Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton will be in Seattle Wednesday to take a physical in advance of signing his contract with the Mariners as the team’s fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft.
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich the No. 3 prospect in the Colorado Rockies’ farm system.
Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports the Arizona Diamondbacks have released former Campbellsville University catcher Richie Rowland, who signed with the team as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and batted .291 with five home runs, 34 RBI and 19 runs scored in 67 games for rookie-level Missoula during his professional debut.
Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb is taking his return from injury one step at a time and for now pitching in a Spring Training game still isn’t on the radar.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer has no hard feelings toward the San Fransisco Giants after the team released him last August. “I was the biggest fan of them in Kentucky, guaranteed,” Wellemeyer told Muskate of his rooting interest during the playoffs last season.
Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today reports Cincinnati Reds left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman had a difficult time adapting to U.S. culture while in Louisville last season, but Louisville Bats trainer Tomas Vera has become a friend and confidant for the Cuban defector.
Highlights and stats from Tuesday Kentucky Spring Training action:
Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer was credited with the win after throwing two scoreless innings for the Chicago Cubs. Wellemeyer struck out two batters and surrendered just one hit.
Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke was credited with the win after surrendering one hit in one scoreless inning for the Seattle Mariners.
On the same day that news broke of his February DUI arrest, Lexington native Austin Kearns was 2-3 with one run scored for the Cleveland Indians.
In that same game PLD alum A. J. Ellisstruck out in his only at-bat for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Washington Nationals right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard, who was born in Lexington, struck out two batters in one scoreless inning.
Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby was 1-4 with one run scored while starting as the designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers.
Louisville native Zack Cox walked in his only plate appearance for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere walked in his only plate appearance for the Minnesota Twins.
One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker surrendered three runs in two innings of relief for the Cincinnati Reds.
Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 0-1 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 0-3 with two strikeouts.
Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who was born in Louisville, was 0-2 with one strikeout.
In that same game Braves left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, who was born in Pikeville, walked one batter in a scoreless inning.
University of Kentucky freshman outfielder Lucas Witt pulled a hip flexor during the Cats’ loss to UIC Friday, UK confirmed to BluGrass Baseball following the game. Witt will be re-evaluated today when the Cats hope to figure out a timetable for his return.
Western Kentucky University catcher Matt Rice has been named a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports the Texas Rangers plan for Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb to throw of a mound for the first time on Sunday.
Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com talks with Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer, who says he realizes he is a long-shot to make the Cubs’ roster but hopes his previous experience in pitching well during Spring Training to make a team will pay off.
C. Ray Hall of the Courier-Journal profiles the multiple aces of University of Louisville‘s starting rotation.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com profiles Louisville Bats outfielder Dave Sappelt and his fast ascension through the minor leagues.
Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch threw his first bullpen session of the spring after missing his previous session with a twisted ankle.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer returned to the Chicago Cubs in part because of his experience with the organization, which drafted him out of college.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb only experienced normal soreness after his brief throwing session Thursday.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports the Seattle Mariners still hope to sign former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton, who was the team’s fourth-round pick in 2010.
Chad Bishop of the Bowling Green Daily News recaps Western Kentucky University‘s opening-day win over Bowling Green St., noting WKU head coach Chris Finwood said he was “very proud” of sophomore left-handed pitcher Tanner Perkins‘ start.
Brad Stephens of the College Heights Herald also recaps the WKU 12-1 win.
Inspired by College Baseball Daily’s list of the top 100 college baseball players, BluGrass Baseball is counting down the top 25 returning Kentucky collegians in advance of the 2011 season. We continue the list today with one of the best relievers in all of college baseball.
