Wolverines in Professional Baseball: Archive

December 11, 2009 -- Former Wolverine pitcher J.J. Putz (1996-99) has signed a one year, $3 millon contract with the Chicago White Sox. Putz can make another $3.25 million in incentives, but that figure is based on him closing games all season. Putz, who was the closer for the Seattle Mariners from 2006 to 2008, signed a free-agent contract in 2008 with the New York Mets before being released last season. He went 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA in 29 games with the Mets. Putz is rehabbing an elbow injury. He had bone spurs removed from the elbow last season, limiting his only season in New York. [ More Information ]

December 4, 2009 -- Former University of Michigan baseball captain Jake Fox (2001-03) was traded Friday from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for right-hander Jeff Gray and Minor Leaguers Matt Spencer and Ronny Morla. Fox, who played four positions with the Cubs this past season, batted .259 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs in 82 games and had 17 homers at Triple-A Iowa. [ More Information ]

November 27, 2009 -- Former University of Michigan baseball star Barry Larkin is one of 15 first-time candidates on this year's Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. Roberto Alomar, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff also are new to the ballot. Larkin was a 12-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove shortstop in 19 seasons, all with Cincinnati. He had a .295 career average with 198 homers and won the 1995 NL MVP award. Larkin was the 1985 MVP at Michigan and a first-team All-American in 1984 and 1985. [ More Information ]

November 25, 2009 -- Former Wolverine 2B Chris Getz (2004-05), acquired by Kansas City from the Chicago White Sox on November 6, has been named to the Topps Company's 51st annual Major League Rookie All-Star Team for 2009. The 27-year old Getz hit .261 for in 107 games for Chicago, collecting 18 doubles, scoring 49 runs and stealing 25 bases in 27 attempts. The left-handed hitter ranked tied for first among AL rookies in multi-hit games (28), third in triples (4) and stolen bases, tied for fourth in doubles and fifth in walks (30), runs and hits (98). Getz' 92.6 stolen base percentage (25-for-27) led the league (min. 15 attempts). Defensively, his seven errors were tied with Toronto's Aaron Hill for the fewest among second baseman in the AL. [ More Information ]

November 6, 2009 -- Former Wolverine 2B Chris Getz (2004-05) was traded Friday (Nov. 6) from the Chicago White Sox to the Kansas City Royals in a three-player deal. The White Sox sent Getz and third baseman Josh Fields to the Royals in exchange for Mark Teahen and cash. Getz, 26, was Chicago's primary second baseman last season, although he was slowed by a sports hernia, which required surgery on Oct. 2. It is reported that he is about ready to resume his baseball workouts. [ More Information ]

October 1, 2009 -- Padres' hurler Clayton Richard (2005) kept the L.A. Dodgers scoreless over seven innings in his final start of the season. Richard earned the win as he struck out two batters and gave up a lone single to Matt Kemp in the first. He kept his infield active as he produced 13 groundouts and two double plays.

September 29, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Jake Fox (2001-03) hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th to push Chicago ahead, 5-3. The Cubs held off the Cardinals in the bottom half, as Fox's homer proved to be the gamewinner.

September 9, 2009 -- Bobby Scales (1996-99) was a part of Cubs history against the Pirates. It was only the sixth time in Major League history for a team to start a game with eight straight hits. Scales was the eighth batter in the lineup, making his single the hit that tied the record. The last time the feat had been reached was on September 25, 1990, when the Yankees hit safely eight straight times against the Orioles.

August 29, 2009 -- Cubs' rookie and former U-M star, Jake Fox (2001-03), got the call back up to replace injured Alfonso Soriano against the Mets. Fox hit his first career grand slam in a Cubs' six-run fifth inning. It was Fox's 10th home run of the season.

August 2, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Clayton Richard (2005) made a good impression with his new club, helping the San Diego Padres to a 4-2 win over Milwaukee Saturday at Petco Park. Richard baffled the Milwaukee offense, retiring 13 of the first 14 hitters he faced and allowed one run on two hits over 5 1-3 innings of work.The Padres left-hander had three walks and struck out five, but did not factor in the decision.

