Kinston Fans Again Seeing (All) Stars

Mike Sarbaugh

Having handily won the first-half championship in their division, several Kinston Indians will represent the Carolina League in a Class A All-Star Game against the California League on Tuesday night in Stockton, Calif. Manager Mike Sarbaugh, pitching coach Tony Arnold, trainer Chad Wolfe, catchers Max Ramirez and Chris Gimenez and right-handers Jim Deters and Frank Herrmann will all be there.

Left-hander David Huff was selected, but won't attend because of injury.

Neither will outfielder Nathan Panther, though he was selected the league's offensive player of the week on Monday. The 26-year-old hit .500 (9-for-18) with two homers, five runs, eight RBI and a stolen base last week.

After sitting out since June 7, Panther got the start in right field on June 12 and went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBI.

Overall, he has an 11-game hitting streak and four homers in his last 10 games, raising his average for the season to .274 (37-for-135) with nine homers and 20 RBI in 43 games.

Kinston won 16 of its last 19 games in the first half for a 45-24 record.

Ramirez, acquired last July from Atlanta in the trade that sent veteran closer Bob Wickman to the Braves, is hitting .297 (57-for-192) with 10 homers and 40 RBI in 54 games.

The 22-year-old native of Venezuela came into this season with a .304 career average in 289 minor-league games. The Indians have not been surprised by his offensive production, but are more impressed that he has made only three errors and has been taking charge of the pitching staff.

Gimenez, who spent much of his first three seasons as a professional playing third base, first, the outfield and catcher, also has only three errors as he is playing more games as a backstop this year in addition to his other roles.

The 24-year-old, drafted in the 19th round out of the University of Nevada in 2004, hit 34 homers with 144 RBI in 274 minor-league games coming into this season. He shown even more power this year. In 55 games, he's batting .288 (49-for-170) with a team-high 15 homers, 37 runs and 37 RBI.

Herrmann, a 23-year-old signed as a non-drafted free agent in August 2005 after pitching at Harvard, is 5-1 with a 3.13 ERA in 13 games, all starts. He has walked 10 in 74 2/3 innings.

In his first professional season a year ago, Herrmann went 4-6 with a 3.90 ERA in 26 starts for the Lake County Captains.

Huff, selected with the 39th overall pick in last year's draft, is 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA in 11 starts.

This essentially is the former UCLA star's first pro season, since he went only 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA in 7 2/3 innings at Mahoning Valley in 2006.

He has been shut down for a minimum of six weeks, however, with what was diagnosed as a mild sprain of a ligament in his left elbow. The Indians are hopeful that surgery will not be needed.

Huff's all-star spot has been taken by Deters, who is 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA with one save in 18 games, including two starts.

The 24-year-old, picked in the seventh round out of Calvin (Mich.) College in 2005, went 15-13 with a 3.07 ERA in 42 games (all starts) in his first two pro seasons.

This year, Deters has shown exceptional control, walking only six in 44 innings. Recommended Stories

Up Next


1 Fans online
    Join The Conversation