From The Dugout: A Dream Come True
June 30, 2010
From the Dugout will continue to follow former, current and soon-to-be Ducks throughout the summer.
So there I was one morning sound asleep after visiting with my family late Thursday night on June 17. I received a call that woke me up, and the voice on the other side said, “How would you like to be a Ray?” Of course my mouth just dropped, and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane going to Fort Meyers, Fla.
My first week in the organization involved a lot of paperwork and medical exams. One of the worst parts for me was trying to get used to the humidity. I have never been to Florida before, so for me it was like taking in the same breathe every time. During my first week there were a lot of new names to remember, and a lot of eye-opening experiences. For example, when you walk into the complex of the Tampa Bay Rays, you see a series of jerseys that lines the walls as you walk down the hallway ranging from minor leagues such as the Charlotte Stone Crabs to the Durham Bulls from the famous movie Bull Durham.
It ends with a big league jersey of the Rays as well as pictures of players like Evan Longoria and David Price as well as B.J. Upton. Some of the best moments are when I walk in and get to see the steps that it takes to get to the majors, and study pictures of guys who work hard and show you what it takes.
I play for the Gulf Coast Rays (Gulf Coast League – South, Rookie Ball) which is at the very bottom of the organization - but you have to start somewhere. We play on the spring training facility with the Rays as well as the rest of the teams in the league which are the Orioles, Red Sox and Twins.
We play the same four teams every week. We are based out of a small town called Port Charlotte, and only travel about an hour away for every game. I appeared in my first game a week from when I got here which was Friday, June 25. I threw one and 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, one hit, two strikeouts and one walk. I was very nervous but had the right tools to help calm myself down. So basically that was my first week in the minors!
KC Serna and Christian Jones (Falmouth Commodores): Falmouth is currently 7-7 and rests in second place of the Cape’s West Division. On Monday the team took the field at Fenway Park for Scouts Day and also participated in a parade. Check out the video HERE thanks to www.falcommodores.org. Serna is hitting .321, while Jones has a record of 1-1 in six innings on the mound.
Madison Boer (La Crosse Loggers): Boer ended the 2010 season for the Ducks as the go-to closer out of the bullpen, and has resumed that role in La Crosse. The Loggers are 14-11, and Boer is 3-0 on the season with a 0.00 ERA.
Ryan Hambright, Joey Housey, Andrew Mendenhall, Danny Pulfer (Rochester Honkers): Rochester is leading North Division with a 15-9 record. Pulfer leads the Honkers batting .381, while Housey has not allowed an earned run in four innings of work.
West Coast League
Paul Eshleman (Kitsap BlueJackets) and Mitch Karraker (Bend Elks): Karraker is batting .304 for the Elks who top the West Division standings with a record of 15-4. Eshleman is hitting .333 for Kitsap, which sits second in the West standings with a record of 10-6.
Ryon Healy: Healy is batting .385 for the Conejo Oaks of the California Collegiate League.
Tyler Kuresa: Kuresa is batting .333 after five games for the 7-4 Oahu Paddlers of the Hawaii Collegiate League.
Drew Gagnier: Connecticut Tigers (New York-Penn League, Class A Short-Season)
Eddie Rodriguez: GCL Marlins (Gulf Coast League – East, Rookie Ball)
Zack Thornton: AZL Athletics (Arizona League, Rookie Ball)