Monday, August 31, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Taylor Stadium gets makeover (Columbia Tribune)
The first major renovations since the construction of the bleachers and grandstand that became Taylor Stadium in 2000 have finally begun. Last week, workers started on the first of a three-part improvement plan. By the time the Tigers arrive for preseason workouts in January, the team will have indoor hitting cages, a new brick fence bordering foul territory and a new video scoreboard.

Future plans include a clubhouse/locker room and coaches offices along the left-field foul line and additional seating along the right-field line.

Matt Nestor's article has all the details on the current future phase - including the new scoreboard - HERE

MU in the Majors

Kinsler leads Rangers with two homers (Kansas City Star)
If there is indeed a jet stream at the new Yankee Stadium, Ian Kinsler (03) found it.

Kinsler, a former Missouri Tiger, went deep twice as the Rangers became the first visiting team to win a series at Yankee Stadium since mid-June, beating New York 7-2 on Thursday.
. . .
Kinsler got Texas’ first hit, a three-run homer in the fourth off A.J. Burnett. He also connected for a solo shot in the eighth off David Robertson, giving him a career-high 28 home runs.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes


■ From the E-Mail In-Box, here are more details on Jake Walsh, new to the Tigers this Fall:
Jake was used mostly in relief type situations. He made 9 Appearances with a 3.98
ERA over 32 innings of work. He had 18 Walks and 35 strike outs over the course
of the 2009 season.


Defenders celebrate: They're headed to the playoffs (
Garrett Broshuis has been coming to Dodd Stadium every summer day since 2006, making this his fourth season in Double A. In 2007, he was 3-17, despite a
decent 3.88 ERA.

Never has he been part of something like he was Thursday night, as the champagne rained from the heavens in celebration, splashing off the plastic wrap covering the cubicles in the Connecticut Defenders' locker room.

”I've seen a lot of guys' heads' down in this clubhouse,” Broshuis said. “To see guys celebrating in the clubhouse … I've been here awhile, too. I know exactly what the fans are going through.”

The Defenders, by virtue of a 3-1 victory over the New Britain Rock Cats before 3,835 fans at Dodd, earned their first playoff berth as a San Francisco Giants affiliate. The Norwich team was the Class-AA affiliate of the New York Yankees in 2002 and known as the Norwich Navigators when it last qualified for the postseason. Since then, it has changed its major league club and name.

This was the night Broshuis finally delivered the team back to the playoffs in a performance manager Steve Decker called “professional.”

Brock Bond was named to the Eastern League All-Star Team, according to OurSportsCentral:
Connecticut Defenders second baseman Brock Bond got a single in his first career Double-A at bat on April 16th against Trenton and he hasn't stopped hitting since. The 23-year old had his batting average as high as .360 for the Defenders this season and is currently leading the league with a .337 average. Bond, who is a native of St. Louis, Missouri, also leads the league in runs scored (88) and on-base percentage (.432) and is ranked among the league leaders in hits (139-4th), walks (62-6th) and OPS (.841-tied 6th). The 5'10", 195 lb. switch hitter was the starting second baseman for the Northern Division at the 2009 Eastern League All-Star game and drove in one run.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Change the RPI Formula ??

It's Back-To-School time, so here's some heavy reading and links for even heavier reading.

Greg Van Zant, the head coach at West Virginia University, recently sent a detailed recommendation to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee to change the formula for calculating the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

CollegeBaseball Insider includes the complete text and details in Proposal for Changes in Computing RPI:
As you know, the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) is a very important tool that ranks NCAA Division I Baseball teams from 1 to 302. This RPI ranking aids the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee in a very difficult job of selecting at-large teams for the NCAA Baseball Tournament. Therefore, it is extremely critical that the RPI formula produces the most accurate ranking possible.
. . .

There are four different facets of the RPI that need to be examined:
1. The weighting of the three RPI components or factors.
2. The weighting of home wins and road wins.
3. The four exempted contests against non-Division I opponents.
4. The bonus and penalty system.

My proposal is as follows:
1. Change the weighting of the three RPI factors to 50-35-15.
2. Count a road win as 1.25, a neutral win as 1.0 and a home win as 0.83333333.
3. Penalize teams for playing non-Division I opponents.
4. Eliminate the bonus and penalty system.

. . .
■ Baseball America summarizes the proposal in with Time for a Tweak? (
His solution is to replace winning percentage in the RPI with "adjusted winning percentage." Simply put, a win on a neutral field would still count as 1.0 win, but road wins would count as 1.25 wins, and home wins would count as 0.833 wins. That way, if two equally matched teams played 20 games at one team's home site, and the home team won 12 of the games while the visitor won eight, both teams would wind up with identical adjusted winning percentages.
■ In Why does RPI Matter? , Kelly Kulina argues that northern schools are disadvantaged by the current RPI formula (
As with anything involved with the postseason, the RPI and its role in postseason selection does not come without controversy. Critics of the RPI point out that it compounds the disadvantage cold weather teams face against warm weather teams. Since they must spend the first three weeks of the season on the road, many cold weather teams will start with a losing record and play against other teams in their conference with losing records. This creates the compounding effect causing the RPI disadvantage. In fact, many lower tier teams in warm weather conferences will get an at-large nod over upper tier teams from cold weather conferences. If you take a look at the past few years’ College World Series participants and winners, you’ll see a major disparity between cold weather teams and warm weather teams.
■ Boyd Nation of, along with some other interested followers of the game, express their opinions in a message board thread on, Proposal to change the RPI in baseball:
boydnation: There was some support, but mostly just in the sense that everyone but the Southeastern beneficiaries of the RPI want it to be changed. There's no sense that anyone, Western coaches included, actually care about going to a more accurate system; everyone's just looking for the solution that most benefits them. . . . As to Van Zant's proposal, there's a lot of thought in it and a lot of really bad statistical work -- mostly he's doing what we call wishcasting, where he decides what he wants the answer to be and then declares it to be correct. If I get bored, I'll actually code up his proposal and see what it does.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ The Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association gave OF James Boone (03-05) his unconditional release on Tuesday.

