Elmore back in charge of Bakersfield Cal League affiliate

D.G. Elmore is back in control of the Bakersfield Blaze of the California League, reclaiming ownership of the franchise he operated for seven years after a bid by new local ownership to build a new ballpark for the club crumbled last week.

New owners Chad Voiland and Gene Hathaway bought the Blaze from Elmore for an undisclosed price in March 2012, with the intention of building a new stadium to replace 72-year-old Sam Lynn Ballpark. The pair managed to raise just $18 million of the $30 million they said they needed for the project, however, and called off the project last week.

Elmore said the new owners failed to make a loan payment that was due Oct. 1, reverting control of the franchise back to him. Voiland and Hathaway said they simply exercised an option in the purchase contract to sell the team back to Elmore at the original sales price if they could not secure a new home for the team. Either way, the team is back under Elmore’s control, with its future in the city looking doubtful.

“I had every hope that Gene and Chad would build a great new ballpark for the Bakersfield community,” Elmore said in a press release.

Where the franchise goes from here is uncertain. Continuing at Sam Lynn Ballpark is not an option, California League president Charlie Blaney has said, as the stadium no longer meets Minor League Baseball facility standards. Blaney told the Bakersfield Californian that he will search for other markets within the league footprint, but a shortage of public money to use for local construction projects in California makes finding a location a challenge.

Last week, Blaney said the league has not considered revisiting a previous plan to shift to franchises to the high Class A Carolina League.

“Best Tools” singles out top players

Kyle Crick has a 1.58 ERA in 45 2/3 innings for San Jose.

Baseball America has announced the results of its annual Best Tools survey which asks the managers in each league to evaluate the prospects they think are best at each position in each facet of the game.

Inlnad Empire had one player singled out as Alex Yarbrough was named Best Defensive Second Baseman. I think Eric Stamets should have been named Best Defensive Shortstop but Modesto’s Trevor Story was named.

Rancho Cucamonga’s Jon Garcia, who has since been promoted, was named Best Outfield Arm.

Here is the rundown:

Best Batting Prospect – Addison Russell, Stockton

Best Power Prospect – Mac Williamson, San Jose

Best Strike Zone Judgment – Nolan Fontana, Lancaster

Best Baserunner – Travis Jankowksi, Lake Elsinore

Fastest Baserunner – Travis Jankowski, Lake Elsinore

Best Pitching Prospect – Kyle Crick, San Jose

Best Fastball – Kyle Crick, San Jose

Best Breaking Pitch – Clayto Blackburn, San Jose

Best Changeup – Tanner Peters, Stockton

Best Control – Ty Blach, San Jose

Best Reliever – Jake Barrett, Visalia

Best Defensive Catcher – Austin Hedges, Lake Elsinore

Best Defensive 1B – Max Muncy, Stockton

Best Defensive 2B – Alex Yarbourgh, Inland Empire

Best Defensive 3B – Juan Silverio, Bakersfield

Best Defensive SS – Trevor Story, Modesto

Best Infield Arm – Trevor Story, Modesto

Best Defensive OF – Travis Jankoswki, Lake Elsinore

Best Outfield Arm – Jon Garcia, Rancho Cucamonga

Most Exciting Player – Addison Russell, Stockton

Best Managerial Prospect – Webster Garrison, Stockton




Players of the week saluted

Third baseman Juan Silverio of Reds affiliate Bakersfield is this week’s California League Player of the Week.

He hit .480 (12 for 25) with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored. The 22-year-old infielder is on an eight-game hitting streak during which he’s lifted his season batting average 20 points to .290.

Pitcher of the Week honors went to Modesto’s Jonathan Gray. The former first-round draft pick by the Rockies went five scoreless innings in his only outing of the week, giving up just two its and striking out seven.

JetHawk named Player of Week

Designated hitter M.P. Cokinos of Lancaster is this week’s California League Offensive Player of the Week. He hit .545 (6 for 11) with two doubles, a hone run, five RBI and seven runs scored in a four-game sweep of Rancho Cucamonga.

Cokinos, 23, has played 47 games and its hitting .339 with 16 doubles, six home runs and 43 RBI.

