career after two full years lost entirely to shoulder surgeries. Before this season, Rogers had not pitched in a game since June 2006. 

He made up for lost time by posting a 1.63 ERA in 22 starts and one relief appearance at Class A Brevard County. Working on a strict pitch count, Rogers struck out 67 batters in 64 2/3 innings and touched 98 mph on the radar gun.

His AFL stint hasn’t been quite as smooth. Entering Saturday’s finale, Rogers had allowed 18 earned runs and 20 hits including three home runs in 10 2/3 innings. He walked nine, versus seven walks.  Opponents were hitting .392 against him. 

“I think I’m seeing a little bit of the fatigue from my first full season in three years, that’s for sure” he admitted. “But in the meantime I’m learning a lot. There are some really good hitters down here, and they hit mistakes. You have to be able to pitch. 

“It’s definitely going to be something to build on for next Spring Training. The main thing is that I feel good, but at the same time I do feel like it’s my first full season in three years. It’s a long year. That everyday grind adds up.” 

He began preparing for the 2009 season last November, meaning Rogers has now been throwing every day for more than 12 months. He’s looking forward to a post-AFL break. This year, he’ll take part in the conditioning portion of the Brewers’ offseason minicamp and will continue his shoulder exercises, but probably won’t start throwing regularly until January.  

“I know I can make it through a full season now with my arm feeling great, and that makes me really excited for next season,” said Rogers, who could find himself in Double-A Huntsville this time. “I’m going to come in fresh and ready to go with a lot more experience under my belt. Compare that to last year, when it was a clean slate. This time I have a lot of confidence that I can come into camp and turn some heads.”

The Brewers added Rogers to their 40-man roster last year and burned the first of his three Minor League options in March.

“I think he is starting to get things ironed out,” Brewers farm director Reid Nichols said. “He has been through a lot to this point. It was pretty exciting to see the mid-90 [mph] fastball come back. Now it’s just touch and feel and learning to read hitters. It may take some time because he missed a lot of it. The good news is he is healthy.”

Rogers was not the only Brewers pitching prospect who struggled in the AFL.
   
In 2009 the Brewers added Josh Butler to the 40-man roster, another intriguing right-handed pitching prospect who struggled alongside Rogers. After going 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA for four Brewers affiliates and earning a taste of the Majors in September, Butler struggled to an 11.93 ERA in six fall league starts. Opponents hit him at a .429 clip. 

Fellow 40-man roster member Omar Aguilar had a 7.11 ERA in nine relief appearances. Left-hander Zack Braddock was a bright spot before he surrendered six earned runs on four walks and four hits in 1/3 inning of relief work on Thursday, an outing that bumped his ERA from 0.87 to 5.25. Righty Rob Wooten allowed five runs in nine relief innings for a 5.00 ERA. 

The Brewers’ hitters in the AFL offered more to feel good about. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy was especially impressive, drawing raves from scouts and the Brewers officials who saw him play, hitting .310 through Thursday with two home runs and 10 RBIs. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who on Wednesday was added to the 40-man roster, hit .242 but posted a solid .375 on-base percentage as the Javelinas’ leadoff hitter. 

Third baseman Taylor Green was batting .212 entering Saturday’s finale but had four of his 11 hits and all six of his RBIs in the Javelinas’ last three games. 

“I believe that if you have this experience, it’s going to make you better,” Rogers said. “It’s been a great year for me, and I don’t want to look at it as anything else. I look forward to a full season ahead of me without a pitch count where I can just go play.”

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Rogers picked for AFL showcase

mark-rogers.jpgBrewers pitching prospect Mark Rogers, who has followed a long road back from injuries, was honored Monday night with a spot in the Arizona Fall League’s upcoming Rising Stars showcase game.

The exhibition, set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. CT in Surprise, Ariz., features current AFL participants selected by scouting and Minor League directors from every organization, along with input from AFL executive director Steve Cobb.

For the first time, the Showcase will also be available to a national television audience. MLB Network will carry a live broadcast of the Rising Stars Game with Diamondbacks announcer Daron Sutton and MLB Network’s Tony Clark in the broadcast booth. A live video feed will also be available on MLB.com.

Nationals uber-prospect Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in last June’s Draft, is part of the “East Division” squad, and he’s in line to start Saturday’s showcase after having his pitching schedule shifted this week. Rogers is part of the West Division but he’s not scheduled to start. That honor will likely go to Braves prospect Mike Minor.

Rogers last pitched on Halloween, when he allowed a run in one inning of work. In his first five Fall League appearances, only one of them a start, he allowed 10 runs, 10 hits and eight walks versus five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. That after a tremendous season at Class A Brevard County, where Rogers posted a 1.63 ERA in 23 games and struck out more than a batter an inning.

Passed-over for the AFL showcase were deserving Brewers prospects Jonathan Lucroy and Zach Braddock. Through his last appearance on Oct. 30, Lucroy, a catcher, was hitting .385 in seven games with two home runs and five RBIs. Braddock, a left-hander, notched his second AFL save on Monday and has a 1.04 ERA through seven appearances.

