Homer Bailey; Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Bluegrass state highlights from weekend playoff action and latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- The Cincinnati Reds short playoff appearance came to an end with a 2-0 loss to the Phillies on Sunday. Former Louisville Bats pitchers Homer Bailey, Bill Bray and Aroldis Chapman, all of whom pitched for Louisville in 2010, combined for three and one-third scoreless innings in the game three loss.
- Former Lexington Legend Brooks Conrad had a miserable game for the Atlanta Braves with three errors. Conrad’s final error in the ninth inning let in the winning run in the Giants’ 3-2 loss. Braves left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters struck out the side in a scoreless inning but did surrender two hits.
- Former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch and the Minnesota Twins were eliminated from the playoffs with a 6-1 loss to the Yankees on Saturday. Lexington native and Yankees outfielder Austin Kearns did not appear in the series, which New York swept in three games.
The playoffs are officially underway with the Texas Rangers up 4-0 on Tampa Bay at the time of this posting. The playoffs aren’t without plenty of Kentucky connections as every team except the Giants has a player with Bluegrass State connections. Check out the list of Kentucky natives and former minor league players participating in the playoffs below:
Cincinnati Reds (NL Central)
- Edison Volquez — Louisville Bats (2010)*
- Johnny Cueto — Louisville Bats (2007)
- Aroldis Chapman — Louisville Bats (2010)
- Logan Ondrusek — Louisville Bats (2008, 09, 10)
- Bill Bray — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09, 10)
- Homer Bailey — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09, 10)
- Travis Wood — Louisville Bats (2009, 2010)
- Joey Votto — Louisville Bats (2007)
- Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09)
- Drew Stubbs — Louisville Bats (2008, 09)
- Jonny Gomes — Louisville Bats (2009)
- Ryan Hanigan — Louisville Bats (2003, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10)
- Chris Heisey — Louisville Bats (2009)
- Paul Janish — Louisville Bats (2007, 08)
- Juan Francisco — Louisville Bats (2009, 10)
Philadelphia Phillies (NL East)
- Joe Blanton — Franklin-Simpson HS (UK)
Atlanta Braves (NL Wild Card)
- Jonny Venters — Born in Pikeville, Ky. (HS in Florida)
- Brooks Conrad — Lexington Legends (2003)
Minnesota Twins (AL Central)
- Jon Rauch — Oldham Co. High School (Morehead St.)
New York Yankees (AL Wild Card)
- Austin Kearns — Lafayette High School
Tampa Bay Rays (AL East)
- Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends (2005)
Texas Rangers (AL West)
- Josh Hamilton — Louisville Bats (2007)*
*– Volquez and Hamilton both played for Louisville only during rehab assignments.
Richie Rowland; Photo: Campbellsville University
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- Campbellsville University junior catcher Richie Rowland has signed a professional contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a non-drafted free agent, CU reports in a news release. Through his first five games for Rookie Missoula, Rowland is 9-17 (.529) with three RBI and two runs scored.
- Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports Louisville Bats reliever Bill Bray is ready to return to the Cincinnati Reds according to Bats manager Rick Sweet.
- Grant also reports Bats left-handed pitcher Phillip Valiquette will accompany first baseman Yonder Alonso as a Bats’ representative to the Futures Game on the World Roster.
- Jason Stella recaps the Bats’ up-and-down first half of the season for the team’s website.
- Bowling Green Hot Rods infielder Tyler Bortnick was named Midwest League hitter of the week for the week ending June 20 after batting .429 with two home runs and six runs scored.