Ex-Wildcat Colla signs with Rays organization
The number of Southern Arizonans in the minors could grow by 11 players if the recent draft picks all sign contracts. That list of players already went up by one this past Thursday with the addition of a former Arizona Wildcat.
Mike Colla is back in affiliated baseball joining the Tampa Bay organization after spending the last two months playing for the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League.
The right-handed pitcher, who will report to Double-A Montgomery (Ala.), won two games and struck out 47 batters in 51 1/3 innings for the Bluefish.
Colla was in the Pirates system for five years before being released this spring. He's never pitched higher than Double-A.
Brad Mills • LHP, Round Rock Express (Rangers' Triple-A affiliate)
• The former Wildcat is tied for third in wins in the Pacific Coast League after tossing five shutout innings Thursday for his sixth victory of the year. Mills allowed only one hit and two walks.
Robert Refsnyder • 2B, Tampa Yankees (Yankees' High-A affiliate)
• After collecting only one hit the previous week, Refsnyder bounced back by batting .389 in five games. He also hit his first triple of the season Tuesday off ex-UA teammate Kurt Heyer.
Jason Donald • SS, Louisville Bats (Reds' Triple-A affiliate)
• The 2004 Freshman All-American at Arizona had been sidelined with a right shoulder injury for over a month, but in his first game back Friday he had three hits in four at-bats.
Bobby Coyle • LF, Chattanooga Lookouts (Dodgers' Double-A affiliate)
• Since being recalled from High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday, Coyle has hit .143 in Double-A. Coyle, who played two years at UA, did come up with a game-winning hit Wednesday.
Tim Crabbe • RHP, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Reds' Double-A affiliate)
• The Sabino High School graduate lost his fourth consecutive start Friday. Crabbe has struck out 11 batters in his past two outings, but he has also surrendered 14 hits in 11 1/3 innings.
Ramon Delgado • RHP, Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate)
• Delgado reached Triple-A for the first time in his seven-year career on May 27, but has since been placed on the DL. The Pima College and Sahuarita alum appeared in four games.
Player of the week
Shelley Duncan • 1B, Durham Bills (Rays' Triple-A affiliate)
The UA and Canyon del Oro High School product went on an offensive tear with three home runs, six RBIs, and had an on-base percentage of .424 in seven games.
Duncan has now hit 186 home runs in his minor- league career, but two of his homers last week may standout more than others.
Last Sunday, Duncan became the first player this season to hit a home run off the famous Bull cutout that hangs high over left field at the Durham Sports Complex. Just like in the move "Bull Durham" any player who hits the sign wins a steak.
Winning a steak is a fun memento, but his home run Friday came with a different set of emotions. On the day after his mother, Jeanine, passed away, Duncan hit a two-run homer to put the Bulls ahead 4-0 in the sixth against Indianapolis.
The big number
Arizona alums who gained All-Star recognitions - Kurt Heyer from the Class A Midwest League and Andy Burns in the High-A Florida State League.
Friday: Ex-Wildcat Brad Glenn will begin a three-game series against Double-A Erie. The right fielder for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats hit two home runs the last time he faced the Seawolves.
He said it
"Stefen Romero with a nice running catch on a line shot to left. Getting better out there with each game."
Ryan Divish, Seattle Mariners beat writer for the The News Tribune In Tacoma said about the Pima College and Sunnyside High School product on Thursday. Romero, who has played 156 games at second base in his career, was making his 44th professional start in left field that day.
Andrew Cockrum is a Tucson-based freelance writer who operates baseballtucson.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @baseballtucson