Gators in Pro Baseball: Former Gators square off in odd game

Anthony Desclafani (left) faced off against Harrison Bader Sunday, July 15 in St. Louis, the first time the former Gators have faced each other in the big leagues. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The cosmos almost folded upon itself when a seemingly harmless NL Central matchup pit two former Gators against one another on Sunday, leading to a freak injury. Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader stepped for his first at-bat of the day against Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani and hit a single into deep right center. But Bader, who’d come into the game nursing a hamstring injury, rounded first base and hyperextended his knee as his foot made contact with the bag. Bader might’ve been overcompensating a bit for his existing injury instead of focusing on the base paths and was was replaced by Tommy Pham, who ran the bases for him. It was only the fourth time Bader and Disco have faced each other in their MLB careers. The All-Star break will have hopefully recharged Bader so he can continue his solid season for the Cards that featured 31 runs scored, 14 RBIs, nine stolen bases, six home runs and a .272 batting average through 75 games for St. Louis. Here is Bader and teammate Jedd Gyorko reacting to the news of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny being fired on July 14: 

Matt den Dekker (CF) — New York Mets

Den Dekker was called up to play with the New York Mets on July 11 but has gone 0-for-11 in three starts for the club. The 30-year-old certainly would have liked to start off better at the plate but Mets manager Mickey Callaway praised his ability to run down flyballs in center field instead of focus on den dekker’s poor hitting thus far. Den Dekker made a couple great catches in the outfield for the Mets, and while he might see more big-league action if he can get some production from the plate, he will likely be back in Triple-A soon. Den Dekker has hit .286 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs in 63 games with Las Vegas and this was his first action as a big-leaguer since 2017 with Detroit. 

Anthony DeSclafani (RHP) — Cincinnati Reds

DeSclafani (4-2) suffered his second loss of the season Sunday when he gave up six earned runs on five hits to the Cardinals with three Ks in 3 ⅓ innings. Disco had completed six straight starts without a blemish on his record but it wasn’t his day. His ERA was kicked up to 5.32 through eight starts since rejoining the Reds’ rotation, but the team has posted the best record in the National League since DeSclafani’s return on June 10 (21-9).

Brian Johnson (LHP) — Boston

Johnson came off the 10-day DL to start the Red Sox’s final game before the All-Star break. He allowed two hits (six less than he allowed in his previous start), gave up the same number of runs (two) in the same amount of innings (4 ⅔) than his previous start. Boston won both of the lefty’s last two starts, but Johnson couldn’t break the five-inning threshold required to earn a win in either game. Johnson has a 4.20 ERA through 49 ⅓ innings pitched for Boston this year and has amassed 42 Ks. He will continue to draw starts as long as the Red Sox have injury issues in their rotation.

Darren O’Day (RHP) — Baltimore Orioles

O’Day is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his left hamstring.

Bobby Poyner (LHP) — Boston Red Sox

Poyner hasn’t seen any game action since being called up on Saturday. He made one appearance in Triple-A this week, giving up one earned run on three hits through 1 ⅓ innings.

Preston Tucker (LF) — Atlanta Braves

Tucker was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on July 13 by the Atlanta Braves and has gone 1-for-2 with a home run since his return. The home run was Tucker’s fourth of the season with the Braves this year to go along with 22 RBIs and a .254 average.

Mike Zunino (C) — Seattle Mariners

Zunino suffered a bone bruise in his ankle after he was brought on to pinch hit in a game against the Angels on July 4. He was placed on the 10-day DL a day later and could return today for Seattle after estimators predicted him to return in two or three weeks. Zunino smashed 12 home runs, knocked in 29 runs and struck out 89 times with a .189 average so far this season. Defensively, Zunino is fourth in MLB percentage-wise in throwing out runners trying to steal a base.

MiLB players

Peter Alonso (1B) — Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets Triple-A)

Alonso hit two bombs and drove in six RBIs this week, but his 3-for-21 hitting left much to be desired. The highlight for the 23-year-old this week came on July 15 in the MLB Futures Game on the grand stage of Washington D.C. where Alonso delivered a mammoth home run that cleared the left field bleachers.

Shaun Anderson (RHP) — Sacramento River Cats (San Francisco Giants Triple-A)

Anderson also played in the MLB Futures Game as part of Team USA and had quite the outing. He blew a save and earned a win in just one inning of pitching after allowing a game-tying home run. The highlight of the week for Anderson didn’t come in the Futures Game but three days later when he was promoted to play Triple-A baseball with the Sacramento River Cats. At Richmond, he posted a 3.45 ERA in 17 games (16 starts) with 93 strikeouts and 22 walks in 94 innings and is now the most advanced starting pitching prospect the Giants have in the minors.

Michael Byrne (RHP) — Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds Class A Advanced)

Byrne earned his first win as a pro on July 10 and has posted a 2.08 ERA over five appearances so far as a pro. He has allowed just one earned run and has struck out five.

Kevin Chapman (LHP) — Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit Tigers Triple-A)

Chapman hasn’t pitched since June 29 and was placed on the 7-day DL on July 3.

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

Crawford remains on the disabled list and hasn’t been active all season. He was taken 12 spots ahead of Aaron Judge in the 2013 MLB Draft.

