July 18, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas -
The Texas Tech baseball program started the 2011 Major League Baseball season with several former players on MLB rosters and on Minor League Baseball teams trying to reach the big leagues.
Currently, there are 20 former Texas Tech players who are playing with an MLB organization as a player. Throughout the remainder of the 2011 MLB season, Texas Tech athletics communications will provide weekly updates on former Red Raiders competing at the major league and minor league level.
Josh Bard (C - Seattle Mariners)
- Bard was called up to the big leagues on June 29, marking his second stint with the Mariners, after playing the 2010 season in a Seattle uniform. Bard made one start last week behind the plate going 1-for-3 while hitting his third double of the season and scoring a run. In eight games with the Mariners, Bard is batting .231 (6-for-26) with two runs, one homer and two RBI. Bard was the starting catcher at Texas Tech for three seasons, 1997-1999, and was drafted in 1999 in the third round by the Colorado Rockies.
- Bard's Bio
- Photo Gallery
Dallas Braden (LHP - Starting Pitcher - Oakland Athletics)
- Braden began his fifth big league season with the Athletics in 2011 with three starts and a 1-1 record in 18.0 innings pitched before a torn capsule in his left shoulder placed him on the 60-day disabled list. Currently there is no timetable for his recovery, but he is expected to miss the remainder of the 2011 season. He underwent a successful surgery on his left shoulder on May 17. Braden left his start on April 16 after five innings due to stiffness in his pitching shoulder. In three outings the left hander went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA with 15 strikeouts and allowed just five walks. Braden pitched one season for Tech in 2004 and was drafted in 2004 in the 24th round by the Oakland Athletics.
- Braden's Bio
- Photo Gallery
Jeff Karstens (RHP - Starting Pitcher - Pittsburgh Pirates)
- Karstens led the way for the Pittsburgh Pirates to move into first place in the National League Central for the first time since 1997 with a five-hit, complete-game shutout against the Houston Astros last Friday. Karstens needed only 83 pitches to tally his second career complete-game shutout. Winner of his last four starts and five of his last six starts overall, Karstens is now 8-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 16 starts on the season. He has pitched 107.2 innings while allowing 93 hits and 28 earned runs with 60 strikeouts while giving up just 18 walks. In addition, his most recent win was the 20th of his career. During his last 64.1 innings, Karstens owns a 1.68 ERA. Karstens pitched one season at Tech in 2003 and was drafted in 2003 in the 19th round by the New York Yankees.
- Karstens' Bio
- Photo Gallery
Josh Tomlin (RHP - Starting Pitcher - Cleveland Indians)
- Tomlin won his 11th game of the season last Friday against the Baltimore Orioles. Although it wasn't his most impressive outing of the season, Tomlin once again found a way to help the Tribe to a victory on the road. Tomlin pitched five innings allowing five runs and six hits while striking out three and walking one. He is now 11-4 this season with a 4.03 ERA in 19 starts pitching 120.2 innings. He has given up 110 hits, 54 earned runs with 68 strikeouts and 15 walks allowed. In 31 career starts, Tomlin is 17-8 with a 4.23 ERA in 193.2 innings pitched with 111 strikeouts and 34 walks allowed. Tomlin pitched one season at Tech in 2006 and was drafted in 2006 in the 19th round by the Cleveland Indians.
- Tomlin's Bio
- Photo Gallery
Dustin Richardson (LHP - Relief Pitcher - Atlanta Braves - Triple-A - Gwinnett Braves)
- Richardson made two appearances last week while allowing one run and two hits in 1.1 total innings pitched. This season Richardson is 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 32 appearances (all relief) with 40.0 innings pitched, 37 hits allowed, 17 earned runs and 44 strikeouts with 23 walks given up. Richardson pitched two seasons at Tech, 2005-06, and was drafted in 2006 in the fifth round by the Boston Red Sox.
