Game 54: Pre-Game Notes

6:05 PM — Some alumni news that has the press box buzzing a bit…Michael Ryan got DFA’d by the Angels, but the Mariners have called up Brian Sweeney, who was with the Patriots in spring training.  You lose one, you gain one…

5:05 PM — When the hell did the Bears get Victor Rodriguez?  I literally just saw him play with Bridgeport. 

Anyway…Iggy Suarez is expected back once the team goes on the road.  Monti is out with arm stiffness, and appears headed for an MRI, although it doesn’t appear to be anything serious as of yet.  Lavigne may pitch tonight in relief of Jesse Darcy.  Josh Pressley is out of the lineup with minor stiffness…again, nothing too serious.

Joe Holden was taking BP today, wearing a batting helmet with a full cage.  He is scheduled to see an eye doctor later today and could be cleared to return.

“My vision is fine, back to normal,” Holden said.

“This was my first day taking BP, and hopefully within the next couple days I’ll be back in the lineup.”

Holden was in good spirits, but said that he still needs to get used to wearing the full-cage helmet.

“It’s a little different,” he said.

“But I’m getting used to it already, so it’s just something I’m going to have to get used to and battle through.  I’ll be all right.  That’s the least of my worries.”

As for Tim Raines, Jr., he finds himself back in the outfield, playing left field tonight.  Raines had been playing second base as of late, but says that bouncing back and forth isn’t as difficult as you may think.

“It’s not that hard, I actually like playing in the infield,” Raines said.

“I’ve played in the outfield my whole career, and it just kind of adds more to the game to where you’re actually in every pitch.  But throughout my career, I’ve always taken ground balls, and a bunch of my buddies that I work out with in the offseason are infielders.  So it’s no problem at all, I like it.”

Raines said that “your guess is as good as mine” when it comes to if he’ll permanently stay in either the infield or the outfield, but did say that he does prepare differently for a game depending on where he’s in the lineup.

“If we have BP and I’m playing second, I’ll take ground balls,” Raines said.

“But if I’m in the outfield, I usually just hang out in the outfield and see some balls off the bat.  But everything else is pretty much the same.”

5:00 PM — Just up from the clubhouse, but first…lineups.

NEWARK

James Cooper, CF
Kennard Jones, RF
Scott Spiezio, 2B
Daryle Ward, 1B
Carl Everett, DH
Victor Rodriguez, 3B
Tom Pennino, C
Shawn Williams, SS
Paddy Matera, LF

Mike Loree, P

SOMERSET

Wayne Lydon, CF
Tim Raines, Jr., LF
Matt Hagen, 2B
Michael Hernandez, 1B
Noah Hall, RF
Jason Belcher, DH
Elliott Ayala, SS
J.R. Hopf, C
David Housel, 3B

Jesse Darcy, P

3:45 PM — Jeff Nettles, targeting a return date right around the All-Star break now, just took about five minutes worth of lightly hit ground balls at third base from hitting coach Travis Anderson.

3:15 PM — According to their Facebook page…no, seriously…that’s where I got this from…Somerset has officially activated reliever Tim Lavigne.  Jason Monti has been placed on the DL to make room for him.

I’ll get you a lineup when they come up…but count on Josh Pressley, Joe Burke and Zach Smithlin getting a day off.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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