Pitcher of the Week honors went to Shane Dyer of Bakersfield. He held High Desert to four hits and went seven innings in his only start of the week. He didn’t walk a hitter and struck out five.

Dyer, 25, is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in four starts for the Blaze, a Reds affiliate.

Second half starts today

Ryan McCurdy picked up two hits on Sunday.

All 10 California League teams return from the All-Star break today and begin the second set of 70 games.

Inland Empire, which finished second to Lancaster in the first half, will host Padres affiliate Lake Elsinore at 7:05 p.m. at San Manuel Stadium. Orangel Arenas (3-3, 6.19) will be on the mound for the Sixers.

Rancho Cucamonga will be on the road with a series at Lancaster, an affiliate of the Houston Astros.

In other games, High Desert will be at Bakersfield, San Jose at Stockton and Visalia at Modesto. San Jose was the first half champion in the North Division.


California League rosters announced

Mark Sappington is 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA in nine starts for the 66ers.

The California League All-Star team that will take on one from the Carolina League on June 18 in San Jose has been announced. Both local teams are represented.



Jake Barrett, Visalia Rawhide; Ty Blach, San Jose Giants; Carlos Contreras, Bakersfield Blaze; Edwin Escobar, San Jose Giants; Drew Grenier, Stockton Ports; Chris Jensen, Modesto Nuts; *El’Hajj Muhammed, Bakersfield Blaze; Josh Osich, San Jose Giants; Brady Rodgers, Lancaster JetHawks; Mark Sappington, Inland Empire 66ers; *Hunter Strickland, San Jose Giants; Dan Winkler, Modesto Nuts.


Jeff Arnold, San Jose Giants; Robert Kral, Lake Elsinore Storm.


*Ryan Cavan, San Jose Giants; *JiMan Choi, High Desert Mavericks; Matt Duffy, Lancaster JetHawks; *Jake Lamb, Visalia Rawhide; Geson Montilla, Visalia Rawhide; *Ryan Mount, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes; Max Muncey, Stockton Ports; *Cory Spangenberg, Lake Elsinore Storm; Chris Taylor, High Desert Mavericks; Angela Villalona, San Jose Giants; Alex Yarbrough, Inland Empire 66ers.


Andrew Aplin, Lancaster JetHawks; Jabari Blash, High Desert Mavericks; Zach Borenstein, Inland Empire 66ers; Noel Cuevas, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes;Preston Tucker, Lancaster JetHawks.

Field staff (All San Jose)

Andy Skeets, Manager; Mike Couchee, pitching coach; Lipso Nava, hitting coach; Dave Getsoff, trainer; Dustin Brooks, strength and conditioning.

* Denotes player who will not play due to promotion or injury


Quakes shine in Cal League all-star 6-1 win

MODESTO — The Cal League improved to 7-6 with two ties in the series by taking down the Carolina League 6-1 before 5,082 fans at John Thurman Field on Tuesday. It was the third straight win by the Cal League. It was the most runs and largest margin of victory since the Cal League’s 10-5 win in 2007.

The trio of Quakes in the game all contributed. Here’s the bottom line:

Quakes LF Angelo Songco: 0 for 1 with a sacrifice fly to deep center in the Cal League’s 4-run third.

Quakes C Gorman Erickson: 0-1 with a walk and a run scored in the third inning.

Quakes SS Jake Lemmerman: 1 for 3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. He had one of only two extra-base hits in the game. Made several nice plays in the field, including throwing out a runner at the plate on a relay from Josh Fellhauer in the eighth. He was also charged with the Cal League’s only error .

San Jose CF Gary Brown (Diamond Bar HS): 1 for 4 with a single, run scored and an RBI

Bakersfield LF Josh Fellhauer (Rancho Cucamonga HS): 1 for 2 and started the play in throwing a runner out at the plate on a double in the eighth.

66ers RHP David Carpenter: After arriving in Modesto, he was told he was promoted to Double-A Arkansas, so he did not get to pitch in the game. He was not replaced on the roster by another 66er player, so no Sixer got to play in the game