July 31, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Clayton Richard (2005) was one of four players sent by the Chicago White Sox to the San Diego Padres on the final day of the Major League Baseball trade deadline in exchange for former N.L. Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy. [ Richard's Reaction via Chicago Sun Times ]

July 24, 2009 -- After posting his first professional win with the Eugene Emeralds, former Wolverine RHP Chris Fetter (2006-09) was promosted to Class A Fort Wayne and has made one appearance with the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League. Fetter finished his stint in Eugene with a 1-0 record in five appearances and currently carries a 0-0 mark through his one start with the TinCaps. [ Fetter's MILB Bio Page ]

July 10, 2009 -- The most recent Wolverine draftee, RHP Chris Fetter (2006-09), has appeared in four games for the Class A Short Season Eugene Emeralds (San Diego Padres) and has struck out 17 batters in 17.2 innings of work. Fetter, who has worked as the starter in each of his four appearances, has yet to take a decision on the hill and is holding opponents to a .200 average. [ Fetter's MILB Bio Page ]

July 8, 2009 -- With Chicago Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto getting injured, former U-M catcher Jake Fox (2001-03) is ready to catch Cubs' pitchers if need be.

June 30, 2009 -- Former Wolverine hurler Clayton Richard (2005) picked up another win for the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night, going six innings while fanning six in a rain-shortened stint against the Cleveland Indians.

June 29, 2009 -- Jake Fox (2001-03) is expected to see time at third base thanks to his recent hot streak. Meanwhile, Chris Getz (2004-05) became the fourth player in Major League Baseball this season to steal home.

June 25, 2009 -- Former Wolverine pitcher Michael Penn has found a home with the Midwest Sliders, who play locally out of Ypsilanti's Oestrike Stadium. Penn, who was released by Kansas City on the final day of spring training, is hoping for one more shot at the big leagues. [ More ]

June 25, 2009 -- LHPs Rich Hill (2000-02) and Clayton Richard (2005) both started for their respective clubs. Richard (2-1, 4.03) took a no-decision for the White Sox's win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Hill (3-1, 5.18) took the loss against the Florida Marlins in the Baltimore Orioles' 11-3 loss in Miami, Fla. [ More ]

June 19, 2009 -- LHP Rich Hill (2000-02) improved to 3-1 this season, using his arm and his bat to propel the Baltimore Orioles past the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. Hill went 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts while allowing just two-first inning runs and five hits in total for the triumph. He also knocked in a run in the second inning on a 0-2 pitch -- his first base hit since the 2007 season. [ More ]

June 16, 2009 -- Jake Fox (2001-03) was recalled again by the Chicago Cubs, his second stint with the big club this season. [ More ]

June 15, 2009 -- Former Wolverine pitcher Clayton Richard (1995) scored the game-winning run as a pinch runner in a 5-4 Chicago White Sox win over the Milwaukee Brewers. In the top of the ninth, after Jim Thome walked, Richard came on as a pinch runner, moved to second base on a single and scored from second on A.J. Pierzynski's single to center. [ More ]

June 13, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Bobby Scales (1996-99) was optioned to Triple-A Iowa following the Cubs' 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night. Scales batted .241 with three home runs, seven RBI and a .466 slugging percentage in 25 games with the big club.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune wrote a short piece on Tuesday (June 12) about former second baseman Chris Getz (2004-05) and his adjustment period with the White Sox.

June 11, 2009 -- Former U-M star Jake Fox (2001-03) was sent down to Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday. Fox made one start and went 5-for-12 (.417). With interleague play looming, Fox may get recalled soon.

In other news, former U-M hurler J.J. Putz (1996-99) had elbow surgery on Tuesday (June 9) and will be sidelined up to three months. He was placed on the disabled list last Friday (June 5).

May 29, 2009 -- A day after being sent back to AAA Iowa, the Chicago Cubs recalled former Wolverine Bobby Scales (1996-99) to fill a void created when 3B Ryan Freel was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Scales promptly contributed the lone RBI in Chicago's 2-1 loss to Los Angeles with a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning. Meanwhile, fellow former Wolverine Jake Fox (2001-03) made his 2009 debut that same inning, singling in a pinch-hit performance right after the Scales blast.

May 27, 2009 -- The Chicago Cubs made several roster moves Wednesday (May 27), including a pair of moves affecting former Wolverines as Bobby Scales (1996-99) was sent back to AAA Iowa and Jake Fox (2001-03) was called up for his 2009 debut with the big league team. Fox was hitting .423 in 40 games with AAA Iowa, including a league-high 17 home runs and 50 runs batted in.

May 19, 2009 -- Former Wolverine LHP Rich Hill (2000-02) made his 2009 debut with his new club, the Baltimore Orioles, on Saturday (May 16) and it was a memorable one, delivering 5 2/3 solid innings and emerging as the winning pitcher in Baltimore's 3-2 victory over Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.

May 18, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Bobby Scales continues to make waves with the Chicago Cubs and took time to recount his path to the Majors with National Public Radio (NPR).

