March 2010

Martinez to Herd, team ties

The New York Mets today announced that they have optioned OF FERNANDO MARTINEZ to the Buffalo Bisons.

Martinez, 21, challenged for a big league job by hitting .383 (18-47) with four doubles, two triples, three home runs and 11RBI in 21 spring exhibition games with the Mets. He led New York this spring with nine extra-base hits and 11RBI and was second on the club with 18 hits.

MORE: F-Mart to play all three OF positions

Martinez debuted with the Bisons in 2009 at 20 years and 135 days old, becoming the youngest player to play for the Bisons in 16 seasons. He hit .290 (51-176) with 16 doubles, eight home runs and 28RBI in 45 games with the Herd before earning a pair of big league promotions. At the time of his first call up to the Mets on May 26, he led the International League with 25 extra-base hits.

Bisons/New Orleans Game Ends in 1-1 Tie with Home Opener Just 2 Weeks Away
The Buffalo Bisons and New Orleans Zephyrs played to a 1-1 tie on Wednesday afternoon from Port St. Lucie, FL. The Bisons are now 6-0-2 with just one game remaining on the spring exhibition schedule.

The Bisons will play New Orleans again on Friday afternoon from Port St. Lucie, FL.

INF MIKE CERVENAK accounted for the lone Bisons’ run when he led off the second inning with a solo home run. RHP R.A. Dickey started for the Herd and allowed one run on three hits in five innings of work. Dickey walked one and struck out four.

There are just 14 days until the Bisons’ 2010 Home Opener on Wednesday, April 14 against the Pawtucket Red Sox (3:05 p.m.). Tickets are now on-sale at bisons.com or by calling THE-HERD at (843-4373).

Looking into the IL – IronPigs: Can Brown pass Triple-A

Get the word: Jon Schaffer is the third year Lehigh Valley radio broadcaster.
LISTEN: Click to hear Jon’s thoughts and the conversation

The burning question still out there:
Questions? Not too many with the Phils. The roster is pretty well established with major investment (upwards of $150 million payroll) attached to the players holding those positions. The main two concerns are injuries sustained to Brad Lidge and JC Romero, both will be stuck in Florida when the season’s first pitch is thrown.

Since Jason Werth is in the final year of his contract and potentially rewarded mega-bucks, you have to wonder if the Phillies will preview young talent as a potential replacement or, at the very least, provide some sort of a measuring stick to those players. Dominic Brown maybe the next player to get that chance and even force Philadelphia to make room, as they did for Ryan Howard just a few years ago when Jim Thome was traded. Highly regarded by the organization, he has the front office raving for his ceiling, development and pure talent and the greater Philly is anxious to see what the 2010 season will bring.

The other question from Mayor Pawlowski’s office: will the IronPigs finally get a .500+ record? Start 1-0 or be 65-64, they don’t care. The franchise has never, at any point in any of the first two years, had a winning record.

IronPigs Quick Hits:
Most free agents signed by the Phillies this offseason knew that they were fighting for spots outside the big league roster. Despite being primarily a veteran club each of the first two seasons in Allentown, PA this could be the most senior club the community has seen. An area deprived of affiliated baseball for nearly a half century has quickly beloved Andy Tracey, who has adopted his role as mentor but not faulted production. The ‘Pigs first basemen hit 26 homers and drove in 96 last year before his promotion to Philly, where he went 5-12 at the plate.

Dominic Brown is the next big thing Phils fans are waiting on to arrive. Despite being selected in the 20th round of the 2006 draft, Baseball America tabbed the 22-year old as the top prospect in the system the past two years. Of course, this comes the year after the publication saw nine of the top 30 drop out of the current rankings and six of the ten from the previous year traded away. The five-tool player is expected to being the year in AA Reading before facing International League competition.

The Bisons play the IronPigs:
As far as IL division opponents go, meeting for the first time May 22 is a little odd as Buffalo opens a four-game series on a Saturday night. The May trip is one of three the Herd will make, following with a two-game set August 9 & 10 and during the final road trip of the year, September 3 & 4 before heading to Rochester to close out the regular season. Home dates versus the IronPigs include a pair of four-gamers: June 12-15 and July 31- August 3 (both starting on a Sat. night).

Last year head-to-head:
The Bisons went 6-10 versus LHV last season, including a split of the eight home games. The most notable performances happened in August for the Bisons, including August 14; Six Bisons have a multi-hit game, including three apiece from Argenis Reyes and Andy Green. August 15; Nick Evans hits a three run homer and a solo shot from Chip Ambres help the Herd to a 7-5 win while Argenis Reyes extends his hit streak to 14 games, with a third straight three hit game. August 16; Tobi Stoner fires six scoreless innings leading the Bisons to a shutout win. August 17; Down 4-1 in the eighth, Buffalo explodes for eight runs in the inning to beat LHV 9-4 in monster come from behind fashion. Twelve batters came to the plate during the rally.

Herd stays hot

The Buffalo Bisons improved to 6-0 this spring with a 7-2 victory over the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis) on Sunday afternoon from Port St. Lucie, FL.

MORE: Many of these players will be on TV tomorrow!

The Bisons hitters remained red hot this spring. C JOSH THOLE went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored while INF LUIS HERNANDEZ was 2-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.

OF JASON PRIDIE had an RBI-triple to go along with a stolen base and two runs scored. Buffalo’s 2009 team MVP, OF JESUS FELICIANO had a pair of RBI and a stolen base.

MORE: Go to Bisons.com

On the mound, LHP BOBBY LIVINGSTON earned the win with four innings of two-run baseball. LHP ADAM PETTYJOHN tossed three-hitless innings of relief, striking out three.

Bisons stay perfect in spring

The Buffalo Bisons improved to 5-0 this spring with a 7-3 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs on Friday afternoon from Jupiter, FL.

Be here when the Herd heads north: Click to get a chair now!

On Friday, the Bisons snapped a 3-3 tie with four runs in the top of the ninth inning. OF JASON PRIDIE’S two-run double proved to be the game-winning hit for the Herd. Pridie finished the game 3-5 with three runs scored.

INF MIKE CERVENAK went 2-5 with a double and an RBI while INF ALEX CINTRON was 2-4 with a run scored for the Bisons.

On the mound, RHP R.A. DICKEY started for the Herd and allowed three runs on six hits in six innings of work. LHP MIKE O’CONNOR got the win with two shutout innings, striking out three.

The Herd has four more games on their spring exhibition schedule, each to be played at the Mets’ spring training home in Port St. Lucie, FL. Buffalo faces the Memphis Redbirds on Sunday, March 28 at 1:00 p.m.

There are just 19 days until the Bisons’ 2010 Home Opener on Wednesday, April 14 against the Pawtucket Red Sox (3:05 p.m.). Tickets are now on-sale at bisons.com or by calling THE-HERD at (843-4373).

Lots of chatter today in camp

We had an incredibly busy day around the Mets training complex today. Logged a ton of interviews and provided a quick trip around the park to show you a fan’s point of view.

All the information will be on www.bisons.com but the Spring Training show will debut Monday, March 29 on Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

Tomorrow is our final day in the Florida sun, I’ll try to pack as much and bring it back to Buffalo!

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