BluGrass Baseball in the MLB playoffs

Major League Baseball

Joe BlantonWednesday victories by Detroit and Colorado essentially wrapped up the playoff picture for 2009. While Minnesota and Atlanta aren’t technically eliminated, both teams need a miracle to make it now. So if your team is out of it, here’s a list of the Kentucky players on playoff teams’s 40-man rosters to give you an idea of who to root for.

New York Yankees — AL East — NONE

Detroit Tigers — AL Central — NONE

Los Angeles Angels — AL West — NONE

Boston Red Sox — AL Wild Card

  • RHP Paul Byrd — Louisville, Ky.

Philadelphia Phillies — NL East

  • RHP Joe Blanton — UK

St. Louis Cardinals — NL Central

  • RHP Todd Wellemeyer — Louisville, Ky., Bellarmine

Los Angeles Dodgers — NL West

  • *RHP Cory Wade — Kentucky Wesleyan
  • **C A. J. Ellis — PLD HS

Colorado Rockies — NL Wild Card

  • RHP Aaron Cook — Fort Campbell, Ky.

While the Dodgers are the only team with two Kentucky players, Cory Wade is currently not on the active roster and A. J. Ellis is unlikely to make the postseason roster.

Monday Links:

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball
Joe BlantonWe’re back in action on this Monday morning.  UK’s only alum with a world series victory was back on the mound as his team marched toward a defense of their title Sunday. Check out those stories and more:
  • UK alum Joe Blanton picked up his 12th win of the season for the Phillies.
  • UofL alum B. J. Rosenberg and Team USA beat Cuba 10-5 to win the 2009 World Cup.
  • Louisville native Paul Byrd was the losing pitcher for the Red Sox in the Yankees’ division-clinching victory Sunday.
  • John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks to Louisville manager Rick Sweet about the Reds’ top prospects.

Byrd Returns

Major League Baseball

Paul Byrd

Louisville, Ky., native and St. Xavier alum Paul Byrd returned to the major leagues Sunday with a six-inning shutout performance for the Boston Red Sox.  Byrd was making his first start of the season after announcing his “temporary retirement” in the off-season.  Bryd hoped to sign with a team following the June draft when that team would no longer risk losing a draft pick because of his Type B free agent status, but no team called until the Red Sox made him an offer in August.

Byrd worked his way back through the minor leagues before receiving his call to Boston to replace an injured Tim Wakefield Sunday.  He responded in a big way, outdueling Cy Young contender Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays.  Check these links to see what the Boston writers are saying about Byrd’s performance.

  • Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe writes no one could have expected what Byrd gave the Red Sox.
  • John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that Byrd costs little, wins big.
  • Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that the Red Sox swept the Blue Jays behind “Byrd’s fine outing.”

Red Sox Sign Louisville Native Byrd

High School Baseball, Major League Baseball

Paul Byrd

According to Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com the Red Sox have signed Louisville native and St. X alum Paul Byrd to a minor league contract.  Byrd “retired” following the 2008 season, but did say he would consider returning to the majors in the middle of the 2009 season.  According to Rosenthal the Red Sox expect Byrd to be ready to pitch in the majors by Sept. 1 after a stint building arm strength in the minor leagues.