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See ya Myrtle Beach.....

August 5, 2008
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Got a chance to see Kinston tonight in Myrtle Beach. Tough loss losing in the bottom of the 9th like that, especially when they are tied with Winston-Salem for the last playoff spot with four weeks left.

Anyway, talked at length to pitching coach Greg Hibbard about Hector Rondon, Jeanmar Gomez, Vinnie Pestano, Mike Pontius, Matt Meyer, and Sung-Wei Tseng. Also talked to Matt McBride, Carlos Santana, Michael Finocchi, Vinnie Pestano, and Jared Goedert. Will have blurbs from all these people this weekend (likely Sunday) in what looks like will be a special edition of Minor Happenings specifically recapping my visit to Winter Haven to see the GCL team and to Myrtle Beach to see Kinston.

The biggest news from the conversations today is McBride is just going to pretty much DH at Kinston and likely won't catch the rest of the season. The Indians are being very cautious with the shoulder to allow it to heal properly and just don't feel it is necessary with four weeks left in the season to have him catch. He'll go to Instructs in Arizona and start catching then.

Also, Finocchi's velocity is down to about 88-89 MPH. His ankle injury has hampered his ability to drive off his right foot, so the velocity is down 4-5 MPH. He said it has actually helped him learn to pitch more as he has used his secondary stuff a lot more rather than his 93-94 MPH sinker, and as a result seen more development in those pitches.

More on all this as well as on the GCL guys in a special edition of MH this weekend.

I will be on my way home tomorrow (Wed), so once I settle in I'll finally get back to posting a ton more often and getting back to a lot of the comments and e-mails ASAP. Lots of player articles in queue as well. Thanks again to Darren for piloting the ship while I have been away, and thanks to everyone for reading!

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