IMPRESSIVE KAHNLE NOTCHES FIRST BIG LEAGUE WIN

By Tracy Ringolsby, Thomas Harding, Owen Perkins / MLB.com |

DENVER — Colorado Rockies right-handed reliever and former South Troy Dodger  Tommy Kahnle is taking advantage of his opportunity to stay in the big leagues. A Rule 5 Draft pickup from the Yankees, Kahnle made his big league debut Thursday.

Former South Troy Dodger, Tommy Kahnle has been impressive in his Major League debut with Colorado

Former South Troy Dodger Tommy Kahnle has been impressive in his Major League debut with Colorado

Called on in relief in the sixth inning in Miami on Thursday, Kahnle got out of a two-on, one-out jam by striking out pinch-hitter Reed Johnson and getting Christian Yelich to ground out.

Kahnle did give up a run in the next inning, walking Giancarlo Stanton with one out, and giving up a triple to Casey McGehee. The reliever stranded McGehee on third by getting Garrett Jones andMarcell Ozuna to pop up.

“We got a great lift from Kahnle,” said manager Walt Weiss. “Our bullpen was shot. We brought him in a tight spot and he was huge. That’s a good sign.”

Kahnle earned his spot on the Opening Day roster with a strong spring. He allowed one earned run, striking out nine and walking two in 11 2/3 innings over 11 appearances.

On Saturday, Kahnle picked up his first Major League win in his second big league appearance, pitching 1 2/3 innings and allowing just one hit against the DiamondBacks in the Rockies 9-4 victory.

“I was just trying to keep us in the game so we can get a victory,” said Kahnle, who entered after De La Rosa with the Rockies down, 4-0. “I was just going after guys. Let them make contact and let my defense do the work. That’s what they’re there for.”

DODGER ONLINE STORES CLOSE ON APRIL 1ST

T-Shirt-BLACK-CROPPED

The SOUTH TROY DODGER 2014 Summer Season Online Store is now OPEN!   These online stores are administered by Anaconda and Lids Team Sports. Some important notes:

  1. In order to provide a depth of selection, we’ve opened FOUR SEPARATE STORES simultaneously.  This will allow everyone to order what they need for both males and females for both cold and warm weather in the color preference that they want..
  2. There are separate ORGANIZATION CODES for each store.  Each store contains DIFFERENT items, so please view each store to find the items that you want. Those codes are:
  3. In order to allow everyone to receive their merchandise in a timely fashion, THE STORES WILL ONLY BE OPEN THROUGH APRIL 1ST.   
  4. These items will NOT be stocked at the ballpark, so this is the ONLY opportunity that you will have to order Dodger gear for the 2014 summer season.  We CANNOT take individual orders after the online store closes on April 1st
  5. Orders will be shipped 3-4 weeks after the store closes on APR 1st.  That means that all orders should be received by approximately May 1st.

IMPRESSIVE SPRING FOR FORMER DODGER KAHNLE EARNS SPOT IN ROCKIES PEN

Former South Troy Dodger Tommy Kahnle's power fastball and impressive change-up have him earned a spot in "THE SHOW" with Colorado. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

Former South Troy Dodger Tommy Kahnle’s power fastball and impressive change-up have him earned a spot in “THE SHOW” with Colorado. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)

By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com |

SCOTTSDALE, AZ. — Rockies pitching coach Jim Wright knew a few things about Tommy Kahnle coming into spring training, but he learned so much more in the weeks that followed.

Wright knew Kahnle was a power right-hander with a good fastball, but he also heard about the pitcher’s control issues.

Wright admitted that he didn’t know Kahnle’s changeup was so effective, but he was also surprised to learn the pitcher did not have serviceable breaking pitch.

Here’s what everyone knows now: Kahnle, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Yankees, has a new slider and showed better command of the strike zone this spring. Those are two of the reasons he’ll break camp with the big league club. The Rockies officially announced their 25-man roster Saturday, a list that includes Kahnle.

“We’ll see how it goes. He’s a guy who has earned the spot and he’s worth the risk,” Wright said. “He’s a power right-hander, we tried to find a way to get him on the club and he did it.”

Kahnle said he’s been tweaking his delivery and working on improving his balance on the mound all spring. He changed the grip to his slider last week and used the new pitch Friday night against the Mariners.

“This is a dream come true,” Kahnle said.

Kahnle, a native of Latham, NY, was a member of the South Troy Dodgers in 2007 and 2008 where he played under Dodger Elite Team coach Kevin Rogers.  ”Myself and the entire South Troy organization are extremely proud of TK” said Rogers.  ”He has worked very hard to reach his goal.  It was great to have him back working with us this winter.  We knew he was ready.”

Kahnle joins a bullpen that includes LaTroy HawkinsRex BrothersWilton LopezMatt Belisle,Adam Ottavino, and Chad Bettis.

“From a baseball side of things, it’s been everything I have prepared for this offseason and things this spring are falling into place,” Bettis said. “I’ve really worked on fastballs inside and changeups, and the results have been really nice. But how I feel physically is so much better for me.”

The starting rotation will be made up of Jorge De La RosaBrett AndersonTyler Chatwood,Juan Nicasio and Franklin Morales.

Left-handed-hitting outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson join Carlos Gonzalez,Michael CuddyerDrew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes on the roster.

“My first big league action was in 2011 and at the time, you don’t realize how hard it is to stay in the big leagues,” Blackmon said. “This is the first time I’ve been through a Spring Training without any health issue in a long time and I’m really happy about that.”

Charlie Culberson, who plays second base, shortstop and third base, and also spent time last year in the outfield corners, will serve as the team’s utility man. First baseman Justin Morneau, second baseman DJ LeMahieu, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and third baseman Nolan Arenado round out the infield.

