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Old 04-25-2019, 07:57 PM   #1
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Hey team. Baseball is back, the Phillies are good again, and I'm in the mood to dive into a baseball story. I've been inspired by gskweres9's The Life of Travis Everett and want to try my hand at telling a human story through the lens of a few fictional OOTP players.

My premise will follow the baseball careers of three brothers of varying degrees of skill as they progress through the minors and hopefully one day to some successful baseball careers. I'm excited to get into this and to see what sort of twists this game has to throw at me.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:02 PM   #2
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Wesley Metheny

When you have a plethora of baseballs, bats, and gloves at your disposal, an empty cow field to play in you, and a sibling to play with are might get pretty good at baseball. I was lucky enough to have two brothers who loved playing as much as I did and the three of us all got pretty good at this little game.

My dad played parts of six seasons in the mid 90’s with the Philadelphia Phillies minor league system. That’s where he met mom at their ripe old age of 23 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She followed him to Clearwater, then Reading. Then when he got bounced between Reading and Scranton a lot he shipped us off to Parts Unknown, West Virginia to his dad’s cow farm.

Pap held onto dad’s catcher’s gear growing up so we always had equipment that fit despite the two and three year age gaps between me, Scott, and Bobby. And Pap had to rotate the cows from pasture to pasture every few months to keep the grass growing, so we always had a field we could play in.

Me and Scott were older so we would always take dad’s gear and alternate turns as pitcher and catcher which left Bobby a lot of time to practice his batting. When you are 13 you only care that your 8 year old brother is worse than you, so it’s easy to forget that while he isn’t hitting as well as you in a given year he is doing a lot better than you were at his age. Needless to say Bobby got really good at baseball. He’s 16 now and has already had conversations with big league scouts.

So what about me, how good am I at baseball? Well I did lead the West Virginia Mountaineers with a .317 Batting Average this year as a senior. I’m what scouts like to refer to as toolsy. I am an average to slightly above average runner. I’m a line drive hitter who gets lucky with a few home runs every so often. My college coach would always say my best defensive attribute was my quickness, but I always thought it was my arm. I fully expect to be drafted around the 10th round and if I am lucky I will be able to make it to AAA for more than the 120 games dad did.
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Old 04-26-2019, 04:25 PM   #3
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Hey team. Baseball is back, the Phillies are good again, and I'm in the mood to dive into a baseball story. I've been inspired by gskweres9's The Life of Travis Everett and want to try my hand at telling a human story through the lens of a few fictional OOTP players.

My premise will follow the baseball careers of three brothers of varying degrees of skill as they progress through the minors and hopefully one day to some successful baseball careers. I'm excited to get into this and to see what sort of twists this game has to throw at me.
Awesome to hear this. Thank you. I'll be following.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:14 AM   #4
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Wesley Metheny

It was the end of my junior season in high school when my coach told me he wanted me to spend my time off focusing on learning third base. The reason he gave me was threefold. Number One: I had too good of legs to be risking them with a potential career playing catcher. I am not just catcher fast, I am baseball fast. Number Two: If I wanted to go pro it would be good idea to diversify my skill set. And, Number Three: Scott had just finished freshman ball and was far and away a better catcher than me.

Scott is the festive brother. He partied the most in school. He had the most friends. Scott is a people pleaser, and with that comes an ability to talk to and make connections with people. Conversely, I like to just get at whatever work I am doing and not be bothered. A catcher is relied upon to build a report with a pitching staff and at the end of the day Scott was much better suited for that than I was.

So senior year came and went at third base. I really grew into the position and enjoyed throwing runners out no matter where I was on the field, so it worked for everyone. I would lead off and Scott batted behind me. It was a special year getting to play with him.

In college I spent a lot of my freshman year being coached at outfield and shortstop. Coach Mazey wanted me to be a jackknife like defender. I rotated into every position except pitcher and first base over the next three years before getting to play most of my draft year at third.

