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April 13th, 1999

The Fresno Grizzlies open their second season in Fresno tonight at Beiden Field versus the Iowa Cubs(Cubs AAA). The Grizzlies have gotten off to a disamal start in this 1999 PCL season being swept in the opening series in New Orleans(Astros AAA). The Grizzlies may not be too disheartened by the four loses to the defending PCL champions because of strong efforts after the first inning by the young pitching staff. The Grizzlies were blown away by big first inning in three of the four games. They carry an 0-4 record heading into the home opener and are currently last in the Southern Division.

A Look at Your 1999 Fresno Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have a very different look in 1999, gone are familiar prospects like Jacob Cruz, Dante Powell, Darrin Blood, Joe Roa, Jeff Ball and Troy Brohawn. In their place are solid young prospects like Jason Grilli and Robbie Crabtree who will attempt to make there mark as they dream of making to the Giants.

1999 Fresno Grizzlies Roster
# 25- Doug Mirabelli- Good Defensive Catcher and missed making the Giants roster because of a numbers game.
# 19- Craig Mayes- Solid AAA catcher.

# 16- Jay Canizaro- My hero, will start at second base for the Grizzlies this season and hopefully will regain the magic which led him to the majors in 1996.
# 2- Wilson Delgado- A late cut from the Giants, cleared waivers and is a good defensive SS if Aurilia gets hurt.
# 18- Jack Voigt- A long time verteran added to help raise the AAA rookies, will see time in the OF at 3B and 1B
# 5- Kenny Woods- Good speed and can play both INF and OF

# 21- Armando Rios- Could be the next star for the Giants or some say the next Jacob Cruz, either way fun to watch and let's all pray for his wife to get better soon.
# 23- Damon Mashore- Has seen some playing time with the Angels the last two season no surprise if he's a midseason call up.
# 8- Calvin Murray- Former 1st round draft pick looking to finally put it together, looks as if this season could finally be his season after a good late season addition to the Grizzlies roster.
# 30- Jesus Tavarez- Has spent time in the Bigs with Floridia and Baltimore.
# 31- Jalal Leach- Hopes to show the Giants something this season after hitting over .300 in almost a full season at AAA, but needs to work on his defense.
# 9- Kieth Williams- Almost a forgotten player in the Giants organization has been a solid hitter and will play in the OF and mostly at 1B in Fresno.

Starting Pitching
# 32- Steve Soderstrom- Missed making the Giants roster out of Spring because of a bad shoulder, look for him to be back in SF before too long.
# 26- Jason Grilli- Phenom, enough said, but he can't be rushed the Giants need to make sure he's ready they don't need another Soloman Torres.
# 46- Ryan Jensen- Good young pitcher needs to settle down at the AAA level, has struggled after jumping for A to AAA last season.
# 13- Eddie Oropesa- Nothing too impressive but he is a left hander.
# 33- Bronswell Patrick- Spent most of last season with the Brewers winning 4 games in relief.

Relief Pithchers
# 36- Cory Bailey- Good Stuff, not sure why he's still in Fresno and not SF.
# 17- Robbie Crabtree- Knows how to pitch, good strike out ratio but has almost no fastball.
# 34- Steve Connelly- Played last season in the A's system making to the A's for 3 games.
# 45- Ben Webber- Even I don't know much about him, he pitched in the Taiwanese league the last two seasons.
# 12- Arron Fultz- Split last season between Shrevport and Fresno, good left hander can eat up innings in relief.
# 37- Mike McMullen- Hard thrower still needs a little mor time at AAA.

Manager: Ron Roenicke- former Dodger AA manager.
Hitting Coach: Mike Hart Giants AA manager a year> Pitching Coach: Joel Horlen returns after last season with the Grizzlies.

Infielder Edwards Guzman was called up the the Giants to replace Bill Mueller who is out with a broken toe, no one was called up to replace Guzman.

Keys for the Grizzlies in 1999:
The Grizzlies don't not have a true 1B and the rest of the Giants minor league system doesn't really have one either. The Giants have faith in JT Snows health, Kieth Williams and Jack Voigt will have to take the job in Fresno. Grilli must continue to grow and not focus on making the Giants, he needs to perfect his craft here or else he will get shelled in the Bigs. When the players start moving back and fourth to the Giants, the youngers guys in AA must step up, guys like, Nathan-P, Linebrink-P, Minor-OF and McKinnley-OF will have to fit in. The Grizzlies are not the same team and I don't expect as much this season as from the last, but hey it's Grizzlies baseball, you never know what might happen.

Thanks goes out to the Fresno Bee and the Fresno Grizzlies and to Major League Basebll and the Arizona Fall League

Please remember to visit the Fresno Grizzlie Websites at:
PCL site
and the Fresno Bee Grizzlies Page


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