Sellers hopes for big league promotion; Wright is hero in Team USA win; Morehead Eagles named summer All-Stars

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Some links to get you through a Monday morning:

  • Kevin Patton of The Gleaner of Henderson profiles former Henderson County High School and Eastern Kentucky University infielder Neil Sellers, who was in Louisville with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for a series against the Bats this weekend. Sellers told Patton, “I have proved myself at every level, and I have to keep proving myself” to earn his coveted big league promotion.
  • Louisville Bats manager Rick Sweet tells Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal he hasn’t given up on making the playoffs yet.
  • University of Louisville rising junior infielder Ryan Wright‘s RBI triple plated the only run in Team USA’s 1-0 win over Korea Saturday.
  • Morehead State University rising sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Gibson, rising sophomore infielder Kellen Begeman, incoming freshman Ryan Rogers and rising junior right-handed pitcher Josh Schneider were named All-Stars in their respective summer leagues.
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Friday Links: Bats Comeback

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Louisville Slugger Field

I’ll probably have fewer posts than normal over the next couple of days as I recover from having my wisdom teeth removed, but never fear here are some Friday links to hold you over.  Look for a recap of UofL summer league action this afternoon.

  • The Bats scored five times in the eighth and ninth innings to come back and defeat Lehigh Valley 12-8.
  • The West Virginia Power used an eight-run sixth inning and a home run from first-round pick Tony Sanchez to defeat Lexington 12-6.
  • Matt Moore struck out nine in five innings to lead Bowling Green to a victory in the series-opener against Hickory.
  • Don’t look for team USA member and UofL pitcher Tony Zych to pitch in the Olympics anytime soon.  The IOC decided Thursday that baseball would not return to the 2016 games.
  • UK Athletics reports about Braden Kapteyn’s NYCBL MVP.

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Matt Moore

Bowling Green Hot Rods vs. Hickory Crawdads

  • Bowling Green ace Matthew Moore will open the series against Hickory tonight on the mound for the Hot Rods.  Moore is 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 100.2 innings this season.  His 141 strikeouts rank third in the South Atlantic League, five behind Lexington’s Jordan Lyles for most in the league.  Moore’s 2.68 ERA is fourth lowest in the league.
  • Hot Rods catcher Tyler Hauschild has one of the strangest hitting streaks you’ll ever see.  Hauschild is currently enjoying a seven-game hitting streak stretched over 25 days.  Hauschild joined the Hot Rods on July 14 and began his hitting streak on July 18.  Tyler has found playing time hard to come by behind Rays prospect Jake Jeffries, who does most of the catching for Bowling Green.  Hauschild has played in 11 games for Bowling Green this season and has at least one hit in nine of them.
  • The Hot Rods are 1-3 against Hickory on the season.  Starting pitcher Chris Andujar has the only win for the Hot Rods and it came while he was pitching out of the Bowling Green bullpen.  No Hot Rod with more than two games played against the Crawdads is batting over .250 against Hickory.
  • Hickory will send right-handed pitcher Jacob Brigham to the mound to open the series with Bowling Green tonight.  Brigham is 2-6 with a 5.12 ERA in 19 games this season.  One of Brigham’s two wins on the year came against Bowling Green when he shutout the Hot Rods through 5.1 innings on April 11, his first start of the season.  As a starting pitcher Bigham is 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in 11 games.

Thursday Links: Cotuit Kettleers Eliminated

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Chris Bisson; Photo: UK Athletics

Chris Bisson; Photo: UK Athletics

Wednesday was a losing night for Bluegrass Baseball teams, and Kentucky connections.  Check out the Cape Cod League finals and other storylines in Thursday morning’s hot links.

  • UK infielder Chris Bisson and the Cotuit Kettleers lost in game two of the Cape Cod League finals, giving the title to the Bourne Braves.  Bisson was 0-3 with a walk in the 5-1 loss.
  • Phillies top prospect Michael Taylor hit for the cycle to lead the Lehigh Valley IronPigs to their first win in seven games against Louisville this season with a 10-9 victory Wednesday.
  • Pirates first round pick Tony Sanchez and the West Virginia Power defeated Lexington 9-2 in the series opener.
  • “Cat Scratches” reports on Braden Kapteyn’s NYCBL MVP, which was first reported here and on the BluGrass Baseball twitter.
  • Baseball America named Louisville outfielder Drew Stubbs best baserunner, best defensive outfielder and best outfield arm in the International League in a survey of IL managers.  (Subscriber only)
  • EKU Alum Christian Friedrich and Lexington Legend Jordan Lyles both received votes in the South Atlantic League best pitcher poll conducted by Baseball America to SAL managers.
  • Will Graves (Former Kernelite) at the Associated Press reports on UK Athletics 15x15x15 plan.
  • Jason Stella profiles Louisville Bat Kevin Barker at Examiner.com.