Talking with a few scouts the general consensus is that I will play a lot of different positions in the minors and if I make it up to AA the team will slot me in at a position of need. But second base is where I would likely have the most potential. I never quite mastered shortstop, but I got half decent at turning double plays. At third base I would only ever have an average arm, but at second base it could be a bonus. If I was groomed as an outfielder I would likely be a corner, but at least two scouts have told me I have “emergency center fielder qualities”.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:22 PM   #5
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Wesley Metheny

I don’t know what I was expecting to be doing on my draft day. Last year Chad Donato, a teammate at West Virginia, was watching with his family huddled around a computer as he got take eleventh overall. Chad had a feeling he could be going to his hometown team, and he comes from a big family so it made sense that he would spend it like that.

I spent my day helping move Scott out of his dorm and into the “Baseball House”. I never lived in the baseball house, I weirdly loved that dorm life. Coming home from class or practice and a large group of 15+ people just hanging out. If I wanted to join them I could, but I wasn’t obligated to either. At the baseball house you always have to “be on”, someone is always in the living room and you get self conscious holding up in your room when a party is going on downstairs. I’m not built for that.

I left my phone in the living room table. Every time it would vibrate with a text Scott would turn his attention to it. We were carrying Scott's bed frame up the stairs when a text caught Scott’s attention and he nearly dropped the frame on his foot.

“Will you stop that?” I snapped.

“That could be your future manager trying to talk to you. Are you just going to ignore him?"

“If it were a scout they would be calling me not sending a text.”

“You don’t know that.” I went to protest more, but the phone started ringing. “Well?”

Putting down the frame I made my way to the phone. The caller ID read a familiar name. “It’s just Pap. He’s probably having trouble pulling up the online stream.” Pap was surely at home fiddling with his computer. Back in 1993 he wasn’t able to experience Dad’s draft in real time, so this had him excited. “Hey Pap.”

“Seattle Mariners. Round Eight.”
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:25 PM   #6
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Here’s a little better visual of Wesley’s abilities
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:28 AM   #7
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Wesley Metheny

After talking with Pap and celebrating with Scott and a few more guys on the team I got a call from one of the Mariners’ scouts who broke down what the next few days would look like. They would be flying me out to Phoenix where I would tour the facilities at Peoria. Rookie league in Arizona seemed to be my most likely bet, I was told that there was an off chance I could go to Everett but that would require the team’s 10th round pick Dallas Carroll, another 3B, to refuse his signing bonus. Dallas was a year older than me and a better contact hitter.

Pap drove up to Morgantown to help me pack and take me to the Pittsburgh airport. I offered to take him out to dinner but he refused to be treated by his grandson, regardless of how much money he had just earned. “That signing bonus might be the only solid bit of money you ever make playing ball, don’t waste it on steaks you won’t remember eating and cars you won’t still be driving ten years from now.” I couldn’t help but think, if nothing else I inherited some pragmatism from the old man, as I happily ate that McDonald’s dollar menu chicken sandwich.

The ride up to Pittsburgh included a lot of Pap gushing over Bobby’s progression as a ball player. When my dad died in a car accident a few years back it came out that he had never updated his life insurance beneficiaries after having kids. Pap took all of it and did his best to use it to our benefit, although I know most of it went to keeping the farm afloat. Bobby benefited the most though because he convinced Pap to get him a hitting coach and Pap just happened to stumble upon one of the greatest gems of the 21st century. No one knew hitting guru Mark Catts’ name when he first started working with Bobby all those years ago. Now he is a proven commodity and one of the most expensive coaches in Appalachia, if Bobby pans out in the bigs he could be Mark’s meal ticket to a professional coaching job.

