EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 16, 2013

Under the Lights

By David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — The name game

Former Pinkerton star Zach Mathieu earned a mention on the Red Sox radio broadcast last week after being selected by the New York Mets in the MLB Draft.

The only problem? Longtime Sox voice Joe Castiglione pronounced the Franklin Pierce slugger’s name as Math-OW as in famed actor Walter Matthau. (Zach’s name is said like Matthew).

Castiglione did, however, call Mathieu a “monster of a player” at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds. He hit 13 home runs this season.

Upcoming homecomings

Those hoping to see Mathieu and Andover’s Michael Yastrzemski (drafted by the Baltimore Orioles) and John Farrell (Tampa Bay draft pick) in their debut professional baseball seasons very well may have the chance this summer when each visits the Lowell Spinners.

According to the Orioles’ website, Yastrzemski — who signed a contract with the team on Thursday — is expected to be assigned to the Aberdeen IronBirds of the New York-Penn League very soon. That would mean that Yaz could be playing a quick trip up 495 from home when the IronBirds visit Lowell Aug. 26-28.

Meanwhile, Farrell has been assigned to Tampa’s affiliate the Hudson Valley Renegades, who visit the Spinners Aug. 16-18. Mathieu is expected to play for the Brooklyn Cyclones, who travel to Lowell July 23-25.

Locals hurling

A pair of local players are pitching for the Nashua Silver Knights, the two-time defending champions of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League of New England.

Former Londonderry standout Geoff Fisher, currently playing for UMass Lowell, is 1-1 in two appearances while fellow former Lancer Dan Kinnon (Southern Maine) pitched a shutout inning in his first appearance of the summer.

The team also includes Merrimack College pitchers Alek Morency, Travis Terrill and Tim Cashman.

The Silver Knights are run by the Lowell Spinners.

Spinners surging

Speaking of Lowell, five former Spinners have already made their Major League debut this season — the most ever through June.

Jackie Bradley Jr., of course, debuted with the Sox just two seasons after playing in Lowell, while Boston relief pitcher Alex Wilson along with pitchers Ryan Pressly (Twins) and Jose Alvarez (Tigers) and first baseman Chris McGuiness (Rangers) were all Spinners in 2009.

The record for most Spinners ever to make their debuts in a single season is seven. That was set last year — a class highlighted by Will Middlebrooks — and in 2007, led by Jacoby Ellsbury.

Tiger cub

Did you know that Tiger Woods has a niece who is also a professional golfer?

Cheyenne Woods is a 22-year-old golfer and the daughter of Tiger’s brother. Cheyenne played at Wake Forest and last year played in the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open.

Different field, same story

True story. Tim Tebow once threw out the first pitch at a University of Florida baseball game, and totally missed the catcher and threw the ball to the backstop.

Goes to show you, no matter the field, you have to keep your eyes open if you are in the vicinity when Tebow is throwing a ball.