Click here to see the fill list of prospects picked for the Rising Stars Game.

Fall League set to start

afl-javelinas.jpgThe prestigious Arizona Fall League begins its 18th season on Tuesday with a trio of games, including a matchup between the Surprise Rafters and Peoria Javelinas that includes the Brewers’ contingent of prospects.

Eight players will suit up for the Javelinas this season including pitchers Omar Aguilar, Josh Butler, Mark Rogers and Robert Wooten plus catcher Jonathan Lucroy, infielder Taylor Green and outfielder Lorenzo Cain.

In addition, left-hander Zach Braddock is a member of the Javelina’s taxi squad, available on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Class A Brevard County pitching coach Fred Dabney will serve in that role for the Javelinas.

That’s a pretty impressive list of Brewers prospects. Keep an especially close eye on Aguilar, Butler and Rogers because they are on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster, plus Cain and Lucroy, who have pretty clear paths to the big leagues if they can continue to develop. Cain lost part of the 2009 season to a knee injury, so his AFL stint is particularly important.

The AFL distributed a PDF packed with everything you could possibly want to know about the league, so I’ll attach it here for those who are interested. The AFL’s regular season ends Nov. 21 with the championship game slated for Nov. 21.
Javelina.jpg
AFL Opening Day.pdf

Here’s something you won’t find in that PDF: A javelina, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, is also known as a peccary, a medium-sized mammal that looks a bit like a pig. A terrifying, crazed pig.

Eight farmhands set for Arizona Fall League

Eight Brewers Minor Leaguers, including 2004 first-round Draft pick Mark Rogers, will play for the Peoria Javelinas in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Besides Rogers, who missed all of 2007 and 2008 with shoulder injuries, the Brewers will send pitchers Omar Aguilar, Zach Braddock, Josh Butler and Rob Wooten, plus catcher Jonathan Lucroy, infielder Taylor Green and outfielder Lorenzo Cain. The position players have been set for some time, but Brewers officials waited until this week to finalize their contingent of arms.

Braddock, who has battled a shoulder injury and blisters this summer, is on the Javelinas’ “taxi squad” and may be activated only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Both Rogers and Aguilar are on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster.

Additionally, Class A Brevard County’s Fred Dabney will serve as the Javelinas’ pitching coach this fall.

The Javelinas play home games at Peoria Sports Complex and will be comprised of players from the Brewers, Dodgers, Mariners, Tigers and White Sox. The 18th annual Arizona Fall League season begins on October 13 and runs through Nov. 19 with the Rising Stars game on Nov. 7 and the Championship game set for Nov. 21. Every game can be followed live on Gameday on MLB.com and MLBFallBall.com.
 

In the Minors: Jones to AAA; Butler, Rogers to AFL

Some Minor League tidbits from Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash:

- The organization intends to promote former first-round Draft pick Mike Jones to Triple-A Nashville on Monday. It’s a significant milestone for Jones, the 12th overall pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft, who has been derailed by shoulder injuries over the years.

Jones had been pitching at Double-A Huntsville and doing, “great, which is why we want to send him to Triple-A,” Ash said. “He wants to go. He has never been over Double-A, so he feels good about it and he deserves the chance.”

Ash has seen Jones pitch three times this season and said the pitcher’s fastball is back up to 93 mph. In 20 starts this season between Class A Brevard County and Huntsville, Jones is 7-5 with a 4.40 ERA and 73 strikeouts versus 32 walks.

- Right-hander Josh Butler, who had been sidelined by an oblique injury, is healthy and will take Jones’ place at Double-A Huntsville. In four Minor League stops this year, including his just-completed rehab stint in the rookie Arizona League, Butler has a 2.87 ERA in 20 appearances, 19 of them starts.

The Brewers acquired Butler from Tampa Bay last season for outfielder Gabe Gross. 

- Teams have until Monday to designate their pitchers for the prestigious Arizona Fall League, but the Brewers intend to make Butler and fellow right-hander Mark Rogers two of their four picks. Another could go to left-hander Zach Braddock, depending on Braddock’s health. He had been sidelined by a shoulder injury, then developed blisters. The shoulder has healed, Ash said, and the blisters are close.

“Butler will be one of then, Rogers will be one,” Ash said. “After that, it’s wait and see what we have, health-wise.”

On the positional side, Brewers GM Doug Melvin told MLB.com on Saturday that the team intends to send outfielder Lorenzo Cain, infielder Taylor Green and catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the AFL.

- The Brewers considered promoting Rogers, the fifth overall pick in the 2004 Draft, from Class A Brevard County but opted against it. Rogers has also been derailed by shoulder problems, but Ash saw him firing 98 mph fastballs during a visit this summer.