Baybears scorch Suns in series final (
A rampant offensive performance from the BayBears on Wednesday night at Hank Aaron Stadium, highlighted by Evan Frey's (05-07) five-hit explosion, in a 12-2 romping of the Jacksonville Suns.

Frey picked up the BayBears (62-68, 25-35) from the get-go with a first-inning infield single that turned into a run thanks to a throwing error, a passed ball and a groundout off the bat of Mark Hallberg to make it 1-0.
. . .
Frey wasn't done creating highlights as his RBI single made it 10-1 while Sosa's
two-run double put the BayBears in front by 11. Roque Mercedes and Jordan Norberto combined for the last six outs out of the BayBears' pen with Norberto
allowing a run in the ninth.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ A fan sent me stats for new MU Tiger Kevin Mahler, a transfer from St. Louis Community College-Meramec:

3-2, 4.931 ERA, 10 G, 38-1/3 IP, 25 R, 21 ER, 40 H, 32 SO, 16 BB
Matt Hobbs joins baseball staff as pitching coach (
Matt Hobbs (00-02) has accepted the open pitching coach position at the University of San Francisco, as announced by head coach Nino Giarratano today. Hobbs comes to the Hilltop from UC San Diego, where he held an associate head coaching position for three years.

"We are extremely excited to have Matt Hobbs as a pitching Coach/ recruiting coordinator at the University of San Francisco," said Giarratano. "Matt brings great success, knowledge, and great work habits to our program. Matt will continue to help the program rise."

"I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to come to the University of San Francisco and be a part of such a wonderful program and be around such a great coaching staff and student-athletes," Hobbs said. "I'm excited to be here and feel really grateful that Coach Giarratano thought I would be a good fit for the program."
. . .
Hobbs played Division I baseball at the University of Missouri, where he tallied 13 career victories and finished his career as the Big 12 record holder for consecutive strikeouts. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2001 and the Kansas City Royals in 2002.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NCAA By-Laws on Baseball Practice Season

School's back in session, and it's time for some heavy reading.

Official Fall practice cannot begin prior to September 1st

2nd semester 1st official practice date: January 29

From the NCAA By-Laws: Skill Instruction—Baseball.
In baseball, participation by student-athletes in skill-related instruction is permitted outside the institution’s declared playing season, from the institution’s first day of classes of the academic year or September 15, whichever occurs earlier, to one week prior to the beginning of the final examination period at the conclusion of the academic year [see Bylaw]. More than
four student-athletes may be involved in skill-related instruction with their coaches from September 15 to one week prior to the final examination period for the fall term and from January 15 through April 15.

No more than four student-athletes may be involved in skill-related instruction with their coaches at any one time in any facility prior to September 15, from the opening day of classes of the institution’s second academic term to January 15 (for those institutions that begin classes prior to January 15) and after April 15. Skill-related instruction shall not be publicized and shall not be conducted in view of a general public audience.

Regulations for computing the baseball playing season are set forth in Bylaw 17.1. (See Figure 17-1 and Figure 17-2.)

17.2.1 Length of Playing Season. The length of an institution’s playing season in baseball shall be limited to a 132-day season, which may consist of two segments. (Revised: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/91, 1/14/97 effective 8/1/97, 1/9/06 effective 8/1/07) Championship Segment. An institution’s championship segment must consist of consecutive days and may exclude only required off days per Bylaw and official vacation, holiday and final-examination periods during which no practice or competition shall occur. (Revised: 1/9/06 effective 8/1/07) Nonchampionship Segment. An institution’s nonchampionship segment shall be conducted within a period of 45 consecutive calendar days during the months of September, October and November under the following conditions: (Revised: 1/9/06 effective 8/1/07)

(a) Days used for practice or competition must be counted toward the 132-day season, but are not required to be consecutive;

(b) Days during which countable athletically related activities are limited solely to required conditioning activities and/or in skill-related instruction are not required
to count toward the 132-day season;

(c) During any week in which practice or competition occurs, a student-athlete’s involvement in countable athletically related activities shall be limited to a maximum of four hours per day and 20 hours per week and all countable athletically related activities are prohibited during one calendar day per week; and

(d) Any week in which practice or competition does not occur shall be considered outside the playing season (see Bylaw

Monday, August 24, 2009

2009 Fall Roster

This is NOT an Official Fall Roster, but it is a list compiled from returning players and new recruits who have enrolled.

Eric Anderson, RHP/IF (FR)
• Ryan Ampleman, C (JR)
• Brad Buehler, RHP (JR)
Kenny Burton, LHP (FR)
Aaron Blunt, LHP/1B (JR)
Blake Brown, OF/P (FR)
Brannon Champagne, OF/C (FR)
• Tyler Clark, RHP (JR)
• Ryan Clubb, RHP (SO)
Jack Dudenhoeffer, 3B/RHP (FR)
• Jeff Emens, RHP (SO)
• Kelly Fick, LHP (JR)
Kale Gaden, C/OF (FR)
Eric Garcia, SS (FR)
• Ryan Gebhart, OF (SO)
Zach Hardoin, LHP (JR)
Andy Heifner, 3B/RHP (FR)
Neil Hugenberg, RHP (FR)
Cody King, RHP/SS (FR)
• Russell LaFleur, OF (JR)
• Michael Liberto, SS (SR)
• Conner Mach, INF (SO)
Kevin Mahler, LHP (JR)
• Phil McCormick, LHP (JR)
• Garrison McLagan, LHP/OF/IF (SO)
• Rex Meyr, IF/OF (JR)
• Andrew Mueller, RHP (SR)
Brett Nicholas, C (JR)
Dane Opel, OF (FR)
• Andreas Plackis, C (RS FR)
• Andre Rodriguez, OF (RS FR)
Jesse Santo, SS (JR)
Jeff Scardino, OF/RHP (JR)
• TJ Schieber, IF (JR)
• Jonah Schmidt, OF/IF (JR)
• Aaron Senne, OF (SR)
Scott Sommerfeld, OF, 1B, C (FR)
• Nick Tepesch, RHP (JR)
• Andrew Thigpen, IF (JR)
• Ben Turner, C/1B (SO)
Jake Walsh, P (FR)

A few of the school year level designations are my best guess, not knowing which were officially redshirted.

