Oklahomans in Major League Baseball: Tyler Lyons, Adam LaRoche among those off to strong starts

A look at how the Oklahomans playing in Major League Baseball are doing this season.
by Michael Baldwin Published: May 26, 2013
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photo - St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Tyler Lyons throws against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of their baseball game as he makes his Major League debut Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) ORG XMIT: CAGB108
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Tyler Lyons throws against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of their baseball game as he makes his Major League debut Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) ORG XMIT: CAGB108

ATLANTA

SS Andrelton Simmons (Western): A second-round pick three years ago, the Braves' starting shortstop is hitting .229 with 4 HRs, 18 RBIs. Singleton hit .289 in 166 at bats in his major league debut last season.

BOSTON

Manager John Farrell (OSU): After leading Toronto to a 154-170 record two seasons Farrell replaced Bobby Valentine in Boston. The Red Sox are off to a good start, a viable playoff contender in what some thought might be a rebuilding season.

CHICAGO CUBS

P Scott Baker (OSU): Coming off Tommy John elbow surgery, the 31-year-old right-hander signed with the Cubs after going 63-48 (4.15 ERA) in seven seasons with the Twins. Baker had a setback during spring training and is out until the All-Star break.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Manager Robin Ventura (OSU): In his first season, with zero managerial experience, Ventura had the White Sox atop the AL Central much of the season. The White Sox started slow but have been hot lately to climb toward .500.

KANSAS CITY

C George Kottaras (Connors): Earned the backup job behind Salvador Perez. Kottaras has one home run and five RBIs in a limited role.

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

P Tommy Hanson (Tulsa born): Pitching through a partially torn rotator cuff injury last season with Atlanta (13-10, 4.48 ERA), Hanson has lost some zip on his fastball. Hanson (2-1, 3.86 ERA) has been away from the team following the death of his stepbrother but should return this week.

P Garrett Richards (Edmond Memorial): Bouncing between Triple-A and the majors last season, the 25-year-old right-hander has been with the Angels all season. Richards (2-3, 5.35 ERA) has made four starts but primarily has been used out of the bullpen.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

OF Matt Kemp (Midwest City): One of the top hitters in baseball, the All-Star center fielder hasn't compiled his usual gaudy stats. Kemp is hitting .265 with seven stolen bases but only two homers and 17 RBIs, far off the pace of 39 homers, 126 RBIs two years ago.

MIAMI

3B/PH Greg Dobbs (OU): The 34-year-old bench specialist is hitting .215 with one home run and seven RBIs.

MINNESOTA

P Nick Blackburn (Del City, Seminole): Underwent elbow (bone chip) surgery following a disappointing season (7.39 ERA). Blackburn, who now lives in Washington, is in rehab in Florida after undergoing wrist surgery in February.

Manager Ron Gardenhire (Okmulgee): “Gardy” has had only three losing seasons in 11 years but the Twins are coming off back-to-back losing seasons. Minnesota is projected to finish in the AL Central cellar. It's impressive Gardenhire led the small market Twins to six division titles (951-878 career record).

NEW YORK METS

Jeremy Hefner (Perkins, ORU): 27-year-old right-hander, who once lived in Moore, is in the Mets rotation after bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen last season. Hefner is 0-5 with a 4.76 ERA and 37 strikeouts.

OAKLAND

P Brett Anderson (Stillwater): 25-year-old left-hander once again is battling an injury. Anderson returned successfully from Tommy John surgery last year to help lead the A's to the playoffs. This time it's a foot stress fracture. Anderson was 1-4 before going on the DL but is 26-29 with a career 3.74 ERA.

PITTSBURGH

SS Jordy Mercer (Taloga, OSU): Despite a strong showing in spring training, Mercer was sent to Triple-A. Mercer was recalled by the Pirates following two injuries. Mercer has hit .261 with three homers in 15 games after opening the season hitting .333 with 19 RBIs at Indianapolis.

ST. LOUIS

OF Matt Holliday (Stillwater): The six-time All-Star is a career .311 hitter. Holliday is hitting .263 with six homers. He's on pace for another 100 RBI season which would be his sixth in the last eight years.

SS Pete Kozma (Owasso): Named the starter after Rafael Furcal underwent elbow surgery. Kozma hit .333 in 72 at bats last season and had some key hits in the playoffs. Rumors are the Cardinals might make a trade to replace Kozma but he's holding his own (. 260, 17 RBIs).

P Tyler Lyons (OSU): Ninth-round pick in 2010 possesses a nasty curveball. After going 9-13 with 4.13 ERA at two levels last year Lyons started the season at Triple-A but was brilliant last week in his Major League debut, allowing only one run and four hits in seven innings.

TAMPA BAY

DH Luke Scott (OSU): Started the season on the disabled list but is the Rays' primary designated hitter. Scott is off to a hot start with three homers and 15 RBIs in 21 games.

P Jamey Wright (Westmoore): The 38-year-old right-hander once again made a Major League bullpen as a non-roster invitee. Playing for 10 different major league teams, Wright is nearing 2,000 career innings. He's 90-125 with a career 4.88 ERA.

TORONTO


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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