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Thursday, September 23, 2021

1990 Lakeland Tigers research, high-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers


Features on each member of the 1990 Lakeland Tigers, high-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, as included in that year's team set. 

Interview

    1. Hector Berrios, Tried It, 2/13/17

    Lakeland Tigers (28)

    1. Eric Albright didn't play every day, felt it impacted his game; Saw four seasons, made high-A, 8/19/21
    2. Doyle Balthazar played nine pro seasons as catcher, helped out pitchers, 8/24/21
    3. Hector Berrios, Real Serious, 6/25/16
    4. Doug Carpenter worked hard, hoped to be noticed, made AA; Later worked noticing others as coach, scout, 9/13/21
    5. Mark Cole caught a new pro chance at Reno; Played six seasons, made AA, 9/1/21
    6. Ron Cook played five pro seasons, made AA; Did something he'd always hoped to do, 9/18/21
    7. Ivan Cruz knew he had to be realistic; Eventually saw four ML seasons, Japan, 9/16/21
    8. John Doherty just wanted to play baseball; Played it in the bigs over five seasons, 9/4/21
    9. John DeSilva showed he could pitch in the bigs; Did so over two seasons, six games, 9/21/21
    10. Mark Ettles proved aggressive enough to make bigs; Made it out of native Australia, 9/3/21
    11. Ed Ferm tested his arm at Lakeland; Played four pro seasons, made high-A, 9/7/21
    12. Greg Gohr got his chance at the bigs, saw majors over four seasons, 9/14/21
    13. Jeff Goodale worked hard, got drafted out of high school; Waited for college, saw three pro seasons, made high-A, 8/27/21
    14. Darren Hursey pitched into tired arm, worked on rhythm; Saw six pro seasons, made AA, 8/22/21
    15. Jody Hurst first passed on pros, then slept on it, signed; Saw five seasons, made AAA, 8/20/21
    16. Keith Kimberlin played five seasons, made AAA; Believed injury helped restore game's fun, 9/5/21
    17. Kurt Knudsen expressed confidence in high school, went on to see bigs over three seasons, 8/21/21
    18. Todd Krumm played both football and baseball in college; He made the NFL, but missed the majors, 9/6/21
    19. Johnny Lipon felt good and enjoyed the game over five decades as player, then manager, 8/29/21
    20. Ron Marigny did his job as a player over six seasons, made AA; Has done it since as a scout, 8/14/21
    21. Darryl Martin turned pro out of high school, called himself really happy; Saw six pro seasons, made high-A, 8/16/21
    22. Dan Raley relaxed in college, played as pro over three seasons; Later turned coach, 8/30/21
    23. Bob Reimink credited a local baseball man with his pro career; Saw five seasons, made AAA, 9/19/21
    24. Lino Rivera has been a person in baseball for more than three decades; First as player, then as manager, 9/11/21
    25. Terry Smith served as a AA All-Star trainer, as trainer in Tigers and Red Sox systems, 8/25/21
    26. Tookie Spann used his baseball skills to see six pro seasons, made AA, 9/10/21
    27. Mickey Tresh followed family into pros, but couldn't follow to bigs; Wasn't disappointed, 8/15/21
    28. Marty Willis set his sights on pro baseball; Got there, saw five seasons, made AA, 8/21/21

    Tuesday, September 21, 2021

    John DeSilva showed he could pitch in the bigs; Did so over two seasons, six games


    As September came around in 1998, The Montreal Gazette looked to who the Expos would call up. One player, it wrote, likely wouldn't be among them, despite solid contributions: John DeSilva.

    DeSilva was almost 31, The Gazette noted.

    "When you talk about prospects, you invariably think about the younger guys," Ottawa manager Pat Kelly told The Gazette. "But I'll tell you what DeSilva has done. He's shown he can pitch in the big leagues."

    DeSilva didn't get the call that September, but he did previously make it. He'd seen the bigs over two  seasons - six outings in total - years earlier. He'd continue playing through 2004, but he wouldn't return to the majors.

