NKU alum Josh Lueke traded to Mariners in Lee deal

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

The first major trade of the 2010 season is in the books and a Kentucky player was involved. The Seattle Mariners have traded left-handed ace Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers for first baseman Justin Smoak, Northern Kentucky University alum Josh Lueke and two other minor leaguers. Lueke, a native of Highland Heights and graduate of Scott High School, was 3-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 32 relief appearances for low A Hickory and AA Frisco at the time of the trade. The right-handed pitcher has struck out 62 and walked just 10 in 38 and one-third innings pitched. (Read more from FoxSports.com)

Bluegrass connection to three-team blockbuster

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Joe Blanton; UK Athletics Wallpaper

The Hot Stove is abuzz with news of the three-team blockbuster between the Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners, and if you look hard enough there is a Bluegrass angle to the story. For Kentucky fans the real question is what does the trade do for Phillies starting pitcher and University of Kentucky alum Joe Blanton?

  • John Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com tweets that for now Joe Blanton appears likely to stay in Philadelphia.
  • 2009 Louisville Bats Zach Stewart and Josh Roenicke, traded by the Reds for Scott Rolen, were named the No. 1 and No. 7 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays system by Baseball America. Of course this is before the Blue Jays pick up several prospects in the Roy Halladay trade.
  • UK Athletics reports Futurebacks.com has named former University of Kentucky catcher Sean Coughlin the Arizona Diamondbacks Offensive Position Player of the Year.
  • Jeff Arnold and Adam Duvall were named captains of the 2010 University of Louisville baseball team.
  • Finally, in the category of fail by the World Wide Leader (ESPN) super-agent Scott Boras was on The Scott Van Pelt Show this afternoon and Van Pelt failed to ask him anything about the James Paxton case or the college no-agent rule in general.

Hall of Fame, World Series and more



Chris Heisey

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

The Phillies withstood a late rally to win game five and push the World Series to a game six in New York. Philadelphia’s chances of winning two in a row in New York are not good, but they’ll need a similar performance from Pedro Martinez in game six that they got in game two if they want to force a game seven. Only then will Manager Charlie Manuel have to decide between bringing UK alum Joe Blanton back on three days rest or starting the struggling Cole Hamels.


  • EKU Athletics inducted former Colonel and Legend Josh Anderson into their athletic Hall of Fame. Look for more later.
  • Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks a possible game seven would see a mix-and-match Phillies’ pitching performance, but Blanton’s chances of earning the outright start aren’t good.
  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey was 1-4 with a triple, run scored and RBI for Peoria in the AFL. Teammate Yonder Alonso was 2-4 with a RBI.
  • Alan Stein, president an CEO of the Lexington Legends, received a Vision Award from Bluegrass Tomorrow.

Saturday Links: Joe Blanton gets game fours tart

Major League Baseball

UK alum and Franklin-Simpson graduate Joe Blanton will get the start for the Philadelphia Phillies in game four of the World Series. Some had thought the Phillies might bring ace Cliff Lee back on three days rest, but his 120+ pitch performance in game one ended that chance. Blanton also got the start in game four of the World Series in 2009, when he recorded the win an hit his only career home run. I posted the video above during the ALCS, but it’s worth another look.

  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News writes Blanton has faced the Yankees five times in his career.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the decision was easy because Lee has never pitched on three days rest in his career.
  • MLB.com’s Noah Coslov interviews Blanton.
  • Hal Body breaks down the decision in an MLB.com video.

Friday Links: Louisville Slugger found liable

College Baseball, High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

sluggerThe Yankees rallied in the sixth and seventh innings to tie the World Series at one game a piece. UK alum Joe Blanton was not used out of the Phillies’ pen, so he could still be in line for a start later in the series. Regardless of the world series, the most important news of the day may be a Montanta jury’s ruling about a Kentucky baseball company:

  • The Helena Independent Record reports Hillerich & Bradsby Co., makers of Louisville Slugger baseball bats, was found liable in the death of an 18-year-old American Legion baseball player.
  • Barry Petchesky of Deadspin.com says the ruling isn’t likely to end the use of aluminum bats.
  • Phillies manager Charlie Manuel hasn’t yet decided his rotation plans. Andy Martino of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports he could use Cliff Lee on full rest in game five, allowing Blanton to pitch game four on Sunday.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reiterates what we all suspected. Bellarmine alum Todd Wellemeyer doesn’t appear to be in the Cardinals’ plans for 2010.
  • Mark J. Miller of Yahoo! Sports jumps on the D’Backs picking up UK alum Brandon Webb’s contract option bandwagon.
  • WKU Baseball’s 2010 preview continues: “#5: Cameron Provides Consistency

Thursday Links: Look ahead to WKU 2010 season

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

wkuThe Phillies had no need for UK alum Joe Blanton out of the pen in game one of the World Series as ace Cliff Lee earned a complete-game victory. Lee’s extended performance may alter the Phillies’ plan to bring him back on three days rest, so that throws Blanton’s up in the air even more.

