Slumping Riverdogs Find A Bright Spot

After making a name for himself just ten days ago, Charleston RiverDog utility man Tony Roth is starting to prove himself to be more than just a trivia answer. On May 20th, Roth was called to the mound in the 17th inning. He went on to pitch two perfect innings while even recording a strikeout.

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Then, in the bottom of the 18th, Roth led off with a single on a line drive to center. He got to third after two singles and then scored on a walk to Joe Muich.

"The bullpen was a little thin and I had been joking around with Scott [Aldred, the RiverDogs pitching coach]," Roth commented on his extraordinary game. "He told me tonight might be the night. I knew I was gonna' throw strikes, but I was a little nervous until I finally settled in."

It was an amazing story, the type of story that a fan in attendance can tell their grandchildren in twenty years. Everyone who stayed all five hours will always remember the name Tony Roth. But who else will?

With the RiverDogs slumping, losing all eight games of their latest road trip, there has been little to write home about. But Roth has been one of the few positives during the R-Dogs struggles. He has slowly earned playing time due to injuries, lack of performance, and off field issues.

"It's nice to get some more playing time," the Omaha, Nabraska product said. "It's easier to get more comfortable at the plate and in the field. I just have to come in with high energy and expect to play everyday."

After joining the team in early May, Roth struggled to find playing time in the prospect-laden Charleston infield. But since his late inning heroics, he has started nine out of the past ten games (eight at 1st and one at 2nd). He had raised his average to a very respectable .273 mark until his 0-3 night on Wednesday.

"Getting more at bats has really helped," Roth told PinstripesPlus.com. "I'm able to be more comfortable and see the ball better. The more at-bats I get, the easier it is to recognize pitches and get into an easier routine."

Signed as a non-drafted free-agent in 2005, Roth batted .270 in just 74 at-bats. Seen as nothing more than a minor league backup by most, those who consistently watch him point to other characteristics.

"[Roth's] the kind of guy you have to root for," Charleston play-by-play broadcaster Josh Maurer commented on Roth. "He works as hard as anybody on the team. He's a scrapper in the way that he works counts by fouling off pitches and putting the ball in play."

"[Tony's] a character all right," teammate Eric Wordekemper commented on Roth, with whom he played with at Creighton as well. "He's a great guy to have on a team because he keeps things loose. He's a free-spirited guy who loves to play the game, and puts a lot of passion into doing it."

As a sophomore at Crieghton, Roth was struck in the face with a fastball at the plate. The result was a shattered left cheekbone and the floor of his left-eye socket. Initially there was concern that he would suffer vision loss, but he returned later that season and hit even better than he had before the injury.

In his junior year, he hit .356 and earned Third-Team All-American recognition. Yet Roth went un-drafted in his last two years at Creighton, and has now found himself in the Yankees' organization.

"Not getting drafted was a disappointment," Roth explained. "I had some injuries during college that definitely affected that. I'm just thankful that the Yankees are giving me an opportunity to play baseball. I see it as we're all in the same boat, so everyone has the same opportunity."

For now he'll bide his time, take advantage of his opportunities, and if called upon, throw an inning or two.