Recruit Ryan Crowley did not join the team (LINK: See reader comments)

Ryan Allen, Brian Carr and Sam Lind have transferred away from Mizzou.

2009 Mizzou Baseball Recruit: Kenny Burton

Kenny Burton, LHP
Putnam City North HS (OK)

2009 stats: 8-3, 2.51 ERA, 67 IP, 60 H, 81 K

2009 OK All-State Honorable Mention
2009 Big All-City 2nd team

Feature in

If you have more information about Kenny Burton, please e-mail me at

2009 Mizzou Baseball Recruit: Jake Walsh

Jake Walsh, P
6'3", 190 lb
Plano West HS (TX)

I could not find up-to-date 2009 stats

If you have more information about Jake Walsh, please e-mail me at

2009 Mizzou Baseball Recruit: Kevin Mahler

Kevin Mahler, LHP
6'0", 220 lb, L/L
St. Louis Community College - Meramec
Mehlville HS (StL, MO)

2007 MO All-State Class 4
2008-09 NJCAA Academic All-American

No stats found.

If anyone has more information about Kevin Mahler, please e-mail me at

Mizzou Baseball Recruits Update

Here is an update of Mizzou's new recruits for the 09-10 season.

Ryan Crowley (LHP/1B; Morton, IL) had signed with Mizzou, but is not on campus . My guess is that he has switched to a Junior college somewhere.

This is an unofficial list, compiled with the generous help of many readers and followers of Mizzou Baseball.

Eric Anderson, RHP/IF; Highlands Ranch, CO (Mountain Vista HS) profile
• Anderson was drafted in June, by the Houston Astros organization, but is reportedly fully committed to Mizzou
• Report from Anderson's high school coach
Google News link to Eric Anderson stories
Kenny Burton, LHP; Putnam City North HS (OK) profile
Brief profile and photo in

Aaron Blunt, LHP/1B; Desloge, MO (Mineral Area College) profile
Google News link to Aaron Blunt stories
Blake Brown, OF/P; Bloomington, IL (Normal West HS) profile feature on Brown
• Brown was drafted in June by the Pirates organization, but has not signed with them.
Google News links to Blake Brown stories
Brannon Champagne, OF/C; St. Charles West, MO profile
Warriors get 1 more taste of Champagne (St. Charles Journal)
• 2009 All-State
Google News link to Brannon Champagne stories
Jack Dudenhoeffer, 3B/RHP, Pembroke Hill HS, Kansas City profile
Google News link to Jack Dudenhoeffer stories

Kale Gaden, C/OF; Stillwater, OK profile
Stillwater News-Press on Gaden's signing
Google News link to Kale Gaden stories
Eric Garcia, SS; Pflugerville, TX (Hendrickson HS) profile
The Austin on Garcia's commitment
Google News link to Eric Garcia stories

Zach Hardoin, LHP, Blinn College, Branham, TX (Klein Collins HS, Spring, TX) profile
• Brenham Banner profile: Southpaw Hardoin perfect for Bucs in '09
Blinn Collin Baseball news updates and 2009 stats
Google News link for Zach Hardoin stories

Andy Heifner, 3B/RHP; St. Charles West HS, MO profile
St. Charles Journal article about Heifner and fellow recruit Brannon
Google News link to Andy Heifner stories (will also bring up stories about his
father, who is a coach on the same baseball team)

Cody King, RHP/SS; Kirksville, MO profile
Cody King story with video
Google News link to Cody King stories

Kevin Mahler, LHP; St. Louis Community College-Meramec profile
Brett Nicholas, C; Gonzaga U (07-08); Scottsdale Community College (08-09) profile
College Baseball Blog on Nicholas
Google News link to Brett Nicholas stories

Dane Opel, OF; Edwardsville, IL profile has frequent stories on Dane Opel
• Opel was drafted by the Washington Nationals organization in June, but is not expected to sign to go pro.
Google News link to Dane Opel stories

Jesse Santo, SS; Eastern Oklahoma State College profile
Google link to Jesse Santo stories

Jeff Scardino, OF/RHP; Eastern Oklahoma State College profile
Google link to Jeff Scardino stories

Scott Sommerfeld, OF, 1B, C; Manchester, MO; Parkway South HS profile
•Sommerfeld was drafted in June by the Cleveland Indians organization, but is not expected to sign and go pro
Google link to Scott Sommersfeld stories
Jake Walsh, P; Plano West HS (TX); Plano West HS (TX) profile

If you know of other recruits not listed, or if you have information about these recruits, please contact me at

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

Suitcase Chronicles: An Unexpected Ending is Garrett Broshuis' latest Baseball AMerica Prospect Blog:
After six and a half years in the organization, Brooks' stint with the Giants ended in a period of a few seconds. A sight I have witnessed far too many times was repeated once more: my catch partner, my road roommate, and one of my last best friends in the organization slowly packed his things and walked out the door.

