January 16, 2013 - Pioneer League (PL) - Missoula Osprey
MISSOULA, MONT. - The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced their 2013 Spring Training dates and non-roster invitees to the Major League camp, which include four former Missoula Osprey players.
Left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, catcher Rossmel Perez and infielders Chris Owings and Jon Griffin will report to Spring Training with the remainder of the Major League players next month. Pitchers and catchers will report for the D-backs to the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick complex on Feb. 11, while position players are expected to report to camp on Feb. 14.
The quartet will join nine other former Osprey who are currently on the D-backs' 40-man roster for Major League camp, including pitchers Chase Anderson, Eric Smith, Eury De La Rosa and Charles Brewer, catcher Miguel Montero, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and outfielders Keon Broxton, Adam Eaton and Gerardo Parra.
Holmberg, who pitched for the Osprey during the 2010 season, was originally drafted in the third round by the Chicago White Sox in the 2009 MLB Draft. He was traded to the D-backs in 2010, and posted a 1-4 record with the Osprey in seven starts, posting a 3.86 ERA and struck out 47 batters in 37 1/3 innings pitched. During the 2011 season in Class A South Bend, Holmberg put together a 32-inning scoreless streak while posting an 8-3 record with a 2.39 ERA before receiving a mid-season promotion to Class A Advanced Visalia.
After having a strong showing to begin the 2012 season at Visalia, Holmberg received a promotion to Double-A Mobile, and was on the staff that helped the BayBears repeat as Southern League champions, logging a 5-5 won-loss mark and a 3.60 ERA in Mobile, plus a 1-0 mark with a 1.98 ERA in two playoff appearances. Holmberg is 27-24 in 83 career appearances (74 starts) in the minors with a 3.64 ERA.
Perez, who hit .243 in 43 games with 11 RBIs as a catcher for the Osprey during the 2008 season, will be spending his second Spring Training in the D-backs camp as a non-roster invitee. Perez, who has a .267 batting average in 492 minor-league games, played in 80 games for Double-A Mobile, hitting .270 with 10 extra-base hits and 20 RBIs. His strength, however, is in his defense - he threw out 38.5 percent of would-be base-stealers last summer and had a .990 fielding percentage, plus is considered by many to be the one of the best catchers in the system at handling pitchers. Perez added a .316 batting average in four postseason games.
Owings is also in the Major League camp for the second straight spring as a non-roster invitee. Like Holmberg, Owings split his 2012 season between Visalia - where he hit .324 with 11 home runs and 24 RBIs in 59 games - and Mobile, where he settled into the No. 2 spot in the batting order and hit .270 with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 69 games, including a .428 clip in four September contests, then hit .294 in the playoffs, helping the BayBears win its second straight league title. Owings, who played in Missoula in .2009, hit .306 as a member of the Osprey and helped that squad advance to the Pioneer League Championship Series that season.
Griffin has taken a somewhat similar path as Goldschmidt (2009) did in the D-backs minor-league system, except he managed to get to Double-A Mobile sooner than the current D-backs starting first baseman did - accomplishing the feat the season following his Osprey career. Like Goldy, who played in Visalia in 2010 and Mobile for the first four months of the 2011 season before making his Major League debut in August of that season, Griffin made the jump to Class A Advanced Visalia following an 18-homer season in an Osprey uniform in 2011.
With the Rawhide, Griffin hit .298 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs before playing in five games with the BayBears at the end of the 2012 season. In four games with Mobile, Griffin, posted a .438 batting average with a pair of homers and four RBIs, and added a pair of home runs in the postseason for the Southern League champions. In two summers with the D-backs organization, Griffin has hit 46 home runs and batted .301 in 204 regular-season games played.
The 2013 Osprey will open their 15th season in Missoula on Thursday, June 20, when they host the Helena Brewers at Ogren Park Allegiance Field. Season tickets and mini-packs are available now by calling the Osprey at (406) 543-3300, by visiting the MSO Hub Box Office at 140 N. Higgins, or by heading to the team's official website at MissoulaOsprey.com.