Tonight kicks off All-Star festivities with the MLB home run derby, followed by tomorrow nights’ All-Star game. Although the Lehigh Valley will not be represented in the game, there are updates to catch up on with Valley players throughout the league.
Darin Gorski, a Kutztown grad, has struggled as of late for the Savannah Sand Gnats, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets. In his last 10 games, Gorski has a 4.42 ERA with a 2-3 record. In 38.2 total innings pitched, the lefty has struck out 30 batters and has 2 saves. That brings Gorski to a 3-4 record on the season, with a 3.77 ERA. He has fared better as a reliever with a 0.68 ERA in 8 relief appearances, holding opposing hitters to a .172 batting average.
Another former Kutztown pitcher, has also been struggling lately. Mike McCardell, of the New Britain Rock Cats, an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins in the Double-A Eastern league, has an 0-6 record with a 7.01 ERA in 9 starts, 52.2 innings pitched. McCardell has whiffed 32 batters, but has also been prone to the long-ball, rendering 11 homers to opposing hitters. McCardell is now 0-10 on the season with a 5.87 ERA.
Liberty High School alum, Matt McBride, of the Akron Aeros, the Cleveland Indians Double-A Eastern League affiliate, however, is enjoying a great stretch of play. In his last 10 games, he has batted .333 in 39 at bats, with three homeruns, four doubles, and nine runs batted in. On July 6, he was named EAS Player of the Week, for the week of June 28 through July 4. In a week long road trip to Richmond and Bowie, he batted safely in all seven games, batting .370 with six homeruns. He started off the month of July with a bang. In a Thursday night, July 1 game at Bowie he homered in all three of his plate appearances. McBride has raised his season’s average to .275 with 12 homeruns and 48 runs batted in, putting him in the top 20 in both categories in the Eastern League.
The lone Valley representative in the big leagues, Brian Schneider of the Philadelphia Phillies, enjoyed an exciting weekend leading up to the All-Star break. The Phils’ 4-game series with the Reds included three walk-off wins, one of which being Schneider’s series opening walk-off homer in the Phils’ 4-3 win. However, in his last 10 games, Schneider is only batting .214 in 28 at bats with three home runs and 5 runs batted in.
Lehigh Valley residents can catch Minor League Triple-A All-Star action right here in their own backyards, as the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, host the game at their Coca-Cola Park on Wednesday, July 14. The game pits the best of the International league against the best of the Pacific league. Durham Bull’s manager Charlie Montoyo will lead the International League All-Stars, and will be joined in the dugout by Iron Pigs’ skipper, Dave Huppert. A few Iron Pigs players also made the ICL roster. First basemen Andy Tracy and pitcher Scott Mathieson are among the starters, with pitcher Nate Bump on the roster as a reserve.
Coca-Cola park will also be hosting tonight’s Triple-A home run derby as part of the All-Star events at 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 5 p.m. Tracy is among one of six sluggers in the derby, who will also be joined by two Lehigh Valley-area high school players. Recent Nazareth graduate D.J. King and current Bangor player Westyn Baylor earned their way into the derby as the high school players selected. While Baylor is still a student-athlete at Bangor, King will continue his baseball career next season at Bloomsburg University.
While the All-Star game has been sold out, there are still a limited number of tickets available for the Homerun Derby. Tickets can be purchased at IRONPIGSBASEBALL.COM or by calling the ticket office at 610-841-PIGS.
Recent Notre Dame-Green Pond graduate, pitcher drafted by Oakland Athletics
Tyler Vail, an 18 year old graduate of Notre Dame-Green Pond, had signed his letter of intent moths ago with the University of Maryland, but was selected in the fifth round, 155th overall by the Oakland Athletics in June’s MLB draft. The Colonial league MVP chose to sign a contract with the Oakland A’s and has since reported to their Arizona rookie league affiliate.
While at Green Pond, the right handed pitcher from Easton, went 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA in his senior season. Prior to learning that he had been drafted by the A’s, he had also spoken to team scouts from the Mets, Red Sox, and Padres. Vail got the call from A’s scout Mark Sowers while sitting with his family at Starters Riverport in Bethlehem.
With the Athletics’ Arizona Rookie league team, Vail has two starts and one relief appearance, with a 0.00 ERA and 2 strikeouts in 3 innings pitched, while rendering four hits.
Former Lehigh University hurler signs free agent contract with Arizona Diamondbacks
Andrew Berger, a former pitcher at Lehigh University, was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks and was assigned to their Class A Short Season affiliate the Yakima Bears. In two starts and 8.1 innings pitched, Berger has gone 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA, allowing 0 walks and striking out 11.
While at Lehigh, Berger was named to the first-team All-Patriot league in his senior season, with a 5-2 record and a 3.36 ERA.