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PlayBall! The Jewish Boys of Summer take the field

Baseball-clip-art-1-1i5sr8aWith the 2014 baseball season hitting the mid-way point, the Ledger takes its annual look at how the Jewish boys of summer are faring on the field this year. (Statistics are as of July 13)

By Suzy Iarusso





Minnesota Twins v Milwaukee BrewersRYAN JOSEPH BRAUN
Born: Nov. 17, 1983
Birthplace: Mission Hills, Calif.
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Position: Right Field
Number: 8
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .298
Season HR: 11
Season RBI: 52
Career Avg: .311
Career HR: 222
Career RBI: 733
Experience: 8 years

After being rumored to be involved in a performance enhancing drug (PED) scandal, Braun was suspended in July 2013 for the rest of the season. Although he had previously denied using PED’s when he was suspended Braun said, “I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions.” As a result of his suspension and admission to using PED’s, Braun was dropped by several sponsors. Braun is back this season and has moved from left to right field.


Born: August 8, 1980
Birthplace: New Haven, Conn.
Team: Boston Red Sox
Position: Relief Pitcher
Number: 32
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season ERA: 5.18
Season SO: 22
Season Record: 2-2
Career ERA: 3.00
Career SO: 351
Career Record: 22.21
Experience: 9 Years

Breslow continues to be an asset in the bullpen for the Boston Red Sox. In the 2013 American League Championship series, he pitched seven scoreless innings, helping the Red Sox win the series and move on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. In 2013 he was the Red Sox’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente service award. Craig’s Strike 3 Foundation continues to host charity events and accepts donations to support pediatric cancer research.


MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York MetsISAAC BENJAMIN DAVIS
Born: March 22, 1987
Birthplace: Edina, Minn.
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: First Base
Number: 29
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season AVG: .234
Season HR: 5
Season RBI: 28
Career AVG: .241
Career HR: 72
Career RBI: 247
Experience: 5 Years

Ike started the 2014 season as the Mets opening day first baseman but was soon replaced by Lucas Duda getting the bulk of playing time. Soon after in April, Davis was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.


Born: Feb. 7, 1983
Birthplace: Kailua, Hawaii
Team: Houston Astros
Position: Starting Pitcher
Number: 34
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Season ERA: 4.33
Season SO: 55
Season Record: 4-6
Career ERA: 4.60
Career SO: 620
Career Record: 55-62
Experience: 10 Years

After the 2013 season, Scott signed a three-year deal withthe Houston Astros. He was their opening day starter for the 2014 season.

Born: Nov. 20, 1981
Birthplace: Durham, N.H.
Team: Minnesota Twins
Position: Outfield
Number: 1
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season Average: .269
Season HR: 2
Season RBI: 17
Career AVG: .241
Career HR: 8
Career RBI: 71
Experience: 7 Years

In September 2013, Fuld pitched a third of an inning for the Tampa Bay Rays vs. the Los Angeles Angels. After the 2013 season he was non-tendered by the Rays, making him a free agent. In January 2014, he signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s. In April, he was placed on waivers to make room for another player, and was picked up by the Minnesota Twins. He was placed on the disabled list in May for a concussion and missed about a month of the season.


MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at Atlanta BravesIAN MICHAEL KINSLER
Born: June 22, 1982
Birthplace: Tucson, Ariz.
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Second Base
Number: 3
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .303
Season HR: 11
Season RBI: 51
Career AVG: .275
Career HR: 167
Career RBI: 590
Experience: 9 Years

In 2013, Kinsler became the Texas Rangers’ all time stolen base leader with 172 career stolen bases. In November 2013, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Prince Fielder. He was named to his fourth All-Star team as a replacement for an injured Victor Martinez.

Born: Dec. 23, 1984
Birthplace: Hidden Hills, Calif.
Team: New York Mets
Position: 1B
Number: 13
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .107
Season HR: 0
Season RBI: 3
Career Average: .250
Career HR: 3
Career RBI: 22
Experience: 4 Years

In 2013, Josh tied a Mets rookie record by reaching base in 29 consecutive games that he started.


