Your Shopping Addiction Fix

The On Deck Shop at Raley Field just received a shipment of San Francisco Giants gear, just in time for Game 6 of the World Series tonight!

The official Giants World Series fitted cap is available in sizes ranging from 6 7/8 to 7 1/2. WS hats

The River Cats are also selling camo team apparel with proceeds benefiting Operation Hat Trick – an organization that generates awareness, support, and funding for the recovery of America’s wounded warriors, both active service members and veterans.

hat Trick

Giants Under Armor sweatshirts in both men’s and women’s sizes are in high demand as the seasons turn to fall. 

Sweatshirts UA sweatshirtWomens sweatshirts

Children’s apparel includes River Cats, Giants, and Giants 2015 World Series gear for the littlest fan in your life.

Kids

The On Deck Shop at Raley Field is open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the off-season.  Also, visit the On Deck Shop online store at www.ondeckshoponline.com.

2015 Roster Possibilities Pt. 1: Andrew Susac

With the 2014 Major League postseason still underway, it’s tough to tell which players will be calling Raley Field home in 2015.

That won’t stop us from trying, though.

The first player we’ll look at is Roseville native and Jesuit grad Andrew Susac. After being selected in the 16th round of the 2009 first-year player draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Susac chose not to sign and instead enrolled at Oregon State University. The decision paid off when Susac was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft by the San Francisco Giants.

He began his MiLB career in San Jose in 2012, working his way up to Double-A Richmond in 2013 and eventually made it all the way to the big leagues in 2014. Susac held his own at the highest level, hitting .273 with a .326 on-base percentage and a .466 slugging percentage in 88 at-bats spanning 35 games played with San Francisco.

Before making his big league debut May 22, Susac played 63 games at the Triple-A level, clubbing 10 home runs in 213 at-bats. Four of those games took place at Raley Field, and included two two-hit performances.

As a catcher, Susac made the Giants’ NLDS roster. With Buster Posey making more and more starts at first base for San Francisco, it’s likely that Susac will begin the 2015 season behind the plate at AT&T Park. If, however, he doesn’t begin the year in the bigs, he’s sure to be wowing River Cats fans right here in Sacramento before returning to the show.

PCL Affilate Shuffle

It’s been a busy offseason in the Pacific Coast League with six teams changing Major League affiliations. You already know that we’re now affiliated with the San Francisco Giants, but what other changes were made, and how will it affect the River Cats moving forward?

In Sacramento’s division (the Pacific Northern Division), the Fresno Grizzlies are now affiliated with the Houston Astros. The good news is that Tony DeFrancesco (Sacramento’s manager for seven seasons and Houston’s current Triple-A manager) will make eight visits to the Capitol City this season. The bad news is that Houston’s Triple-A club could be stacked in 2015 with as many as 10 former first-round draft picks. The other two teams in the division (Tacoma/Seattle and Reno/Arizona) did not change affiliations.

In the Pacific Southern Division, the Albuquerque Isotopes are now the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies after previously being affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers. El Paso, Salt Lake, and Las Vegas all re-signed with the San Diego Padres, Los Angles Angels of Anaheim, and New York Mets respectively.

The PCL’s American Conference saw three affiliation changes. The Oakland Athletics Triple-A squad will now call Nashville home and will visit Sacramento on May 25-28. The Oklahoma City RedHawks are now the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Colorado Springs Sky Sox will now feature players and coaches from the Milwaukee Brewers organization.

2015 promises to be one of the most interesting seasons in River Cats history. Buckle up!

Former River Cats/Giants

In our 15 years in Sacramento, hundreds of players have worn our uniform. Of those hundreds of players, 33 have also played for our new MLB affiliate–the San Francisco Giants.

The most notable of those names is 2002 Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito. In his only season with the River Cats (2000), Zito made 18 starts to the dune of a 3.19 ERA including 91 strikeouts and 45 walks in 101.2 innings of work. After winning the Cy Young award with the A’s in 2002, Zito signed a seven-year deal with the San Francisco Giants, eventually helping the club win two World Series titles in 2010 and 2012.

Another big-time player to play for both the River Cats and Giants is Tim Hudson. Huddy, who made one rehab start for Sacramento 2004, signed a two-year deal with the Giants prior to the 2014 season. In his lone River Cats start, he tossed three innings on two hits and two earned runs with two walks and three strikeouts.

Current Giants closer Santiago Casilla (formerly known as Jairo Garcia) has appeared in 105 games for Sacramento in his career. He has a 3.98 ERA and 28 saves in 122.2 innings of work in those games. Additionally, Keith Foulke played briefly for the River Cats and Giants, eventually going on to win the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.

Here’s the complete list of players to have played for both the River Cats and Giants. The list is currently 33 names long. How big will it be after the 2015 season? We’ll set the over/under at 50.

