Summer Baseball Update

The 2003 baseball season may have been completed, but that doesn't mean the players are ready to rest. Here is an update of how various Cardinal players are faring in their respective summer leagues. In addition, check out the latest news on a few former Stanford players now playing in the professional ranks.

US National Team
* Danny Putnam hasn't slowed down after his sizzling postseason.  In five games with Team USA, Putnam leads the club with a .444 (8-for-18) batting average.  He's hit one home run to go along with a team-high five RBI.  Putnam is batting fourth in the lineup and playing left field.

* Mark Romanczuk appears to have put his difficult CWS behind him as the lefty first earned a spot on the team, and then dazzled in his first start.  Pitching in the fourth spot in the starting rotation, Romanczuk hurled 7 2/3 scoreless innings on Saturday against Japan.  He allowed just three hits, walked two, and struck out nine.

Cape Cod League
* All eight Stanford players in this high profile league have begun play.  Sam Fuld leads the bunch with a .259 (7-for-27) average.  Fuld is batting leadoff and playing center field for the Hyannis Mets.  Teammate Donny Lucy is off to a solid start with a .242 (8-for-33) average with one homer and five RBI.  Chris Carter is also playing fairly well with a .238 (5-for-21) average and a home run.  Those averages may not jump out at you, but the league average in the Cape is only .218.

* Brian Hall has started slow as he's hitting at just a .148 (4-for-27) clip although he has stolen five bases.  Hall is playing third base.

* Not surprisingly, Chris Lewis and John Mayberry, Jr. are struggling early on in their first stint in the Cape.  Lewis is hitting just .138 (4-for-29) while Mayberry has just one hit in his first 13 at-bats.  Lewis is seeing time at third base while Junior is playing both left field and first base.

* As for the pitchers, Kodiak Quick has worked twice out of the bullpen yielding one run on one hit in three innings.  Control has been a problem though as he's walked four in those three innings of work.  Meanwhile, Mark Jecmen's pitching line in his first outing out of the bullpen may not look good (3 ER in 3 IP), but there were some positives to take from his appearance.  First, the three runs came on one swing of the bat (a three-run homer in his final inning of work).  He also only walked one batter during his outing while striking out five.

Alaska League
* The surprise in the Alaska League (many feel the Alaska League is the second best summer league behind the Cape) has to be that Jed Lowrie has homered.  After not homering in 212 AB's with an aluminum bat this spring, Lowrie has homered with the wood up in Alaska.  He's also playing very well with a .286 (6-for-21) average.  The Oregon native is seeing time mainly at third base, but also some at shortstop.

* Jeff Gilmore and Billy Paganetti are teammates of Lowrie up in Alaska.  Gilmore has worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts out of the bullpen thus far.  Paganetti hasn't pitched yet, but is 0-for-2 with a walk at the plate.

Northwoods League
* Another top notch summer league is the Northwoods League.  Jonny Ash is playing in this league for the second straight year and has cooled off after his spectacular CWS.  Through eight games, he's hitting .219 (7-for-32) with four RBI while playing second base.

* David O'Hagan is also in this league and his ERA currently sits at 3.86 through two appearances including one start (9 1/3 innings total).

California Coastal League
* Drew Ehrlich and Jonny Dyer are again playing together for the Santa Barbara Foresters in the California Coastal League.  Ehrlich has dominated in his two relief appearances as he's tossed four shutout innings while recording eight K's.  Meanwhile, Dyer started a game back on July 2nd and allowed just one earned run in five innings.  He walked four and struck out eight.

New England Collegiate Baseball League
* Matt Manship is playing in this league which isn't nearly as high profile as the Cape or the Alaska.  You would expect a pitcher of Manship's caliber to pitch well here and after one start, he hasn't disappointed.  In that start, he fired six scoreless frames while giving up just one hit.  He walked one and struck out four.  Pete Duda also plays on this team and he's thrown 4 1/3 shutout innings over three relief appearances.

US Junior National Team
* Incoming frosh Blake Holler is playing for the US Junior National Team this summer.  Holler has started strong as over his first two outings (includes one start), he's allowed just one run on three hits in 7 1/3 innings.  He's also walked only one while striking out nine.  Holler and Romanczuk are expected to be the only left handed pitchers on the team next season.  2003 Stanford Cardinal members that have played on the US Junior National Team include Chris Carter, Drew Ehrlich, Ryan Garko, Brian Hall, Mark Jecmen, Donny Lucy, and Carlos Quentin.

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Professional Baseball Update
* Eric Bruntlett (97-00) who was the starting shortstop on the 1999 and 2000 Stanford teams, is now playing for the Houston Astros.  Bruntlett, who was hitting .262 with a pair of homers at AAA, was summoned to the majors on June 25th and is 3-for-16 (.188).

* Jody Gerut (96-98) has settled in with the Cleveland Indians as he boasts a .278 batting average with nine homers and 34 RBI through 56 games.  Gerut is second on the team in hitting and third in home runs.

* Jason Young (98-00) was recalled to the Rockies briefly earlier this week and pitched four solid innings of long relief (one run allowed) before being sent back down.  At AAA, Young is 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA.

* After a slow start in AAA, John Gall (97-00) is now tearing it up.  Still in the Cardinals organization, Gall is hitting .290 with ten homers and 43 RBI while playing first base.

* Jeremy Guthrie (01-02), for the most part, has struggled since his call-up to AAA a few weeks ago.  In eight starts, he's 2-4 with a 6.60 ERA although he's walked only nine in 46 1/3 innings.

* Mike Wodnicki (99-01) has found his niche as a closer.  Pitching at the Class A advanced level (Padres organization), Wodnicki has a 1.96 ERA and 13 saves.

* Jason Cooper's (00-02) strong play at the Class A level (.298, 12 HR, 36 RBI) has earned him a promotion to the Carolina League and Class A advanced.  Cooper is in the Cleveland Indians farm system.

* Chris O'Riordan (99-02) is finished rehabbing in rookie ball and is now playing in the Midwest League (Class A).  He's in the Texas Rangers system.

* Darin Naatjes' (00-02) transition to a starter has thus far been a smooth one.  Pitching in Low A ball in the Phillies organization, Naatjes is 1-1 with a 1.35 ERA through his first four starts.

* Ryan McCally (00-03), who recently signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, made his pro debut in the South Atlantic League (Class A).  Pitching out of the bullpen, McCally worked two perfect innings while striking out two.

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