Trade Dealine: Downs, Hart headline Bluegrass rumors

Major League Baseball

Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

With just six days left until the July 31 MLB  non-waiver trade deadline rumors should be flying around the baseball world this week. Check out some updates on Kentucky players you might hear mention in trade talks and other links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • John Lott of the National Post in Canada profiles Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs, who says he wants to stay in Toronto despite rampant rumors that he will be traded this week.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI Radio in Boston reports the Blue Jays are seeking an elite prospect for Downs.
  • Jason Stark of ESPN.com reports sources tell him the Blue Jays are simply fanning the fires on Downs rumors for now and won’t get serious about trade talks until the weekend.
  • John Heyman of Sports Illustrated runs down the buyers in the trade market and outlines which teams might be possible landing destinations for Downs and Bowling Green native Corey Hart.
  • Buster Olney of ESPN.com quotes a rival executive as saying Hart will need to play before the deadline after recently injuring his wrist if the Brewers plan to trade him.
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MiLB Roundup: Bats win; Legends, Hot Rods lose; Nidiffer homers; Adcock, Chowning, Sowers pick up wins

Minor League Baseball

Nathan Adcock; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

Highlights from Sunday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats pounded out 11 hits behind recently demoted Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Micah Owings en route to an 8-3 win over Gwinnet. Owings surrendered just one run on one hit in three innings, and shortstop Zack Cozart, third baseman Juan Francisco, right fielder Daniel Dorn and catcher Corky Miller each homered for Louisville.
  • The Lexington Legends tallied seven hits but couldn’t score a run in a 3-0 loss to Savannah. Right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue took the loss despite surrendering just two runs in six innings and striking out six batters.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods pitching was no match for the Cedar Rapids offense in a 7-2 loss to the Kernels. Third baseman Julio Cedeno was 2-4 with a run scored for the Hot Rods.
  • Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his eighth home run of the season, drove in three runs and scored twice for rookie-level Greeneville.
  • Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock earned his eighth win of the season after holding Dunedin scoreless for six innings on just two hits for high A Bradenton.
  • Louisville native and 2010 Astros draftee Jason Chowning picked up his first professional win with three scoreless innings of relief for short-season Tri-City.
  • Boyd County High School alum and 2010 Royals NDFA Tyler Gatrell earned his eighth save of the season for the rookie-level AZL Royals and still hasn’t surrendered an earned run in his professional career over 13 and one-third innings.
  • Former UK outfielder Antone DeJesus was 3-4 with a walk, run scored and one RBI for AA Springfield.
  • Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 3-4 with a double, run scored and RBI for low A Augusta.
  • Former EKU infielder Neil Sellers was 3-4 with a double and two RBI for AAA Lehigh Valley.
  • Ballard High School alum Jeremy Sowers earned just his second win of the season for AAA Columbus with two scoreless innings of relief Sunday.
  • Paducah native and 2010 Rangers draftee Jonathan Roof was 2-5 with three RBI and one run scored for low A Hickory.

MiLB Action: Bats, Legends, Hot Rods win; Dominguez, Cowgill, Ray, Wunderlich, Conner homer; Royse shines

Minor League Baseball

Chris Dominguez; UofL Photo

Highlights from Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats recorded a 3-2 win over Gwinnet behind right-handed pitcher Matt Maloney, who surrendered just two runs in six and two-third innings. First baseman Todd Frazier was 2-3 with a run scored.
  • The Lexington Legends scored three runs in the bottom of the tenth inning to earn a come-from-behind 9-8 win over Savannah. Second baseman Jose Altuve was 4-5 with a run scored, and left fielder Jacob Goebbert drove home the winning run with a single.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods held off a late Cedar Rapids rally to earn a 5-3 win. Third baseman Bennett Davis was 2-3 with a run scored and two RBI.
  • Former UofL infielder Chris Dominguez was 3-4 with a home run, five RBI and two runs scored for low A Augusta.
  • Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 White Sox drafteeThomas Royse took a no decision despite surrendering just one run on two hits in six innings for rookie-level Great Falls. Royse struck out six and walked none.
  • Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 2-4 with his eleventh home run of the season, one RBI and one run scored for AA Mobile.
  • Former UK outfielder and 2010 Twins draftee Lance Ray slugged his second home run of the season for low A Beloit.
  • Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich slugged his third professional home run for short-season Hudson Valley.
  • Former WKU catcher Jordan Newton slugged his first home run of the season since returning to affiliated ball with high A Bradenton.
  • Former Campbellsville catcher and 2010 Diamondbacks NDFA Richie Rowland was 3-4 with a double, walk and two RBI for rookie-level Missoula.
  • Frankfort native and 2010 Royals draftee Cameron Conner slugged his first professional home run for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
  • Danville native and 2010 Tigers draftee Patrick Cooper took a no decision after surrendering four runs in six innings for short-season Connecticut.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Legends win; Hot Rods lose; Rusin, Holland, Ellis Win; Shaffer, Townsend homer

