Local pair ready for spring training _ the cleveland daily banner

Although famed groundhog “Punxsutawney Phil” says there are six more weeks of winter coming our way, baseball enthusiasts know the time that “pitchers and catchers report” is upon us.

While Lee University and Cleveland State have already kicked off the new collegiate diamond season, a pair of former Bradley County all-stars are finalizing their plans to head out for another professional campaign.

Ryan Casteel and Logan Longwith have been working out together all winter, but will soon be heading in different directions to prepare for another summer in the sun.

The former Bradley Central and Cleveland State standout is entering his eighth season of pro ball, but will be making his first trip to spring training with a new team.

That’s what 2010 17th round pick of the Colorado Rockies did last summer, immediately signing with the Seattle Mariners. El patio mcallen He re-signed with the American League team in December, and will be leaving Monday for a Minor League Baseball minicamp in Arizona.

“Last year I didn’t really know what to expect, but this time I will, and I’ll be more comfortable,” remarked the 20th round selection by the Tigers in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. How to build a fence in minecraft “I’ll be going into a brand new complex as they (Detroit) have redone the major league stadium and weight room (in Lakeland).”

“I expect to be either in Double A in Little Rock (Ark.) or Triple A in Tacoma (Wash.),” related Casteel, who played for the AA team in Jackson, Tenn., after signing with the Mariners for the final two months of last season. Knuckleball pitch He is currently listed online on the Tacoma Rainiers’ roster.

“I’m driving out at the first of the week and my wife (Bethany) will fly out a few days later,” Casteel said of the 26-hour trek to Peoria, Ariz., in the Phoenix area. Sprinkler system diagram “The minicamp will run alongside the big league spring training and we’ll play in some of the big league games.”

Casteel has been to the past three major league spring training camps with the Rockies, but knows with a new organization he has to prove himself all over again.

“I’m coming off a down year, so I’m trying to get back to the level of success I was having before,” he said in reference to quadriceps injury he suffered a year and a half ago. How to pitch faster “I had to spend that winter (2015) rehabbing, but this year I’ve been able to concentrate on building strength.

“Baseball is a game where repetition is so important, so when you aren’t getting the reps, it’s really hard to keep your timing,” he explained. Hotels in dripping springs texas “Injuries can really take a lot out of you and mess up your game for a long while. Landscape photos (After the injury in May 2015), I really didn’t start feeling good until the end of last season.”

After 417 games of Minor League Baseball, plus a season earning the MVP of the Australian Baseball League and another in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, Casteel landed on the disabled list after tearing his right quad while running the bases on May 31, 2015.

Before the injury that sidelined him for more than six weeks, he was hitting .354, with seven doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs for a .505 slugging percentage and .868 OPS in 26 games for Triple-A Albuquerque.

In his first 6 1/2 seasons, Casteel had an overall .285 batting average, with a .347 on base percentage, .456 slugging percentage and an .803 OPS. High pitch eric periscope He blasted 46 homers, drove in 230 runs, plus he had 108 doubles and 11 triples in 445 hits. Spring training schedule arizona Casteel scored 221 times, drew 147 walks and stole 22 bases.

In the field, the 5-foot-11, 205-pounder caught 2,349 innings, boasting a .987 fielding percentage, plus in 60 games at first base he was just as solid with a .985 defensive clip.

Playing a total of 50 games at first base or as the designated hitter with the Generals, including the Southern League playoffs and championship series, Casteel had a .306 OBP, with nine doubles, a triple and a trio of home runs, while driving in 28 runs and scoring 21 times himself.

“I’m going in as a catcher, with the ability to play first base as well,” he related. Lanscaping “Plus being with an American League team, the designated hitter is another position I can help out at.

The former Walker Valley standout, who went on to a very good collegiate career at Tennessee Wesleyan, spent his first two pro seasons playing in Florida and Connecticut, with a long stretch in Western Michigan last summer as well.

“I’m getting to see parts of the country I’d never seen before, which is exciting, plus I’m learning a lot,” he related. Driveway “The pitching coach (Mark Johnson) I’ve been working with has major league experience and is very knowledgeable. Fastest softball pitcher in the world He has really shown me a lot of stuff that has helped me.

“When I was in high school and college, I could rely mainly on my fastball, but at this level, guys can hit the fastball, so you have to have a couple of other pitches and know when and where to throw what.”

“I was shell-shocked after going from Tennessee Wesleyan and the GCL (Gulf Coast League) to Western Michigan, where they had 10,000 fans a night,” he explained. Brick fence designs “The Whitecaps are sort of the jewel of the Tigers’ Minor League Baseball program, so things are little more disciplined and expectations are high.”

He has converted five of six saves opportunities, struck out 66 and issued just 14 free passes (11 walks, 3 HBP), while holding opponents to a .258 batting average.

Finishing up last season in Connecticut, he is still listed on the roster of the New York-Penn League squad, but where he will be sent this summer won’t be known until the end of spring training in a couple of months.

“It’s tough being away from my family, but they were able to come up (to Michigan) to see me a couple of times last summer,” he related. Little league baseball field dimensions “I’m just very glad to get the opportunity to continue to play and work toward my dream.”