One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

St. Louis Cardinals reunion in Toronto

Round 2 of interleague play is now underway.

In Toronto a small Cardinals reunion is happening now through Sunday. Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen and David Eckstein were teammates in St. Louis. Edmonds now playing with the Cubs, while Rolen and Eckstein are playing with the Blue Jays. Of note, another little reunion is Reed Johnson now with the Cubs, coming back to Toronto for the first time after being released by the Jays.

I wrote a blog entry about Jim Edmonds earlier this season. He was acquired by San Diego, and released about a month and ten days into the regular season after struggling offensively and defensively. He was signed by the Cubs 5 days later. Edmonds signing with the Cubs takes the load of Reed Johnson somewhat. The respective news pieces from Padres part ways with Edmonds, and Cubs make it official with Edmonds.

Jim Edmonds hit .178 in 90 at-bats with San Diego. With the Cubs, he is hitting .288 in 59 ABs. He has only 1 less hit with the Cubs than he did with the Padres. That is with 8 less games.

He went 2 for 3 (doubled and singled) in Toronto yesterday with 1 RBI.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A couple former Expos player hero role for the Mets (Mets ripe with Expos)

On Wednesday May 28th, Fernando Tatis doubled in the bottom of the 12th to bring in the winning run, not to mention the tying run immediately before that. A few innings prior to that, in the bottom of the 9th, former Expo Endy Chavez hit a solo homer to tie the game at 5 and send it to extra innings. The Mets were down 5-4 before Endy's homer. They were then down 6-5 in the 12th. David Wright walked, Carlos Beltran singled (David Wright to third), and the Fernando Tatis doubled to left, winning the ballgame for the struggling Mets.

Fernando Tatis spent three years with the Expos, 2001 - 2003. Montreal being his third MLB team. He started off in Texas, then went to St. Louis. He was dealt along with Britt Reames to the Expos for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline. He was granted free agency at the end of the 2003 season. January 6, 2004, he was signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and then released March 24. Two seasons went by with no playing time in the majors. He was then signed by the Orioles November 25th, 2005. He played in 28 games for Baltimore in 2006, only starting 11 fielding, and 4 as a DH. At the end of the 2006 he became a free agent. He was then briefly with the Dodgers (minor league contract) before the season started in 2007. He then signed a minor league contract with the Mets in 2007. He played the entire season with the triple A New Orleans Zephyrs. Opted for minor league free agency at the end of 2007, only to be re-signed by the Mets in early 2008. More on the re-signing later.

Endy Chavez started off with the Royals, at least where he started playing, as he was signed as a non drafted free agent by the New York Mets in 1996. The rest will look better in points than in sentences (okay maybe sentences and paragraphs!).

Four years, or five seasons later, after playing in the Mets farm system, he was selected by the Kansas City Royals from the Mets in the rule 5 draft.

2001 was split between double A, triple A, and the big club, the Royals, where he saw his MLB debut with them May 29th, 2001, in Texas. For the trivia nuts, he started the game in CF, grounded out in his first AB to third base, fielded by Ken Caminiti. Of interest, Carlos Betran was with KC at the time, he was leading off that game, his fourth year with KC. Thus former teammates reunited. Endy's next AB was his first hit, a single to left.

He was claimed off waivers by two teams (Detroit December 20, 2001, and New York Mets February 1, 2002) before being claimed off waivers by Montreal February 22, 2002.

He was then traded from the Washington Nationals to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Marlon Byrd, May 14, 2005. He was granted free agency at the end of the 2005 season (December 21, 2005)

Two days later he was signed by the New York Mets to a one year contract. (End of Endy Chavez timeline!)

The very next day, Thursday May 29, Claudio Vargas, the former Expos pitcher earned the victory in his start, going 5.2 innings. He gave up 4 ER, but had enough run support for the win.

Claudio Vargas (RHP) started his MLB career in Montreal after being drafted by the Florida Marlins. He danced around the Florida Marlins minors until being traded by the Marlins along with OF Cliff Floyd, IF Wilton Guerrero (yes, Vlad's brother) and cash to Montreal in exchange for RHP Carl Pavano, LHP Graeme Lloyd, IF Mike Mordecai, RHP Justin Wayne, and a player to be named later (RHP Donald Levinski, August 5, 2002).

For the last part of this post relates to the blog post title in brackets. With Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, and Claudio Vargas, as mentioned above, that makes three former Expos who played with the Expos. One of whom started their playing career in the majors with Montreal (Vargas).

With the acquisition of catcher Brian Schneider, and outfielder Ryan Church, that brings the total former Expos to five. They were acquired November 30, 2007 in exchange for outfielder Lastings Milledge. The total that started their careers in Montreal is at three, as both Schneider and Church began in Montreal.

That is the end of the current 25 man roster, but counting the full 40 man roster, Pedro Martinez, and Moises Alou can be included. Orlando Hernandez, as I have mentioned before in this blog spent the entire 2003 season with Montreal playing a grand total of 0, yes, zero, innings. He was injured the entire season. At least he surely got to spend time with his brother, Livan. It might have been a good deal had he played, otherwise the Expos lost Bartolo Colon for next to nada (Sorry Rocky!).

So all in all, 8 players with the Mets now were once with the Expos, 3 of which started their careers in Montreal (not counting draft choices, and minors). Another trivia tidbit, Moises Alou started out in Pittsburgh, and was the 'player to be named later' in a deal that sent Willie Greene to Montreal, in exchange for Zane Smith. He was the player to be named later eight days after the initial trade. Moises only had two games with the Pirates, starting the second, going 1 for 5, and grounding into a double play. Another brief trivia tidbit, in his first MLB game (July 26, 1990) he came into the game replacing Barry Bonds in left! Oh and finally (yes), he joined his father in Montreal, who would eventually become manager.

So going back to mentioning the re-signing of Fernando Tatis. It is no coincidence that the Mets are ripe with former Expos, as Omar Minaya was with Montreal as GM (2002 - 2004) in between being with the Mets.

Oh, and today's game, May 31, Fernando Tatis drove in the game winning RBI to go ahead 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the eighth, after being down 2-0 most of the game. Wright doubled, and Delgado hit a two run home run to tie the game before that with no outs.