“Did he tell you coach is going to put him at outfield? He watched tape of you playing there in college and since Bobby’s not the catcher you or Scotty was he wants to try him in the outfield.” I nodded to the question not really knowing how to break it to him that Bobby never called me after I got drafted. In honesty we haven’t talked since the last time I was home. There isn’t any animosity between us, I just don’t think either of us are the type to pick up a phone.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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Wesley Metheny

“Pleased to meet you, Wes!” Youthful exuberance, that was the immediate feeling you get with the Arizona League Mariners. Not only are the players young, so is the Manager. At age 27, Zac Livingston was barely older than the players he coached. I was warned by Joe Rizzo that Livingston could be a bit of a stat nerd and liked to play way too into lefty-right splits. He did like to run a lot of steals though, which would be good for me.

“Now I know you were a third basemen in college, and I really think you are good enough to play that position long term, but the way the team is shaking out depth wise Mr. Dipoto wants me to have you playing at second.” Yes, I do think it is weird that my manager is not on a first name basis with the team’s general manager. “We might give you some games in the outfield too. You move around real good so we are going to try to get you out in center as much as we can.”

The depth that Zac was talking about was specifically my teammate Joe Rizzo. Joe was taken out of high school last year in the second round. He is a power hitter who could one day be in the Mariners 4 hole. He doesn’t have the athleticism to play either of the middle infielder spots, nor the size to stand on first, but he does own a passable arm. Essentially there is no where for him to play besides third or DH. So I will learn second base.

The good news in all of this was that the team only had one other second basemen: Eugene Helder from Aruba and Zac had named him the team’s Designated Hitter. Against right handed pitchers I was going to be batting 6th behind my fellow draftee Luke Miller, an outfielder from Muncie, Indiana. When we face lefties I would slide up to the 5 hole and Luke would bat after me.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:10 AM   #9
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Rookie League games are about getting at bats, showcasing, and building your skills. The game results truly do not matter, the parts equal more than the sum. I need to keep telling myself that or else I will get too excited that in my first professional game ever my team blew the roof off offensively.

Going against the Brewer’s 7th round pick, a right handed high school player out of California, I was batting sixth. I was selfishly glad when our first three batters went down in the first, getting a chance to be out in the field and recognize that this game would not be so different than any game I’ve played before helped me calm my nerves.

The Brewers were up 2-0 when we came up to bat. We started the inning with a strikeout before Luke Miller got on and in scoring position with a double. I expected my manager Zac to tell me to go out and take the first pitch, but he offered no words of wisdom as I left the dugout. I did recognize that the Brewers' pitcher was most comfortable with his cutter, and Miller's double was hit off of his changeup so I was expecting that cutter early. He obliged on the first pitch and I sent it straight down the line into left field. I rounded first seeing the outfielder cut it off before the ball could get past him, but the third base coach sent Luke home. The shortstop fielded the the cut off as I pulled back to first and Luke crossed home plate.

My first ever professional pitch seen and I hit an RBI single. I would advance to second after a passed ball, but two strikeouts left me stranded.

My next at bat was in the 4th where I was due to lead off. I practiced a lot more patience this time around. The same California kid was on the mound and he tried to get me to bite on a Slider, then a high cutter; I took both balls. Then he missed with another slider before registering his first strike against me as he went back to his trusty cutter. At 3-1 he gave me another cutter and this one I smacked right over the head of the first basemen. It landed in the outfield before rolling toward the foul area. I cruised into a stand up double, now two for two in my pro career.

Our shortstop Austin Filiere was from Chandler, Arizona. He had the largest fan section in the crowd by far as it seemed his entire family had made it to the park. He had struck out two innings ago, but with a man on second and no outs this was his best chance to make his family proud (he had already impressed me with his defensive plays). I heard the thunderous cheers after he smacked the ball toward the hole between first and second. I was given the go ahead to try for home. I wasn’t even challenged with a throw.

