Baseball Links: July 4th Weekend Edition

I’ll get to the current players in a post out either today or tomorrow.  A few things to catch up on with the alumni first. -FA

Hall of Fame.  As mentioned a few weeks ago, former UM shortstop Barry Larkin is being inducted into the College Hall of Fame tonight in Lubbock, Texas. From the initial release in May:

Michigan’s Barry Larkin was a two-time first-team All-American shortstop. He was the first two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and in 1983 he was the Big Ten Postseason Tournament MVP. He twice led the Wolverines to the College World Series and finished his career with a .361 batting average.

Former Michigan coach Branch Rickey is also being inducted in the “vintage class.” His accomplishments aren’t really for his college resume as they are for baseball as a whole. Rickey was a key part of getting Jackie Robinson to break the color barrier. Breaking the color barrier at the highest level opened the door for desegregation at every level of baseball including college. For what its worth, he was 69-31-4 as Michigan’s head coach from 1910-1913, and coached players like George Sisler.

Chris Fetter threw his first two professional starts.  In his first start at Class A Short Season Eugene Emeralds (GO EMs!), he lasted just 2 innings giving up 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, and 3 K.  His second start went 5 innings with 1 ER, 3 H, and 6 K.  He gets his 3rd start of the season tonight.  It’ll be against the same team he faced last time as the two teams close out a 6 game series in Eugene.

Chris Getz steals home.  Former Michigan player Chris Getz stole home for the White Sox during a game against the Cubs (which makes it even better for me) on June 28th.

With Wise at the plate, Getz broke for home as Zambrano began his delivery of a pitch that sailed outside and past catcher Geovany Soto. The stolen base made it 4-0, and on the very next pitch, Zambrano hit Wise.

He becomes the 4th player this season with a straight steal of home, 8th player to steal home overall.

Jake Fox gets first career homer in Detroit.  While I may not like the Cubs, I guess I can root for Jake Fox.  The former Wolverine knocked his first career home run against the Tigers on June 26.  Fox is making his second stint with the major league club this year after hitting .409 with the AAA Iowa Cubs.  You’d have to think the Chicago front office will be looking to relieve some of that salary by the end of the season and make room for Fox as a full time starter in the outfield (I don’t see him overtaking Ramirez at third anytime soon).  Then again, how long can he hold up a .903 OPS?

Mike Cervenak & Bobby Korecky named AAA All Stars.  Former Wolverine Mike Cervanak, UM ’99 was named to the AAA All Star Team out of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (International League).  This is the 2nd consecutive time he’s been named to the AAA All Star team, but last year he was unavailable as he was called up with the Phillies just before the game.  Bobby Korecky, UM ’01 also made the roster (although for the Pacific Coast Leauge).  He’s 2-1 with 12 saves for the Rochester Red Wings (as well as 5 appearances at the major league level this year).  You can catch them on ESPN2 on July 15th during the Pacific Coast vs International League All Star Game.  The game is slated for a 10:05 EDT start, as its being played in Oregon.

Putz, Richards, and Hill do their thing on the mound.  None have been particularly noteworthy, nor very good of late.  It happens.

Posted under Baseball

Baseball Link Dump/Summer Updates

Fighting the Good Fight.  It appears over 100 requests came in to override the rule change adding a week to the front of the season.  Coach Maloney is undoubtedly one of these requests as he is one of the biggest baseball personalities in the north, and the addition of the game to the front of the schedule is a hinderance to northern schools.  Here’s hoping they can get the week added to the end of the season.  At this point, we won’t know until August.  One draw back of waiting so long is the aforementioned BigEast/BigTen Challenge date being locked in already.  I’m not sure what a pushed back start date would do to the challenge, whether it be canceled or pushed back.

Chris Fetter interviewed.  This comes from MadFriars.com ($), the Padres Scout page.  I don’t want to pay money for a subscription, but maybe you do?

Zach Putnam to Double A.  Baseball America does the Cleveland Indians report card ($) propping Putnam.  There’s also an article on ohio.com (HT: m.go.licious).  Zach’s struggled a bit since moving up, going 1-2 with an ERA over 6.00.

Burgoon Blows 1st Save of the Season. Perhaps a little over worked with a league leading 3 saves in the first week of play, Burgoon let one go last night.  His defense didn’t help as the tying run was let on by an error.  He ended up taking the loss later in the inning from a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice.  To quote quag77 from the comments of the Interview post,

Yeah, that was a tough one. 4 runs scored, all unearned on 3 errors, 2 past balls and 2 walks in the 9th.

Matt Gerbe struggles in 1st summer startThis was just ugly for Matt. He walked the first four batters to start the game and was immediately pulled. His ERA is currently 36.00.  Meanwhile, his teammate Sinnery is 0-1, giving up 3 runs in 7 IP.  Tough loss.  I’d take that hear in Ann Arbor any time.

Lima Locos keep winning.  Anthony Toth is the lead off man and every thing I’ve seen has him hitting really well.  I wish I had the stats to back it up, but their site is “under construction.”  As far as pitching goes, Kolby Wood struggled a little bit in relief during an exhibition, but freshman Broshanon has done pretty good in limited appearances (including last night’s, which I have no stats for).

Matt Broder gets a win.  Freshman Broder got the win, pitching 5 innings (only a 7 inning game) for the Michigan Rams allowing just one unearned run.

Ryan LaMarre struggling.  So far he’s batting just .154 in 26 at bats (3 singles and a triple).  He may not stay in the lead off role much longer with that average.

Dufek and Oaks excelling.  Mike Dufek leads the Leesburg Lightning in batting average (.351) and has thrown 3 shut out innings in relief.  Alan Oaks isn’t a regular, but he is batting .333 (5/15).  He is a regular starting pitcher.  He’s 1-0 in his 2 starts with a 3.60 ERA.  He hasn’t been going deep into games with only 10 IP on the season, but it should be interesting to see if he starts going deeper.  Oaks may be making a push for a starting rotation job next spring.

Alexandria Beetles Pitchers. Matt Miller has given up one run in 3.2 innings with 2 walks and 5 Ks.  Kevin Vangheluwe has an ERA of 9.31 in 9.2 innings of work.  Why he has 6 appearances (0 starts) and Miller only has 3, I’m not entirely sure.  Could be that Vangheluwe only makes it in during blow outs.  Alexandria’s record isn’t so great.  Tyler Mills is still listed on the roster, but he’s yet to see an inning of work.  Injury?  Still at school?  I don’t know.

Travis Smith has bad luck.  He’s 0-1 in 4 appearances (3 starts) for 14 innings pitched.  His 3.86 ERA looks nice, too.

Who is this Jeff DeCarlo and what did you do with ours? Jeff DeCarlo has a 1.69 ERA.  I’m shocked.  In 5.1 IP he’s given up 1 hit, struck out 5, and only walked 2.  He does have a hit batter, so maybe he is the same guy?   Also, his teammate, freshman Kevin Krantz has seen limited time on the infield.  He’s currently 2/9 at the plate and an error in 10 chances on the field.

Everyone Else.  His .286 batting average isn’t great, but his on base is a bit higher around .320.  He hasn’t had much luck with base stealers as the league is 17/19 against him.  John Lorenz is only batting .148 in split time with Quincy.  Garret Stephens leading his team in hitting at .318 and tied for on base percentage of .400.  He’s got 2 home runs and a .500 slugging percentage.  Very nice.

These posts may be few and far between.  We’ll see as the summer season goes along.

Posted under Baseball

Fetter Goes #264 to San Diego

Chris Fetter was drafted by the San Diego Padres with the 264th pick, 3rd in the 9th round. This is a little further down than expected, but not too far.

In recruiting news, Daniel Fields of University of Detroit Jesuit was picked by the Tigers at #180, the middle of the 6th round. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went with the Tigers as the 6th round is pretty respectable, and it is the Tigers who drafted him, which may or may not influence the decision.

Dennis went in the 10th round to the Rays, so there is a good chance he could end up in Ann Arbor. It’ll be a wait and see situation. (Andrew@EC, I’ll get your comment approved by Tim or Paul soon enough.)

The last prospect we’re watching is Patrick Biondi. He’s still undrafted as of 2:05pm (late in round 13). That may bode well, too.