That evening, driving home from the ballpark, I felt a little more alone, and missed my wife a little more. True friends are priceless in this emotionally exhausting game. I'll surely miss him, as he won't be easily replaced.

The article also mentions that Brosh is now on Twitter, where you can see a picture of what he claims to be a new moustache:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Tim Jamieson participated in a Power Lunch: Business and Sports, according to the Columbia Business Times:
During a forum on Sporting Events and the Local Economy, Ken Ash, director of the Show-Me State Games, asked, “Are sports a viable way of generating money throughout the community? You bet, and I don’t think they should be forgotten at any point in time.”
. . .
Tim Jamieson, MU’s baseball coach, said that, considering the revenue generated by sporting events, the hotels, restaurants and other businesses that benefit from sports tourism “should be kicking in. If you want to build a facility without taxation, there ought to be a sense of obligation and appreciation for the things that are done in the city and county.”

Off-Season Pastimes: It's a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." (Rogers Hornsby)

What can the avid college baseball fan do in the off-season to stave off the dreaded baseball-deprivation blues?

Listen to some great Baseball Music. One of my favorites is "It's a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame". This isn't the best quality rendition, but it'll get you in the mood anyway.

Back in the 90's, when Kegger (aka Eric Kegley, formerly of Marching Mizzou and the unforgettable Mizzou Baseball live band Squeeze Play) was the Simmons Field PA announcer and was choosing the song sets, this song was played every day during the pre-game time. I found it pure joy to sit on the old aluminum bleachers on a sunny May afternoon and listen to the Harry Simeone Singers extol the beauty of the day. And I'm fairly certain Kegger derived a perverse pleasure from playing the song on those frigid March days while the snow flurries blew under the bleachers and swirled around our frozen feet.

I miss the days when a few baseball-themed songs were standard fare at the ballpark. These days, it seems the students doing the song selection are bigger fans of their hip-hop idols than of the game they've been given the distinct honor of framing with music. They could at least download a hippity-hop version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

15th Annual Tiger Bullpen Scramble

Join the Missouri Baseball program for the 2009 Tiger Bullpen Scramble on Friday October 2, 2009 at A.L. Gustin Golf Course in Columbia.

The day will begin with registration and a pre-tournament lunch at the A.L. Gustin Golf Course. For those who need to "hit a few" beforehand, you will be able to get to the driving range.
After the golf, prizes will be awarded to the top three teams in the three flights following dinner. Also there will be the standard longest drive and closest to the pin holes. Of course, you will be able to help your score by buying mulligans.

• 12:00 PM Registration
• 1:00 PM Shotgun Start
• Cost: $105.00 per person or $400.00 per team
• Event: 4-person Florida Scramble
• Food and Awards will be presented post-tournament
• Missouri baseball alumni are invited to join in the action free of charge
• RSVP by September 18, 2009
For more information and PDF entry form, go to or call 573-884-8929 or e-mail

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Summer Ball

■ The Coppell Copperheads became champions of the Texas Collegiate League on Friday night (8/14) by sweeping the Victoria Generals in their 3-game championship series. The Copperheads rose from a 3rd place regular season finish to sweep back-to-back playoff series, first defeating the East Texas Pumpjacks (including Tigers Russell LaFleur, Brett Nicholas, David Rollins) before edging the #1 seed Generals (ranked 20th nationally). The Copperheads received solid contributions from RHP/SS Jeff Emens, who finished with a .308 BA (TCL top 10). Emens also led the league in OBP (.438) and had 3 saves and 25K in 23 innings of relief work.


Senne returns to Missouri to play ball (
"I never heard back from them after their initial offer," Senne said. "I never called back and they never upped their offer."

Senne felt the contract was too low so the left-handed hitting and throwing outfielder will play a fourth season at Missouri. As a junior he batted .305 with six home runs and 43 RBIs in 62 games.

"I'm happy with the decision," Senne said. "I would have love to sign with them and they're a team I'd like to play for. But for what they were offering, I decided to go back for my senior season (at Missouri)."
Baseball America Draft Deadline Chat:
I believe Crow will sign in time to get his feet wet in the Arizona Fall League this offseason. And he'll be a nice pickup for the Royals.
. . .
A healthy Gibson is a steal at No. 22, and the Twins signed him for $1.85 million.

Waiting for the draft repairman (
Look, guys like Crow are not to be blamed for wanting the best deal possible in such an unsure game. The agents giving advice are only doing their job, helping amateurs hold their own against professionals. And the teams are just trying to tame rising costs in a system that will pay Stephen Strasburg twice as much this year as Zack Greinke and more than either reigning Cy Young winner.

It's the system that's broken, the one benefiting nobody, the one doing more harm than good.
Gibson reaches 11th hour deal with Twins (Columbia Tribune)
Former Missouri pitcher Kyle Gibson held tight to the once-popular notion that he was one of the top five pitchers available in June’s MLB first-year players draft.

The Minnesota Twins stuck with their belief that Gibson was the 22nd overall pick and should be treated as such.

With time running short, the sides finally met in the middle.
Thoughts on Gibson, other Twins-related notes (
“I want to make a good impression and I want to show the Twins they made a good investment,” Gibson said.

Gibson’s slider is the real deal, he might end up with a plus changeup and has very good command. Don’t expect him to pitch for the Twins next season, that’s just not how this organization rolls with prospects. But a spot in the 2011 rotation isn’t out of the question.

Draft Deadline Signings (and not)

Gibson signs, Crow still talking, Senne unsigned, all Mizzou recruits decline to sign with the pros

Twins work late to sign first rounder (Minnapolis Star-Tribune)

The Twins signed first-round draft pick Kyle Gibson to a $1.85 million signing bonus Monday, beating an 11 p.m. deadline by about 10 minutes.
. . .
The commissioner's office slot recommendation for the No. 22 pick was about $1.29
million, and as deadline approached, the Twins had barely budged from that number. Gibson had hoped to sign for about $2.5 million but made a big compromise at the end.

