The future of BluGrass Baseball

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

I’m proud to announce BluGrass Baseball is joining a new central Kentucky-focused news website called KyForward, which launched yesterday. I will be working full-time for KyForward as the website’s sports editor and will be bringing BluGrass Baseball with me. What does this mean for BluGrass Baseball readers? Your favorite BluGrass Baseball features, including the “Ky in the Minors” and “Ky in the Majors” databases, are moving to KyForward as well. I will still post daily baseball updates on the KyForward “Our Sports” page. That page will have a special category for BluGrass Baseball content, which can be accessed here. The BluGrass Baseball archive of posts published before May 1, 2011, will remain at The BluGrass Baseball Twitter page will remain the place for up-to-the-minute breaking baseball news, but I encourage you to also follow my KyForward Twitter account, @jonkyforward, for other sports updates.

When I launched BluGrass Baseball almost two years ago, my goal was to fill a gaping hole in the media coverage of Kentucky baseball. It is that motivation that attracted me to KyForward, which hopes to fill the gaps in media coverage of all issues in central Kentucky. By moving to KyForward I will be able to devote my full effort to sports coverage. That means, in addition to the features you have become accustomed to from Bluegrass Baseball, I will be publishing in-depth stories about your favorite Kentucky baseball players and teams, including this one about Mount Sterling native Drew Lee. Baseball is not the only sport I will cover for KyForward, but you can expect to see the same level of baseball coverage there that BluGrass Baseball has made a name for.

I encourage you to become not just a regular reader of the KyForward sports coverage, but also the website’s coverage of all things Lexington and Central Kentucky. We boast an extremely talented staff that will cover the region in a way that has been lacking in the past. The KyForward team is committed to being your number one cyberspace stop for local news and information, interesting – even offbeat – stories well told, and overt “community-building.” You can see the early examples of the work you can come to expect from the website at Beginning later this week, will automatically re-direct you to the BluGrass Baseball posts on KyForward.

Jon Hale

BluGrass Baseball Founder

KyForward Sports Editor/Reporter

Kelley cuts simulated game short; Hart struggling since return from DL; Webb remains confident he will return to MLB

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Shawn Kelley; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Greg Johns of reports Louisville native Shawn Kelley, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, had to cut his simulated game short on Sunday due to tightness in his throwing elbow.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports there is nothing physically wrong with Bowling Green native Corey Hart contributing to his offensive struggles since returning from the disabled list.
  • Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb remains confident he will be a productive major leaguer again despite one scout’s proclamation that he is “done” following a rehabilitation appearance last week.
  • Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles Lexington Legends catcher Chris Wallace, who Legends manager Rodney Linares says probably deserves a promotion after his early-season performance.
  • Cash Kuth of runs down some of the Kentucky major leaguers Kentucky Derby picks. Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere, North Hardin alum Nathan Adcock and St. X alum Trever Miller all missed on the winner, but Ballard alum Kelley appears to have picked the winner according to his Twitter account.

Todd Wellemeyer retires after nine MLB seasons

Major League Baseball

Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer announced his retirement today, effective immediately, Carrie Muskat of reports. Wellemeyer signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs in the offseason and entered Spring Training with a chance to earn one of the team’s open starting rotation spots. Wellemeyer pitched well in the spring, posting a 1-2 record an 4.50 ERA in three games, but was slowed by a hip injury. Wellemeyer made his only appearance of the season on Thursday for AAA Iowa, surrendering four runs on eight hits in three and two-third innings while striking out two batters and walking two.