Minor League Baseball
Chris Rusin; Photo by UK Athletics

Chris Rusin; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Thursday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats slugged four home runs en route to an 11-7 win over Charlotte. First baseman Yonder Alonso, designated hitter Juan Francisco, outfielder Chris Dickerson and outfielder Wladimir Balentein each homered for the Bats.
  • Lexington Legends closer Kirk Clark set the new Legends career and single-season saves record with his 22nd save in a 3-2 win over Rome. Right-handed pitcher Jose Cisnero earned the win after surrendering two runs in six innings.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods couldn’t over come and early 5-1 deficit after two innings in a 8-7 loss to Quad Cities. First baseman Ryan Wiegand and right fielder Gabe Cohen each homered for the Hot Rods.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin earned his fourth win of the season for high A Daytona after surrendering three runs in six innings. Rusin struck out six and walked none.
  • Former UK right-handed pitcher Zach Dials was promoted to AA Harrisburg where he surrendered one run in two-thirds of an inning in his debut.
  • Former UofL right-handed pitcher and 2010 Nationals draftee Neil Holland earned his second win of the season with three scoreless innings for short-season Vermont.
  • Former UofL infielder and 2010 Rays draftee Phil Wunderlich was 3-5 with two doubles and a run scored for short-season Hudson Valley.
  • Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar was 2-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored for low A Greensboro.
  • Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer homered for the second consecutive game and drove in three runs for high A High Desert.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere scored three times, tallied two hits and stole a base for AA New Britain.
  • London native Jon Townsend slugged his fifth home run of the season, drove in two runs and scored twice for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
  • Lexington native Josh Ellis picked up his second win of the season after two scoreless innings of relief for AA Mobile.

Paxton stands to lose big from attempted return to UK; Clark breaks Legends save record; Williams staying at UofL

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

Latest links and notes from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jim Callis of Baseball America has released his annual chart comparing MLB slot recommendations for signing bonuses to drafted players and their actual signing bonuses. No 2010 Kentucky draftee has signed for over-slot as of yet, though Louisville native Zack Cox figures to buck that trend if he signs with the St. Louis Cardinals as the team’s first-round pick.
  • One interesting note from the chart: Former University of Kentucky left-handed pitcher James Paxton would have signed for $873,000 if he had agreed to a slot-value deal with the Blue Jays as the 37th pick in the draft in 2009. Now, after trying to return to UK only to end up in an independent league after an NCAA investigation into his amateur status, if he signs for slot-value as a fourth round pick in 2010 (which is a big if) he stands to get a $209,700 bonus. That means he could lose around $663,300 by trying to come back to UK for his senior season.
  • Jared Macarin of the Mobile Press-Register profiles former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill, who has “weathered the heat of Mobile to become model of consistency for the BayBears.”
  • Lexington Legends closer Kirk Clark, a 2010 South Atlantic League All-Star, set the new Legends’ career and single-season saves mark with his 22nd save Thursday night. Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles the 2009 non-drafted free agent, who told Maloney, the record “feels amazing to actually go out there, compete and accomplish something.”
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal writes now that Louisville Bats third baseman Juan Francisco is healthy he has found his stroke at the plate.
  • Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com reports University of Louisville pitching coach Roger Williams will stay with the Cards after considering taking the same job at the University of South Carolina.

