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Browsing Posts tagged Scott Feldman

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

In 2010, the year Jewish Baseball News debuted, MLB’s Opening Day rosters included 10 Jewish players. In 2011 there were nine.

This season? Only seven. It’s enough to make an M.O.T. cry in his $9 ballpark beer.

Thanks to injuries (Sam Fuld, Ryan Kalish), flips of a coin (Ryan LavarnwayMichael Schwimer), a veteran’s departure (John Grabow), and a freak family accident (Jason Marquis), the number of Jewish players on Opening Day rosters will be the lowest in years.

The seven are:

  1. Ryan Braun (LF), Milwaukee Brewers
  2. Craig Breslow (P), Arizona Diamondbacks
  3. Ike Davis (1B), New York Mets
  4. Scott Feldman (P), Texas Rangers
  5. Ian Kinsler (2B), Texas Rangers
  6. Kevin Youkilis (3B/1B), Boston Red Sox
  7. Danny Valencia (3B), Minnesota Twins
More players are likely to be called in later this season, however. They include:
  1. Josh Satin (IF), New York Mets. After getting his first 25 MLB at-bats at the end of 2011, Satin was invited this season to Spring Training, where he batted a respectable .259 with a .323 on-base percentage. When he’ll come back: definitely in September, possibly sooner if the injury-prone Mets lose an infielder.
  2. Jason Marquis (P), Minnesota Twins. Marquis was slotted to be the Twins’ fifth starter on Opening Day. But when his 7-year-old daughter was seriously injured two weeks ago in a bicycle accident, he admirably chose to go home and care for her. Now back after 9 days, the Twins sent him down to the minors for a tune-up. When he’ll come back: as long as he doesn’t screw up badly in the minors, Marquis should be back before the end of the month.
  3. Ryan Lavarnway (C), Boston Red Sox. Lavarnway is a far better hitter than Boston’s #2 catcher, Kelly Shoppach. Take this year’s Spring Training, where Lavarnway outhit .him .429 to .258. Now he just needs to prove he can catch half as well as Shoppach. When he’ll be back: if Shoppach and his teammates fail to produce at the plate, Lavarnway could return before the All-Star break.
  4. Sam Fuld (CF/LF), Tampa Bay Rays. Fuld underwent surgery this week after reinjuring his right wrist. The Rays won’t miss his bat, but they will miss his fielding prowess, baserunning skill, and crowd-pleasing hustle. When he’ll be back: Early reports say Fuld’s likely to be out 4-5 months, meaning an August or September return. A lot will depend on not only on the speed of his recovery but how well rookie outfielder Stephen Vogt and veteran outfielder Luke Scott perform in their Rays debuts.
  5. Michael Schwimer (P), Philadelphia Phillies. A September call-up last season, Schwimer went 1-0 in Spring Training with a 3.86 ERA, one save, five strikeouts, and just one walk in 4-and-two-thirds innings. When he’ll be back: Definitely by September, if not sooner. Schwimer’s misfortune is that the Phillies have an abundance of strong relievers.
  6. Ryan Kalish (RF), Boston Red Sox. After neck surgery in September and shoulder surgery in November, Kalish is starting 2012 on the 60-day disabled list. When he’ll be back: Probably September, but only if he performs well in the minors after completing rehab.
  7.  Brett Lorin (P), Arizona Diamondbacks. For someone who hasn’t even reached AA, Lorin had a remarkable Spring Training, holding opposing batters to a .194 average and going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA, 7 strikeouts, and one walk across 9 innings. When he’ll be back: MLB teams are loathe to call-up players who lack AAA experience. But if Lorin performs as well with the Mobile BayBears (AA) as he did this Spring, a September taste is possible.

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Today’s news scraps (3/29/2012)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Here’s what’s happening in the world of baseball today (Thursday, Mar. 29, 2012):

  • INJURY: Sam Fuld told the Tampa Tribune he’s going to get a second medical opinion on his injured right wrist and may end up facing surgery and/or rehab. The Tampa Bay Rays outfielder injured his wrist last September in Baltimore.
  • TRIUMPHANT: Scott Feldman pitched masterfully in the Texas Rangers’ 12-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday (3/26/2012). The 6-foot-7-inch right-hander scattered three hits and no walks over 6 innings while striking out nine. Teammate Ian Kinsler contributed a HR.
  • FAMILY EMERGENCY: Minnesota Twins right-hander Jason Marquis left Spring Training more than a week ago to care for his 7-year-old daughter, who was seriously injured when she fell off a bicycle.
  • REASSIGNED: The Philadelphia Phillies optioned reliever Michael Schwimer to the franchise’s AAA team last week. After making his MLB debut last season, the 26-year-old hurler spent most of Spring Training 2012 with the Phillies, where he recorded a 3.86 ERA and one save in four-and-two-thirds innings.
  • CONTRACT TALKS: Ian Kinsler is in talks with the Texas Rangers about extending his contract. His current contract ends after this season, although the team has a $10-million option for 2013.
  • CONFIDENT: After hitting .311 and placing 3rd in balloting for A.L. Rookie of the Year in 2010, the 2011 season was a “humbling” one for Danny Valencia. But the Minnesota Twins 3B says he’s regained some confidence and is trying to have fun again on the field.

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Spring Training update (3/11/12)

By Scott Barancik/Jewish Baseball News

Spring Training 2012 is in its second week, and a number of Jewish players are in the mix.

Fifteen Jews — including 6 pitchers and 9 position players — were invited to participate in Major League Baseball’s annual rite this year. They include all 13 who played MLB ball in 2011, plus former major league OF Ryan Kalish (Boston Red Sox) and current minor league P Brett Lorin (Arizona Diamondbacks). Fourteen of the 15 are on their teams’ 40-man roster. P John Grabow, who recently signed a minor-league contract with the Los Angeles dodgers, is the lone non-roster invitee.

The Boston Red Sox have the highest Jewish population of any team at Spring Training, with three players, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, and Texas Rangers, each with two.

Through games played March 10, Jewish batters were hitting a combined .253, with 2 HRs and 10 RBIs in 75 at-bats (see table below). New York Mets 1B Ike Davis led the group with a .400 average and .500 on-base percentage. Minnesota Twins 3B Danny Valencia showed some power with a HR, two doubles, and a .357 average. National League MVP Ryan Braun was off to a slow start, with four strikeouts and just one hit in his first 8 at-bats, a home run.

Boston’s Kalish, who had off-season surgery on his neck and left shoulder, isn’t expected to play until June.

Jewish pitchers were playing admirably well. Five of the six hadn’t yielded a single run through March 10. Texas Rangers starter Scott Feldman, for example, gave up just two hits and a walk over five total innings while striking out three. Jason Marquis, a newly-minted Minnesota Twin, was the sole disappointment. He blew his first start by giving up 4 earned runs and 3 walks to the Red Sox before being removed in the 2nd inning. His second start, against the St. Louis Cardinals, was modestly better: Marquis gave up 1 earned run on 3 hits and 2 walks over 3 innings.

Following are player stats through games played March 10:

Batter Team Pos AB H HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG
1 Ike Davis NYM 1B 10 4 0 0 2 3 .400 .500 .500
2 Danny Valencia MIN 3B 14 5 1 4 0 2 .357 .357 .714
3 Josh Satin NYM 2B 12 3 0 1 1 5 .250 .308 .250
4 Kevin Youkilis BOS 3B 9 2 0 1 2 2 .222 .364 .333
5 Ian Kinsler TEX 2B 14 3 0 0 0 2 .214 .214 .214
6 Ryan Lavarnway BOS C 5 1 0 2 1 2 .200 .286 .200
7 Ryan Braun MIL LF 8 1 1 2 1 4 .125 .222 .500
8 Sam Fuld TB OF 3 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
9 Ryan Kalish BOS OF
TOTALS 75 19 2 10 7 20 .253


Player Team W L ERA IP H R ER BB SO
1 Scott Feldman TEX 0 0 0.00 5 2 0 0 1 3
2 Craig Breslow ARI 0 0 0.00 2.1 1 0 0 0 2
3 Brett Lorin ARI 0 0 0.00 2 0 0 0 0 1
4 Michael Schwimer PHI 1 0 0.00 2 2 0 0 0 3
5 Jason Marquis MIN 0 1 9.64 4.2 6 5 5 5 2
6 John Grabow LAD 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 0 0 1
TOTALS 1 1 16.3 11 5 5 6 12


To track the performance of Jewish players during Spring Training, check the Jewish Box Score on our home page every day.

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Playoffs recap: How they did

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS –Now that the 2011 season is officially over, let’s review how Jewish players did during the playoffs:

  • Ian Kinsler (2B), Texas Rangers. Playing in the postseason for the 2nd time in his 6-year career, Kinsler performed his leadoff-man magic, finishing 1st among A.L. players in walks (14), 3rd in hits (20/tie), and 6th in on-base percentage (.438). He was even hotter during the World Series, leading all hitters in average (.360) as well as on-base percentage (.500). But the power (32 HRs) and speed (30 stolen bases) Kinsler displayed in 2011 escaped him during the playoffs. Though he did finish with 11 RBIs, Kinsler hit just 1 HR during the postseason and was caught stealing in 4 of 7 attempts — as many times as he was caught the entire regular season.
  • Ryan Braun (LF), Milwaukee Brewers. A candidate for the N.L. MVP award this year, Braun was nearly as impressive during the playoffs. Despite getting only 42 at-bats — the Brewers lost in the N.L. Championship Series — he ranked 3rd among N.L. players in doubles (7), 5th in RBIs (10), and 4th in both average (.405) and on-base percentage (.468). Less impressive were his stolen bases (1) and strikeouts (9).
  • Scott Feldman (P), Texas Rangers. The 6-foot-6 pitcher, converted to a relief role after spending the first half of 2011 on the disabled list, was like two different men during the playoffs. Through Game 1 of the World Series he was almost untouchable, giving up no runs, no walks, and just 4 hits over 10-and-a-third innings while striking out 10.
    But Feldman was abysmal in the rest of the World Series. Over 4 games and 3-and-a-third innings he had a 13.50 ERA, giving up 4 hits, 6 walks, hitting a batter, and striking out just one.
  • Sam Fuld (LF), Tampa Bay Rays. In his first-ever postseason, the second-string outfielder went 0-for-3 as a pinch-hitter.

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Jewish duo gives Rangers winning edge

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Jewish duo Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman helped lead the Texas Rangers to a 7-3, extra-inning win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the A.L. Championship Series.

Texas was down 2-0 in the 6th inning when second baseman Kinsler hit an RBI double to cut the deficit in half. Moments later, the two-time All-Star stole 3rd and then scored on an Elvis Andrus single.

Feldman, a 6-foot-6″ right-hander sporting a positively rabbinic red beard, pitched one inning of no-hit relief in the 10th to earn the win. Though Feldman did make one mistake, hitting Tigers CF Austin Jackson with a 94 mph sinker, Kinsler erased the baserunner moments later when he tagged Jackson out on an attempted steal.

After spending the first half of 2011 on the disabled list while recovering from knee surgery, Feldman has had a remarkable postseason (see ESPN.com article). In three bullpen appearances spanning a total of 8-and-a-third innings, the 28-year-old has held opposing batters to a .111 batting average, struck out 9, and has yet to give up a walk or a run. His appearance in Game 2 of the A.L.C.S. marked the first time since 1999 that an MLB reliever pitched more than 4 innings of scoreless ball in a post-season game.

Kinsler is hitting .258 in the playoffs with 1 HR, 3 doubles (2nd highest among Rangers players), 6 RBIs (2nd), 2 stolen bases (1st/tie), and a .378 on-base percentage (2nd)

Texas’ victory left it one win away from a second straight World Series berth. Game 5 takes place today (Thursday) at 4:00pm ET on Fox.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Some pro ballplayers shine during the regular season but wilt under the pressure of playoff games.

So far, Milwaukee Brewers RF Ryan Braun isn’t one of them. Two games into the 2011 playoffs, the MVP candidate is 6-for-8 with two doubles, a HR (see it here), and 3 RBIs. His .750 batting average is the MLB’s highest.

Braun’s only other playoff stint came in 2008, when the Brewers battled the Philadelphia Phillies for a division championship. He hit .313 that series, 28 points higher than his .285 season average.

Texas Rangers P Scott Feldman showed similar grit in Friday night’s pitched 9-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Coming in for starter C.J. Wilson, who surrendered 6 earned runs on 8 hits (including 3 HRs) over 5 innings, Feldman shut down the Rays, giving up just 2 hits over 3 stellar innings while striking out 4.

Also participating in the 2011 playoffs is Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, who is hitting a more modest .250 with 1 double, 1 walk, and two RBIs. Rays OF Sam Fuld flied out in his sole playoff at-bat to date, a pinch-hit opportunity.

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In debut, Kipnis gets hit…by pitch

Jason Kipnis

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Cleveland Indians 2B Jason Kipnis made his MLB debut Friday (7/22/2011), and while he didn’t get a hit in the team’s 3-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox, he did manage to get hit.

The 24-year-old Illinois native grounded out and flied out in his first two at-bats against before getting drilled by starter Gavin Floyd with an 86-mph cutter in the 8th inning. Kipnis batted eighth for the Tribe and played second base, though he soon may get some playing time in the outfield.

Kipnis also earned a video clip on MLB.com for an athletic play he made in the 6th inning to narrowly toss out White Sox 3B Mark Teahen at first base.

Kipnis is the 11th Jewish ballplayer to play in the MLB in 2011. Texas Rangers P Scott Feldman had a debut of his own today: after spending the entire season so far on the disabled list, he pitched one shutout inning in the Rangers’ 12-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The last Jewish player to make his major-league debut was CF Ryan Kalish, who went 2/4 and had an RBI with the Boston Red Sox on 7/31/2010 (see box score).

Check out our “Jewish Box Score” every day for the latest Kipnis stats.

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Scott Feldman

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Thanks to off-season surgery on his right knee, Texas Rangers P Scott Feldman has spent the 2011 season on the disabled list. But he may be turning the corner.

On Saturday (5/14/2011), the 6-foot-6-inch starter pitched 5 strong innings for the “AA” Frisco RoughRiders in an 11-2 win over the Corpus Christi Hooks. Feldman gave up one earned run on just two hits while striking out 4 and walking 2.

According to MLB.com, the Rangers want to see Feldman pitch at least 2 more minor-league games before they decide whether he’s ready to return to the majors.

By coincidence, the starting pitcher the day after Feldman’s appearance was Richard Bleier, a fellow Jew. Bleier had a somewhat tougher time during his 6 innings on the mound, giving up 3 earned runs on 9 hits in a 4-3 loss to Corpus Christi.

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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — Here’s the latest news on several MLB players:

Youkilis may switch back to 3B in 2011

Boston Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis, whose season-ending thumb injury helped scuttle the team’s playoff hopes year, says he’s ready to switch back to 3B if needed in 2011. It’s a possibility because Red Sox 3B Adrian Beltre has opted for free agency.

As you may recall, Youkilis began his MLB career at 3B, in 2004. The Bosox switched him to 1B in 2006, and in a remarkable demonstration of versatility, Youkilis won a Gold Glove at 1B in 2007, only his second year at the position. In 2010 he started all but two games at 1B.

Kinsler to work on speed in off-season

No one in Texas is complaining about Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler these days. After an injury-shortened regular season, Kinsler was a post-season star in 2010 (or at least until the World Series). But the 28-year-old isn’t happy with his stolen-base output, which totaled 15 in 20 tries this year. It was the fewest steals since his rookie year in 2006, although to be fair Kinsler had just 391 at-bats in 2010, his fewest ever, and began the season on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Here’s what he told Sports Illustrated recently:

“I just need to get my speed back,” he said. “I didn’t steal as many bases as I’d like this year. I didn’t really feel comfortable stealing bases because I wasn’t able to catch up with my speed after the spring training injury.”

Interestingly, Kinsler suffered a bigger drop-off in power in 2010 than he did in speed, hitting just 9 HRs after averaging 21 in his first four MLB seasons.

Knee surgery will delay Feldman’s 2011 debut

Texas Rangers SP Scott Feldman recently had surgery on his right knee and will have a limited role at 2011 spring training, ESPN.com reported.

Feldman, who was the Rangers’ pitcher of the year in 2009 and opening-day starter this year, had a dismal season, going 7-11 with a 5.48 ERA. He was moved to the bullpen mid-season and went on the 15-day disabled list in August for a bone bruise to the same knee.

Kapler is a free agent

Tampa Bay Rays RF Gabe Kapler is one of 10 Rays players to opt for free agency this Fall. Whether the weak-hitting defensive specialist will be picked up is unclear. Kapler hit .210 in 124 at-bats this year, with 2 HRs and 14 RBIs.

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Rangers, Kinsler headed to World Series

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The Texas Rangers are headed to their first World Series in team history, and 2B Ian Kinsler is more than just along for the ride.

In Friday night’s 7-1 clincher against the New York Yankees (10/22/2010), the lone Jew remaining in the MLB playoffs stroked a double, hit a sacrifice fly, and drew a walk.

“It’s incredible,” Kinsler told MLB.com. “We set out all year to achieve our goal and in the clubhouse we never doubted it. A lot of people had doubts, but we never had doubts and we proved it.”

The 5th-year pro is among the Rangers’ post-season leaders in multiple categories:

  • 9 RBIs (1st)
  • .342 batting average (2nd)
  • .409 on-base percentage (2nd)
  • .658 slugging percentage (2nd)
  • 5 walks (2nd)
  • 5 extra-base hits (2nd/tie)
  • 3 HRs (3rd)
  • 2 doubles (3rd)

In fact, Kinslers’ 9 RBIs are more than any MLB player has had this post-season, and his .342 batting average ranks 3rd.

If SP Scott Feldman hadn’t gone 7-11 this season with a bloated 5.48 ERA, he might be joining Kinsler in the Fall Classic, but the Rangers understandably left him off the team’s post-season roster.

The 1st game of the 2010 World Series takes place Wednesday night (10/27/2010).

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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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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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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

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Monday Roundup: Lots o’ good news

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

MLB

  • 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.

Minors

  • 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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JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — The latest info on Jews with bats:

  • New York Mets 1B Ike Davis, brought up from AAA two weeks after the 2010 season began, is now batting cleanup. The move to 4th in the batting order paid off for the Mets on Thursday (5/20/2010) as Davis went 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and three runs scored.
  • Davis was one of four Jewish players with multi-hit games Thursday (5/20/2010). Joining him were Tampa Bay Rays RF Gabe Kapler (2-for-2), Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler (2-for-5), and Boston Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis (2-for4 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs).
  • According to this article, Youkilis is on pace to have his best month ever at the plate. So far this May, he leads the majors in batting average (.411), on-base percentage (.585), slugging percentage (.786), and OPS (1.371).
  • The Boston Red Sox dropped RP Scott Schoeneweis from the team’s roster Wednesday (5/19/2010). Schoeneweis, a last-minute addition to the Opening Day squad, had an unimpressive 7.90 ERA this season, allowing 19 hits in 13 innings. The Red Sox have not said yet whether they will trade Schoeneweis, release him, or place him on waivers.
  • Florida International University sophomore Garrett Wittels continued his record-setting streak Thursday by getting a hit in his 46th straight game, part of FIU’s 12-4 victory against Florida Atlantic University. Wittels needs one more game to tie Phil Stephenson for second on the all-time list at 47 games.
  • AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees SP Jason Hirsh had his four-game winning streak broken Tuesday (5/18/2010) in a 3-0 loss to the Indianapolis Indians. On the bright side, Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader columnist Dave Konopki praised Hirsh this week, saying “it would be great to see him wearing pinstripes while standing on the mound at Yankee Stadium.”
  • AAA Memphis Redbirds CF James Rapoport is on a tear since being called up from AA. After 11 games with the Redbirds — a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate — the 24-year-old is batting .378 with a .440 on-base percentage. Yesterday (5/20/2010) he went 4-for-6 in a 13-3 victory over the Sacramento River Cats.
  • Milwaukee Brewers LF Adam Stern hasn’t made the most of his brief return to the bigs. In four games since being called up from AAA, the 30-year-old Canadian is 0-for-6 with two strikeouts.
  • Texas Rangers SP Scott Feldman earned his first victory since April 11 with a 13-7 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. It wasn’t his finest hour: Feldman gave up a career-high 12 hits in six innings.
  • In other struggling-Jewish-pitcher news, Chicago Cubs RP John Grabow continued his shaky 2010 in a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Grabow gave up 1 hit, two walks and the winning run in 2/3 inning. Grabow’s 8.44 ERA is second-worst in the National League, and he’s reportedly “testing the patience of manager Lou Piniella, who continues to give him the ball in crucial late-inning situations.”

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O.”BP (.585 — a mark that is 100 points better than any other player in the game), slugging (.786) and OPS (1.371).
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Morning roundup

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — A summary of the latest info on Jewish baseball players:

  • Opening-day pitcher Scott Feldman helped guide the Texas Rangers to a 5-4 comeback win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. It wasn’t easy: Feldman gave up two early home runs, and Toronto no-hit the Rangers through 6-and-1/3 innings. But Feldman calmed down, yielding three runs, five hits and no walks over seven innings, and Rangers C Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a bases-loaded single to win the game.
  • ESPN.com columnist Jim Reeves is a Scott Feldman admirer. “Feldman is the essence of what the Rangers are all about. He’s a gutty overachiever who doesn’t awe opposing teams until they realize he’s just beaten them.” (ESPN.com)
  • Milwaukee Brewers LF Ryan Braun went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a 5-3 opening-day loss to the Colorado Rockies.
  • 1B Kevin Youkilis is the Boston Red Sox’ “most productive” hitter, averaging 2.36 hits, walks and/or RBIs per game in a simulation. (Accuscore.com)

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Morning roundup

JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — A summary of the latest scuttlebutt on Jewish baseball players.

  • LF Sam Fuld, who plays for the Iowa Cubs (AAA), is the best defensive outfielder in the Chicago Cubs’ organization, according to Baseball America. (Bleacherreport.com)
  • 1B Kevin Youkilis, who hit two doubles and a triple in the Boston Red Sox’ 9-7 win over the New York Yankees last night, is the first Red Sox player to hit three extra-base hits in a season opener since Carlton Fisk did it in 1976. (Boston.com)
  • Texas Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler is starting the season in an unfortunate way: on the 15-day disabled list. Kinsler sprained his right ankle on March 12. (USAToday.com)
  • Kinsler, by the way, is the Rangers’ “most productive” hitter, averaging 2.05 hits, walks and/or RBIs per game in a simulation. (Accuscore.com)
  • RHP Scott Feldman will be the Texas Rangers’ starting pitcher in today’s Opening Day game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Feldman recently signed a two-year, $13.3-million contract extension that will keep him with the Rangers through at least 2012. (Reuters.com)

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