Uggla rumors; Hot Rods name new staff

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

The three-team multiple Cy Young winner blockbuster trade is official, and UK alum Joe Blanton is still a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Blanton appears likely to start the season in Philadelphia since the team parted with Lee, but due to his impending salary raise his status remains worth watching. Now that the baseball world can move past the trade here are some Bluegrass storylines to keep track of:

  • Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald passes on a few of the names in the Giants and Marlins Dan Uggla discussions. The most interesting: left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.
  • With the number of available second baseman this offseason, someone like Uggla will probably have to move positions, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs.com writes.
  • Brady Williams was named the 2010 manager of the Bowling Green Hot Rods by the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Michael Grant of The Courier-Journal talks to St. X-alum Chris Burke about the opportunity to play for the Reds or his hometown Louisville Bats.
  • You can see Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos talk about the blockbuster trade and his recent signing of Lexington Legends Hall of Famer John Buck in a video via MLB.com here.

Burke signs with hometown team; Green released

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Chris Burke; Photo by grovesa16 via Flickr

Two quick transactions from Kentucky minor leaguers to pass along; first the good news then the bad. C. Trent Rosecrans of CNATI.com reports Louisville-native Chris Burke has signed a minor-league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. Burke will compete for a major league utility spot with the Reds in Spring Training, and if he doesn’t make the team he’ll begin 2009 with his hometown Louisville Bats. “I think we see him as a potential candidate for the utility role on the major league club and if nothing else, he’ll play at Louisville, he’s from Louisville, it’s his hometown and he’s very excited about the possibility to play for either club,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty told Rosecrans. “He’s an experienced guy that might be able to help us.” (Read more)

In less positive news for Bluegrass fans, Lexington-native and University of Kentucky alum Andy Green was released by the New York Mets Thursday. The Mets made the procedural move to free up space on their 40-man roster. Green now becomes a free agent.

BluGrass Baseball Minor League Free Agents

Minor League Baseball

 

Chris Burke; Photo by grovesa16 via Flickr

The always useful Baseball America has published the full list of minor league free agents. As you might expect several players with Kentucky ties are looking for work this offseason. I’ve listed them below, with their 2009 organization, classification and Kentucky tie.

 

  • 2B Chris Burke — Louisville, Ky. — Braves (AAA)
  • RHP Greg Atencio — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • RHP Frederico Baez — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • RHP Jeff Kennard — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • LHP Camilo Vazquez — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • C Korey Feiner — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • 1B Wes Bankston — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • 2B Luis Bolivar — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • OF Lew Ford — Louisville Bats — Reds (AAA)
  • RHP Ryan Speier — Frankfort, Ky. — Rockies (AAA)
  • RHP Matt Wilhite — Franklin, Ky. — Rockies (AAA)
  • SS Ronald Ramirez — Lexington Legends — Astros (Hi A)

It’s a long list so I might have missed one or two. If you see an omission shoot me an email or comment on the post.

Burke named a top college hitter of the 2000s

College Baseball, Major League Baseball
chris burke

Chris Burke; Photo by grovesa16 via Flickr

Kendall Rogers of Yahoo Sports! has listed his top 10 college hitters of the 2000s, and a Kentucky native made the cut. Chris Burke, who graduated from St. X High School in Louisville in 1998, played collegiately at Tennessee from 1999-2001. Burke was a second-team Freshman All-American in 1999, third-team All-American in 2000 and first-team All-American in 2001.

Rogers writes of the 2001 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, who he ranks ninth on his list: “It’s no surprise to anyone that Burke made it to the big leagues.” Burke batted .435 with 21 doubles, 11 triples, 20 home runs and 60 RBI his junior season before the Houston Astros selected him with the tenth pick in the 2001 draft. Burke spent most of last season in AAA with the Gwinnett Braves. (Read more)

Rogers ranked 2009 Louisville Bat Yonder Alonso tenth on his list.

All BluGrass Baseball Team: Ky. Alumni

Minor League Baseball
Sawyer Carroll; Photo: UK Athletics

Sawyer Carroll; Photo: UK Athletics

In the second installment of the 2009 “All BluGrass Baseball Team” we’ll look at alumni of Kentucky schools in the minor leagues.

  • Catcher — A. J. Ellis — PLD HS — AAA Albuquerque — .314, 48 runs, 39 RBI, .438 On-Base
  • First Base — Ryan Strieby — UK — AA Erie — .303, 19 HR, 58 RBI
  • Second Base — Seth Bynum — Louisville, Ky. — AAA Syracuse — .267, 20 HR, 69 RBI
  • Third Base — Tyler Sellers — EKU — AA Reading — .317, 17 HR, 86 RBI
  • Shortstop — Chris Burke — St. X — AAA Richmond — .279, 4 HR, 35 RBI, 15 SB
  • Left Field — Tyler Kuhn — Trinity HS — High A Winston-Salem — .289, 55 R, 46 RBI, 26 SB
  • Center Field — Ben Revere — Lexington, Ky. — High A Fort Meyers — .311, 2 HR, 48 RBI, 75 Runs, 45 SB
  • Right Field — Sawyer Carroll — UK — AA San Antonio — .317, 8 HR, 96 RBI
  • Designated Hitter — Michael Bertram — UK — AA Erie — .282, 18 HR, 77 RBI
  • Starting Pitcher 1 — Christian Friedrich — EKU — High A Modesto — 6-5, 2.41, 159 SO, 119.2 IP
  • Starting Pitcher 2 — Robbie Ross — Lexington, Ky. — Short-Season Spokane — 4-4, 2.66, 76 SO, 74.1 IP
  • Starting Pitcher 3 — Chaz Roe — Lexington, Ky. — AA Tulsa — 7-3, 3.15, 77 SO, 117 IP
  • Starting Pitcher 4 — Daniel Calhoun — Murray State — Short-Season Batavia — 2-0, 1.86, 42 SO, 48.1 IP
  • Starting Pitcher 5 — Marty Popham — Union — Short-Season Mahoning Valley — 6-1, 2.76, 83 SO, 75 IP
  • Closer — B. J. Rosenberg — UofL — AA Reading — 7-3, 1.18, 22 saves, 73 So, 61 IP

Notes: As with the KY minor league team, relief pitcher was the most competitive spot. In addition to Rosenberg, who was selected to represent the U.S. on the World Cup team, Zach Dials, Scott Green, Trystan Magnuson, Nathan Jones and Keith Butler also posted excellent numbers out of the bullpen. Collin Cowgill and Sean Coughlin are probably better prospects at their positions than the representative on this team, but both missed significant time due to an injury.