Jacob Rhodes named OVC player of week; Alex Meyer projected as first-round pick; Corey Hart frustrated by injury

College Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Corey Hart; Photo by Steve Paluch via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Murray State University junior catcher Jacob Rhodes was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week. Rhodes was also the BluGrass Baseball player of the week.
  • Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA lists the University of Louisville among his 25 teams to watch outside the PG top 25.
  • David Rawnsley of Perfect Game USA has posted his latest mock draft and has the Tampa Bay Rays taking University of Kentucky junior right-handed pitcher Alex Meyer with pick No. 32.
  • Tom Haudicourt and Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel reports Bowling Green native Corey Hart still has no timetable to start a minor league rehab assignment.
  • Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb was unhappy with his control during a live batting practice session on Monday.
  • Josh Jackson of MLB.com lists one-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis and Louisville Bats catcher Devin Mesoraco among the prospects to watch in the International League early in the season.
  • Greg Johns of MLB.com reports Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke was rattled by base runner Coco Crisp during his MLB debut.
  • Matt Pignataro of 7 Train to Shea has posted a Q&A with Lexington native and Rangers prospect Robbie Ross.
  • Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com has an excellent column about Lexington native Austin Kearns and his decision to return to Cleveland in part because of the treatment his autistic son could receive at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Autism.
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John Shelby, Marcus Nidiffer change MLB organizations

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John Shelby; Photo: UK Athletics

The Chicago White Sox today traded Lexington native and former UK outfielder John Shelby Jr. to the Tampa Bay Rays for future considerations, Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune reports via Twitter. Shelby batted .249 with 11 home runs, 43 RBI and 63 runs scored in 111 games for AA Birmingham in 2010. He stole 15 bases on the season. The White Sox selected Shelby in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB draft.

Meanwhile, former UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer was released by the Houston Astros and signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Angels, according to Brent Ingram of the UK media relations department. Nidiffer, who spend most of his time at first base during his professional debut, signed with the Astros as a non-drafted free agent following his senior season at UK in 2010. He batted .286 with 14 home runs, 36 RBI and 40 runs scored in 69 games between rookie-level Greeneville and short-season Tri-City. Nidiffer was poised to become the first UK alum to play for the Lexington Legends before his release.

Wade sent to MiLB camp; Ellis appears unlikely to make Dodgers roster; Adcock still in running for Royals’ bullpen

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

A. J. Ellis; Photo by frankat1stbase3 via Flickr

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Marc Tompkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports the Tampa Bay Rays have re-assigned former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade to minor league camp.
  • Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports it appears the Los Angeles Dodgers will keep Hector Gimenez as the team’s backup catcher instead of PLD alum A. J. Ellis to start the season.
  • Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star reports Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock has a good shot to make the Royals’ bullpen if the team carries two long relievers, and the Royals must keep him on the MLB roster as a Rule 5 draft pick if the team wants to keep him.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb hopes to be back on the mound on Monday after a setback in his rehab set him back to long toss this week.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports Webb will travel with the Texas Rangers when the team breaks camp and will continue his rehab in Arlington until he is ready to go on a minor league rehab assignment.
  • Murray St. alum Mark Riggins‘ tenure as the Chicago Cubs pitching coach hit its first speed bump this weekend when Carlos Silva criticized him for not being straight about Silva’s demotion and said Riggins “has to learn in the big leagues now.” Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports Cubs GM Jim Hendry and manager Mike Quade were quick to defend Riggins on Saturday and Silva was released in part because of his comments.
  • Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News previews the Cincinnati Reds’ season and notes the Louisville Bats will have so much talent that the AAA team might be able to finish third in the National League Central Division.

Todd Wellemeyer considering retirement in wake of injury; Cory Wade appears odd-man out in Rays’ bullpen battle

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Todd Wellemeyer; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com reports Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer is unsure about his future after re-aggravating his hip injury. The Cubs assigned Wellemeyer to minor league camp on Tuesday, but Levine reports Wellemeyer may ask for his release and retire if the hip doesn’t improve.
  • Marc Tompkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade appears to have come up short in his quest to make the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen out of Spring Training.
  • Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports Louisville native and former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch will start the season as the Blue Jays closer but will likely relinquish that role to Frank Francisco when he is healthy.
  • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports Ashland native and former UK right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb canceled his live batting practice throwing session on Wednesday because he could not get loose and will see the Rangers’ team doctor before deciding the next step in his rehab.
  • Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com ranks former Bowling Green Hot Rods pitchers Matt Moore and Alex Colome among the top 10 prospects in the Tampa Bay Rays system.

Spring roundup: Austin Kearns homers; Sean Green pitches scoreless inning; Cory Wade struggles in relief outing

Major League Baseball

Austin Kearns; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Stats and recaps from Tuesday Kentucky Spring Training action:

  • Lexington native Austin Kearns was 1-2 with a home run, two RBI, one run scored and one walk for the Cleveland Indians.
  • Louisville native and former UofL right-handed pitcher Sean Green pitched a scoreless inning for the Brewers.
  • PLD alum A. J. Ellis walked in his only plate appearance for the Dodgers.
  • Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade hit a setback in his attempt to make the Ray’s roster after surrendering three runs on three hits in one and two-third innings.
  • After being added to the MLB roster from minor league camp for the game, former UK outfielder Sawyer Carroll flew out in his only at-bat to end the game for the San Diego Padres.
  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 0-3 with two strikeouts versus the Yankees.

