Results tagged ‘ Josh Lueke ’
The 2010 Major League Baseball Postseason begins in just about 40 minutes as the Texas Rangers start things off with the opener of their ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays. With Texas’s return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 there’s an extra-high volume of former LumberKings to watch this postseason. Not all of them, however, are Rangers.
The 25-man playoff roster for the Rangers includes former LumberKings second-baseman Ian Kinsler (’04), first-baseman Mitch Moreland (’08), right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08) and left-hander Derek Holland (’08). Left-hander Michael Kirkman (’06-’08) was left off the playoff roster but will probably still be with the club in Tampa in case of injury.
The man traded for four former ’08 LumberKings (Justin Smoak, Blake Beavan, Matt Lawson and Josh Lueke) in Cliff Lee gets the game one start for the Rangers, who have never won a playoff series.
Over in the NL, the Central Division Champion Cincinnati Reds also begin their NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies today. They’ll start a former LumberKing in right-hander Edinson Volquez (’04, pictured left as “Edison Volquez”) against the defending NL Champs.
The Reds also have right-hander Nick Masset (’03) on their playoff roster, while the Phillies decided not to include their only Clinton alumnus, outfielder John Mayberry, Jr. (’06) amongst their 25 players.
To my knowledge, there’s no former LumberKings with the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays or Minnesota Twins. I could be wrong.
Given the high volume of former recent Kings with Texas, the Rangers have my backing this year. Feel free to weigh in on the 2010 MLB Playoffs (and all your old favorite Kings) by commenting below!
Less than a week after first-baseman Mitch Moreland (’08) became the third former King to make a big-league debut, right-hander Thomas Diamond (’04, pictured left) stepped to the mound for the Chicago Cubs to make his first Major League start last night against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Diamond struck out 10 of the 27 batters he faced over 6.0 innings, but also allowed three runs on seven hits as the Cubs lost, 4-3 to the Brewers at Wrigley Field. He became only the second Cub in 90 seasons to strike out 10 in his debut.
Amongst his seven seasons in the Minors (all in the Texas chain until this year) was the 2004 season with Clinton, in which Diamond went 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA in seven starts. He walked only eight while fanning 42 batters over 30.2 innings as a LumberKing. Diamond joins Moreland, first-baseman Justin Smoak (’08) and right-hande Omar Beltre (’03) as former LumberKings who have made Major League debuts this season.
Diamond isn’t the only former Clinton pitcher moving up in recent days. Right-hander Blake Beavan, a member of the 2008 Kings, moved up to triple-A Tacoma and earned a win in his first start with the Rainiers.
Recently acquired by the Seattle Mariners in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Texas, Beavan was denied his triple-A debut with Oklahoma City but did not have to wait long to get his shot in Seattle. The Irving, TX native and former first-round pick worked 6.0 innings, yielding two runs on seven hits and striking out two in a 9-3 win over Reno.
Right-hander Josh Lueke (’07-’08) has also joined Beavan in Tacoma and has pitched well so far, going 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA, no walks and five strikeouts over 3.0 innings. At least for now, infielder Matt Lawson (’08) has not moved up to Tacoma despite hitting .365 with four doubles, two HR and 14 RBI in just 15 games with double-A West Tenn.
Elsewhere, right-hander Evan Reed (’07-’08) made his first outing as a Florida Marlins farmhand last Saturday, pitching in relief for the double-A Jacksonville Suns. Reed worked 1.2 innings and struck out one of the six Carolina Mudcats’ hitters he faced. The former Clinton starter was shipped by the Rangers along with right-hander Omar Poveda (’06-’07) in the deal that brought them Jorge Cantu. Poveda is still coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Through five games, four starts with double-A Richmond, left-hander Michael Main (’08) is 0-3 with a 13.83 ERA in what has been a rough introduction to the San Francisco system. The former first-round pick has battled control issues with 14 walks and seven strikeouts over 13.2 innings so far. Main was acquired by the Giants in the deal that sent catcher Bengie Molina to the Rangers.
With our bus to the Quad Cities leaving in less than an hour, that’s all the time I have for today. I’ll hopefully have a new interview and game notes prior to the 7:00 PM game against the River Bandits tonight.
Left-to-right: Beavan, Smoak, Lueke and Lawson, all ’08 LumberKings
You’ve already seen the breaking news…the Seattle Mariners (our current parent club) have shipped All-Star lefty Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers (our previous parent club) for four players, including first-baseman Justin Smoak.
Smoak, alongside right-handers Blake Beavan and Josh Lueke and infielder Matt Lawson all played in Clinton during the 2008 season. Smoak, Beavan and Lawson were all part of the team during the 2008 Midwest League Playoffs.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see ANY of them come back through Clinton, as all were above double-A at the time of the trade. Beavan had recently made the move to triple-A Oklahoma City, while Lawson and Lueke were in double-A Frisco. And, well, Smoak is a big-leaguer. It remains to be seen if there will be any shifting amongst the upper levels to accomodate the new acquisitions.
Stay tuned to the LumberBlog for more details.