April 2, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.-- Stanford Baseball will again have an influx of former talent in the big leagues when the full season gets under way with Jeremy Guthrie scheduled to be the opening day starter for the Rockies on April 6 when he faces off in Houston against fellow alums Jason Castro and Jed Lowrie. In addition, John Mayberry, Jr. will lace up his spikes for Philadelphia and Sam Fuld is set to patrol the outfield for the Rays.
Two additional alums, Kenny Williams (White Sox) and Ruben Amaro, Jr. (Phillies) will be watching from the general manager's box, while former manager AJ Hinch has been the vice president of pro scouting for the Padres since September, 2010.
And it doesn’t stop there-- Dave Flemming (Giants), Kris Atteberry (Twins) and Dave Raymond (Astros) are all former Stanford students calling games in the big leagues.
By May, that major league number should increase by two, as both Nationals closer Drew Storen and new Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin will start the year on the disabled list.
After starting 26 or more games in each of the last five seasons for the Orioles, Guthrie was traded to the Rockies in the off season. The durable Guthrie, who has logged 1020.1 career innings, is coming off a 9-17 campaign and 4.33 ERA for Baltimore. The 2012 season will mark his ninth year in the majors having coming up with Cleveland in 2004.
Fuld was the feel-good story of 2011, earning a starting spot in the Tampa Bay outfield after Manny Ramirez retired and Johnny Damon became the DH. A diving catch at Fenway by the New England native and a record-tying four extra base hits in his first game in Boston, started the commotion. What followed were plastic capes for “Super Sam,” a six-page article in the literary New Yorker and the push to get him into the All-Star Game. Fuld finished the year batting .240 over 105 games, his fourth in the majors. He and the Rays open the season with the Yankees on April 6.
Castro will look to return to form after missing the 2011 season due to a knee injury. As a 23-year old rookie in 2010, he appeared in 67 games, batting .205 in limited action. Castro is slated to get significant playing time behind the plate. The former first round pick hit .287 in 215 minor league games before his call-up in 2010.
Lowrie joins Castro in Houston after being traded by Boston, where he played in 256 games over four years. Lowrie logged a career-best 88 games last year and could be the team's starting shortstop on Opening Day.
Mayberry is looking for his fourth major league season with the Phillies after 104 games and a .274 average. He is penciled in as the starting first baseman according to some reports with Ryan Howard on the DL.
Quentin spent his first six major league seasons with the Diamondbacks and White Sox. The 29-year old outfielder's best season came in 2008 when he had 36 homers and 100 RBIs while batting .288 for the White Sox. Storen as the Nationals' closer last year went 6-3 with a 2.75 ERA over 73 games, producing 43 saves. He pitched in 54 games a rookie in 2010.
Four players, with major league experience, were optioned to minor league camp--- Greg Reynolds, who was traded from the Rockies to the Rangers, was one of the last players cut and will start Triple-A in the rotation 3.75 spring ERA; Michael Taylor, who played his first 12 major league games for the A's last season; John Hester, who was traded to the Orioles in the off season after playing the 2009 and 2010 seasons with Arizona; and Cord Phelps, who made his MLB debut in 2012, played 35 games in the majors after carrying a .228 career average over 382 minor league games.
Two other former major leaguers have moved on. Donny Lucy, a catcher with eight pro seasons with the White Sox, including parts of three years in the majors, retired in December. Another former Cardinal, Chris Carter, an outfielder with the Mets and Red Sox for three seasons, signed a contract with the Seibu Lions of the Japanese Pacific Coast League in March.
Stanford had 10 major leaguers in 2011 and have had 89 Stanford students go onto play in the major leagues including Mike Mussina, Jack McDowell, Shawn Green and Bob Boone. This is the 54th-straight season Stanford has had a player in the majors.