"I'm really excited about the deal, and I think it's going to work out perfect for both sides," Gibson said. "For me, it was never about making more money than the other guy. I understood, being the No. 22 pick, I was going to take a discount. But I didn't want to take the discount unless they were willing to come my way as well."
Kansas City now focused on signing top selection Crow (
With Myers and Dwyer signed and accounted for, the Royals can now focus on signing first-round pick Aaron Crow, who played independent ball this spring and is out of collegiate eligibility and therefore isn't subject to Monday's deadline.
. . .
This year, Crow's deadline-exempt status brings another new element into negotiations. Technically, the Royals have until a week before next year's Draft to sign Crow, but, of course, would like to see a resolution happen much sooner than that.

"There is no deadline," Moore said. "We'll just continue to expect to reach an agreement and continue to do our very best to get a deal done. You always want to get your players out playing and obviously that hasn't happened in Aaron's case. We'll see what unfolds in the future."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Ryan Gebhart helped lead his Anchorage Glacier Pilots to the NBC championship game which was played Saturday. Gebhart started and played each game as the Glacier Pilots CF and batted second. Gebhart either led or was in the top 10 in several offensive categories for the 32 team tournament. He ended up hitting 358 with an on base average of 538. He also was second in the tournament in runs scored and RBIs. Gebhart recorded several outstanding games including one game in which he had six RBIs. He had the only RBI in the championship game for the Glacier Pilots with a two out single. Here is a link to a story on the game which also has a video of Gebhart singling home Carlos Alonso. Gebhart finished the summer hitting .310. He hit .338 from the right side of the plate and .294 from the left. .

Kinsler shakes off beaning, back in lineup (
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was back in the lineup on Sunday, one day after getting hit in the left shoulder and head by a pitch.

Red Sox reliever Fernando Cabrera hit Kinsler in the eighth inning of the Rangers' 7-2 victory. Kinsler was first hit on the shoulder and then in the helmet. He stayed in the game and had only a light red bruise on the shoulder Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MLB Draft Signing Deadline News

Royals and Aaron Crow (, 8/14)
Crow's side is waiting for the Royals to admit they can afford a little extra money to sign a guy who would immediately become the organization's best pitching prospect, and, depending on how you judge such things, best overall prospect. An AL scouting director told me before the draft that Crow is good enough that, had he signed with the NatInals last year, there's a good chance he'd be in the big leagues right now.

Meanwhile, the Royals are waiting for Crow's side to say, hey, $3 million (or $2.5 million, or $3.25 million, or...whatever) is a lifetime worth of wealth and this is an organization we're comfortable with, and who are we kidding?

Crow rejects KC's $3 million offer (CJOnline, 8/13)
Keith Law, of, reported Thursday that Crow had rejected Kansas City's offer, much as he did a year ago in turning down what the Washington Nationals said was a $3.5 million offer. Crow, the ninth player taken by the Nationals in the 2008 draft, played Independent League baseball in Texas after declining to sign with Washington, and consequently was eligible for the draft again in 2009.

Taylor Stadium renovation underway

Renovation Work Underway at Taylor Stadium (

Work is underway on the renovation of Taylor Stadium. Workers have removed the fence that lined each foul line, demolished the home bullpen and removed the batting cages that were along the left field line.

Phase One of the renovations, set to be completed by the start of the 2010 season, will include new indoor/outdoor bagging cages, a new scoreboard/videoboard and a new brick wall that will extend down each foul line.

Click here here to see a photo gallery of the work that is currently underway.
Updated renderings of the renovation can be found here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

MLB Draft Signing Deadline: Monday, August 17

Deadline approaches with deadline between Twins, first rounder (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
With the Twins facing a Monday deadline to sign first-round draft pick Kyle Gibson, the pitcher's adviser, Randy Rowley, doesn't sound optimistic.

"We were hoping we'd be much further along by now," Rowley said Thursday. "There doesn't seem to be a sincere attempt to get it done."

Gibson, 21, has registered for classes at the University of Missouri and will pick up his books today, Rowley said.

"His first, second and third choice is to sign with Minnesota," Rowley said. "All we're looking for is fair value."

Mizzou Baseball in the Majors

Mathis latches onto role with Rangers (
There are 98 relievers in the American League who have thrown at least 20 innings in relief this season, an average of seven relievers per team.

The one who has the lowest ERA among those 98 pitchers? That would be the Rangers' Doug Mathis, who entered Wednesday with an 0.90 ERA as a reliever. He also has the lowest baserunners per nine innings among that group, allowing 7.20 per nine innings.
. . .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Recruiting: Looking Back a Year

We're almost up to the deadline (August 17) for drafted players to sign with the MLB organizations that picked them this past June.

A year ago, the deadline was August 16th, and two of MU's recruits did not make it to campus: Jarred Cosart and David Rollins

■ Jarred Cosart, Mizzou's most highly touted pitching recruit, was drafted in the 39th round. No one (including me) really expected him to sign with the Phillies. But sign he did, in the last hour before the deadline:

Phillies sign Jarred Cosart, shouted Phuture Phillies:

As an outfielder, Jarred Cosart broke Jay Buhner’s Clear Creek High record for batting average this spring, hitting .506 to Buhner’s .480. But pro teams are more interested in Cosart as a loose, athletic 6-foot-3, 180-pound righthander. He reached 96 mph with his fastball in the fall, but he topped out at 92 this spring.
Cosart was expected to be the latest in the continuing pitching dynasty of Scherzer-Crow/Zagone-Gibson-Tepesch-Cosart!!!

But Cosart went the pro route instead. So where is Mr. Cosart now?

