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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league highlights from the week of August 21-27, 2017:

Barash

Barash

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week: Michael Barash

Michael Barash (Angels/High-A) had a career game on August 24, going 5-for-6 with a home run, 4 RBIs and a walk. For the week, he hit .500 (7-for-14) with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs and an impressive 6 walks. Barash is hitting .236 this season, with 10 HRs, 19 doubles and a .326 on-base percentage.

Bleich

Bleich

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week: Jeremy Bleich*

  • P Jeremy Bleich* (Dodgers/AAA) pitched 3 scoreless innings across 2 appearances, yielding just one hit and no walks while striking out 4 and earning his third save. Since being promoted to Triple-A on June 16, Bleich is 5-1 with a 2.66 ERA, has 3 saves in 8 chances, and is yielding an average of just 0.97 walks/hits per inning, #4 among all Pacific Coast League pitchers with 40+ innings.

Awards

  • The Seattle Times named CF Braden Bishop (Mariners/AA) the Seattle Mariners’ minor-league player of the year. Bishop began the season in High-A, where he hit .296 with 2 HRs, 3 triples, 25 doubles, 32 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .385 on-base percentage. He has performed even better since his July 22 promotion to Double-A, hitting .336 with a home run, triple, 9 doubles, 11 RBIs, 6 stolen bases and a .417 on-base percentage.

Other highlights

  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AAA) hit .294 (5-for-17) with a double, 4 RBIs, 4 walks and a stolen base.
  • LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) hit .389 (7-for-18) with a double, triple, home run, RBI, walk and 2 stolen bases.
  • C Andy Yerzy (Diamondbacks/rookie) saw his hitting streak end at 22 games on August 24, but he went on a 3-game tear after that, during which he hit .571 (8-for-14) with 2 HRs, a double and 3 RBIs to lift his average above .300 for the first time this season.
  • P Max Fried (Braves/AAA) was dominant in his first-ever Triple-A appearance. He tossed 4 scoreless innings in an August 24 start, yielding one hit and 2 walks while striking out 6.
  • P R.C. Orlan* (Nationals/High-A) tossed 3 scoreless innings across 2 games, yielding just one hit and no walks while striking out 2 and earning his fifth save.
  • P Kenny Koplove (Marlins/A-short-season) pitched 2.2 scoreless innings across 2 games, yielding a hit and a walk while striking out 5.
  • P Ike Davis* (Dodgers/rookie), who is refashioning himself as a pitcher, threw 2 scoreless innings across 2 appearances, yielding a hit and a walk.
  • P Keith Weisenberg (Braves/rookie), a 2017 draftee, pitched 2 scoreless innings on August 23, yielding one hit and no walks while striking out 2. For the season, he is 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA and one save, and he is holding opposing batters to just 1.11 walks/hits per inning.
  • P Spencer Kulman (Padres/rookie), a 2017 draftee, pitched 2 scoreless innings across 2 games, yielding 2 walks and no hits while striking out one. For the season, he is 1-0 with a 1.25 ERA, 3 saves in 4 chances, and is limiting opposing batters to just 1.06 walks/hits per inning.

Transactions

  • P Ryan Sherriff* (Cardinals) was called-up from Triple-A on August 23 and made his MLB debut on August 25.
  • P Craig Breslow* (Indians) was called-up from Triple-A on August 26.
  • P Max Fried (Braves/AAA) was sent down to Triple-A on August 23. The Braves had promoted him from Double-A straight to the Majors on August 5.
  • 1B Cody Decker* (Mets/AAA) was placed on the disabled list August 26, retroactive to August 24.
  • P Kenny Rosenberg (Rays/A) was played on the temporary inactive list on August 23.
  • SS Elliott Barzilli (Marlins/rookie) was released on August 24. The 2017 draftee was hitting .254 with 2 HRs and 8 RBIs in 63 at-bats.

Free agents

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 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.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league highlights from the week of May 29 – June 4, 2017. Members of Team Israel’s 2017 squad are marked with an asterisk:

rickles phils mug

Rickles

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week: Nick Rickles*

Nick Rickles* (Phillies/AA) hit .385 (5-for-13) in his first full week with the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, highlighted by a two-HR, 5 RBI performance on June 3. It was the second two-HR game in his 7-year minor-league career and tied his career high for most RBIs in a game.

weiss tortugas mug

Weiss

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week: Zack Weiss

  • Zack Weiss (Reds/High-A), who last played in 2015, finally escaped the disabled list and was nearly perfect in his two relief appearances last week, yielding one hit and no walks over a combined 2.1 innings while striking out 4.

Other highlights

  • P Brad Goldberg* (White Sox) was promoted from Triple-A on June 3 and made his Major League debut the same day. In the minors this season, Goldberg is 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA and 4 saves in 5 chances.
  • CF Braden Bishop (Mariners/High-A) hit .320 (8-for-25) with a double, 4 RBIs, 3 walks and 2 stolen bases. He leads the Modesto Nuts in batting average (.320), on-base percentage (.419), OPS (.844) and stolen bases (11 in 12 tries). Bishop has just one error in the outfield, giving him a .992 fielding percentage.
  • 1B Cody Decker* (Mets/AA) hit .368 (7-for-19) with 4 doubles and 4 RBIs. He leads the Binghamton Rumble Ponies with a .528 slugging percentage and an OPS of .902.
  • LF Mike Meyers* (Red Sox/High-A) hit .348 (8-for-23) with a double and 4 RBIs.
  • LF Jake Thomas (Blue Jays/AA) hit an RBI double in his Double-A debut on June 4.
  • P Corey Baker* (Cardinals/AA) held opponents scoreless in two relief outings, yielding 3 hits and no walks over a combined 3.2 innings while striking out 2.
  • P Ryan Sherriff (Cardinals/AAA) ran his scoreless relief streak to 10 innings over 8 appearances. He is 2-0 with a 3.65 ERA, 3 saves in 3 chances, and only 1.09 hits/walks per inning.

Transactions

  • P Brad Goldberg* was called up by the Chicago White Sox on June 3 and made his MLB debut the same day.
  • LF Jake Thomas (Blue Jays/AA) was promoted from Single-A on June 3, skipping High-A entirely.
  • P Zack Weiss (Reds/High-A) came off the disabled list and made his season debut on May 31.
  • P Jason Richman (Rangers/High-A) was released on May 31.
  • P Kenny Rosenberg (Rays/A), who is 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA and a save so far this season, was assigned to extended spring training.
  • P Henry Hirsch, a former minor-leaguer with the Pirates, signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.
  • 3B Zach Goldstein, a Southern New Hampshire University third baseman who was named Northeast-10 Conference Baseball Player of the Year in 2017, signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League. Playing in his first professional game on June 2, Goldstein went 1-for-3 with an RBI double.
  • C Nick Rickles* (Phillies/AA), who was traded by the Nationals in late May, made his debut with Philadelphia’s Double-A team on May 31.

Free agents

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.

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By Scott Barancik, editor

With Team Israel’s surprising run at the World Baseball Championship behind us, Jewish Baseball News turns to that beloved annual rite: Spring Training.

A total of 19 Jewish players were invited to MLB Spring Training camps this year, either as part of their teams’ active roster, 40-man roster, or non-roster invitee list. Here is how they’re doing through games played March 17.

Danny Valencia (Mariners)

  • In the first Spring Training with his new team, 32-year-old Valencia is hitting .184 with 1 HR, 3 RBIs, and 5 walks in 38 at-bats. Although he’s a career .321 hitter against righties (and .246 vs. lefties), he has struggled equally against both so far.
  • Seattle has Valencia playing first base almost exclusively. Last season with Oakland, Valencia had no errors at first base, one in the outfield, and 13 at third base.

Richard Bleier (Orioles)

  • Traded to Baltimore by the Yankees last month, Bleier has performed well this Spring, delivering a 1.50 ERA across four outings and six innings overall, and yielding six hits and one walk while fanning four.
  • Bleier is among several pitchers still fighting for a spot in the Orioles’ bullpen.

Max Fried (Braves/minors)

  • A 1st-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2012, Fried — who missed the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery — was impressive in his first MLB Spring Training, yielding a hit and three walks in three outings (and four innings overall) while striking out five.
  • Atlanta not only has promoted Fried to Double-A but added him to the Braves’ 40-man roster, meaning he will be eligible for call-up during the regular season.

Ryan Braun (Brewers)

  • Braun has seen limited action in Spring Training, going 3-for-11 with a HR, double, three RBIs and a walk while striking out three times. Nevertheless, the 33-year-old has remained something of a lightning rod for criticism, most recently for his complaints that Spring Training lasts too long.

Kevin Pillar (Blue Jays)

  • Pillar has been hot this Spring, hitting .355 with six extra-base hits, one RBI, and a .444 on-base percentage. He’s also been batting leadoff, a privilege largely denied him in past seasons due to a dearth of walks.
  • In prior Springs, Pillar’s average has ranged from .111 to .264.

Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays/minors)

  • A non-roster invitee with a reputation for power — he hit .297 with 23 HRs last season at Double-A — Tellez has hit .259 this Spring with no home runs, two doubles, two RBIs, four walks, and 10 strikeouts.
  • No word yet on which minor-league team Tellez will be sent to after Spring Training ends.

Brad Goldberg (White Sox/minors)

  • In addition to playing for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Championship, Goldberg pitched well for Chicago during Spring Training. In four appearances and 4.2 innings overall, he delivered a 0.00 ERA and earned a save while yielding two walks a hit and striking out one.
  • Earlier this week, the White Sox sent Goldberg back to Triple-A but placed him on the Major League club’s 40-man roster. He’s likely to make his MLB debut this season.

Ian Kinsler (Tigers)

  • Normally a strong Spring Training performer — through games played March 17, his career average was .328 with 30 HRs and 117 RBIs — Kinsler has hit .263 this year, with one HR and one RBI in 19 at-bats.
  • Kinsler also has played for Team USA in the WBC, hitting .294 in 17 at-bats.

Craig Breslow (Twins/minors)

  • Breslow, who has adjusted his pitching form in a data-driven bid to revive his stalled career, earned a minor-league contract with the Twins and an invitation to Spring Training. So far, so good: in five appearances and 4.1 innings overall, Breslow has yielded no earned runs and just one hit while striking out four. On the down side, he’s walked five.
  • Breslow is likely to begin the 2017 regular season in Triple-A.

Alex Bregman (Astros)

  • In addition to playing for Team USA in the WBC, Bregman has hit .304 in Spring Training, stroking two doubles and a walk while striking out once in 23 at-bats.

Garrett Stubbs (Astros/minors)

  • A non-roster invitee who hit a combined .304 in High-A and Double-A last season, Stubbs didn’t get a chance to play with Houston this Spring due to a problem with his throwing arm. He was later assigned to minor-league camp, but manager A.J Hinch said the Astros were “excited” about Stubbs, whom he called “really good behind the plate.”

Michael Barash (Angels/minors)

  • Barash, a 2016 draft pick, was perhaps the most unlikely non-roster invitee this Spring, having topped out at Single-A his rookie season (and hitting .240 there after batting .314 in rookie-league ball). The 22-year-old catcher went a perfect 2-for-2 with the Angels, singling and doubling in two pinch-hit at-bats.

Ryan Lavarnway (Athletics/minors)

  • Despite a non-roster invite, former major leaguer Lavarnway has seen limited play during Spring Training, having instead spent his time starring for Team Israel in the WBC. The 6’4″ catcher went 2-for-3 with a double for the Athletics before joining Team Israel.

Scott Feldman (Reds)

  • Signed to a one-year deal during the offseason, the 34-year-old Feldman is 0-1 this Spring with a 4.50 ERA. In eight innings spread across the starts, he’s yielded seven hits (including 3 HRs) and two walks while striking out seven.
  • Feldman has secured a spot as a starter in Cincinnati’s rotation and might start the team’s Opening Day game.

Jared Lakind (Pittsburgh/minors)

  • A non-roster invitee, Lakind has recorded one save this Spring and held opponents scoreless over three relief appearances. He has yielded two walks and two hits over three total innings while striking out two.
  • Lakind also played for Team Israel in the WBC.

Corey Baker (Cardinals/minors)

  • A non-roster invitee, Baker made his MLB Spring Training debut before playing for Team Israel in the WBC. In a 2.2-inning relief stint, he gave up 2 hits and a hit batsman but struck out one and yielded no runs.

Ryan Sherriff (Cardinals/minors)

  • A non-roster invitee, Sherriff has made the most of his first MLB Spring Training, going 0-1 with a 1.35 in six appearances and 6.2 innings overall. The 28th-round 2011 draft pick yielded six hits and one walk while hitting one batter and striking out an impressive eight.

Joc Pederson (Dodgers)

  • In a familiar pattern, Joc Pederson is hitting .242 this Spring with both a lot of home runs (4) and a lot of strikeouts (10). But that’s not giving him credit for advances he made in 2016, his second full season in the Majors. Pederson raised his batting average 36 points last year (to .246) while reducing his strikeouts, hitting more doubles, and slightly improving his home-run frequency.

Ike Davis (Dodgers/minors)

  • Davis, a former major leaguer who signed a minor-league contract with Los Angeles during the offseason, went 2-for-2 as a non-roster invitee before joining Team Israel in the WBC. He has been assigned to the Dodgers’ Triple-A team.

Ty Kelly (Mets/minors)

  • Kelly, who played for Team Israel in the WBC but does not identify exclusively as Jewish, is 2-for-8 this Spring with two RBIs and a .500 on-base percentage. He made his MLB debut in 2016.

# # #

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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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israel trip

Trailed by a documentary film crew, 10 Jewish ballplayers will be touring Israel from January 3-10, 2017

By Stuart M. Katz, correspondent

When centerfielder Sam Fuld and nine other Jewish athletes head to Israel on January 3 for what might be dubbed a ‘Baseball Birthright’ trip, they won’t be alone.

Wives, parents, sons, and a fiancée will be traveling with this minyan of Major League players and prospects, all of whom plan to represent Israel at the World Baseball Classic taking place in South Korea in March 2017. Team Israel qualified for the quadrennial contest by winning a qualifying tournament in September.

Also coming along for the ride? A film crew.

MLB.com reporter Jonathan Mayo (Twitter) and Ironbound Films co-founder Jeremy Newberger (Twitter) plan to create a documentary titled Heading Home about the one-week trip. For most of the players, it will be their first visit to the Jewish homeland.

“The idea for the film came first,” Mayo told Jewish Baseball News. “It wasn’t originally planned around the WBC, but after Team Israel qualified, it all came together.”

Mayo said he and Newberger, childhood friends from camp Young Judea, are getting a lot of help. Driving forces behind the project include the Jewish National Fund’s Project Baseball, JewishBaseballMuseum.com founder Jeff Aeder, and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Although plans for the film have not been finalized, Mayo expects the documentary will be screened at film festivals and air on MLB.com.

Fuld, who sat out the Oakland Athletics’ 2016 season with a rotator-cuff injury, will be joined on the trip by Ty Kelly of the New York Mets, Josh Zeid of the New York Mets’ organization, Ryan Lavarnway of the Athletics’ farm system, Jon Moscot of the Cincinnati Reds’ system, free agents Ike Davis and Cody Decker, former MLB outfielder Gabe Kapler (now director of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers), St. Louis Cardinals prospect Corey Baker, and former MLB prospect, Jeremy Bleich, currently playing in the Dominican Winter League. Danny Valencia of the Seattle Mariners planned to come but had to drop out for family reasons.

A key motivation behind the trip and documentary is to build support for baseball within Israel, where soccer and basketball are king. The Israel Association of Baseball, hopes to recruit new players as well as raise funds to expand the country’s meager baseball infrastructure.

In addition to visiting Masada, the Dead Sea, an Israeli Air Force base, the Old City in Jerusalem and Independence Hall in Tel Aviv, the 10 ballplayers will conduct public practices and meet local dignitaries and ballplayers.

# # #

Stuart M. Katz is a die-hard Yankees fan. An attorney at Cohen and Wolf in Bridgeport, Conn., he chairs the firm’s Litigation Group, practicing mainly employment law, and represents employers as well as executives.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league highlights from the week of August 29 – September 4, 2016.

New additions

Jewish Baseball News welcomes three more players to its list of professional ballplayers. All three will play for Team Israel later this month in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in Brooklyn.

  • Tyler Herron (Mets/AAA) is a 30-year-old right-hander out of Florida. Herron was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals out of high school in the 1st round of the 2005 amateur draft. The Mets are his fourth MLB franchise.
  • CF Braden Bishop (Mariners/High-A) is a 23-year-old California native who attended the University of Washington. Seattle drafted him in the 3rd round in 2015.
  • Troy Neiman (Rockies/High-A) is a 25-year-old right-hander out of California. Colorado signed the Cal-State Chico alum as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Another player on the roster for Team Israel, CF Ty Kelly, was called-up by the Mets on September 1 and therefore is unlikely to be available for the WBC qualifiers. Although his mother was raised Jewish, Kelly does not identify as Jewish, so Jewish Baseball News does not track his statistics.

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week

RF Rhett Wiseman (Nationals/A) hit .346 with 3 HRs, a double, 7 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases. He’s hitting .249 with 13 HRs, 25 doubles, 5 triples, 73 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases.

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week

P Rob Kaminsky (Indians/AA) earned 2 wins last week, pitching 7.1 innings of one-run ball on August 29, and 7 innings of 3-run ball on September 3. A 1st-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2013 draft, Kaminsky is 11-7 this season with a 3.28 ERA. He went 5-0 in August with a 1.78 ERA.

Other highlights

3B Scotty Burcham (Rockies/A) had a strong week, hitting .545 with a double, triple, 3 RBIs, 2 walks, and 2 stolen bases. The 2015 draftee had three multi-hit games, including one with 4 hits and another with 3.

1B Nate Freiman (Red Sox/AA) hit .273 with a home run, double, 5 RBIs, and 3 walks.

LF Zach Borenstein (Diamondbacks/AAA) hit .294 with 2 home runs and a double.

C Michael Barash (Angels/A), a 2016 draftee, went 4-for-10 with a home run, a walk, and 3 RBIs.

3B Mitchell Kranson (Twins/rookie), a 2016 draftee, went 3-for-5 on September 4 with 2 singles, a double, and 4 RBIs.

LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) hit .333 with 2 doubles, a walk, 3 RBIs, and a stolen base.

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AA) hit .385 with 2 doubles, a walk, on RBI, and a stolen base.

In the first Triple-A start of his 8-year minor-league career, P Tyler Herron (Mets/AAA) earned a win September 1, giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits and 3 walks over 6.2 innings while striking out 7.

P Corey Baker (Cardinals/AA) bounced back from a tough outing on August 30 to earn a win on September 4, pitching 5 shutout innings on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2. Baker also went 1-for-2 at the plate.

P Dean Kremer (Dodgers/A), a 2016 draftee, held opponents scoreless in two separate 3-inning relief appearances, yielding a total of 2 hits and no walks while striking out 9. Since being promoted to Single-A, Kremer is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA, yielding just 4 hits over 15.1 innings while striking out 22.

P Joey Wagman (Athletics/High-A) was near perfect in two relief appearances, yielding no hits and one walk across a combined 5 innings while striking out 8.

P Gabe Cramer threw 3 shutout innings over two appearances, yielding one hit and no walks while striking out 2.

P Max Fried (Braves/A) didn’t get a decision on September 3, but he did strike out 10 batters over 4.2 innings. It was his second consecutive 10-strikeout game.

P Brad Goldberg (White Sox/AAA) shut out his opponents in two one-inning relief appearances and earned his 10th save of the season.

P Raul Jacobson (Mets/A-short-season) pitched 6 shutout innings to earn a win on September 3, yielding 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1.

Transactions

  • The Pirates promoted P Henry Hirsch to Double-A. It is his first time playing at that level.
  • The Mets promoted P Tyler Herron to Triple-A.
  • The Rays promoted P Kenny Rosenberg, a 2016 draftee, from the rookie Gulf Coast League to the rookie Appalachian League.
  • The Pirates released 23-year-old C Nate Irving, a 2014 draftee who hit .276 in 2015 but hasn’t played since then.
  • P Jake Drossner (Brewers/A) came off the disabled list.
  • LF Jake Thomas (Blue Jays/A) went on the disabled list.

Disabled list

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league updates from the week of August 1-7, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week

C Andy Yerzy (Diamondbacks/rookie), a 2nd-round pick in the 2016 draft, hit .400 last week with a double, 5 RBIs, and a walk. The highlight was a 4-for-5 game on August 5.

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week

P Rob Kaminsky (Indians/AA) earned his sixth win on August 5, tossing 5 shutout innings. July was Kaminsky’s best month of the season, with the fourth-year going 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA and yielding just 1.12 walks/hits per inning.

Other highlights

On August 5, 1B Ike Davis (Yankees/AAA) went 3-for-4 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. Davis went hitless the rest of the week.

1B Cody Decker (Red Sox/AA) hit .348 last week with a double, triple, home run, 3 RBIs, and a walk.

C Ryan Gold (Blue Jays/rookie) went 4-for-8 a double, 2 RBIs, a walk, and an intentional walk. The 2016 draftee is hitting .347 over 18 games.

C Ryan Lavarnway (Blue Jays/AA) hit .421 with a home run, 4 RBIs, and 2 walks.

LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) hit .304 with 1 double, 5 RBIs, three walks, and three stolen bases. For the season, he’s hitting .278 with 4 HRs, 60 RBIs, 23 stolen bases in 26 attempts, and a .339 on-base percentage.

OF Jeremy Wolf (Mets/rookie) hit .316 with a double, home run, 5 RBIs, and 3 walks.

In a start on August 5, P Corey Baker (Cardinals/AA) pitched 5 dominant innings, yielding one earned run on 2 hits and no walks while striking out 7 for the win.

Through August 5, reliever Henry Hirsch (Pirates/High-A) had 10 straight scoreless appearances. The last time he yielded an earned run was June 29.

Reliever Alex Katz (White Sox/A) delivered three scoreless appearances last week. In 5 combined innings, he yielded just one hit and two walks while striking out three.

Transactions

Craig Breslow (Rangers/AAA) was placed on the team’s temporary inactive list. However, WEEI.com reported that the Rangers actually released Breslow from his minor-league contract.

Disabled list

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league updates from the week of July 25-31, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

LF Zach Borenstein (Diamondbacks/AAA) hit .600 last week with a home run, triple, 3 doubles, 4 RBIS, and a walk. This is his second straight Player of the Week award. In his first full season at Triple-A, the 26-year-old Illinois native is hitting .293 with 7 HRs, 4 triples, 21 doubles, 49 RBIs, and a .838 OPS.

Other highlights

CF Rhett Wiseman (Nationals/A) hit .333 with 2 HRs, a triple and a double, 7 RBIs, and 4 walks.

In his first full week since being promoted to Single-A, 2016 draftee Michael Barash (Angels) went 4-for-10 with a home run, double, and 3 RBIs.

OF Jeremy Wolf (Mets/rookie), a 31st-round draft pick in 2016, hit a scorching .615 last week with a triple, double, walk, 3 RBIs, and no strikeouts. He has a six-game hitting streak going.

C Dalton Blumenfeld (Angels/rookie) went 4-for-9 (.444) with a double, 5 RBIs, and a walk.

1B Nate Freiman (Red Sox/AA) hit .321 with 2 triples, 3 doubles, and 6 RBIs.

C Ryan Gold (Blue Jays/rookie), an 18-year-old draftee out of South Carolina, went 4-for-8 with two doubles.

After nearly a month on the disabled list, 2B Mason Katz (Cardinals/AA) went 2-for-4 on July 25 but then returned to the list. He is hitting .381 with 3 HRs and 7 RBIs in 42 Double-A at-bats this season.

P Gabe Cramer (Royals/A) pitched four no-hit innings over two appearances, striking out 5 and walking 3. He is 3-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 29 innings.

In three relief appearances, P Scott Effross (Cubs/A) gave up just 2 hits and one walk over 5 innings while striking out 7 batters.

P Jake Fishman (Blue Jays/rookie), a 2016 draftee, earned his third straight perfect relief appearance last week. In his last three games, he has struck out 10 batters over a total of 6.2 innings while yielding no hits, walks, or runs.

In his last game before being promoted to Single-A, P Raul Jacobson (Mets) pitched 5 shutout innings, yielding just 2 hits and no walks while striking out 4.

P Kenny Rosenberg (Rays/rookie), a 2016 draftee, pitched 4 scoreless innings over two appearances, yielding 4 hits and a walk while striking out three. In 5 games with the GCL Rays, he is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 11 innings.

Transactions

C Michael Barash (Angels), a 2016 draftee, was promoted from rookie league to Single-A.

SS Alex Bregman (Astros) was called-up from Triple-A to the Majors.

P Raul Jacobson (Mets) was promoted from short-season to Single-A.

C Adam Sonabend (Giants/A) came off the disabled list after more than a month.

P Corey Baker (Cardinals) was demoted from Triple-A to Double-A.

Disabled list

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Mason Katz homers twice

Mason Katz homers twice (click for video)

By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your minor-league updates from the week of June 20-26, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

P Corey Baker (Cardinals/AAA) earned a shutout win in his first-ever Triple-A game, scattering four singles and a walk over 6.2 innings while striking out 6. Baker had two 1-2-3 innings and threw 62 of 95 pitches for strikes.

Debuts

At least six draftees or undrafted free agents made their pro debuts last week.

Angels draftee Michael Barash (C/rookie league) hit .333.

Twins draftee Mitchell Kranson (C/rookie league) hit .286 with two RBIs.

White Sox prospect Steve Pollakov (C/rookie league), an undrafted free agent, hit a pinch-hit single in his first pro at-bat and went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in his first start.

Diamondbacks prospect Adam Walton (IF/rookie league), an undrafted free agent, walked and drove in a run.

Mets draftee Jeremy Wolf (OF/rookie league) doubled and drew four walks.

Blue Jays draftee Jake Fishman (P/rookie league) earned a hold in his first appearance despite yielding 4 earned runs over 2.1 innings.

Other highlights

SS Alex Bregman (Astros/AA) didn’t hit for average last week (.227), but four of his five hits went for extra bases and he walked eight times. The bigger news is that the second-year player is being promoted to Triple-A after participating in the Texas League’s All-Star game and home run derby on June 28.

Playing in his first three games of the season, second-year pro C Dalton Blumenfeld (Angels/rookie league) went 4-for-7 with 2 walks and 2 RBIs.

LF Zach Borenstein (Diamondbacks/AAA) hit .294 last week with a home run, double, 3 walks, and 6 RBIs. He’s tied for fourth place on the Reno Aces with 34 RBIs.

Former major-league 1B Nate Freiman (Red Sox/AA) had a big week, hitting .417 with a home run, double, 2 walks, and 8 RBIs.

Former major-league C Ryan Lavarnway (Red Sox/AA) hit a pair of HRs on June 20 and .429 for the week.