They pulled their pitcher after that hit but the bleeding was just starting. We got another batter on, then our lead off man Carson Jackson emptied the bases with a home run that just cleared the left field wall. Two more runners got on and Luke Miller was able to send another one home with a blooper into shallow right. When I led off we were down 4-7, now I was batting for the second time this inning and we were up 9-7. The pitcher they brought in to replace their starter had just gotten the hook so I was up against someone I hadn’t seen pitch yet. He got me swinging on the first pitch, and eventually he struck me out to end the inning.

I wouldn’t get a chance to bat again until the top of the 7th, and I ended up striking out in three pitches against the same pitcher who had retired me in the 4th. Then in the 8th we added 3 more runs, I stepped up to bat with Luke Miller on second and two outs. On the 2-1 pitch their pitcher hung a curve right over the plate for me.

I launched it into left-center 426 feet.

When I met Luke and Austin at home plate Austin gave me a high five and offered to buy me a beer afterwards. We did just that. I don’t think people realize how young rookie league players are until you look at the 15 guys who played and realize that only 10 of them can legally drink. A lot of the team didn’t want to come out and celebrate our professional debuts, the players who didn’t get to play didn’t have much to celebrate, and others thought it would be unprofessional for us to go out partying after just one game. In the end it was just me, Austin, Canadian Left Fielder Gareth Morgan, reliever Sean Guenther from Atlanta, and Luke Miller (who we did not tell the bartender was still a few weeks away from his 21st birthday).

“A toast,” Austin held his Miller Lite high. “Some came further from others, some will go further than others. But for now, here’s to making it to Peoria, Arizona. And here’s to all of us who make it out.”
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:45 PM   #10
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Wesley Metheny

Nick Feight is a curious little fellow. Nick looks, talks, and runs like a catcher. Coming from a family of catchers I mean that in the kindest way possible. Although he went in the 11th round of our draft he could be the biggest hit or miss prospect from the Mariners draft.

His potential rests squarely on his power numbers. When you are around baseball long enough you can tell by the way someone looks what type of hitter they will become; or maybe can become. 5’10 200 lb. Feight has the makings of a guy who could hit 20 home runs in the Majors at some point in his career; his problem is that the way he uses his body right now he couldn’t hit 20 home runs in Single-A.

Defensively we are probably equivalent, but remember that I was chased away from playing the position. Getting on base does not come easily to him either. If his power numbers don’t pan out he will toil in the minors. The good news for the Seattle Mariners is that nobody on this team cares more about getting themselves better at their craft than Nick. He’s one of those “My body is a temple” types. So you can imagine his reaction when he realized that the four guys batting in front of him for the day were counting their beers from the night before in the clubhouse.

To Nick’s credit, the four of us (Gareth, Luke, me and Austin) played like crap. Our first three batters got on base in the 1st before Gareth hit into a double play and Luke struck out. None of us got a hit until Austin and I singled back to back at the top of the 4th (after our drinking buddies went down in order to lead off the inning). Nick pulled a liner just inside the pole to bring us home, but he was not in the mood to celebrate when he finished running the bases.

Things came to a head in the bottom of the 8th. Their lead-off man got on base with a single. A botched bunt popup kept the runner on first and got the first out. Then a bouncer to short could have retired the inning but the ball just dropped out of Austin’s hand. 3 runs later they had a 4 run lead going into the 9th, we would score once more but came up short 5-8.

Winning these games does not matter in the grand scheme of things, but you couldn’t tell Nick that. Needless to say we stayed away from the bar that night.
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:18 PM   #11
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My first week as a pro was a four game series. I went 6 for 16, scored 4 runs, hit 2 home runs, and 6 RBIs. Arizona League was going pretty well for me. With three days off before our next set of games, our only significant break through the end of the season, the gang (SS Austin Filiere, RF Luke Miller, LF Gareth Morgan, Lefty Specialist Sean Guenther, and me) were off to the bar again.

