Neftali Feliz vs Craig Italiano - tonight, the battle for the MWL Western Division crown reaches the temperature of red hot molten magma. Momma.
Kasey Kiker starts for BAK - In 21.2 IP at home Kiker has a 1.25 ERA. In 31.1 IP on the road Kiker has a 6.61 ERA. Uh-oh, game's in San Jose tonight. Time to turn that road frown upside-down.
Michael Schlact goes for Frisco. This means he's likely who we get to see on TV this Saturday. Maybe Andrus will be back at SS by then. And maybe Borbon will be called up by then ... seeing how Scott Lucas has declared BAK's pennant drive a virtual mathematical failure.
Dustin Nippert starts for OKC - Would a sparkling performance make him a dark-horse candidate for a Saturday start with the Rangers? Mayberry is hitting .217 for June - .243 over his last 10 games. Everybody can calm down now.
8th-round pick Mike Bianucci on June 3rd - pre-draft -
Bianucci stuck around, too. He was selected [in 2007 - ed.] as a draft-eligible sophomore in the 23rd round by the Los Angeles Angels, but returned to Auburn to improve his contact rate, hit home runs and stay healthy.
He's satisfied he did all three, and says he won't come back for his senior season.
"If you don't come out this year, you've got no leverage next year," Bianucci said.
8th-round pick Mike Bianucci on June 6th - post-draft -
Five Auburn baseball juniors and one sophomore were chosen Friday in the major league baseball draft.
At least one wasn't thrilled with the way it went down.
"I really didn't go as high as I wanted to go, but that's how it goes," outfielder Mike Bianucci said after being chosen in the eighth round by the Texas Rangers. "The draft is a funny thing. I heard things all day yesterday. From the second round until the sixth round closed out, teams were asking 'will you sign here, will you sign there?.' It is what it is."
Bianucci, a two-time All-Southeastern Conference selection who hit .320 last season with a team-high 13 home runs. He said he will keep a close eye on who is named to replace Tom Slater as Auburn's coach.
"That will play a role in whether I decide to come back," Bianucci said. "Yeah, that will definitely play a big part in it."
4th-round pick Joe Wieland told Jason Cole he's being assigned to the AZ Rookie League team and is leaving for Surprise next Sunday. From the interview:
Wieland: I throw a four-seam and a two-seam fastball. I’m usually about 89-91 or 92. I throw a curveball and a changeup. When I’m up there, my goal is to go out and I’m going to get you out. That’s my mentality out there. If I’m not confident in what I have, then I’m not going to be able to make pitches and go with the plan.
Heads-up - John Sickels plans on discussing "Controversial Prospect " Engel Beltre this Wednesday.
Sharpen your swords.
And finally ...
Josh Hamilton - 26
David Murphy - 26
Ian Kinsler - 25
Brandon Boggs - 25
Taylor Teagarden - 24
John Mayberry - 24
Jarrod Saltalamacchia - 23
Max Ramirez - 23
Julio Borbon - 22
Chris Davis - 22
Justin Smoak - 21
Elvis Andrus - 19
Ruddy Yan - 26
To quote Mike Bianucci - "It is what it is."