- Richardson's Bio
- Photo Gallery
Chris Sampson (RHP - Starting Pitcher - Florida Marlins - Triple-A - New Orleans Zephyrs)
- Sampson struggled in his most recent start allowing three runs on eight hits in three innings of work against Iowa. Although, Sampson is 6-0 on the season with a 2.82 ERA in 11 starts with one complete game. He has tossed 67.0 innings allowing 73 hits, 21 earned runs and 11 walks with 35 strikeouts. Sampson pitched one season at Tech in 1999 and was drafted in 1999 in the eighth round by the Houston Astros.
- Sampson's Bio
- Photo Gallery
Colt Hynes (LHP - Relief Pitcher - San Diego Padres - Double-A - San Antonio Missions)
- In both Double-A and Triple-A action this season, Hynes is 2-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 44 relief opportunities. He has pitched in 53.1 innings allowing 56 hits, 23 earned runs and 26 walks with 37 strikeouts. Hynes pitched two seasons at Tech, 2006-07, and was drafted in 2007 in the 31st round by the San Diego Padres.
- Hynes' Bio
Zach Stewart (RHP - Starting Pitcher - Toronto Blue Jays - Double-A - New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
- Stewart was named to the Eastern League Double-A All-Star Team (Eastern Division) and got the nod as the starting pitcher for the East squad while striking out two and allowing two runs on three hits in two frames of work. Yesterday, Stewart received a no decision despite going seven innings with seven strikeouts while allowing three runs on six hits and walking just two batters. On the season - in minor league contests, Stewart is 4-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 15 starts pitching 86.2 innings. He has allowed 100 base hits and 43 earned runs with 66 strikeouts and has allowed 26 walks. Stewart made three starts in the big leagues with the Blue Jays going 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA in 16.2 innings with 10 strikeouts. Stewart pitched one season at Tech in 2008 and was drafted in 2008 in the third round by the Cincinnati Reds.
- Stewart's Bio
Roger Kieschnick (RF - San Francisco Giants - Double-A - Richmond Flying Squirrels)
- Kieschnick went 2-for-4 with two RBI while getting the start and playing right field in the Eastern League Double-A All-Star Game last week. In just the past two days, Kieschnick has homered in back-to-back games while hitting safely in seven of his last eight games overall. On the season, Kieschnick is batting .263 (88-for-335) with 49 runs, 16 doubles, three triples and 11 home runs with 47 RBI. Kieschnick was a three-year starter for Tech, 2006-08, and was drafted in 2008 in the third round by the San Francisco Giants.
- Kieschnick's Bio
Chad Bettis (RHP - Starting Pitcher - Colorado Rockies - Single-A (Advanced) - Modesto Nuts)
- Bettis, a California League All-Star this season, made his seventh consecutive start pitching at least 6.0 innings on Thursday while striking out six batters in the no decision. Bettis is now 6-5 on the season with a 3.74 ERA in 18 starts pitching 113.0 innings. He has struck out 120 batters while allowing 32 walks. Bettis is among league leaders this season in starts, innings pitched and strikeouts. Bettis pitched three years at Tech, 2008-10, and was drafted in 2010 in the second round by the Colorado Rockies.
- Bettis' Bio
Bobby Doran (RHP - Starting Pitcher - Houston Astros - Single-A (Advanced) - Lancaster JetHawks)
- Doran was placed on the disabled list after leaving his June 2 start in the second inning with an arm injury. Doran opened the season with a 1-3 record and 10.30 ERA in 10 starts with 39.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 22 batters this season with 16 walks allowed. Doran pitched one season at Tech in 2010 and was drafted in 2010 in the third round by the Houston Astros.
- Doran's Bio
AJ Ramos (RHP - Relief Pitcher - Florida Marlins - Single-A (Advanced) - Jupiter Hammerheads)
- Ramos tallied three scoreless outings last week while notching saves in his two most recent appearances. He now ranks fifth in the Florida State League with 15 saves on the season. Ramos is 1-2 on the season with a 2.01 ERA in 31 appearances (all relief). He has struck out 39 batters and allowed 13 walks in 31.1 innings. In addition, Ramos has pitched scoreless relief outings in nine of his last 10 outings. In his three-year minor league career, Ramos has 52 saves in 105 appearances while tallying 96 games finished. Ramos pitched four years at Tech, 2006-09, and was drafted in 2009 in the 21st round by the Florida Marlins.
