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Redman15
09-29-2008, 11:06 AM
ZEBULON - Carolina Mudcats owner Steve Bryant stood at the podium wearing his trademark red jacket. A Cincinnati Reds tie and Reds logos were splashed all over the team's clubhouse.

The Mudcats announced a two-year deal with the Reds, in a news conference held at Five County Stadium on Friday.

The Mudcats also announced the Reds would play a "mini-futures" game in Zebulon, pitting them against the farm system's top prospects in April.

"They didn't have to do that," said Bryant.

The Marlins, the Mudcats' previous affiliate, had last done that in 2003, when the two teams were first coupled.

The Reds had one of the top farm systems in the major leagues this year. Still, unlike the Marlins, who frequently promoted players directly from the Double-A Mudcats, the Reds never directly promoted a player from Double-A this season.

When asked about that, Terry Reynolds, the Reds' director of player development said: "I would think we'd be similar to that. We, over the last four or five years, have gotten better, and this year ... I think we moved nine guys through the system and [into] the big leagues at one time during the year. That'll slow down for sure. And as that slows down and we back some guys into Triple-A, at Louisville, then there'll be more players stay for longer times at the Double-A level. And I would see that probably starting next year. ... This team is going to have a bunch of guys on the way up."

The Reds' Triple-A affiliate is Louisville. The Bats play in the International League with the Durham Bulls.

Reynolds mentioned shortstop Todd Frazier and third baseman Juan Francisco as top prospects likely to be Mudcats next season.

Frazier hit .291 this year between the Sarasota Reds of the Class A Advanced Florida State League and the Dayton Dragons of the Class A Midwest League.

Francisco hit .277 with 23 home runs in Sarasota and was reported to have the best infield arm in the Reds' farm system by Baseball America magazine last November.

Reynolds spoke of a "whirlwind" process that began only days before the Mudcats' first meeting with the Reds last Friday in Zebulon.

There were few options for the Mudcats after the Los Angeles Dodgers made the first change in the Double-A Southern League.

Last week, the Dodgers left the Jacksonville Suns for the Chattanooga Lookouts, which had been affiliated with the Reds for 21 years. The Marlins then decided to expand their Florida footprint by signing with Jacksonville.

That left only two other possibilities for Carolina: the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees, both considering leaving affiliates in the Eastern League.

But Thursday, both teams said they would be staying: the Yankees with Trenton and the Giants with Connecticut.

"It's a flawed situation," Bryant said of the way teams change affiliations every year, noting only a few contracts come up in a given year.

Bryant said the Mudcats were lucky to have the Reds, which he called a "gold standard" franchise.

"Many Midwesterners have relocated to North Carolina over the years, including a large number of Buckeyes and a very strong Reds following," Mudcats general manager Joe Kremer said.

Bryant gave details of changes to Five County Stadium. The playing field will be replaced, as will the outfield wall. The new wall will change the dimensions in right field, making it 308 feet down the line instead of 330. And the wall in right will be nine feet tall instead of 24 feet, which it was in the past.

"If you have a good right fielder, he might steal a few [home runs]," Kremer said.

bounty37h
09-29-2008, 11:54 AM
I cant state how excited I am by this move. I live in CH North Carolina, and only get to se eReds farm teams when they come to town-Lville in Durham, which is 15 mins from my house, and when the lookouts came to Zebulon. Both teams only have made one trip the last 2 years I think, so I havent seen much in person. I am already looking forward to next season, and warned my friends in Zebulon they will be seeing alot of me next summer.

dougdirt
09-29-2008, 11:57 AM
Talk about changing how a ballpark plays. Its going from a 24 foot tall wall thats 330 feet away to a 9 foot tall wall thats 308 feet away. Lefties are going to put up some big HR numbers there.

OnBaseMachine
09-29-2008, 11:58 AM
This is an excellent idea. I've always wanted them to do this and play the game in Great American Ballpark. I wonder if kids like Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez will play in the game, or will it just be A, A+, AA, and AAA prospects?

Redman15
09-29-2008, 12:04 PM
Talk about changing how a ballpark plays. Its going from a 24 foot tall wall thats 330 feet away to a 9 foot tall wall thats 308 feet away. Lefties are going to put up some big HR numbers there.

Juan Francisco could hit 35+ bombs in that yard.

dougdirt
09-29-2008, 12:35 PM
Juan Francisco could hit 35+ bombs in that yard.

Ha, thats what I said over on my site.

I just hope the park doesn't lead to guys changing the way they go about the plate appearances. I don't want lefties getting pull happy because I could hit a HR there.