MiLB Roundup: Bats, Legends, Hot Rods lose; Marks loses despite strong effort; Darnell debuts; Shaffer has big night

Minor League Baseball

Logan Darnell; UK Athletics wallpaper

Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats tallied just four hits in a 2-1 loss to Charlotte. Left-handed pitcher Ben Jukich surrendered just one unearned run in five innings and struck out eight while walking four.
  • Just one Lexington Legends pitcher didn’t surrender a run in a 9-5 loss to Rome. Right-handed pitcher Juan Minaya took the loss after surrendering six runs in four and two-third innings.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods tallied eight hits but couldn’t score a run in a 10-0 shutout loss to Quad Cities. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates suffered through his worse start of the season after surrendering eight runs in four and two-third innings for the Hot Rods.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Dean Kiekhefer recorded two shutout innings for Quad Cities and struck out five Hot Rods.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took the loss for low A Cane County despite surrendering just two runs in seven innings. Marks struck out six and walked one.
  • Former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer was a single shy of the cycle for high A High Desert. Shaffer finished the game 3-4 with a double, triple, home run, three RBI and one run scored.
  • Former UK infielder Andy Green was 3-4 with two doubles and two runs scored for AAA Buffalo.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher and 2010 Twins draftee Logan Darnell made his professional debut by retiring two of the three batters he faced for rookie-level Elizabethton.
  • Former UofL outfielder and 2010 Rangers draftee Josh Richmond slugged his first professional home run for short-season Spokane.
  • Former WKU infielder Terrence Dayleg was 3-4 with a double and two RBI for low A Greensboro.
  • Former EKU infielder Neil Sellers was 2-2 with two walks and three runs scored for AAA Lehigh Valley.
  • Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe fell to 6-11 on the season after surrendering five runs in five innings for AAA Colorado Springs.
  • Paducah native Daniel Webb fell to 0-3 for short-season Auburn after surrendering five runs in three innings in his seventh professional start.

Wright, Zych, Kapteyn, Self named Cape Cod All-Stars

College Baseball

Chad Wright; Photo: UK Athletics

University of Kentucky outfielder Chad Wright has been named a starter for the West Division All-Star team in the Cape Cod League and will be joined in the game by three other Kentucky reserves. UK right-handed pitcher Braden Kapteyn and University of Louisville right-handed pitcher Derek Self will pitch out of the East Division bullpen. UofL right-handed pitcher Tony Zych serve as a West Division reliever. Wright, who is playing for the Cotuit Kettleers this summer, ranks seventh in the league with a .292 batting average.

Wright, a rising junior, has scored 11 times for Cotuit, driven in five runs and stolen six bases. Zych, who is playing for the Bourne Braves this summer, will join Wright on the West Division roster as one of the team’s top relievers. On the Cape season, Zych, a rising junior, has not allowed a run in 15 and one-third innings and has recorded nine saves for Bourne. He has struck out 22 batters and walked just three. Zych’s nine saves lead the Cape Cod League.

Self, pitching for the Chatham Anglers, is 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in six games, including five starts. The UofL rising redshirt junior has struck out 13 and walked three over 36 innings. Self will be joined in the East bullpen by UK rising junior Braden Kapteyn, who is 2-1 with a 0.81 ERA over 12 relief appearances for the Harwich Mariners. Kapteyn has struck out 21 and walked nine in 22 and one-third innings pitched. A two-way player at UK, Kapteyn has three hits in 17 at-bats for Harwich. The Cape Cod League All-Star game will be played July 28 at Fenway Park. (East Roster) (West Roster)

Report: Andy Burns transferring to Arizona

College Baseball

Andy Burns; UK photo

Brewster Whitecaps broadcaster Fred Katz reports via Twitter that former University of Kentucky sophomore infielder Andy Burns is transferring to Arizona. Burns, who is currently playing for the Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League, came to UK as one of the highest ranked high school hitting prospects to ever sign with the program. Last week BluGrass Baseball confirmed that Burns was transferring from UK with a statement from head coach Gary Henderson who said after the season “both parties decided to go in another direction.”

On Monday Brewster General Manager Ned Monthie told BluGrass Baseball that Burns “wants to concentrate on the present season and won’t make any statements at this time.” Under NCAA transfer rules, if Burns attends Arizona he will have to sit out one season.

