PCL notes: Federowicz starts fresh

'Topes catcher makes positive impression in Triple-A debut


By Chris Jackson / Special to MLB.com | August 22, 2011 6:58 AM

Fair or not, catcher Tim Federowicz finds himself under some extra pressure after being traded.

Los Angeles Dodgers fans were almost uniform in their dislike of the three-team trade that sent outfield prospect Trayvon Robinson to Seattle and brought Federowicz and two pitchers to the Dodgers organization.

The stated intent by Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti was to acquire a catching prospect, something Los Angeles lacked in its farm system. Federowicz said he understands the frustration of Dodgers fans.

"Yeah, they gave up Trayvon -- he's a great player and now he's in the big leagues, doing his thing up there," Federowicz said. "That's tough to lose.

"I guess there is a little bit of pressure to show fans what I've got. But I think it'll eventually work out the way the Dodgers want it to."

So far with the Albuquerque Isotopes, Federowicz has shown the defensive skills that put him on the prospect map while also turning it on offensively. He's hit .327 (17-for-52) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his first 15 Triple-A games.

"They like to pitch backwards up here," Federowicz said. "You don't see quite the fastballs you would at Double-A. I think their command is a little better up here. That's going to be the biggest adjustment for me. I'm used to seeing fastballs, and I don't see them anymore."

Dodgers director of player development DeJon Watson had the opportunity to see Federowicz play in Albuquerque during the Isotopes' last homestand Aug. 3-10.

"It's a pretty small sample size," Watson said. "You're still trying to get a good feel for the player. He's doing some good things. He's generating good bat speed. His defense has been good. I think there's still some things for the coaches on this team to work on with him."

Fellow catcher A.J. Ellis has been impressed with Federowicz's work ethic.

"From the very first inning he caught, you could tell he's an outstanding defensive catcher," Ellis said. "He can flat-out catch. It's pretty impressive to see a guy come in and put forth the effort he has to learn pitchers on this team and not change who he is."

Watson noticed that as well.

"Fed has shown he's willing to put in the work," Watson said. "He's usually one of the first guys here, he's one of the last guys to leave. He seems to be trying to grasp as much information as he can to help the pitchers have the best chance to be successful. It's been good to see."

Federowicz said he just wants to soak in everything he can to prepare for the Majors.

"You can definitely feel the difference in levels as far as competition and just the overall aura around the clubhouse," he said. "There's a lot of big league guys here. That's good -- you get to feed off them, see how they act, see how you're supposed to act."

In brief

Web gem and then some: Nashville turned a triple play against Omaha on Saturday night in a most unlikely fashion. With runners on first and second, Clint Robinson hit a flyball to center field that Logan Schafer jumped to catch. The ball bounced off the tip of his glove, then off his head before finally landed in his glove. Both runners strayed too far from their bases and were forced out to end the third inning as the Sounds went on to win, 4-1.

Back in action: Former National League Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan played in his first game since June 16 on Saturday night for New Orleans. Activated from the disabled list and assigned by the Marlins to Triple-A on Friday, Coghlan went 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. It was not enough, however, as first-place Round Rock rallied from a seven-run deficit to win, 10-9, and lower its magic number to five.

Showdown series: Another former Rookie of the Year, Angel Berroa, propelled first-place Reno to an 8-7 win over second-place Tacoma on Saturday. The Aces extended their lead in the Pacific North Division to 6 1/2 games thanks to Berroa's two-run double in the eighth inning, which erased a one-run deficit. The two teams continue their series through Tuesday.

Chris Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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