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Browsing Posts tagged Craig Breslow

Sam Fuld, 5 others make All-Star ballot

Click here to cast your votes

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Voting began yesterday (4/26/2011) for the 2011 All-Star Game, and all 6 Jewish position players were on the ballot.

The six include:

Fans can vote online by going here, and up to 25 times .

All-Star pitchers are selected by team managers, so the fate of Jewish throwers like Oakland A’s reliever Craig Breslow, Washington Nationals starter Jason Marquis and Chicago Cubs reliever John Grabow remains to be seen.

The biggest surprise on the list is the selection of Sam Fuld, who began the season a virtual unknown but has grown famous for his aggressive baserunning, daring catches and surprisingly productive hitting. MLB.com’s article on the All-Star ballot even mentions him:

Could the amazing first-month story of Rays outfielder Sam Fuld carry momentum through the voting?

As they say in Chicago, vote early and often.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The 2011 MLB season opened Thursday (3/31/2011), and Milwaukee Brewers LF Ryan Braun started things off on the right foot.

Braun, 27, went 2/3 with a long blast over the center-field fence, two walks, and 3 runs scored in a 7-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. In 2010, Braun went 2/4 on Opening Day, with a double, sacrifice fly, and two RBIs.

Braun is one of 9 Jewish players to make this year’s Opening Day rosters. They are:

Several players who were on major-league teams in 2010 didn’t make an Opening Day roster this year. The Boston Red Sox sent LF Ryan Kalish to the team’s AAA affiliate, the Los Angeles Dodgers cut RF Gabe Kapler, and Texas Rangers P Scott Feldman is on the disabled list.

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Our 2011 Spring Training Awards

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — At least 19 Jews got playing time during Spring Training 2011, including five pitchers and 14 position players.

Here are our awards honoring the best, worst, and most surprising performances:

Best All-Around Offense: Ian Kinsler. The Texas Rangers 2B didn’t look like the same player who sat out nearly 100 games last season with injuries. Kinsler, 28, led all Jewish batters with 7 doubles, 5 HRs, 13 RBIs (tied), and a .389 on-base percentage. Although Jewish batters as a group struck out way more than they walked (94 vs. 41), Kinsler was one of just two players who didn’t, matching his 5 Ks with 5 BBs.

Best All-Around Offense (runner-up): Ryan Braun. The Milwaukee Brewers LF batted only 40 times, but that didn’t stop him from hitting 4 HRs, driving in 11 runs, and leading all Jews with 15 runs scored, a .325 batting average, .700 slugging percentage, and 1.072 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage).

Best All-Around Offense (honorable mention): Ike Davis. The New York Mets 1B pretty much matched the productivity of his 2010 rookie season, hitting .273 with 3 HRs, 13 RBIs (tied/1st), and a .344 on-base percentage.

Breakout offense: Sam Fuld. At 29, you can’t quite call the Tampa Bay Rays CF an up-and-comer. But Fuld made the most of what turned out to be his best chance in years to make an opening-day roster, hitting .277 with 1 HR, 5 extra-base hits, 8 RBIs, and 4 stolen bases. And he got his wish: a seat on the Rays’ bench.

Most disappointing offense: Kevin Youkilis. Whatever you chalk it up to — bad thumb, the distraction of switching from 1B to 3B, etc. — the Boston Red Sox stalwart, normally an on-base machine, struggled at the plate this Spring. Youk hit  just .175 with no HRs, 4 RBIs, a Jew-high 15 strikeouts, and just 4 walks. Teammate Ryan Kalish was a close second in this category, hitting .235 with 0 HRs and one lonely RBI.

Weirdest stats: Ben Guez. The Detroit Tigers CF has yet to play a regular-season MLB game and saw only limited playing time in Spring Training, getting 12 plate appearances and 7 at-bats. But oh, what Guez did with them. The 24-year-old singled twice, doubled once, and walked five times, good enough for a .429 batting average and .667 on-base percentage.

Nicest surprise: John Grabow. After a dismal 2010 in which he went 1-3 with a 7.36 ERA and “held” opposing batters to a .321 average, the Chicago Cubs reliever must have grown tired of being Public Enemy #1 in the Windy City. How else can you explain Grabow’s 2.57 ERA in Spring Training? A close second to Grabow in this awards category is Washington Nationals starter Jason Marquis, who went 2-9 with a 6.60 ERA in an injury-plagued 2010 season but finished Spring Training with a 1-1 record and a 4.02 ERA.

