Results tagged ‘ Geoff Blum ’

Happy Monday morning

After rain the last couple of days it looks like it is shaping up to be a beautiful day here at Salt River Fields.

Morning photo 2-21.JPG

Some leftover items from the soggy weekend:

— It was pretty funny to hear GM Kevin Towers greet newly-signed first baseman Russell Branyan not by his name, but as “Russell the Muscle.”

And while Branyan is big, he looks almost small compared to outfielder Wily Mo Pena.

Pena is listed at 270 pounds, but that might be a little light. A number of the guys were telling me I had to go shake his hand just for the experience of it and wow. Your hand completely disappears in his and his grip is like a vice.

“Unbelievable,” is how one player described him.

— Following Saturday’s first full-squad meeting, D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall said several of the new veterans pulled he and Ken Kendrick aside to share a couple of thoughts with them.

“These guys are telling Ken and I, ‘We’re going to make a difference, this is going to different, this is where we wanted to be and there’s a reason for that,'” Hall said.

One of the veterans brought over during the winter was infielder Geoff Blum.

“There’s a lot of us in here that are new so we don’t know what was going on the last two years and that might be a good thing,” Blum said. “From the outside looking in the last couple of years we’ve always noticed they had a ton of talent, but obviously from the comments that are being made, the clubhouse atmosphere had to be changed so we’ll what we can do.”

— The main word around camp this year is competition, but there’s another that’s close behind: Swagger.

“We talked about swagger quite a bit,” Hall said of that first meeting. “We want this [the team’s logo] to mean something. The last couple years this hasn’t meant much and we want it to mean something so we have to reestablish that.”

And then there was manager Kirk Gibson during his press briefing Sunday.

“It was a good day, I like the vibe, I like the swagger,” he said.

Sounds like the goal is to swagger through some competition while changing the culture…

— I asked bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock for some time this morning and he said he couldn’t because he had an Air Force meeting.

Turns out it was actually a pop up drill he does with the team’s catchers. That’s the nickname he has given to it.

What about when he does tag play drills? Those are listed on the schedule as a Marine meeting.

Who’s on third?

Assuming the medicals are approved and Mark Reynolds gets dealt to the Orioles right-handers David Hernandez and Kameron Mickolio, the most pressing question is: Who plays third for the D-backs.

Look for them to make a big push to sign Melvin Mora, maybe swing a deal for Kevin Kouzmanoff and they also will use veteran Geoff Blum over there as well.

D-backs close to signing Geoff Blum

PHOENIX — The D-backs are on the verge of taking their first step towards strengthening their bench.

Arizona is closing in on a deal with veteran free agent Geoff Blum on a two-year contract a baseball source confirmed Thursday. The deal could be announced as soon as Friday.

Blum hit .267 for the Astros last year, his 12th season in the big leagues. The switch-hitter played first, second, third and shortstop last year and has also played left and right fields in his career.

Of his 218 plate appearances last year, 44 of them came as a pinch-hitter. In those situations, Blum hit .333 with a .364 on-base percentage and a .405 slugging percentage.

Arizona GM Kevin Towers has stressed since taking over the reigns in September his preference for having veteran hitters coming off the bench.

“It’s hard for young guys to be effective pinch-hitters coming off the bench,” Towers said just before the close of the 2010 season. “If you don’t have that experience or those guys that are threats it makes it pretty easy on the opposing manager because he has no fear of anyone that is coming off the bench.”

The D-backs had young players like Rusty Ryal, Gerardo Parra and Brandon Allen coming off the bench at times last year.

Blum played for Towers when he was the general manager in San Diego from 2005-07.

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