Wellemeyer ends his MLB career with a 32-34 record and 4.83 ERA in 208 games over parts of nine seasons. Wellemeyer struck out 459 batters and walked 305 in 614 and two-third MLB innings. He mad 75 starts in his career. The right-handed pitcher’s best season came in 2008 when he was 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 32 starts for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs selected Wellemeyer in the 4th round of the 2000 draft out of Bellarmine. He made his MLB debut on May 15, 2003. The Cubs traded Wellemeyer to the Florida Marlins on March 28, 2006, and the Royals claimed Wellemeyer off waivers in June of that same season. Wellemeyer joined the Cardinals in 2007 then signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants before the 2010 season. He made 13 appearances for the world-champion Giants last season, before the team released him in August. He returned to the Cubs on a minor-league deal in January.

UofL losses marathon pitchers’ duel; Green sent to AAA

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Austin Kearns; Photo by Scott Ableman via Flickr

Highlights from Thursday’s lone Kentucky college baseball game as well as the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • After playing the equivalent of almost two complete scoreless games, the University of Louisville surrendered one run in the bottom of the 18th inning to suffer a 1-0 loss to Seton Hall. Freshman right-handed pitcher Jeff Thompson took the loss after surrendering one unearned run on two hits in two and one-third innings. Freshman center fielder Adam Engel was 3-7 in the game, while the rest of the UofL offense was just 1-49. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Self accomplished the rare feat of pitching over nine innings but not being credited with a complete game. Self surrendered seven hits in nine and one-third innings while striking out two batters and walking none. Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Green pitched five and two-third innings of relief. (Box Score)
  • Guy Curtright of reports the Milwaukee Brewers have optioned Louisville native and former UofL right-handed pitcher Sean Green to AAA Nashville.
  • Jonathan Kleppinger of the Jessamine Journal reports the lawyers for Lexington native and Cleveland Indians outfielder Austin Kearns filed a motion in Jessamine County to dismiss the drunk-driving charges against Kearns resulting from his Feb. 12 arrest because the Lexington police officer who pulled him over was out of his jurisdiction.
  • Richard Durrett of reports the Texas Rangers scratched Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb from his scheduled Thursday start in extended spring training, option to have the former Cy Young award winner work on his mechanics during a bullpen session instead.

Twins add Ben Revere to MLB roster; Matt Rice, Ryan Wright named to midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Matt Rice bats for WKU: BluGrass Baseball photo

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • The Minnesota Twins have added Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere to the MLB roster after placing outfielder Jason Repko on the disabled list.
  • Western Kentucky University senior catcher Matt Rice and University of Louisville junior infielder Ryan Wright have been named to the Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. The award goes to college baseball’s best player and is administered by USA Baseball.
  • Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports the Royals may put Elizabethtown native and right-handed reliever Nathan Adcock in more high-pressure situations after his first MLB win.
  • Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader catches up with some former Lexington Legends who are contributing at the MLB level with the Houston Astros.

Cowgill named PCL player of week; Soloman named OVC player of week; Wellemeyer hopes to contribute with Cubs

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

Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was named the player of the week in the Pacific Coast League after batting .640 with 2 HR, 7 RBI and 8 runs last week.
  • Eastern Kentucky University freshman infielder Bryan Soloman was named the co-Ohio Valley Conference player of the week.
  • Madison Central High School dropped its first game of the season last night with a 5-0 loss to Bryan Station High School.
  • Aaron Fitt of Baseball America highlights Western Kentucky University senior catcher Matt Rice in his weekly “Golden Spikes Award” spotlight.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun -Times reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer missed an opportunity to start for the Cubs early this season due to a hip injury, but is close to returning to game action with the Iowa Cubs and still may fill an important role for the MLB team.
  • Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated ranks University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer the No. 20 prospect in the 2011 draft, noting he could go anywhere from a top five pick to the sandwich round.