Born: Dec. 31, 1986
Birthplace: Washington D.C
Team: Oakland A’s
Position: 1B
Number: 3
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .231
Season HR: 1
Season RBI: 6
Career Average: .269
Career HR: 5
Career RBI: 30
Experience: 2 Year

Freiman started the season in AAA but was called up to the majors at the end of June. He’s been the A’s starting first baseman when they face left-handed pitchers.


MLB: Spring Training-Baltimore Orioles at Philadelphia PhilliesDANNY VALENCIA
Born: Sept. 19, 1984
Birthplace: Miami, FL
Team: Kansas City Royals
Position: 3B
Number: 19
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .293
Season HR: 2
Season RBI: 10
Career Average: .265
Career HR: 35
Career RBI: 166
Experience: 5 Years

After the 2012 season, Valencia was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Baltimore Orioles. He spent the first half of the 2013 season in the minor leagues but was called up in August and finished the season with a .304 batting average. On December 18, 2013 he was traded to the Kansas City Royals. This season he has earned the role as the starting third baseman for the Royals.


zeid-picJOSH ZEID
Born: March 24, 1987
Birthplace: New Haven, Conn.
Team: Houston Astros
Position: RP
Number: 61
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season ERA: 5.59
Season SO: 18
Season Record: 0-0
Career ERA: 4.60
Career SO: 42
Career Record: 0-1
Experience: 2 Years

Zeid was named the Gatorade Connecticut High School Player of the Year as a senior at Hamden Hall Country Day School. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. As he was coming up in the minors, he was part of the trade that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies and Zeid ended up with the Houston Astros. He made his major league debut on July 29, 2013. In the off season he played for Team Israel in the world baseball classic, where he was able to pitch in all three of their games.


Toronto Blue Jays called up Kevin Pillar (11) and he will start today in centre field in place of Colby Rasmus (28)KEVIN PILLAR
Born: January 4, 1989
Birthplace: West Hills, CA
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Position: CF
Number: 11
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Season Average: .225
Season HR: 0
Season RBI: 2
Career Average: .211
Career HR: 3
Career RBI: 15
Experience: 2 Year

Kevin set a NCAA division II 54 game hitting streak in 2010. He was drafted in 2011 by the Toronto Blue Jays. He quickly moved up through the minor league system and made his major league debut on August 14, 2013 against the Boston Red Sox. In a recent game for the Blue Jays, he was lifted for a pinch hitter in a tied game and caused a scene by letting his emotions show and throwing his bat down the tunnel, he was then demoted back to the minors. He regrets his actions and is hoping to be called up again.


MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland AthleticsAARON POREDA
Born: Oct. 1, 1986
Birthplace: Walnut Creek,
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: RP
Number: 49
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Season ERA: 5.91
Season SO: 21
Season Record: 2-1
Career ERA: 4.67
Career SO: 33
Career Record: 3-1
Experience: 6 Years



Jeremy Bleich
New York Yankees
4.48 ERA
73  SO
4-7 Record

Cody Decker
San Diego Padres
.271 AVG
13 HR
47 RBI

Ben Guez
Detroit Tigers
234 AVG
9 HR
27 RBI

Ryan Kalish
Chicago Cubs
.214 AVG
5 HR ­
18 RBI

Ryan Cole Lavarnway
Boston Red Sox
.265 AVG
2 HR ­
11 RBI

Jake Lemmerman
San Diego Padres
.176 AVG
4 HR
22 RBI

Joc Pederson
LA Dodgers
.324 AVG
17 HR
43 RBI

Danny Rosenbaum
Washington Nationals
4.50 ERA
9 SO
1-1 record

Jeff Urlaub
Oakland A’s
2.12 ERA
27 SO
2-0 Record



Kevin Youkilis
In 2014 Youkilis signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakutan Golden Eagles in Japan. His season was cut short in May when a foot injury flared up and he opted out of this contract to return to the US to seek treatment.

Brad Ausmus
After finishing his playing career in 2010, Ausmus worked as a special assistant of baseball operations in the San Diego Padres’ front office until 2013. In November 2013, he was named the 37th manager of the Detroit Tigers. He was also the manager of the Team Israel for the world baseball classic

Jason Marquis
Marquis ended his 2013 season in July with Tommy John surgery. He signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in June 2014.

Gabe Kapler
Kapler was on the coaching staff of Team Israel in the world baseball classic. He has since become part of the Fox Sports 1 network. He also has a lifestyle and fitness website.

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