Worst surprise: Craig Breslow. Arguably the only Jewish MLB pitcher who didn’t embarrass himself last year, the Oakland A’s reliever went 4-4 in 2010 with a 3.01 ERA, holding opposing batters to a meek .194 batting average. But Breslow had an awful spring, with an 11.25 ERA and an opposing-hitters batting average of, believe it or not, .500. The saving grace? We’re only talking about 5 appearances and 4 innings pitched, not a lot to go on. Still, the Freaky Friday switcheroo Breslow and Grabow did this Spring has got us mighty confused.

Here are the final 2011 Spring Training stats for position players:

TEAM POS AB R 2B HR RBI AVG OBP
James Rapoport STL CF 1 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000
Ben Guez DET CF 7 0 1 0 0 .429 .667
Ryan Lavarnway BOS CF 9 1 1 1 3 .333 .333
Josh Satin NYM 2B 6 1 0 1 2 .333 .333
Ryan Braun MIL LF 40 15 3 4 11 .325 .372
Danny Valencia MIN 3B 65 6 6 1 8 .308 .333
Ian Kinsler TEX 2B 63 14 7 5 13 .302 .389
Sam Fuld TB CF 47 9 3 1 8 .277 .333
Ike Davis NYM 1B 55 5 4 3 13 .273 .344
Gabe Kapler LAD RF 45 6 3 1 7 .244 .277
Ryan Kalish TB LF 51 4 2 0 1 .235 .316
Jake Lemmerman LAD SS 5 1 1 0 0 .200 .200
Kevin Youkilis BOS 3B 57 3 2 0 4 .175 .238
Jason Kipnis CLE 2B 18 3 0 1 2 .167 .250
TOTAL 469 68 33 18 72 .269

And the final 2011 stats for pitchers:

TEAM W L ERA G IP H BB SO
John Grabow CHC 0 0 2.57 7 7.0 8 3 4
Jason Marquis WSH 1 1 4.02 4 15.2 15 6 9
Aaron Poreda SD 0 1 6.75 3 2.2 2 5 1
Michael Schwimer PHI 0 0 7.20 4 5.0 5 2 4
Craig Breslow OAK 0 0 11.25 5 4.0 9 2 2
TOTAL 1 2 5.35

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TEAM W L ERA G IP H BB SO
John Grabow CHC 0 0 2.57 7 7 8 3 4
Jason Marquis WSH 1 1 4.02 4 15.2 15 6 9
Aaron Poreda SD 0 1 6.75 3 2.2 2 5 1
Michael Schwimer PHI 0 0 7.20 4 5 5 2 4
Craig Breslow OAK 0 0 11.25 5 4 9 2 2
TOTAL 1 2 5.35
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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Last season, Oakland A’s reliever Craig Breslow was the ace, and Chicago Cubs reliever John Grabow lost face.

Breslow went 4-4 with a 3.01 ERA, 71 strikeouts and 29 walks in 75 appearances. At a salary of only $425,000, the Yale University alum was a bargain.

Grabow , who cost the Cubbies $2.7-million, went 1-3 with a bloated 7.36 ERA in 28 games.

It may only be spring training, but so far this year, their roles appear reversed.

On Friday (3/25/2011), for example, Grabow earned his third ‘hold’ in five appearances by pitching a scoreless and hitless inning in the Cubs’ 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. Grabow’s spring training ERA is a not-too-shabby 3.60, although opposing batters are hitting a worrisome .286 against him.

For Breslow, Friday’s game — only his second this spring training — was a nightmare. The 30-year-old lefty gave up four hits and 3 earned runs over one inning in the A’s 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Both players are getting a big salary bump in 2011, but the pressure to perform will remain highest on Grabow, who will earn $4.8-million to Breslow’s $1.4-million.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Spring Training 2011 is just two weeks old. Many players are still shedding their off-season rust. But a couple Jewish players are already tearing the stitching off the ball.

Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, who was hobbled by injuries last season, leads all MLB players with 4 HRs, is tied for second with 7 RBIs, and is batting .444 (8/18). Figure in walks, and he has a nifty on-base percentage of .545.

Also hitting well is Minnesota Twins 3B Danny Valencia. After finishing 3rd in voting for the A.L. Rookie of the Year award last year, Valencia is batting .500 (6/12) with 3 RBIs and is tied for the A.L. lead in doubles, with four.