2B Mason Katz (Cardinals/AA) went 3-for-3 on two solo HRs, a single and a walk. After hitting just .053 in 19 at-bats for the franchise’s High-A team, Katz is hitting .361 in Double-A, with 3 HRs and 7 RBIs in 36 at-bats.

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/High-A) hit .400 last week, raising his average to .316, fifth best in the California League. The league’s next highest-ranked catcher is hitting .278. Behind the plate, Stubbs has nixed 16 of 26 stolen-base attempts and discouraged many more baserunners from even trying.

P Max Fried (Braves/A) pitched six innings on June 23 to earn his fifth win against five losses, yielding one earned run on six hits while striking out six and walking none.

Second-year pro Raul Jacobson (Mets/short season) made his 2016 debut last week. In two relief outings, he pitched 7 scoreless innings, earned a save, and yield 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7.

P Jared Lakind (Pittsburgh/AA) saw his 17-game scoreless streak end June 23, but he began another streak June 26 with a perfect inning of relief.

Transactions

SS Alex Bregman (Astros), a 2015 draftee, is being promoted to Triple-A.

P Corey Baker (Cardinals) was promoted to Triple-A for the first time in his career.

Yankees 1B Ike Davis was designated for assignment. He says he will report to the team’s Triple-A club if he isn’t signed by another MLB team.

C Nick Rickles (Nationals) was assigned to the team’s Double-A club after spending nearly the entire season in extended spring training. He doubled and had a ground-out RBI in his June 26 debut.

OF Kyle Ruchim (White Sox), an undrafted free agent, was sent from Single-A to the club’s rookie-league team.

After pitching one perfect inning in Triple-A, P Jeremy Bleich (Phillies) returned to the franchise’s Double-A club.

Draftee Brandon Gold (P/short-season) signed with the Rockies.

Draftee Matthew Gorst (P/rookie) signed with the Red Sox.

Draftee Ryan Gold (C/rookie) signed with the Blue Jays.

Draftee Kenny Rosenberg (P/rookie) signed with the Rays.

Draftee Andy Yerzy (C/rookie) signed with the Diamondbacks.

Update

Eagled-eyed readers may have noticed that Cardinals prospect Matt Fiedler has disappeared from our list of 2016 draftees. Although the U. of Minnesota alum has a Jewish parent and agreed to be identified as Jewish less than two years ago, he now identifies as Christian. We wish Matt the best and a great future in baseball.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here they are, your minor-league updates from the week of May 9-15, 2016.

Highlights

Astros #1 prospect Alex Bregman (AA) hit .286 with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 5 RBIs, and 3 walks in the week ended May 15. He also made his first professional start at third base, a show of versatility that could ease his eventual rise to the Majors, given that Astros SS Carlos Correa is thought to have the shortstop position locked down. General manager Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com that depending how Bregman does the rest of the season and what sort of spaces open up in Houston, it’s possible the 2015 draftee could be called up later this year. Bregman ranks 1st in the Texas League in on-base percentage (.420), 7th in batting average (.310) and home runs (7/tied), and is homering once in every 12 at-bats.

After enduring a crushing loss on May 9 (3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 HR, 2 BB, 0 K), St. Louis Cardinals prospect Corey Baker (AA) could have gone into a protracted funk. Instead, the 26-year-old righty rebounded with a dominant 6-inning performance on May 15, yielding one earned run on three hits and two walks while striking out six.

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jared Lakind (AA) had three scoreless relief appearances, striking out seven batters over a combined four innings while yielding just one hit and one walk. He also earned his second save of the season.

Washington Nationals prospect Rhett Wiseman (A) drove in eight runs over the week’s final three games to raise his season total to 21, tying him for 11th place in the South Atlantic League. Wiseman hit just .173 in April but is hitting .300 in May.

Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Henry Hirsch (High-A) picked up his first save of the season on May 15 with a perfect inning of relief. For the season, he’s 1-2 with a 3.22 ERA.

In his first week with the Boston Red Sox franchise, former major leaguer Nate Freiman (AA) hit .333 with 3 doubles, 6 RBIs, and 3 walks.

Boston Red Sox prospect Mike Meyers (High-A) hit his third triple, his first two doubles of the season, and drove in six runs to raise his season total to 18. Meyers, who’s hitting .304, is one of very few minor leaguers with more triples than doubles.

Houston Astros prospect Garrett Stubbs (High-A) has reached base safely on all seven steal attempts this season, and he has done so in just 64 at-bats.

Washington Nationals prospect R.C. Orlan (High-A) lowered his ERA to 1.59 with two scoreless relief appearances. He’s 1-0 with three saves in four chances, has held opposing batters to a .143 average, and has yielded just eight hits over 17 innings.

Texas Rangers prospect Jason Richman, a 2015 draftee, held opponents hitless in his first two Double-A relief appearances, yielding two walks over two innings.

Transactions

Injury updates

  • Cleveland Indians prospect Rob Kaminsky (AA) was placed on the 7-day disabled list.
  • Cincinnati Reds prospect Zack Weiss (AA) remains on the disabled list.
  • Miami Marlins prospect Maxx Tissenbaum (A) remains on the disabled list.

Birthdays

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here they are, your minor-league highlights from the week of April 25-May 1, 2016.

Drossner is near perfect

Brewers Single-A prospect Jake Drossner, a 2015 draftee, was nearly perfect April 28, yielding one hit and no walks over 5 innings of relief while striking out six. It was his first relief appearance of the season after four starts.

Kalish battering hurlers

Former major-leaguer Ryan Kalish is one of the hottest hitters in Triple-A. The Cubs’ farmhand is ranked first in the Pacific Coast League in on-base percentage (.500), second in batting average (.396), and fifth in OPS (1.047). The highlight last week: Kalish singled, doubled, tripled, walked, drove in a run, and made a sliding catch on April 28.

Baker’s trifecta

Cardinals Double-A prospect Corey Baker recorded his third scoreless start in a row on April 28, yielding 2 hits and 2 walks over 5-and-two-thirds innings while striking out 7. Baker’s ERA is a slim 1.29, third-best in the Texas League.

Kaminsky settles in

Indians #10 prospect Rob Kaminsky settled down after a couple rough mid-April starts in Double-A. He yielded one earned run over 5 innings on April 26 and one earned run over 6-and-two-thirds innings on May 1, reducing his ERA from 6.60 to 4.39.

Orlan’s saves

Nationals High-A prospect Robert “R.C.” Orlan has two saves in his last three relief appearances and is limiting opponents to 1.05 walks and hits per inning.

Short hits

  • Diamondbacks Triple-A prospect Zach Borenstein has hit .391 with a home run and 6 RBIs over his last 10 games.
  • Astros #1 prospect Alex Bregman was placed on the disabled list April 23 with an injured hamstring. The fast-rising 2015 draftee started 2016 with a bang, stroking 5 HRs with 14 RBIs and six walks in just 50 at-bats.
  • Former major-leaguer Ike Davis has just one hit in 22 at-bats with the Rangers’ Triple-A team.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here they are, your minor-league highlights from the week of April 18-24.