Position players (10):

Alberto Castillo

Doug Clark

Steve Decker

Jesus Guzman

Brandon Hicks

Justin Knoedler

Todd Linden

David McCarty

Scott McClain

F.P. Santangelo

Pitchers (23):

Jeremy Accardo

Travis Blackley

Santiago Casilla

Vinne Chulk

Rich DeLucia

Keith Foulke

Chad Gaudin

Dan Giese

Wayne Gomes

Tim Hudson

Justin Knoedler

Guillermo Moscoso

Dan Otero

Brandon Puffer

Chris Ray

Scott Service

Erick Threets

Brett Tomko

Merkin Valdez

Jerome Williams

Jay Witasick

Jamey Wright

Barry Zito

Barry Zito Zito

Johnny Doskow – On the Road

Hi. My name is Johnny Doskow and I do the radio play-by-play with the Sacramento River Cats. I am about to embark on my 15th season with the River Cats and I wanted to share some thoughts on this blog about my travels and experiences in baseball.

People like to ask the minor league broadcasters about their favorite cities and ballparks and although I am partial to Raley Field, I will share with you my top 5 favorite cities to travel to in the Coast League.

  • Memphis

There is nothing quite like Beale Street for music and food. Blues City Café and Gus’ Famous Chicken are two of my personal favorites. We only go there every other year for four days so I make sure that I feast on ribs and chicken while we are there. In 2009 I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash both recorded albums.

  • Las Vegas

We stay downtown and not on the strip, but I have never not enjoyed going to Vegas during the season. Despite the hot weather at times and the high scoring games at Cashman Field, this city never gets old to me. I love the fact that it never closes and there are a number of places to eat after the games and always something going on.

  • New Orleans

I love the French Quarter and really enjoy walking it during the day or after the game at night.  The music is amazing and the people-watching on Bourbon Street is second to none.  I enjoy the folks in the Big Easy and my brother came out to see me this summer there and we had a ball.   I wish we were able to see it more than once every two years.    Great city.

  • Nashville

Nashville is another city that I wish we were able to get to more than once every two years. The downtown area is incredible and you meet people from all over the country when you go there. I have been to the country music hall of fame but have not been to the Johnny Cash museum as of yet but plan to in the future. This is another city with outstanding restaurants.

  • ­Iowa

Do not sleep on Des Moines, Iowa. Phenomenal town. Maybe it is the fact that I started my career in Iowa, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for Iowa and specifically Des Moines. Don’t knock it until you have been there. I love to explore the downtowns of these cities and this could be my favorite. We used to stay walking distance from the ballpark and that made it even better as you could walk to the ballpark. I hope they move the hotel back to downtown again. Zombie Burger is a place to eat and the shakes there are ridiculously good.

Giant News

It’s official! The Sacramento River Cats are now the Triple-A affiliate for the San Francisco Giants!!

We are ecstatic to partner with the seven-time World Series Champs to give Sacramento-area sports fans what they’ve been clamoring for: more #SFGiants!

The change was announced Friday morning at a press conference at Raley Field that was attended by River Cats president Jeff Savage, Giants VP & Assistant General Manager Chip Maxson, Dusty Baker, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, former Giants pitcher Jim Barr, and every Sacramento-area media outlet.

From the River Cats perspective, the move was made for the fans, as an overwhelming majority of Sacramento-area sports fans are San Francisco Giants fans.

“We appreciate the 15 successful years we’ve had with the Oakland Athletics,” said River Cats President Jeff Savage, “and we’re grateful for the tremendous support that the region has shown us. Our mission here at Raley Field has always been, and always will be, giving the Sacramento community the best fan experience possible. We’re extremely excited to join the Giants family, and can’t wait for our 2015 home opener on April 9.”

From the Giants perspective, the move made sense in several respects: Raley Field is one of the premier facilities in minor league baseball, and its proximity to San Francisco is unmatched at this level.

“Sacramento is a great baseball town and the area has traditionally produced top baseball talent for the Major Leagues.  Our affiliation with the River Cats provides us with an outstanding player development environment, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with our young players at Raley Field,” said Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean.

It’s a new era here at Raley Field. Don’t miss it!IMG_4995  IMG_5044 IMG_5049 IMG_5058 IMG_5065 IMG_5103

Home Grown Talent

It’s no secret that the Sacramento River Cats organization is one of the most successful minor league organizations, both on and off the field, and 2014 has been no different. Again leading the Pacific Coast League in attendance, the River Cats narrowly missed their 12th division title in 15 years, losing to the Reno Aces on the last day of the season in extra innings. The highlight of the season, however, had to be the parade of players making their way from Raley Field to the big leagues.

In total, 21 different men played for both the River Cats and a Major League club in 2014. 17 played for both the A’s and River Cats, and four played for the River Cats and a big league team other than the A’s.