I’ll update if I hear anything else. There’s a chance Dufek or Katzman may go in the VERY late rounds, but I don’t think they’re any chance of defection.

Posted under Baseball, Recruiting

All BigTen Baseball Awards

The BigTen released their All BigTen, POTY, and Sportsmanship awards today.  Michigan has a few showing up on the lists.

1B – Mike Dufek, MICH
SP – Chris Fetter, MICH

OF – Ryan LaMarre, MICH

No one

No one

Kenny Fellows, MICH

I’m don’t think there was anyone who was skipped over in this list.  Lorenz stood no chance against Penn State’s Steranka for All Freshman third basemen.  McLouth had no chance against Freshman of the Year Dickerson of Indiana.  Cislo wasn’t as good this year.  Fellows probably just missed being on the third team. Berset missed too much time and would have needed a strong full campaign to overtake the 3rd team catcher.  None of our pitchers deserve all conference representation.  It was a down year, here’s hoping next year will be better.

I’ll work on getting a end of season post out tomorrow. I’m furiously packing for a trip to New York next week.  I’m also contemplating taking a couple days to float the river north of San Antonio.  So it’s probably good Michigan didn’t make the tournament, I’d be out of posting capabilities for way too long.

Posted under Baseball

Michigan Baseball Still Alive

Game was washed out this afternoon (Friday).  They’re playing a double header beginning at noon eastern (11am in Evanston).  Illinois got the job done against Purdue as well, keeping Michigan’s BigTen Tournament hopes alive for another day.  We have to sweep and Purdue must lose in order for Michigan to advance.

And as commenter JJ pointed out, Fetter is looking tired.  I picked up on this last week.  His pitch counts have been VERY high compared to his last few seasons.  Instead of 7 inning complete games at best, he’s been throwing into the 8th and 9th innings a lot this season.  I think the fatigue is catching up.  Hopefully he can recover fully for next week (that is, if tomorrow goes well).

Posted under Baseball

Michigan Takes Game 1 To Keep Pace

The good news is Michigan took game 1 despite Chris Fetter having another rough outing.  The final score was UM 16, NU 6.  Fetter had a way high pitch count but did manage to strike out 9 hitters in 6.2 innings pitched.  The low spot had to be the 6 run 4th inning.

Offensively, the high was the 9 run 7th inning for Michigan.  Dufek had a pair of bombs, six different batters had at least 2 hits.   The NU bullpen was just horrid.

The bad news is out of West Lafayette.  Purdue won 12-5 to decrease their magic number to one.  We must win out and Illinois must take the remaining two games at Purdue in order for Michigan to make the tournament.

As mentioned by Other Chris, NU is streaming a video feed of tomorrows game.  Its pretty crappy feed, but it is available.


Gotta love that chain link fence in the way. And yes, that’s the only camera angle you really get. Occasionally it gets blurry as they move slightly right or left. But its at least available (and for free if you search hard enough).

As I’m headed to Austin now, you can catch my thoughts and a less than play by play at @Varsityblue.  I apologize to those that may consider it twitter spam.  If I ever do it again, I’ll try to do it CiL instead of there.  It was just available at the time.  So deal with it.

Game 2 starts at 4pm EDT tomorrow.  The Purdue/Illinois game should be wrapping up right as Michigan starts.  Hopefully it’ll feature a big L for Purdue.

Go Illini! Go Blue!

Posted under Baseball

Baseball vs Northwestern

Northwestern isn’t really very good at all.  They have a 3-16 BigTen record (12-34-1 overall).  Michigan is playing and praying.  We need Purdue to lose at least two against Illinois at home.  We must take care of Northwestern.  If Purdue wins two we’re done.  If they win one, we must sweep.  If they get swept, we must win 2.  We have to hope the weather works in our favor.  That is all.

Rocky Miller Park
Evanston, IL

Game 1 Thursday:4pm  Live Stats
Probable Starters: Chris Fetter (6-3) vs. TBA

Game 2 Friday: 4pm  Live Stats
Probable Starters: Eric Katzman (7-4) vs. Eric Jokish (3-7)

Game 3 Saturday: 2pm  Live Stats
Probable Starters: TBA vs. Joe Muraski (3-5)

No word on audio.  I’m guessing there may not be any.  I’m headed to Austin today to pick up my little sister and head to a funeral.  I should be back by Sunday to hopefully have a post on making the tournament.  We’ll see.

