Gnats Transactions, Thursday, May 5

May 5, 2011

*Rafael Fernandez was transferred from the Savannah roster to the St, Lucie roster

*Darrell Ceciliani was reinstated from the Savannah DL

*Guillaume Leduc was transferred from the Savannah roster to the Brooklyn roster

*Hamilton Bennett was transferred to the Savannah roster from Extended Spring Training

Game Notes: May 2 @ Lakewood

Savannah Sand Gnats (9-14, 5th, Southern)  vs. Lakewood BlueClaws (10-13, 6th, Northern) 

Game #24 – Road Game #15 – Monday – 6:35             

RHP Erik Goeddel (0-1, 5.00)   vs. LHP Jesse Biddle (0-3, 7.16)

FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood, NJ                         

Radio: News/Talk 630 and

Tonight: The Gnats, SAL affiliate of the New York Mets, play game three of a four-game series in Lakewood against the BlueClaws, SAL affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Tonight will be the eighth game of a nine-game road trip to Delmarva and Lakewood on which the Gnats are 2-5. Savannah returns home for Thirsty Thursday, on Thursday, May 5th.


Sunday: The Gnats beat the Lakewood BlueClaws 3-2 thanks to seven strong innings from the bullpen, which held the BlueClaws to one run following two innings from starter Yohan Almonte.  The Gnats scored twice in the seventh inning to take a 3-1 lead.  Cory Vaughn’s RBI single broke a 1-1 tie.  Luis Rojas earned his first win for four scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

Now Pitching: RHP Erik Goeddel is scheduled to make his fifth start of the year for Savannah tonight. Last Wednesday, Goeddel held Delmarva to two runs on six hits in six innings, walking one and striking out four. He left in a game tied at 2-2 that the Gnats eventually lost 5-2.  The six-inning start was the longest of Goeddel’s season and professional career.  The Mets drafted Goeddel in the 24th round of the 2010 draft out of UCLA.  Goeddel made one appearance for the GCL Mets on August 14, 2010 throwing one inning with one hit and one strikeout.  Goeddel underwent Tommy John surgery during his senior year of high school at San Jose’s Bellarmine Prep in 2007 and missed most of the next two years at UCLA.  In 2010 he was excellent for the Bruins out of the bullpen, striking out 59 and walking 23 while giving up 44 hits in 50 innings.  In ratio form, he had a 10.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and 7.9 H/9.  Coming into the 2011 season, Goeddel was ranked as the Mets’ 17th best prospect by Baseball America, and the team’s 16th best by Baseball Prospectus.  The Gnats are 2-2 when Goeddel starts and have supported him with 3.75 runs per game.


Rodriguez on a Roll: By going 1-3 with a double Sunday, Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to eight straight games, tying Wilfredo Tovar and Sam Honeck for the longest by a Gnat this year.  He’s hitting .294 (10-for-34) with two doubles and five home runs in his last eight contests with an .818 slugging percentage. Rodriguez is part of a four-way tie for tenth in the SAL with his five homeruns.


Cory’s Cuts: With his 2-4 evening last night, Cory Vaughn collected his team-leading ninth multi-hit game for the year and fourth in the last seven games on the road trip.  He leads the Gnats in average (.313) and on-base percentage (.417).  Vaughn is 14th in the SAL in on-base percentage.  He is hitting .346 (9 H/26 AB) with two doubles and two RBI on the team’s current road trip. Baseball Prospectusranked Vaughn as the Mets’ #9 prospect entering the season, while Baseball America ranked him #15.


Pitch to Win: Last night, for the eighth time this season, Gnats pitching held their opponents to three runs or fewer.  Savannah is 6-2 in such contests and 9-4 when holding the opposition to five runs or fewer.  The Gnats are 0-10 when their opponent scores six runs or more.  Gnats pitching gave up six runs or more in six of the seven games on Savannah’s seven-game losing streak which the team snapped Saturday.


About Sunday: Sunday’s 3-2 win was the Gnats’ first one-run win on the road…It was the first time the Gnats have won a game while scoring three runs or less…Sunday was the second game this year when Savannah pitching did not walk a batter.


