RENO -- After Aces third baseman Matt Davidson picked up Futures Game MVP honors at New York's Citi Field and then turned right around and won the 2013 Triple-A Home Run Derby, Oklahoma City pitcher Jarred Cosart is looking to show that he too can dominate on the biggest stage and then cap it with a victory at Aces Ballpark.
Cosart made his Major League debut with the Astros last Friday and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in front of his entire family, who went to Tampa Bay to witness his triumph. For his next performance, Cosart takes the mound as the starter for the Pacific Coast League in the 2013 All-Star Game at 9:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV.
"It's been a little bit of a whirlwind the last week," said Cosart, echoing Davidson on Monday night. "But I'm here now and ready to go tomorrow, and hopefully I'll get a win for the PCL.
"I couldn't have scripted it better for a movie. I'm thankful to God and everybody who's been there with me for the entire ride. I wouldn't want it any other way. My hometown team, my whole family got to be there. It's like a dream come true."
Rather than being disappointed with a trip back to the Minors after such a dominating win in a big league game, Cosart is treating the start as an extraspecial way to keep in rhythm. His next scheduled start would be Wednesday anyway, and the honor of an All-Star nod is not lost on the 23-year-old prospect.
"I'm hoping to keep the momentum going," said Cosart (7-4, 3.29 ERA). "I told them I'd do whatever they need me to do, go down and work on whatever they wanted. They said to just keep throwing, keep on my schedule, get some innings. I don't know when I'll get back up there. It would be nice to get there on the 23rd when my next start is supposed to be, but we'll see what happens.
"It's still a great honor. There's a lot of good players here and players who will play in the Major Leagues. I'm just going to ride the wave and go with it, put up a scoreless inning or two tomorrow and get our team a win."
The International League taps Louisville hurler Greg Reynolds to tame the PCL bats. The dream of shining in front of family will come true for Reynolds as well.
"Absolutely an honor," said Reynolds. "Just special to be here. But to hear you're starting the game is something special for me and even more special because I'm from the Bay Area and all my family will be able to make it out here to watch the game. Definitely a very memorable moment in my baseball career and I'm looking forward to it."
Reynolds is 10-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 19 games for the Bats this season, one that he feels has been somewhat transitional as he added a new pitch to his repetoire.
"It was a cutter. Sinker, cutter, curveball, change-up now. Just kind of becoming more of a pitcher, rather than just relying on pure stuff to try to beat guys. It's been a transition. It's taken a while. I think it's starting to come around now."
Even if Cosart or Reynolds is hurling no-hit ball Wednesday, don't expect to see either of them for more than a couple innings. In the All-Star Game, the entire roster can expect to see some action, and with so much talent in both dugouts and bullpens, anybody could end up being the game's hero.
"I've got a solid group of guys," said Aces and PCL manager Brett Butler, who appeared as a player for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1991 Major League All-Star Game. "I mean you've got the guys who were elected and are going to play five (innings), but then you've got the reserves, who are just as good as the guys who got elected. They just didn't get the votes. I'll try to get everybody in. I'm really looking forward to it and I know they are."
That also means a great deal of unfamiliarity, particularly for the catchers, who will end up handling every pitch and being a part of every play.
"That's the excitement about it," said Fresno catcher Johnny Monell. "Just being able to catch these guys, who are top guys from their organizations and having good years. They're here for a reason. Some of these guys I know. I've seen them, played against them. Most of them have electric stuff, so it's going to be fun catching them."
Monell has only caught one pitcher on his PCL staff, Oklahoma City's Jason Stoffel, who played with Monell in Class A Advanced San Jose in the California League in 2010. Still, he's familiar with at least one name on the IL roster: Louisville's Billy Hamilton.
"We're going to try to keep him off the basepaths, but I hear that's hard to do in the IL. It's going to be a challenge and I like that. I don't want him to get on base, but at the same time, I want him to try to run on me and see if I can throw him out and be one of those guys who can."
When asked about the IL lineup, Cosart said, "I know a little bit. Don't let Hamilton get on base."
Hamilton, who has 52 stolen bases this season, has his own ideas about the way the game should proceed.
"My plan is to get on base, play the game and have fun. You know, second base is my main key. Start the game off, if I can get to second base, let these guys drive me in and get an RBI. That's the plan for tomorrow."
Not a big secret that Hamilton expects to run, of course, but he still planned on talking things over with the IL's No. 2 and 3 hitters, Buffalo's Jim Negrych and Rochester's Chris Colabello.
"I'll tell them 'It's the All-Star Game'", said Hamilton. "If I run, they can hit the ball. It doesn't matter. It's the All-Star Game, so everybody wants to show their talents. It's not all about me, so it doesn't matter if I'm stealing and they swing. I'm going to be alright with it."
Albuquerque's Nick Buss, who will lead off for the PCL, said his Reno experience has been fun as the teams completed their Tuesday workouts. In fact, there were a lot of smiles all around the field as players prepared for the midsummer classic.
"I'm just going to go out there and have some fun," said Reynolds. "I think that's the mind-set of most of the guys around here."
Still, everybody in uniform has something else in mind too.
"Win," said Butler. "Home-field advantage in the playoffs is a big thing. We got it last year and we're going to try to do it again this year."
Beatbox: Colorado Springs' Ryan Wheeler performed what is believed to be the first Instagram video of a baseball beatbox performance in the tunnel to the home dugout at Aces Ballpark.
Roster change: The Pacific Coast League lineup card is short one name as Round Rock Express pitcher Brad Mills requested his release in order to pursue an opportunity overseas. Mills arrived in Reno on Tuesday, but left after a short visit to Aces Ballpark. Mills was the PCL's starting pitcher in the 2011 All-Star Game in Salt Lake City.
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jim Negrych (2B)
3. Chris Colabello (1B)
4. Vince Belnome (3B)
5. Mauro Gomez (DH)
6. Zach Walters (SS)
7. Jason Pridie (LF)
8. Tony Sanchez (C)
9. Thomas Neal (RF)
P Greg Reynolds
Pacific Coast League
1. Nick Buss (LF)
2. Chris Owings (SS)
3. Brett Pill (DH)
4. Brock Peterson (1B)
5. Matt Davidson (3B)
6. Michael Choice (CF)
7. Yangervis Solarte (2B)
8. Johnny Monell (C)
9. Joey Butler (RF)
P Jarred Cosart