The playoffs are officially underway with the Texas Rangers up 4-0 on Tampa Bay at the time of this posting. The playoffs aren’t without plenty of Kentucky connections as every team except the Giants has a player with Bluegrass State connections. Check out the list of Kentucky natives and former minor league players participating in the playoffs below:
Cincinnati Reds (NL Central)
- Edison Volquez — Louisville Bats (2010)*
- Johnny Cueto — Louisville Bats (2007)
- Aroldis Chapman — Louisville Bats (2010)
- Logan Ondrusek — Louisville Bats (2008, 09, 10)
- Bill Bray — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09, 10)
- Homer Bailey — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09, 10)
- Travis Wood — Louisville Bats (2009, 2010)
- Joey Votto — Louisville Bats (2007)
- Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats (2007, 08, 09)
- Drew Stubbs — Louisville Bats (2008, 09)
- Jonny Gomes — Louisville Bats (2009)
- Ryan Hanigan — Louisville Bats (2003, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10)
- Chris Heisey — Louisville Bats (2009)
- Paul Janish — Louisville Bats (2007, 08)
- Juan Francisco — Louisville Bats (2009, 10)
Philadelphia Phillies (NL East)
- Joe Blanton — Franklin-Simpson HS (UK)
Atlanta Braves (NL Wild Card)
- Jonny Venters — Born in Pikeville, Ky. (HS in Florida)
- Brooks Conrad — Lexington Legends (2003)
Minnesota Twins (AL Central)
- Jon Rauch — Oldham Co. High School (Morehead St.)
New York Yankees (AL Wild Card)
- Austin Kearns — Lafayette High School
Tampa Bay Rays (AL East)
- Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends (2005)
Texas Rangers (AL West)
- Josh Hamilton — Louisville Bats (2007)*
*– Volquez and Hamilton both played for Louisville only during rehab assignments.
Edison Volquez; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Friday highlights from Kentucky MiLB baseball:
- Cincinnati Reds rehabbing starting pitcher Edison Volquez allowed just one hit in seven innings in his third start for the Louisville Bats, who defeated the Toledo Mud Hens 3-0. Designate hitter Drew Sutton tallied two hits in the game.
- Left-handed pitcher Luis Cruz earned his fourth win of the season for the Lexington Legends who defeated the West Virginia Power 4-1. Second baseman Jose Altuve and left fielder Jacob Goebbert each homered for the Legends.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods mustered just three hits in a 6-0 shutout loss to the Dayton Dragons. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates took the loss despite allowing just one run in five innings.
- Former UK infielder Michael Bertram launched his tenth home run of the season for AA Erie.
- Former UofL infielder Adam Duvall slugged his second professional home run for short-season Salem-Keizer.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took a no decision for low A Cane County after allowing just two runs in five and two-third innings.
- Former UofL second baseman Justin McClanahan was 2-5 with a home run and three RBI for high A Dunedin.
- Former Morehead St. shortstop Drew Lee was 3-4 with a double for rookie-level Bristol.
Richie Rowland; Photo: Campbellsville University
Highlights from Independence Day Kentucky MiLB action:
- Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Edison Volquez earned his second win for the Louisville Bats since joining the team on a rehabilitation assignment in a 4-2 victory over the Indianapolis Indians. Volquez surrendered two runs in five innings.
- The Lexington Legends started their homestand on the right foot with a 6-5 win over the Augusta GreenJackets. Outfielder J. D. Martinez was 3-4 with two runs scored.
- Former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez was 1-4 with a run scored in the game for Augusta.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods lost a slugfest 12-11 to Fort Wayne in game one of a three-game series. Right fielder Brett Nommensen was 2-6 with a home run, four RBI and one run scored.
- Former Campbellsville catcher and 2010 non-drafted free agent Richie Rowland homered in his second consecutive game and extended his hitting streak to 11 games for rookie-level Missoula.
- Former UofL first baseman Andrew Clark launched his first professional home run for short-season Spokane. He was 1-2 with a home run, one RBI, two walks and two runs scored.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took the loss for low A Kane County despite allowing just two runs in six innings. He struck out nine and walked just one.
- Former WKU outfielder Chad Cregar was 1-3 with a home run and two RBI for low A Greensboro.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones earned his seventh win of the season for high A Winston-Salem. Jones surrendered one run on eight hits in five and one-third innings and struck out five.
- Lafayette High School alum Chaz Roe took the loss for AAA Colorado Springs after surrendering five runs in four and two-third innings.
- Danville native Patrick Cooper earned the win in his first start for shorts-season Connecticut after allowing just one run on two hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Marcus Nidiffer, center; Photo: UK Athletics
Check out highlights from Kentucky-related Minor League play Tuesday with links taking you to game box scores:
- Cuban phenom Aroldis Chapman blew his first save since moving to the bullpen in the Louisville Bats‘ 7-5 loss to the Durham Bulls. Cincinnati Reds right-handed pitcher Edison Volquez surrendered two runs in six innings and struck out seven in his second rebah start with the Bats.
- First baseman Aaron Bray tallied four hits and scored twice to lead the Lexington Legends to a 6-5 victory over the Hickory Crawdads. Right-handed pitcher Zachary Grimmett earned the win with four scoreless innings out of the Lexington bullpen.
- The Bowling Green Hot Rods‘ offense was held in check by the Lansing Lugnuts in a 4-2 loss. Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates took a no decision after surrendering two runs in five innings in his fourth start of the season.
- Former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer continued to make teams look foolish for not drafting him with a 3-7, double-header performance for the Greeneville Astros. Nidiffer launched his first two professional home runs and drove in four runs on the day. He’s batting .435 in his young career.
- Former UK second baseman Chris Bisson made his professional debut for the short-season Eugene Emeralds with an 0-3 performance. He did walk, steal a base and score.
- Former UofL left-handed pitcher and 2010 draftee Dean Kiekhefer has been promoted to the low A Quad City River Bandits where he made his debut with four scoreless innings of relief Tuesday.
- Former NKU outfielder Jacob Shafer was 3-4 with a run scored Tuesday for the high A High Desert Mavericks and is 6-8 in his last two games with two runs scored.
- Former NKU right-handed pitcher Nathan Jones moved to 6-2 on the season for the high A Winston-Salem Dash after allowing four runs in six and two-third innings Tuesday.
- In his first start for the AA Akron Aeros former Union College right-handed pitcher Marty Popham took a no decision despite allowing just one run in six innings. He struck out six and walked none.
- Boyd County native Tyler Gatrell recorded his first professional save by striking out two of the three batters he faced for the rookie-level AZL Royals.
Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- Katya Cengel of the Courier-Journal profiles University of Louisville rising redshirt freshman catcher Asaad Ali and his relationship with his father, famed boxer Muhammad Ali.
- Edison Volquez made a rehab start for the Louisville Bats Wednesday and hopes to make two more starts before rejoining the Cincinnati Reds, Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal reports.
- Ben Badler of Baseball America breaks down the Reds’ decision to move Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen in hopes of prepping him for a possible big-league callup.
- The South Atlantic League All-Star game wasn’t kind to the Lexington Legends‘ representatives. Jose Altuve, Kody Hinze and J. D. Martinez combined to go 2-12 in the game. Reliever Kirk Clark surrendered two hits but no runs in one inning.
Friday was a busy day for baseball in the Bluegrass. Here are some morning links to start your weekend: