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Browsing Posts tagged Blake Gailen

By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league highlights from the week of July 31-August 6, 2017:

Gailen

Gailen

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week: Blake Gailen*

LF Blake Gailen* (Dodgers/AA) had a career game on August 5, going 3-for-5 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs. It was his second two-homer game since being signing with Los Angeles out of the independent Atlantic League on June 29. For the week, Gailen hit .333 (6-for-18) with 3 HRs, 8 RBIs and a walk.

Rosenberg

Rosenberg

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week: Kenny Rosenberg

  • Kenny Rosenberg (Rays/A) won his third straight decision in dominant fashion on August 3, pitching 7 shutout innings on 3 hits, one walk and 9 strikeouts. His 107 strikeouts in just 86 innings amount to 11.2 per 9 innings, tops among all Midwest League pitchers with 80-plus innings.

Other highlights

  • CF Braden Bishop (Mariners/AA) hit .333 (9-for-27) with a double, 4 RBIs, a walk and a stolen base. He began the week with a bang, going 8-for-14 in the first three games before going 1-for-13 in the last four.
  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays/AAA) hit safely in all 6 games he played last week, hitting .381 (8-for-21) with 2 doubles, 2 walks and 4 RBIs.
  • SS Elliott Barzilli (Marlins/rookie), a 2017 draftee, hit .375 (3-for-8) with a home run, double and 3 RBIs.
  • OF Justin Cohen (Marlins/rookie), a former catcher now playing in the outfield, hit .333 (5-for-15) with a double, triple and 3 walks.
  • C Mitchell Kranson (Twins/High-A) hit .400 (6-for-15) with a HR, 5 RBIs and a walk.
  • C Ryan Gold (Blue Jays/rookie) hit .417 (5-for-12) with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs.
  • C Jason Goldstein (Athletics/A) hit .444 (4-for-9) with 2 doubles and 3 walks.
  • 2B Adam Walton (Diamondbacks/A) hit .407 (11-for-27) with a homer, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and a stolen base.
  • 2B Zane Gurwitz (Angels/rookie), a 2017 draftee, hit a torrid .533 (8-for-15) after returning from Single-A to L.A.’s rookie-league team. He smacked 3 doubles and stole 2 bases.
  • P Ike Davis* (Dodgers/rookie) — yes, you read that right: pitcher Ike Davis — struck out the side in an inning of relief with L.A.’s rookie-league team. As this article explains, the Dodgers hope to repurpose the power-hitting first baseman as a pitcher.
  • P Ryan Sherriff* (Cardinals/AAA) pitched 2.1 perfect innings of relief on August 4, yielding no runs, hits or walks while striking out 5. So far this season he is 5-1 with a 3.49 ERA, 5 saves in 6 chances, and is yielding just 1.06 walks/hits per innings, 10th-best in the Pacific Coast league among pitchers with at least 40 innings.
  • P Jeremy Bleich* (Dodgers/AAA) pitched 4 shutout innings over 3 appearances and earned his first save of the season. Since being promoted to Triple-A, he is 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA, 34 strikeouts in 38.1 innings, and just 4 walks.
  • P Robert Stock (Reds/AA), who played catcher during his first three minor-league seasons, remains agile with a bat. His pinch-hit single on August 6 left him with a .750 season average (3-for-4). In his last 10 appearances on the mound, Stock is 3-1 with a 1.71 ERA.
  • P Matthew Gorst (Red Sox/High-A) pitched 3 scoreless innings across 2 games, yielding 3 hits and no walks while striking out one.
  • P Kenny Koplove (Marlins/A-short-season) pitched 2 near-perfect innings on August 6, yielding no hits or earned runs and one walk while striking out 3.
  • P Sam Delaplane (Mariners/rookie), a 2017 draftee, pitched 4 shutout innings of relief on August 2, yielding 4 hits and no walks while striking out 5. The Eastern Michigan University alum has 27 strikeouts in 16.2 innings this season but just 4 walks.
  • P Spencer Kulman (Padres/rookie), a 2017 draftee, pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief on August 1, yielding 2 hits and no walks while striking out 4.