Vs. Lakewood: The Gnats are 2-0 against the BlueClaws this year.  The two teams split the four-game series 2-2 in 2010. 

Game Notes: May 1 @ Lakewood – 1:05 pm

Savannah Sand Gnats (8-14, 5th, Southern)   vs.  Lakewood BlueClaws (10-12, 6th, Northern) 

Game #23 – Road Game #14 – Sunday – 1:05         

RHP Yohan Almonte (2-1, 4.30)    vs. RHP David Buchanan (3-0, 1.82)

FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood, NJ                        

Radio: News/Talk 630 and

Today: The Gnats, SAL affiliate of the New York Mets, play game two of a four-game series in Lakewood against the BlueClaws, SAL affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Today will be the seventh game of a nine-game road trip to Delmarva and Lakewood on which the Gnats are 1-5. Savannah’s next home game is Thursday, May 5th.

Last Night: The Gnats used three home runs and strong pitching to snap a seven-game losing streak with a 5-1 win.  Robbie Shields’ solo home run in the fifth inning evened the game at 1-1. Aderlin Rodriguez’s two-shot in the sixth put Savannah ahead 3-1 and Javier Rodriguez added a two-run blast in the eighth.  Ryan Fraser held the BlueClaws to one run in six innings for the win and Taylor Whitenton struck out seven in three innings for his first save of 2011.

Now Pitching: Yohan Almonte will make his fifth start tonight for the Gnats.  He’s coming off back-to-back outings in which he gave up four runs and two home runs in each.  Almonte is fourth in the SAL in WHIP (0.96).  In 2010, Almonte led the New York-Penn League in ERA (1.91), IP (89.2) and WHIP (0.93), averaging nearly six innings per start.  He had the second-lowest batting average against among starters at .207 and the third-fewest unintentional walk/9 IP (1.41) with a K/BB ratio of 4 (60 K/15 BB).  The 21-year old Almonte has moved steadily through the Mets system advancing from the Dominican Summer League in 2008 to the Gulf Coast League and then the Appalachian League in 2009, to the New York Penn League in 2010 before joining the Gnats, his first full-season team, in 2011.  He was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007.  The Gnats are 2-2 when Almonte starts and have supported him with 4.00 runs per game.


Rodriguez on a Roll: By going 2-4 last night, Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to seven straight games.  He’s hitting .300 (9-for-30) with one double and five home runs in his last seven contests with an .833 slugging percentage. Rodriguez is part of a four-way tie for ninth in the SAL with his five homeruns.  Since April 23, when his hit streak began, Rodriguez leads the South Atlantic League with five long balls.


Homer Happenings: Last night was the first time the Gnats have hit three home runs in a game in 2011… Robbie Shields became the third Gnat, joining Aderlin Rodriguez and Blake Forsythe to homer in back-to-back games…The Gnats have homered in 69% of their road games (9 of 13) and 33% of their home games (3 of 9)… Savannah is 2-1 at home when homering and 2-7 on the road.


Pitch to Win: Last night, for the seventh time this season, Gnats pitching held their opponents to three runs or fewer.  Savannah is 5-2 in such contests and 8-4 when holding the opposition to five runs or fewer.  The Gnats are 0-10 when their opponent scores six runs or more.  Gnats pitching gave up six runs or more in six of the seven games on Savannah’s seven-game losing streak which the team snapped Saturday.


Road Data: The Gnats are 3-10 on the road in 2011, all against Northern Division teams. At home, Gnats pitching has a 3.56 ERA and has allowed 4.19 runs per game.  On the road, Gnats pitching has a 5.52 ERA and has allowed 5.94 runs per game.  The Gnats have hit .241/.318/.371 (AVG/OBP/SLG) at home and scored 4.2 runs per game.  On the road, the team has hit .234/.297/.392 and scored 3.6 runs per game.


Vs. Lakewood: The Gnats are 1-0 against the BlueClaws this year.  The two teams split the four-game series 2-2 in 2010.

… And We’re Back

By my count, it’s been two years and 84 days since we updated this blog.  Yeesh, thats…. not good.

