Gators in Pro Baseball: Puk forced to miss remainder of promising season

A.J. Puk
Oakland Athletics' A.J. Puk participates in a spring training baseball drill on Feb. 16 in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

By Kyle Bennett and Aaron Brand

The Athletics’ number one pitching prospect A.J. Puk underwent successful Tommy John surgery April 10 to repair ligament damage in his left elbow and will now miss the remainder of the 2018 season. The setback also puts 2019 in jeopardy for the 22-year-old lefty who was having a great Spring Training and was even in consideration for the Oakland’s fifth rotation spot after averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings. Puk posted a 3.38 ERA with seven Ks in 10 2/3 innings of work, including not allowing an earned run in his first three appearances this season.

(The following is a complete and updated list of major and minor league players who went to UF, listed alphabetically by last name)

MLB Players

Harrison Bader (OF) — St. Louis Cardinals

Bader has a seven-game hitting streak going into tonight’s game with the New York Mets and has hit and scored in four straight games as he continues to fill in for injured players in the Cardinals outfield. The Cards are 9-5 with Bader in the lineup and his recent hot streak has boosted his batting average to .300. Bader has proven to be a beast on the base paths as well with two stolen bases this week for a total of three on the season.

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) — Cincinnati Reds

Disco, who is on the 60-day DL with a left oblique strain, was scheduled to throw off a mound in a bullpen session Wednesday. DeSclafani was injured early in March, so he’ll essentially need to go through his own Spring Training before returning. “It’s slightly different because of the nature of the injury,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “You do everything you can to make sure the injury is 100 percent healed, but you’re trying to introduce baseball activity through the course of that healing and not do too much. He will have to re-establish a workload, starting with bullpens, live batting practice and then games that will build him up to that roughly 90-100 pitch threshold.” The righty is eligible to come off the DL May 28.

Brian Johnson (RHP) — Boston

Red Sox pitcher Brian Johnson come on to pitch three innings in relief against the Angels last week and allowed just one hit. Johnson also had three strikeouts in the game and now carries an ERA of 2.08 and a 1.31 WHIP for the season.

Austin Maddox (RHP) — Boston — DL

Red Sox relief pitcher Austin Maddox is on the 10-day DL as he continues to deal with shoulder inflammation. Maddox has yet to pitch in any game this year after posting good numbers last season, only giving up one run in 17 innings of action.

Darren O’Day (RHP) — Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore’s submarine relief pitcher has blown two previous save attempts this season but had a clean inning Friday as he struck out two and earned his first save this season as the O’s beat the Indians 3-1 on Friday. It was O’Day’s 20th save of his MLB career. 

Preston Tucker (LF) — Atlanta Braves

Tucker had a five-RBI game in Atlanta’s series opener with the New York Mets Thursday. That performance temporarily put the left fielder in a tie with Bryce Harper for most RBIs in the NL. As of Saturday, Tucker has the fifth most RBIs in baseball with 18.

Mike Zunino (C) — Seattle Mariners

Zunino struggled at the plate in his first three games back with the Mariners, striking out in six of nine plate appearances against Texas. His only stat in those first three games was scoring a run after having to get hit by a pitch to get on base. Zunino’s first hit of the season came Monday as he homered off White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer.

MiLB Players

Peter Alonso (1B) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets Double-A)

Alonso is hitting .346 with three home runs and 10 RBIs through 15 games and had a three-hit game on Sunday against the Erie SeaWolves.

Shaun Anderson (RHP) — Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants Double-A)

Anderson is carrying a 2.86 ERA and has improved to a 3-1 record this year for the Flying Squirrels after two straight wins. He’s averaging a strikeout per inning with a WHIP of 1.09.

Kevin Chapman (LHP) — Free Agent

Released by the Rochester Red Wings in June of 2017.

Jonathon Crawford (RHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Crawford is on the seven-day disabled list and has yet to pitch this season.

Matt den Dekker (LF) — Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets Triple-A)

The left fielder hit two home runs, a double and totaled four RBIs in five at-bats on Sunday and has upped his batting average to .208.

Dane Dunning (RHP) — Winston-Salem Dash (Chicago White Sox Class A Advanced)

Dunning threw seven innings with eight Ks Saturday and allowed two earned runs while facing the Salem Red Sox.