May 13, 2009 -- Bobby Scales' remarkable journey to the Major Leagues took another twist Tuesday night when he slammed a pinch-hit home run vs. San Diego, the first of his big league career then talked to the folks at MLB Network about the experience.

May 12, 2009 -- A check around Major and Minor League Baseball finds several former Wolverines excelling with their respective clubs in 2009. Former Wolverine 2B Chris Getz (2004-05) has made an impact as the starter at 2B with the Chicago White Sox, hitting .247 (23-84) with five doubles and a triple in 21 games this season, and he flashed the leather last night versus Cleveland, contributing three Web Gems... New York Mets set-up man J.J. Putz has posted a 1-2 record in 17 appearances for his new club with 11 K's in 18 innings of work and also sat down to tell the MLB Network how he is adjusting to his new role ... Bobby Scales (1996-99) is making the most of his long awaited trip to the show, hitting safely in each of his four games since being called up, including a triple while posting a .385 average. MLB Network's Harold Reynolds tips his cap to Scales and fans can also watch Bobby's great diving catch and first MLB hit... Former Michigan hurler Clayton Richard (2005) has 10 strikeouts out of the bullpen in 12 appearances for the White Sox this season but has been moved to the starting rotation with MLB Network's Harold Reynolds examining his assumption of Jose Contreras' spot in the rotation, and Richard himself talking about his mound mindset... Adam Abraham (2006-08) is hitting .286 (20-70) with four doubles, a triple and a homer in 23 games for the Lake County Captains ... Zach Putnam (2006-08) is off to a 2-0 start with a 4.13 ERA in five starts for the Akron Aeros (AA) with 23 K's in 24 innings of work.

May 8, 2009 -- Former Wolverine IF Bobby Scales (1996-99), who finally made it to the big leagues after 10 years in the minors, is featured by ESPN.com. [ Full Story ]

May 4, 2009 -- After 1,013 games, 3,303 at-bats, 942 hits and stops in Fort Wayne, Lake Elsinore, Portland, Mobile, Scranton, Pawtucket and Des Moines, former Wolverine IF Bobby Scales (1996-99) is finally in the big leagues after being called up with the Cubs prior to Tuesday's game with San Francisco . [ Full Story ]

May 3, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Jake Fox (2001-03) has been hitting at a torrid pace for AAA Iowa Cubs, going 34-for-81 to start the year with 12 home runs in his first 21 games. Fox is slugging at a .988 clip with a 1.477 OPS and was named the PCL Hitter of the Week on April 20 . [ Full Story ]

April 29, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Bobby Scales (1996-99) could finally get his shot in the majors after Cubs manager Lou Pinella said he would be called up if Aramis Ramirez lands on the disabled list this week. [ Full Story ]

April 12, 2009 -- Former Wolverine RHP/DH Zach Putnam picked up his first professional win Sunday (April 12), allowing just one earned run over five innings as his Kinston Indians defeated Winston-Salem, 6-2. [ Full Story ]

March 24, 2009 -- The Chicago Cubs sent five players to the Minor League camp Tuesday to reduce the spring roster to 37, including former Wolverines Jake Fox (2001-03) and Bobby Scales (1996-99). [ Full Story ]

March 24, 2009 -- Former Wolverine infielder Chris Getz (2004-05) and LHP Clayton Richard (2005) have been named to the 2009 Chicago White Sox 25-man roster. [ Full Story ]

March 23, 2009 -- Former Wolverine infielder Chris Getz (2004-05) received an endorsement from Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen as the likely starter at second base to begin the 2009 season. [ Full Story ]

March 22, 2009 -- Former Wolverine hurler Rich Hill (2000-02) won't be ready for opening day with the Baltimore Orioles, the club announced Sunday (March 22). Hill, who has been battling a case of elbow soreness for weeks, threw a positive batting-practice session against live hitters but was ruled out for Opening Day by Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz. The southpaw will likely start the season on the disabled list and will point toward a healthy return in the second week of April. [ Full Story ]

March 12, 2009 -- Chicago Cubs prospect Bobby Scales (1996-99) was featured in the story "There's no quit in Scales" by the Chicago Tribune. The story explores Scales' long minor league career and his quest to finally hit the big leagues this spring. [ Full Story ]

March 11, 2009 -- Former U-M C and 2006 team captain Jeff Kunkel (2003-06) has been assigned to minor league camp with the Detroit Tigers. Kunkel, a 37th round draft pick of the Tigers in 2006, split the 2008 season between Class A affiliates Erie (Pa.) and Lakeland (Fla.), hitting a combined .227 with two homers and 26 RBIs.