Wilin Rosario and Jordan Pacheco will serve as the team’s catchers.

“It wasn’t easy,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “It took us right up to the eleventh hour, but like I’ve said all along, those guys are going to be with us. Things can change, and they can change quickly as we are seeing.”

Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder strain) and Boone Logan (left elbow inflammation) will start the season on the 15-day disabled list.

“I have much better feel for the team this year,” Weiss said. “I look back on last year and it was a lot of assessment from my point of view. This time a year ago, I was just getting to know our club and I still had that throughout the season. For me, that’s been the biggest difference.”

COGSWELL INMPROVES DRAFT STOCK WITH VERSATILITY

Former South Troy Dodger and current University of Virginia photo Junior infielder Branden Cogswell is beginning to heat up at the plate for the second-ranked Cavaliers. He’s raised his batting average to .291, but there’s a way to go to duplicate last season’s .346, which was 10th best in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Former South Troy Dodger and current University of Virginia photo Junior infielder Branden Cogswell is beginning to heat up at the plate for the second-ranked Cavaliers. He’s raised his batting average to .291, but there’s a way to go to duplicate last season’s .346, which was 10th best in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

By Brien Bouyea, The Record

It took Branden Cogswell a little time to make some adjustments this season, but he is once again in fine form and showing off the skill set that helped him garner a reputation as one of the finest players in college baseball.

A junior at the University of Virginia, Cogswell was a preseason All-America selection by Baseball America and Perfect Game. Cogswell, however, got off to a slow start at the plate this season while making the defensive adjustment from shortstop to second base.

“It’s different and there is a learning curve to playing a new position. I’ve been a shortstop my whole life and playing second takes some getting used to,” Cogswell said. “I’ve been working hard on my footwork and balance and I think it’s going pretty well so far. I think being able to show I can play multiple positions will only help me and my team down the line. Second base is mostly getting used to a different angle. I just have to keep at it and get as much experience as possible.”

A graduate of Shenendehowa High School and a former standout with the South Troy Dodgers, Cogswell is beginning to heat up with the bat. He is 8-for-16 in the past four games, including his first career four-hit game vs. the University of Miami. Hitting in the leadoff position, Cogswell has raised his average to .291. He is second on the team in hits (25), runs scored (24), walks (13) and on-base percentage (.404). Cogswell leads the Cavaliers (7-2 ACC, 19-4 overall) with five stolen bases and his defense has been exceptional, as he has not made an error all season. Virginia is ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today.

Expectations were certainly high for Cogswell entering the season. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Cogswell led the Cavaliers and finished 10th in the ACC with a .346 batting average. He was a first-team ACC selection even though he missed the final 15 games of the season because of a broken middle finger on his right hand. Virginia was ranked No. 1 in the 2014 preseason poll by Baseball America.

“There are a lot of outside expectations on this team, but we’re not paying too much attention to things people say,” Cogswell said. “It’s nice that the team is getting some of these accolades and we certainly expect to be a really good team, but all we’re focusing on is playing hard and getting better every day. I think if we do that everything will take care of itself.

“This is certainly the most talented team we’ve had since I’ve been here and we’re very versatile. We have so many guys who can play multiple positions and contribute in different ways.”

Cogswell had a huge jump in his production numbers in 2013 from his freshman season the year before. He improved across the board in batting average (.260 to .346), slugging (.360 to .451), on-base percentage (.419 to .464), extra-base hits (6 to 15), RBI (15 to 22), runs scored (28 to 56), stolen bases (2 to 12) and total bases (36 to 82).

“The first year of college baseball was a huge adjustment for me. I think I did pretty well, but I came back as a sophomore much more sure of myself and knowing what I needed to be to be successful,” Cogswell said. “There are so many things that are thrown at you as a freshman on top of just getting used to being in college and all of those responsibilities.”

Cogswell, who bats left and throws right, spent last summer competing in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League with the Harwich Mariners. He was selected for the league’s all-star game.

“That league really tests you, especially as a hitter because everyone goes through droughts with the pitching being as good as it is,” Cogswell said. “I really got a lot out of the experience. The competition is simply incredible and it really shows you the areas you need to improve on if you want to become a great player.”

Cogswell said there were similarities between his Cape League experience and his early days with the South Troy Dodgers.

“I was 15 when I first started with the South Troy 18-and-under team and I was pretty much thrown right into the wolves. It was similar to playing in the Cape League because you go right into a group of guys who have exceptional talent and being around that level of play forces you to to step up and get better,” Cogswell said. “I realized with South Troy pretty quickly that there is always going to be someone better than you, or more developed than you at a particular point, that if you wanted to get to that next level it would really require a maximum effort.

“I learned so much from the South Troy experience. The completion made me better and the exposure I got was incredible. I can’t thank those guys enough for helping me to where I am and potentially where I could go.”

Along with fine-tuning his defense at a new position, Cogswell said he continues to work at refining his hitting.

“I’m always working on my swing and being able to drive the ball consistently. Our park (at Virginia) is one of the largest in the country and you don’t want to try getting caught up in hitting it over the fence,” he said. “I’m working on being a steady line-drive hitter. I’ve become a better and more complete hitter each year and I think I still have plenty of room to grow in that area.”

As a junior, Cogswell has also taken on more of a leadership role at Virginia.

“We have some good leaders on this team and I consider myself to be one of those guys. We don’t have any seniors who are position players so it’s on the junior class to lead the way,” Cogswell said. “There were older guys here last year and when I was a freshman who helped show me the way and how to do things. It’s my turn now to help pass on what I’ve learned and lead by example.”

Cogswell said he hasn’t thought much about Major League Baseball’s draft in June. He is expected to be chosen in the early rounds according to various scouting services.