Feature Stories

Published on July 20th, 2017 | by WMJledger

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PLAY BALL!

The Jewish Boys of Summer take the field

The 2017 baseball season is in full swing! Time to take our annual look at how the Jewish boys of summer are faring on the field this year. (Statistics are as of July 16, 2017).

By Suzy Iarusso

Richard Bleier
Baltimore Oreoles
Born: April 16, 1987
Birthplace: Davie, Fla.
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season ERA: 1.38
Season SO: 15
Season Record: 1-1
Career ERA: 1.62
Career SO: 28
Experience: 2 years

Bleier ended his first major league season with a 1.96 ERA in 23 relief appearances with the Yankees. He was designated for assignment in February 2017 when the Yankees signed Chris Carter. He was then traded to the Baltimore Orioles for a player as yet unnamed.

Ryan Joseph Braun
Milwaukee Brewers
Born: November 17, 1983
Birthplace: Mission Hills, Calif.
Position: Left Field
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Avg.: .261
Season HR: 11
Season RBI: 27
Career Avg.: .303
Career HR: 296
Career RBI: 964
Experience: 11 years

Braun finished out the 2016 season by leading the Brewers in batting average. The only player in the National League to achieve at least 30 HR and 15 steals.

Alex Bregman
Houston Astros
Born: March 30, 1994
Birthplace: Albuquerque, NM
Position: Third Base
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Avg.: .254
Season HR: 8
Season RBI: 28
Career Avg.: .258
Career HR: 16
Career RBI: 62
Experience: 2 years

Bregman was first drafted in the 2012 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox, but chose to attend Louisiana State University instead. The Astros selected him with the second pick of the 2015 MLB draft, making him the second highest ever picked Jewish player after Ron Blomberg. Bregman made his major league debut on July 25, 2016, and finished the season with 8 HR/34 RBI/8 stolen bases. He hit his first major league grand slam on May 14, 2017 versus the New York Yankees.

Craig Breslow
Minnesota Twins
Born: August 8, 1980
Birthplace: New Haven Conn.
Position: Pitcher
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season ERA: 5.28
Season SO: 18
Season Record: 1-1
Career ERA: 3.44
Career SO: 437
Career Record: 23-30
Experience: 12 years

The Texas Rangers released Breslow on August 7, 2016. He was signed to a minor league contract by the Minnesota Twins on Feb. 8, 2017 and made their opening day major league roster.

Scott Wynne Feldman
Cincinnati Reds
Born: February 7, 1983
Birthplace: Kailua, Hi
Position: Starting Pitcher
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Season ERA: 3.94
Season SO: 86
Season Record: 7-6
Career ERA: 4.36
Career SO: 875
Career Record: 78-83
Experience: 12 years

Feldman signed a one-year contract with the Reds in January 2017 and was their opening day starter. He currently leads his team in strikeouts.

Ian Michael Kinsler
Detroit Tigers
Born: June 22, 1982
Birthplace: Tucson, Ariz.
Position: Second Base
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Avg.: .237
Season HR: 9
Season RBI: 23
Career Avg.: .275
Career HR: 221
Career RBI: 810
Experience: 11 Years

At the end of the 2016 season, Kinsler won his first Gold Glove award for second base. He has made two trips to the disabled list this season for a hamstring injury. It’s the first time he’s been on the disabled list since 2013.

Joc Russell Pederson
LA Dodgers
Born: April 21, 1992
Birthplace: Palo Alto, Calif.
Position: CF
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season Avg.: .250
Season HR: 9
Season RBI: 26
Career Avg.: .229
Career HR: 60
Career RBI: 148
Experience: 3 Years

Pederson hit the first grand slam of the 2017 MLB season on the Dodgers opening day. He suffered a concussion after colliding with teammate Yasiel Puig on May 24, 2017 and ended up on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Kevin Pillar
Toronto Blue Jays
Born: January 4, 1989
Birthplace: West Hills, Calif.
Position: CF
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Avg.: .251
Season HR: 10
Season RBI: 22
Career Avg.: .264
Career HR: 34
Career RBI: 151
Experience: 5 Years

Pillar won the Fielding Bible Award for center field at the end of the 2016 season. On May 14, 2017 he hit his first walk-off home run. In May 2017, after striking out in the seventh inning, he yelled a homophobic slur at pitcher Jason Motte causing the benches to clear. Pillar apologized, was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount by MLB.

Danny Valencia
Seattle Mariners
Born: September 19, 1984
Birthplace: Miami, Fla.
Position: 1st Base
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Avg.: .271
Season HR: 10
Season RBI: 46
Career Avg.: .271
Career HR: 82
Career RBI: 349
Experience: 8 Years

On Nov. 12 2016, Valencia was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Seattle Mariners.

AAA

Jeremy Bleich – LA Dodgers
Zach Borenstein – Arizona Diamondbacks
Ike Davis – LA Dodgers
Cody Decker – New York Mets
Brad Goldberg – Chicago White Sox
Ryan Kalish – Chicago Cubs
Ryan Lavarnway – Oakland A’s
John Moscot – Cincinnati Reds
Ryan Sherriff – St. Louis Cardinals
Rowdy Tellez – Toronto Blue Jays
Josh Zeid – St. Louis Cardinals

2017 Team Israel in the WBC

Team Israel entered the World Baseball Classic ranked 41st in the world. They were the final team to qualify for the round of 16. They were the only team not ranked in the top 20 to qualify. They made it to the second round where they lost with a 1-2 record. Overall for the tournament their record was 4-2. The following are the MLB players, past and present, who played for Team Israel.

Jeremy Bleich
Ike Davis
Cody Decker
Nate Freiman
Sam Fuld
Brad Goldberg
Ryan Lavarnway
Jason Marquis
Josh Zeid


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