Redman15
09-29-2008, 01:09 PM
Hey Doug,
Would this be a game that puts the Reds future stars against the
big league club or Reds future stars against the Mudcats? I would hope
it would be against the big club.

dougdirt
09-29-2008, 01:19 PM
Hey Doug,
Would this be a game that puts the Reds future stars against the
big league club or Reds future stars against the Mudcats? I would hope
it would be against the big club.

The article doesn't specify, so who knows. I think I am going to email the guy who wrote the article for clarification.

Redman15
09-29-2008, 01:21 PM
The article doesn't specify, so who knows. I think I am going to email the guy who wrote the article for clarification.

Thanks!

dougdirt
09-29-2008, 02:47 PM
Here is the response I got:

Sorry for the confusion; I thought the story was clear. The Reds will
play a game against the top prospects in their farm system. I'm told
it is scheduled for April 3. Apparently, this has been done before in
Dayton.

Bip Roberts
09-29-2008, 03:03 PM
Awesome

Redman15
09-29-2008, 03:09 PM
How long ago did they do this in Dayton? I know in 2007 the Reds played an exhibition game against the Florida Marlins and some of the Dragon players flew from ST with the big club and played in the game.

Redman15
09-29-2008, 04:16 PM
My futures line up would be as follows. Players are from Low A and above.

1.Stubbs CF
2.Alonso DH
3.Frazier 1B
4.Francisco 3B
5.Valaika SS
6.Dorn LF
7.Turner 2B
8.Heisey RF
9.Tatum C

Subs OF
Henry;Cumberland;Griffin;Phipps

IF
Parker;Soto;Cozart;Waring

C
Denove
Mesoraco


RH Pitching LH Pitching
LeCure Jukich
Manuel Viola
Watson Wood
Fisher Smit
Buck Herrera*
Bailey* Maloney*
Thompson* Pelland*
Ramirez* Atkins*
Roenicke*

* = probably will be with the Reds

GOYA
09-29-2008, 11:37 PM
I hope they would do this in Louisville as well.

And I might add Lehr to that pitching list as a reliever.

camisadelgolf
09-30-2008, 01:39 AM
Jon Adkins would be a right-handed pitcher, by the way.

Cyclone792
09-30-2008, 12:06 PM
Bryant gave details of changes to Five County Stadium. The playing field will be replaced, as will the outfield wall. The new wall will change the dimensions in right field, making it 308 feet down the line instead of 330. And the wall in right will be nine feet tall instead of 24 feet, which it was in the past.

"If you have a good right fielder, he might steal a few [home runs]," Kremer said.

I'm glad to hear that stadium will be getting a new field, but I'm not so sure I like the idea of a short porch only 308 feet down the right field line with a nine foot wall. Either bring the fences in and keep the tall wall or shorten the wall but keep the fences back, but both is a pretty drastic move.

That much being said, I would be interested to see the rest of the park's new dimensions. If the right field power alley is deeper than normal to help offset the short porch down the line then that'd certainly help.

JayBruceFan
09-30-2008, 05:55 PM
That has never been done in Dayton

highheat11
09-30-2008, 06:08 PM
That has never been done in Dayton

The Reds and Marlins definitely played an exhibition game in Dayton. I haven't been able to find anything about which players played in this game, but here's a link talking about the game back when the game was announced:

http://www.daytondragons.com/pressbox/pressrelease/index.html?article_id=236

I also found some pictures of the game on someone's website, and there are players with really strange numbers (#89 and #90) playing second base and shortstop, so I'm assuming those are the future Dragons that flew up for the exhibition.

JayBruceFan
09-30-2008, 07:13 PM
I know they had the exhibition, I worked it

I just don't remember many minor leaguers playing

Griffey, Gonzales, Conine, EE, Dunn and Hamilton all played to start the game

highheat11
09-30-2008, 07:23 PM
I found the box score on ESPN.com. It appears Chris Valaika, Heisey, Logan Parker, and Justin Turner all played in the game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=270331117

I'm starting to wish I would've known about this back when it happened because it would've definitely been worth seeing those guys playing with other Major Leaguers after just one season in professional ball.

Redman15
09-30-2008, 07:39 PM
So did Juan Francisco and Denis Phipps. Miguel Cabrera hit a absolute bomb to left field that landed halfway across the players parking lot.

mth123
09-30-2008, 07:41 PM
Carolina might be a futures game every day.

Heisey CF
Valaika 2B
Alonso 1B
Frazier LF
Francisco 3B
Parker DH
Eyman SS
Perales ?? RF
Long??? C

Wood
J. Smith
Smit
Buck
Viola??

Stewart??
Valiquette??

