While some younger UF baseball players are beginning their MLB careers, one established veteran is proving that he still has it.
Orioles reliever Darren O’Day returned to the team this week after dealing with minor shoulder discomfort.
On Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, O’Day provided a flawless inning, allowing no hits and striking out two batters.
The former Gator stumbled early on in the season, letting up six hits and six runs in his first three outings, but has since returned to form.
In his last 10 games, O’Day has given up five hits and three runs, and has struck out eight batters.
The Stockton Duo
Former UF pitchers A.J. Puk and Logan Shore have been struggling this season with the Stockton Ports, the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.
Puk, the No. 6 overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft, has a 1-8 record since making his minor league debut on July 12, 2016. This season alone, he has a 4.15 ERA with 49 strikeouts and has let up 23 hits.
Shore hasn’t had much success either, earning a 1-5 record in his first two seasons in the minors. He does, however, have a 2.91 career ERA and has recorded 53 strikeouts.
Puk and Shore were two of the Gators’ top pitchers in the 2016 season, with Shore serving as the Friday night starter and Puk the Saturday night starter. They helped lead Florida to the College World Series in 2015 and 2016.
The Minors Roundup
You can’t talk about the minors without mentioning Tim Tebow.
The former UF quarterback is in his first season with the Columbia Fireflies, the Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, and started the year with a home run in his first at bat.
He is currently hitting .227 on the year and has seven hits and two RBIs in his last 10 games.
After a successful career in Gainesville, former UF first baseman Peter Alonso has been dealing with some injury woes in the minors.
A broken finger kept him from finishing his season with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2016, and a broken hand has kept him out of the lineup for the St. Lucie Mets since April 11 of this season. In the six games he did play with St. Lucie, Alonso had just four hits and two RBIs.
In Double-A action, former shortstop Richie Martin has been playing well with the Midland RockHounds.
In his last 10 games, Martin has a .393 batting average with 11 hits, two doubles and an RBI.
Former catcher Mike Zunino was sent down to the Seattle Mariners Triple A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers, after struggling early in the 2017 season with the big league club.
Before his demotion, Zunino was hitting .167 with just 12 hits. In seven games with the Rainiers, Zunino has a .250 batting average with two home runs and four RBIs.
Contact Jake Dreilinger at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @DreilingerJake.
A.J. Puk pitches during Florida's 7-2 loss to Miami on Feb. 21, 2015, at McKethan Stadium.