Transactions

  • P Max Fried (Braves) was promoted from Double-A to Atlanta’s major-league roster on August 5.
  • C Nick Rickles* (Phillies/AAA) was promoted to Triple-A on August 4. At Double-A, he hit .274 with 4 home runs and 12 RBIs in 95 at-bats.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway* (Athletics/AAA) was designated for assignment by Oakland on August 4.
  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AAA) was promoted from Double-A to Triple-A on August 5.
  • P Craig Breslow, who was released by the Minnesota Twins on July 29, signed a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians on August 4.
  • 1B Ike Davis* (Dodgers/rookie) came off the disabled list on July 31 and was assigned to the franchise’s rookie-league team on August 3.
  • C Tim Remes (Tigers/AA) was promoted from High-A to Double-A on August 1.
  • P Marc Huberman (Cubs/High-A) was promoted from Single-A to High-A on August 5.
  • P Matthew Gorst (Red Sox/Salem) was promoted from Single-A to High-A on August 3.
  • Adam Sonabend (Giants/A) came off the disabled list on August 5.
  • 2B Zane Gurwitz (Angels/rookie) was reassigned from Single-A to L.A.’s rookie-league club on August 1.

Free agents

  • Players believed to be seeking employment include minor leaguer Corey Baker* and former major leaguer Sam Fuld*.

Disabled list

Note to readers: Minor-League Monday does not include stats for all current Jewish minor-leaguers. Click here for a complete list of players, and then click on a player’s name to be taken to his stat page.

Members of Team Israel’s 2017 squad are marked with an asterisk.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league highlights from the week of June 26-July 2, 2017:

Gailen

Gailen

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week: Blake Gailen*

In his first week back in the MLB-affiliated minor leagues since 2015, LF Blake Gailen* (Dodgers/AA) hit .333 (5-for-15) with 3 RBIs, highlighted by a two-homer performance on July 1.

Bleich

Bleich

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week: Jeremy Bleich*

  • Jeremy Bleich* (Dodgers/AAA) pitched 4 innings of one-run ball over 2 appearances, yielding 2 hits and no walks while striking out 4. In 16.2 innings since being promoted to Triple-A, Bleich is 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA, has held opposing batters to just 0.78 walks/hits per inning, and has struck out 16 batters while walking just one.

Professional debuts

Three players selected in June’s MLB draft made their pro debuts last week:

  • P Sam Delaplane (Mariners/rookie) pitched 3.2 scoreless innings over two appearances on June 26 and July 1, yielding 2 hits and no walks while striking out an impressive 7 batters.
  • P Andy Rohloff (Giants/rookie) pitched a perfect inning of relief on June 30, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.
  • P Jordan Scheftz (Indians/rookie) earned a loss on June 27 and a save on July 6, yielding a combined 3 earned runs on no hits and 5 walks over 2.2 innings while striking out 2.

Season debuts

One 2016 draftee made his 2017 debut last week:

  • C Justin Cohen (Marlins/rookie) hit .071 (1-for-14) with one walk.

Other highlights

  • CF Braden Bishop (Mariners/High-A) hit .273 (9-for-33) with 2 doubles, a triple, a walk and 7 RBIs.
  • C Ryan Gold (Blue Jays/rookie) hit .364 (4-for-11) with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs.
  • C Jason Goldstein (Athletics/A) hit.333 (4-for-12) with 1 RBI.
  • C Mitchell Kranson (Twins/High-A) hit .333 (5-for-12) with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway* (Athletics/AAA) hit .333 (8-for-24) with 2 walks.
  • C Nick Rickles* (Phillies/AA) hit .400 (4-for-10) with a home run, double and 3 RBIs.
  • C Adam Sonabend (Giants/A) hit .375 (3-for-8) with a double, walk and 2 RBIs.
  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AA) hit .300 (3-for-10) with a stolen base.
  • SS Preston Grand Pre (Dodgers/rookie), in only his second week as a pro, hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double, 2 RBIs and one stolen base in 2 tries.
  • P Corey Baker* (Cardinals/AA) pitched 2.1 scoreless innings over 2 appearances, yielding just one hit and no walks while striking out one and earning his 4th save in 4 chances.
  • P Matthew Gorst (Red Sox/A) pitched 5 innings of one-run ball over 2 appearances, yielding 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. He is holding opposing batters to a .239 average and 1.08 hits/walks per inning.
  • P Marc Huberman (Cubs/A) pitched 2.1 scoreless innings across 2 appearances, yielding one hit and 2 walks while fanning 4.
  • P Dean Kremer* (Dodgers/High-A) pitched 5 innings of one-run ball over 2 appearances, yielding 2 hits and one walk while striking out 5.
  • P Troy Neiman* (Rockies/AA) pitched 5 scoreless innings over 2 appearances, yielding 4 hits and a walk while striking out 5.
  • P Ryan Sherriff* (Cardinals/AAA) pitched 3 scoreless innings over 2 appearances, yielding 2 hits and no walks while striking out 3. He is holding opposing batters to a .225 average and 1.04 hits/walks per inning.
  • P Robert Stock (Reds/AA) pitched 3 scoreless innings over 2 appearances, yielding 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2.
  • P Josh Zeid* (Cardinals/AAA) pitched 6 innings of one-run ball over 2 appearances, yielding 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 3.
  • The Dodgers reportedly are investigating whether former major-leaguer Ike Davis* (AAA), a first baseman, might compete as a pitcher.