Alex Faedo (RHP) — Lakeland Flying Tigers (Detroit Tigers Class A Advanced)

Faedo is 0-2 with a 3.30 ERA in three starts this season. The righty has struck out 15 in 16 ⅓ innings, while allowing only one walk.

Nolan Fontana (SS) — Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels Triple-A)

Fontana was placed on the minor league DL with an undisclosed injury on Monday after going 2-for-23 for the Bees this season after a brief call up to the Angels.

Daniel Gibson (LHP) — Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks Triple-A)

Gibson is currently on the 7-day DL and has never been called up to the big leagues despite pitching for five years in the minors. He seems to be destined to stay in the minors after puting up good numbers in AA but saw his ERA increase greatly when promoted to AAA.

Taylor Gushue (C) — Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals Double-A)

Gushue had three multi-hit games this week and has increased his batting average to .244 this season.

Dalton Guthrie (SS) — Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies Class A)

Blueclaws shortstop Dalton Guthrie has nine hits through 47 at bats this season with a .250 OBP.

Eric Hanhold (RHP) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies — (New York Mets Double-A)

Hanhold earned another win for the Rumble Ponies after allowing one hit in two innings with four Ks.

Mark Kolozsvary (C) — Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati Reds Class A)

Kolozsvary had a three-hit game on Monday including two doubles and an RBI.

Taylor Lewis (RHP) — Free agent

Johnny Magliozzi (RHP) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets Double-A)

Magliozzi has moved up to Double-A to play alongside other fellow Gators as a member of the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has struggled though, allowing runs in both of his relief appearances with his new team.

Richie Martin (SS) — Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s Class A Advanced)

Martin has gone 1-for-11 this season in three games played and has a stolen base.

Scott Moss (LHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Moss started two games this week. He was rocked for eight earned runs on 10 hits on Wednesday, but he came back and earned a win the next time out allowing just one hit in five innings.

Bobby Poyner (LHP) — Pawtucket Red Sox

Poyner was activated from the DL on Sunday and optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket by Boston where he’ll likely get called back up to the bigs after throwing well during his rehab in the minors.

Ryan Raburn (OF) — Free agent

Buddy Reed (CF) — Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres Class A Advanced)

Reed has gotten hot this week, hitting three homers over a two-game span Monday and Tuesday and has gone 11-for-15 since Monday. The center fielder is hitting .415 with three home runs and five stolen bases over 13 games.

Mike Rivera (C) — Lake County Captains (Cleveland Indians Class A)

Rivera is hitting .185 with eight strikeouts in 27 at bats.

Paco Rodriguez (LHP) — Free agent

Frank Rubio (RHP) — Augusta GreenJackets (San Francisco Giants Class A)

Rubio has a 2.16 ERA and one save over four appearances. The right hander has 11 Ks in 8 ⅓ innings pitched.

Justin Shafer (RHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Fisher Cats pitcher Justin Shafer has kept his ERA low this season but did give up a home run this week.

Logan Shore (RHP) — Stockton Ports (Oakland A’s Class A Advanced)

Shore has yet to pitch in 2018.

Kirby Snead (LHP) — Dunedin Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays Class A Advanced)

Snead has allowed one hit in two innings of work this week.

Tim Tebow (LF) — Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets Double-A)

Tebow improved his batting average from .200 to .214 this week going 4-for-17 from the plate including a pair of doubles against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats last Tuesday. It was the first multi-hit game for Tebow so far this season.

Josh Tobias (2B) — Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox Double-A)

Tobias is hitting .339 as an every day second baseman for the Sea Dogs. He had four multi-hit games last week and has only not gotten a hit in two games out of 15 so far this season.

Casey Turgeon (3B) — Free agent

Danny Young (LHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Young allowed two hits and no earned runs through 2.1 innings of work this week.


Red Sox pitcher Austin Maddox (10-day DL)
Red Sox pitcher Brian Johnson
Red Sox pitcher Bobby Poyner
Orioles pitcher Darren O’Day
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino (10-day DL)
Braves outfielder Preston Tucker



Angels infielder Nolan Fontana