For starters, there were several big league rehabbers that donned a River Cats uni this year. Jed Lowrie, Josh Reddick, Eric O’Flaherty, Craig Gentry, and Kyle Blanks. Several guys began the year with Sacramento and have been huge contributors to the A’s postseason run, including Stephen Vogt, Nate Freiman, Andy Parrino, and Evan Scribner.

Four guys spent part of the year with Sacramento & a big league squad other than the A’s including Jake Elmore (Reds), Jake Goebbert (Padres), Michael Taylor (White Sox), and Justin Marks (Royals).

The River Cats missed the playoffs, but 2014 was still an incredibly successful season. Fourth-best record in the league, best attendance in the league, and 21 different big leaguers throughout the season? Just another tremendous season at Raley Field.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

On Sunday, Aug. 17 at Raley Field, fans bid on the opportunity to dump buckets of ice water on River Cats players after the game, with all the proceeds going to ALS TDI. Thank you to all who donated, and to our players for participating for such a great cause. To donate to ALS TDI, visit als.net.

Just Keep Winning

The Sacramento River Cats have put together an exceptional 2014 season and now have their sights set on their fifth Pacific Coast League Championship.

Though some of the faces and names have changed on the diamond for the Sacramento River Cats, the results seem to stay the same. The end of the 2014 season will mark another winning campaign for Sacramento’s club, giving them twelve-straight seasons with a record over .500, as the club eyes their first ever Pacific Northern Division title.

River Cats outfielder Shane Peterson has led the charge, putting together an MVP-caliber, season and making his first career Triple-A All-Star roster. Peterson is among the league leaders in several offensive categories and has helped the Cats offense keep humming throughout the long season.

Joining Peterson on his trip to Raleigh for the All-Star Game was relief pitcher Paul Smyth, who is a key cog in a bullpen that has been among the Pacific Coast League’s best. Smyth, along with relievers Evan Scribner, Fernando Rodriguez, Jeremy McBryde, Joe Savery, and Philip Humber have played significant roles in limiting opposing lineups late in contests.

Sacramento has been able to capitalize on its ability to keep games close, winning a franchise-record 12 games in walk-off fashion. Seven of those 12 victories came in extra innings for the Cats, showing the River Cats’ resolve throughout the season. Infielder Alden Carrithers has sent fans at Raley Field home happy three times in 2014, the most of any River Cats player, while infielder Andy Parrino has hit the only walk-off homer for the Cats this season.

With the season winding down, the club is gearing up for a lengthy run in the Pacific Coast League playoffs. If the Cats are able to hang onto their lead in the Pacific Northern Division, they will make their 12th playoff appearance in 15 seasons since the club’s inception in the year 2000.

History has been kind to the River Cats when it comes to their participation in the PCL playoffs. In their 12 postseason tries, Sacramento has made it to the PCL Championship Game six times, winning four league titles. The Cats won back-to-back PCL titles in 2003 and 2004, and then again in 2007 and 2008. The River Cats reached the summit in 2007, defeating the Richmond Braves to win the Triple-A Championship, and did so again in 2008 with a victory over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

One player on the current River Cats roster has contributed to the organization’s success in the postseason. Infielder Daric Barton smacked four home runs during the 2007 playoffs, tying him with several former River Cats for the most in any playoff run. The first baseman also collected 11 hits and 10 RBI during that same postseason, putting him among the leaders in both categories for any River Cats player in the playoffs.

The last home series of the season pits the Sacramento River Cats against their rivals, and their biggest threat in the Pacific Northern Division, the Reno Aces. Five games between the two clubs to close out 2014 may decide which club is playing extra baseball in September, and which club is heading home to start their offseason.      

Raley Field has seen its fair share of winning over the past 14 seasons, and 2014 has been no different. Another playoff berth for the River Cats will be a feat that fans are accustomed to seeing year after year at the ballpark and River Cats faithful would welcome more September baseball for this year’s club to keep the winning tradition alive.

Michael Choice a River Cat?

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At A’s Fan Fest in Oakland this past weekend, Billy Beane was quoted by multiple reporters as saying that power-hitting outfield prospect Michael Choice will spend most of the year with Sacramento barring something “unforeseen.”

Choice, who was recently ranked by Baseball America as the second-best prospect in the A’s organization, played 91 games with Double-A Midland last year before breaking his hand in late-July when he was hit by a pitch. In those 91 games, Choice launched 10 home runs, drove in 58 runs and stole five bases to go along with a .287 batting average and a .356 on-base percentage.

After being selected 10th-overall in the 2010 first-year player draft by Oakland, Choice has not spent more than one season at any level. After spending his first full professional season with the Single-A Stockton Ports in 2011, he played exclusively with the RockHounds a year ago before his season was cut short. In 239 career minor league games, Choice has 47 home runs and a .283 batting average.

If this trend continues, and the top prospect spends most of the year with Sacramento as Beane suggests, River Cats fans could be in for a treat.

 

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