As I was putting on my street clothes Zac Livingston asked to see in his office. It’s a funny thing about baseball, you can be hitting .375 and when you manager asks to see you in his office you can’t help but start feel your heart speed pick up. I was in the lowest level of ball, they couldn’t demote me; maybe they are benching me? It’s only 4 games, and I haven’t been doing spectacular. Our Low-A team the Everett AquaSox had two good second basemen in Tanner Nishioka and Joseph Rosa so they wouldn’t be calling me up to be the third man.

“Hey Wes, no need to sit down just wanted to give you a quick heads up. Everett is sending down Joseph Rosa. This won’t affect your time considerably, he’s going to be taking over your role at second but I’ve got you penciled in as our DH. He is going to push you down in the lineup one spot.” I nodded along wordlessly, this wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. “Enjoy your night out.”
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:59 PM   #12
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CF Carson Jackson was the first call up to Everett from our team. He was leading off for us before Rosa got sent down, after that he began batting 5th. It didn’t surprise us one bit to see him get promoted, he hit 5 times in his first game. Another game he went 4 for 4 with two walks. He was a good on-base guy and it is clear that that was being rewarded.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed a full two games at DH before being given two games off. 'Not going to affect your time' my ass. I went 3 for 8 with 1 run and added my first steal of the season in those two games. During fielding practice I was grouped with the outfielders, Zac must have been tipped off that Carson was going to get the call up because they started grooming me to be his successor in center field. I was glad to see some consistent at bats again, but I was mostly happy because it meant I wouldn’t be blocking those at bats from two of my better friends on the team, Gareth Morgan and Luke Miller. The three of us were pretty excited to be out there together; our fourth, Austin Filiere, not so much.

“Blood traitor.” Filly beckoned at me as we jogged to the dugout one game.

I kept jogging with a smile. Filly was not taking a liking to play with Rosa. In truth he was a better fielder than either of us. Austin was the type of guy to decide day one if he liked you or not. He did not like Rosa for whatever reason. To me he was a nice kid, 20 years old and already a three year pro. He started his second year in High-A but got demoted back to the Arizona League eventually, he was in Single-A this year before going to Low-A and now back in Peoria again. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, he’s always got a smile on and is just happy to be playing the game.

I’ve got two years on him, and we are in the same league. He has me beat in pro experience by two years, and is still two years younger than me. I’m effectively four years behind this guy if you look at it that way. That sort of thing gets your mind wandering, and not in a good way.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:01 PM   #13
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Wesley Metheny

Luke Miller’s 21st birthday just so happened to coincide with one of our days off. We kind of had it circled on our calendars from the moment we found out the date. On July 16th we would play against the Red’s at their park in Goodyear, then we would all go home to shower, clean up, nap and around 11 we planned to hit one of the local bars and celebrate when the clock struck midnight.

You could blame us for acting like a crowd of college kids playing with their futures by going out as much as we did. And to be honest, if we were playing poorly I would be right there with you. But the thing is, our team is good. Really, really good. 16-4 over our first 20 games.

Of those 20 games Luke has played 14; and has hit in each and every single one. His .525 AVG, .586 OBP, and 1.382 OPS lead the league.

If anyone deserved to get called up to Everett it was Luke.

And yet two days before his 21st birthday, with Everett having just sent up four players earlier in the day, Luke did not get called into the Manager’s office.

I did.

“You are going up to Everett, Wes!” Youthful Exuberance, that was Zac Livingston.

“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but are you sure?” I had just snapped a 13 game hit streak two days ago. I was hitting over .300 and and had an OPS in the .900’s, but those were far crys from Luke’s numbers. “Shouldn’t someone like Miller be going up?”

“Miller’s doing great for us. But they don’t need an outfielder right now, they need another middle infielder. Tanner Nishioka is still on the DL, and they just sent their starting shortstop up to Clinton.” The normally excitable Livingston lowered his voice, “Look Metheny, no one knows better than me that you don’t get many chances to prove yourself before a team decides to move on. This could be your only call up this year, this could be your only call up ever. Focus on yourself right now, not Miller, not Filly, not Morgan, or any of your other friends down here.