Spring roundup: Nathan Adcock continues scoreless spring

Major League Baseball

Nathan Adcock; Photo by mwlguide via Flickr

Stats and highlights from Saturday Kentucky Spring Training action:

  • Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock struck out one batter in a scoreless inning for the Kansas City Royals and has yet to surrender a run this spring.
  • Lexington native Austin Kearns was 1-3 with two RBI for the Cleveland Indians.
  • Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade surrendered one run on two hits in one and two-third innings for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • PLD alum A. J. Ellis was 0-2 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • After being assigned to the Arizona Diamondbacks from minor league camp for the game, Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 0-2 versus the Reds.
  • Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard, who was born in Lexington, surrendered one run while just recording one out.
  • Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who was born in Louisville, was 0-2 with one walk.
  • Braves right-handed pitcher Michael Broadway, who was born in Paducah, struck out one batter in a scoreless inning of relief.
  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 1-2 with one RBI.

Downs to start season on DL with broken toe; Albers signs minor league contract with Twins; Wade excels for Rays

Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball

Scott Downs; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Latest links from around Kentucky baseball:

  • Mike DiGiovanna of The Los Angeles Times reports Louisville native and former UK left-handed pitcher Scott Downs will start the season on the disabled list after breaking his left big toe on Sunday. Downs would only say he injured the toe while “playing around with the kids,” and DiGiovanna notes the injury will likely keep him out till at least mid April.
  • Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports former UK left-handed pitcher Andrew Albers has signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins. Albers spent 2010 in the independent Can-Am League and last appeared in affiliated ball in 2008 when he appeared in five games for the AZL Padres before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
  • Josh Caldwell of The News-Enterprise in Hardin County catches up with Elizabethtown native Nathan Adcock who has pitched well in his audition to make the Kansas City Royals MLB roster this spring.
  • Jon Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com breaks down former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade‘s attempt at a comeback with the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is still uncertain as to when Bowling Green native Corey Hart will return from injury and whether he can get the outfielder enough at-bats in Spring Training to be ready for Opening Day.

Spring Roundup: Wade, Green highlight abbreviated schedule

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Stats and recaps from a short schedule of Wednesday Kentucky Spring Training action:

  • Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade surrendered one run on two hits in two and two-third innings while striking out four batters and walking none for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Louisville native and former UofL right-handed pitcher Sean Green earned a win and struck out two batters in a scoreless inning.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was 0-1 for the Minnesota Twins.
  • Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard, who was born in Lexington, took a loss after surrendering five runs on four hits in one inning.
  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 0-2 with one walk.

Spring roundup: Lueke, Miller post scoreless appearances; Cowgill, Kipnis, Kearns and Reynolds tally hits

Major League Baseball

Trever Miller; Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Stats and highlights from Sunday Kentucky Spring Training action:

  • Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke struck out one batter in a perfect inning for the Seattle Mariners.
  • Louisville native Trever Miller retired both batters he faced for the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill singled and scored a run in his only at-bat for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • One-time UK outfielder turned second baseman Jason Kipnis was 1-4 with one run scored for the Cleveland Indians.
  • In that same game Lexington native Austin Kearns was 1-3 for the Indians.
  • Louisville native and former UofL right-handed pitcher Sean Green was credited with a hold despite surrendering one run in one inning of work for the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Corey Wade surrendered one run in one inning of work for the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby was hitless in three at-bats for the Detroit Tigers.
  • Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere was hitless in four at-bats for the Minnesota Twins.
  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 2-3 with one strikeout versus the Tigers.
  • Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who was born in Louisville, was hitless in three at-bats versus the Astros.

Spring roundup: Blanton gets a win; Cowgill launches grand slam; Magnuson and Wade post scoreless outings

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Collin Cowgill; Photo: UK Athletics

Stats and highlights from Wednesday Kentucky Spring Training action:

  • Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 1-5 with a grand slam for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton picked up his first win of the spring after surrendering two runs on five hits in five innings while striking out three batters and walking two for the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • In that same game former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby struck out in a pinch-hitting appearance.
  • Former UofL right-handed pitcher Trystan Magnuson struck out one batter in a scoreless inning for the Oakland Athletics.
  • Former Kentucky Wesleyan right-handed pitcher Cory Wade surrendered one hit and struck out two batters in two scoreless innings for the Tampa Bay Rays in an exhibition game versus the Netherlands.
  • PLD alum A. J. Ellis was hitless in two at-bats for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 1-4 with one double, two RBI and one run scored versus the Twins.
  • Atlanta Braves left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, who was born in Pikeville, struck out one batter in a scoreless inning of relief.
  • In that same game Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who was born in Louisville, was 0-3 versus the St. Louis Cardinals.