“We’ll let him have a full, good year there,” Ash said. “We’re trying to extend his pitch count. He was at 50; now he’s up to 65. He’s pretty impressive. Ninety-eight [mph] with good secondary stuff. And he’s feeling good about himself, which is the important thing.”

- The Brewers will lose a number of Minor League players on Sept. 1 to the Baseball World Cup in Europe, Ash said. Among the participants are Canada’s Brett Lawrie, Jim Henderson, John Axford and Adam Stern, Puerto Rico’s Martin Maldonado and Efrain Nieves and The Netherlands’ Shawn Zarraga. Canada and the Netherlands play their first-round games in Sundbyberg, Sweden, and Puerto Rico begins in Barcelona. 

Outfielder Jason Bourgeois, promoted to Milwaukee this week, was under consideration for the U.S. entry, but his call-up makes him ineligible.

- Partly because of those losses, and partly because the Brewers have a number of players coming back from injury, the team will make very few Sept. 1 call-ups. The only sure thing is that the Brewers will promote an extra catcher, Ash said.
 

Rogers' short start was by design

Assistant GM Gord Ash said it was by design that pitching prospect Mark Rogers worked only one inning for Class A Brevard County on Saturday after missing his previous start.

Rogers struck out a batter in a 1-2-3 first inning for Brevard County against Lakeland in his first outing since his bruised his surgically-repaired right shoulder banging into the outfield wall while shagging flies in batting practice. The Brewers are taking an extra-cautious approach with the former first-round Draft pick, and Rogers will pitch two innings next time out, Ash said.

Brevard County scored twice for Rogers in the bottom of the first inning and was holding a 2-1 lead in the sixth.

Rogers on track to start Saturday

We weren’t sure of the schedule last night, but Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash sent word this morning that pitching prospect Mark Rogers is scheduled to make his next start on Saturday, when Class A Brevard County hosts Lakeland. Rogers missed a turn in the rotation when he banged into the wall during batting practice and bruised his surgically-repaired right shoulder, but it appears that the setback was minor.

Speaking of Brevard County, MiLB.com did a nice story about Evan Anundsen’s no-hitter this morning that’s available on the Brewers.com homepage. Here’s a link to that piece.

Former No. 1 pick Jones was offered release

A couple of Minor League notes, courtesy of Brewers GM Doug Melvin:

–The team gave oft-injured former No. 1 pick Mike Jones the option of
starting another year at Class A Brevard County or taking his release,
and he wanted to keep pitching. Jones, the 12th overall pick in the 2001 Draft, will turn 26 on April 23 and has been dogged throughout his pro career by shoulder and elbow injuries. Fellow star-crossed former first-round
pick Mark Rogers should also begin the year at Brevard County.

 – Club officials had considered assigning Wisconsin native Vinny Rottino to Double-A Huntsville so he could play third base every day, but they thought it might upset him. They were happy when Rottino brought up the idea himself.

– Playing time at Huntsville opened up for Rottino because prospect Taylor Green is “taking longer than we thought” to return from offseason wrist surgery, Melvin said. The Brewers don’t expect him back until June, and Green may be asked to return to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the season.

– Another Wisconsin native, right-handed pitcher R.J. Seidel, is out for the year with a knee injury. He slipped on some ice during the winter and “tore up” his knee, Melvin said, and underwent surgery. Fellow pitching prospects Zach Braddock and Alex Periard will also miss the start of the season with injuries. Periard was sidelined all spring by a sore right shoulder, but Melvin was not sure of the nature of the left-hander Braddock’s injury, but he did have offseason surgery. Both Braddock and Periard should be able to pitch in 2009.

– The Triple-A Nashville Sounds roster is available here. The Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers roster is available here. I have not seen rosters for Huntsville or Brevard County just yet.

First cuts

On the eve of the Cactus League opener, the Brewers reassigned four players to Minor League camp on Tuesday including former first-round Draft pick Mark Rogers.

Besides Rogers, pitcher Alex Periard, outfielder Jason Bourgeois and catcher Martin Maldonado packed their backs and moved to the Minor League complex at Maryvale Baseball Park, where a mini-camp is underway. Injuries were behind the move for Rogers (shoulder), Periard (shoulder) and Bourgeois (broken pinkie), while Maldonado was sent out because the team has seven other catchers in camp.

Bourgeois will be called back to big league camp when his pinkie heals, manager Ken Macha said.

Former No. 1 pick Rogers progressing

Brewers skipper Ken Macha dropped a promising little nugget of news during his morning session with reporters. Mark Rogers, the former first-round Draft pick who hasn’t pitched in a game in two years, faced hitters this week at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Macha said Rogers appeared, “a little tentative,” but that’s not all too surprising given his long layoff because of shoulder woes. I’m hoping to chat with Mark after the workout today to see how it felt being back on the mound.

Same schedule for the Brewers against today: Stretch, station-to-station fundamental work, then live batting practice between pitchers and hitters. Few of the big league hitters are even swinging the bat because they prefer to track pitches during these early sessions to get back their timing.

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