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Browsing Posts tagged Cameron Selik

(2011)

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By Scott Barancik, editor

Nearly a year after injuring himself during his Double-A debut, Washington Nationals prospect Cameron Selik returned to the pitcher’s mound, tossing 1.1 innings of relief in the Potomac Nationals’ 6-5 win over the Frederick Keys on Tuesday.

Selik, 25, is built like an NFL linebacker at 6-feet-2-inches tall and 235 pounds. A converted catcher, he caught games in high school for a then-underperforming teammate named Stephen Strasburg.

Last year, a combination of power and control earned him a 2-1 record at Potomac (A-Advanced) along with a 3.68 ERA, 34 strikeouts (in 22 innings) and only three walks. It also earned him a bump up to the Harrisburg Senators.

His stay there was painfully brief. Selik made his Double-A debut in the 7th inning of a game against the Binghamton Mets (box score). He retired the first batter he faced and had a 3-2 count on second batter when he left with a lat injury, just 10 pitches in. Selik — who had Tommy John surgery during junior college — wouldn’t return to the mound for nearly 12 months.

Yesterday’s game was not Hollywood perfect. Selik entered with two outs in the 6th inning, a man on second base, one run already in, and Potomac clinging to a 4-3 lead over the Frederick Keys. The University of Kansas alum struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning, but not before throwing a wild pitch. In the 7th inning, he gave up one run on a solo HR and two singles and was credited with a blown save (box score).

Thankfully, Potomac went on to win the game, 6-5. And Selik showed he was no relic: seventeen of the 25 pitches he threw were strikes.

“Definitely wasn’t the outcome I was hoping for in my return but it felt really good to pitch in a game again,” he Tweeted after the game. “Can’t wait to get even better!”

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By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Jewish Baseball News, the website that brings you “News and stats on Jews with bats,” has selected the top Jewish minor-leaguers of the 2012 season.

Here are the award winners:

Rookie of the year

Jack Marder, 2B/C/LF, High Desert Mavericks (Seattle Mariners)

Most improved

Mauricio Tabachnik, P, Guerreros de Oaxaca (no MLB affiliation)

Comeback player

Jeremy Bleich, P, Tampa Yankees (New York Yankees)

Best starter

No winner

Best reliever

Jeff Urlaub, Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics)

Power hitter

Nate Freiman, 1B, San Antonio Missions (San Diego Padres); obtained by the Houston Astros on 12/6/2012.

Most valuable player

Robbie Widlansky, DH/OF/1B, Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles); obtained by the Los Angeles Angels on 12/6/2012.

Additional information on the award winners and runners-up is provided below.

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Detailed information

Rookie of the Year

Jack Marder, 22, made his minor-league debut in 2011. Because he had just 71 at-bats that year, Jewish Baseball News considers 2012 his “rookie” season. And what a season it was. The versatile 22-year-old hit .360, including .410 with runners in scoring position, and reached base 42.5 percent of the time. Marder had only 278 at-bats but still drilled 24 doubles, 4 triples, and 10 HRs, drove in 56 runs, and stole 16 bases in 22 attempts.

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order): Sean Bierman (Tampa Bay Rays), Jeremy Schaffer (St. Louis Cardinals), Maxx Tissenbaum (San Diego Padres)

Most improved

Mauricio Tabachnik, 23, spent three years in the San Diego Padres’ farm system before being released in 2011. A native of Mexico, he took his right arm to the Mexican League that year but did not impress. In addition to compiling a 5.36 ERA, he gave up an average of two walks and/or hits per inning and walked more batters (41) than he struck out (24). But Tabachnik was a different player in 2012, finishing 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA, more strikeouts (38) than walks (27), and giving up an average of five fewer hits and/or walks per nine innings.

Honorable mention: Richard Bleier (Texas Rangers), Cameron Selik (Washington Nationals)

Comeback player

Jeremy Bleich, 25, was a starting pitcher with the Trenton Thunder (AA) when he seriously hurt his shoulder in May 2010. It would be another two years before the former 1st-round draft pick would pitch again, this time as a reliever. Bleich’s 2012 comeback was impressive. He went 2-1 with a career-best 3.86 ERA, struck out 24 while walking just eight, and held opposing batters to a .242 average.

Honorable mention: Ryan Kalish (Boston Red Sox)

Best reliever

Jeff Urlaub, 25, finished the 2012 season with a winning record (7-6) and a 3.18 ERA, despite playing for two teams with losing records. He produced some eye-popping stats along the way, striking out a combined 58 batters while walking only 9, holding opposing teams to a .197 batting average, and allowing just 4 HRs in 65 innings.

Honorable mention: Corey Baker (St. Louis Cardinals), David Colvin (Seattle Mariners), Ian Kadish (Toronto Blue Jays)

Power hitter

Nate Freiman, 25, doesn’t just look imposing at the plate. The 6-foot-7-inch terrorized Texas League pitchers in 2012 with a career-high 24 HRs and a league-leading 105 RBIs. He didn’t sacrifice discipline, turning in a tidy .298 batting average and .370 on-base percentage. Later, Freiman brought his big bat to the World Baseball Classic, where he launched 4 HRs in 12 at-bats for Team Israel.

Honorable mention: Cody Decker (San Diego Padres)

Most valuable player

Robbie Widlansky, 28, helped the Bowie Baysox (AA) earn a playoff berth with the best performance of his 6-year professional career. He ranked among Eastern League leaders with a .316 batting average (3rd place), 83 RBIs (3rd), 35 doubles (2nd/tie), and a .404 on-base percentage (2nd). Widlansky also stole 11 bases, and his walk-to-strikeout ratio (64 to 74) was a career high.