    DeSilva's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the eighth round of the draft out of Brigham Young University.

    DeSilva started with the Tigers at single-A Fayetteville and short-season Niagara Falls. He went 5-2 between them, with a 2.47 ERA.

    He made high-A Lakeland and AA London in 1990, then AAA Toledo in 1991 and both London and Toledo again in 1992. 

    In August 1993, he made the Tigers in Detroit. He got into one game, one inning and gave up one earned run.

    He was then sent to the Dodgers to complete an earlier trade. He got into three games down the stretch. He gave up four earned runs in 5.1 innings. 

    DeSilva played 1994 back in the minors. Traded to the Orioles for 1995, DeSilva got some attention as the delayed spring concluded.

    "I pitched really well," DeSilva told The Baltimore Sun that June, "and I showed them I had a lot of poise. I think they want someone who is very aggressive."

    DeSilva got two starts. He saw 8.2 innings and gave up seven earned runs to end his major league career.

    DeSilva played the rest of 1995 at AAA Rochester, then the next with the Red Sox at AAA Pawtucket. He joined the Expos for 1998 and 1999 at AAA Ottawa.

    DeSilva continued playing through 2004, playing his final three seasons in independent ball, his last at Long Island.

    1990 Minor League Tally 
    Players/Coaches Featured:3,742
    Made the Majors:1,268-33.9%-X
    Never Made Majors:2,474-66.1%
    5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

    Sunday, September 19, 2021

    Bob Reimink credited a local baseball man with his pro career; Saw five seasons, made AAA


    Bob Reimink looked back in 2009 and credited local Grand Rapids baseball icon Bob Sullivan with getting him to the pros, he told The Holland Sentinel.

    Sullivan ran a local amateur baseball team and served as a scout for the Tigers.

    "I owe a lot to Bob," Reimink told The Sentinel. "It was probably because of him that I was drafted by the Detroit Tigers."

    Reimink went on with the Tigers to play five pro seasons. He made AAA in two of those campaigns. He fell short of the majors.

    Reimink's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the 30th round of the draft out of Western Michigan University. Reimink was also credited as Robert Reimink and as Bobby Reimink.

    At Western Michigan, Reimink picked up four hits and six RBI in an April 1988 game and had a two-run single in a May 1989 contest.

    Reimink started with the Tigers at short-season Niagara Falls. He hit .254 in 75 games. He then moved to high-A Lakeland for 1990. He hit .222 in 112 games there. 

    At Lakeland, Reimink went 5-for-5 in an April game, then got the game-winner in a playoff game on a perfect 10-foot suicide squeeze bunt, The Palm Beach Post wrote.

    "Baseball's a crazy game," Lakeland manager John Lipon told The Post after Reimink's squeeze. "It's always been a crazy game. That's why it's so great."

    Reimink moved up to AA London for 1991. He hit .258 there over 89 games. He returned to London for 1992, but he also saw 19 games at AAA Toledo. He then returned for 66 games at Toledo. He hit .197 to end his career.

    1990 Minor League Tally 
    Players/Coaches Featured:3,741
    Made the Majors:1,267-33.9%
    Never Made Majors:2,474-66.1%-X
    5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

    Ron Cook played five pro seasons, made AA; Did something he'd always hoped to do


    Ron Cook's career came to an end in 1991, having topped out at AA, but he told his hometown paper, The Port Huron Times Herald he had no regrets.

    "It was the chance to be part of a pro sport," Cook told The Times Herald in December 1991. "It wasn't  near as  far as I wanted to get, but this is something I always hoped I could do."

    Cook played all five of his seasons in the Tigers system. He later went on to return home to Michigan - and play the game one more time in a movie.

    Cook's career began in 1987, taken by the Tigers in the 23rd round of the draft out of St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Mich.

    Cook started with the Tigers at rookie Bristol. He went 2-3, with a 2.39 ERA. He then moved to single-A Fayetteville for 1988 and went 9-6, with a 3.07 ERA. 