_____________________________________________________

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\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)
\r\n
\r\nThen, in the bottom of the 18th, Roth led off with a single on a line drive to center. He got to third after two singles and then scored on a walk to Joe Muich.
\r\n
\r\n\"The bullpen was a little thin and I had been joking around with Scott [Aldred, the RiverDogs pitching coach],\" Roth commented on his extraordinary game. \"He told me tonight might be the night. I knew I was gonna' throw strikes, but I was a little nervous until I finally settled in.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt was an amazing story, the type of story that a fan in attendance can tell their grandchildren in twenty years. Everyone who stayed all five hours will always remember the name Tony Roth. But who else will?
\r\n
\r\nWith the RiverDogs slumping, losing all eight games of their latest road trip, there has been little to write home about. But Roth has been one of the few positives during the R-Dogs struggles. He has slowly earned playing time due to injuries, lack of performance, and off field issues.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's nice to get some more playing time,\" the Omaha, Nabraska product said. \"It's easier to get more comfortable at the plate and in the field. I just have to come in with high energy and expect to play everyday.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter joining the team in early May, Roth struggled to find playing time in the prospect-laden Charleston infield. But since his late inning heroics, he has started nine out of the past ten games (eight at 1st and one at 2nd). He had raised his average to a very respectable .273 mark until his 0-3 night on Wednesday.
\r\n
\r\n\"Getting more at bats has really helped,\" Roth told PinstripesPlus.com. \"I'm able to be more comfortable and see the ball better. The more at-bats I get, the easier it is to recognize pitches and get into an easier routine.\"
\r\n
\r\nSigned as a non-drafted free-agent in 2005, Roth batted .270 in just 74 at-bats. Seen as nothing more than a minor league backup by most, those who consistently watch him point to other characteristics.
\r\n
\r\n\"[Roth's] the kind of guy you have to root for,\" Charleston play-by-play broadcaster Josh Maurer commented on Roth. \"He works as hard as anybody on the team. He's a scrapper in the way that he works counts by fouling off pitches and putting the ball in play.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"[Tony's] a character all right,\" teammate Eric Wordekemper commented on Roth, with whom he played with at Creighton as well. \"He's a great guy to have on a team because he keeps things loose. He's a free-spirited guy who loves to play the game, and puts a lot of passion into doing it.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs a sophomore at Crieghton, Roth was struck in the face with a fastball at the plate. The result was a shattered left cheekbone and the floor of his left-eye socket. Initially there was concern that he would suffer vision loss, but he returned later that season and hit even better than he had before the injury.
\r\n
\r\nIn his junior year, he hit .356 and earned Third-Team All-American recognition. Yet Roth went un-drafted in his last two years at Creighton, and has now found himself in the Yankees' organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"Not getting drafted was a disappointment,\" Roth explained. \"I had some injuries during college that definitely affected that. I'm just thankful that the Yankees are giving me an opportunity to play baseball. I see it as we're all in the same boat, so everyone has the same opportunity.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor now he'll bide his time, take advantage of his opportunities, and if called upon, throw an inning or two.
\r\n
\r\n_____________________________________________________
\r\n
\r\nSubscribe to PinstripesPlus.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on PinstripesPlus.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
\r\n
\r\nSample the PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.
","mobileBody":" \r\n\r\n(FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT)
\r\n
\r\nThen, in the bottom of the 18th, Roth led off with a single on a line drive to center. He got to third after two singles and then scored on a walk to Joe Muich.
\r\n
\r\n\"The bullpen was a little thin and I had been joking around with Scott [Aldred, the RiverDogs pitching coach],\" Roth commented on his extraordinary game. \"He told me tonight might be the night. I knew I was gonna' throw strikes, but I was a little nervous until I finally settled in.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt was an amazing story, the type of story that a fan in attendance can tell their grandchildren in twenty years. Everyone who stayed all five hours will always remember the name Tony Roth. But who else will?
\r\n
\r\nWith the RiverDogs slumping, losing all eight games of their latest road trip, there has been little to write home about. But Roth has been one of the few positives during the R-Dogs struggles. He has slowly earned playing time due to injuries, lack of performance, and off field issues.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's nice to get some more playing time,\" the Omaha, Nabraska product said. \"It's easier to get more comfortable at the plate and in the field. I just have to come in with high energy and expect to play everyday.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter joining the team in early May, Roth struggled to find playing time in the prospect-laden Charleston infield. But since his late inning heroics, he has started nine out of the past ten games (eight at 1st and one at 2nd). He had raised his average to a very respectable .273 mark until his 0-3 night on Wednesday.
\r\n
\r\n\"Getting more at bats has really helped,\" Roth told PinstripesPlus.com. \"I'm able to be more comfortable and see the ball better. The more at-bats I get, the easier it is to recognize pitches and get into an easier routine.\"
\r\n
\r\nSigned as a non-drafted free-agent in 2005, Roth batted .270 in just 74 at-bats. Seen as nothing more than a minor league backup by most, those who consistently watch him point to other characteristics.
\r\n
\r\n\"[Roth's] the kind of guy you have to root for,\" Charleston play-by-play broadcaster Josh Maurer commented on Roth. \"He works as hard as anybody on the team. He's a scrapper in the way that he works counts by fouling off pitches and putting the ball in play.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"[Tony's] a character all right,\" teammate Eric Wordekemper commented on Roth, with whom he played with at Creighton as well. \"He's a great guy to have on a team because he keeps things loose. He's a free-spirited guy who loves to play the game, and puts a lot of passion into doing it.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs a sophomore at Crieghton, Roth was struck in the face with a fastball at the plate. The result was a shattered left cheekbone and the floor of his left-eye socket. Initially there was concern that he would suffer vision loss, but he returned later that season and hit even better than he had before the injury.
\r\n
\r\nIn his junior year, he hit .356 and earned Third-Team All-American recognition. Yet Roth went un-drafted in his last two years at Creighton, and has now found himself in the Yankees' organization.
\r\n
\r\n\"Not getting drafted was a disappointment,\" Roth explained. \"I had some injuries during college that definitely affected that. I'm just thankful that the Yankees are giving me an opportunity to play baseball. I see it as we're all in the same boat, so everyone has the same opportunity.\"
\r\n
\r\nFor now he'll bide his time, take advantage of his opportunities, and if called upon, throw an inning or two.
\r\n
\r\n_____________________________________________________
\r\n
\r\nSubscribe to PinstripesPlus.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on PinstripesPlus.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
\r\n
\r\nSample the PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual PinstripesPlus.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.
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