MiLB roundup: Bats win; Legends, Hot Rods lose; Carroll has three hits; Glad, Dominguez homer; Ross earns win

Minor League Baseball

Delino Deshields Jr.; BluGrass Baseball photo

Highlights from Sunday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • Offseason Louisville resident Matt Maloney earned his first AAA win of the season in leading the Louisville Bats to an 8-0 victory over Buffalo. Maloney surrendered four hits in seven shutout innings while striking out four batters and walking two. Third baseman Todd Frazier was 3-4 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored.
  • The Lexington Legends slugged three home runs and tallied 13 hits but still couldn’t avoid a 12-11 loss to Hagerstown. Second baseman Delino DeShields Jr. was 3-4 with one home run, one RBI and three runs scored. Right fielder Adam Bailey and left fielder Emilio King also homered. King has two home runs in two games for Lexington.
  • Louisville native Jason Chowning surrendered one run, his first of the season, on two hits in three innings of relief while striking out four batters and walking two for the Legends.
  • Great Lakes scored a single run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Bowling Green Hot Rods to a 3-2 loss. Right-handed pitcher George Jensen took a no decision after surrendering two runs on three hits in five innings while striking out three batters and walking two.
  • Lexington native Robbie Ross earned his fourth win of the season after surrendering one run on four hits in six innings while striking out six batters and walking two.
  • Former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll was 3-4 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored for AA San Antonio.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took a no decision after surrendering two runs on six hits in seven innings while striking out one batter and walking four.
  • Making his second start in affiliated ball, former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton took a no decision after surrendering two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in five innings while striking out three batters and walking four for low A Clinton.
  • Former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich took a no decision after surrendering three runs on six hits in five innings while striking out four batters and walking one.
  • Former UofL third baseman Chris Dominguez slugged his seventh home run of the season for high A San Jose.
  • Former UK infielder Gunner Glad slugged his second home run of the season for low A Beloit.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher Logan Darnell took a loss after surrendering five runs on six hits in four and two-third innings in a start for low A Beloit.
  • Former UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis, who transferred to Arizona St. before the draft, was 3-4 with one double, one RBI and one run scored for AAA Columbus.
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MiLB roundup: Paxton posts quality start in debut; Strieby homers; Cunningham has three hits; Townsend streaking

Minor League Baseball

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

Highlights from Wednesday Kentucky MiLB action:

  • Each of the state’s three minor league teams’ games were rained out.
  • Former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton took a loss but posted a quality start in his MiLB debut. Paxton surrendered three runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in six innings while striking out six batters and walking four.
  • Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby slugged his third home run of the season and went 2-3 in game one of a double-header for AAA Toledo.
  • London native Jon Townsend was 2-3 with two doubles, two runs scored, one walk and one RBI for high A Inland Empire to extend hits hitting streak to six games.
  • Louisville native and former Murray St. infielder Wes Cunningham was 3-5 with two doubles for low A Fort Wayne.
  • Former UK infielder Chris Bisson was 2-5 with one double, two RBI and two runs scored for low A Fort Wayne.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 2-3 with one RBI, one walk and one stolen base for AAA Rochester.
  • Former WKU infielder Wade Gaynor was 2-4 with one double, one walk and one run scored for high A Lakeland.
  • One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker took a loss but surrendered just two runs on three hits in six innings while striking out four batters and walking two for AA Carolina.
  • Former UofL left-handed pitcher Justin Marks took a loss after surrendering five runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out two batters and walking one.
  • Former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich took a loss after surrendering seven runs on 10 hits in four innings while striking out four batters and walking two.
  • Richmond native and former UK outfielder Keenan Wiley was promoted to high A Lynchburg where he went 0-3 in his debut.

UofL, UK pitching performances impress; Paxton sent to minor league camp; Kipnis among top Indians prospects

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA breaks 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.

Adams balances time between two sports; Lueke could win spot in Mariners’ bullpen; Paxton to throw today

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Brian Adams; UK Athletics photo

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Walter Villa, writing for ESPN.com, profiles University of Kentucky sophomore outfielder Brian Adams, noting how the Cats’ speedster balances time between baseball and football.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch compares Louisville native Zack Cox with another former top Cardinals prospect, Brett Wallace.
  • Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke is among those competing for the spot in the Mariners’ bullpen vacated by the injured David Aardsma.
  • Greg Johns of MLB.com reports former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton will throw his first bullpen session on Friday.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports former WKU catcher Jordan Newton, who spend 2010 in the Pirates’ organization, has retired.