    "Overall it's going well," Cook told The Times Herald as he started 1989. "I'm throwing a lot of fastballs and working on my change-up. They don't think I'm where I would be with my fastball, but they don't think it's a problem."

    Cook played that year and the next at single-A Lakeland. He went 7-5, with a 3.10 ERA there in 31 outings, 13 starts in 1989 and 2-2, with a 1.90 ERA over 43 outings, two starts in 1990. He also saved five.

    For 1991, started the year at AA London. But, after three poor relief outings, the Tigers sent him back to Lakeland. Frustrated, Cook went home to Port Huron before ultimately reporting to Lakeland a month later, The Times Herald wrote.

    "I'll go down there and give it everything I've got and hopefully prove them wrong," Cook told The Times Herald. "It's baseball and 22 is awful young (to quit)."

    Cook got into 29 games, one start, back at Lakeland. He went 3-4, with a 3.30 ERA to end his career.

    Years later, Cook got a different kind of call, to work as a baseball playing extra in the movie 61*. 

    1990 Minor League Tally 
    Players/Coaches Featured:3,740
    Made the Majors:1,267-33.9%
    Never Made Majors:2,473-66.1%-X
    5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

    Thursday, September 16, 2021

    Ivan Cruz knew he had to be realistic; Eventually saw four ML seasons, Japan


    Ivan Cruz was under no illusions in spring 1999 with the Pirates. The veteran of 11 major league games over a decade as a pro knew it'd be tough to make the team, but he also knew he had a chance, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote.

    "I have to be realistic," Cruz told The Post-Gazette then. "But I also understand the Pirates have a need for left-handed power off the bench."

    Cruz ultimately did make it to Pittsburgh that year, though briefly. By the time he was done, he saw the bigs - briefly - in two more campaigns, marking a big league career that totaled 41 contests.

    Cruz' career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the 28th round of the draft out of Jacksonville University in Florida. Cruz' half brother Julio Cruz saw the majors over 10 seasons.

    Cruz started with the Tigers at short-season Niagara Falls. He hit .274 over 64 games. He then made high-A Lakeland in 1990,  then AA London in 1991. He also saw eight games at AAA Toledo that year.

    He returned to London for all of 1992, then moved to Toledo for all of 1993 and 1994. He didn't see Detroit. He stayed with the Tigers through 1995, when he signed with the Yankees. 

    He played 1996 at AAA Columbus. In June 1997, still at Columbus, he spoke with The New York Daily News about his prospects with the Yankees, and maybe elsewhere.

    "All I wanna do is get there and play," Cruz told The Daily News. "It doesn't matter what uniform it is."

    Cruz got there the very next month. He debuted July 18 and got into 11 games. He went 5 for 20 and had three RBI.

    "It is extremely important at this time of my career to get an opportunity," Cruz told The Hartford Courant after his callup. "I need to show people I can play."

    Cruz spent an abbreviated 1998 back in the minors and then signed with the Pirates for 1999. He went 4 for 10 over five appearances in Pittsburgh that year and 1 for 11 in eight games the next.

    He spent 2001 in Japan, with Hanshin. He hit .234 in 70 games. He then returned stateside for 2002, with the Cardinals.

    In September 2003, he contributed to the Cardinals' stretch run with a 13th-inning game-winning single.

    ''It's very exciting,'' Cruz told The Associated Press afterward. ''I still feel like a 15-year-old kid playing his first American Legion ball.''

    Cruz got into 17 games in all for the Cardinals that year and went 5 for 14. He then finished out his career in 2003 back in Japan, with Chunichi as he hit .222 in 71 games there.

    Cruz has since turned coach and manager. He served as manager with the rookie Arizona Padres in 2010, then hitting coach. He's most recently credited as hitting coach at AA Mississippi in 2017.

    1990 Minor League Tally 
    Players/Coaches Featured:3,739
    Made the Majors:1,267-33.9%-X
    Never Made Majors:2,472-66.1%
    5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

    Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    Greg Gohr got his chance at the bigs, saw majors over four seasons


    As he prepared to start 1991 at AAA Toledo, the Tigers one-time top draft choice Greg Gohr allowed himself the luxury of looking forward, The Detroit Free Press wrote.

