No one, apparently, has ever pronounced his last name correctly on the first try. Ever.
“I want to say no,” the guy said.
OK, so here’s your shot.
The Curve’s opening-day starter for tonight’s game is Carmen Mlodzinski, a 23-year-old right-hander from South Carolina who throws in the upper 90s.
Rather than even trying to pronounce his last name, one Little League announcer just made up a name years ago.
“My dad will laugh at me for sharing this,” the pitcher said, “but I can remember growing up in Little League, and one of the announcers tried to say it like three times. Messed it up three times. And then converted to calling me ‘Waldo.’
“So that was my nickname when I was like 10, 11, 12 … He tried (my name) three times and just went ‘Carmen Waldo.’”
Alright, so how does one pronounce Mlodzinski?
Here goes: Ma-jin-ski.
Anybody out there get it right?
Strange name aside, here’s what else you can call Carmen Waldo … err … Mlodzinski: A big-time prospect in the Pirates’ system.
He was a first-round pick (No. 31 overall) in the 2020 draft out of the University of South Carolina. He’s rated the Pirates’ No. 14 prospect by MLB.com and will be making his Double-A debut tonight.
Mlodzinski made his pro debut last season and went 2-3 with a 3.93 ERA in 14 starts for high-A Greensboro. He struck out 64 in 50• innings. He also made one relief appearance for Triple-A Indianapolis when that club was short-handed, plus he pitched in the Arizona Fall League.
“It’ll be fun,” he said of the first opening-day start of his brief pro career. “We’ve got probably 10 other pitchers who could do it as well, it just happened to be me. I think this whole team and pitching staff is excited for opening day.”
Who’s on the team?
The Pirates finally released a Curve roster Thursday … kind of, but not really. What was released, according to the Curve, is an initial list of 31 players that is “not to be interpreted as an opening-day roster.”
An actual opening-day roster will have to wait until today, therefore, since it actually is opening day.
Here are the 31 players on the list released Thursday:
Pitchers (16): Quinn Priester, Carmen Mlodzinski, Omar Cruz, Noe Toribio, Travis MacGregor, Mike Burrows, Tahnaj Thomas, JC Flowers, Bear Bellomy, Oliver Garcia, Enmanuel Mejia, Luis Ortiz, Austin Roberts, Colin Selby, Kyle Nicolas and Zach Matson
Catchers (3): Carter Bins, Blake Sabol, Dylan Shockley
Infielders (7): Nick Gonzales, Liover Peguero, Andres Alvarez, Aaron Shackelford, Jared Triolo, Will Matthiessen and Tucupita Marcano
Outfielders (5): Matt Fraizer, Jack Suwinski, Daniel Amaral, Lolo Sanchez and Connor Scott