Tuesday Links: Heisey hits third homer in AFL

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Chris Heisey

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Still no word about Joe Blanton’s role for the Phillies in the World Series. I think its safe to say he’ll be in the pen for the first three games, but after that it’s anyone’s guess. Until we find out, here are some Tuesday morning links:

  • Baseball America says Daviess County alum Tyler Blandford had the best fastball in the Seattle Mariners draft class. (subscription required)
  • BA says WKU alum Wade Gaynor has the best power in the Tigers’ draft class. (subscription required)
  • 2009 Bat Chris Heisey was 2-4 with his third home run and teammate Yonder Alonso was 0-3 with two walks and two runs scored in the AFL Monday.
  • The Phillies rotation is still up in the air according to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com repeats that sentiment.
  • However, John Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted Monday that the Phillies would use Cliff Lee in games 1,4,7; Pedro Martinez in game 2; Cole Hamels in games 3 and 5; and the game six starter is still in question.

Sunday Links: Blanton may start World Series in pen

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
philliesA rainout in the ALCS Saturday postponed the Phillies learning their World Series opponents identity for at least one more day, but there was still plenty of Kentucky-related World Series chatter. Here are those stories and more for a Sunday afternoon:
  • MLB.com reports Cliff Lee, Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels will likely start the first three games for the Phillies in the World Series while UK alum Joe Blanton and J. A. Happ begin the series in the pen.
  • Jason Stark of ESPN.com reports that the youth of the Phillies’ rotation, including Blanton (28), has some Philadelphia fans and executives thinking they may build a dynasty.
  • The Sporting News also reports Blanton is a candidate for the game four start.
  • Evan Bittner of FanHuddle.com looks at Rockies’ top prospect and EKU alum Christian Friedrich.
  • 2009 Bat Yonder Alonso was 2-4 with two RBI and teammate Chris Hesiey was 0-5 in the AFL Saturday. Louisville closer Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two.

Friday Links: Blanton’s role in NLCS still TBD

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

Chris Heisey; Photo via Flickr

The playoffs are back in full swing. Check out those storylines and more in today’s hot links:

  • The Phillies held on for an 8-6 marathon win Thursday in game one of the NLCS. UK alum Joe Blanton didn’t appear in the game,
  • Pedro Martinez will start game two for the Phillies and Cliff Lee will start game three. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel says he doesn’t know who will start game four because J. A. Happ and Joe Blanton are still in the pen for now. Happ appeared in game one, so that might give Blanton the edge for game four.
  • Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald reports the Red Sox would be interested in Brandon Webb if the D’Backs don’t pick up his option.
  • Chris Heisey was 2-4 with two runs scored and a double for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League Thursday. Yonder Alonso was 1-4 with a run scored.
  • Louisville Bats closer Logan Ondrusek had a miserable outing, allowing five runs in two-thirds of an inning. 2009 Legend Daniel Meszaros allowed four runs in one and one-third innings.

Cook earns win in game two for Rockies

Major League Baseball
Aaron Cook; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Aaron Cook; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Fort Campbell-native Aaron Cook earned his first win of the postseason in game two of the National League Division Series between Colorado and Philadelphia. The Rockies right-handed starting pitcher allowed three runs in five innings of work while striking out four and walking two. Cook was cruising with five shutout innings before allowing three runs without recording an out in the sixth inning. He also had a hit an a run scored in the game.

The Rockies added one seventh inning insurance run that proved enough to hold off a late ¬†Phillies comeback. UK alum and Franklin-Simpson High School graduate Joe Blanton was the surprise first man out of the Phillies pen in game two. Blanton was thought to be the leading candidate to start game three for Philadelphia, but after Cliff Lee’s complete game victory in game one, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose to used Blanton out of the pen. He surrendered one run in one-plus innings of work. (Read more)