February 26, 2009 -- Chicago Cubs prospect Jake Fox (2001-03) hit a three-run homer in Chicago's 7-4 win over Milwaukee in Cactus League action Thursday. Fox, who got the start at first base, hit the blast with former Wolverine Bobby Scales (1996-99) on base after Scales was inserted as a pinch-runner. [ Full Story ]

February 18, 2009 -- The Arizona Diamondbacks claimed right-hander Bobby Korecky (1999-2002) off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Arizona is looking to shore up their bullpen that has as many as three job vacancies. Korecky went 2-0 with a 4.58 ERA in 16 appearances for the Twins last season and posted a 2.91 ERA in 74 1/3 innings in Triple-A Rochester. [ Full Story ]

February 16, 2009 -- Former Wolverine Bobby Scales (1996-99) was the focus of a MLB.com story detailing his journeyman career through the minor leagues in the feature "Batting Around with Bobby Scales" . [ Full Story ]

February 2, 2009 -- The Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation started to take a more rounded shape on Monday when they acquired southpaw starter and former Wolverine Rich Hill (2000-02) from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later. Hill, who has an 18-17 record with a 4.37 ERA in the big leagues, had a huge season for the Cubs in 2007, going 11-8 with a 3.92 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 195 innings. However, he struggled with back spasms and inconsistency last in 2008, posting a 2-4 record and a 5.88 ERA for Triple-A Iowa.

January 22, 2009 -- The Chicago Cubs will have three former Wolverines in their Major League Spring Training camp, with IF/OF Bobby Scales (1996-99) joining LHP Rich Hill (2000-02) and C/1B Jake Fox (2001-03). Scales was among the 21 non-roster invitees announced by the Cubs, while Hill and Fox are both on Chicago's 40-man roster. Camp begins Friday, Feb. 13, when pitchers and catchers are invited to report in Mesa, Ariz. Position players report Monday, Feb. 16, with the team's first full workout the following day.

Playing for Triple-A Iowa in 2008, the switch-hitting Scales set career marks with a .320 batting average, 94 runs, 59 walks and a .415 on-base percentage in 121 games. He tied for eighth in the Pacific Coast League batting race and tied for second in runs scored.

Hill, who debuted with the Cubs in 2005 and won 11 games in 2007, went 1-0 with a 4.12 ERA last summer in five games at the Major League level before spending the remainder of the season in the minors. Fox, who made his big league debut in 2007, started the 2008 season at Iowa before going to Double-A Tennessee and becoming a Southern League All-Star with his .307 average, 25 homers, 79 RBI and .580 slugging percentage in 105 games.

January 19, 2009 -- USA Baseball announced that former Wolverine All-American Barry Larkin is one of five coaches who will join manager Davey Johnson in March on Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. Larkin is one of three auxiliary coaches, joining former big leaguers Bill Ripken and Mike Schmidt. Larkin's experience wearing the red, white and blue dates back to 1984 when baseball was a test event in the Olympic Games and, as a rising junior at the University of Michigan, he was named to the silver medal-winning U.S. team. Larkin followed his stint with Team USA with a 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, winning a World Series Championship in 1990 and the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1995. Since retiring in 2004, the 12-time All-Star has worked in the Washington Nationals front office, as a coach for the MLB International European Academy (2007, '08) and in late 2008 was named as an analyst for the MLB Network.

January 7, 2009 -- Former U-M C and 2006 team captain Jeff Kunkel (2003-06) has been invited to big league spring training with the Detroit Tigers. Kunkel, a 37th round draft pick of the Tigers in 2006, split the 2008 season between Class A affiliates Erie (Pa.) and Lakeland (Fla.), hitting a combined .227 with two homers and 26 RBIs.

December 11, 2008 -- Former U-M RHP J.J. Putz (1996-99) was aquired by the New York Mets in a three-team, 12-player trade Thursday morning. An All-Star in 2007 with the Seattle Mariners, Putz saved 40 games and was 6-5 with a 3.88 ERA and 15 saves in 23 chances last season. [ Full Story ]

November 23, 2008 -- Former U-M C/1B Jake Fox (2001-03) is hosting a clinic and fundraiser to raise awareness for diabetes. Fox, who is in the Cubs' Minor League system, wants to help coaches and young athletes understand diabetes and how it can affect their performance. He and his wife, Allison, have created FEWSIC -- "For Everyone Who Said I Couldn't" -- and they will host an event Dec. 28-29 in Greenfield, Ind., to raise awareness and money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. [ Full Story ]

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