Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer announced his retirement today, effective immediately, Carrie Muskat of MLB.comreports. Wellemeyer signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs in the offseason and entered Spring Training with a chance to earn one of the team’s open starting rotation spots. Wellemeyer pitched well in the spring, posting a 1-2 record an 4.50 ERA in three games, but was slowed by a hip injury. Wellemeyer made his only appearance of the season on Thursday for AAA Iowa, surrendering four runs on eight hits in three and two-third innings while striking out two batters and walking two.
Wellemeyer ends his MLB career with a 32-34 record and 4.83 ERA in 208 games over parts of nine seasons. Wellemeyer struck out 459 batters and walked 305 in 614 and two-third MLB innings. He mad 75 starts in his career. The right-handed pitcher’s best season came in 2008 when he was 13-9 with a 3.71 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 32 starts for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs selected Wellemeyer in the 4th round of the 2000 draft out of Bellarmine. He made his MLB debut on May 15, 2003. The Cubs traded Wellemeyer to the Florida Marlins on March 28, 2006, and the Royals claimed Wellemeyer off waivers in June of that same season. Wellemeyer joined the Cardinals in 2007 then signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants before the 2010 season. He made 13 appearances for the world-champion Giants last season, before the team released him in August. He returned to the Cubs on a minor-league deal in January.
Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb was at 78 to 81 mph during the first two innings of his latest extended spring training appearance.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Louisville native Trever Miller has been struggling recently as the Cardinals’ only left-handed reliever. Miller has not recorded an out in his last five appearances.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is scheduled to pitch this week for AAA Iowa.
Thomas Harding and Nick Kosmider of MLB.com reports Colorado Rockies right-handed pitcher Aaron Cook, who was born in Ft. Campbell, will throw a simulated game on Wednesday as he rehabs from a broken finger.
Mike Fields of the Lexington Herald-Leader profiles 16-0 Madison Central High School in his most recent high school notebook.
Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story also talked to me this week about BluGrass Baseball for his latest column.
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.
With Opening Day upon us its time for the annual look at the contracts of each of Kentucky’s major league players. The group added two new members in Josh Lueke and Nathan Adcock this season, but is still dominated by the familiar names. Check out the full list of 2011 salaries below with contract data via USA Today‘s MLB salary database:
Joe Blanton (Phillies) — Franklin-Simpson HS, UK — $10.5 million
Aaron Cook (Rockies) — Born in Ft. Campbell — $9.875 million
Dan Uggla (Braves) — Born in Louisville — $9.15 million
Corey Hart (Brewers) — Greenwood HS — $6.833 million
Mark Reynolds (Orioles) — Born in Pikeville — $5.333 million
Scott Downs (Angels) — PRP, UK — $5 million
Jon Rauch (Blue Jays) — Oldham Co. HS, Morehead St. — $3.5 million
Brandon Webb (Rangers) — Paul Blazer HS, UK — $3 million
Trever Miller (Cardinals) — St. X HS — $2 million
Austin Kearns (Indians) — Lafayette HS — $1.3 million
Sean Green (Brewers) — Male HS, UofL — $875,000
Tyler Clippard (Nationals) — Born in Lexington — $443,000
Jonny Venters (Braves) — Born in Pikeville — $429,500
A. J. Ellis (Dodgers) — PLD HS — $421,000
Nathan Adcock (Royals) — North Hardin HS — $414,000
Josh Lueke (Mariners) — Scott HS, NKU — $414,000
No significant differences were discovered. Race does not influence the length of enrollment in adult literacy programs.
You can always see the list of Kentucky MLB players on the “Ky. in the Majors” page here, but with Opening Day upon us I thought it would be a good idea to post the list on the home page. Check out the Kentuckians starting the 2011 season on MLB rosters below:
RHP Aaron Cook — Born in Ft. Campbell — Colorado Rockies (15-day DL)
Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks PRP alum Zack Cox the No. 2 prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Mayo ranks Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere the No. 4 prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA lists the University of Louisville among the weekend losers in college baseball.
Geoff Baker, columnist for The Seattle Times, writes Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke has probably done enough this spring to earn a spot in the Mariners’ bullpen and could possibly be considered for save opportunities if closer Brandon League falters.
Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb won’t get his wish of pitching in a B or minor league game this week and will instead pitch another batting practice session today.