No. 3 — RHP Tony Zych — University of Louisville
Tony Zych; UofL photo
UofL junior right-handed pitcher Tony Zych began 2010 as a weekend starting pitcher for the Cards, but after struggling early in the season he moved back to his more comfortable relief role. On the season Zych was 5-2 with a 5.13 ERA in 22 games, including five starts. Zych struck out 50 batters and walked 19 in 59 and two-third innings pitched. The Illinois native was the 46th round pick of the Chicago Cubs in the 2008 draft out of high school
During the summer 2010 Zych recorded 12 saves and posted a 0.89 ERA in 20 and one-third innings pitched for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League. Zych was named a Cape Cod all-star and was honored with the postseason outstanding pro prospect and relief pitcher awards in the league. Baseball America recently ranked Zych the No. 25 prospect for the 2011 draft and named the relief pitcher a first-team preseason all-American. Zych spend the summer of 2009 as a pitcher for Team USA.
Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is going back to the team that drafted him out of college. Wellemeyer has signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs, Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicagoreports. The contract is worth $800,000 if he makes the team, and Wellemeyer could earn another $400,000 in incentives. The Cubs selected Wellemeyer in the fourth round of the 2000 draft. In an email to BluGrass Baseball Wellemeyer’s representation at Meister Sports Management said the contract contained both a major- and minor-league component.
The Eastern High School alum spent most of the 2010 season with the San Francisco Giants but was released on Aug. 17, 2010. Wellemeyer was 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA in 13 games, including 11 starts, for the Giants in 2010. In an eight-season MLB career Wellemeyer is 32-34 with a 4.83 ERA and 459 strikeouts in 614 and two-third innings pitched. His best season came in 2008 when he was 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals. Levine reports the Cubs envision Wellemeyer as a possible swing-man that could start or relieve, but he will face a crowded competition to make the team. The Cubs return five starting pitchers and boast a plethora of relievers competing for the final spots on the team. Wellemeyer is represented by Meister Sports Management, which employees former UK pitcher Ben Shaffar.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webbplans to be ready for Spring Training but isn’t making firm timetables like last season.
Durrett also breaks down the process that led Webb to wear No. 33 in Texas to honor his late friend Jon Hooker, who was his roommate and teammate at UK and died in the flight 5195 crash.
Big East baseball coaches have picked the University of Louisville to finish third in the league. Junior infielder Ryan Wright and redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames were both named to the preseason All-Big East team.
Jim Callis of Baseball America ranks former UK left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin‘s changeup and control as the best in the Chicago Cubs’ system.
Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com reports the Cincinnati Reds have signed former MLB outfielder Jeremy Hermida to a minor-league contract. If Hermida doesn’t make the MLB roster out of Spring Training he could end up with the Louisville Bats.
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball including a potential big addition for the UK baseball team:
Matt May of The Cat’s Pause reports University of Kentucky quarterback Ryan Mossakowski will play baseball this spring. Mossakowski was a highly touted prep baseball player in Texas before having shoulder surgery as a senior.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and a mystery team continue to pursue former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb. Crasnick notes the Cubs have slowed in their pursuit of Webb.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports the Phillies may wait to trade former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton until free agent Carl Pavano signs with a new team.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the Phillies should have no problem trading Blanton in a thin pitching market.
The Lexington Legends have announced one person could win season tickets if they correctly guess the new name of the team’s ballpark.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports the Washington Nationals remain interested in signing former UK right-handed pitcher and Ashland native Brandon Webb, and a source tells him Webb is in no rush to make a decision. Ladson also notes Nationals senior advisor to the general manager Phil Rizzo was the scout who first filed a report on Webb while he was at UK and recommended him to the Diamondbacks.
Ladson tweeted Monday afternoon that the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers have jumped ahead of the Nationals in the race to sign Webb.
Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports Webb is already throwing and preparing as usual for Spring Training.
Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post reports the Colorado Rockies are interested in Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch.
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News speculates the Yankees may pursue Rauch after losing Kerry Wood to the Chicago Cubs.
In the ongoing top 100 college players series College Baseball Daily (formerly The College Baseball Blog) ranks University of Kentucky sophomore right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer the No. 34 player in the country.
Brian Foley of CBD also recently posted an interview with UK coach Gary Henderson.