Borenstein’s streak

Diamondbacks Triple-A prospect Zach Borenstein is 5-for-9 in his last four games with a double, HR, walk, and 4 RBIs. His 12 RBIs (in 51 at-bats) rank 14th in the Pacific Coast League.

Goldberg’s promotion

Brad Goldberg, a 6-foot-4 reliever drafted by the White Sox in 2013, pitched a scoreless inning in his Triple-A debut on 4/23/2016. The proud Ohio State alum spent all of 2015 with Chicago’s High-A team, where he went 11-for-12 in save opportunities.

Bleier’s 2016 debut

Fresh off the disabled list, Yankees Triple-A prospect Richard Bleier made his season debut on April 2014, a 4-inning relief stint in which he yielded 6 hits and one earned run but walked nobody and struck out two.

Baker’s gem

Corey Baker, a starter with the Cardinals’ Double-A club, tossed an impressive shutout on April 23, yielding no walks and four hits over 6-and-a-third innings while striking out six. It was his second straight scoreless start and lowered his season ERA to 1.76.

Short hits

  • The Rockies acquired prospect Cody Decker from the Royals. In Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA) debut on April , he singled and doubled.
  • Washington released former Major Leaguer (and Team Israel star) Nate Freiman.
  • Ike Davis made his 2016 debut with the Rock Express (AAA) on 4/22/2016. In four plate appearances, he walked and hit a sacrifice fly.
  • Max Fried‘s promising return from Tommy John surgery was chronicled by MiLB.com. He is Atlanta’s No. 10 prospect.
  • Jeremy Bleich (Phillies/AA) and R.C. Orlan (Nationals/High-A) each record their first save of the season.

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By Scott Barancik, editor

We try to give you the news in bite-sized pieces via Facebook, Twitter, and our new ‘Bunts’ column, shown on the top-left corner of the Jewish Baseball News home page. But sometimes there’s more than a mouthful of news to deliver. Today is one of those days.

So what’s new?

Kinsler's crazy slide (buzzfeed.com)

Kinsler’s crazy slide (buzzfeed.com)

  • Ian Kinsler is back. Out since May 16 due to a rib-cage injury, the three-time All-star went 0-for-4 with a walk Saturday (6/15/2013) as the Texas Rangers lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1. Kinsler initially was hurt when a ball struck his chest while he was sliding into a base, and the pain intensified when he was hit with a pitch. Or at least that’s the official story. Here is a Buzzfeed.com video of Kinsler in what it describes as “the worst baseball slide of the season, by a mile” — followed by possibly the best smile by a player in an embarrassing situation.
  • Even as Kinsler was returning from the disabled list, Ryan Braun and Kevin Youkilis were going on it. Milwaukee’s Braun is out with an inflamed nerve in his right hand, while the Yankees’ Youkilis was hobbled with a lumbar strain. Get well soon, boys.
  • Scott Feldman was dominant Saturday in the Chicago Cubs’ 5-2 win over the New York Mets (see video). In a 7-inning performance, Feldman gave up just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out six. He also helped himself with this two-run single. Feldman is 6-5 this season with one complete game and a 3.05 ERA; he’s struck out 60 batters and walked only 21 over 79.2 innings.
  • Feldman’s hit was no fluke. As you can see in this table, the 6-foot-7-inch righty leads all MLB pitchers this season with 8 RBIs, thanks in part to a HR and two doubles.
  • Also triumphant Saturday (6/15/2013) was San Diego’s Jason Marquis, who raised his season record to 9-2 with a 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks (see video). Marquis‘ nine wins are tied for second most in the National League.
  • Congratulations to St. Louis Cardinals prospect Corey Baker, who was promoted to Double-A on Friday (6/15/2013). Baker — who was selected in the 49th round of the 2011 amateur draft — started the 2013 season at Single-A, moved up to A-Advanced, and spent only four games there before being picked up by the Springfield Cardinals (AA). Even after being roughed-up in his first start with Springfield, Baker’s overall ERA this season is 2.66 with a 1-2 record, 2 saves, 37 strikeouts, and only seven walks across 44 innings.
  • Los Angeles Angels prospect Zach Borenstein continues to pummel International League (A-advanced) pitchers. In a breakout third pro season, the left-handed hitter ranks first in total bases (146), second in HRs (16/tie) and slugging percentage (.613), third in RBIs (50/tie), and fourth in batting average (.315) and on-base plus slugging (.970). And Borenstein shows no signs of slowing down: in the past 10 games, he’s hit .400 with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 walks, and 9 RBIs.

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By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Here are highlights from minor-league games played on Monday, April 8:

  • Toronto Blue Jays prospect Kevin Pillar, the 2012 Midwest League MVP, went 1/4 with a single, two walks, one RBI and a run scored (box score). Pillar plays for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
  • New York Mets prospect Josh Satin extended his torrid April pace, going 3/4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored (box score). Satin, who plays for the Las Vegas 51s (AAA), is hitting .476 with one HR, two doubles, and 4 RBIs in 21 at-bats.
  • San Diego Padres prospect Maxx Tissenbaum didn’t get any hits, but he didn’t get any outs, either. Playing for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps (A), Tissenbaum walked four times and scored once (box score).
  • St. Louis Cardinals prospect Corey Baker still hasn’t allowed a run this season. In his third relief appearance for the Peoria Chiefs (A), Baker gave up two singles over two innings while striking out four and walking none (box score).
  • Danny Rosenbaum‘s first Triple-A start was a success. The Washington Nationals prospect pitched five shutout innings for the Syracuse Chiefs, yielding 4 singles and 2 walks while striking out two (box score).

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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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Garrett Wittels

Corey Baker

By Zev Ben Avigdor/Jewish Baseball News

For the second season in a row, Jewish ballplayers Garrett Wittels and Corey Baker are playing together on the Batavia Muckdogs (A-short season), a New York-based affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Though having a Jewish teammate is rare in baseball (in fact, last year they even had a third Jewish teammate, Venezuelan catcher Kevin Moscatel), the two have more in common than heritage: Success in college is turning into success at the professional level.

Each had an attention-getting collegiate career. Wittels, an infielder from Miami, made international news in 2010 when he hit safely in all 56 games at Florida International University, just short of an NCAA record. Baker, a native of New City, N.Y., became the University of Pittsburgh’s all-time wins leader in 2011 with 24 career victories.

Both are putting up solid numbers in Batavia. Baker is 2-2 with a 2.41 ERA, 24 strikeouts and just 5 walks as a middle reliever this season. Wittels—who also had an extended stay with the Cardinals’ Low-A team this season and brief stints in AA and AAA—is showing more power this year in Batavia, where half of his hits have been for extra bases.