Here is how all Jewish position players were doing through Mon., March 7:

 

TEAM
AB H HR RBI BB AVG OBP
Danny Valencia
MIN
12 6 0 3 1 .500 .538
Ian Kinsler
TEX
18 8 4 7 3 .444 .545
Ryan Braun
MIL
11 3 1 2 1 .273 .333
Ike Davis NYM 12 3 1 3 4 .250 .438
Ben Guez
DET
4 1 0 0 3 .250 .571
Gabe Kapler
LAD
15 3 0 1 0 .200 .200
Kevin Youkilis
BOS
13 2 0 1 1 .154 .214
Jason Kipnis
CLE
13 2 1 2 2 .154 .267
Ryan Kalish
TB
16 2 0 0 2 .125 .222
Sam Fuld
TB
9 1 0 0 0 .111 .111
Ryan Lavarnway
BOS
4 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Jake Lemmerman
LAD
1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000

Among pitchers, Washington Nationals starter Jason Marquis followed up a difficult 2010 with a strong spring-training outing, giving up just 1 hit over 3 innings in his only game played so far. Here’s how all Jewish pitchers were doing through March 7:

 

TEAM
W L ERA G IP H BB SO
Jason Marquis
WSH
0 0 0.00 1 3 1 0 1
Aaron Poreda
SD
0 0 5.40 2 1.2 0 4 1
Michael Schwimer
PHI
0 0 13.50 2 2 4 0 1
John Grabow
CHC
0 0 18.00 1 1 3 0 1
Craig Breslow
OAK
Scott Feldman TEX
Jason Hirsh NYY
David Kopp STL

To track Jewish players in Spring Training, visit Jewish Baseball News for our daily box score.

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TEAM
AB H HR RBI BB AVG OBP
Danny Valencia
MIN
12 6 0 3 1 .500 .538
Ian Kinsler
TEX
18 8 4 7 3 .444 .545
Ryan Braun
MIL
11 3 1 2 1 .273 .333
Ike Davis NYM 12 3 1 3 4 .250 .438
Ben Guez
DET
4 1 0 0 3 .250 .571
Gabe Kapler
LAD
15 3 0 1 0 .200 .200
Kevin Youkilis
BOS
13 2 0 1 1 .154 .214
Jason Kipnis
CLE
13 2 1 2 2 .154 .267
Ryan Kalish
TB
16 2 0 0 2 .125 .222
Sam Fuld
TB
9 1 0 0 0 .111 .111
Ryan Lavarnway
BOS
4 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
Jake Lemmerman
LAD
1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000
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A request for help from Craig Breslow

EDITOR’S NOTE: Craig Breslow needs your help. Years after watching his 14-year-old sister successfully fight thyroid cancer, the Oakland A’s star reliever created a non-profit group to support pediatric cancer research. A week from this Saturday (10/13/2010), the Strike 3 Foundation will host its annual celebrity dinner in Stamford, Conn. Craig would like everyone at Jewish Baseball News to buy tickets if they can. If you can’t attend, please show your heart with a donation to his organization.


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My name is Craig Breslow, and I am a pitcher for the Oakland A’s, a Yale Graduate, and the Founder/President of the Strike 3 Foundation, a charity which raises funding for local pediatric cancer research and treatment centers. Over the last year, Strike 3 has contributed over $100,000 as a founding sponsor of Connecticut’s first pediatric bone-marrow transplantation program.

Our signature fundraiser, the First Pitch Celebrity Gala, will take place on Saturday, November 13, at the Stamford Hilton Hotel. The event will feature made-to-order hand-rolled sushi, wine tasting, raw bar, sit-down dinner, entertainment, and cake donated by Carlo’s Bakery, home of the Cake Boss. Last year’s keynote speaker was Nomar Garciaparra, followed by a musical performance by Reggae superstar Shaggy. Celebrities scheduled to attend this year’s event include 2-time MLB All-Star Andrew Bailey, Jack Cust, Rajai Davis, Vin Mazzaro, Kevin Slowey, Sergeant Slaughter, Howard Finkel, Matt Striker, Carl Bakes, Kim Jones, Suzyn Waldman, and many, many others. The evening will be hosted by former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager Bobby Valentine and ESPN SportsCenter anchor Karl Ravech.

Tables may be reserved at a price of $1,950 for 10 tickets. Individual tickets also are available.  I urge you to please consider supporting such a meaningful cause.

