By Mark Paulette
Last Tuesday, Sterling Pingree and I had the swell idea to spend an evening at Hadlock Field in Portland, watching the Sea Dogs play host to the Akron Rubber Ducks. Nothing more creative than Minor League Baseball team names, am I right? But our evening was not to be, as the sky was angry that day my friends. As the heavens wept, the game was postponed (literally just as we parked following a two-hour drive). So we moseyed into the ‘Dogs clubhouse, cornered some players, and fired off the most random questions we could contrive.
Mike Olt – 49 games, .215/8/26, 28 years old
Bio: Mike Olt made his professional debut in A-ball with the Spokane Indians in 2010. He then made the jump from Double-A to the majors in 2012, where he enjoyed a 16-game ‘cup of coffee’ stint with the Rangers, following a .288/28/82 line with the Frisco Roughriders. After hitting .152 with six runs batted in during his brief stay with Texas, he next saw Major League-action with the Chicago Cubs in 2014, where he set career highs in virtually every offensive category, including games (89), homers (12) and RBI (33). (He hit his 11th HR of the year on July 2 at Fenway Park off Brandon Workman.) His last appearance at the big league level came in 2015, where he played in 30 games between the Cubs and the White Sox, hitting .191/4/5. Injuries derailed him last year, as he finished ’16 with just 52 total minor league games, 49 of which came with the Double-A San Antonio Missions of the Texas League.
Side note – Sterling and I were clearly just what the doctor ordered for Olt, who went 2-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI after speaking with us and has raised his average 12 points since Tuesday.
Williams Jerez – 15 games, 1-0/5.08/22 in 28.1ip, 25 years old
Bio: Jerez is in his fourth professional season in the Red Sox system, after being selected in the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Sox. He’s 11-11 with a 3.58 ERA and has 213 strikeouts in 216.1 innings pitched through his Minor League career thus far. The Santiago, Dominican Republic-native has been with the Sea Dogs since 2015 and has appeared in 77 games with Portland.
Side note – He’s had a rough couple of days since we talked to him, as he boasted a 2.73 ERA at the time of our interview. Sorry for the bad luck, Willy.
Luis Ysla – 17 games, 0-3/6.38/22 in 24ip, 25 years old
Bio: Ysla came to the Sox organization in 2015 after spending his first two-plus years in A-ball of the San Francisco Giants organization. A converted starter, the Venezuelan reached Triple-A Pawtucket last season, where he recorded a scoreless three-out save in his only appearance. He has appeared in 56 games for the Sea Dogs over the last two seasons, going 2-8 with 82 strikeouts in 79.1 innings pitched.
Side note – He refers to himself as “Mango Head,” though it more accurately resembles a cantaloupe. Dude has a large, round dome.
Mark Paulette is the Senior Producer of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live on DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.