Jay Bruce; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Kentucky highlights from Friday playoff action and the latest links from around Kentucky baseball:
- Former Louisville Bats outfielder Jay Bruce homered but also allowed two runs to score when he lost a ball in the lights during the seventh inning in the Cincinnati Reds’ 7-4 loss to the Phillies. Left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who spent most of 2010 with the Bats, took the loss.
- Atlanta Braves left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, born in Pikeville, surrendered two hits in a scoreless inning in the team’s 5-4 win over the Giants.
- John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports the Red Sox were one of 21 teams scouting Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb during an Instructional League appearance Thursday.
- John Manuel of Baseball America ranked one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis No. 9 on the magazine’s Eastern League top 20 prospects list.
- In the accompanying online chat Manuel also answered several questions about Kipnis. (subscription required)
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.
Jay Bruce; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Links from around Kentucky baseball fans as Reds fans come back down from last night’s euphoria:
- The Cincinnati Reds clinched the NL Central on a walkoff home run from former Louisville Bats outfielder Jay Bruce. The Reds currently have 24 former Bats on their active roster. Six former Bats played in the division clinching win, and 2010 Bats left-handed pitcher Aroldis Chapman got the win.
- Lexington native Austin Kearns and the New York Yankees clinched an AL playoff spot with a 6-1 win over the Blue Jays. The Yankees remain one-half game back of the Rays in the AL East.
- Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, tallied his 100th RBI of the season after slugging his 32nd home run in a 3-2 loss to Atlanta.
- Eric Nelson of WCCO reports Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere is grateful for his chance to play for the Twins this season.
- Aaron Gleeman of the Minnesota Post reports, despite being called up on Sept. 1 Revere is still in the running for the final bench spot on the Twins playoff roster thanks to some disabled list roster maneuvering.
- Sam Schreiber of WAVE reports former University of Louisville baseball player Isaiah Howes has made his first public comments since shooting former UofL football player Daniel Covington.
- David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News projects former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton would start game four of the NLCS and World Series if the Phillies were to advance that far.
Joey Votto; Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Tristan H. Cockcroft ESPN.com has released his preliminary rankings for the 2010 top 200 fantasy players. Clearly this list will change based on offseason movement and injuries before March, but it’s never too early to start preparing your fantasy draft. Here are the players with Kentucky ties on the list:
- 41) 1B Joey Votto — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
- 44) 3B Mark Reynolds — Pikevilly, Ky. — Arizona Diamondbacks
- 58) OF Adam Dunn — Louisville Bats — Washington Nationals
- 90) INF/OF Ben Zobrist — Lexington Legends — Tampa Bay Rays
- 100) OF Hunter Pence — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- 114) OF Jay Bruce — Louisville Bats — Cincinnati Reds
- 136) SP Wandy Rodriguez — Lexington Legends — Houston Astros
- 145) SP Brandon Webb — Ashland, Ky., UK — Arizona Diamondbacks
- 146) 2B Dan Uggla — Louisville, Ky. — Florida Marlins
- 177) 2B Felipe Lopez — Louisville Bats — FA
You can see Cockcroft’s full list here.
Photo by angela n. via Flickr
ESPN has released its list of top 100 fantasy keepers for 2010. Keepers in fantasy baseball are players that a fantasy owner has control of for multiple seasons. The list doesn’t necessarily reflect the best fantasy players, because youth is rewarded since an owner will control the player for multiple years. You can see the full list here, but these are the Kentucky players and their rankings:
- 23 — Mark Reynolds — Arizona Diamondbacks — Pikeville, Ky.
- 40 — Joey Votto — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
- 56 — Adam Dunn — Washington Nationals — Louisville Bats
- 69 — Hunter Pence — Houston Astros — Lexington Legends
- 80 — Ben Zobrist — Tampa Rays — Lexington Legends
- 83 — Jay Bruce — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
- 92 — Drew Stubbs — Cincinnati Reds — Louisville Bats
- 99 — Dan Uggla — Florida Marlins — Louisville, Ky.
Sep. 1 marked the official expansion of MLB rosters from 25 to 40. While no team actually carries 40 players during the “September Callup” period, many teams bring some young players up from the minor leagues to either reinforce their team for a playoff run or have and extended audition for next season. We’ll use this post to keep track of any players with Kentucky ties that are called up to the big leagues as minor league seasons end. Major-league players who were activated from the disabled list because of the expanded rosters are also noted. New additions are bolded.
- OF Jay Bruce (DL) — Cincinnati Reds — 2008, 2009 Louisville Bats
- 3B Juan Francisco — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
- C A. J. Ellis — Los Angeles Dodgers — Dunbar Class of 1999
- RHP Matt Belisle — Colorado Rockies — 2003-2004 Louisville Bats
- C Ryan Hannigan — Cincinnati Reds — 2007-2009 Louisville Bats
- OF Corey Hart (DL) — Milwuakee Brewers — Greenwood High
- LHP Matt Maloney — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
- RHP Carlos Fisher — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 3b Chris Johnson — Houston Astros –2007 Lexington Legends
- SS Tommy Manzella — Houston Astros — 2006 Lexington Legends
- 3b Edwin Encarnacion (DL) — Toronto Blue Jays — 2005-2007 Louisville Bats
- RHP Todd Wellemeyer (DL) — St. Louis Cardinals — Bellarmine
- LHP Pedro Viola — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
- 2B Brooks Conrad — Atlanta Braves — 2003 Lexington Legend
- RHP Matt Albers — Baltimore Orioles — 2004 Lexington Legends
- 1B Kevin Barker — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
- RP Ramon Ramirez — Cincinnati Reds — 2009 Louisville Bats
Louisville’s 8-4 loss in game one of the five-game series against Durham was the lead story in the BluGrass Baseball universe Wednesday. Check out the multitude of game recaps and more in Thursday’s links:
- The Louisville Bats’ Web site reports their defense faltered in game one.
- The site also reports on Alonso’s promotion and Jay Bruce’s role with the team.
- Mike Potter of the Courier-Journal reports the Bats bowed to the Bulls in game one.
- The box score from game one.
- Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Reds’ outfielder Jay Bruce will remain with Louisville through the first round of the playoffs.
- Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal previews the Bats’ playoff series.
- UofL Baseball has announced it will hold walk-on tryouts.
- Murray State Athletics reports former Racer baseball player Tommy Rushing has passed away.
- I updated the Top Prospects page to include Reds’ top prospect Yonder Alonso.