Cosart Back on the Mound (Galveston County Daily News, August 5, 2009 - Last week):

Creek grad Jarred Cosart made his long-awaited debut for the Philadelphia Phillies organization Friday. The results were not great.Cosart lasted just two-thirds of an inning for the Gulf Coast League Phillies, allowing two runs on two hits. Both of his outs were recorded via strikeout.Cosart made a relief appearance Monday and fared much better, throwing two perfect innings. He also had one strikeout.
And, from the Galveston County Daily News on Augst 12, 2009 (yesterday):

Creek grad Jarred Cosart is back on the seven-day disabled list for the GCL Phillies. He lasted four innings in his last start Friday, giving up two hits and one run with three strikeouts. Cosart was on the DL earlier this season with a shoulder injury.
And going back a little farther in the Galveston Daily News, to July 15th of this year:

Creek grad Jarred Cosart has yet to make his debut for the Rookie Gulf Coast League due to a lingering groin injury.Phillies minor league director Steve Noworyta said Cosart is still “pretty tender” and there is no immediate timetable for his return to the mound.
Apparently, Cosart has been battling injuries since he signed. He would not have been available for the Tigers in 2009, and his prospects at this point are obviously clouded by the shoulder problems.

David Rollins, another MU recruit, was drafted by the Dodgers in the 19th round. Rollins did not sign with the Dodgers last year, but also did not come to Mizzou.

He instead went to San Jacinto Community College, where he had a decent Freshman season (8-3, 4.61 ERA, 69 strikeouts in 66-1/3 innings).

Rollins played theis summer with current Tiger Russell LaFleur and MU recruit Brett Nicholas on the East Texas PumpJacks of the Texas Collegiate League, being named (along with LaFleur and Nicholas) to the All-League Team as a LHP.

Rollins was re-drafted in June of 2009 in the 23rd round by the Seattle Mariners. He has not yet signed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Texas Collegiate League Awards were announced. Russell LaFleur was named to the All-League Team. Also, Catcher Brett Nicholas (MU recruit) was named to the first team.

■ From Second baseman Brock Bond is currently leading the Eastern League in hitting at a .348 clip

Kangaroo Court, as described by the Norwich Bulletin:
It’s a moment he would probably like to forget, but doing just that — forgetting — led to one of the most unintentionally funny moments in Brock Bond’s young career.

As a member of the Single-A San Jose Giants last season, Bond stepped into the batter’s box just as a newly inserted relief pitcher readied his first warm-up pitch.

Despite the cries of his teammates to move away, Bond was so focused that he forgot it was a new pitcher.

“I don’t know what I was doing,” said Bond, now the Connecticut Defenders’ All-Star second baseman. “I guess I was daydreaming. I just walked up to the plate.”As a result, he stood before the team’s Kangaroo Court.

■ And those wacky folks at the Wall Street Journal give us a Proposal to Rework the Count:
Two strikes, you’re out!

That doesn’t quite have the same ring as the original, but Sky Andrecheck wishes that baseball’s founders had taken the steps necessary to make that saying part of the lexicon. Specifically, writing on Baseball Analysts, he presents data suggesting that a game where three balls earned a batter a walk but two strikes ends his at bat would have very similar outcomes to what we know as baseball, but get to those outcomes a lot faster — and with fewer pitching changes. . . .

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Recruit: Matt Linderer

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Nate Latsch, RHP Matt Linderer of Debourg HS has made a verbal commitment to Mizzou. Linderer was a Junior in 2008, so he would be committing to arrive at MU as a freshman in the fall of 2010. He cannot sign an official Letter of Intent until the November Early Signing Period.

Details on Linderer:

Matt Linderer, RHP/SS
Bishop Debourg HS (St. Louis)

• 2009 Pitching stats: 5-3, 1.51 ERA, 11 G, 9 GS, 6 CG, 55.7 IP, 2 SV, 26 R, 12 ER, 38 H, 5 2B, 2 HR, 11 BB, 75 K, 0.88 WHIP

• 2009 Offensive Stats: .33 avg (22-for-66), .429 OB%, .515 SLG %, 11 R, 13 2B, 7 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 9 BB, 12 K, 1 SB

2009 MSHSAA All-State Honorable Mention, Class 3
2009 All-District AAA

2009 All-Metro Team Honorable Mention

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Baseball is in Belleville native's blood (Belleville News Democrat)
If Belleville native Dan Pietroburgo ever becomes a head baseball coach at the college or high-school level, he'll possess a deep appreciation for the work that goes on behind the scenes.

That's how Pietroburgo is contributing at Missouri, where he was a catcher for four years. Pietroburgo, 24, is a graduate manager for the Tigers, a do-it-all guy whose responsibilities range from hitting fungoes to organizing awards banquets and benefits to selecting the music to play during game-day batting practice.
NCAA rules, however, prohibit Pietroburgo from doing any coaching in his role with the Tigers.
. . .
Pietroburgo traveled to New York City last weekend to see his former roommate at Missouri, Arizona left-hander Max Scherzer, pitch against the Mets.

"My sister (Kate) has an internship there," Pietroburgo said. "I saw that Max was going to be there and it worked out perfectly. We went and grabbed a quick bite to eat (after the game) and caught up on things.

"He's got it made. I just shrug off almost anything he says now because he's in a different world."

Scherzer a student of the stats (

Not long after Diamondbacks pitcher Yusmeiro Petit nearly threw a no-hitter Tuesday night, Max Scherzer was on his iPhone in the visitor's clubhouse, bringing up a Web site with charts and graphs of every pitch, trying to figure out what his teammate had done to put himself within reach of history.