    The Tigers' staff was getting older, and maybe ready to give way to the younger guys, The Free Press wrote.

    "I think I'm in a good spot right now," Gohr told The Free Press. "Some of those guys are getting up there, and we've got some good prospects. I know sooner or later they'll give us our chance."

    Gohr played that year largely at AAA, but he did get his chance. That came two seasons later and he went on to see a total of four campaigns in the bigs.

    Gohr's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers 21st overall out of Santa Clara University in California.

    Gohr started with the Tigers with four games at single-A Fayetteville. He moved to high-A Lakeland for 1990 and went 13-5, with a 2.62 ERA over 25 starts. 

    He then played most of 1991 and 1992 at Toledo. He went 10-8 there in 1991 and 8-10 there in 1992. 

    He made his major league debut to start 1993. He came on in relief and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced and was ultimately tagged for five earned on one out.

    "I'm not too worried," Gohr told The Free Press afterward. "If it happens every time, I would be. I just have to regroup."

    Gohr ended up getting into 16 games in relief for the Tigers that year. He gave up 15 earned runs in 22.2 innings of work.

    He returned to the Tigers for eight outings, six starts in 1994. He went 2-2, with a 4.50 ERA. He saw 10 outings in 1995, after coming back from a shoulder injury.

    "If I've learned anything over the past few years, it's to roll with the punches and make adjustments when necessary," Gohr told The Free Press as he readied to start 1996 back with the big club. "I look at it this way: I worked my butt off to get back, and I'm just thrilled to be pitching in any kind of a role."

    Gohr got into 17 outings, 16 starts with the Tigers to start 1996. He was then traded to the Angels in July. He then saw 15 relief outings down the stretch. Overall on the year, he ended with a 7.24 ERA to end his big league career before he played one final season in the minors at AAA Vancouver.
    1990 Minor League Tally 
    Players/Coaches Featured:3,738
    Made the Majors:1,266-33.9%-X
    Never Made Majors:2,472-66.1%
    5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

    Monday, September 13, 2021

    Doug Carpenter worked hard, hoped to be noticed, made AA; Later worked noticing others as coach, scout


    After four seasons in the Yankees organization and his release, Doug Carpenter signed on with independent single-A Miami for 1987, with hopes of moving to the Orioles system, The Palm Beach Post wrote.

    He knew he just needed to perform, he told The Post.

    "It's like anywhere else," Carpenter told The Post. "You've got to put the numbers on the board, hope they notice, and see what happens."

    Carpenter's playing days, however, were about done, seeing just brief time the next two seasons. But he did go on to a post-playing career, as one of the guys out noticing, as a coach and scout.

    Carpenter's baseball career began in 1983, taken by the Yankees in the 32nd round of the draft out of Florida International University in Miami.

    He started between short-season Oneonta and single-A Greensboro. He got into 31 games between them and hit .163.

    Carpenter then played all of 1984 at Greensboro and then split 1984 and 1985 between single-A Fort Lauderdale and AA  Albany-Colonie. He hit .305 in 71 games at Albany-Colonie in 1985 and then .258 in 60 games there in 1986.

    With Miami in 1987, he saw 97 games and hit .290. He then also saw 15 games with the Orioles at single-A Hagerstown. He then saw 11 games with the Twins at AA Orlando in 1988 and 16 games at independent Reno in 1989 to end his playing career.

    Carpenter then turned coach with the Tigers at high-A Lakeland in 1990. He's credited as coaching there for two seasons. He turned scout for 1992 with the Expos, staying  there through at least 1997. He later scouted for the Dodgers.

    1990 Minor League Tally 
    Players/Coaches Featured:3,737
    Made the Majors:1,265-33.9%
    Never Made Majors:2,472-66.1%-X
    5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
    10+ Seasons in the Minors:310