- Ramos' Bio
Chris Richburg (1B - Cincinnati Reds - Single-A (Advanced) - Bakersfield Blaze)
- Richburg is batting .343 (12-for-35) over his last 10 games and is now batting .271 with 14 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 22 RBI this season. On Saturday, Richburg went 2-for-5 with a double and has recently put together a seven-game hit streak that he will take into this week. Richburg played four years at Tech, 2005, 2007-09, and was drafted in 2009 in the 23rd round by the Cincinnati Reds.
- Richburg's Bio
Jay Johnson (LHP - Philadelphia Phillies - Single-A - Lakewood BlueClaws)
- Johnson has made nine consecutive scoreless appearances dating back to June 16. Johnson is now 0-1 with a 2.22 ERA in 23 relief outings. He has tallied 28.1 innings while giving up 20 walks with 32 strikeouts. Johnson pitched one year at Tech in 2010 and was drafted in 2010 in the 26th round by the Toronto Blue Jays.
- Johnson's Bio
Jeremy Mayo (C - Washington Nationals - Short-Season Single-A - Auburn Doubledays)
- Mayo, who has played at three levels this season in the Nationals organization, has batted .149 (7-for-47) with seven runs, two doubles, one homer and five RBI this season. Mayo played three years at Tech, 2008-2010, and was drafted in 2010 in the 31st round by the Washington Nationals.
- Mayo's Bio
Zach Fowler (LHP - Baltimore Orioles - Short-Season Class A - Aberdeen IronBirds)
- Fowler is coming off making back-to-back scoreless relief outings for the Aberdeen IronBirds, the Short-Season A squad he joined on July 10. Fowler has made six relief outings in his pro career this season where he is 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 6.0 innings while striking out four and allowing one walk. Fowler pitched one year at Tech in 2011 and was drafted in 2011 in the 34th round by the Baltimore Orioles.
- Fowler's Bio
Nathan Karns (RHP - Washington Nationals - Rookie League - Gulf Coast League Nationals)
- Karns has shined in five starts for the Gulf Coast League Nationals squad. Karns has struck out 26 batters in 18.2 innings while allowing only two base hits without allowing a single run. In his last start, Karns went five scoreless innings while not allowing a base hit with six strikeouts. Karns has not allowed a base hit in his last three starts which is a combined 13 innings pitched.
- Karns' Bio
Robbie Kilcrease (LHP - Pittsburgh Pirates - Rookie League - Gulf Coast League Pirates)
- Kilcrease has allowed only one run over his last five relief innings (three appearances). On the season, Kilcrease is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 12.0 innings pitched. He has struck out three batters and allowed three walks. Kilcrease pitched three years at Tech, 2008-09, 2011, and signed as a free agent in 2011 with the Pirates.
- Kilcrease's Bio
Nick Popescu (3B - Atlanta Braves - Rookie League - Gulf Coast League Braves)
- Popescu notched his second multi-hit game going 2-for-4 last week with a triple - his first professional extra-base hit. On the season, Popescu is batting .214 (6-for-28) in 11 games played. Popescu played two years at Tech, 2010-11, and was drafted in 2011 in the 33rd round by the Atlanta Braves.
- Popescu's Bio
Kelby Tomlinson (SS - San Francisco Giants - Rookie League - Arizona League Giants)
- Tomlinson has hit safely in six consecutive games, including his most recent game going 2-for-5 with a run, double and two RBI. Tomlinson is batting .333 (14-for-42) with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI. He has posted a .417 on-base percentage and a .548 slugging percentage in his first pro season. In addition, Tomlinson is batting .387 (12-for-31) against right-handed pitching. Tomlinson played one year at Tech in 2011 and was drafted in 2011 in the 12th round by the San Francisco Giants.
- Tomlinson's Bio