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Minor-League Monday (August 21-27, 2017)

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.

Get your Jewish baseball news via e-mail

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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.

Get your Jewish baseball news via e-mail

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

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

Gailen

Gailen

Jewish Baseball News Hitter of the Week: Blake Gailen*

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

Bleich

Bleich

Jewish Baseball News Pitcher of the Week: Jeremy Bleich*

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

Professional debuts

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

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

Season debuts

One 2016 draftee made his 2017 debut last week:

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

Other highlights

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

Transactions

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

Free agents

Disabled list

2017 draft picks

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

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

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

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

Get your Jewish baseball news via e-mail

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Israel’s WBC roster taking shape

By Scott Barancik, editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# # #

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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 updates from the week of July 11-17, 2016, a period shortened by All-Star games.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

For the third time this season — and the second week in a row — our Player of the Week is LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A). Meyers hit .375 with a double, 2 triples, 4 walks, and 5 RBIs. His 8 triples are tied for #1 in the Carolina League.

Debuts

Two recent draft picks made their debut last week.

C Jason Goldstein (Mariners/rookie), a 9th-round pick, was perfect in his pro debut on July 14. The 22-year-old University of Illinois alum had an RBI single in his only at-bat and threw out an attempted base-stealer who had been a perfect 8-for-8 in thefts up to that point.

In two relief outings, P Matthew Gorst (Red Sox/short-season) held batters scoreless, yielding 1 hit and 2 walks over 2.2 innings.

Other highlights

CF Rhett Wiseman hit safely in all five games last week, going 8-for-23 (.348) with a triple, 3 RBIs, and 1 stolen base in 3 attempts.

1B Ike Davis (Yankees/AAA) went 4-for-12 last week with a HR, 2 RBIs, and 2 walks.

1B Cody Decker (Boston/AA) went only 3-of-13 record at the plate and struck out six times, but he made his hits count, stroking two HRs and a double while driving in 4 runs.

C Ryan Gold (Blue Jays/rookie), a 2016 draftee, went 5-for-14 (.357) with a triple, RBI, and 3 walks.

P Gabe Cramer (Royals/A) pitched 4 scoreless innings across two appearances, striking out 6 batters while yielding 2 hits and a walk. He’s averaging 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings

Transactions

Second-year P Jason Richman (Rangers) was promoted to Triple-A.

P Josh Zeid (Mets) was demoted to Double-A.

The Miami Marlins released former MLB P Craig Breslow.

The Philadelphia Phillies released P Jeremy Bleich (AA).

Disabled list

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Minor-League Monday (June 20-26)

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 June 13-19, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) hit .381 last week with a double, his fifth triple of the season, 2 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases. The highlight: a 4-for-5 showing on June 14.

Other highlights

In his first week as a Red Sox farmhand, Cody Decker (AA) had at least one base hit in all five games, hitting .316 with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, and 5 RBIs. He also moved around the field, serving twice in LF, twice as DH, and one at 1B.

Through his first two weeks of play this season, OF Jake Thomas (Blue Jays/A) is hitting .361 with 3 doubles, a triple, and 9 RBIs.

Jared Lakind (Pirates/AA) added three scoreless appearances last week to up his streak to 17 and cut his ERA to 1.49. The 24-year-old Texas native is holding opposing batters to a .180 average and hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 27.

P Jon Moscot (Reds/AAA) yielded 6 hits, 2 earned runs, and no walks over 6 innings in a 4-2 win on June 15. He also stuck out two batters.

P Brad Goldberg (White Sox/AAA) made two scoreless appearances, giving up a hit and a walk over a combined two innings while striking out two.

P Rob Kaminsky (Indians/AA) had another up-and-down week. The 21-year-old southpaw yielded 4 earned runs in as many innings on June 14 but pitched six innings of one-run ball on June 19.

Transactions

P Jeremy Bleich (Phillies) was promoted to the Reading Fightin Phils (AAA) and pitched a perfect inning for them in his first appearance.

C Zach Kapstein (Orioles/High-A) made his 2016 debut last week, going 2-for-6 over two games.

Jason Richman (Cardinals) was assigned to the Frisco RoughRiders (AA) from extended spring training.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here they are, your minor-league updates from the week of May 30-June 5, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/High-A) maintained his hot hand, hitting .400 last week (8-for-20) with a home run, 7 RBIs, 4 walks and a stolen base. He ranks second in the California League in on-base percentage (.414/tied) and OPS (.922), eighth in average (.310), eleventh in stolen bases (9/tied), and thirteenth in RBIs (30). The winner of the 2015 Johnny Bench Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate catcher, has thrown out 12 of 18 attempted base-stealers this season.

Other highlights

P Scott Effross (Cubs/A) extended his streak of scoreless outings to 10. During that period, he went 2-0 with one save, striking out 21 batters over 15.1 innings while walking only two.

P Brad Goldberg (White Sox/AAA) delivered three scoreless relief appearances, enough to shrink his ERA from 3.12 to 2.70. He gave up three hits and no walks over a combined two-and-two-thirds innings.

After struggling a bit in his first start off the disabled list (May 30), P Rob Kaminsky (Indians/AA) recovered with a beauty on June 4, delivering five near-perfect innings in a 2-1 win over the Bowie Baysox. Cleveland’s #10 prospect yielded one hit and no walks while striking out three.

LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) made the most of his four hits last week, driving in six runs with a home run, two doubles, a sacrifice fly, and two RBIs. His 31 RBIs rank 11th in the Carolina League.

In his last 10 relief appearances, P Jeremy Bleich (Phillies/AA) is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA over 15.1 innings, striking out 9 while walking just one batter.

P Max Fried (Braves/A) threw five scoreless innings on June 3, yielding 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 8. He also picked a man off first base.

CF Rhett Wiseman (Nationals/A) hit .400 (8-for-20) with a home run, double, 3 walks, 4 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases in 3 tries. After hitting .173 in April, Wiseman hit .312 in May and is hitting .500 through the first four games of June.

LF Zach Borenstein (Diamondbacks/AAA) recorded two straight 4-for-5 games on June 2 and June 4, stringing together two doubles, a triple, five singles, and one RBI while stealing a base.

Transactions

2B Mason Katz (Cardinals/High-A) came off the disabled list for the first time this season. He went hitless in three games but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

After returning from the disabled list in late May, C Maxx Tissenbaum (Marlins/A) hit .316 (6-for-19) with a home run, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, and just one strikeout. But for reasons unknown, he was released last week. News reports indicate the Toronto native has since signed with the Quebec Capitales of the CanAm League.

C Tim Remes (Tigers/High-A) returned to the lineup June 4 after nearly two months.

Oakland released third-year pitching prospect Mike Fagan.

Injury updates

San Francisco Giants prospect Adam Sonabend (A) was placed on the 7-day disabled list.

Cincinnati Reds prospect Zack Weiss (AA) remains on the disabled list. He’s been out the whole season with a shoulder injury.

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here they are, your minor-league updates from the week of May 16-22, 2016.

Jewish Baseball News Player of the Week

SS Alex Bregman (Astros/AA) hit .367 with 3 HRs, 2 doubles, 10 RBIs, and 4 walks. The second-year pro is ranked first in the Texas League in on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.658) and OPS (1.083), second in HRs (10/tied), third in RBIs (29), and fifth in batting average (.325) through games played May 22.

Other highlights

Former major leaguer Ike Davis (Rangers/AAA) was on a roll last week, hitting .450 with 2 HRs, 4 doubles, 7 RBIs, and 2 walks. Despite going 0-for-22 to start the season, Davis has lifted his batting average to .263 with 3 HRs, 8 doubles, and 18 RBIs in just 80 at-bats.

Richard Bleier (Yankees/AAA) bounced back from his worst outing of the season with a shutout win on May 22, yielding just three hits and two walks over 6 innings while striking out three. For the season, Bleier is 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.17 walks/hits per inning.

C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/High-A) had a great week, hitting .273 with 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, and 6 walks. The highlight was a 2-homer, 4-RBI game on May 18.

LF Mike Meyers (Red Sox/High-A) knocked in 5 runs to boost his season total to 23, tying him for 12th in the Carolina League.

In his first game back after a month on the disabled list, C Maxx Tissenbaum (Marlins/A) went 2-for-2 on May 22.

Over two appearances, reliever Scott Effross (Cubs/A) struck out six batters and walked none in three scoreless innings as well as earned a win. He has three times as many strikeouts (21) as walks (7) this season.

Reliever Jared Lakind (Pirates/AA) skipped High-A ball altogether, but you wouldn’t know it from his performance this season. The 24-year-old Texas native is 0-0 with a 2.53 ERA, and he has a 1.50 ERA with two saves in his last 10 appearances.

Reliever R.C. Orlan (Nationals/High-A) earned his fourth save of the season on May 18 with one-and-two-thirds perfect innings. He’s 1-0 this season with a 1.45 ERA and is holding opposing batters to a .131 average and just 0.96 walk/hits per inning.

Starter Max Fried (Braves/A) pitched five innings of scoreless, one-hit ball on May 19, striking out four while walking as many.

Reliever Jeremy Bleich (Phillies/AA) was perfect in two brief stints, yielding no hits or walks over a combined two-and-a-third innings and striking out one. He’s held opponents scoreless in five of his last six outings.

Reds starter Jon Moscot got clobbered in his second rehab game, a 4-inning shift in which he gave up 11 hits (including 4 HRs), 9 earned runs, and 2 walks.

Mazel tov

Former Colorado Rockies prospect Ethan Katz has landed a job as pitching coach with the Bakersfield Blaze (Seattle Mariners/High-A).

Transactions

Sorry to report that Milwaukee released OF Ben Guez (AAA). A ninth-year pro, Guez is a .258 career hitter with 84 HRs, 94 stolen bases, and a .346 on-base percentage.

Injury updates

Cleveland Indians prospect Rob Kaminsky (AA) remains on the disabled list.

Cincinnati Reds prospect Zack Weiss (AA) remains on the disabled list.

Birthdays

Brewers prospect Jake Drossner (A) turned 22 on May 16.

Former Brewers prospect Steve Braun, the younger brother of slugger Ryan Braun, turned 31 on May 17

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By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here they are, your minor-league updates from the week of May 2-8, 2016.

Highlights

After getting only one hit in his first 22 at-bats, former major leaguer Ike Davis (AAA/Rangers) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBIs on May 2. Davis has reached base in his last six games and had one or more hits in five of them, raising his average to a respectable .257.

OF Zach Borenstein‘s 15 RBIs rank third on the Reno Aces (AAA/Diamondbacks), and he’s accumulated them in just 80 at-bats.

OF Mike Meyers (High-A/Red Sox) went 3-for-5 on May 8, stroking his second HR of the season and stealing his fourth base.

Brad Goldberg (AAA/White Sox) kept opponents scoreless in both relief appearances, yielding a total of two hits and no walks over three innings while striking out two. His overall ERA between AA and AAA ball this season is 2.19.

After tearing the ball apart in AAA, Ryan Kalish was called up by the Cubs and made his season debut May 3.

C Garrett Stubbs (High-A/Astros) has been on fire since returning from the disabled list May 5. In three games last week, he went 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, home run, 3 walks, 4 RBIs, and stolen base. He’s been spectacular behind the plate, throwing out 7 of 10 attempted base stealers with no errors.

CF Rhett Wiseman (A/Nationals) has a 5-game hitting streak and has raised his average to .223. On May 5, he went 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.

Jeremy Bleich (AA/Phillies) held batters scoreless in all three relief appearances last week, yielding four hits and two walks over five innings while striking out four.

Richard Bleier (AAA/Yankees) was dominant in his second start of the season May 5, a 7-inning gem in which he gave up six hits, a walk, and one earned run while striking out four.

Former major leaguer Ryan Lavarnway (AAA/Braves) has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, raising his average to .275 with 7 doubles and 8 RBIs.

Scott Effross (A/Cubs) held opponents scoreless in two relief appearances, yielding one hit and two walks over three innings while striking out six.

Robert Orlan (High-A/Nationals) has earned saves in three of his last four appearances, including a one-inning stint May 8 that trimmed his ERA to 1.88, his opponents’ batting average to .109, and his walks/hits per innings to 1.05.

Transactions

  • Former major leaguer Nate Freiman has signed a minor-league contract with the Boston Red Sox and will suit up with the franchise’s Double-A club, the Portland Sea Dogs. After being released by the Washington Nationals’ Triple-A club last month, Freiman played six games for the independent Long Island Ducks, hitting .381 with two HRs and four RBIs.
  • White Sox prospect Alex Katz was reassigned to extended spring training.

Injury updates

  • Astros #1 prospect Alex Bregman (AA) returned from the disabled list on May 5. For the week, he was 3-for-13 (.231) with four walks and two strikeouts. He hit two doubles on May 6.
  • Former major leaguer Josh Satin is off the disabled list and has played five games with the El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA/Padres).
  • Marlins prospect Maxx Tissenbaum (A) has been placed on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to 4/27/2016.

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Minor-League Monday (April 18-24, 2016)

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

As baseball fans celebrate Opening Day, Jewish Baseball News is taking a look back at the 21 Jews who participated in MLB Spring Training this year.

Fifteen position players and six pitchers saw playing time, some as full-fledged team members, others as non-roster invitees, and several via short-term stints. Their stats are shown at the bottom; players who made their franchise’s Opening Day roster are shown in bold.

Following are some of the Spring’s top stories.

  • It will take a lot more for him to earn back some fans’ trust and affection, but Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun — fresh from a 65-game suspension for taking performance-enhancing drugs — dazzled, hitting .417 with nine RBIs and eight extra-base hits in 36 at-bats.
  • Ike Davis and Josh Satin both made the Mets’ Opening Day roster and will share First Base duties with Lucas Duda. But Davis — who squeaked by with a .241 average in Spring Training — is among the candidates to be sent down later this week to make room for Jon Niese.
  • Nate Freiman‘s 11 RBIs ranked eighth on the A’s, but it wasn’t enough to make the team’s Opening Day roster. Meanwhile, teammate Sam Fuld wowed his way onto the roster with four triples, 7 RBIs and a .348 on-base percentage.
  • With Boston’s Craig Breslow starting the season on the disabled list, Scott Feldman is the only Jewish pitcher to make an Opening Day roster. He also was the only Jewish starter during spring Training. As a group, Jewish pitchers went 1-and-5.
  • After missing much of the past three seasons with surgeries and injuries, former Boston Red Sox OF Ryan Kalish earned a spot on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster. Kalish hit .304 with 3 RBIs, stole 6 of 7 bases, and reached base 38.5% of the time.
  • Texas prospect Aaron Poreda earned some respect in his first MLB Spring Training since 2011. Poreda claimed one save in two chances, held opposing hitters to a .265 average, and walked just one batter over 8.1 innings.
  • Ian Kinsler, traded by Texas during the off-season for Detroit’s Cecil Fielder, outperformed “Big Daddy” with 3 HRs, 9 extra-based hits, 9 RBIs, a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases, a .300 average, and a .382 on-base percentage. Fielder matched Kinsler’s power (3 HRs, 9 extra-base hits, 10 RBIs) but hit .246 while striking out 16 times and drawing only two walks.
  • Ben Guez, a 27-year-old outfielder who spent part of the last four seasons with Detroit’s Triple-A club but has yet to be called up, made a brief but exciting splash in three Spring Training games. Against Toronto on 3/18/2014, Guez reached base all six times, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and three walks. His career MLB Spring Training average is a robust .529, along with a .692 on-base percentage.

 MLB Spring Training hitting, 2014

Team AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB AVG OBP
Zach Borenstein LAA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 NA 1.000
Ryan Braun MIL 36 15 5 0 3 9 0 .417 .500
Ike Davis NYM 29 7 2 0 2 7 0 .241 .313
Cody Decker SDP 10 3 1 0 1 4 0 .300 .417
Nate Freiman OAK 42 10 2 1 1 11 0 .238 .327
Sam Fuld OAK 59 16 1 4 1 7 1-1 .271 .348
Ben Guez DET 7 5 2 0 0 2 0-1 .714 .818
Ryan Kalish CHC 46 14 1 0 0 3 6-7 .304 .385
Ian Kinsler DET 60 18 5 1 3 9 4-4 .300 .382
Ryan Lavarnway BOS 38 11 1 0 2 5 0 .289 .357
Jake Lemmerman SDP 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .500
Joc Pederson LAD 38 7 1 0 3 6 0 .184 .311
Kevin Pillar TOR 33 5 1 1 0 4 0-1 .152 .176
Josh Satin NYM 50 13 2 0 1 4 0 .260 .333
Danny Valencia KCR 48 11 1 0 1 4 1-1 .229 .327

Notes: Zach Borenstein walked in his only plate appearance

MLB Spring Training pitching, 2014

Team W L ERA G IP H BB SO AVG WHIP
Jeremy Bleich NYY 0 0 9.00 1 1.0 2 0 0 .500 2.00
Scott Feldman HOU 0 2 5.40 4 16.2 21 2 14 .292 1.38
Aaron Poreda TEX 0 1 3.24 8 8.1 9 1 8 .265 1.20
Danny Rosenbaum WAS 0 1 2.70 3 3.1 3 2 2 .300 1.50
Jeff Urlaub OAK 1 1 8.10 4 3.1 4 2 1 .333 1.80
Josh Zeid HOU 0 0 4.15 7 8.2 12 4 12 .333 1.85

Notes: Aaron Poreda earned one save in two chances; Josh Zeid earned a save in his sole opportunity. Boston’s Craig Breslow did not play, due to injury

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By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

With the regular season now underway, we’re taking a quick look back at how Jewish players performed in spring training.

The sheer number who played was impressive: a total of at least 24 Jews — 18 position players and six pitchers — got on the field for at least one MLB game this spring.

BATTING

Collectively,  position players hit .255 with 14 HRs and 64 RBIs in 384 at-bats (see table below). Several stood out:

  • Kevin Youkilis had an eye-popping debut with the New York Yankees. He led all Jewish players (as well as all Yankees) with 6 HRs, 6 doubles and 14 RBIs in just 50 at-bats, along with an .800 slugging percentage and a 1.139 OPS (on-base plus slugging).
  • New York Mets prospect Josh Satin made the most of his 16 plate appearances, cobbling together 3 singles, 2 doubles, 5 walks, and 3 RBIs to amass a .455 batting average and .647 on-base percentage.
  • Ike Davis, another Met, showed great poise at the plate, hitting .327 with 4 doubles, 1 HR, and 4 RBIs. Davis’s 9 walks boosted his on-base percentage to a healthy .431.
  • Danny Valencia lost his fight for a spot on the Baltimore Orioles’ opening-day roster but made a good impression on his new team, hitting .323 with 1 HR, 4 RBIs, and a .417 on-base percentage.
  • Maxx Tissenbaum, a 21-year-old San Diego Padres prospect with one minor-league season under his belt, knocked in 3 runs in just 4 at-bats.
  • St. Louis Cardinals prospect Adam Ehrlich walked in both of his plate appearances, St. Louis Cardinals prospect Charlie Cutler singled in his only appearance of the spring, and San Diego Padres prospect Cody Decker went 3-for-6 with a double.

Final hitting stats, 2013 MLB Spring Training

 
TEAM
G
AB
H
HR
RBI
AVG
OBP
Ryan BraunMIL1023636.261.357
Charlie CutlerSTL111001.0001.000
Ike DavisNYM21551815.327.431
Cody DeckerSD26300.500.500
Adam EhrlichSTL30000-1.000
Nate Freiman*HOU/OAK25541319.241.268
Sam FuldTB820514.250.286
Adam GreenbergBAL21000.000.000
Ben GuezDET11000.000.000
Ian KinslerTEX24631419.222.292
Ryan LavarnwayBOS1644606.136.188
Jake LemmermanSTL11000.000.000
Joc PedersonLAD710101.100.182
Kevin PillarTOR79100.111.111
Josh SatinNYM1211503.455.647
Maxx TissenbaumSD44103.250.400
Danny ValenciaBAL17311014.323.417
Kevin YoukilisNYY185014614.280.339
* Now with Oakland A's
Source: Jewish Baseball News collection of data from MLB.com, baseball-reference.com, and cbssports.com.

 

PITCHING

Among the six Jewish pitchers who played in at least one spring training game (see below), these ones stood out:

  • Houston Astros prospect Josh Zeid went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in six relief appearances, held opposing players to a .235 batting average, and drew 3.33 times as many groundouts as flyouts.
  • San Diego Padres veteran Jason Marquis went 1-1 with a 3.74 ERA in six starts and held opponents to a .239 batting average.
  • Toronto Blue Jays prospect Michael Schwimer earned a 3.00 ERA in three relief appearances and limited opposing teams to a .182 batting average.
  • Scott Feldman stood out for less desirable reasons. The newly-minted Chicago Cub went 0-3 with an 11.25 ERA, gave up nearly 2 hits per inning, yielded 7 HRs, and got lit up by opposing batters to the tune of a .396 average.

Final pitching stats, 2013 MLB Spring Training

 
 
TEAM
W
L
ERA
G
IP
H
BB
SO
1Jeremy BleichNYY000.0010.1000
2Scott FeldmanCHC0311.25620.038617
3Jason MarquisSD113.74621.2211515
4Danny Rosenbaum*COL214.5068.0930
5Michael SchwimerTOR003.0033.0224
6Josh ZeidHOU101.5066.0442
* Now with Washington Nationals
Source: Jewish Baseball News collection of data from MLB.com, baseball-reference.com, and cbssports.com.

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By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

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

Here are the award winners:

Rookie of the year

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

Most improved

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

Comeback player

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

Best starter

No winner

Best reliever

Jeff Urlaub, Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics)

Power hitter

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

Most valuable player

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

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

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Detailed information

Rookie of the Year

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

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

Most improved

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

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

Comeback player

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

Honorable mention: Ryan Kalish (Boston Red Sox)

Best reliever

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

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

Power hitter

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

Honorable mention: Cody Decker (San Diego Padres)

Most valuable player

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

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

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Good news Monday (7/2/2012)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Get ready to kvell, brothers and sisters. It’s Good news Monday!

  • San Diego Padres prospect Nate Freiman won the Texas League Home Run Derby last Thursday (6/28/2012). A 6’7″ first baseman with the San Antonio Missions (AA), Freiman’s first swing of the contest reportedly was “the sweetest.” He launched a shot that not only struck the scoreboard but hit the “i” in “Freiman.”
  • Talk about cleaning up your own mess. When Augusta GreenJackets (A) reliever Andrew Berger entered Friday’s (6/29/2012) game against the Savannah Sand Gnats in the 7th inning, he promptly gave up a single and double. But the 24-year-old San Francisco Giants prospect didn’t lose hope. Instead, Berger struck out the side, knocked down the Sand Gnats in order the following inning (one of them by strikeout), and struck out the side again in the 9th.
  • Texas Rangers reliever Scott Feldman and his wife hosted a softball game at Rangers Ballpark yesterday (7/1/2012) for  injured soldiers. The couple previously has hosted families of deployed soldiers as well as patients from a local veterans’ hospital.
  • Baseball fans voted two Jewish players into next week’s All-Star game. Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, who also played in 2008 and 2010, will be the back-up to New York Yankees 2B Robinson Cano on the A.L. squad. On the opposing team, Milwaukee Brewers LF Ryan Braun was chosen for the 5th consecutive year, this time as a reserve player.
  • Today is the deadline for Team Israel to turn in its 50-player roster for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers in September. According to a person involved in the process, the roster includes players who have committed to play (including player/coaches Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler) as well as players who the team wants who have not yet committed.
  • Boston Red Sox prospect Ryan Lavarnway had a heck of a June. A catcher with the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA), the Yale University alum erupted with a .405 batting average, 4 HRs, 18 RBIs, 10 doubles, a .469 on-base percentage, and an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 1.136.
  • New York Mets prospect Josh Satin probably wishes he could play against the Durham Bulls every day of the season. As Jewish Baseball News writer Zev Ben Avigdor pointed out in his Twitter feed, the Buffalo Bisons (AAA) first baseman was on fire during a recent 4-game series against the Bulls, going 10-for-14 with 2 HRs, 4 RBIs and 4 walks.
  • When Tampa Bay Rays OF Sam Fuld had surgery on his right wrist during Spring Training, doctors predicted he wouldn’t return to the lineup before August. But after taking batting practice Friday (6/29/2012), his first time doing so since March, Fuld was optomistic. “I think we can be looking at the end of this homestand,” he said.
  • New York Yankees prospect Jeremy Bleich, who hadn’t pitched a shoulder injury sidelined him in 2010, is back. In three short appearances with the rookie-league GCL Yankees, the 25-year-old Stanford alum is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Bleich has given up 3 hits and one walk in 5-and-2/3 innings while striking out 7.
  • In case you missed it, here is a clip of President Barack Obama, a Chicago native, teasing Boston Red Sox fans for trading Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox. Judging from the boos, the joke was too soon.

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

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Good news Monday (6/4/2012)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

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

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

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

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Minor-league roundup

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The latest news on minor-league players:

  • Trenton Thunder (AA/New York Yankees) SP Jeremy Bleich is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Bleich finished the season with a 3-2 record and 4.79 ERA, holding opposing batters to a .236 average.
  • Springfield Cardinals (AA/St. Louis Cardinals) SP David Kopp continues to enjoy a strong season, with a 6-1 record, 3.00 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 57 innings. He’s scheduled to pitch game two of today’s (6/6/2010) doubleheader against the San Antonio Missions. Kopp, a 6’3″, 205 lb. right-hander from Margate, Fla., is one of three Jews in the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system, along with C Charles Cutler (AA) and CF James Rapoport (AAA).
  • Florida International University sophomore Garrett Wittels extended his astounding hitting streak to 56 games Saturday in a season-ending loss to Dartmouth. According to the Associated Press:

Wittels hit an RBI double in the top of the first inning, leaving him two games shy of the Division I record set by Oklahoma State’s Robin Ventura in 1987. Wittels’ attempt to break the mark will resume next season. He went 3-for-5 and finished the season with a .417 average and a school-record 100 hits.

  • Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (AAA/New York Yankees) SP Jason Hirsh is in a slump. Hirsh, a 6’8″, 250-pound right-hander from Burbank, Calif., won four straight at one point but hasn’t recorded a victory since May 13.

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Monday’s quick hits

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Little news snacks about Jews with bats:

  • As predicted, RF Adam Stern‘s recent stint with the Milwaukee Brewers was brief. Stern, 30, got his first MLB at-bats in four years but went 0-for-6 before the HeBrewers optioned him back to the AAA Nashville Sounds. Stern’s demotion follows that of RP Scott Schoeneweis, whom the Boston Red Sox recently dropped from their roster.
  • The Boston Globe — whose Red Sox begin a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays tonight (5/24/2010) — had some nice things to say about Rays RF Gabe Kapler yesterday (5/23/2010). Kapler, who typically comes off the bench to bat against left-handed pitchers, is more than just a platoon player, said writer Nick Cafardo:

(Kapler) is unique because he has seen things from a perspective few players ever will. The one year Kapler left baseball as a player (2007), he managed the Red Sox’ Single A team in Greenville, S.C. When he looks at teams, he can break them down pretty well. He understands the ebb and flow more than most. He understands team karma, chemistry, the banter in the clubhouse, the way guys react to wins and losses, and what they do to prepare for the game that night.

  • Jeremy Bleich, a starting pitcher with the New York Yankees’ AA squad (Trenton Thunder), has been placed on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. The New York Post called surgery “the most likely outcome.” Bleich, 23, is 3-2 with a 4.79 ERA in eight starts this season.

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