Mixed reviews on Webb’s bullpen session; Downs impresses Scioscia early in camp; Paxton may throw on Friday

Major League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb said of his first bullpen session: “It wasn’t the best I’ve ever thrown; it wasn’t the worst.”
  • Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon Journal profiles one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis and his rise through the Cleveland Indians farm system. Ocker notes that while Kipnis was at UK his athletic scholarship only covered the cost of his books.
  • Lyle Spencer of MLB.com reports Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been impressed with the early spring performance of Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs.
  • Larry Stone of The Seattle Times catches up with former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton, who describes his first week in Mariners’ camp as “awesome.” Paxton said the tentative plan is for him to throw a bullpen session on Friday or Saturday.
  • Kelly Thesier of MLB.com reports the Minnesota Twins are giving Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere a day or two off after he scraped his arm making a diving catch Tuesday.

Mariners taking it easy with James Paxton; Joe Blanton fine with his Phillies’ role; Alex Meyer gets national attention

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

A. J. Ellis reads at Glendale (Ariz.) Library; Dodgers photo via Twitter

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Greg Johns of MLB.com reports the Seattle Mariners plan to take it slow with former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton this spring, but he will likely get a shot to pitch in the next week or so. MLB.com also has a video interview with Paxton where he comments on finally signing a professional contract.
  • Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton is not worried about living up to the ace-status of his four Phillies’ rotation mates.
  • Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA breaks down University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer‘s performance in his Saturday start in the Houston College Classic. (subscription required)
  • PLD alum A. J. Ellis recently read to some children at the Glendale Library in honor of Dr. Suess’ birthday. You can see the picture tweeted by the Los Angeles Dodgers above.

Almost 19 months after trying to return to UK, James Paxton finally signs professional contract with Seattle Mariners

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

The end of former University of Kentucky left-handed pitcher James Paxton‘s long nightmare is finally over. The 2010 fourth-round draft pick has signed a professional contract with the Seattle Mariners. Paxton was the first supplemental-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009 but elected to return to UK for his senior season. UK held Paxton out of competition after the NCAA accused him of violating its no-agent rule by allowing his advisor Scott Boras to directly negotiate contract details with the Blue Jays on his behalf. Paxton sued UK to prevent the university from forcing him to speak with NCAA investigators, but a Kentucky Circuit Court judge ruled UK could withhold him from competition.

On Feb. 26, 2010, BluGrass Baseball broke the story that Paxton had left the UK baseball team after losing an appeal in the case. Paxton started four games for Grand Prairie of the Independent American Association prior to the 2010 draft, where he slid all the way to the fourth round to the Mariners. Paxton is the last 2010 draft pick to sign a professional contract since the Aug. 15 deadline for other drafted college players to sign did not apply to him as an independent league pitcher. Paxton was 11-5 with a 4.91 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 55 games during his UK career. (Read more)

Paxton in Seattle for physical; Friedrich among Rockies’ top prospects; D’Backs release former Campbellsville catcher

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Richie Rowland; Photo: Campbellsville University

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • 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.

Corey Hart injured; Mariners close to signing Paxton; Blanton shakes off trade rumors; Brandon Webb throws off mound

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Corey Hart; Photo by Steve Paluch via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart suffered a slight strain of his right side during defensive drills Saturday. Hart may miss a couple of days with the injury according to Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
  • Following a night full of Internet rumors, Keith Law of ESPN.com reports via Twitter that former UK left-handed pitcher James Paxton has not signed with the Seattle Mariners yet, but the deal is “getting close.” Paxton was the team’s fourth-round pick in 2010 after he was ruled ineligible during his senior season at UK for having his agent, Scott Boras, negotiate directly with the Toronto Blue Jays following the 2009 draft.
  • Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton shrugged off the rampant offseason trade rumors and the his status as forgotten man in the Phillies rotation to post a stellar Spring Training debut.
  • Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb threw off a mound for the first time this Spring on Sunday.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports Louisville Bats outfielder Dave Sappelt was the start of the Reds’ Saturday intrasquad scrimmage.

Jon Rauch returns to mound after ankle injury; Todd Wellemeyer finds comfort in returning to former team

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest hits from around Kentucky baseball:

  • 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.