Just a few days after his release from the Tampa Tarpons (New York Yankees), former Crowder reliever Andrew Schwaab was picked up for a minor league contract by the Detroit Tigers and then assigned to the Double-A Erie SeaWolves.
Schwaab made his SeaWolves debut on Friday night with 1/3 inning of work against the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore).
Schwaab picked up the final out in a 6-4 Bowie win.
The Yankees signed Schwaab in 2015 as an undrafted free agent from the University of Missouri, where Schwaab pitched for two seasons after two seasons at Crowder.
Schwaab put together back-to-back midseason all-star seasons in 2016 and 2017, for the Single-A Charleston RiverDogs in the former season and Single-A Advanced Tampa in the latter.
Schwaab posted a career-high 21 saves in 2016, including 20 for Charleston, and he recorded an overall 4-1 mark with a 2.68 ERA that season with 61 strikeouts and 22 walks over 53 2/3 innings in 43 appearances.
Last season, Schwaab went 6-2 with a 3.43 ERA, seven saves in seven opportunities, and 53 strikeouts and 20 walks over 57 2/3 innings split between Tampa (26 games) and Double-A Trenton (13).
Schwaab made the news for his proposal to his girlfriend (she accepted) before the Florida State League All-Star Game.
The 2018 season has been more of a struggle for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound right-hander from St. Charles, as he owns a 3-7 record and a 5.24 ERA.
Schwaab began the season in Trenton and through 13 games pitched, he went 2-3 with a 4.42 ERA, two blown saves in three opportunities, and 19 strikeouts and 11 walks over 18 1/3 innings. Those walk numbers have been the root of his troubles.
Schwaab then went 1-4 with a 5.88 ERA and 28 strikeouts and 17 walks over 26 innings for the Tarpons. He converted his only save opportunity this season for Tampa.
Tampa released Schwaab on August 11.
— Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Milwaukee) pitcher Aaron Ashby enjoyed a career-high 10 strikeouts Sunday against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Maybe enjoy is the right word, since Ashby took the loss in a 3-2 Cedar Rapids win.
Ashby allowed one run (earned) on four hits over six innings and he walked two against his 10 Ks.
In five starts with the Timber Rattlers, Ashby stands at 1-1 with a 2.39 ERA and 30 strikeouts and eight walks over 26 1/3 innings.
Overall, between Wisconsin and rookie Helena, Ashby owns a 2-3 record and a 4.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 16 walks over 46 2/3 innings.
Ashby’s actually pitched better at the higher level.
In late July, Ashby earned pitcher of the week honors for Helena and he was assigned to Wisconsin one week later.
Ashby led the NJCAA in strikeouts during his sophomore season at Crowder and he recorded 10 10-strikeout performances with five straight to finish out his collegiate career.
The Brewers made Ashby the 125th overall pick (fourth round) in the draft in June.
— It’s not been the best of seasons for pitcher Ethan Clark in 2018.
He spent nearly two months on the disabled list from April to June and since his return, he’s logged a 1-6 overall record with a 4.25 ERA in 13 games and nine starts for both Single-A Advanced Jupiter and Single-A Greensboro (Miami).
Clark went 1-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 10 games and eight starts for Jupiter and recorded 40 strikeouts and 22 walks over 42 2/3 innings.
Clark stands at 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in three games and one start for Greensboro and Clark took a loss Thursday against the Greenville Drive (Boston).
Clark allowed just a single earned run over five innings of work and he struck out eight and walked one. He lowered his ERA for the Grasshoppers by over two runs from 7.36.
This is not Clark’s first rough season in the pros.
In his first season, 2015, Clark finished 1-5 with a 6.84 ERA but he returned to rookie ball Princeton the next season and posted a 7-2 record with a 2.91 ERA and 44 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.
Clark earned Appalachian League postseason all-star honors in 2016.
Clark posted a 6-4 mark and a career best 2.59 ERA, and he was part of a trade that sent MLB shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Miami to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay recently traded Hechavarria to Pittsburgh, and prospects Braxton Lee and Clark both remain in the Miami system.
The Rays selected Clark in the 15th round in 2015 straight from Crowder.
— Single-A Advanced Dunedin Blue Jays (Toronto) pitcher Connor Eller threw two scoreless innings of relief Friday against the Jupiter Hammerheads (Miami).
Eller picked up a pair of strikeouts, walked none, and surrendered one hit.
Eller has been effective this season for Dunedin as both reliever and starter with a 6-5 overall record and a 3.59 ERA in 31 total appearances and nine starts. He’s struck out 44 and walked 24 over 67 2/3 innings. Eller’s nine starts mark the most he’s made over the first three years of his pro career.
Eller’s ERA stands at 4.17 for the season, since he allowed five earned runs over 1 1/3 innings pitching for Triple-A Buffalo in early May.
The Blue Jays picked the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Eller in the 22nd round in 2016 from Ouachita Baptist, his collegiate destination after Crowder.
— Going from the pro ranks to summer collegiate baseball, former Crowder slugger and incoming Arkansas State senior Kyle MacDonald led the Northwoods League in home runs.
MacDonald hit 16 homers in 69 games for the Mankato MoonDogs and he finished two homers ahead of runner-ups Tyler Plantier of the Madison Mallards and Matthew Warkentin of the Bismarck Larks (Wark, Bismarck, and Lark).
MacDonald’s other numbers in 2018 included a .299 average (84 hits in 281 at-bats) with 52 runs scored, 15 doubles, 75 RBI, 62 strikeouts and 24 walks, five sacrifice flies, and two stolen bases in two attempts. MacDonald also led the Northwoods in RBI by 14 over Harrison Freed of the La Crosse Loggers.
MacDonald earned postseason all-star honors for the MoonDogs, landing at first base and one of three Mankato representatives on the 32-player team.
MacDonald knocked 15 home runs during his junior season at Arkansas State and earned Sun Belt Conference top newcomer honors.
MacDonald hit a BBCOR record 15 homers for Crowder during its memorable run to the JUCO World Series and a 54-14 overall record.