Four former Arizona Wildcats pitchers have been selected to the Triple-A all-star game.
Let’s take a look:
– Preston Guilmet, a ninth-round pick in the 2009 draft, was converted to a reliever in 2010 and has steadily climbed through the Cleveland organization. In his first season at Class AAA Columbus, he has 16 saves and a 2.40 ERA through July 4, striking out 49 in 41 1/3 innings.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently wrote about Guilmet in an on-line Q&A:
“Guilmet’s results have been impressive in the Tribe’s minor-league system. He doesn’t throw that hard, 88 mph to 90 mph, and has a breaking ball and changeup.
“He knows how to pitch, but getting minor-league hitters to chase pitches out of the strike zone is one thing. Repeating it in the big leagues is another.
“There’s a chance he could be up some time this year, but right now there are people in front of him for the closer’s job.”
Guilmet will pitch for the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game; the other three ex-UA pitchers are on the Pacific Coast League roster.
– Jason Stoffel was promoted to Oklahoma City in the Houston organization early in the season, and he has posted a 2.62 ERA in 24 games. His ERA was below 2.00 before a bad outing on July 3. Still, opponents are hitting only .185 against him.
Stoffel, a 2009 fourth-rounder, was part of the Arizona’s great bullpen in 2008, when coach Andy Lopez also had first-rounders Ryan Perry and Daniel Schlereth. Both of those guys have major-league experience but are back in the minors for now.
– Cory Burns has accumulated 106 minor-league saves since being an eighth-round pick in 2009.
He appeared in 17 games with the San Diego Padres last season (5.50 ERA) and was designated for assignment after the season. The Texas Rangers acquired Burns in November and brought him up for a three-game stint in May.
Mostly, Burns has been tearing up Triple-A Round Rock, with a 1.09 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. He has struck out 33 and walked only four.
–Brad Mills, who has major-league experience across the past four seasons, is Burns’ teammate at Round Rock. The left-hander, after two poor starts, has a 7-3 record with a 4.05 ERA. He won his first six decisions of the season.
Mills, a fourth-round pick in 2007, has a 7.76 ERA in 53 1/3 major-league innings, with the Blue Jays and Angels.
The Triple-A All-Star Game will be held July 17 in Reno, Nev.
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Another former Arizona Wildcats pitcher, right-hander Mark Melancon, has a chance to make the major-league All-Star game. He is having a worthy season with the Pittsburgh Pirates — a 0.87 ERA, with 44 strikeouts and four walks in 41 1/3 innings — but set-up men don’t usually get chosen to be All-Stars.