During a road trip last month, Scherzer was scrutinizing a site that charted umpires'
ball/strike tendencies, viewing it as a piece of information he could bring into his next start.
. . .
"At the end, it really comes down to the same thing: Get ahead of hitters," Scherzer said. "It goes without saying that if you can throw Strike 1 well and get ahead of hitters with two strikes, you're going to pitch well.

"(The advanced statistics) are a different way to look at the same game and realizing what the driving forces are that make a pitcher successful. If I want to go out there and lower my ERA, I've got to do certain things that are the driving forces."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Matusz takes smart road to big leagues (

. . . Meantime, Aaron Crow, picked just five spots behind of Matusz ("Mat-tis") in last year's draft (Crow was No. 9 overall, Matusz No. 4), is in the second summer of holding out. He refused to sign with the Washington Nationals, went back into the draft, was picked by Kansas City in the first round this year (No. 12 overall) ... and still thinks the bonus money he's been offered is cheesy and insulting.
. . .
Crow -- and, perhaps, Strasburg, if he doesn't play it smart -- right now is in danger of becoming the next Matt Harrington.
Calling Aaron Crow (
Here is where I will ask the question for you. Who, or what, in the world is preventing the 6’3” right-handed fireballer from reaching the professional ranks?
. . .
In a business that considers hard throwing pitchers over-the-hill around the ripe old age of 33, it would behoove Aaron Crow to sign a contract now and begin making the green he so stubbornly desires. One wonders how much money he lost in the long run while playing for peanuts in the Independent League. None-the-less, Crow now has plenty of time to weigh his options and negotiate his demands now that the deadline has been waved for the Royals. Fans are beginning to wonder if we will ever hear him behind Greinke and Hochevar. Time will only tell.

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ Incoming MU Freshman Eric Garcia played in the North-South Senior All-Star Central Texas game at Dell Diamond. He was the defensive MVP, went 2-3 and also received All Central Texas shortstop earlier in the summer. Several photos of Garcia are at In the thumbnails at MaxPreps, his photos are 19, 20, 24 thru 31 and 42.

■ An interesting detail in's latest Draft Update, Clock ticking for teams to sign top picks:
There isn't the same rush to get this one done as it was recently ruled that Aaron Crow (and Tanner Scheppers) do not have to adhere to the Aug. 17 deadline and instead can wait until just before next year's Draft. Not saying it'll take that long, but it can.
■ And in the Stupid MLB Tricks category: MLB announces exclusive deal with Topps (

In a move hoped to streamline and stimulate the trading-card market, Major League Baseball announced on Thursday an exclusive licensing arrangement with The Topps Company.

The multiyear deal, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, gives Topps exclusivity on MLB, Jewel Event and club trademarks, logos and other intellectual property for use on baseball cards, stickers and other product categories featuring MLB players.

By making the deal, MLB is expressing optimism in Topps' ability to appeal to a new generation of young collectors under the watch of Michael Eisner, the former president of the Angels, who acquired the cardmaker in 2007.

"Generations of baseball fans have grown more connected to the game through collecting baseball cards," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "We look forward to partnering with Topps to restore baseball cards as the game's premier collectable."

The exclusive arrangement ends MLB's 30-year relationship with Upper Deck, the other main player in the market -- which retains licensing rights from the MLB Players Association. That enables Upper Deck to continue producing cards with players' images -- but team logos and such are out.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mizzou Baseball in the Minors

■ From Baseball America's First Round Draft Update:
Twenty of the 32 first-rounders remain unsigned today, 13 days before the Aug. 17 deadline. At the same point last year, all but 11 of the 2008 first-rounders had agreed to terms.
. . .
Fort Worth Cats righthander Aaron Crow (No. 12, Royals), Southern California shortstop Grant Green (No. 13, Athletics) and North Carolina righty Alex White (No. 15, Indians) are seeking deals more in line with the top-five picks they once projected to be.
. . .
Missouri righthander Kyle Gibson (No. 22, Twins) had a chance to be a top-five pick before coming down with a stress fracture in his forearm shortly before the draft. His negotiations hinge on how well he’ll be able to throw for the Twins before the deadline.
Trebelhorn tossed as Volcanoes fall in 9th (
Despite the loss, the Volcanoes' defense was nearly perfect, making plays from the routine to the spectacular.

The highlights included a leaping catch at the wall by right fielder Ryan Lollis (06-09) to save a run, and a catch on a foul ball by third baseman Drew Biery in which he reached over the waist-high third-baseline fence to make the catch.
Boise balks, AquaSox win 6-4 (
The AquaSox took their first lead Tuesday in the eighth inning when Boise pitcher Ryan Sontag’s balk allowed Mario Martinez to score. The odd sequence was the key play in Everett’s 6-4 victory over the Hawks in a Northwest League baseball game at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Everett’s Trevor Coleman (07-09) was waiting on deck when home plate umpire Javier Cantu called the balk. Coleman didn’t see what happened but loved the result, which helped the AquaSox (27-17) win their third consecutive game and move within three games of first-place Salem-Keizer (30-14) in the West Division.

“I didn’t see (the balk),” said Coleman, Everett’s catcher. “I actually had my head down when I heard the umpire yell, ‘Time.’ I knew what that meant and looked up.”

Did it feel weird to go ahead on a freebie? “It doesn’t matter,” Coleman said. In other words, any win is a good win.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mizzou Baseball 2010 Schedule

The Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Cougars have published their 2010 Baseball Schedule, including a game at Mizzou. They will come to Taylor Stadium for a single matchup on Wednesday, April 7th at 6PM.