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Matt Maloney

Louisville Bats @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs

  • Louisville looks for the series victory against Lehigh Valley with Matt Maloney on the mound tonight.  Maloney received a brief callup to Cincinnati earlier this season, but has spent most of the year with the Bats.  Matt is 8-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 19 games for Louisville this season.  Maloney’s 2.71 ERA ranks fifth best in the International League and his 106 strikeouts are tied for fourth most.  Matt has shown exceptional control this season with only 19 walks in 126 innings.
  • Bats outfielder Darnell McDonald had only three hits in seven games in August entering Tuesday’s game, but he broke out of that slump in a big way.  McDonald finished the game 4-4 with a double.  The four hits tie a season high for McDonald achieved previously on July 6 against Indianapolis with a 4-5 performance.
  • Outfielder Drew Stubbs stole his 46th base of the season Tuesday.  The 46 steals lead the International league and rank 11th in minor league baseball.  Stubbs should easily break the 50 steal plateau with just under a month left in the season.  Think 50 steals might be a Bats record? Think again, Vince Coleman stole 101 bases in 1984 for the franchise.
  • The IronPigs will counter with left-handed pitcher Gustavo Chacin.  Chacin was once a top prospect, winning the AA Eastern League Pitcher of the Year award in 2004, but he has failed to make a dent past AAA in his career.  This season Chacin is excelling with Lehigh Valley with a 7-3 record and 3.09 ERA in 13 games.  Chacin has 48 strikeouts and 29 walks in 84.1 innings this season.

Wednesday Links: Kentucky Starters Dominate

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Jordan Lyles

How about this pitching line for an evening?  18.1 innings pitched, eight hits, two runs, one earned run, 16 strikeouts and eight walks.  That’s the combined pitching line of the three starting pitchers for Kentucky minor league teams Tuesday.  Only one of the pitchers picked up a win, but a 0.50 ERA and 2-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio isn’t bad.

  • Travis Wood picked up the win for Louisville with six innings pitched, six hits, one earned run, three walks and one strikeout against Lehigh Valley.
  • Nick Barnese took a no decision after pitching six and one-third innings and allowing two hits, one unearned run, three walks and eight strikeouts against Greenville.
  • Jordan Lyles also received a no decision, in a 1-0 Legends’ loss to Asheville, after pitching six shutout innings and allowing one hit, two walks and striking out seven.
  • The Legends also dropped the suspended game finished Tuesday night 5-0 to Asheville.  The two losses drop Lexington to 8.5 games out of first place (into a tie for sixth) and may end any hopes of a playoff run for the Legends.
  • UK Athletics has a story about Chris Bisson leading the Cotuit Kettleers to the Cape Cod League championship series.
  • According to BlueJays.com Toronto GM J. P. Ricciardi is still hopeful that the team will sign its first five draft picks before the Monday deadline, including UK pitcher James Paxton.
  • The Columbus Dispatch profiles AAA Indianapolis manager Frank Kembas Jr., an EKU alum and former Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer.
  • LCA alum Robbie Ross surrendered three runs, including an RBI to UofL alum Chris Dominguez, in five innings to earn a no-decision for short-season Spokane.
  • UK alum Ryan Strieby was back in the lineup for AA Erie and playing first base again Tuesday.  Strieby had been out of action since July 20 with a wrist injury.  He went 1-4 with a run scored and a walk in his return.
  • UK alum Sawyer Carroll is 4-12 with a double and a triple in his first four games for AA San Antonio.

