BREWERS BASEBALL ROUND-UP: Segura enjoying attention being an All-Star
NEW YORK CITY - Jean Segura calls his fast promotion to the Milwaukee Brewers a “dream come true.” He faced the national media in New York yesterday, less than a year after he went from being a Double-“A” prospect to a National League backup at shortstop for tonight’s All-Star Game.
Segura was in the Angels farm system at this time last year, when he was traded to Milwaukee in the deal that sent Zack Greinke out West. Segura turned heads when he was called up late last season. This year, he earned the Brewers’ starting job at short with a .325 batting average and a National League-leading 121 hits – including 11 homers and eight triples. Segura calls his rapid rise to the big leagues “amazing.” His outfield teammate Carlos Gomez is also a reserve for tonight’s Mid-Summer Classic. Yesterday, he told reporters about his progression from being a speedy ground-ball hitter to someone who’s not afraid to swing for the fences. Gomez leads the Brewers with 14 homers – and he has hit 28 blasts since last year’s All-Star break. He also leads Milwaukee with nine triples.
Former Milwaukee Brewers’ slugger Prince Fielder did not make it past the first round of last night’s All-Star Home Run Derby in New York. The Detroit Tigers’ first baseman hit five homers, and then took a seat as Yoenis Cespedes (cess’-peh-dess) of Oakland won the Derby with a total of 32 homers. Cespedes beat out Bryce Harper 9-to-8 in the third-and-final round. The 27-year-old outfielder from Cuba became the first Derby winner not to be named to the All-Star Game. Fielder won the event in 2009 with the Brewers, and again last year in his first season with the Tigers. He’ll be an American League reserve for tonight’s Mid-Summer Classic. Brewers’ shortstop Jean Segura and outfielder Carlos Gomez will both be reserves for the National League squad. Fielder’s Detroit teammate Max Scherzer will start for the A-L. Matt Harvey of the New York Mets starts for the NL – the first time since Roger Clemens in 2004 that a pitcher will start the All-Star Game in his home park.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport is quote, “cleaner than it’s ever been.” The former Brewers’ owner told reporters at the All-Star Game yesterday that he’s not being over-vigilant because he’s worried about his legacy as the commissioner during the Steroid Era, which reached its peak in the late 1990’s. Baseball did not start drug-testing until 2003, and it was only last year when blood tests began for human growth hormone. Selig says he keeps hearing that baseball was slow to react, and he denies it. The commissioner also refused to say when suspensions might come down against players named in the Bio-Genesis performance-enhancing drug scandal. Brewers’ slugger Ryan Braun has been tagged in media reports as among about 20 players expected to be suspended for either 50-or-100 games after his name showed up in Bio-Genesis financial records. Selig says baseball is leaving quote, “no stone unturned” in the Miami clinic investigation, with its hiring of former Secret Service director Mark Sullivan to assist in the probe.
Three Brewers’ prospects have received player-of-the-week honors in their respective minor leagues. David Goforth of Double-“A” Huntsville was named the Southern League’s pitcher-of-the-week. Nick Ramirez of Class-“A” Brevard County was the top position player in the Florida State League. And Helena pitcher Eduard Reyes was named the top pitcher in the Pioneer Rookie League. Goforth, a 24-year-old right-hander, tossed a seven-inning shutout against Tennessee last Monday, before throwing seven more shutout innings last Saturday against Birmingham. He was Milwaukee’s seventh-round draft choice in 2011. Ramirez, a first baseman, scored at least once in each of his five games last week with a pair of homers. The Brewers took him in the fourth round in 2011. Reyes, a 22-year-old right-hander, struck out eight in five innings against Ogden, and held Idaho Falls to one hit in four-and-a-third innings of relief. Reyes signed with Milwaukee in 2010 as a non-drafted free agent.
The Northwoods League recorded its first no-hitter of the season last night. Jacob Stone of Waterloo gave up just two walks while striking out seven, as the Bucks crushed Thunder Bay 8-0. Stone pitched at Weatherford Community College this past spring. On the other side of the spectrum, the Green Bay Bullfrogs pounded Wisconsin Rapids 20-5. Number-nine hitter Trevon Sonnier of Dallas Baptist went 5-for-5 with a walk and five RBI’s. Also in the Northwoods League, the Lakeshore Chinooks will host the Wisconsin Woodchucks again tonight in Mequon. That’s after the Chinooks edged the Woodchucks 5-4 last evening. The Green Bay Bullfrogs are at Wisconsin Rapids, where the ‘Frogs are coming off a 20-to-5 romp. The Madison Mallards are at La Crosse again, on the heels of an 11-2 Mallards victory. Eau Claire hosts Battle Creek for a second straight night, after a 14-6 Eau Claire romp on Monday. Also, Duluth hosts Saint Cloud tonight. Thunder Bay plays at Alexandria. Rochester is at Mankato. And Waterloo hosts Willmar, after Waterloo starter Jacob Stone threw the league’s first no-hitter last night. Waterloo leads the North Division by three-and-a-half games over Duluth and Mankato. Madison leads the South by a half-game over Lakeshore.
A new champion will be crowned on Friday at the state high school summer baseball tournament in Mequon. Oak Creek won the title a year ago, but did not advance to the remaining field of four teams. Sheboygan Falls will play in Friday’s opening semi-final against West Bend West. Kettle Moraine will then play New Berlin West. The two winners will play for the state crown on Friday evening. All four teams advanced after yesterday’s sectional finals. Sheboygan Falls edged Kewaskum 3-1. West Bend West eliminated Glendale Nicolet 4-3. Kettle Moraine blanked Milwaukee Pius XI 3-0. And New Berlin West topped Muskego 3-2
In the Midwest League…
Wisconsin 6, Lake County 2
Fort Wayne 5, Beloit 3
Bowling Green 6, Cedar Rapids 5
South Bend 8, Clinton 2
Peoria 5, Great Lakes 3
Lansing 10, Burlington 6
Dayton 5, Quad Cities 1
Kane County 7, West Michigan 4
In the Northwoods League…
Lakeshore 5, Wisconsin 4
Green Bay 20, Wisconsin Rapids 5
Madison 11, La Crosse 2
Eau Claire 14, Battle Creek 6
Duluth 5, Rochester 2
Waterloo 8, Thunder Bay 0
Alexandria 10, Mankato 5
Willmar 4, Saint Cloud 3