Downs to Red Sox looking less likely; Williams explains decision to stay at UofL; Ruth was horse racing fan

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Babe Ruth statue; Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Rob Bradford of WEEI Radio in Boston reports trade talks between the Blue Jays and Red Sox regarding Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs have hit an impasse but could be revived before Saturday’s trade deadline.
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal talks to University of Louisville pitching coach Roger Williams about his decision to turn down defending national champion South Carolina’s job offer to remain at UofL.
  • Grant also profiles new Louisville Bats reliever and former major league pitcher Russ Springer, who he writes gives the Bats a veteran presence on the pitching staff.
  • Jason Stella of the Bats’ media relation department writes the team’s recent power surge has kept it on the winning track.
  • Morehead State University will hosts two high school baseball showcase camps on Sept. 26 and Oct. 24.
  • As part of my day job I work on a project in the University of Kentucky Special Collections Library with the 19th and 20th century Daily Racing Form. I recently stumbled upon this story from 1936 that should interest baseball history buffs about Babe Ruth’s trip to the Bluegrass State for the Kentucky Derby.
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Paxton stands to lose big from attempted return to UK; Clark breaks Legends save record; Williams staying at UofL

College Baseball, Minor League Baseball

James Paxton; Photo: UK Athletics

Latest links and notes from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Jim Callis of Baseball America has released his annual chart comparing MLB slot recommendations for signing bonuses to drafted players and their actual signing bonuses. No 2010 Kentucky draftee has signed for over-slot as of yet, though Louisville native Zack Cox figures to buck that trend if he signs with the St. Louis Cardinals as the team’s first-round pick.
  • One interesting note from the chart: Former University of Kentucky left-handed pitcher James Paxton would have signed for $873,000 if he had agreed to a slot-value deal with the Blue Jays as the 37th pick in the draft in 2009. Now, after trying to return to UK only to end up in an independent league after an NCAA investigation into his amateur status, if he signs for slot-value as a fourth round pick in 2010 (which is a big if) he stands to get a $209,700 bonus. That means he could lose around $663,300 by trying to come back to UK for his senior season.
  • Jared Macarin of the Mobile Press-Register profiles former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill, who has “weathered the heat of Mobile to become model of consistency for the BayBears.”
  • Lexington Legends closer Kirk Clark, a 2010 South Atlantic League All-Star, set the new Legends’ career and single-season saves mark with his 22nd save Thursday night. Mark Maloney of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles the 2009 non-drafted free agent, who told Maloney, the record “feels amazing to actually go out there, compete and accomplish something.”
  • Michael Grant of the Courier-Journal writes now that Louisville Bats third baseman Juan Francisco is healthy he has found his stroke at the plate.
  • Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com reports University of Louisville pitching coach Roger Williams will stay with the Cards after considering taking the same job at the University of South Carolina.