In late July, Jewish Baseball News contributor Zev Ben Avigdor had a pre-game chat with the two men about baseball and Judaism, and then watched them help beat the Auburn Doubledays, 3-0. (Baker threw three perfect innings, while Wittels singled and walked.) Following is an edited transcript of their interview.

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What’s it like having another Jewish guy on the team, especially when that person is clearly identified and proud to be a Jew?

CB: It’s pretty awesome. When you first get into pro ball, you don’t really expect—at least for me, I didn’t expect—anyone, because in college I didn’t have any Jewish teammates. Typically the higher up you go, the fewer Jewish baseball players there are, so it was pretty awesome when Garrett showed up last summer and I found out he was Jewish. We actually both just found out—I hadn’t known until last week—that he and I were both bar mitzvah. That was pretty cool to find out. It’s not like you’re uncomfortable if there’s no one Jewish here, but it’s just a comforting feeling knowing that there’s someone else who is.

GW: Like Corey said, you’re not really used to having other Jewish people on your team, people you can talk to and stuff. It’s just reassuring knowing that, no matter what happens, you have someone that has your back. You always have your teammates, but in pro ball you just never know really who’s looking after you. I feel like the Jewish family is so small, you’re always kind of rooting for each other, not necessarily from a business standpoint or even in terms of being friends, but if something happens, if the shit hits the fan, you’ve always got someone in your corner.

Has the shit ever hit the fan? Has anyone ever given you any grief for being Jewish?

GW: No, it has nothing to do with being Jewish. I’m just saying, the clubhouse in minor league ball has a lot of—not discrimination, by any means—it’s just very diverse, a variety of different cultures and different places where people are from, so sometimes people tend to argue and things like that, little things. I’m just saying, it just feels comfortable to have someone else Jewish on your team.

CB: I’ve definitely been fortunate that I’ve never been heckled or anything like that, nothing about being Jewish. I would imagine in the World Baseball Classic there could be, because then they know. If we walk out on the field right now, no one really knows (you’re Jewish). Once you put on [Israel’s uniform], if you’re fortunate enough to play for that team, people will know, so maybe that will be different, but I’ve been fortunate enough never to be discriminated against, never had a problem with anyone saying anything like that. So that’s good that I have no stories about that.

What’s your background?

CB: I went to public school growing up, but then twice a week, after school, I’d go to Hebrew school. There’s a pretty good Jewish population where I’m from, so I grew up with a lot of Jewish friends. I had my bar mitzvah. I’m probably not as religious as I was when I was growing up, being around my parents and being in a Jewish household, because you go off to college and no one else is Jewish, and you get involved—especially with baseball. Baseball takes up so much time. On the weekends, I was traveling to play baseball. Being from up North, I was going down South to play baseball. So it wasn’t like I could go to synagogue on Friday night. I was probably on a plane most Friday nights in high school, in the Fall, to go play teams down South. When you’re trying to get recruited to go to college—sophomore, junior, and senior year—you need to play fall ball, but you can’t really play up in New York, so we went down South. Jupiter, Florida, has a tournament. There are tournaments all over the South. So synagogue wasn’t an option anymore, really, just because there wasn’t as much time. Growing up I followed [Jewish tradition] more and had my bar mitzvah, and I obviously still relate, but I don’t get to temple as much as I used to, that’s for sure.

GW: I went to Lehrman Community Day School [in Miami Beach] until the third grade. It was just a little Jewish community day school by my house. We had to wear a kippah every single day to school. It wasn’t anything crazy religious, but we’d say the prayers before we ate, we had prayers in the morning. I ended up leaving there to go to a different school after the third grade, for baseball purposes. [Lehrman] didn’t have a team or anything, and soon, going into middle school and things like that, it was an adjustment I just kind of had to make. I don’t keep kosher or anything like that, but I do fast on Yom Kippur, and I go to temple on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. I observe Passover, and I’ve had a bar mitzvah, and I’m very fortunate to have a good background and a good family and good Jewish traditions throughout my family that I really expect to keep doing throughout my life.

You mentioned Passover. Have you ever had to deal with keeping Passover during baseball season?

GW: Always. Every year in college there was Passover during baseball season. I never broke it. One time on the road our team had a tough loss. It was, I think, a Tuesday night, and our coach, without telling us or anything, ordered pizzas to our room, and there was nowhere else to eat, so I had my matzo I brought on the road with me, and I just took the cheese off the pizza and put it on the matzo and there was my dinner. It was crazy, but I was a freshman at the time, so I wasn’t going to ask my coach, after a tough loss, “Hey, I can’t eat this. Get me something else.” Then he’d be like, “Why? Why can’t you eat this?” and I didn’t want to explain it, so I was like, “You know what? I have the matzo. I’m just going to take the cheese, put it on the matzo, and go to bed.”

Matzo pizza.

CB: Matzo pizza’s the best.

GW: Yeah, but it was cold cheese on non-toasted matzo.

[MLB.com writer] Jonathan Mayo once interviewed you. He told you something interesting—something about Jewish fans?

CB: Yeah, I did that interview with him my senior year in college. He told me that in every community there were going to be Jewish fans. Everywhere you go, there will be a group of Jewish people, and they will know. And he said they stick together and they know when the Jewish athletes come through. And he said Jewish fans are very loyal to Jewish players.

Has that happened, with Jewish fans?

CB: I haven’t had anyone come up to me. Last year, I showed up to my locker one day, and I had fan mail from a kid from 3,000 miles away, all the way across the country, and he said he read one of my interviews and he’s Jewish too, and he sent me one of my baseball cards and asked me if I could sign it for him. You know, first rounders and top prospects get that every day, but I never get that. It was strictly because, he said, he was Jewish and he followed me because I was a Jewish baseball player and wanted my autograph, so that was like the coolest thing that’s ever happened, by far. Other than that, I’ve never had a fan come up to me and say, “Hey, I’m Jewish, too,” or anything like that.

How would that feel?

CB: It would feel cool. I would feel happier almost for them, that they got to experience seeing a Jewish baseball player. I mean, for me, obviously the fans are great, and I love that the fans come, and I appreciate every single fan I have—there’s not many, you know?—but I’d feel awesome for them, that they got to experience seeing a Jewish baseball player being a professional baseball player, because you know there’s not many. For them to be able to see that, it is just a testament that it can happen, and it does happen all the time—even though, not a lot, it does happen—and it’s awesome for them that they get to experience that. Being able to support that is unbelievable.

Garrett, have you had Jewish fans, Jewish kids come up to you?

GW: I actually, last weekend in Aberdeen, there was a Jewish sleep-away camp at the game, and there were literally 50 or 60 Jewish people. They were all religious, wearing yarmulkes, tzitzit, and everything like that, and it was the weirdest thing I’ve ever encountered in my life. I randomly just went up to one of the guys who was asking for a ball and I said, “shalom,” and he tried talking Hebrew with me, and I was like,”I don’t know any more Hebrew.” And he was like, “Oh, you’re not Jewish.” I’m like, “Yeah, my Hebrew name is Naftali.” He goes, “No way.” He had the same exact Hebrew name as me. After the game he made a point to come find me, and he actually gave me his yarmulke; I keep it in my travel backpack.