Draft Update: 18 Kentucky draftees have yet to sign

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

Zack Cox; University of Arkansas photo

We’re just over three weeks from the Aug. 16 deadline for Major League teams to sign their non-college senior draft picks, so I thought we’d look at the remaining Kentucky draftees who have yet to sign. Remember over-slot deals aren’t announced until the deadline so some of these players may have agreed to deals that haven’t been announced yet:

  • 3B — Zack Cox — Louisville (University of Arkansas) — 1st Round — St. Louis Cardinals
  • LHP — James Paxton — University of Kentucky (Ind. League) — 4th Round — Seattle Mariners
  • RHP — Blake Perry — Danville (Pendleton Academy, Fla.) — 6th Round — Arizona Diamondbacks
  • RHP — Dace Kime — Ohio HS (University of Louisville Signee) — 8th Round — Pittsburgh Pirates
  • LHP — Joel Bender — Ohio HS (UofL Signee) — 27th Round — Cincinnati Reds
  • SS — Taylor Black — University of Kentucky — 28th Round — St. Louis Cardinals
  • OF — Stewart Ijames — UofL — 29th Round — New York Yankees
  • RHP — Justin Hageman — Hopkinsville High School — 32nd Round — Kansas City Royals
  • SS — J. T. Riddle — Western Hills High School — 35th Round — Boston Red Sox
  • RHP — Rye Davis — Western Kentucky University — 36th Round — Cleveland Indians
  • RHP — Chad Green — Illinois HS (UofL Signee) — 37th Round — Toronto Blue Jays
  • OF — Lucas Witt — Lexington Christian Academy — 38th Round — Los Angeles Dodgers
  • RHP — Casey Lucchese — Lexington (College of Charleston) — 39th Round — Chicago Cubs
  • LHP — Corey Littrell — Louisville Trinity — 42nd Round — Washington Nationals
  • LHP — David Middendorf — Northern Kentucky University — 44th Round — New York Yankees
  • OF — Ronald Cotton — Boone County High School — 45th Round — Chicago White Sox
  • INF — Matt Reida — Indiana HS (UK Signee) — 47th Round — Chicago White Sox
  • C — Matt Rice — WKU — 50th Round — New York Yankees

Rice has already gone on record with his intentions to return to WKU for his senior season, but the final destinations for the other players are at least relatively uncertain. It’s probably safe to assume most of the high schoolers drafted in the later rounds will follow through on their college commitments, barring a team paying way over the slot recommendation to sign them.

MiLB Roundup: Bats win behind Klinker; Legends win; Shelby, Nidiffer, Townsend homer; Revesz wins

Minor League Baseball

John Shelby; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Tuesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker picked up his fourth win of the season for the Louisville Bats in the team’s 8-4 victory over Charlotte. Center fielder Michael Griffin was 2-2 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored.
  • Lexington Legends right-handed pitcher Tanner Bushue scattered three hits in seven shutout innings to lead the Legends to a 3-1 win over Rome. Bushue struck out five and walked just one in the game to earn his fifth win of the season.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods were off Tuesday.
  • Former UK outfielder John Shelby slugged his seventh home run of the season for AA Birmingham and was 2-3 with one RBI and two runs scored.
  • London native Jon Townsend slugged his fourth home run of the season, drove in four runs, tallied two hits and scored twice for high A Rancho Cucamonga.
  • Former UK catcher and 2010 Astros NDFA Marcus Nidiffer slugged his seventh home run in just 26 professional games for rookie-level Greeneville.
  • Former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 3-4 with a double, triple, one RBI and two runs scored for AA Mobile.
  • Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was 3-4 with a double, three RBI and one run scored for AA Erie.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 Cardinals draftee Bob Revesz pick up his first professional win with a scoreless inning and one-third for rookie-level Johnson City.
  • Former UofL outfielder Boomer Whiting scored three times for AAA Syracuse and was 2-4 with a stolen base.
  • Former WKU infielder and 2010 Phillies draftee Matt Payton scored three times and was 2-4 with two walks and a stolen base for the rookie-level GCL Phillies.
  • Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock took the loss for high A Bradenton despite allowing just three runs in six innings. He struck out six and walked just one.