Latest from Lauren Hertz
Milwaukee Brewers, off to 2-1 start, excited about pitching staff
PHOENIX – 2021 Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes earned the Opening Day starter spot for the Brew Crew as Milwaukee banks on pitching strength for the 2023 season.
Ticket punched: Team Mexico advances to quarterfinals of World Baseball Classic with win over Team Canada
PHOENIX – Thanks to a clutch offensive round by Randy Arozarena and Alexis Wilson throughout group play at the World Baseball Classic, Team Mexico cruised through and punched a ticket to the quarterfinals in MIami, Florida.
Team Canada pitching staff shows grit, determination but falls short at World Baseball Classic
With 21 years separating the youngest and oldest pitcher on Team Canada’s pitching staff and a median age of 29, the grit and determination shown proves you don’t need years of major league experience to represent your country on an international stage.
Team USA renews World Baseball Classic hopes with rout of Team Canada
After Monday’s victory against Team Canada, Team USA stayed alive with a 12-1 victory and sit only one win away from advancing to the next round of the World Baseball Classic.
Returners Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado longed to defend Team USA’s 2017 World Baseball Classic gold
PHOENIX – Team USA hoisted the World Baseball Classic trophy at Dodger Stadium in 2017. Veterans Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinal are the only returners to Team USA in 2023.
Mercy! Team Canada dominates Great Britain, announces presence at World Baseball Classic
PHOENIX – In the first game of two on Sunday in group C, Canada took on Great Britain and mercied them 18-8 in a matchup that only lasted seven innings but almost four hours. It was a breath of fresh air for the Canadians, who didn’t make it past the group stages in 2017 but are looking to make a serious run in 2023.
Second home? White Sox players say Camelback Ranch has feel of Chicago’s South Side
GLENDALE – Camelback Ranch, the spring training home of the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, feels like a second home to many White Sox players, as two of the practice fields have the same dimensions as their home base, Guaranteed Rate Field on Chicago’s South Side.
Something to prove: Brewers outfielder Jesse Winker returns from injury with winning mindset
PHOENIX – When Jesse Winker was a member of the Cincinnati Reds, he was known as the guy to destroy the Brewers. Now back in the NL Central division, Winker hopes his familiarity with Milwaukee will benefit him immensely.
New Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing sees success on the horizon
TEMPE – Drew Petzing was introduced as the Arizona Cardinals’ new offensive coordinator Thursday, and said he was excited to work with quarterback Kyler Murray.
Baseball’s back! Cactus League expects full crowds, significant economic impact with 2023 spring training
SURPRISE – In 2018, the W.P. Carey School of Business reported that the Cactus League generated $644.2 million in economic impact for Arizona. But between the COVID-19 pandemic and MLB lockout, the economy has taken a hit. With the first normal spring training in four years beginning on Feb. 24, the Cactus League expects full crowds, and a massive turn for the better.
‘Confidence is key’: Brewers young pitching staff gets sage advice from team veterans
PHOENIX – With a mix of veterans and rookies filling the clubhouse at American Family Fields of Phoenix, the light at the end of the tunnel lies with the success of the pitching staff. Although spring training games start Friday, the overall message in the clubhouse is to learn from the veterans while soaking in every moment to play at the major league level.
High expectations: Brewers hope to make playoff push beginning with spring training
PHOENIX – With pitchers and catchers participating in the World Baseball Classic reporting to spring training Monday and position players Thursday, the Milwaukee Brewers have high expectations for new additions as well as returning players. However, one thing remains clear: Everyone is excited to be back together in Phoenix.
Diamondbacks’ relationship with Bally Sports Arizona in limbo after parent company misses payment
PHOENIX – Diamond Sports Group, the ownership group of Bally Sports Networks, failed to make a $140 million interest payment Wednesday and is over $8 billion in debt. With TV rights in question, MLB is prepared to take back ownership of 14 teams rights, including the Diamondbacks.
From Div. I to JUCO… then back to DI: Hunter Omlid, Tyson Heaton take unusual paths to GCU
PHOENIX – Hunter Omlid and Tyson Heaton have take unconventional baseball journeys. Both committed to a Division I baseball program, then found themselves at Central Arizona, a junior college program, playing baseball a year later. Now, they both find themselves at GCU playing out the rest of their collegiate careers.
Bigger bases, no defensive shifts and a pitch clock: MLB implements rule changes for 2023 spring training and beyond
SCOTTSDALE – MLB hosted a rules demonstration at Salt River Fields Tuesday to introduce media to the way the ghost runner, banned shift, pitch clock and bigger bases will work beginning with spring training and into the 2023 regular season.
Ice breakers: Arizona High School Hockey Association brings new community, awareness to hockey in Valley
TEMPE – The AHSHA was started to allow high school athletes to participate in high level hockey competition across the state. However, the AIA has not sanctioned it due to equipment costs and limitations with how many schools have participated. With the league gaining traction, hockey in the desert is thriving more than ever.
‘The game needs us’: MLB has diversity problem and no easy solution
PHOENIX – With no United States-born Black baseball players featured in the 2022 World Series between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies, many felt as though baseball had taken a step away from building a diverse game. The next generation of players are growing within the youth community and the MLB DREAM Series in Tempe proved that the game still has more to learn.
