July 3, 2013
Boilers in Pro Ball
| Current Boilers Playing Summer Ball
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- As the Southern League leader in RBI and on-base percentage as of July 2, Purdue baseball alumnus Dan Black was among the eight members of the Birmingham Barons named to the North Division team for the Southern League All-Star game later this month.
In his fifth year of pro ball in the Chicago White Sox's farm system, Black (2007-09) had previously been named a Post-Season All-Star in both the South Atlantic (2011) and Carolina (2012) Leagues the last two years. He was also among the White Sox's MiLB.com Organization All-Stars after both seasons.
Black is the fourth Purdue alumnus to be named an all-star in Minor League Baseball this year, joining Cameron Perkins (Florida State), Kevin Plawecki (South Atlantic) and Nick Wittgren (Florida State). As a first baseman and designated hitter for the Double-A Barons, Black is batting .281 with 24 extra-base hits, 52 RBI and 42 runs scored. His 52 walks have helped his OBP rise to .396.
Birmingham won the first-half North Division title in the Southern League to clinch a playoff berth in September. At 51-33 overall this summer, the Barons are among the top five in victories in all of Minor League Baseball. Black regularly bats in the middle of the lineup for Birmingham.
The Southern League All-Star Game will be played Wednesday, July 17 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Black's former Purdue teammate Josh Lindblom (2007-08) had a strong case to be selected for the Pacific Coast League team for the Triple-A All-Star Game. But on the same day (July 2) in which the PCL All-Stars were announced, Lindblom was instead called up by the Texas Rangers for the third time this season. After making four starts for the Rangers, he was used in relief for the first time July 2 and pitched well. The right-hander worked two innings of one-hit relief, striking out three of the seven batters he faced in a loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Lindblom took the spot of veteran reliever Kyle McClellan on the 25-man roster. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Tuesday the plan is to use Lindblom in a long relief role for now. He was 7-0 with a 1.99 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and .197 batting average against as a starter for the Triple-A Round Rock Express this season. The four MiLB starts Lindblom missed while pitching for the Rangers is likely what led to his exclusion from the PCL All-Star Team.
Fellow former Purdue pitcher Lance Breedlove (2011-12) recently rejoined the West Virginia Power (Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate) in the Class A South Atlantic League. Breedlove struck out five over three innings of two-run relief June 28 to earn the win in his first appearance with the Power since April. After an extended spring training stint, Breedlove was placed with the Jamestown Jammers of the Class A Short Season New York-Penn League. In his three relief appearances with Jamestown, the right-hander struck out 12 and surrendered only four hits to earn his promotion back to the South Atlantic League.
Eric Charles (2008-12) has returned to action in the San Diego Padres system. The four-year starter at second base for Purdue missed most of the 2012 Minor League season due to injuries. The Padres granted him a waiver to finish a master's degree at Anderson University while continuing to rehab this year. Charles returned to action June 26 with the Padres' affiliate in the Arizona League. He has doubled and scored a run in each of his two games so far this season.
Barrett Serrato (2009-12) is also back in the Arizona League on a rehab assignment after homering June 30 and hitting safely in five of the first seven games he played for the Spokane Indians in the Class A Short Season Northwest League.
In the Florida State League, Wittgren (2011-12) continues to be the top closer with 15 saves for the Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami Marlins affiliate). Sidelined since May 31 with a broken arm, Perkins (2010-12) tweeted on June 26 that he was hitting off a tee again and hoped to return to action soon for the Clearwater Threshers (Philadelphia Phillies affiliate). He was batting .337 with 18 doubles and 31 RBI when he suffered the injury after getting hit by a pitch.
Meanwhile, Plawecki (2010-12) went 13-for-36 (.361) at the plate in his first nine games with the St. Lucie Mets of the FSL following his promotion to the Class A Advanced league in mid-June.