Thank you,

Craig Breslow

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS –Three cheers for Oakland A’s RP Craig Breslow, whose efforts to raise funding for pediatric cancer research have earned him a nomination for the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award.

It’s an honor simply to have one’s name uttered in the same sentence as Clemente, the Pittsburgh Pirate great who died in 1972 when a plane he chartered to bring aid to earthquake-ravaged Nicaragua crashed.

I’d love to recommend that you cast a vote for Breslow, as MLB rules permit. But I can’t.

It’s not that Breslow — whom Sporting News recently called the smartest man in sports — doesn’t deserve it. It’s that the voting process is more like a marketing gimmick for MLB.com and Chevrolet, the Award’s sponsor.

Click here and you’ll see what I mean. Step 1 is to choose a nominee. Step 2, which is mandatory, is to enter your personal information — name, address, phone, e-mail, time-frame for purchasing or leasing a new vehicle, and three Chevy vehicles you’re most interested in — into a “sweepstakes” form and send it off to MLB.com and Chevy.

I’m no profit prude. Baseball is a business, and the MLB is entitled to squeeze a buck out of it in any way it can. One day I hope to squeeze a few nickels out of it myself. (See Google Ads at the end of this post.)

But to say to fans: “Sure, we’ll let you vote for the most selfless baseball player, but you’ll have to give up your privacy and endure an avalanche of spam as punishment”?

Just doesn’t seem right to me.

— Scott Barancik, Editor/Curmudgeon

(Note to readers: Your comments are welcome below.)

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Valencia’s power display, and more

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Monday (9/20/2010):

  • 3B Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins continued his recent power display, going 1/4 with a solo HR in a 9-3 win over the Cleveland Indians. The 25-year-old rookie has just 5 HRs this season but has hit 3 in his last 4 games. He leads all MLB rookies with a .335 batting average and  MLB.com, he is hitting .431 with runners in scoring position. Valencia showed good power as a minor-leaguer, hitting 14 to 17 HRs per year from 2007 through 2009.
  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s pitched a scoreless 9th inning to preserve a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox and earn his 3rd save of the season. The 30-year-old middle reliever has a 3.15 ERA, tops among MLB Jews, and is having one of his best months of the season. His September ERA is 1.74 so far, second only to his May ERA of 0.71.
  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers went 1/4 with a two-run double in a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. The RBIs lifted his season total to 93, one behind team leader Casey McGehee. As Jewish Baseball News reader JackW notes, Braun’s 41 doubles are a career high; he hit 39 both in 2008 and 2009.

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Braun’s spectacular catch, and more

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Sunday (9/19/2010):

  • In his first major-league start since 10/4/2009, CF Sam Fuld went 2/6 with an RBI double and a single to help the Chicago Cubs defeat the Florida Marlins, 13-3. As Jewish Baseball News reader Jessica R. points out, Fuld may get a few more starts due to a bizarre, broken-bat injury suffered Sunday by RF Tyler Colvin. ‘
  • 2B Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers reached base twice in a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Kinsler singled and drew a walk.
  • Rookie 1B Ike Davis of the New York Mets singled twice and scored once in a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.
  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s pitched a perfect 9th inning and struck out two batters to preserve a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. The 30-year-old middle reliever has a 3.19 ERA, tops among MLB Jews, and is having one of his best months of the season. His September ERA is 1.93, second only to his May ERA of 0.71.

And now, your Jewish Baseball News Star of the Day:

  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers hit his third HR in the past 5 games, a two-run shot that accounted for both of the Brewers’ runs in a 9-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. More impressive was Braun’s leaping catch over the outfield fence to rob the Giants’ Cody Ross of a home run. The play was so spectacular it inspired a separate article on MLB.com.

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Yom Kippur players shine, shrink

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — A number of Jews played baseball on Friday (9/17/2010), the eve of Yom Kippur. And while some played as if they were being punished, others performed quite well:

  • SP Jason Marquis of the Washington Nationals may wish he hadn’t agreed to pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies. He failed to complete the first inning, giving up 6 earned runs on 6 hits and a walk while retiring just one batter in a 9-1 defeat. It didn’t help that a likely double-play ball struck the second-base umpire, allowing a run to score and keeping Philadelphia’s at-bat alive.
  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers went 3/5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored in a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.
  • Rookie 3B Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins had the opposite experience, going 2/3 with his 3rd major-league HR in a 3-1 loss to the Oakland A’s. Oakland RP Craig Breslow pitched 1-and-1/3 scoreless innings to earn his 16th hold of the season.
  • Two Jewish major-leaguers — 2B Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers and rookie 1B Ike Davis of the New York Mets — both went 0/3. Davis had gotten press coverage a day earlier by saying that he was leaving the decision about playing on Yom Kippur to his mother, who lost family in the Holocaust.

In minor-league championship games:

  • CF James Rapoport of the “AAA” Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) hit 3 singles and stole 2 bases but couldn’t prevent a 10-6, extra-inning loss to the Tacoma Rainiers. Tacoma swept the Pacific League championship series, 3-0.
  • RP Josh Zeid of the “A” Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) did not play in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Greenville Drive. But on Thursday (9/16/2010), he pitched 3 perfect innings in the BlueClaws’ 6-1 win, striking out four. Lakewood leads the South Atlantic League championship series 2-1.
  • The “Rookie-league” Ogden Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers) didn’t play Friday because they lost the Pioneer League championship series the day before. RP Andrew Pevsner provided one of Ogden’s few bright spots in Thursday’s 14-3 loss to the Helena Brewers, pitching 3-and-1/3 perfect innings and striking out 4. Teammate Jake Lemmerman went 1/5 and scored a run.

And now, your Jewish Baseball News Star of the Day:

  • 2B Jason Kipnis of the “AAA” Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians) hit for the cycle — single, double, triple and HR — en route to a 13-2 win over the Durham Bulls and Columbus’ first International League championship in 14 years. The 23-year-old was called-up to Columbus for the post-season after spending the regular season on Cleveland’s “AA” and “A-advanced” clubs. He batted .389 during the 4-game championship series while playing in the DH role.

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POTD: Braun, Breslow

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Monday (9/13/2010):

  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers went 2/4 and drew a walk in a 4-2 loss to the Houston Astros. Braun had a chance to close the gap when he came to bat with two outs and a man on second base in the 9th inning, but he flied out to end the game. The fourth-year player and former Rookie of the Year tore up August with a .424 batting average and is hitting .318 in September. Braun is ranked 6th in the N.L. in doubles (37) and 9th in batting average (.304) and runs scored (90/tie). He also has 20 HRs, 85 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.
  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s pitched a scoreless 8th inning and earned his 15th hold of the season in a 3-1 win over the Kansas City Royals. The 30-year-old middle reliever is 4-4 with 2 saves and a 3.31 ERA, best among Jewish MLB pitchers this season. He has 64 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .197 batting average.

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POTD: Kinsler, Feldman, Davis, Breslow

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Friday (9/10/2010).

Two Jews played a role in the Texas Rangers’ extra-inning win over the New York Yankees:

  • 2B Ian Kinsler went 2/4, drew a walk, and scored 3 runs as the Rangers defeated the Yanks 6-5 in 13 innings. He was ejected in the 10th inning after arguing a called third strike that replays showed was slightly inside. Despite battling injuries much of the season, Kinsler is batting .294 with 8 HRs, 40 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a .378 on-base percentage.
  • SP Scott Feldman — the 11th and final Rangers pitcher of the game, a team record — pitched a scoreless 13th inning to earn the win. It wasn’t easy: Feldman gave up two hits and a walk before getting out of a bases-loaded jam. He is 7-10 with a 5.47 ERA, 72 strikeouts and 43 walks in 135 innings.

In other MLB news:

  • Rookie 1B Ike Davis of the New York Mets doubled, singled and scored a run in an 8-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. A 1st-round pick (18th overall) in the 2008 amateur draft, Davis is tied for 2nd among N.L. rookies in HRs (18), and he’s ranked 3rd in RBIs (64) and runs scored (63). He is batting .258 with a .346 on-base percentage.
  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s pitched a scoreless 8th inning en route to a 5-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. The 30-year-old middle reliever struck out two and walked one. For the season, he is 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA, 13 holds and 2 saves. He has 63 strikeouts in 63 1/3 innings pitched and has held opposing hitters to a .199 batting average.

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POTD: Braun, Kinsler, Breslow, Lemmerman

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Wednesday (9/8/2010):

  • 2B Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers led off the game with a solo HR and added a single in the 5th inning en route to an 8-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite two lengthy stints on the disabled list this season, Kinsler is batting .296 with 8 HRs, 40 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and a .380 on-base percentage.
  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s retired all 4 batters he faced and earned his 13th hold of the season in a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. The 30-year-old middle reliever is 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA and 2 saves. He has 61 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .202 batting average.
  • SS Jake Lemmerman of the rookie-league Ogden Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers) went 2/5 with an RBI single in a 4-2 loss to the Orem Owlz. The top Jewish pick in the 2010 draft (5th round, 172nd overall), Lemmerman leads the league in doubles (24) and runs scored (68), ranks 2nd in batting average (.364) and on-base percentage (.437), and is third in slugging percentage (.612).

And now, your Jewish Star of the Day:

  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers blasted a three-run HR and smacked an RBI single in an 8-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, both hits coming with two outs. The fourth-year player and former Rookie of the Year tore up August with a .424 batting average and is hitting .321 in September. For the season, Braun is batting .304 with 20 HRs, 35 doubles, 84 RBIs, a .361 on-base percentage and .483 slugging percentage. His 20 homers are the most among MLB Jews this year — one ahead of injured 1B Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox, and two ahead of rookie 1B Ike Davis of the New York Mets.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Sunday (8/29/2010):

  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers went 4/4 with a two-run HR, a walk and 3 runs scored in an 8-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, raising his season batting average to .300 for the first time since June 28. The 2007 NL Rookie of the Year is hitting .422 in August, with a 5-hit game, a 4-hit game, three 3-hit performances, and six 2-hit games. Adding in 13 walks, his August on-base percentage is a sweet .495.
  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s pitched 2 hitless innings in an 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers. The 30-year-old middle reliever is 4-4 with a 3.39 and 2 saves. He has 60 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .202 batting average.
  • In a rehab assignment with the “AA” Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers), 2B Ian Kinsler hit an RBI single and scored a run as the RoughRiders beat the Midland RockHounds 6-4. In five games with Frisco, Kinsler is 4/15 (.267) with 4 RBIs and 2 walks. He has been on the disabled list since July 28.
  • SP David Kopp of the “AA” Springfield Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals) pitched 6 scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory over the Arkansas Travelers. A 24-year-old Clemson recruit, Kopp allowed 7 hits and no walks while striking out four. He got out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the 5th inning by getting one batter to pop out and two to fan. Kopp was 0-5 during a stretch in “AAA” this season but is 12-3 with Springfield.
  • SS Jake Lemmerman of the rookie-league Ogden Raptors (Los Angeles Dodgers) went 2/5 with a double and a home run in a 9-5 loss to the Great Falls Voyagers. The top Jewish pick in the 2010 draft (5th round, 172nd overall), Lemmerman leads the league in doubles (23) and runs scored (62), ranks 2nd in OPS (.991), and has the third-highest batting average (.355).

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Friday (8/20/2010):

Four MLB players had two hits apiece…

  • C Brad Ausmus of the Los Angeles Dodgers had his best day at the plate since returning from the disabled list, going 2/3 with two singles in a 3-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. A 41-year-old enjoying his 18th MLB season, Ausmus is batting .209 in 43 at-bats.
  • 1B Ike Davis of the New York Mets went 2/4 with two singles and an RBI in a 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Davis, a rookie, is batting .243 and ranks 2nd on the Mets in home runs (15), RBIs (56) and strikeouts (106), and 4th in runs scored (51). He has struggled of late, batting just .143 over his past 10 games.
  • LF Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers went 2/4 with two walks and two RBIs in a 10-6 victory over the San Diego Padres. A 26-year-old in his fourth major-league season, Braun has hit .353 in his last 10 games and .292 for the season.
  • Rookie 3B Danny Valencia of the Minnesota Twins continues to impress, going 2/4 in a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. A mid-season call-up from “AAA” ball, Valencia is batting .335, tops among AL rookies.

One MLB pitcher shined…

  • RP Craig Breslow of the Oakland A’s pitched a scoreless 9th inning to preserve a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out 2 of the three batters he faced. It was just the third career save for Breslow, who typically is used in a middle-relief role. The 30-year-old Yale Alum is 4-3 with a 3.13 ERA. He has 55 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .201 batting average.

And in the minors…

  • CF James Rapoport of the “AAA” Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) went 2/5 with 2 walks and 2 RBIs in a 6-3 win over the Salt Lake Bees. Rapoport, 25, is batting .264 with 2 HRs and 29 RBIs since being promoted to “AAA” earlier this season. He has 4 triples and 8 stolen bases for the Redbirds.
  • SP Jason Knapp of the “A” Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians) pitched 4 innings of no-hit ball, struck out 7 batters and walked two in a 5-3 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — So who are the 2010 Jewish category leaders in the MLB as of today (July 12)?

Among the eight position players:

Among the five pitchers:

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Sunday update

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — An update from the world of Jewish baseball players:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers C Brad Ausmus is doing well in his rehab stint with the Inland Empire 66ers, a Class A-advanced team. The 41-year-old has six hits in 12 at-bats with two walks and two RBIs. Ausmus had just four at-bats with the Dodgers this season before injuring his back. It was his first and only time on the disabled list in a lengthy career. In Ausmus’ absence, Dodger catchers Russell Martin (.247 average, .351 on-base percentage, .337 slugging percentage) and A.J. Ellis (.214 average, .306 OBP, .238 SLG) have performed adequately, if not exceptionally.
  • As a group, MLB’s Jewish pitchers have had a dismal season. Boston Red Sox RP Scott Schoeneweis was released back in May, and their collective ERA only recently dipped below 6.00. Oakland A’s RP Craig Breslow remains an exception, with a 3-2 record, 3.15 ERA, strikeout/walk ratio of 40/16, and opponent batting average of just .175. A’s manager Bob Geren has been lobbying to get Breslow into the 2010 All-Star Game. In his most recent start, Scott Feldman (5-8, 5.32 ERA, 63/33) delivered a seven-inning, 2 ER performance against the Baltimore Orioles. (7/9/2010), Texas Rangers SP
  • Since returning from the disabled list, Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler hasn’t displayed the power (31 HRs) and speed (31 stolen bases) that he did in 2009, but he is hitting for average (.311) and is on pace for a career-high on-base percentage of .411.
  • New York Mets 1B Ike Davis hit his 10th home run of the season on July 4, making him just the third rookie in Met history to hit 10 HRs before the All-Star break. Rumor has it that the Seattle Mariners wouldn’t consider trading star pitcher Cliff Lee to the Mets unless Davis was part of the deal. Davis’ habit of landing in the dugout after catching a pop foul has been immortalized in a video game.
  • Boston Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis narrowly lost another chance to join the 2010 All-Star Game. Youkilis was one of five AL players chosen to participate in a “Final Vote” for the last spot on the AL roster, but Youkilis finished second to New York Yankees RF Nick Swisher in the closest contest in the nine-year history of the Final Vote. According to MLB.com, Swisher used his Twitter account — baseball’s biggest at more than 1.2-million followers — to obtain endorsements from Jessica Alba, Ivanka Trump and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • Philadelphia Phillies prospect Michael Schwimer, a 6’8″ pitcher whom Jewish Baseball News dubbed a “monster of the mound,” was promoted to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA). The 24-year-old reliever had compiled a 5-3 record with the Reading Phillies (AA), including 58 strikeouts in just 40 innings. If you’re interested in what Schwimer has to say about things, you can catch his blog here.
  • Also moving up in the world is St. Louis Cardinals prospect David Kopp. The transition to AAA ball hasn’t been easy for the 24-year-old starting pitcher. Kopp dominated the AA Texas League while with the Springfield Cardinals this season, going 8-1 with a 3.08 ERA. By contrast, he has lost all four of his starts as a Memphis Redbird.
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers will celebrate Jewish Community Day on July 25 by giving away Dodgers yarmulkes. Their opponent? Ike Davis and the New York Mets.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS –Sunday was not a day for bragging.

Six Jewish position players collectively went 1-for-17 yesterday (May 30), including four strikeouts. Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler managed the day’s only hit (a 1st-inning single) and only walk in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

The day’s sole Jewish pitcher, Chicago Cubs RP John Grabow, fared no better. In a two-inning stint, Grabow gave up two home runs, three earned runs and four hits total. It’s the sort of performance that recently cost Grabow, 31, his role as manager Lou Piniella’s top left-handed setup man.

The Jewish Batting Average has slumped in recent days. It closed yesterday at .287, or 26 points above the MLB average of .261.

On the bright side, the blimp-like Jewish ERA has moderated a bit, thanks in part to clutch relief work by Oakland A’s RP Craig Breslow. The Jewish ERA closed yesterday at 7.09, still nearly three runs per game above the MLB ERA of 4.13.

Before you get depressed and go nuts on frozen blintzes, remember: it’s a long season. Why, less than two weeks ago, Jewish batters smacked four home runs in a single day.

— Scott Barancik

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