Highlights and stats from Tuesday Kentucky Spring Training action:
Louisville native and former Bellarmine right-handed pitcher Todd Wellemeyer was credited with the win after throwing two scoreless innings for the Chicago Cubs. Wellemeyer struck out two batters and surrendered just one hit.
Highland Heights native and former NKU right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke was credited with the win after surrendering one hit in one scoreless inning for the Seattle Mariners.
On the same day that news broke of his February DUI arrest, Lexington native Austin Kearns was 2-3 with one run scored for the Cleveland Indians.
In that same game PLD alum A. J. Ellisstruck out in his only at-bat for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Washington Nationals right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard, who was born in Lexington, struck out two batters in one scoreless inning.
Former UK first baseman Ryan Strieby was 1-4 with one run scored while starting as the designated hitter for the Detroit Tigers.
Louisville native Zack Cox walked in his only plate appearance for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Lexington Catholic alum Ben Revere walked in his only plate appearance for the Minnesota Twins.
One-time Madisonville resident Matt Klinker surrendered three runs in two innings of relief for the Cincinnati Reds.
Lexington native and former UK outfielder Collin Cowgill was 0-1 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was born in Pikeville, was 0-3 with two strikeouts.
Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, who was born in Louisville, was 0-2 with one strikeout.
In that same game Braves left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters, who was born in Pikeville, walked one batter in a scoreless inning.
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.
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
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
In the final monthly awards post of the 2010 season we’ll look at the best Major League Baseball performances from Kentucky players in September and October. Check out the standout batter and pitcher below:
Hitter of the month: OF Corey Hart (Brewers)
Bowling Green native Corey Hart batted .299 with eight home runs and 18 RBI in 17 games between September and October. Hart also scored 23 runs, slugged .579 and boasted a .372 on-base percentage.
Honorable Mention: Paul Laurence Dunbar alum A. J. Ellis batted .455 in 13 games for the Dodgers…Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, batted .289 with three home runs.
Pitcher of the month: RHP Joe Blanton (Phillies)
Former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton continued his second-half surge with a 3-0 record and 3.19 ERA in six starts. Blanton struck out 36 batters and walked 11 in 36 and two-third innings.
Honorable Mention: Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard, born in Lexington, didn’t surrender an run and recorded two wins in 10 games…Braves reliever Jonny Venters, born in Pikeville, had a 2.13 ERA in 15 games…Former Morehead St. right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 12 games.
Major League Baseball has just under two weeks left in its regular season and there are several Kentucky storylines worth watching. Check out a summary of those highlights below to tide you over until playoff baseball:
Lexington native Ben Revere, Louisville native Jon Rauch and their Minnesota Twins teammates clinched the AL Central title Tuesday.
Lexington native Austin Kearns and the New York Yankees are two and one-half games up in the AL East but should be safe as the Wild Card winner even if they are caught by the Rays in the division race.
Former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton and the Philadelphia Phillies have a five game lead in the NL East over Atlanta with a magic number of six to clinch the division.
Left-handed reliever Jonny Venters, born in Pikeville, and the Braves are one game up on the Padres and three games up on the Rockies for the NL Wild Card.
Kentucky’s northerly neighbors the Cincinnati Reds, featuring a plethora of former Louisville Bats, boast an eight-game lead in the NL Central and a magic number of four.
Bowling Green native Corey Hart needs nine RBI to top 100 for the first time in his career. Hart needs two home runs to reach 30 on the season.
Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, needs four RBI to reach 100 for the first time in his career and seven runs to reach 100 for the first time since 2007.
Venters is 15 strikeouts shy of 100 on the season and looks poised to finish 2010 with a sub-2.00 ERA. The lefty currently boasts a 1.74 mark.
Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds needs three home runs to reach 35 for the second time in his career.
Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard just topped the 100 strikeouts mark and reached 10 wins on the season.
In the final August awards post we’ll look at the month’s best performances from Major League Baseball alumni of Kentucky schools and players born in the state:
Pitcher of the month: RHP Joe Blanton (Philadelphia Phillies)
Former UK right-handed pitcher Joe Blanton has struggled for much of 2010, but found a grove in August with a 2-0 record and 2.81 ERA in five starts. The Franklin-Simpson High School alum struck out 26 batters and walked just five in 32 innings in the month.
Honorable Mention: Jonny Venters, Tyler Clippard
Hitter of the month: 2B Dan Uggla (Florida Marlins)
Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, kept his hot hitting up in August with a .319 batting average and six home runs. Uggla drove in 18 runs in the month and scored 14 runs.
The second half of the MLB season kicks off tonight so it’s a perfect time to dole out mid-season awards. We’ll start with the Kentucky major leaguers before looking at minor league players later:
First half hitter of the season — OF Corey Hart (Brewers)
Bowling Green native and Greenwood High School alum Corey Hart capped his first half with an All-Star selection which turned into a starting role after injuries. Hart batted .288 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI in the first half. His 21 home runs rank third in the National League and his 65 RBI are tied for the league lead. Hart also ranks fourth in the National League in slugging percentage (.569).
Honorable Mention: Dan Uggla (Marlins), Austin Kearns (Indians)
First half pitcher of the season — RHP Jon Rauch (Twins)
Louisville native and former Morehead State University right-handed pitcher Jon Rauch was thrust into the Twins’ closer position after perennial All-Star Joe Nathan went down with a likely season-ending injury in Spring Training. Rauch has done better than anyone could have expected with a 2-1 record, 2.38 ERA and 20 saves in 24 save opportunities. Rauch has struck out 25 and walked just five in 34 innings pitched, and his 20 saves are tied for fourth most in the American League.
In the final May awards post we’ll look at the standout performances among Kentucky natives in Major League Baseball. Remember, players need only to have been born in the state or attended school here to qualify:
Hitter of the month: Corey Hart (Bowling Green, Brewers)
Stats: 23-91 (.253), 10 HR, 22 RBI, 16 R,
Honorable Mention: Dan Uggla (Louisville, Marlins), Mark Reynolds (Pikeville, Diamondbacks), Austin Kearns (Lexington, Indians)
Pitcher of the month: Tyler Clippard (Lexington, Nationals)
Stats: 4-3, 3.24 ERA, 14 G, 17 SO, 16.2 IP
Honorable Mention: Jon Rauch (Louisville, Twins), Scott Downs (Louisville, Blue Jays), Shawn Kelley (Louisville, Mariners)
We ran down the minor league awards earlier this week, but before we get too deep in May I thought I’d select a hitter and MLB pitcher of the month for April. To be eligible a player must be born in Kentucky or an alumnus of a Kentucky school. (All eligible players are listed on the Ky. in the Majors page)
Player of the month: 2B Dan Uggla (Marlins)
Dan Uggla, born in Louisville, displayed his usual power during the first month of the season but also boasted an unusually high batting average. The slugger was second among Kentucky major leaguers in home runs, RBI and batting average, but stood out for his consistency across categories.
Jon Rauch, a Louisville native and Morehead State alum, was named the Twins’ closer after All-Star Joe Nathan had season-ending Tommy John surgery priory to the start of the season. He didn’t disappoint during April with seven saves in eight chances and one win.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Clippard (Lexington), Trever Miller (Louisville)