So, we’ll be making a point to update this thing daily to get you some notes and insight on the Gnats and life at Historic Grayson Stadium.  We welcome comments and feedback!

Another Week Gone By

Well, we’re another week closer to Opening Day, which is a scary thought but also exciting.  The Mets announced our coaching staff this week so that was exciting and really makes you aware that the season is just around the corner. 

I had the pleasure of speaking with Edgar briefly on Tuesday and he seems like a nice guy and is pretty stoked to come here and manage. There is only one returning coach from last year’s team (George Greer) while Nick Wright will be back for his second tour as Savannah’s Strength Coach.  We wish Donovan Mitchell all the best in Double-A Binghamton this season.

Did anyone watch LOST on Wednesday?  That was a good ending, I knew that Jin couldn’t be dead but now he is stuck in past with crazy young Russo..OH NO!  Another show that I started watching with some interest is “Trust Me” on TNT.  It’s about two guys working at the top of a Chicago-based Ad Agency and it’s interesting.  I also watched Eagle Eye last night, with Shia LeBouf and that was impressively entertaining as well.

On to college basketball.  ESPN has my San Diego State Aztecs as a bubble team with some work to do.  They’ve beaten Utah and UNLV (in Vegas) and were up by four with like 5 minutes left against No. 15 Ariz. State and only lost to Arizona by three I believe.  We are tied atop the Mountain West standings.  LET US IN! The last time we played in the tourney, I couldn’t watch beacuse we were hosting the first and second rounds so I had to work…

Things around the office are the same.  It’s been real cold here in Savannah (like in the low 20s and high teens at night) and sometimes people forget to leave the HEAT on in the office. 

Time for work


Who’s excited to hear my voice for 140 games next season?

So if you haven’t heard yet, the Sand Gnats have partnered with STAR 1400 AM to broadcast all 140 games in 2009 locally in Savannah!!!  I’m super pumped and excited because it means it makes it that much easier for you the fans to follow your Sand Gnats while they are on the road or if you’re late to the ballgame!  Big thanks to STAR 1400 AM.  It’s going to be a fun season and I’ll do my best to blog from the road as much as I can with tips on places to eat, visit and the like. 

Other than that, its same-old, same-old here in the trailer.  I’ve been putting a lot of time in designing themed templates and such for people around the office lately.  Nothing too exciting.  SCAD baseball has their first game Friday and it will be nice to have baseball back in Historic Grayson Stadium.  I’ve also been working with new headshot designs for the SCAD team so that hopefully some of them will translate to Gnats stuff when the season starts.  I like to test my stuff out before to see if everything looks cool and readable. 

That’s it for now.  Lost is on tonight so I’m always excited about that!



It’s really cold here this morning in Savannah.  I check my iPhone before I left the house and it said it was 23…that’s ridiculous.  A very cold, frozen Mike Passanisi blogging from the Sand Gnats headquarters at Historic Grayson Stadium.

I watched American Idol for the first time in a while last night because A. they were in the Yay Area (San Francisco) and B. all of my roommates watch the horrible television program.  The show didn’t disappoint, it was dreadful.  Did you see the girl who brought all the diagrams and stuff to the show?  She couldn’t even pronounce half the body parts she was talking about correctly, let alone sing. 

Other programming that was much better was the Obama Inauguration.  Obama is an excellent public speaker.  He sells whatever he is saying very well and I’m not one to dive into politics but I’m kind of excited to see what happens. 

On the Sand Gnats front, things are starting to pick up quite rapidly as we approach February.  Before we know it, Opening Day 2k9 will be here and that’s crazy.  Right now, I’m working on the design of our 2009 Pocket Schedule and still trying to finalize our group brochure (we’re waiting on a couple of loose ends) but those should hopefully be done shortly. 

I’m excited to see who the Mets invite to big league camp in a month or so.  I really think that Tobi Stoner, Josh Thole and Mike Antonini have a shot to be invited.  I would say one of those three could very well be a late season callup come September when rosters expand.  As for the ’09 Gnats, we still have no word on our coaching staff but it was around the beginning of February last year that we heard Donovan Mitchell was our manager, so that announcement might be coming up soon. 