Webb’s velocity down during rehab appearance; Miller struggling; Wellemeyer to return to action this week

High School Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Richard Durrett of reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb was at 78 to 81 mph during the first two innings of his latest extended spring training appearance.
  • Jason Frakes of the Courier-Journal runs down the high school top 25 matchups at this week’s Louisville Invitational Tournament.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Louisville native Trever Miller has been struggling recently as the Cardinals’ only left-handed reliever. Miller has not recorded an out in his last five appearances.
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is scheduled to pitch this week for AAA Iowa.
  • Thomas Harding and Nick Kosmider of reports Colorado Rockies right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, who was born in Ft. Campbell, will throw a simulated game on Wednesday as he rehabs from a broken finger.
  • Mike Fields of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles 16-0 Madison Central High School in his most recent high school notebook.
  • Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story also talked to me this week about BluGrass Baseball for his latest column.

UK blows late lead versus LSU; Blanton to the DL with elbow injury; Wellemeyer a week away from game action

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Braden Kapteyn; UK Athletics photo

Check out the recap from Kentucky’s lone Thursday college baseball game and the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • The University of Kentucky bullpen collapsed once again, this time in an eight-run eighth inning that gave LSU a 9-5 win. UK lead 5-1 entering the eight but junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer allowed two runners to reach base before being replaced with freshman right-handed pitcher Trevor Gott. Gott recorded one out but surrendered two runs, and junior right-handed pitcher Braden Kapteyn took the loss after surrendering three runs while recording one out. Meyer was outstanding for the first seven innings of the game and took a no decision after surrendering three runs on four hits in seven-plus innings while striking out 10 batters and walking two. Junior catcher Michael Williams was 3-4 with one home run, three RBI and one run scored. (Box Score)
  • Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a “medial impingement” in his throwing elbow. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Blanton’s MRI was encouraging because it showed no structural damage.
  • Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recaps Bowling Green native Corey Hart‘s wild night in his first start on Wednesday since returning from the disabled list.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is at least a week away from game action.

Corey Hart returns to Brewers; Scott Downs hopes to be back Friday; Jordan Cooper continues dominance over UofL

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

Corey Hart; Photo by manning999 via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Adam McCalvy of reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart was not expected to be activated from the Milwaukee Brewers’ disabled list until Wednesday, but a batting-practice injury to Erick Almonte forced Hart off the DL on Tuesday. He grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance in his season debut.
  • Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs, who is on the Angels’ disabled list with a gastrointestinal disorder, will throw a bullpen session Wednesday before being activated in time for Friday’s game.
  • Chuck Jones of The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown reports the 2011 high school season has been the “year of the hitter” in the greater Elizabethtown area, with 19 players still batting over .400.
  • Brett Dawson of the Courier-Journal focuses on University of Kentucky sophomore right-handed pitcher Jordan Cooper‘s career success against the University of Louisville in his recap of the Cats’ 7-1 win over the Cards.
  • University of Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell told Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader he was “kind of getting tired of seeing that guy [Cooper].”
  • The College Baseball Blog has no Kentucky teams in its latest NCAA field of 64 projection.

Dodgers option Ellis to AAA; Hart should return this week; UK, WKU catchers honored for academic work

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

A. J. Ellis; Photo by frankat1stbase3 via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Steve Dilbeck of The Los Angeles Times reports the Dodgers have optioned PLD alum A. J. Ellis to AAA Albuquerque to make room for previously injured catcher Dionner Navarro.
  • Adam McCalvy of reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart will return to the Milwaukee Brewers today, but may not be immediately activated from the disabled list.
  • Jason Grey of has posted an in-depth breakdown of Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb‘s rehab appearance in extended spring training on Monday
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal profiles Louisville Bats outfielder Danny Dorn, who only committed to baseball full time after a shoulder injury ended his football career in high school.
  • John Fay, writing for Baseball America, reports the Reds are happy with Bats’ slugger Yonder Alonso‘s transition to left field so far but caution the transition will be slow going. (Subscription required)
  • University of Kentucky redshirt junior catcher T. J. Daugherty was named the UK male scholar athlete of the year at Monday’s Catspy Awards.
  • Former Western Kentucky University star pitcher Matt Ridings notes via Twitter that WKU senior catcher Matt Rice was named the school’s male scholar athlete of the year at a Monday banquet.