Blanton says mechanical problem affecting performance; Lawrence Co. ace rebounds from Tommy John surgery

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

Joe Blanton; Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton said Tuesday he had identified a mechanical problem that was leading to his early season struggles, but Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said he did not know of any problem.
  • Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports the Angels are enjoying the added flexibility brought to the bullpen since Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs returned from the disabled list, giving the team two left-handed relievers.
  • George Von Benko of reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart took batting practice on the field with the Milwaukee Brewers for the first time on Thursday.
  • Western Kentucky University will retire the jersey of former catcher Jack Glasser, who batted .326 in his three-year career. Glasser is the first WKU baseball player to have his jersey retired.
  • Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports on the baseball side-show in Lexington early this week in the form of 2010 No. 1 pick Bryce Harper.
  • Mike Fields of the Herald-Leader reports Lawrence County High School right-handed pitcher Chandler Shepherd, a UK signee, has rebounded from Tommy John surgery to put himself in consideration for Mr. Baseball honors.

MiLB roundup: Bats win; Hot Rods lose; Legends split DH; Shelby has three hits; Ray homers; Wiley, Shaffer streaking

Minor League Baseball

John Shelby; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • The Louisville Bats scored five runs in the first inning and added some late insurance in a 10-4 win over Indianapolis. One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker earned the win after surrendering three runs on eight hits in five innings while striking out two batters and walking one. Center fielder Dave Sappelt was 3-5 with one home run, two RBI and three runs scored.
  • The Bowling Green Hot Rods‘ late rally fell just short in a 3-2 loss to Fort Wayne. Right-handed pitcher Eliazer Suero surrendered two hits in five scoreless innings of relief while striking out two batters and walking none.
  • The Lexington Legends split a double-header with Hagerstown with a 1-0 loss in game one and a 6-4 win in game two. In game one right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz took the loss despite surrendering just one run on five hits in six innings while striking out three batters and walking one. In game two first baseman Tyler Burnett was 2-2 with one home run, one RBI and two runs scored. Hagerstown right fielder Bryce Harper, the 2010 No. 1 pick, slugged his first professional home run in game two.
  • Lexington native and former UK outfielder John Shelby was 3-5 with one RBI and two runs scored for AA Montgomery.
  • Richmond native and former UK outfielder Keenan Wiley extended his hitting streak to five games for low A Rome with a 2-4, one double, one walk and two runs scored performance.
  • Former UK first baseman Lance Ray slugged his first home run and scored three times for low A Beloit.
  • Walton native and former NKU outfielder Jake Shaffer extended hits hitting streak to five games with a double for AA Jackson.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin took a no decision despite surrendering six runs on nine hits in four innings in a start for AA Tennessee. Rusin struck out five batters and walked one.
  • Paducah native Daniel Webb struggled in his season debut for low A Lansing and took a loss after surrendering seven runs on 10 hits in three innings.

Tuesday Afternoon Notes

College Baseball, High School Baseball

Gavin Patton

A few afternoon notes to pass along:

  • Larry Vaught at the Danville Advocate Messeneger interviews Danville native and UK baseball commitment Blake Perry.  Perry’s commitment was first reported here on
  • In Vaught’s story Perry mentions that his teammate OF Gavin Patton has also committed to play for UK in 2011.
  • Patton batted .418 in 28 games in 2008-2009 and has been selected to participate in the International Power Showcase Home Run Derby along top prospects like SI cover boy Bryce Harper and Dante Bichette Jr.  I’m working on an interview with Patton that I hope to have on the site later this week.
  • We’ve talked a lot recently about the Kentucky college signees who have been drafted in 2009 with the signing deadline coming up Monday, but at you can browse a database of all 2009 college commitments.
  • Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic talks to UK alum Brandon Webb, who says he plans on pitching somewhere in 2010 and would love to return to the Diamondbacks.