The only other confirmed date we've found on MU's 2010 schedule is the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park, March 5-7, which will include Big 12 teams Missouri, Texas and Texas Tech vs.Texas Christian, Houston and Rice(the Big 12 teams will not play one another) Source: Baseball America

We're piecing together the 2010 schedule bit by bit, based on rumors and mentions on websites of MU's opponents.If you know of other opponents and dates not listed here, let me know at

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

Jack Dudenhoeffer, who was previously named 1st team all-state and 1st team all-district, was named to the KC Star's All Metro Team.
3rd base, First Team: Jack Dudenhoeffer, Pembroke Hill, senior. Before Dudenhoeffer begins a new stage for Mizzou baseball, he shattered several Raider offensive statistics, including most overall hits and triples in a season. Dudenhoeffer batted .500 with a .986 slugging percentage and produced 32 RBIs. Among his 36 season hits, Dudenhoeffer had seven triples and four home runs.
■ From
Sunday was the last regular season game for the California Summer League. Ryan Clubb, Kelley Fick and Brian Carr were members of the San Luis Obispo Blues who went 40-16. Kelley Fick led the way going 5-1 with an 1.17 ERA. Fick led the Blues in innings pitched and strike outs. Ryan Clubb was 1-2 for the season with an 4.43 ERA. Clubb had 22 strike outs in 20 innings of play. Former Mizzou player Brian Carr was 0-1 on the mound with an 1.08 ERA all in relief. Carr also batted posting an .348 batting average.

Rangers place Kinsler on DL (
Second baseman Ian Kinsler (03) and relief pitcher Jason Grilli were placed on the 15-day disabled list to make room for relief pitchers Neftali Feliz and Doug Mathis (05) on the 25-man roster.
. . .
Kinsler's move was retroactive to July 29. He was suffering from a strained left hamstring that hadn't improved over the last three days.

The Rangers were hoping to avoid placing Kinsler on the DL, but Daniels didn't want Kinsler to feel pressured to come back before being completely healed. He is eligible to return Aug. 13. Kinsler was hitting .157 in July.
. . .
Mathis was optioned to Triple-A prior to Wednesday's game. He was pulled from a Triple-A start on Saturday and instead pitched one perfect inning.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Draft Update: 2 Weeks to Deadline

7 Tigers and 5 recruits were selected in the MLB Draft in June. The deadline for drafted players to sign is August 17th, two weeks from now.

Since the mid-August deadline was put into place a couple of years ago, it has been pretty normal for a lot of drafted players to not be signed until the last weeks/days/hours before the deadline, as the MLB organizations and the players and their agents play the long negotiation waltz.

Here is an update on the status of MU's draftees to this point:

Aaron Crow: Kansas City Royals, 11th pick in the 1st round: Still unsigned.
• As recently as July 7th, talks were reportedly ongoing between Crow and the Royals (

• There was rumor that Crow had already reached an agreement, but that it was being held up by the Commissioner because of being excessively over slot. For more on that rumor see No need to fret (
Kyle Gibson: Minnesota Twins, 22nd in the 1st round: Still unsigned

Kyle Gibson waits out injury, negotiations with Minnesota Twins (

Trevor Coleman: Seattle Mariners, 9th round, 263rd pick overall: SIGNED

• Currently with the Everett Aquasox
Kyle Mach: San Francisco Giants, 27th round , 807th pick overall: SIGNED

• Currently with the Arizona League Giants
Aaron Senne: Minnesota Twins, 32nd round, 972nd pick overall: Still unsigned

Senne likely to turn down Twins (
Ryan Lollis: San Francisco Giants, 37th round, 1107th pick overall: SIGNED

• Currently with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Greg Folgia: Cleveland Indians, 40th round, 1205th pick overall: SIGNED

• Currently with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers
MU Recruits

Eric Anderson: Houston Astros, 28th round: Still unsigned
• Anderson and his family have restated their strong commitment to Eric being a Tiger this fall. People close to him confirmed that to me again following his name coming up in the Draft. I would be very surprised if a 28th round pick pulls him
away from that commitment.
Ryan Crowley: Chicago Cubs, 36th round, 1093rd pick overall: Still unsigned
• There was a rumor that academic problems might keep Crowley rom coming to Mizzou
Dane Opel: Washington Nationals, 41st round, 1222nd pick overall: Still unsigned
Opel will wait
( "It'll be a late decision this summer, that's even if they offer me anything," Opel said. "It's going to take quite a bit to get me away from Mizzou. I really want to go there. It'll be up to the Nationals if they really want me. "
Scott Sommerfeld: Cleveland Indians, 46th round, 1385th pick overall: Still unsigned

Blake Brown: Pittsburgh Pirates, 48th round, 1435th pick overall: Still unsigned

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Quotes & Notes

■ From the e-mail Inbox: Ryan Gebhart hit a solo home run for the AIA Fire in the Alaska Baseball League to help the Fire defeat the Penisuala Oilers 7-6 on July 27th. Later in the same game gebhart made a diving catch of a sinking line drive with runners on 2nd and 3rd base to save the win. Gebhart went 4-5 on July 29th as the Fire lost 6-5. Gebhart had hit safely in 9 consecutive games for the Fire and is now hitting 297 in ABL play.

Jack bats come to life (
The Pump Jacks opened a six-game road trip by visiting Bryan Saturday night, where their bats came alive in a 12-4 victory over the Brazos Valley Bombers. The Jacks attack was led by Russell LaFleur, who went 3-for-6 with four RBI and a double that was just feet away from a grand slam.

BNBA Gold triumphs over Decatur Commodores (
The BNBA Gold beat the Decatur Commodores, 5-3, in preliminary action of the Diamond Sports World Series at Duffy Bass Field in Normal.

Colton Moore's two-run homer put the Gold ahead in the fifth to aid winning pitcher Austin Swanson (6-4). Ben Heaton added a solo shot and two RBIs for the Gold, while Dylan Johnson doubled twice, Blake Brown (2009-10 Recruit) tripled and had an RBI, and Anthony Bellotti contributed two hits.