Lack of players forces ASU women’s basketball team to forfeit 2 Pac-12 games
PHOENIX – Arizona State announced Wednesday that the ASU women’s basketball games against Colorado and Utah had been canceled due to student-athlete availability. The games will not be made up, and will not affect the overall records of the schools.
Brotherly love: Reunited in Arizona, McLain trio leave their baseball mark
PHOENIX – Growing up in California. brothers Nick, Matt and Sean McLain played baseball in their backyard with their parents. Now, two are in major league farm systems and another at ASU. While their paths may have intertwined, these brothers are forging their own outside of each other's shadows.
Play ball! A day in the life of the Arizona Fall League
MESA – While the Arizona Fall League takes place from October-November, it is considered baseball’s league of the offseason. From the communications department to the players, each person has different experiences.
Changing of the stars: Arizona Fall League’s new rules for annual showcase a hit
MESA – The Arizona Fall League hosted its 16th annual Fall Stars Game this past weekend, with the best prospects being selected to represent the National and American Leagues. While the field of competition changes every year, the event itself has also morphed over the years.
Former ASU infielder Jake Elmore returns to roots in the Arizona Fall League
PEORIA – Jake Elmore thought he would remain an Arizona Diamondback for his entire MLB career. However, he played for 12 teams over 13 years. Now a coach with the Surprise Saguaros, Elmore has returned to where it started in the Arizona Fall League.
How Solar Sox manager Bobby Crosby rediscovered passion for baseball after playing career derailed
PHOENIX – Bobby Crosby won the American League Rookie of the Year award with the Oakland Athletics in 2004, but he never had a better season in the major leagues. While his playing career didn’t go according to plan, Crosby has rediscovered his passion for the game as a coach and manager in the A’s organization.
Cubs prospect BJ Murray Jr. builds relationships, represents Bahamas in Arizona Fall League
BJ Murray Jr. was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas and moved to the U.S. when he was 14 years old to pursue his baseball career. Murray Jr. was then drafted by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2021 draft out of Florida Atlantic, building a friendship along the way.
Alon Leichman uses past to propel next generation of pitchers in Arizona Fall League
SCOTTSDALE – Alon Leichman, pitching coach of the Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners), has had two Tommy John Surgeries and almost needed a third during his time at UCSD. Not wanting to give up on his playing career, Leichman played for Team Israel, coaching and pitching across international competition.
Mets prospect Brandon McIlwain sees Arizona Fall League payoff from his years in football
SCOTTSDALE – New York Mets prospect Brandon McIlwain was a quarterback at Cal in college and also played at the University of South Carolina as a baseball player before pursuing baseball full time. While he was drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2019, he opted to return to college and signed with the Mets in 2020.
Major lessons: Peoria Javelinas manager Reid Brignac imparts wisdom on young prospects in Arizona Fall League
SCOTTSDALE - Binghamton Rumble Ponies manager Reid Brignac is no stranger to the game of baseball. Now wanting to expand his wealth of knowledge to younger prospects, Brignac has brought his talents to Peoria to manage the Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.
‘I grew to love it on my own’: Pirates prospect Jacob Gonzalez shapes career outside of father’s shadow
SCOTTSDALE – Third baseman Jacob Gonzalez, son of Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez, was drafted out of high school by the San Francisco Giants in 2017. Now he's participating in the Arizona Fall League and paving his own career path.
’Best decision I ever made’: Fall League’s Shane Loux turns to coaching after injury plagued career
SCOTTSDALE – Shane Loux had an unconventional playing career because of two Tommy John surgeries and two major gaps during his time in Major League Baseball. Now as a High-A pitching coach and Salt River Rafters pitching coach in the Arizona Fall League, Loux inspires other pitchers to make their dreams a reality.
Vacation can wait for Diamondbacks catcher Cooper Hummel
PHOENIX – The Diamondbacks have sent utility player Cooper Hummel to the Arizona Fall League to hone his skills behind the plate with the hope that he can become a regular backup to starting catcher Carson Kelly. Hummel has played in 64 games this season in various roles, including 16 starts at catcher.
From roomies to Diamondbacks starters, Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson begin big league careers in lockstep
PHOENIX — Diamondbacks pitchers Ryne Nelson and Drey Jameson were roommates throughout their minor league careers. Now they both received a call to the show, just weeks apart from each other.
LinkedIn profile helps Diamondbacks outfielder make his baseball dreams come true
PHOENIX – When Diamondbacks outfielder Stone Garrett was released by the Miami Marlins organization in 2020 due to roster cuts, he took a job as a realtor in Houston, Texas. However, Garrett knew he wasn’t done playing baseball just yet.
MLB approves three rule changes for 2023 season, but not everyone’s thrilled
PHOENIX — With MLB approving new rule changes for the 2023 season, what are the Diamondbacks thoughts and how will these changes affect the league next season?
Voice of change: ASU athletes promote social justice through Black Student Athlete Association
PHOENIX – Led by former sprinter Cortney Jones, Arizona State athletes formed the Black Student Athlete Association last January hoping to promote social justice. Now an official campus organization, the BSAA aims to provide support to athletes of color and bring social-justice changes.
Year out! Diamondbacks embrace new balanced schedule for 2023 season
PHOENIX – Last week, the Diamondbacks revealed their 2023 regular season schedule and it featured an anomaly. For the first time, the MLB franchise would be taking on all 29 other teams in the league.