“This is your time.”

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Old 05-22-2019, 11:28 PM   #14
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Here’s his stats from Arizona Rookie League so far
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:57 PM   #15
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spotted an 11-run lead, then going into the 9th up by 8 and not a single out recorded (using three relief pitchers all warmed up), nine runs score... game over? nope, thank the demo for saving me $20 on the after the season special or/and another $35-40 on 14. I will NOT be purchasing this piece of crap!
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:41 PM   #16
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Oh **** it's Bean
Aye man. I always forget that you are around these parts, until I see your amazing signature then lament myself for forgetting what a truly great signature it is.

To the readers, hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend (or just a wonderful weekend if you are from outside the States). I hope to have another posting up within the next few hours.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:22 PM   #17
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My life after the move was pretty weird. I was there to replace one guy on injury, I fully expected to live out of my suitcase for a week until the injury cleared and then be back to Arizona. But then he came back from the injury and I wasn't sent down, and the next day they still had me starting on the lineup care, and the day after, and the day after. I kept playing until one day I realized I had played damn near every position for the team except pitcher, catcher, and first base. Maybe this stay wouldn't be short term?

Right now the AquaSox were rolling with me as their starting shortstop. Everett’s last shortstop Bryson Brigman was sent up to Clinton the same day I was promoted, then he got sent back to Everett the very next day. Near the end of July he got sent back up and has stuck ever since.

"You move up to Washington State and you forget about your boys?" Speaking of shortstops, my old one was texting me.

"I haven’t even unpacked yet Filly"

"You’ve been up there for two weeks" I hadn’t realized it was that long yet, I quickly looked at a schedule and realized that the Arizona League season had only 17 games left.

"You hear I’m your new competition for SS?" And pretty good competition at that. I had picked up where I left off with my speed numbers, hitting 2 triples so far and stealing as many bases.

"I’m not much competition with my bum leg. Strained my oblique a couple days ago"

"Damn man I’m sorry to hear that" A strained oblique is not a major baseball injury. But with only a few games remaining and Austin Filiere being a 32nd round pick I couldn’t help but worry about his future with the team next year if he had any setbacks.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:57 PM   #18
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As always, an enjoyable read.
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:55 PM   #19
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Wesley Metheny

I ended up spending a month with Everett. They never really settled on a position for me as the injury bug would move from player to player. A blessing in disguise maybe as I got to prove that I could be trusted in almost any position. I had a few errors in shortstop, but I don’t think they were glaring. Jose Moreno, a manager who has been coaching pro baseball since before Zac Livingston was in kindergarden, assured me that it looks a whole lot better to be learning shortstop and making mistakes in Low-A than in AAA.

Moreno was not a beloved manager, but he was a very respected one. After a 0 for 5 appearance he called me to his office and before saying a word reached out his hand to shake mine. “Wesley, the first thing I want to do is thank you for your efforts while playing with us here in Everett.”

“Thank you sir.”

“You know why I’ve called you here, right?” In the last week I hit 1 double and 3 singles over 31 at-bats. I had a pretty good idea what was coming. I meant to answer, but I guess I took too long. “A baseball organization has a lot of moving parts. Cam Duzenack is coming back off the DL, and Tanner Nishioka is set to come back in a few days. We’re healthy for the first time in a month so we need to send someone down to Zona.”

“I understand sir.”

“This is a numbers move Wes. If you asked me you have nothing left to prove in rookie ball. You’ve only got a handful of games left down there. I don’t think either of us should be surprised to be seeing each other before the end of the summer.”

I thanked him before going to clear out my locker. When I grabbed my phone I saw a group of texts from my friends back in Arizona, and one from Zac Livingston.

"Be prepared to lead off tomorrow."
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:56 PM   #20
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Here are Wes’s stats from Everett
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