CB: There were actually groups of Jewish campers in Aberdeen and Hudson Valley. We were on a six-day road trip, and being in Maryland and outside New York—a New York city suburb and a Baltimore suburb—you have those Jewish communities. So they were up there for a sleep-away camp. We were sitting out in the bullpen and a bunch of them came up behind us. The back of the bullpen was against the stands, and a bunch of kids in yarmulkes came up, and all my teammates were like, “Hey, Baker, your cousins!” During the game I couldn’t really talk to them too much, but I know Garrett spoke to that guy and told him he was Jewish, and that was awesome. He told me about the yarmulke thing, and that’s pretty funny; that’s awesome. I’m sure they weren’t expecting that—that definitely made that kid’s day.

GW: Oh, 100%. I signed a ball in Hebrew letters for him, “To Naftali, the same Hebrew name as me, Best wishes, Garrett Wittels.” It was kind of crazy.

What’s it like being someone’s hero, especially to other Jewish kids?

CB: I don’t think that I’m anyone’s hero, so I don’t know.

GW: Not hero. I don’t think “hero” is the right word. It’s just kind of like, to younger Jewish guys in a camp like that, just so they could see that there are actually Jewish professional baseball players, to me is just incredible, because they now believe that they can do that, they can be a professional baseball player, just by seeing someone else who’s Jewish. I know. Growing up, a lot of my family and friends, when we were talking and especially when I was getting ready to go to college, everyone was like, “Why is he still trying to play? No Jewish guy has ever gone to Division I and played sports, and no Jewish guys ever play professional baseball.” Being here just gives you, not exactly satisfaction, but just kind of makes you feel good that you beat the odds and that you’re one of the few Jewish people that are doing it.

CB: [Those kids] don’t believe that they could play professional sports, there’s no way; I don’t think they do. But then seeing a professional athlete who is Jewish…

Well, wait a minute, then how did you know you could play professional sports? You’re a Jewish kid.

CB: I didn’t know. I just liked playing, and I had fun playing, and I just kept playing, and nobody told me I had to stop. People kept letting me play, so I just kept playing.

GW: I remember when I was younger and I always kind of followed baseball, and I remember when Shawn Green hit his four home runs in one day, and someone came up to me and said, “Yeah, did you see that Jewish guy? He hit four home runs in one day in a major league game.” And ever since that, I started to look up some of the Jewish players in the major leagues. I didn’t really know that many others. I knew Gabe Kapler was and Brad Ausmus was and a couple others. But just to see that Shawn Green hit four home runs in one day, made me feel like, “Oh, wow, a Jewish guy just literally hit four home runs in one day; maybe I can make it there one day.”

CB: Yeah, I know. My dad grew up in Brooklyn, a couple of blocks from the Wilpons of the Mets, and they’re Jewish. And my dad grew up a huge Sandy Koufax fan.

So who are your Jewish heroes?

CB: I guess just hearing my dad always talk about Sandy Koufax, I guess that would be who I would recognize the most.

Which one, your dad or Sandy Koufax?

CB: My dad. Definitely my dad.

GW: I don’t really have Jewish heroes. Kind of what Corey said: my parents and my grandparents, for just keeping the Jewish tradition throughout my family, I’ve always respected them for that. I know a lot of my friends who are Jewish don’t really observe some of the holidays that I do. I just feel it brings my family closer together, still having the traditions and still having the bar mitzvahs, and all those little things, and I look forward to continuing that with my own family one day.

(Editor’s note: “Zev Ben Avigdor” is the pen name of a university scholar who writes for Jewish Baseball News. Click here to see more of his interviews.)

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Kevin Moscatel (MiLB.com)

Will Krasne (MiLB.com)

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Time to add two names to your list of Jewish minor-leaguers.

Thanks to information provided by Jewish Baseball News reader Bill R., we now know that C Kevin Moscatel and P Will Krasne are Members of the Tribe.

Krasne, a 23-year-old rookie out of Stanford University, is 3-4 with a 4.22 ERA for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Cleveland Indians’ “A short season” team. A former National Merit Scholar Finalist at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., Krasne had “Tommy John” surgery in 2007.

Though just 20 years old, Moscatel — a native of Miranda, Venezuela — is a baseball veteran, having been signed by the St. Louis Cardinals at age 16. The light-hitting catcher is batting .211 with 1 HR and 8 RBIs in 90 at-bats this season with the “A short season” Batavia Muckdogs.

He’s in good company in Batavia, where at least two teammates are Jewish: P Corey Baker, and SS Garrett Wittels.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — So much to tell, so little time to tell it. Here are a few items worth noting:

  • The 2011 AAA All-Star Game, which pits the International League against the Pacific Coast League, will be broadcast tonight at 9:00pm EST on ESPN. Cleveland Indians prospect Jason Kipnis will start at 2B for the International team. Joining him from the bullpen will be Philadelphia Phillies prospect Michael Schwimer. Schwimer, a 6’8″ reliever from Fairfax, Va., is enjoying a breakout season with the “AAA” Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, where he is 5-0 with 6 saves, a 1.78 ERA, 64 strikeouts, and 17 walks over 50-and-2/3 innings.
  • Speaking of Kipnis, the 24-year-old standout’s 1st-inning HR helped the USA squad defeat the World team 6-4 in Sunday’s (7/9/2011) Futures Game (see box score), which is considered a showcase for minor-league baseball’s top prospects. As recently reported, Kipnis’ promotion to the Majors is expected to come soon.
  • Jews batted 1.000 in last night’s MLB All-Star Game (7/12/2011), though that figure is a bit misleading. The only MOT who played was Boston Redsox 3B Kevin Youkilis, who singled in his only plate appearance. Milwaukee Brewers LF Ryan Braun was supposed to start for the National League but sat out due to a leg injury that has kept him idle since July 2. Braun not only was the top vote-getter in the National League this year but set the all-time N.L. record with 5.9-million votes — which MLB.com points out is nearly 10 times the population of Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Garrett Wittels, a Florida International University infielder who hit in 56 straight games in 2010, was signed as a free agent earlier this month by the St. Louis Cardinals and assigned to Batavia Muckdogs, the club’s “A-short season” team. Through 5 games, Wittels is batting .118 with 1 RBI. He joins Muckdogs P Corey Baker, who was picked in the 49th round of last month’s MLB amateur draft.
  • Also signed as a free agent recently was C Jacob Meskin. Since joining the “rookie-league” GCL Astros (Houston Astros), Meskin has gone 0/13 with 5 strikeouts yet somehow managed to drive in 3 runs. Thanks to Jewish Baseball News reader Bill R. for the tip on Jacob.

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