Darren O’Day (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2006) has signed a two-year deal with the Baltimore Orioles with a club option for a third year. O’Day is guaranteed $5.8M counting the $400k buyout with the third year option available to the team at $4.5M.
Darren O’Day posted a 3-1 mark with a 2.70 E.R.A. in 23 1/2 innings of work over 17 appearances for Cedar Rapids in 2006. The Kernels squad that finished 65-74 under manager Bobby Magallanes.
The Orioles had claimed righty reliever O’Day off waivers from the Rangers in 2011. O’Day, 29, had battled through injuries and posted a 0-1 record with a 5.40 E.R.A. He joined the Rangers via an April 2009 waiver claim from the Mets. From that point through the end of the 2010 season, O’Day provided the Rangers a 1.99 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, and 0.61 HR/9 in 117 2/3 innings. He made an appearance in four of the 2010 World Series games. Darren O’Day went 7-1 with a 2.28 E.R.A. in 69 games out of the Orioles bullpen in 2012. O’Day struck out 69 batters in 67 innings of work. He has compiled a career mark of 15-6 with a 2.73 E.R.A.
Casey Kotchman was a member of the Cedar Rapids Kernels squad that opened New Veterans Memorial Stadium in 2002. Kotchman hit .281 with 5 HR, 30 doubles and 50 RBI in 81 games as the Kernels finished 81-58 under manager Todd Clauss defeating Quad Cities in the opening round and then losing to Peoria in the semi finals of the Midwest League playoffs.
Casey Kotchman has hit .262 with 71 HR and 387 RBI during his nine year MLB career playing for the Angels, Braves, Red Sox, Mariners, Rays and Indians. Kotchman hit .229 with 12 HR and 55 RBI for the Indians in 2012.
P.J. Phillips (Cedar Rapids Kernels – 2007) has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Phillips hit .245 with 11 doubles, 13 HR, 37 RBI and stole 34 bases in 119 games during the 2007 season for the Kernels. Phillips was selected to play in the 2007 Midwest League All-Star game. Cedar Rapids finished the season with a 78-61 record under manager Ever Magallanes. The Kernels lost to the Clinton Lumberkings in the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs.
P.J. Phillips was signed by the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 2012 season after being released by the Angels after six seasons. Phillips hit .198 with 2 HR, 15 RBI and stole 5 bases in 68 games playing for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Double-A) and appeared in four games for the Louisville Bats (Triple-A) in 2012.
Ever Magallanes (Cedar Rapids Kernels manager – 2007) has been inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame this past week along with Fernando Valenzuela and Houston Jimenez. Magallanes played 11 seasons for the Monterrey Sultanes, Tabasco Olmecas, and the Oaxaca Guerreros in the Mexican League. He appeared in three major league games with the Cleveland Indians making three plate appearance in 1991 earning a walk in one of them. On a side note, my second cousin, Rod Nichols, was the starting pitcher in one of those three games Magallanes played in.
Ever Magallanes led the Cedar Rapids Kernels to a 78-61 record in 2007 season, which was the Kernels first winning season and playoff season during my time working there. Magallanes has been working within the Chicago White Sox organization as a manager and coach since 2009. He and his brother Bobby Magallanes (Cedar Rapids Kernels manager 2004-05) have been selected to coach at the annual MLB Futures Game at the All-Star break multiple times.
Joe Saunders (2002) has signed a one year free agent deal with the Seattle Mariners. Joe Saunders was part of the 2002 Kernels team that finished 3rd with a mark of 81-58 under manager Todd Claus. The 2002 team swept Quad Cities in the opening round of the playoffs before falling to Peoria in the second round. Saunders was 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in five starts for the Kernels. He struck out 27 batters in 28 2/3 innings of work.
Saunders posted a 3-3 record with a 3.63 E.R.A. in 7 starts for the Orioles in 2012. The Baltimore Orioles traded Matt Lindstrom and cash to the Arizona Diamondbacks to acquire Joe Saunders (2002) on August 26 this season. He had posted a 6-10 record with a 4.22 E.R.A. in 21 starts for Arizona prior to the trade. Saunders was acquired by the Diamondbacks along with Patrick Corbin (2010), Tyler Skaggs (2010) and Rafael Rodriguez (2003-05) from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Dan Haren on July 25, 2010. Saunders has compiled a 78-65 career MLB record with a 4.15 E.R.A. in eight season pitching for the Angels, Diamondbacks and Orioles.
Fernando Rodriguez (2005) and Jed Lowrie were acquired by the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Cris Carter, Brad Peacock and Max Stassi. Rodriguez went 8-10 with a 4.18 E.R.A. and four complete games in 28 starts for Cedar Rapids in 2005. He struck out 128 batters in 157 1/3 innings of work. Cedar Rapids finished the season with a 65-75 record under manager Bobby Magallanes.
Fernando Rodriguez made his MLB debut with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on May 2, 2009. He signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros prior to the 2011 season. Rodriguez posted a 2-3 record with a 3.96 E.R.A. in 47 games out of the Astros bullpen that year. He struck out 60 batters in 56 inning of work. Rodriguez compiled a 2-10 record with a 5.37 E.R.A. in 71 appearances for the Astros in 2012. He struck out 78 batters in 70 1/3 innings of work.