Tuesday Links: Zobrist Hits Number 25

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Ben Zobrist; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Ben Zobrist; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

About half the major league teams were off Monday, and the minor leagues season is officially over so it was a very slow day for BluGrass Baseball news. But, I do have a couple of links for you on this Tuesday morning.

  • Legends’ Hall-of-Famer Ben Zobrist hit his 25th home run of the season for Tampa.
  • We told you Pikeville-native Mark Reynolds tied Jay Buhner’s single-season Kentucky home run record, but he also broke his own single-season major league strikeout record.

Pence, Zobrist Elected to Legends Hall of Fame

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Hunter Pence

Houston Astros outfielder Hunter Pence and Tampa Bay Rays infielder Ben Zobrist have been elected to the Lexington Legends Hall of Fame.  Pence and Zobrist became the first former Legends to be selected as MLB All-Stars in 2009.  The duo were teammates for the 2005 Legends.

Pence batted .338 with 25 home runs and 60 RBI in 80 games in 2004 with the Legends.  His 25 home runs that season are still a record for any Legend in one season.  Zobrist spent 68 games with Lexington in 2004 and batted .304 with two home runs and 32 RBI.

The duo joins Josh Anderson, John Buck, Felix Escalona, Mike Gallo, Wandy Rodriguez, Kirk Saarloos,  Alan Stein, Charly Taylor, John Topolski and Thommy Whiteman as members of the organization’s Hall of Fame.  Pence and Zobrist will be recognized before the Legends’ Aug. 15 game against the West Virginia Power.

Monday Links: Bats Bat Around Twice

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Kevin Barker

Sunday was a busy day on the diamond for BluGrass Baseball players in both the majors and minor leagues.  With those storylines and more here are the morning links for your “case of the Mondays.”

  • Louisville batted around twice en route to defeating Charlotte 8-5 and snapping its three-game losing streak.
  • The Hot Rods lost 3-1 to Savannah in a rain-shortened game.
  • The Legends’ game with Charleston was rained out.
  • Michael Grant at the Courier-Journal profiles former Louisville Redbird and Bat Aaron Holbert’s quest to become a major league manager.
  • Nathan Adcock picked up the win in his first appearance for high A Lynchburg.
  • Former Lexington Legend John Buck broke up James Shields’ no-hitter in the seventh inning before the Royals rallied to defeat the Rays Sunday.  Former Legend Ben Zobrist also homered in the game.
  • Former Legend Bud Norris pitched seven shutout innings against the Cardinals to earn the win in his first major-league start.
  • Louisville native and BluGrass Baseball All-Time Team member Dan Uggla homered in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game against the Cubs before teammate Cody Ross launched his own home run to give Florida the win.

Wednesday Links: All-Star Edition

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor Leagues

Lehr

Tuesday night was just another victory for the American League in the MLB All Star game, but there were more BluGrass Baseball storylines unfolding across baseball than met the eye.

  • Former Legend Ben Zobrist struck out in his only appearance in the game for the American League, and former Legend Hunter Pence didn’t see any action for the National League in the 4-3 AL victory.
  • Louisville Bats pitcher Justin Lehr will start for the International League tonight in the AAA All-Star game.
  • The Legends dropped their second game of the road trip to Delmarva 7-3.
  • Matt Moore earned his sixth win of the season in Bowling Green’s 7-4 victory over Lakewood.
  • WKU Sports passes on an update of former Hilltoppers in the minor leagues.
  • The News-Enterprise in Hardin County, profiles former Meade County and UofL pitcher B. J. Rosenberg, a reliever for low A Lakewood.
  • Jason Stella of Examiner.com has a Q&A with Louisville Bats outfielder Drew Stubbs.
  • Chris Dominguez was promoted to short-season Salem-Keizer and is 6-14 with two home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in his first three games in the Northwest League.

Thursday Links: KY Minor League Sweep

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor Leagues

Each of the Bluegrass state’s three minor league teams won Wednesday following strong pitching performances.  Here are the recaps from those games and any other BluGrass Baseball news to get you through a cloudy Thursday morning:

  • The Hot Rods defeated the Charleston RiverDogs 6-2 on “Bark at the Ballpark” night.
  • The Legends rode two early homer runs from Brian Pellegrini and Steve Brown to a 7-3 win over Savannah.
  • Lexington also completed several roster moves.  Infielder Ronald Ramirez was promoted to High A Lancaster, and infielder Chris Jackson returned to Lexington from Lancaster.  Left-handed pitcher David Duncan was promoted from short-season Tri-City to Lexington, and right-handed pitcher Jose Trinidad was added to the 7-day disabled list with right shoulder injury.
  • The Courier Journal recaps the Bats’ 4-2 victory over Max Klinger’s favorite team, the Toledo Mud Hens.
  • You can replay the live chat with UK Head Coach Gary Henderson and RHP Alex Meyer at “Cat Scratches.”  The chat didn’t contain much breaking news, but Henderson did list candidates for the shortstop job and said the two weekend rotation slots next to Meyer were wide open.  My favorite answers was Meyer’s response that teammate Marcus Nidiffer was the toughest batter he faced this season.  Nice to see Meyer has mastered being politically correct.
  • Speaking of the open UK shortstop job…former shortstop Chris Wade made his professional debut yesterday for the rookie GCL Marlins.  I’ve added Wade to the KY Minor Leaguers page.
  • This is a few days old, but Richard Justice at the Houston Chronicle has an excellent column about former Legend Hunter Pence’s all-star selection.
  • Former Legend and American League all-star Ben Zobrist was the hero in Tampa Bay’s 10-9 walk-off victory over Toronto Wednesday.

Bluegrass connections lacking in MLB All-Star Game

Major League Baseball, Minor Leagues

If you’re looking for Kentucky natives on the MLB All-Star Game rosters revealed Sunday, you will be looking for a long time.  The National League and American League rosters are devoid of any Bluegrass natives or alumni of Bluegrass colleges.

The state’s only hope for an All-Star rests with Arizona Diamondback’s third baseman Mark Reynolds, a Pikeville, Ky., native.  Reynolds is one of five candidates for the final spot on the National League roster.  Even Reynolds’ ties to the Bluegrass are debatable as he was born in Pikeville, but attended Fort Colonial High School in Virginia Beach, Va., and the University of Virginia.  Reynolds has batted .269 on the season with 24 home runs and 61 RBI.

The only Kentucky ties already named to the All-Star game come from a couple of former Lexington Legends.  National League outfield reserve Hunter Pence played for Lexington in 2005 and holds the franchise records for single-season home runs, batting average and slugging percentage.

The American League also boasts a former Legend in Tampa Bay shortstop Ben Zobrist.  Zobrist also spent part of 2005 in Lexington where he batted .304 in 68 games.

Here are the duo’s numbers from Lexington in 2005:

Pence —80 games, .338 AVG, 59 Runs, 25 Home Runs, 60 RBI

Zobrist — 68 games, .304 AVG, 45 Runs, 2 Home Runs, 32 RBI