MODESTO — We always talk about the polar opposite ballparks of the California League when Modesto and High Desert meet, simply because its a matter of fact. Because of altitude and the prevailing wind, High Desert has the most homer-friendly park in all of professional baseball. And Modesto, well, Modesto does not. So the Mavericks starting pitchers can be forgiven for looking ahead to see if their spot in the rotation is fortunate enough to come up when the team visits Thurman Field. Imagine getting a chance to pitch in a ballpark where every decently hit flyball isnt a home run. But Trevor Miller really wanted to pitch in Modesto. Its almost a home game for the graduate of Bret Harte High School, drafted in 2011 out of San Joaquin Delta College. Unfortunately I dont get to pitch here, said Miller, who was the starter for the Mavericks on Wednesday at home against Lake Elsinore, getting the win with six solid innings. The 6-feet, 3-inch, 190-pound righty is 2-5 with a 5.83 ERA this season for High Desert, which entered Fridays game in Modesto with a 5.15 ERA, second-worst in the Cal League. The seasons going alright for me after starting off a little rocky, Miller said. Things have been improving the last couple weeks, so Im happy with that. My control is getting back to where it needs to be. And he wanted that Thurman Field start, for more of a reason than just getting a chance to throw in front of family and friends. Pitching at home is pretty tough, Miller said. The ball doesnt go anywhere in this ballpark, not like our park. Miller said he played multiple sports growing up, but after playing basketball as a freshman at Bret Harte he decided to concentrate on baseball, and played shortstop for the Bullfrogs when not pitching. He was rewarded his senior season by being named MVP of the Mother Lode League and was a small-school all-state selection. So how many guys out of Bret Harte have made it to professional baseball? Im pretty sure just me, Miller said.
NUTS MOVES - Centerfielder Kyle Von Tungeln joined the Modesto roster from Low-A Asheville on Friday and was immediately inserted into the lineup in the leadoff spot. Hes the third Modesto player to make his home debut in the last two nights, following Thursdays starting and losing pitcher Eddie Butler and new outfielder Jared Simon. Von Tungelns move forced Juan Crousset to the inactive list. More roster moves will have to be made soon, with infielder Taylor Featherston and outfielder Tyler Humphries both close to coming off the disabled list. The stay of first baseman Jordan Ribera on the DL will be extended. Ribera has been diagnosed with a broken hamate bone and will have surgery to remove the bone. Such procedures usually are followed by a minimum of four weeks on the DL.