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Browsing Posts tagged Michael Schwimer

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — So far, at least four Jewish minor-leaguers have been invited to attend Major League spring training camps in 2011.

According to MLB team web sites, four ballplayers have been identified as “non-roster invitees” — that is, they have been invited to attend spring training even though they are not on their team’s 40-man roster. They include:

  • CF Ben Guez, 23 (Detroit Tigers). Guez hit a combined .249 for 3 minor-league teams in 2010, including the “AAA” Toledo Mud Hens. He had 10 HRs, 43 RBIs, a .341 on-base percentage, and 14 stolen bases. Guez also played in the Arizona Fall League, which MLB teams typically reserve for their top minor-league prospects.
  • SP Jason Hirsh, 28 (New York Yankees). A 6’8″ right hander, Hirsh went 9-7 with the “AAA” Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in 2010, racking up a 3.90 ERA and a strong strikeout-to-walk ratio of 95/39. He played in the MLB from 2006-08, pitching both for the Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies.
  • 2B Jason Kipnis, 23 (Cleveland Indians). The Indians’ minor-league player of the year in 2010, Kipnis hit a combined .307 for the club’s “AA” and “A-advanced” teams, with 16 HRs, 74 RBIs, a .386 OBP, .492 SLG, and 9 stolen bases. Called up to “AAA” for the post-season, he went 10/22, hit for the cycle once, and fell a single short of hitting for the cycle the following game. Also played in the Arizona Fall League, where he was among the league leaders in several batting categories.
  • SP Michael Schwimer, 24 (Philadelphia Phillies). Another 6’8″ right hander, Schwimer went a combined 7-5 with the Phillies’ “AAA” and “AA” teams in 2010, with a 2.85 ERA and an impressive 76 strikeouts in just 60 innings.

According to, two additional Jewish minor leaguers have been added to their respective MLB team’s 40-man roster. Whether or not this means they’ll be attending spring training is unclear. They are:

  • SP David Kopp, 25 (St. Louis Cardinals). Kopp had a rough time with the Cards’ “AAA” team in 2010 (he went 0-5 with a 8.63 ERA) but finished the season strong with the “AA” squad, where he went 12-4 with a 3.05 ERA.
  • RP Aaron Poreda, 24 (San Diego Padres). The 6’6″ left hander, who pitched well during a brief major-league stint with the Padres in 2009, went a combined 1-2 with the team’s “AAA” and “AA” squads in 2010, along with a 3.83 ERA and an opponent batting average of just .176. Poreda gave up just one HR in 54 innings but had a weak strikeout-to-walk ratio of 47/64.

Thanks to Jewish Baseball News reader Michael Lebowitz for the tips about Guez and Kipnis.


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POTD: Schwimer, Satin, Freiman

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are your Players of the Day for Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010:

  • RP Michael Schwimer of the “AAA” Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies) pitched a perfect inning of relief, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in a 5-1 win over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Since being promoted to “AAA” earlier this season, the 6’8″ middle reliever has gone 2-2 with a 1.10 ERA, and “AAA” batters are hitting just .183 against him.
  • 2B Joshua Satin of the Binghamton Mets (AA) went 3/3 and hit a HR for the second straight day in a 5-4 loss to the Harrisburg Senators. The 25-year-old Berkeley recruit has the highest on-base percentage on the Mets (.409) and is ranked 2nd in batting average (.318). In 54 games since being promoted to “AAA” ball, he has 3 HRs, 18 doubles and 29 RBIs.
  • Batting cleanup, 1B Nate Freiman of the “A” Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego Padres) went 2/4 with a home run, walk and 2 RBIs in a 10-6 victory over the Lake County Captains. Freiman leads the TinCaps in home runs (13/tie), runs scored (74) and RBIs (70). The 6’7″ native of Wellesley, Mass., is ranked 2nd on the team in doubles (32) and slugging percentage (.470), and he ranks 3rd in batting average (.304), walks (52) and on-base percentage (.381).



Rehab, promotions and more

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Los Angeles Dodgers C Brad Ausmus and Washington Nationals SP Jason Marquis have spent much of the 2010 season on the disabled list. But both made decent showings in minor-league rehab games the past week and may be nearing a return to the Show.

Ausmus, 41, went 6-for-12 in four games for the “A+” Inland Empire 66ers before moving up to the Dodgers’ “AAA” squad, the Albuquerque Isotopes. He’s batting a less impressive 1-for-8 with the Isotopes.

Marquis, a 31-year-old right hander,  pitched three innings of scoreless ball for the Nats’ rookie-league squad on Sunday, giving up just two hits while striking out four batters and walking none.

In other news:

  • The Boston Red Sox promoted C Ryan Lavarnway to the franchise’s “AA” team, the Portland Sea Dogs. Through the All-Star break, Lavarnway — then with the Salem Red Sox — led all minor-league Jews with 14 home runs, 63 RBIs, 44 walks, a .487 slugging percentage, and an OPS of .879. Since arriving in Portland, Lavarnway has gone 4-for-11 with two walks and two RBIs.
  • The Philadelphia Phillies promoted RP Michael Schwimer to the “AAA” Lehigh Valley IronPigs. While playing for the “AA” Reading Phillies, the 6’8″ right-hander assembled a 5-3 record with an ERA of 3.60 and an impressive 58 strikeouts in 40 innings, while walking only 14.
  • SP Michael Schlact wasted no time making an impact on the “AA” Frisco RoughRiders after the Texas Rangers promoted him. On Sunday, the 6’7″ right-hander gave up just one hit and one walk in six innings of play while striking out four.



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, 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.



Monsters of the Mound

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS —  “Exceedingly tall” is not a common stereotype of the Jewish people. But nobody told the Monsters of the Mound.

Of the 19 Jews currently pitching in baseball’s minor leagues, eight are at least 6-foot 5-inches tall, six are at least 6-foot-6, and five are 6-foot-7 or taller. Closest to the upper-deck are Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (AAA) starter Jason Hirsh and Reading Phillies (AA) reliever Michael Schwimer, both 6-foot-8. The average height of all 19 pitchers is just under 6-foot-4, according to an analysis by Jewish Baseball News.

I don’t know what they’re feeding these guys, but it’s working.

The Monsters have more in common than height or faith. Of the eight pitchers, seven are right-handed, and six are starters. Portland Beavers (AAA) reliever Aaron Poreda, a 6-foot-6 Californian who spent part of the 2009 season with the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres, is the lone lefty.

Pitchers needn’t be tall to excel, of course. Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, the greatest Jewish starter of all time, stood 6-foot-2. Of the five Jewish pitchers playing Major League Baseball this year, four are 6-foot-2 or shorter, and only one – 6-foot-6 Texas Rangers starter Scott Feldman – is a Monster.

But striking out stereotypes is the height of fun.

(To see tables showing the 19 pitchers and their stats, check out this news release.)

— Scott Barancik


Monday Roundup: Lots o’ good news

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here are the latest developments among Jewish professional baseball players:


  • Boston Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis is having a remarkable season. After 68 games, the “Greek god of walks” is hitting home runs and RBIs at the same pace he did last year, walking more, and striking out less. Far less. Consider this: in 136 games last season, Youk struck out 62 percent more often than he walked (125 strikeouts vs. 77 walks). In 2010, he has walked more times (47) than he has struck out (41). “It’s freakish,” Red Sox first-base coach Ron Johnson told the Providence Journal. “It’s really fun to watch. Where he’s come from and where he is now, to lower his strikeout totals and still have the power and drive in the runs and hit over .300, he’s up there with those superstar guys.” Alas, Youkilis probably won’t appear in next month’s All-Star Game. In fan voting through today, he is ranked a distant 4th among American League shortstops.
  • Since inserting rookie 1B Ike Davis into the cleanup spot on May 19, the New York Mets have gone 20-9 after a 19-21 start.
  • After serving as the ace of the Texas Rangers’ pitching squad in 2009, SP Scott Feldman got off to a disappointing start this season. But he’s begun to right himself lately. In his past four starts, Feldman has won three games, amassed a 3.70 ERA, struck out 19 in 26.67 innings and walked just nine. Feldman pitches tonight (6/21/2010) against the Houston Astros.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers C Brad Ausmus, 41, had only four at-bats this season before suffering a back injury that required surgery. But Ausmus — who had never before been on the disabled list — has begun taking batting practice with his teammates and recently caught his first bullpen session.
  • Tampa Bay Rays RF Gabe Kapler went on the disabled list June 12 after straining his right hip flexor.
  • For the third time this season, the Milwaukee Brewers called OF Adam Stern up from the AAA Nashville Sounds and then sent him back down. The 30-year-old’s initial call-up was a major accomplishment, given that he hadn’t had a major-league at-bat in four years. But Stern went hitless in eight at-bats during his stints with the Brewers this season.


  • The San Diego Padres promoted SP Aaron Poreda to the Portland Beavers, the franchise’s AAA squad. Since arriving, Poreda has pitched 7.33 scoreless innings in four appearances and struck out seven batters. The 23-year-old spent part of last season in the majors, pitching for both the Chicago White Sox and the Padres.
  • Springfield Cardinals SP David Kopp (AA/St. Louis Cardinals) has been named a Texas League All-Star. Kopp, 24, leads the league with an 8-1 record and has an 3.08 ERA. According to the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader:

For Kopp, the selection culminates a terrific first half in which he has re-claimed his prospect tag. Kopp underwent a pair of shoulder surgeries in 2008 and 2009, and reached Double-A late last season with little hype. He walked 11 and struck out six in five starts. This year, his line features 45 strikeouts in 69 innings as the right-hander has gone on the attack with a low-90s fastball. The pitch shields his sharp, tight slider from over-use, and managers and scouts are beginning to think of Kopp not in terms of a Double-A pitcher but one with the stuff to reach the majors.

  • Reading Phillies RP Michael Schwimer (AA/Philadelphia Phillies) is 5-3 this season and has struck out an impressive 47 batters in 34.67 innings, more than triple the number of batters he has walked (14). “He has good stuff, but he has been a little inconsistent,” Philadelphia Phillies assistant general manager Chuck Lamar told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He may get a shot by the end of the year to move up to triple-A.”
  • The New York Mets recently promoted 2B Joshua Satin to the AA Binghamton Mets. Since arriving, the 25-year-old has hit .320 in six games.
  • Likewise, the Cleveland Indians moved 2B Jason Kipnis up to its AA squad, the Akron Aeros. Kipnis wasted no time making his mark. After eight games with the Aeros, he is batting .355 with two home runs, three doubles, and an OPS of 1.090.
  • Corpus Christi Hooks C Jonathan Fixler (AA/Houston Astros) didn’t take it easy on Frisco RoughRiders SP (and fellow Jew) Richard Bleier this weekend. Fixler, 24, went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs during a 7-1 thrashing of the RoughRiders on Sunday (6/20/2010). Bleier gave up 7 runs and 13 hits in seven innings, and his record fell to 3-6.
  • The St. Louis Cardinals demoted C Charlie Cutler to its A-advanced farm team, the Palm Beach Cardinals. Cutler had batted just .205 with six RBIs for the AA Springfield Cardinals. But he’s batting .350 after six games with Palm Beach.
  • OF Ben Guez took an even bigger fall recently. The Detroit Tigers franchise sent him down from AAA Toledo, where he hit .273 with five RBIs in 66 at-bats, to the Lakeland Flying Tigers (A-advanced).

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