Transactions

  • P Max Lazar, an 11th-round pick in the 2017 draft, was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers and placed on its rookie-league team.
  • LF Blake Gailen*, an independent-league player who last played in the affiliated minor leagues in 2015, was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and placed on its Double-A team.
  • P Zack Weiss (Reds/AA) was promoted from High-A to Double-A
  • P Brandon Gold (Rockies/High-A) was promoted from Single-A to High-A.
  • 1B Ike Davis* (Dodgers/AAA) came off the disabled list.

Free agents

Disabled list

2017 draft picks

The following players selected in June’s amateur draft are Jewish. The list may grow as additional athletes are verified by Jewish Baseball News and our friends at Jewish Sports Review.

  1. Max Lazar (P), Brewers (Round 11, #324)
  2. Keith Weisenberg (P), Braves (14/410)
  3. Sam Delaplane (P), Mariners (23/693)
  4. Jordan Scheftz (P), Indians (23/702)
  5. Harrison Simon (P), Padres (24/708)
  6. Preston Grand Pre (SS), Dodgers (24/730)
  7. Zane Gurwitz (2B), Angels (26/775)
  8. Elliott Barzilli (3B), Marlins (32/959)
  9. Andy Rohloff (P), Giants (37/1116)
  10. Dylan Horvitz (C), White Sox (38/1137)
  11. Jacob Hoffman (SS), Athletics (40/1191)

Note to readers: Minor-League Monday does not include stats for all current Jewish minor-leaguers. Click here for a complete list of players, and then click on a player’s name to be taken to his stat page.

Members of Team Israel’s 2017 squad are marked with an asterisk.

Get your Jewish baseball news via e-mail

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Israel’s WBC roster taking shape

By Scott Barancik, editor

The roster of players set to represent Israel in the World Baseball Classic in South Korea this March is taking shape.

Team Israel general manager Peter Kurz, whose squad of former Major League and current minor-league athletes guided Israel to a qualifying-round win in September, said Tuesday that 15 ballplayers had already committed to play in the main tournament in Seoul. The list includes:

  1. Ty Kelly, IF (New York Mets)
  2. Sam Fuld, OF (free agent)
  3. Jason Marquis, P (free agent)
  4. Ike Davis, 1B (free agent)
  5. Ryan Lavarnway, C (Oakland Athletics/minors)
  6. Cody Decker, IF (Milwaukee Brewers/minors)
  7. Josh Zeid, P (free agent)
  8. Nate Freiman, 1B (free agent)
  9. Tyler Krieger, IF (Cleveland Indians/minors)
  10. Nick Rickles, C (Washington Nationals/minors)
  11. Dean Kremer, P (Los Angeles Dodgers/minors)
  12. Corey Baker, P (St. Louis Cardinals/minors)
  13. Jeremy Bleich, P (free agent)
  14. Jake Kalish, P (Kansas City Royals/minors)
  15. Alex Katz, P (Chicago White Sox/minors)

Two key additions are Ty Kelly and Sam Fuld. During the qualifiers in September, Kelly was playing for the New York Mets, while Fuld, then with the Oakland Athletics, was on the disabled list. Also new are minor leaguers Tyler Krieger and Jake Kalish.

Roster spots have been offered to at least seven additional minor leaguers who played for Team Israel in September : Zach Borenstein (Arizona Diamondbacks), Brad Goldberg (Chicago White Sox), Blake Gailen (independent), Scotty Burcham (Colorado Rockies), Tyler Herron (New York Mets), R C Orlan (Washington Nationals), and Joey Wagman (Oakland Athletics). None has provided a final answer yet.

Kurz told Jewish Baseball News that Danny Valencia of the Seattle Mariners and Craig Breslow, who is seeking to return to the Major Leagues, are possible future additions to Israel’s roster. Team Israel also is pursuing Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians.

Several prominent pros politely declined Team Israel’s invitations due to injury, family commitments, Major League aspirations, or other concerns. They include Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Kevin Pillar and Scott Feldman of the Toronto Blue Jays, Richard Bleier of the New York Yankees, Jon Moscot of the Cincinnati Reds, and minor-league prospect and Ryan Sherriff of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sherriff played for Team Israel in the September qualifiers.

Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros and Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers have committed to play for Team USA rather than Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic.

