Phillies turn to former UK pitcher Joe Blanton in game four

Major League Baseball

Joe Blanton; UK Athletics Wallpaper

In preparation for his start tonight in game four of the NLCS an assortment of Joe Blanton links from across the Internet:

  • Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports Phillies ace Roy Halladay was willing to start in game four on short rest, but manager Charlie Manuel is sticking with Blanton.
  • Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports the Phillies’ united front on the decision hasn’t prevented plenty of speculation that Blanton shouldn’t be starting tonight outside of the clubhouse.
  • MLB.com previews Blanton’s start in a video.
  • Philadelphia Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon, a self-proclaimed Joe Blanton fan, is among those who thinks Halladay should be getting the game-four start.
  • Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Bob Ford writes the Phillies are turning to the “other one” in Blanton, who is used to stepping up for game-four playoff starts.
  • Blanton is 2-0 with a 3.89 ERA in eight postseason appearances including five starts. (Stats via Baseball-Reference.com)
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Blanton to start game four; Maile home run highlights UK pro day; Revere has another big AFL game with 2 SBs

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

UK Athletics Wallpaper

Latest links and highlights from around Kentucky baseball:

  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports Phillies manager Charlie Manuel confirmed following the team’s game-three loss that former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton would start game four of the NLCS. There had been some speculation in the media that Manuel might go with ace Roy Halladay if the team was down in the series entering game four.
  • University of Kentucky sophomore catcher Luke Maile‘s home run highlighted the team’s intrasquad scrimmage in front of MLB scouts. The UK media relations department also notes left-handed pitcher Mike Kaczmarek has been playing both ways for the Cats this fall in outfield and on the mound.
  • University of Louisville sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung surrendered one run in five innings in a no decision in the Pizza Bowl fall scrimmage series.
  • Pierce W. Huff of the Atlanta Journal Constitution profiles UK sophomore outfielder Brian Adams, who is happy to be back on the football field this fall after suffering a life-threatening ailment last fall.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 2-3 with a RBI, walk, run scored and two stolen bases for the Peoria Saguros of the Arizona Fall League.
  • Former UofL right-handed pitcher B. J. Rosenberg pitched two scoreless innings for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.
  • Mike Marsee of the Danville Advocate  Messenger reports Mercer Couny High School outfielder Matthew  Honchel has committed to Miami University in Ohio over WKU and Morehead St.

Blanton still on for game four start; UofL freshman stars in scrimmage; Ijames among top NCAA players

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post reports Phillies manager Charlie Manuel still plans to start former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton in game four, but he says the team is just taking it “day by day.”
  • One-time UK outfielder, turned second baseman Jason Kipnis blogs about his preparation for the Arizona Fall League for MLB.com.
  • University of Louisville freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson surrendered just one hit in four and two-third scoreless innings while striking out six in game three of the fall Pizza Bowl scrimmage series. Pirates eight-round pick Dace Kime surrendered five runs in four innings in his unofficial UofL debut.
  • Indiana University has released its 2011 schedule, which includes two games against UofL, one against the University of Kentucky and one against Morehead State University.
  • The College Baseball Blog is running down the top 100 players in college baseball in advance of the 2011 season and recently ranked UofL redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames at No. 97.

UofL recruiting class ranked No. 24; Kipnis, Revere have big AFL performances; Cards pitching highlights Pizza Bowl

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball, including Friday Arizona Fall League highlights:

  • Aaron Fitt of Baseball America ranks the University of Louisville’s 2011 recruiting class No. 24 in the country. Fitt calls the University of Kentucky’s recruiting class as “sleeper” in the Southeastern Conference.
  • In his detailed breakdown of the top 25 classes, Fitt calls UofL freshman right-handed pitcher Dace Kime the key to the class. (subscription required)
  • One-time UK outfielder Jason Kipnis was 2-5 with a triple, home run, five RBI and run scored for the Peoria Javelinas of the AFL. Kipnis’ home run came off former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Henry Mabee, who surrendered five runs in two innings.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 3-4 with a triple, two RBI and run scored for the Peoria Saguaros in the game.
  • University of Louisville freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green earned the win in game one of the Pizza Bowl fall series with two and two-third scoreless innings.
  • UofL junior right-handed pitcher Travis Tingle, a transfer from Cleveland State, took a no decision in game two but surrendered just two runs on five hits in four and one-third innings while striking out six and walking none.
  • The New York Yankees earned a come-from-behind 6-5 win in game one of the ALCS over the Texas Rangers, but Lexington native Austin Kearns did not appear in the game.

Blanton named tentative game-four starter; Revere has big night in AFL; Former Legend is Indy League standout

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Ben Revere; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest highlights from Kentucky baseball in advance of tonight’s ALCS game one:

  • Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Phillies manager Charlie Manuel named former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton the team’s game-four starter, though Manuel reserved the right to change his mind depending on the situation.
  • J. J. Cooper of Baseball America reports the magazine named former Lexington Legends outfielder Beau Torbert the Independent League player of the year.
  • Cooper included former UK left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers in the “Others to Note” section of BA’s top 10 independent league prospects.
  • In the accompanying chat, Cooper touches on former UK LHP James Paxton, who Cooper predicts to sign with the Mariners this offseason.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 4-6 with a double, RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases for the Peoria Saguraos of the Arizona Fall League. Former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke struck out two in a scoreless inning for the Peoria Javelinas in the game.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox, the Cardinals’ 2010 first-round pick, doubled off former UofL right-handed pitcher B. J. Rosenberg and drove in a run for Surprise of the Arizona Fall League. Rosenberg surrendered three runs in one and two-third innings for Mesa.