Posted under Baseball

Baseball Seniors Roundtable

The six seniors on the Michigan Baseball team had a round table discussion reflecting on their time here in Ann Arbor recently, and it was posted today on MGoBlue.  Some quality stuff came from all six: Ben Jenzen, Timmy Kal, Mike Wilson, Kevin Cislo, Kenny Fellows, and Chris Fetter.  They covered topics from greatest memories, to how injuries changed their season, to their thoughts on Coach Maloney, to momentos from the lockerroom, and finally, to legacy.  It’s a great read.  I’ll just quote the humor here, but the whole thing is worth the read.

On what they would take from “The Fish” as a memento…

Cislo: “This plasma TV” (laughter)

Kalczynski: “I would take my locker. I have had some of the best conversations with my teammates at this locker and that is something I would love to have.”

Wilson: “I want one of these couches (large blue leather couch with a M logo embroidered in the middle cushion)… these things are so comfortable.”

Jenzen: “I would either take the ping pong table or Kim (athletic trainer Kim Hill).” … (loud laughter)

Go read it now. Make it out to the last BigTen weekend series of these Michigan Men™. Go Blue.

Side note:  I guess this means Ben Jenzen won’t be returning after a medical redshirt season.  Bummer, he was a great pitcher.

Posted under Baseball

Preview: Minnesota

from umn.edu

vs. Minnesota
Ray Fisher Stadium
Ann Arbor, MI

Game 1 – 6:35pm Friday
Starters:  Handran (RHP, 6-2, 3.45 ERA)  vs.  Chris Fetter (6-2, 2.44 ERA)
Media Game 1: Live Stats and Audio

Game 2 -1:05pm Saturday
Starters: Buske (RHP, 7-3, 2.56 ERA) vs. TBA
Media Game 2: Live Stats and Audio

Game 3 – 1:05pm Sunday
Starters: Rosin (RHP, 5-1, 3.95 ERA) vs.  Katzman(7-4, 2.94 ERA)
Media Game 1: Live Stats and Audio

Series: Michigan trails 82-81
Last Meeting: Michigan swept 3 in 2008
Last Michigan Loss: April 6, 2008 (7 game winning streak)
Last Michigan Series Loss – 2005 (sweep @Minnesota)


Minnesota enters this series in second place in the BigTen, just one half game behind Illinois.  The Gophers are 13-4 in conference play, 31-13 overall.  They currently lead the conference in ERA at 4.38, good for #41 in the nation.  Their hitting isn’t too bad either.  Minnesota is 4th in the BigTen at .318 batting average, good for #65 in the nation.  They have a good balance between pitching and hitting, it should be a tough series for Michigan.


Minnesota is lead by junior second baseman Derek McCallum.  McCallum is currently batting .399 on the season (top of all regular BigTen starters), so obviously he can hit.  As if his average wasn’t enough, his power is just as notable.  On the year, he has 14 homeruns, 10 doubles, and 3 triples for a .734 slugging percentage, highest in the BigTen by at least .060 points.  Thats huge.  He also leads the conference in RBIs with 61.

The Gophers also have 5 other batters with averages over .330, including Michael Kvasnicka, the other power threat.  Kvasnicka owns a .359 batting average with 15 doubles and 7 home runs. He has 47 RBIs on the year, second on the team.

Matt Nohlety (.344 batting average) will be the big stolen base threat for Minnesota; he currently has 19 steals in 24 attempts.  The Gophers as a team do attempt plenty of steals.  They are about on par with Michigan in attempts, but have a slightly better percentage with 64 steals in 87 attempts (Michigan is 56 for 90).

AJ Peterson (.366 BA), Justin Gominsky (.360), and Kyle Hudson (.330) round out the hitters over .330.  None of these look to be overly powerful, but they get on base plenty.  The only other major source of power comes from Nick O’Shea who is hitting .274 on the year with 11 doubles and 8 home runs.

One statistic that may or may not make a difference this year comes from Kyle Gleason.  Despite his .232 batting average, he has worked 33 walks this season.  That actually puts his on base percentage at .471.  That stat just stood out strangely.  Let’s throw him strikes.


