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IRISH In The MLB

May 20, 2014, 10:42 AM EDT

In the past few weeks, our former student-athletes in the professional ranks have been wheeling and dealing (especially A.J. Pollock).

Let’s begin in Major League Baseball, where five former Irish ballplayers are making waves in “The Show.”

A.J. Pollock • Arizona Diamondbacks
Pollock has been on a tear as of late. After starting the season 0-13 from the dish, Pollock has batted .350. Additionally, the Diamondbacks centerfielder played his way to being named National League co-Player of the Week this past week after going 11-22 at the plate. For all you non-baseball fans, a .500 average is undeniably great.

Two of A.J.’s hits from May 17th.


David Phelps • New York Yankees
In his last three appearances, Phelps has been given the ball to start the game for the Yankees, moving from his position in the bullpen. Over those three starts, Phelps allowing five earned and picked up a win in his last start, a 5.0 inning gem where he allowed no runs on five hits.

Jeff Samardzija • Chicago Cubs
Samardzija is now nine starts into his 2014 campaign and is yet to tally a win. In fact, his record currently stands at 0-4. Has Samardzija pitched to his 0-4 record? No, and his record couldn’t be anymore misleading. So far this season, Samardzija has gone seven innings on six occasions and sports a miniscule 1.62 ERA. Is it possible for someone to start the All-Star Game with no wins? I hope we won’t have to find out.

Jeff Manship • Philadelphia Phillies
After a rough start to the year, Manship has begun to find his stride in the Phillies bullpen. An early-season appearance that saw him allow three earned runs, has hurt his season ERA (6.23), but if you take out that one appearance, his ERA drops to 3.21. Of his last five trips to the mound, Manship has allowed an earned run in just one appearance, a May 11th loss to the New York Mets.

John Axford • Cleveland Indians
After blowing a save opportunity on May 4th against the Chicago White Sox, Axford was moved into more of a set-up man position with the Indians. Axford has responded well, holding (pun intended) teams scoreless in his last four appearances on the bump. Just like Manship, if you take out Axford’s blown save against the White Sox where he allowed three runs, his ERA is a paltry 2.60.

I’ll leave you with this gem from Axford from a few years ago …

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