Blanton’s NLCS role still uncertain; UofL to host open scrimmages; WKU outfielder excels on football field

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • The University of Louisville will host its annual five-game Pizza Bowl scrimmage series beginning at 5 p.m. today. Games are open to the public.
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal profiles Western Kentucky University outfielder Chris Bullard, who ranks second on the 0-5 Hilltoppers’ football team with 28 tackles.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has yet to name former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton as his game-four starter in the NLCS.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 1-4 with a RBI for the Peoria Saguaros in his first Arizona Fall League start.

BluGrass Baseball Record Book: On-Base Percentage

Uncategorized

Pete Browning

Last offseason we looked at the single-season and career records for a number of statistical categories from Kentucky natives. I thought I’d restart that series over the next few days while we wait for more playoff action. We’ll start with on-base percentage. Single-season record holders must qualify for batting title in that season, and career record holders must have at least 3,000 plate appearances.

Single-Season OBP

  • Pete Browning — Louisville Colonels (1887)  — .464
  • Pete Browning — Cleveland Infants (1890) — .459
  • George Harper — New York Giants (1927) — .435
  • Pete Browning — Louisville Eclipse (1882) — .430
  • Earle Combs — New York Yankees (1930) — .424

Career OBP

  • Pete Browning — .403
  • Earle Combs — .397
  • George Harper — .380
  • Don Hurst — .375
  • Bobby Veach — .370

MLB Final Four: Who are you rooting for?

Major League Baseball

Joe Blanton; UK Athletics Wallpaper

The Major League Baseball league championship series were set Tuesday evening when the Texas Rangers eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays. The New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants join the Rangers in the MLB final four, leaving Kentuckians with a mixed rooting interest. The Cincinnati Reds were the obvious choice for most Kentuckians, but their quick NLDS exist left fans unfulfilled.

The Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins and Rays also had plenty of Kentucky connections, but the remaining four teams are a mixed bag when it comes to Bluegrass State ties. If you are looking for a Kentucky rooting interest, you can probably eliminate the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants. Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton did spend 11 games with the Louisville Bats in 2007 on a rehab assignment and Louisville native Todd Wellemeyer will likely receive a playoff share from the Giants despite being released earlier this season, but neither team boasts a strong Bluegrass State connection.

Austin Kearns; Photo by Scott Ableman via Flickr

That leaves us with the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. Lexington native Austin Kearns was on the Yankees NLDS roster, but didn’t appear in the team’s three-game sweep of the Twins. Franklin-Simpson High School alum and former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton didn’t appear in the Phillies three-game sweep of the Reds but is the likely choice for the game four start in the NLCS.

Kearns is probably Kentucky’s sentimental favorite. The Lafayette High School alum was drafted by the hometown Reds and spent parts of five seasons in Cincinnati. Kearns still hasn’t appeared in a postseason game, but should get that chance in the ALCS. Blanton already played a key role with the game-four win in the Phillies 2008 World Series championship.

BluGrass Baseball’s first inclination is to support Kearns, but something just doesn’t seem right about rooting for the Yankees. We wouldn’t blame you for picking either Kearns or Blanton, but here’s hoping for a key showdown between the two one-time Lexingtonians during game four of the World Series.

Chapman, Alonso among best IL prospects; Kentucky players make AFL debuts; Zobrist, Rays eliminated

Uncategorized

Aroldis Chapman; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The league championship series are set with a few Kentucky players remaining in the playoffs. Check out some links from around Kentucky baseball while you muster through far too many days without baseball before the second round of the playoffs:

  • Former Lexington Legends infielder Ben Zobrist and the Tampa Bay Rays were eliminated in a 5-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.
  • John Wagner of Baseball America ranks Louisville Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman No. 3 and first baseman Yonder Alonso No. 12 on the magazine’s top 20 International League prospects list.
  • In the accompanying online chat, Wagner answers a number of questions about Bats players including Todd Frazier, Zack Cozart, Juan Francisco, Chris Valaika and Travis Wood. (subscription required)
  • Frazier was 2-4 with a triple, RBI and run scored for Team USA in the team’s 7-2 loss to the Dominican Republic in the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament.
  • PRP alum Zack Cox, the Cardinals’ 2010 first-round pick, was 0-5 with four strikeouts in his Arizona Fall League debut for the Surprise Rafters.
  • Former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke pitched a scoreless inning in his AFL debut for the Peoria Javelinas.
  • Atlanta Braves right-handed pitching prospect Michael Broadway, born in Paducah, surrendered one run in one inning in his AFL debut for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
  • Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco was 3-4 with a home run, three RBI and run scored for the Peoria Saguaros of the AFL. Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 0-1 in the game for Peoria.

Venters, Conrad, Braves eliminated; J. D. Martinez up for best low A hitter; Blanton biding time for NLCS start

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

J. D. Martinez; Lexington Legends photo

Kentucky Monday playoff highlights and the latest links from around Bluegrass State baseball:

  • The Atlanta Braves were eliminated from the playoffs with a 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Braves left-handed reliever Jonny Venters, born in Pikeville, entered the game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and let the eventual winning run score before getting out of the jam. Former Lexington Legend Brooks Conrad flew out in a ninth-inning pinch hit appearance for Atlanta.
  • Louisville Bats outfielder Todd Frazier tallied two hits, including a double, in Team USA’s 4-1 win over Cuba in the Pan Am Qualifying Tournament.
  • Voting for MiLB.com’s hitters of the year is open with a couple of Kentucky candidates in the running. Lexington Legends outfielder J. D. Martinez is nominated for best low A hitter and Bats outfielder Dave Sappelt is nominated for best AA hitter.
  • Danny Wild of MLB.com honors former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill as one of the Diamondbacks’ organization all-star.
  • Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Daily News reports former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton is biding his time for a probable game-four NLCS start.