Starting Friday is Chancy Handran.  His 3.45 ERA is pretty good, but he does give up plenty of base runners.  In 70 innings pitched, he’s given up 70 hits and 26 walks.  He has only struck out 42 in that time, too.  That bodes well.

Saturday’s starter Tom Buske is an outlier when it comes to BigTen Pitcher of the Year.  His 2.45 ERA is second only to Chris Fetter, but I don’t hear anything about him when it comes to POTY talk.  Weird.  He hasn’t been overwhelming with strikeouts with only 58 on the year, but in his 70 innings, he’s only given up 52 hits and 18 walks.  That’s pretty good compared to the rest of the league.

Sunday sees Seth Rosin to the mound.  His ERA is 3.95, also very good for a BigTen starter.  He doesn’t usually last very long into games, with just under 5 innings per start (54.2 innings in 11 starts).  He has 46 Ks in those starts and only walked 11.

The closer for the Gophers is Scott Matyas.  He currently has 10 saves in 17 appearances spanning 18.2 innings.  He has struck out 28 this season and given up only 7 runs.



Looks like we should get all three games in this weekend.  Saturday may have a little bit of a delay to it.  Those winds should be helacious, blowing in strong from right center.

Promotions and Announcements

Friday (full promotional schedule):

The first 1,000 fans will receive a maize or blue glow stick necklace to help us light up the Wilpon Baseball Complex.

Join us beginning at 5:30 p.m. to participate in our inflatable games, face painting, and much more!


All Great Sauk Trail Boy Scouts and their families are invited to attend this game for only $3! Click HERE for downloadable flyer!

Beginning at Noon enjoy an ice cream sundae courtesy of Michigan Baseball!

The first 500 fans will receive the fourth-set of Michigan baseball trading cards


To celebrate Mother’s and Grandmother’s Michigan baseball will host a brunch for families to attend for only $15 for adults and $10 for youth 13 and under. This includes the brunch, a plant for the honored guest(s) and a reserved chairback seat to the game. To RSVP, contact Katy Jackson at katjacks@umich.edu or 734-647-1261. For more information, download the event flyer (PDF).

Also, there is some street closures happening this weekend.  Northbound State Street will be closed.  MGoBlue:

The recommended route for fans traveling from points south who normally use State Street is to take Ann Arbor-Saline Road / Main Street to Hoover and use the parking lot entrance by the band building and Canham Natatorium.

Travel to the game and travel safe.


Michigan needs wins.  This weekend is a tough series.  Michigan has a great chance of taking tonight’s game, and a decent shot at taking the series.  I felt lucky last week and saw us no hit in the first game.  I’m feeling lucky again, but this time I think we take game 1 and game 3 specifically.  Game two will be rough against Buske, but get out there and support the team.  We need the wins.

Posted under Baseball

Baseball Recruiting: Ben Ballantine

For those of you that don’t know, I’m not much into recruiting of any sort.  Baseball recruiting isn’t really OMGZ FRONT PAGE OF RIVALS! either, therefore these type of posts will probably be few and far between.  So, the article…

benballantineThe Napa Valley Register is reporting Michigan’s interest in Napa Valley Indian’s pitcher Ben Ballantine (image from same post):

It will be an exciting week for the 6-foot-8 senior on top of the Big Games. He said the University of Michigan is flying him out to Ann Arbor, Mich., after Thursday’s game for a recruiting visit.

“They currently have a pitcher (Chris Fetter) who’s 6 foot-8 and my same build, 230 pounds or so, and he’s graduating this year. The head coach says I’m built just like him and I throw just like he did when he first came in as a freshman, and he wants someone to come in and try to fill his shoes,” Ballantine said Thursday. “I put together big packets during basketball season and sent them to a bunch of schools, just to see who would call back. Michigan showed a lot of interest and they came and watched me on (April 28).”

It goes on to say that his mother’s family is from Ann Arbor, and his dad’s side is from Ohio, so there is a good chance would be fine making the move from California to Michigan.

For those of you who love to stalk 17-18 year olds, his MaxPrep page.  It should have a game-by-game breakdown of his statistics.  Enjoy.

Posted under Baseball, Recruiting