Dane Dunning (RHP) — Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox Double-A)

Dunning is still recovering from an elbow injury that landed him on the DL in late June.

Alex Faedo (RHP) — Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers Double-A)

Last week Faedo gave up seven runs on six hits and five walks. This week, he wasn’t messing around. Faedo threw seven shutout innings and gave up just three hits to earn his first win in Double-A baseball. Here’s what his pitching coach had to say about his performance on Monday: “Any time you have a rough outing, you can’t wait to get back out there, and I sensed that,” said SeaWolves pitching coach Willie Blair. “He wasn’t real open about it, but I could just sense it and that’s just the competitor in him. It’s a great quality to have.”

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

Fontana hit a three-run home run to help seal a win for Salt Lake last Thursday. A nice highlight to start off an overall sub-par 2-for-14 hitting week, but Fontana did manage to get five RBIs.

Daniel Gibson (LHP) — Jackson Generals (Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A)

Gibson had good outings in four of five relief appearances this week. The sub-par outing was sandwiched between the others as he gave up two runs on one hit and two walks. Overall he lowered his ERA a bit after getting rocked last week.

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

Gushue cooled off with a 3-for-19 week with only one extra-base hit and one RBI this week. Gushue did participate in the Eastern League’s Home Run Derby on July 10 and hit six home runs but was unable to advance past the first round.

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

Guthrie went 6-for-18 with two RBIs and two doubles and now holds a respectable .254 average.  

Eric Hanhold (RHP) — Las Vegas 51s (New York Mets Triple-A)

Hanhold remains on the 7-day DL and hasn’t played since June 17.

Nick Horvath (CF) — Aberdeen IronBirds

Signed with the IronBirds on June 29 but has not appeared in a game yet.

Jonathan India (3B) — Greenville Reds (Cincinnati Reds Rookie Ball)

India has played 11 games so far and is hitting .243 with two home runs and nine RBIs for Greenville.

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

Kolozsvary went 5-for-15 this week with two RBIs and a double. The catcher is now hitting .213 with one home run and 13 doubles.

Jackson Kowar (RHP) — Lexington Legends (Kansas City Royals Class A)

The first-round pick has struggled in his first two appearances as a pro, allowing five earned runs in just 2 ⅓ innings on six hits and four walks.

Taylor Lewis (RHP) — Free agent

Deacon Liput (2B) — Great Lakes Loons (Los Angeles Dodgers Class A)

Liput has played in seven games for the Loons and is hitting .231 with a double, a triple, a home run, a stolen base and four RBIs.

Austin Maddox (RHP) — Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox Triple-A)

Maddox is still on the 60-day DL relating to his right shoulder strain injury.

Johnny Magliozzi (RHP) — Free agent

Richie Martin (SS) — Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s Double-A)

Martin went 11-for-35 this week, bumping up his average four points to .288. Martin hit a home run and two doubles as well and is sixth in hits among Texas League shortstops and is third in batting average.

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

Moss (11-3) earned a win on July 11 in a 5 ⅔ inning performance, allowing two runs on six hits with seven Ks. He was lit up in his next start for six runs on eight hits and three home runs through five innings. Moss now holds a 3.99 ERA through 17 starts this season for Daytona.

A.J. Puk (LHP) — Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics Class-A Advanced)

Puk underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the rest of the season.

Ryan Raburn (OF) — Free agent

Buddy Reed (LF) — San Antonio Missions (San Diego Padres Double-A)

Reed played alongside fellow Gators Peter Alonso and Shaun Anderson as part of the 2018 MLB Futures Game on Sunday. He didn’t get a home run like Alonso or earn a win like Anderson, but Reed did manage to get a hit in the game and made a good defensive play to hold a runner to a single.

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

Rivera remains on the DL, where he’s been since June 12.

Paco Rodriguez (LHP) — Chattanooga Lookouts (Minnesota Twins Double-A)

Rodriguez earned a win on July 12 after going two innings with only a walk allowed. Rodriguez made two more appearances this week and gave up just two hits and one run total.

Frank Rubio (RHP) — San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants Class A Advanced)

Rubio earned back-to-back saves with only a hit and a walk allowed but blew a save and took on the loss on Thursday as he gave up two runs on two hits in ⅔ of an inning.

JJ Schwarz (C) — AZL Athletics (Oakland Athletics Rookie Ball)

Schwarz made his pro baseball debut Thursday and went 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored.

Justin Shafer (RHP) — Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A)

Shafer allowed just one hit and one earned run across four appearances this week with six Ks.

Logan Shore (RHP) — Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s Double-A)

Shore allowed four runs on eight hits with three Ks through six innings on July 12, marking his seventh-straight start without earning a win and has a 5.23 ERA.

Kirby Snead (LHP) — New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A)

Snead took a loss when he walked four batters on July 12 and allowed two runs to score. In his next appearance, he earned a win by pitching a scoreless frame.

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

Tebow went 9-for-30 this week with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs, raising his average three points to .273. Tebow played in the Eastern League All-Star game and doubled on his first at-bat against Detroit’s top pitching prospect. Tebow also had a 3-for-5 game this week and has gotten a hit in 23 of his last 27 games.

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

Tobias remains on the DL and hasn’t played since May 29.

Casey Turgeon (3B) — Free agent

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

Young earned a two-inning save on Sunday, allowing just one hit.