For Erik Kratz, the 2010 All-Star Game was a memorable one. In the middle of the game, Kratz was told he was being taken out of the game, but wasn't given much of a reason why. It turned out that Kratz was getting a ticket for his first trip to the majors to join the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This season, Kratz is playing his home games at the site of last year's All-Star Game; Coca-Cola Park and has had a leading role behind the plate for the IronPigs. Kratz is currently ranked second among all International League (IL) catchers with 10 home runs and is also among the team leaders in various offensive categories, including batting average (.277), on-base percentage (.374) and slugging percentage (.486).
In his first full season pitching at the Triple-A level, Michael Schwimer has emerged as a dominant force in one of the IL’s most talented and successful bullpens. The Fairfax, Va., native has posted a perfect 4-0 mark with a 2.01 ERA in a team-leading 40 appearances with a bullpen-high 56 strikeouts. Both Schwimer and Mike Zagurski have been key cogs in a deep bullpen that has gone 21-7 with a 2.74 ERA in 2011.
Upon promotion to the Lehigh Valley at the midway point of the 2010 season, Schwimer became one of the IronPigs most capable relievers, allowing just three earned runs in 20.0 innings (1.35 ERA). He was drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2008 draft after a standout career at the University of Virginia.
Mike Zagurski has also been a critical component in the dominant IronPigs bullpen and by virtue of today’s All-Star nod will be making his first appearance on an All-Star roster as a professional player. Zagurski’s impressive numbers this season include a radiant 1.95 ERA in 27.2 innings pitched for the IronPigs. He has also had two stints with the Phillies this season, appearing in four games and collecting a 5.40 ERA. With Lehigh Valley, Zagurski currently ranks second among relievers with 41 strikeouts and has yielded just one home run all season.
Zagurski had a breakout 2007 campaign in which he pitched at four levels in the Phillies system and won the prestigious Paul Owens Award before suffering the elbow setback in 2008. During his tremendous 2007 campaign, the 28-year-old logged a sparkling 1.39 ERA in 25 Minor League games while making his Major League debut that same season and appearing in 25 more games out of the Phillies bullpen (1-0, 5.91).
The remainder of the International League All-Star roster was also announced today.
Players Elected (starters): C Devin Mesoraco (LOU), 1B Jorge Vazquez (SWB), 2B Jason Kipnis (COL), SS Zack Cozart (LOU), 3B Russ Canzler (DUR), OF Brandon Guyer (DUR), OF Jeremy Hermida (LOU), OF Dayan Viciedo (CHA), DH Stefan Gartrell (GWN), SP Zach McCallister (COL), SP Julio Teheran (GWN), SP Michael Schwimer (LHV), SP Kevin Whelan (SWB)
Players Selected: C Erik Kratz (LHV), C Jesus Montero (SWB), INF Mauro Gomez (GWN), INF Matt Hague (IND), INF Will Rhymes (TOL), INF Luis Valbuena (COL), OF Yonder Alonso (LOU), OF Jose Constanza (GWN), OF Desmond Jennings (DUR), P Matt Fox (PAW), P Jeanmar Gomez (COL), P Chuck James (ROC), P Shane Lindsay (CHA), P Tom Milone (SYR), P Chris Schwinden (BUF), P Mark Worrell (NOR), P Mike Zagurski (LHV)
Field Staff: Manager: Mike Sarbaugh (COL), Coach: Rich Dotson (CHA), Coach: Dean Treanor (IND), Trainer: Mike Graus (GWN)
The International League edged the Pacific Coast League, 2-1, in the sold-out 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game presented by Lehigh Valley Health Network at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown. This year's game can be seen live on the MLB Network starting at 9 pm (Eastern) on July 13.