Lueke eagerly awaits MLB debut; Kearns to platoon in left

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Austin Kearns; Photo by Scott Ableman via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Greg Johns of MLB.com talks with Highland Heights native Josh Lueke about his impending MLB debut, and Lueke reminisces about attending Reds’ games as a teenager.
  • Jordan Bastian and Zack Meisel of MLB.com reports Lexington native Austin Kearns will split time in left field with Travis Buck until Cleveland Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore returns from injury.
  • Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports the Phillies have released Louisville native Matt Anderson, who was attempting to make a comeback with the team after several years away from professional baseball.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Cardinals are not rushing Louisville native Zack Cox, who might have been able to handle AA in his first full professional season.
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Ijames, Davis earn conference weekly honors; Adcock wins Royal’s bullpen job; Downs, Hart hope for April returns

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Taylor Davis; Morehead St. photo

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • University of Louisville redshirt junior outfielder Stewart Ijames was named the Big East Conference player of the week.
  • Morehead State University junior catcher Taylor Davis was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week.
  • Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star reports Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock, a Rule 5 Draft pick, will open the season in the Kansas City Royals’ bullpen.
  • Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA lists the UofL and Western Kentucky University among the 25 teams to watch outside of the website’s top 25 ranking.
  • Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs threw off a mound on Monday for the first time since breaking his left big toe in March and hopes to return by mid-April.
  • Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart hopes to return from his strained rib-cage muscle in time for the Brewers series versus the Cubs April 8-10.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb was pleased with his Monday bullpen session.
  • Jeff Schuler of The Morning Call profiles Louisville native Matt Anderson who hopes to continue his comeback with the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Kentuckians on MLB Spring Training rosters

Major League Baseball

MLB graphic

Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training camps across Florida and Arizona. In addition to the 17 Kentuckians who appeared in the major leagues last season, several Kentucky minor leaguers are also in MLB camps this Spring. Check out the full list below, remembering that some other minor leaguers will see time during split squad games this Spring.

National League

  • RHP Michael Broadway — Born in Paducah, Ky. — Atlanta Braves*
  • 2B Dan Uggla — Born in Louisville, Ky. — Atlanta Braves
  • LHP Jonny Venters — Born in Pikeville, Ky. — Atlanta Braves
  • OF Corey Hart — Greenwood HS — Milwaukee Brewers
  • RHP Sean Green — Male HS, UofL — Milwaukee Brewers
  • 3B Zack Cox — PRP — St. Louis Cardinals
  • LHP Trever Miller — Trinity HS — St. Louis Cardinals
  • RHP Todd Wellemeyer — Eastern HS, Bellarmine — Chicago Cubs
  • OF Collin Cowgill — Henry Clay HS, UK — Arizona Diamondbacks*
  • C A. J. Ellis — PLD — Los Angeles Dodgers
  • RHP Tyler Clippard — Born in Lexington, Ky. — Washington Nationals
  • RHP Joe Blanton — Franklin Simpson HS, UK — Philadelphia Phillies
  • RHP Matt Anderson — St. X — Philadelphia Phillies*
  • RHP Matt Klinker — Madisonville, Ky. — Cincinnati Reds*
  • LHP Christian Friedrich — EKU — Colorado Rockies*
  • LHP Aaron Cook — Born in Fort Campbell, Ky. — Colorado Rockies

American League

  • LHP Scott Downs — PRP, UK — Los Angeles Angels
  • RHP Trystan Magnuson — UofL — Oakland Athletics
  • RHP Jon Rauch — Oldham Co. HS, Morehead St. — Toronto Blue Jays
  • 2B Jason Kipnis — UK — Cleveland Indians*
  • OF Austin Kearns — Lafayette HS — Cleveland Indians
  • RHP Josh Lueke — Scott HS, NKU — Seattle Mariners
  • RHP Shawn Kelley — Ballard HS — Seattle Mariners
  • RHP Chaz Roe — Lafayette HS — Seattle Mariners
  • 3B Mark Reynolds — Born in Pikeville, Ky. — Baltimore Orioles
  • RHP Brandon Webb — Boyd Co. HS, UK — Texas Rangers
  • RHP Cory Wade — Ky. Wesleyan — Tampa Bay Rays*
  • RHP Nathan Adcock — North Hardin HS — Kansas City Royals
  • 1B Ryan Strieby — UK — Detroit Tigers
  • OF Ben Revere — Lexington Catholic HS — Minnesota Twins
  • RHP Nathan Jones — Pendelton Co. HS, NKU — Chicago White Sox

* — Denotes a non-roster invitee.

Webb, Blanton, Anderson among early spring storylines

College Baseball, Major League Baseball

Brandon Webb; Photo by SD Dirk via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • In his Spring Training preview Jason Stark of ESPN.com ranks former UK right-handed pitcher and Ashland native Brandon Webb the most important injury comeback and St. X alum Matt Anderson the most unlikely name on a Spring Training roster.
  • David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News reports Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee confirmed former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton will be the team’s fifth starting pitcher.
  • Dubee’s proclamation hasn’t convinced Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who lists “Will Joe Blanton still be a Phillie when the club heads north?” as his fourth most important Phillies’ question heading into Spring Training.
  • University of Louisville junior second baseman Ryan Wright and sophomore third baseman Cade Stallings each slugged home runs in Sunday’s Red-Gray scrimmage.
  • Reports out of the University of Kentucky‘s Sunday intrasquad game had junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer hitting 100 m.p.h. on the radar gun.

Former No. 1 attempts comeback with Phillies; Friedrich, Kipnis among top prospects; At least 6 2010 Cats transfer

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Christian Friedrich; Photo by Matt McGee via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com profiles Louisville native and St. X alum Matt Anderson‘s attempted return to MLB with the Philadelphia Phillies. Anderson was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft, and is 15-7 with a 5.19 ERA in 257 career games. A shoulder injury derailed his career in 2003.
  • Tracy Ringolsby of Baseball America ranks former EKU left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich the No. 4 prospect in the Colorado Rockies system.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis the No. 4 second base prospect in MiLB.
  • On Tuesday we linked comments from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who said he would not trade former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton before Opening Day. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports the Phillies have decided Blanton’s role as rotation depth is worth more than his trade value.
  • Derek Poore of the Courier-Journal reports Blue Jays farmhand Trystan Magnuson, former major league pitcher Paul Byrd, UofL head coach Dan McDonnell, former Astro Chris Burke and others will speak at the BaseballCon held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville on Jan. 28-29.
  • Yesterday we listed the newcomers on the newly released University of Kentucky roster, but also of interest were the 2010 players no longer on the roster. BluGrass Baseball has confirmed third baseman Andy Burns transferred to Arizona, outfielder Cory Farris transferred to Cumberland University, right-handed pitcher Joe Devine transferred to Georgetown College, outfielder Navarro Hall transferred to Columbus State University, right-handed pitcher Chase Greene transferred to Eastern Kentucky University and right-handed pitcher Sean Bouthilette transferred to Campbellsville University. Right-handed pitcher Kyle Jackson and left-handed pitcher Jon Carlson are also no longer on the roster.