Germans abroad: The week in review (08/30/13-09/12/13)

The minor league seasons came to a close for the German players over the past days. Here’s how it played out for them.

C Kai Gronauer (Las Vegas 51′s, AAA)
Kai Gronauer didn’t see any action in the PCL playoffs as the 51’s crashed out against the Salt Lake Bees in the first round 1-3. He is now back in Germany helping his former club, the Solingen Alligators, in their quest for the German title. Solingen is tied with the Heidenheim Heideköpfe at the moment and will conclude the best-of-series series at home over this coming weekend. So he still has a chance to win a title this year. He won’t be catching though as the Solingen manager doesn’t want to tear apart the batteries they’ve built up through the season.
Gronauer himself says in the article that he’s satisfied with his performance for Las Vegas, but one has to expect that he needs to do a lot more to stick at the AAA level. His final line is rather pedestrian:

18G, 36 AB, 3 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 CS, .250/.289/.417

Having completed his sixth minor league season within the Mets’ organization one has to wonder whether it’s time for a change with guys like d’Arnaud, Recker, Pena and Ceteno in front of him.

LF Donald Lutz (Pensacola Blue Whahoos, AA)
Lutz is back in Germany as well, being the only minor leaguer who’s team didn’t make it to the postseason. He will be on hand for this weekend’s Baseball Bundesliga semifinal between the Bonn Capitals and his hometown Regensburg Buchbinder Legionäre to throw out the first pitch and sign autographs. In the article he talks about how the broken finger ruined his season as he tried to play through it, but found it to hard at some point after being hit at the same spot again, so he went to the DL. He finished the minor league season with this line:

65 G, 229 AB, 35 R, 56 H, 12 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 19 BB, 56 K, 4 SB, 1CS, .245/.318/.424
Major league line:
34 G, 58 AB, 5 R, 14 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 14 K, 2 SB, .241/.254/.310

Don’t forget you can watch the Regensburg games on their stream for free. This weekend the action will start at 1 pm CEST (7 am ET) as they play a doubleheader against Bonn (Although they might only play one game as Regensburg leads the series 2-0).

OF Max Kepler-Rosicky (Cedar Rapids Kernels, A)
Kepler’s Kernels had to fold it up in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs against the Quad City River Bandits 0-2 (box game 1, box game 2). He went 0-8 with 1 RBI. But he still has the Arizona Fall League to look forward to. And who knows to where he is assigned after next year’s spring training.
Here’s his final line for the season (post season excluded):

61 G, 236 AB, 35 R, 56 H, 11 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 24 BB, 43 K, 2 SB, .237/.312/.424

RHP Daniel Thieben (Pulaski Mariners, Advanced Rookie)
Daniel Thieben was left off the posteason roster for Pulaski and missed out on the championship celebrations as the Mariners clinched the title in the Appalachian League, sweeping the Greeneville Astros 2-0. Or he might just haven’t seen any action in the games as he didn’t appear in any of the four postseason games Pulaski played this year. He concludes the season with this line:

1-0, 6.95 ERA, 18 G, 0 GS, 7 GF, 0 SV, 22.0 IP, 24 H, 18 R, 17 ER, 25 BB, 1 IBB, 19 K, 2.227 WHIP

Thieben has returned to Regensburg as well and it looks like he’ll be at the games this weekend, too.

RHP Markus Solbach (Windy City Thunderbolts, Frontier League, Independent)
Markus Solbach ended his season with the Windy City Thunderbolts on a high note winning his last two starts (9-0 shutout against the Lake Erie Crushers and 10-4 against the Normal CornBelters). His line in the Frontier League reads as follows:

5-1, 3.27, 10 G, 5 GS, 2 GF, 1 CG, 1 SO, 41.1 IP, 39 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 11 BB, 35 K, 1.210 WHIP

If he keeps this up he should find a place with some other major league organization. He won’t be able to stay in the Frontier League forever as the league rules say that players can stay there for only 3 years and should not be older than 27 years.

And finally it’s time to congratulate yet another German player who was given a contract by a major league team. Regensburg 1B/OF Maik Ehmcke signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and will report to spring training next year. Ehmcke (Twitter: @German_eMac) is 19 years old and plays a solid 1B as far as I could tell from seeing him against Bonn past weekend. He’ll most likely be assigned to Rookie League, I guess.

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