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Nageotte Near-Perfect on Opening Night

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on April 6, 2006

Clint Nageotte and Travis Blackley each made successful starts to their seasons on Thursday night. Blackley went six innings and allowed just one earned run on three hits. The southpaw walked two and struck out three in the Missions' 4-3 win over Corpus Christi.

Nageotte was scheduled for 75 pitches or five innings of work and didn't need the full alottment of offerings to no-hit the Colorado Springs SkySox.

Nageotte tossed 66 pitches, 38 for strikes, and held the SkySox hitless. The 25-year-old struck out four, walked two and induced seven ground ball outs to just one in the air.

Nageotte was pretty sharp tonight, getting numerous swings and misses, mostly on a slider that appears to be better than it was a year ago.

Nageotte was throwing a splitter tonight as well, which is quickly becoming his third pitch, and he missed some bats with that also.

Oh, and… Rob Johnson is my new favorite Seattle Mariners prospect. He has every quality you want in a catcher, including the ability to hit, think behind and at the plate, work with pitchers and call a game.

[He gunned down two runners tonight, one trying to steal and one trying to advance on a pitch that bounced to the plate and got away from Johnson.]

The intelligence he has displayed in the two games I have seen him is blue chip. And his bat is going to be okay. He's a smart player and has a catcher's work ethic and is building a relationship with the pitching staff that may be better – and more important – than any catcher, including Pat Borders, has established in the past several years in the minors.

Rob Johnson is a major league catcher. Just give him some time.
Highlights:

Jeff Clement went 2-for-4 with a double, a run batted in and a walk batting from the three-hole for San Antonio… Wladimir Balentien actually drew a walk in five plate appearances… Sebastien Boucher started in center field for San Antonio and led off, going 2-for-5 with a stolen base… Jason Snyder started for Class A Wisconsin tonight and went five innings allowing eight hits – all but one were singles. Snyder fanned seven and walked just one while surrendering just one earned run in the Rattlers' 4-2 victory… Casey Craig supplied the offense for Wisconsin hitting a three-run home run in the second inning. Craig also walked and went 1-for-2 on the night… Luis Valbuena started at second for the T-Rats and went 1-for-4… Matt Tuiasosopo started at shortstop for Inland Empire and is batting in the three spot. He made a fielding error early in the game; one more reason, of many to come, that Tui should be playing right field. He did go 1-for-4 with an RBI single.

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18 Responses to “Nageotte Near-Perfect on Opening Night”

  1. I think I have over 1000 pictures. My first 1-gig CF card just finished copying to my computer, and I’ve just started my second card. I know I got some great shots.

    Didn’t see you boppin’ around, but since I have no idea what you look like, I wouldn’t’ve recognized you anyway. My 4-year-old had a blast, and was screaming his head of the whole game.

    Nageotte looked absolutely awesome tonight. I was surprised he didn’t go past the 5th, but now I know why.

    I sat next to someone who happened to be friends with “Robby” Johnson. Grew up with him in Montana. Indeed I told her that Johnson was really on the radar. He did look fabulous tonight, too, behind the plate (and with the bat). Got caught stealing, but that didn’t bother me too much.

    First time I’ve been to Opening Day. I can now say that I’ve been to Opening Day at Safeco AND Cheney in the same season. Yay!

    Decent crowd tonight, but I still wish the place was more packed. It’s totally my favorite place to catch a game.

  2. Oh, and I forgot to mention…

    Morse looked pretty natural over there at first. Overall, except for the error later in the game, the defense looked solid. I can’t wait to see the picture I shot of Adam Jones in CF.

  3. Nageotte was pretty good, yeah.

    Johnson is totally awesome, period.

    The dude knows baseball, it was amazing. Before the game, just after he had taken BP, I asked him how it felt to start in Tacoma and about being challenged and all… he responded like a baseball executive, talking about how it’s good for the player AND the team because the player gets a seed of confidence thrown his way and the team gets to “find out what they really have in a player. Why wait? I saw guys in Low-A that could have played here last year.”

    RJ rocks.

    BTW, If you have shots you wanna sacrifice, I’d use them here, Paul, fully credited, of course.

  4. ShipHimToDetroit said

    Amazing, I remember talking to Rob Johnson after he was drafted, just sitting on a bench in Everett. At the time he had a bad arm (elbow I think). He struggled all summer that first season, and never would have thought he’d explode like he did last season and become this big-time catcher prospect. Church, do you think Rivera is gonna be shipped somewhere in a trade? Poor guy goes from being a backup in Seattle to being a backup in Tacoma, just like that.

  5. Willmore said

    Love the updates, Jason. It’s a pain to track down the performance of our top prospects through the minors, if you do a nightly update on how they did, even with a small blurb on each, that would be so awesome.

    Speaking of Johnson, with him at AAA, might he actually make an appearance at Safeco this year, or does Rivera still have the priority ?

  6. Willmore said

    Oh yeah, and what’s the story on this De La Cruz kid we just got from Tampa Bay ?

  7. Goose said

    8/1 GB/FB ratio for Nags?

    Awsome.

  8. slim said

    The Big Club is winning, the prospects are shining. It feels good to be a Mariner.

    I can’t wait to see Johnson and Jones and Cabrera play. They all look great from what little I’ve seen of them in ST. And with the way the guys in Seattle are performing, those three could become trade bait before the summer is out.

  9. Photo Album is up! Got some better pix than Safeco, but still a bit weak.

  10. Re: Rivera

    Yes. That’s why they have three catchers in Tacoma right now. Something could happen at any point.

    Re: Johnson

    It’s not out of the question that he and Clement both make September appearances. If they each started a level below where they did, I wouldn’t think they’d have a chance.

    Re: De La Cruz

    He’s basically a righthanded Luis Gonzalez. Low 90s fastball, slider, change. Had two solid years to start his pro career, but was facing mediocre compeitition. He’s 22, 6-6 and 210, and the D-Rays liked him a lot. But they get the same thing in Carvajal at a younger age and closer to the bigs.

    Considering it was waivers or nothing as the alternative, the M’s did ok here. They had to have that 40-man spot.

    Don’t cry over spilled Carvajal. He didn’t look good at all this spring, was hitting 86-89 ont he gun and threw a tantrum when he was sent to minor league camp.

    Plus, Yorman Bazardo is pretty much the exact same pitcher, and the M’s still have him, minus the attitude.

  11. And yeah, I didn’t walk around as much as I thought I would. Yencich and I stayed up in the box most of the game.

  12. Willmore said

    So the elitist snake shows it’s head. You’re too good to mingle with the common folk, ha. A guy gets his own blog and he begins having illusions of grandeur. Pfft.

    You just stay in that press box, with your buffet and free beer while the hard working proletariat starves in the cheap seats.

    I say down with the elite !

    Unite ! You, the underprivilaged, the hungry, the tortured masses, we shall fight the scurge of the modern world. Fight I say, fight the journalists on the beaches and in the air, in the press boxes and on the field, we shall fight !!!

    Never surrender.

  13. Hey, I AM the underprivileged, the hungry, the tortured!

    I just get to sit up a little higher than most. It’s more like a highchair than a throne or a pedestal.

  14. Willmore said

    Oh, and if you have the time, Jason, an edit button would do much good.

  15. Willmore said

    Suuuure, we know what goes on the press boxes after the game is over and the rest of us leave for home. Moral Depravity !!!

  16. There is an edit button… it’s the tiny lower-case “e” next to the time stamp. Or maybe only I can see it?

  17. johnB said

    This is pretty awesome to have all this information at your fingertips each day. Thanks.

  18. That’s the plan, JohnB.

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