Honorable mention: Joc Pederson (Los Angeles Dodgers), Nate Freiman (San Diego Padres)

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Good news Monday (6/11/2012)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Dry your Monday-morning tears with these updates:

  • Talk about turnarounds. By the time the Philadelphia Phillies sent Michael Schwimer down to the minors last month, the 6’8″ reliever had lost a game, blown a save, and was nursing a 8.53 ERA. But since returning to the City of Brotherly love this month, the 6’8″ reliever has held opposing batters to a paltry.118 batting average and reduced his bloated ERA to a more respectable 5.56.
  • If the Boston Red Sox don’t recall Ryan Kalish soon, International League pitchers may buy him a ticket to Beantown anyway. After missing the better part of a year due to shoulder and neck surgery, the left fielder is sprinting his way through a rehab stint that began with Salem Red Sox (High-A) and most recently brought him to the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA). His performance there has been nothing short of remarkable. In just 20 at-bats with Pawtucket, the 24-year-old is hitting .500 with 2 doubles, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, a .600 on-base percentage, and a 1.050 slugging percentage. Can you hear us, Bobby Valentine?
  • Our hearts go out to Washington Nationals prospect Cameron Selik. The 6’2″ reliever was the picture of control with the Potomac Nationals (High-A) this season, striking out 33 batters in 22 innings while walking only 2, one of them intentional. Duly impressed, the Nats promoted him to the Harrisburg Senators (AA). But the magic didn’t last. In his first relief appearance as a Senator on Tuesday (6/5/2012), Selik retired the only batter he faced and then was removed with a lat injury. According to this blog, he may be out for the season, although that is unconfirmed.
  • St. Louis Cardinals prospect Garrett Wittels is making the most of an unlikely (and probably short-lived) promotion to the club’s AAA team. Promotion was hardly in the cards for the shortstop, who was hitting just .208 with 6 RBIs for the Quad Cities Bandits (A) when he was called up to the Springfield Cardinals (AA). Wittels saw only one plate appearance there before the Memphis Redbirds (AAA) called. Chances are the Cards are just using Wittels to fill temporary roster gaps — and may not take him particularly seriously at this point. But Wittels is 2-for-2 since joining Memphis, with a pinch-hit triple, pinch-hit single, and two RBIs.
  • The Gateway Grizzlies of the independent Frontier League couldn’t be much happier with Alex Kaminsky. The former Cleveland Indians prospect is a perfect 4-0 since joining the team this summer and has held opposing batters to a .213 average. And he’s no longer alone. Ex-Chicago White Sox prospect Mike Schwartz recently joined the Grizzlies. In his first two games, the DH/IF went a combined 4-for-9.

Have any good news about Jewish athletes? Share it with sbarancik@jewishbaseballnews.com.

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Good news Monday (6/4/2012)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Is it Monday already? Then sprinkle these tidbits in your morning coffee:

  • Michael Schwimer is back with Philadelphia Phillies after a four-week stint in AAA, and yesterday (6/3/2012) the move paid off. In his second relief stint since returning to the bigs, the gentle giant from Fairfax, Va. (6’8″, 240 lbs.) pitched a perfect 8th inning in a 5-1 loss to the Miami Marlins. Schwimer fills a void left by reliever Jose Contreras, who suffered a season-ending injury Friday (6/1/2012).
  • Kevin Youkilis continued to show progress since returning from the disabled list. In 11 games, the venerable third baseman is hitting .289 with 2 HRs, 3 RBIs, and a .372 on-base percentage. Meanwhile, trade rumors persist.
  • Speaking of Beantown, catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway is showing renewed vigor at the plate while he bides his time with the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA). In his last 10 games, the Yale alum is hitting .415 with 1 HR, 6 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .528.
  • Ryan Braun may never quash rumors that he took performance-enhancing drugs last season, but the 2011 N.L. MVP is letting his bat doing the talking. With one-third of the 2012 season complete, the 6th-year player is among N.L. leaders in multiple categories, despite some nagging injuries. Braun ranks 1st in range factor among left fielders, 1st in power-speed factor, 2nd in HRs (14), 3rd in total bases (36), 5th in slugging percentage (.600) and on-base percentage plus slugging (.993), 6th in wins above replacement (2.5), and 7th in RBIs (36). The only areas where the 28-year-old has seen some slippage are doubles (8) and batting average (.308).
  • Jason Marquis has a new home with the San Diego Padres. Recently released by the Minnesota Twins, the 33-year-old pitcher signed a minor-league contract with the Padres last week and promptly won his first start with the San Antonio Missions (AA), giving up 5 hits and 2 walks over 7 innings while striking out 5. The Padres are Marquis’ 8th franchise in 13 years.
  • Washington Nationals prospect Cameron Selik, a 22nd-round pick in the 2010 draft, is making the Potomac Nationals (High-A) look like geniuses for switching him to the bullpen. In 18 appearances this season, the San Diego native is 2-1 with 8 saves and a 3.68 ERA. Even more impressive are his strikeouts: he is averaging 1.5 per innings, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is a phenomenal 34/3. As a starter for Potomac last season, Selik was 4-9 with a 4.52 ERA.
  • Cross your fingers for New York Yankees prospect Jeremy Bleich, who hasn’t pitched since a shoulder injury sidelined him during the 2010 season. A 1st-round draft pick in 2008, Bleich is pitching in extended spring training and expected to return as a reliever.

Have any good news about Jewish athletes? Send it to sbarancik@jewishbaseballnews.com.

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