Now how many of you are excited for LOST tonight?!  Probably one of the best shows on television in my professional opinion.  It’s crazy and confusing but it’s just so addicting.  For those of you that haven’t watched, I’d say rent the first season and you’ll be so hooked you’ll watch all of it in probably three days time.

Well, I’ve got to go put out a press release. Check back later today to find out what it’s about.

Over and Out



Hello Sand Gnats Fans, Community Relations director Tara Vaglica here. There has been a lot going on over here at Historic Grayson Stadium in the last few days. If you missed it, yesterday we hosted a press conferenceannouncing the re-signing of our lease with the city of Savannah and Grayson stadium, keeping the Sand Gnats playing in Daffin Park for another 2 seasons. We are also very excited toannouncea new member to our staff, President R.C Reuteman. He comes to us with a wealth of experience, including working with 2 of the Sand Gnats sister teams, the Brooklyn Cyclones and Binghamton Mets. We are lucky to have someone with such a wealth of knowledge down here in Savannah. Our staff is looking forward to learning from R.C andenhancingthe experience for our fans.

HEADS UP! On February 13th and 14th, your favorite Sand Gnat, Gnate, will play the part of cupid and deliver flowers to your loved ones. Order forms can be found on our website. Also REMINDER- Saturday, February 28 will be the 3rd annual Chili Bowl Cook-off. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Further information including registration forms can also be found on our website-
APRIL 9TH vs. Augusta
Hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays!

Mike here wishing all those out there a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Christmakkuh, and anything else I forgot.  The Sand Gnats staff hopes that everyone has a safe and pleasant holiday season.

We will be taking some time off for the holidays as our office spreads back across the country to be with friends and family.  The office will be closed from Dec. 24 to January 4 and will reopen at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 5, 2009.  It’s crazy to think that a new year is upon us and that opening day is almost four months away!

I will be hoping on a jet plane heading back to the west coast (best coast) for the holidays.  Unfortunately there will be no snow, but it will be nice to have Cheesecake Factory and Jamba Juice close once again. 

We’ve been going green here at the stadium lately, and by that I mean the new turf is coming in real nice!  The entire field is almost done and once groundskeeper Andy Rock gets back from California he’ll cut it and get it into game shape for the Savannah College of Art & Design games that start in late January.

That’s really all I’ve got right now…see ya next year.


Congratulations Axyl Rose!

Xmas Tree 08.jpgFirst off, in this edition of The Buzz I would like to personally congratulate Axyl Rose of the band Guns n’ Roses for finally releasing Chinese Democracy.  Axyl is a true testament to following your dreams….

We here at the Sand Gnats hope all of you out there in cyberspace had a safe and fun Thanksgiving holiday as well as a productive and beneficial Black Friday!  We are back to work here for the next three weeks until the Christmas holiday trying to wrap up things before the year ends because once January 1, 2009 comes around, the season will be here before we know it. 

Our Inaugural Holiday Bazaar is coming up and will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on December 13 at Historic Grayson Stadium.  Admission is free so come on down and check out some crafts, get your gifts wrapped or hang out and watch a holiday film! 

Now I’ll take a little time to talk about my Black Friday….

Usually I’m one of those 4 a.m. shoppers along with my aunt and grandma but this year I decided to stay in Savannah for the holiday and neglected my usual routine.  I did venture to Target at 10 a.m. to find a vast selection of digital video discs (DVDs) for under $4, which was nice.  After that, I proceeded to head up to the Tanger Outlets near Hilton Head to see what sales they were having.  I went with the intention of buying presents for others but instead bought myself a new coat and some cheap shorts.  Oh well….

Are you on the social phenomenon known as Facebook?  Well if you are, become a fan of the Sand Gnats!  There is a link on the homepage of that will take you directly to our page. 

Groundskeeper Andy has finished overseeding the field and we are in the transitionary process with the old turf dying off and the new turf coming in.  Other than that, it’s business as usual at the ol’ ballyard. 

Time for me to sign off and get to work. 


P.S.   That’s me helping cut down our Xmas Tree

P.P.S.  Roll Tide…