Ryan Kiel

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

When the Seattle Mariners released Ryan Kiel this March, it was the Cincinnati Reds’ gain.

Not only did Reds fans get a 6’4″ reliever with a solid minor-league background who prides himself on being a “power pitcher.” They also got a Jewish player, the only known one in the franchise.

A Miami native who attended the University of Arizona and Marshall University, Kiel was selected by the Mariners in the 37th round of the 2010 draft.

It’s not clear why the Mariners ended up releasing the 24-year-old lefty, whose baseball idol is another tall southpaw, Randy Johnson (see article). Kiel has averaged at least one strikeout per inning in each of his three minor-league seasons, has issued less than half as many walks, and has a career ERA of 3.28.

Now with the Bakersfield Blaze (High-A), Kiel has seen limited playing time this season due to injuries and currently is on the disabled list.

Until recently, Kiel was not on the Jewish radar. Perhaps we should have guessed: oddly enough, he is one of five Jews currently playing Major- or minor-league baseball named “Ryan.”

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