Under WBC rules, athletes can play on Team Israel as long as they are eligible for Israeli citizenship. That means having at least one Jewish grandparent or being married to someone Jewish. Nearly all the players on Israel’s roster personally identify as Jewish.

Earlier this month, eight players on the WBC roster visited Israel for a week to learn about the country, meet Israeli fans, and break ground on a new baseball stadium. MLB.com reporter Jonathan Mayo and Ironbound Films co-founder Jeremy Newberger plan to create a documentary about the trip, titled Heading Home.

# # #

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Blake Gailen’s long road to Team Israel

By Rob Isbitts, correspondent

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbHBlake Gailen’s go-ahead home run this September helped propel Team Israel into the World Baseball Classic’s main tournament. It also introduced Jewish fans to a 31-year-old journeyman many didn’t know.

Gailen is hardly unknown in the baseball world. Like the Johnny Cash song goes, he’s been everywhere, man. Excluding his recent stint with Team Israel, the Los Angeles area native has played on at least 11 pro teams in three countries since graduating from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas with a communications degree in 2007.

Gailen is a baseball lifer. From the time he was crouched in front of the TV at age 3, telling his father he was “giving signs” while watching his home town Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, his love of the game and playing it the right way has been his north star.

“I won’t stop playing baseball until I absolutely have to,” he said in a recent interview with Jewish Baseball News.

Gailen was not drafted by an MLB team out of college, but he knew he could play pro ball. His first stop was an independent-league team in Anderson, S.C., where the clubhouse had no air conditioning or showers. He’d routinely pass up the opportunity to hose himself down near the field, instead leaving the ballpark to shower at home.

Blake Gailen's 2-run shot in the final game of the 2016 WBC qualifiers put Israel in the lead for good (click to see video)

Blake Gailen’s 2-run shot in the final game of the 2016 WBC qualifiers put Israel in the lead for good (click for video)

The South Coast League soon folded. But Gailen — who led all players with a .368 average that season and even did a little pitching, going 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA — moved on, his sights set on finding an MLB-affiliated team open to an undersized outfielder (5’9”) with an oversized heart and batting average.

In a three-year stretch from 2009-2011, Gailen compiled legendary numbers on independent-league teams, hitting a combined .382, reaching base at a .467 clip, clubbing 20 home runs, and stealing 50 bases.

Not surprisingly, Major League teams noticed. Gailen got his first crack at affiliated ball when the Los Angeles Angels inked him mid-season in 2011 and assigned him to their Double-A team. Gailen underperformed, and over the next five years, the lefty experienced the familiar yo-yo that pro players often do, alternating between MLB affiliates at the Double-A and Triple-A levels and the independent Atlantic League, host to the most competitive pro baseball outside the MLB universe.

Nowhere has Gailen had a greater impact than with the Atlantic League’s Lancaster Barnstormers, an aptly-named team for an athlete who has traveled as far as Mexico and Venezuela for the chance to play. In 2012, he hit .338 with 22 home runs and 25 stolen bases for the Barnstormers, leading Baseball America to name Gailen its Independent League Player of the Year. During multiple stops in Lancaster, he has become a fan favorite, team leader, and mentor to younger players.

Certainly, playing for Team Israel in the 2016 WBC qualifiers was a career highlight. Gailen learned about the team from Lancaster teammate and Team Israel veteran Charlie Cutler, and when he made the roster, it reunited him with former major leaguers Josh Satin and Ryan Lavarnway, who he had played with growing up in Southern California. “Josh Satin and I have been friends since we were kids. I attended his Bar Mitzvah,” Gailen said.

Gailen says his ability to achieve on the field despite many setbacks with MLB-affiliated teams is due to his mental approach. “I always had the thought process that when it comes to the Major Leagues, it is not about me. It’s about what the team needs,” he said. “I hit .400 with the Rockies in [minor-league] spring training one year, but they just didn’t have a spot for an outfielder because of decisions they made about promoting and demoting other players.”

That numbers game is a harsh reality for players in all pro sports, but Gailen has had a unique ability to push through. His admirers include many ex-Major Leaguers who have played alongside him in the Atlantic League and witnessed his raw talent and effort.

If Gailen has his way – and if we’re lucky — he’ll continue to play for years. Because as he says on his Twitter feed, he’s “Living the proverbial dream.”

# # #

Rob Isbitts pitches in for Jewish Baseball News as contributing writer. The Founder and Chief Investment Strategist for Sungarden Investment Researchhe manages a mutual fund and private accounts, writes an investing column for MarketWatch.com, and has written two books on investing. Rob is a happily married father of three and lives in Weston, FL. He hopes to visit as many ballparks as he and his son can.

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