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Travis Wood

Louisville Bats @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs

  • The Bats will send minor-league ERA leader Travis Wood to the mound tonight against the IronPigs.  Wood has a 1.14 ERA between Carolina and Louisville.  Travis is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA in three starts for Louisville with 13 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched.  Wood is finally cashing in on the talent that caused Baseball America to rank him as the third best prospect in the Reds organization in 2006 behind Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce.  Wood has struck out 116 in 137 innings on the season, and opponents are only batting .191 against the lefty.
  • The Bats picked up their 2,000th win since returning to Louisville in 1982 on Sunday.  Louisville was a charter member of the National League in 1876, and the city has had a professional team in all but 20 years since.
  • Bats’ slugger Kevin Barker launched his 22nd home run of the season Monday.  Barker’s 22 home runs are second most in the International League, and his 65 RBI rank fifth in the league.  Barker is batting .321 with three home runs and 10 RBI in eight games in August.
  • The IronPigs will try and earn their first win of the season against Louisville with LHP Brian Mazone on the mound tonight.  Mazone is 1-4 with a 5.16 ERA for Lehigh Valley on the season and is 1-5 with a 6.31 ERA in 20 games this season between the IronPigs and Albany of the AAA Pacific Coast League.  Mazone took the loss in his last start after allowing five runs in four innings against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Tuesday Links: Brown SAL Player of Week

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Steve Brown

Legends outfielder Steve Brown was named South Atlantic League player of the week after a week that saw him go 12-28 (.429) with three home runs and 11 RBI.  Check out more on Brown’s honor and other BluGrass Baseball storylines in this mornings hot links:

  • Minorleaguebaseball.com has a breakdown of each league’s player of the week including Brown.
  • The Legends’ game was suspended due to rain with one out in the fifth inning.  Lexington and Asheville will resume that game where it left off at 6:05 p.m. today before playing tonight’s scheduled game which has been shortened to seven innings.
  • Kevin Barker’s home run gave Louisville a 4-3 victory over Lehigh Valley.
  • The “Other Beckham” (Jeremy, Tim’s brother) hit his first professional home run in an 8-4 Bowling Green victory over Greenville.
  • UK second baseman Chris Bisson was 1-6 with two runs scored in the Cotuit Kettleers’ series clinching victory against Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League semi-finals.  UK pitcher Matt Little surrendered two runs in the game in 2.2 innings of relief for Yarmouth-Dennis.
  • UK baseball has announced a “5-Tool Camp” scheduled for Labor Day weekend.
  • The Associated Press reports that Toronto Blue Jays GM J. P. Riccardi wants MLB to move up the signing deadline for draft picks after the team has failed to sign eight of its first 10 picks, including UK pitcher James Paxton, so far.
  • Here is a piece I wrote for Examiner.com about the top prospects on the Lexington Legends’ roster.
  • EKU alum Christian Friedrich continued his domination of California League opponents by striking out eight in 6.2 innings to lower his ERA to 1.32 and earn his third win in the league.
  • According to Baseball America, the Tigers placed former UK pitcher Scott Green on the 7-day disabled list and the Padres placed former UK pitcher Andrew Albers on the 60-day DL.

Game Time Notes

Minor League Baseball

Micah Owings

Louisville Bats @ Lehigh Valley IronPigs

  • Despite Reds’ manager Dusty Baker’s suggestion that injured starting pitcher Micah Owings might not have to make a rehab start, Cincinnati decided to send Owings to Lehigh Valley tonight for a tuneup with the Bats.  Owings will be the third Red to make a rehab appearance with Louisville this week.  Relief pitcher Jared Burton will take the Reds’ roster spot of recently traded reliever David Weathers today, and outfielder Chris Dickerson will be activated by the Reds in time for Tuesday’s game.  Owings is 6-11 with a 5.35 ERA for the Reds this season.
  • Right-handed pitcher Logan Ondrusek extended his scoreless innings streak to 7.1 to start his Bats’ career.  Ondrusek made his first appearance for Louisville on July 27 and has yet to surrender a run in six games.  Logan began the season with high A Sarasota before being called up to AA Carolina.  Between the three teams, Ondrusek is 4-1 with a 1.23 ERA.
  • Wes Bankston was the offensive star for Louisville in the Bats’ first series against Lehigh Valley this season.  Bankston was 7-16 (.438) with a home run and four RBI in four games against the IronPigs.  Homer Bailey, Sam LeCure, Justin Lehr and Ben Jukich each picked up a win in Louisville’s four-game sweep of Lehigh Valley.
  • The IronPigs will send Drew Carpenter to the mound in the series opener tonight.  Carpenter is 9-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 19 games for Lehigh Valley.  Drew has 94 strikeouts in 119 innings and has held opponents to a .245 batting average.  Carpenter’s 2.72 ERA ranks sixth in the International League.