Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer announced his retirement today, effective immediately, Carrie Muskat of MLB.comreports. 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.
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.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com 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.
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 MLB.com 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.
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.
University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer was named the Southeastern Conference pitcher of the week following his complete-game win versus Arkansas.
Morehead State University sophomore left-handed pitcher Garrick Whittle was named the Ohio Valley Conference pitcher of the week after his 12-strikeout game versus Tennessee Tech.
Doug Miller of MLB.com reports the Seattle Mariners will option Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke to AAA Tacoma before Tuesday’s game. Lueke is 1-1 with a 17.05 ERA in eight games this season.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb threw two innings in an extended spring game on Monday.
PLD alum A. J. Ellis was at the center of a minor controversy over the weekend when he attempted to steal second base with the Dodgers up big late in their game versus the Cubs on Friday. Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune reports the stolen base attempt was the result of a missed sign, not a breach of baseball etiquette.
After conferring UK, Arkansas, the SEC and NCAA have decided to count the statistics from the unfinished sixth inning of the two teams’ Sunday finale. The scoring change means the final score of the game was 5-1 instead of 4-1.
Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer, who was not assigned to a minor league team to start the season, is still rehabbing from a hip injury suffered during Spring Training. Cubs GM Jim Hendry told Rogers he expects Wellemeyer to start throwing soon.
Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA has both the University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University as No. 3 seeds in his latest NCAA field of 64 projection.
Marc Hardin, writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer, profilesBeechwood High School senior pitcher Colin Johnson, who helped Beechwood win 12 of its first 14 games and may play baseball at MIT next year.
Ethan Levine of the Kentucky Kernel profiles University of Kentucky sophomore outfielder Brian Adams, who is currently going through spring practice as a wide receiver on the football team in addition to manning center field in most games for the baseball team.
Brad Stephens of the College Heights Herald recaps WKU’s 3-2 win over Murray State University, noting WKU redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Rye Davis said after a poor start to 2011 he decided his season was going to start over last night.
Nick Baumgardner of The Daily News reports WKU head coach Chris Finwood said he was going to try and pitch Davis in low-pressure situations out of the bullpen in the near future.
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is unsure about his future after re-aggravating his hip injury. The Cubs assigned Wellemeyer to minor league camp on Tuesday, but Levine reports Wellemeyer may ask for his release and retire if the hip doesn’t improve.
Marc Tompkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade appears to have come up short in his quest to make the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen out of Spring Training.
Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch will start the season as the Blue Jays closer but will likely relinquish that role to Frank Francisco when he is healthy.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb canceled his live batting practice throwing session on Wednesday because he could not get loose and will see the Rangers’ team doctor before deciding the next step in his rehab.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks former Bowling Green Hot Rods pitchers Matt Moore and Alex Colome among the top 10 prospects in the Tampa Bay Rays system.
Allan Simpson of Perfect Game USA ranks University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer, University of Louisville junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych, Lexington Catholic alum Nick Maronde, UK sophomore outfielder Brian Adams and Western Kentucky University junior outfielder Kes Carter among the top 100 college draft prospects regardless of class. (Subscription required)
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer had a cortisone shot for his ailing hip on Sunday and hopes to get back on the mound for the Cubs this week.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart may return from an oblique injury next week but is still questionable to open the season with the Brewers.
Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun reports Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, has abandoned an offseason mechanics tweak to his swing after a poor offensive spring.
Kary Booher of the News-Leader reports Louisville native Zack Cox will start the season with high A Palm Beach.
Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USAbreaks down the University of Louisville‘s Friday win versus Pepperdine, noting he was impressed by sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch, freshman first baseman Ryan Seiz and senior catcher J. J. Ethel. (Subscription required)
Rogers also highlights University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer and UofL redshirt sophomore right-handed pitcher Justin Amlung in his 27 takes from Saturday college baseball action.
Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock may be the favorite for the Royals’ long-reliever spot in the bullpen since he has pitched well this spring and would have to be offered back to the Pirates as a Rule 5 pick if he doesn’t make the MLB roster.
Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald in Chicago profiles Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer, who says he has been working on a new mental approach to pitching during the offseason.
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times reports the Mariners have re-assigned former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton to minor league camp.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis the No. 3 prospect in the Cleveland Indians’ organization.
Tyler Kepner of The New York Times profiles the Texas Rangers’ plan B: Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb.