- Clayton Richard was traded from the White Sox to the Padres in the Jake Peavy deal (sorry to hear about that Tigers fans). Richard had just come off back-to-back 8 inning gems (again, sorry Tiger fans) with the White Sox allowing just one run in each game. Now with the Padres, he's started 2 games, going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA. He also collected his first RBI as a batter this week.
- Also related to that trade, recent graduate Chris Fetter of the Padres minor league system was moved back down from Single A Fort Wayne TinCaps back to the Short Season A-Ball Eugene Emeralds to make room for another one of the pitching prospects from the trade. Fetter is 2-1 in 8 starts and one long relief appearance (a 4-inning save?) with a 2.57 ERA. His 47 Ks in 42 innings is impressive, but his numbers at Eugene definitely weighted the totals down.
- Bobby Korecky of the Diamondback's Reno Rattlers Triple A team had been dominating this year as their closer (13 saves by the all star break), but his season was ended due to Tommy John surgery this last week. The injury caused him to miss the Triple A All Star game.
- Rich Hill also is out for the season with shoulder surgery on his labram. He's expected back for spring training.
- Mike Cervenak (pictured to the right by Joe Gill of Express-Times Photo) continues to do great in Triple A for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Phillies. Cervenak is hitting .294 with 57 RBIs and a .765 OPS. I'm still surprised he hasn't been traded by the Phillies. He's getting to the age where the Phillies probably won't be able to use him, especially behind Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz in the depth chart. He's a two time Triple A All Star as it is, some other team could use him.
- No new updates on the drafted recruits (previous update here). The last I've heard on each recruit is that they plan on being enrolled at Michigan in the fall. Supposedly, not even batting practice with Evan Longoria could sway Dennis from his commitment. The recruits could leave at any time until the season starts, much like Derek Jeter did back in the day. I'll keep my eye on transaction lists until the season starts.
Current Team/Player News
- Tyler Burgoon is also listed as the 18th best player this summer by Church Of Baseball.
- Michigan backstop Chris Berset has been named a finalist for the Great Britain baseball world cup team. What the hell this means? I have no idea, but it sounds awesome. I'll be investigating this further if he makes the 25 man roster which seems unlikely given the other catchers on the 40-man roster includes minor league guys for the most part.
- Yahoo! college baseball writer Kendall Rogers wrote this last week a report card for the BigTen teams last season. Perhaps it was his opening statement's stupidity (he seems to think the BigTen hasn't had very good success the last five or so years), but his grade of Michigan seemed a little off base.
Season analysis: The Wolverines entered the season with high hopes, but had much trouble establishing consistency in conference play. Michigan compiled a 9-15 conference record and actually still finished the season with an overall record of 30-25. If not for winning overall record, the Wolverines would’ve finished the season with an F. It was a season to forget for coach Rich Maloney and his players.
Michigan lost its top pitcher, top two hitters, and its entire infield over the off season. It lost it's closer and catcher for nearly half of the season. We didn't get our every day right fielder back until a month into the season. We lost our second baseman and on field leader for the last 2 weeks of the season. It's no surprise Michigan wasn't competing for the conference crown. I'm not saying we deserved higher than a C+, but to say the .500 record saved us from an F is a bit over the top.
Summer ball updates after the jump due to length
- Ryan LaMarre's season came to a close in the Cape Cod League playoffs. The Wareham Gatemen fell in the play-in game against Cotuit. Ryan ended the season batting .236, second on his team with enough at-bats to qualify for rankings (118). LaMarre started as the leadoff hitter for the Gatemen, but was moved to 6th later in the season. His team was the least productive at the plate, but still managed to make the playoffs.
- Tyler Burgoon's season is still going as the Y-D Red Sox secured a bye to the East Division finals. They are being played this weekend in a best 2-out-of-3 format. Tyler is the league save leader with 12. He threw in 17 games for 21.2 innings and held a 0.00 ERA until just last week. He was touched up for a run in a save and then three runs in a non-save situation (last game of the season). He still boasts a 1.69 ERA and 34 Ks (as many as most starters).
- Despite a 12 game winning streak, the Lima Locos trio season ended in the round-robin portion of the Great Lakes League playoffs. Anthony Toth was an offensive catalyst down the stretch getting his batting average up to .311, almost a hundred points higher than it was at the midpoint of the season. Kolby Wood really got into the closer role which may or (more likely) may not have implications on his future at Michigan.
The 6-foot-6 Wood compiled a 1.45 ERA with four saves. This was Wood’s first go-around as a closer.
“I pitched a little in the bullpen at school and I’ve started, but I never closed games. I really enjoy it,” Wood said. “This the first time I’ve done it and it’s a lot of fun. […]
Wood uses a 90-plus mph fastball and a nasty, nose-diving split-finger pitch.
“It’s still not as consistent as I would like (the split finger), but I’ve been able to get some swings and misses with it so hopefully I’ll be able to get it more consistent with practice,’’ Wood said.
With Burgoon and Dufek already potential closers, I would guess Wood will continue to work at being a starter. I think the best thing out of Lima was probably the emergence of Bobby Brosnahan (pictured on the right by LimaOhio.com) as a middle reliever. Michigan really needs to find more consistent set up men, and Bobby will get a chance at it as a redshirt freshman next year.
At Leesburg, Wolverines Mike Dufek, Alan Oaks (pictured to the right by Laura Kubitz), Eric Katzman, and Chris Berset finished on a high note. They winning their league championship at Tropicana Field (home of the Tampa Bay Rays). Chris Berset was involved in the first and go-ahead runs of the game, scoring the former and sacrificing over the latter. Chris really took on the leadership role with Leesburg I was hoping to see him do this season before he was injured. His coach put it this way:
“Chris is an amazing defensive player; anything you get from him offensively is a plus,” Leesburg Head Coach Frank Viola noted. “He knows how to work a staff, and he dominates a game from behind the plate defensively, and not many people can say that.”
Mike Dufek also was a big part of Leesburg's championship team. Down the stretch, his power at the plate (2 home runs and a RBI single) was enough to beat heavy favorite Sanford in the final game of the season, clinching a playoff seed. Dufek finished the season with a .283 batting average and a team leading 4 home runs as well as 6 saves and a 0.93 ERA as the Lightning closer. Alan Oaks also pitched very well as a starter, continuing his excellent work down the stretch in Ann Arbor. He finished the season with a 2-1 record in 8 starts with a 3.86 ERA. Katzman was the disappointing member of this team, but he also spent a good portion of the season in Ann Arbor taking classes and then saw limited action on the field (only 2 appearances).
Brandon Sinnery (pictured to the right by Dennis Grundman) started the playoffs in style going 6.2 innings of shut out ball for the Winchester Royals as they somewhat upset (#5 over #4) Woodstock. This followed up his last start that garnered him honorable mention for pitcher of the night going 6.2 with only one earned run. Sinnery is currently 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in 8 starts. His teammate Matt Gerbe hasn't been nearly as productive out of the bullpen. In 12 appearances (1 start), Gerbe is 1-1 with a 6.38 ERA. Ouch. I don't think he's made an appearance in almost 3 weeks. The Royals ended up losing out in the semis and are done for the year.
The Front Royal Cardinals also fell out of the playoffs, but they did it in the first round. Redshirted freshman Kevin Krantz finished the year hitting only .215 in his reserve role. His defense was particularly porous with 7 errors for a .877 fielding percentage. Jeff DeCarlo didn't see too much use since the last update, ending his summer 0-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 12 appearances. If he could pitch half this good against hitters with metal bats, he could become useful in close games. His previous runs at Michigan have hardly seen his ERA drop below 4.75.
Coley Crank's Anchorage Bucs fell just short of forcing a one game playoff for the Alaska League championship, but Coley did his best to get his team in. During the last game, he hit a solo home run on a 2/4 day with 2 runs and an RBI. Coley finished the season hitting only .211, his highest level of the season. While his offense might be concerning, his pitching staff did very well with him behind the plate.
In Alexandria, another handful of Wolverine pitchers have had mixed results. Set up man Matt Miller has collected 9 saves on the season, which ends today Sunday. Miller is 2-2 with a 3.29 ERA over 21 innings, which is pretty good. On the other end of the spectrum, Kevin Vangheluwe and Tyler Mills have struggled a plenty on the mound. Kevin is 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA to go with a .387 opponent batting average in 23 innings of work. Mills, well, Mills got in only a few games at the very end and gave up 3 home runs at a time. I'll leave out his stats as he only threw 3 innings. At the plate, Mills did hit .274 with a home run and 2 doubles in 56 at bats.
Matt Broder made another great outing for the Michigan Rams of the Livonia Summer League. He went 4 innings of shut out ball to seal the Rams a trip to the National Amateur Baseball Federation tournament being played this weekend in Toledo.
Garrett Stephens doesn't particularly care that his Richmond RiverRats are in last place in their league. He scoffs at the naysayers and knocks grand slams, hits multiple doubles in a game, and goes perfect at the plate. The RiverRats have currently climbed up the standings to third (out of five). The push is just a little too late to win the division. If they win the (as I write this) in-progress game with Chillote, they will end the season no better than one game back of Chillote. Not including that last game, Stephens was batting .267 with 4 HR, 30 RBI (6th in the Prospect League), and a .430 slugging percentage (14th in league). Update: The RiverRats did win thanks to a big Stephens 3-run homer to tie the game.
Also in the Prospect League is John Lorenz who began to see more playing time down the stretch, hitting .254 with 24 runs scored and 11 RBIs. Lorenz also got to pitch 3 innings giving up 4 hits, 2 walks, and one unearned run. I don't see him pitching much next season.