Mario-Rijo
10-01-2008, 05:30 AM
Carolina might be a futures game every day.

Henry CF
Heisey RF
Alonso 1B
Frazier 3B
Francisco DH
Szymanski LF
Eymann SS
Turner 2B
Rodriguez C

Wood
J. Smith
Smit
Buck
Viola??

Stewart??
Valiquette??

My guess is it will look more like this, w/ Valaika moving up.

Mario-Rijo
10-01-2008, 05:33 AM
I found the box score on ESPN.com. It appears Chris Valaika, Heisey, Logan Parker, and Justin Turner all played in the game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=270331117

I'm starting to wish I would've known about this back when it happened because it would've definitely been worth seeing those guys playing with other Major Leaguers after just one season in professional ball.

Right some played in it. However this appears to be a slightly more interesting game and different. The current youthful Reds against their possible soon to be teammates. No Marlins involved.

highheat11
10-01-2008, 10:20 AM
Right some played in it. However this appears to be a slightly more interesting game and different. The current youthful Reds against their possible soon to be teammates. No Marlins involved.

I agree, it might be worth making the trip down to Carolina to check it out. I just hope the actually opening day team is on the field rather than some guys looking to make the opening day roster playing against the rest of their minor league teammates. Otherwise it wont be much different than an intersquad game in ST.

Redman15
10-21-2008, 12:02 PM
It doesn't look like it's going to be a Futures type game.


From Mudcats News Release Comment on this story

Tickets for the Carolina Mudcats' April 3 exhibition game against their new major league parent club, the Cincinnati Reds, will go on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Mudcats announced Monday.

The game, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, will pit the major league team and its Double-A Southern League affiliate.

Tickets will be available at the stadium box office or can be purchased by credit card via phone at 919-269-2287 or at www.carolinamudcats.com.

Ticket prices range from $12 for general admission to $20 for premium field level. A $2 discount is available for children and senior citizens. Groups of 25 or more also can receive a discount.

bounty37h
10-22-2008, 12:16 PM
Redman, I got a different one from them, and it is a Reds futures all star team, see below. I called first thing this morning and got my tix, Sec 218, Row A. Anyone going?
Subject: ** Cincinnati-Mudcats Major League Exhibition Game Tickets On Sale Wednesday**
Zebulon, NC --- The Carolina Mudcats have announced that tickets for next April's major league exhibition game with its the new parent club Cincinnati Reds will go on sale this Wednesday, October 22 beginning at 9:00 AM ET.
The game, which will be hosted at Five County Stadium on Friday, April 3rd at 6:00 PM ET, will be the premier event featuring the Reds as the Mudcats' new Double-A Southern League affiliate. The major league exhibition contest will have an air of uniqueness, with the Reds opposing their own minor league all-star Futures Team.
Tickets can be purchased in a multitude of ways. Fans can order tickets using any major credit card via phone at (919) 269-2287. Fans can also purchase tickets online at www.carolinamudcats.com with a major credit card, along with on-site ticket orders at Five County Stadium using cash, checks or credit cards.
Ticket prices will be $20 for Premium Field Level, $18 for Box Seats, $16 for Reserved Field Level and $12 for General Admission. The Mudcats will offer $2 discounts for children and senior citizens (excluding premium field level seating). Group discounts are also available for groups of 25 or more.
For more information, contact the Mudcats' front office at (919) 269-2287 or www.carolinamudcats.com. The Mudcats open the 2009 Southern League season on Thursday, April 9th against the defending league champion Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park.

Mario-Rijo
10-22-2008, 03:09 PM
The major league exhibition contest will have an air of uniqueness, with the Reds opposing their own minor league all-star Futures Team.

Sweet! And it should be one heck of an inuagaral season for the Carolina "Redlegs".

Let's see how about that games roster for the Futures team, name a 25 man whether they play or not? I'm gonna assume Dayton and above types sans maybe a Bucholz or Shunick. And probably made up of mostly guys who haven't been seen at the big league level.

Starting lineup:
Drew Stubbs CF
Chris Valaika SS
Yonder Alonso 1B
Todd Frazier RF
Juan Francisco DH
Neftali Soto 3B
Danny Dorn LF
Justin Turner 2B
Craig Tatum C

Starting Pitcher: Maloney

BP:
Roenicke
Herrera
Fisher
Viola
Manuel
Stewart
Watson
Wood
Buck

(Left out Pelland & Lotzkar due to current/recent injuries)

Bench:
Mesoraco C
Cozart SS
Cumberland OF
Henry OF/IF
Bucholz IF
Castillo UT

Also put Roenicke & Herrera in the BP because it makes more sense for them to pitch against the big leaguers than the opposite.