Tim Steggall's Blog to be Named Later (8/13)

College shortstop-turned-professional pitcher Tim Steggall is playing his first season with the Texas Rangers organization. Throughout the year, Steggall will chronicle his experiences as a minor league baseball player in this journal.

I've been out of college for more than a full year now but it seems that I'm still very much a professional at procrastinating. I was promoted to Spokane about three weeks ago and I have been meaning to write a new entry, but so much has been happening and I've been so busy that it has been very easy to delay the writing. But this also works the other way – so much has happened in the last two weeks that I should have a ton to write about. So here we go.

I was promoted to Spokane three weeks ago, just in time to help the team pour some champagne and celebrate clinching the first half championship and a spot in the Northwest League playoffs in September. I was with the team for the last eight games of the first half; two against Boise and three against both Tri-Cities and Yakima. Somehow I even snaked the win of a 15-inning game with Yakima, my first appearance in a Spokane uniform. So I can say I contributed a little bit to the team's first half success.

The second half of the season started with a road trip to Eugene, Oregon, an eight-hour bus ride from Spokane. I had almost forgotten what long bus trips were like; we definitely didn't have any of these during my time in Arizona.

If I hadn't already felt like part of the team, this bus trip would have clinched it. Eight hours on a bus with a group of people and you're bound to start fitting in. I finished reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, played in a cribbage tournament (I eventually placed 4th), watched Sherlock Holmes, and learned how to play "Mafia." Road trips aren't the most fun thing ever, but when you find ways to keep yourself busy, eight hours cooped up on a bus isn't as bad as it sounds.

The Spokane roster is made up mostly of guys from the most recent draft, so I only knew a few people that had spent some time in Extended with me. I have been in the system for almost a year and am now no longer a "new" guy. Now I'm the guy that gets asked questions about how hard the conditioning is during Spring Training and other general questions about pro ball. I'm by no means a veteran, but it's starting to sink in that I'm no longer a "new" guy. I have had my chance at a first impression with the coaches and staff in the system and now it is time for me to perform and prove I belong and can carve out a spot in the organization.

It's crazy to think about, but there is less than a month left in our season, including playoffs. So far the second half of the season is going well and I believe we are tied for first going into our most recent road trip to Yakima and Salem-Kaiser. The key to this half of the season will be staying healthy and getting on a roll going into the playoffs, giving us the best chance to win a Northwest League Championship.

P.S. Sorry this post took so long to roll out, but I'll make sure the next ones are a little bit more timely.

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