Oct. 7, 1997
Cal Pro Baseball Updates
Several former California baseball players had outstanding summers in professional baseball.
Besides the heroics of Jeff Kent (1987-89), who had an excellent season with the San Francisco Giants, batting .250 with 29 home runs and 121 RBI, probably the best story of an ex-Golden Bear star doing well in the major leagues is Atlanta Brave relief pitcher Mike Cather (1991-93).
Cather, who was signed by the Braves by former Cal assistant coach Alan Regier, started the 1997 season in Double A Greenville, moved up to Triple A Richmond and then made his first appearance with Atlanta July 13. He finished the regular season 2-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 35 appearances, pitching 37.7 innings with 19 walks and 29 strikeouts. Cather has assumed the Braves No. 1 set-up role and last week pitched two scoreless innings in Atlanta's division series victory over Houston.
Other Cal major leaguers this summer included Darren Lewis (1988) and Eric Ludwick (1991-92). Lewis started the season with the Chicago White Sox, batting .234 with no home runs and five RBI. He was traded to the Los Angeles late in the season and went on to bat .299 with one home run and 10 RBI with the Dodgers. Ludwick started the year with Cardinals' organization and pitch five games for St. Louis, going 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA. He was traded to the Oakland A's in the deal that sent Mark McGwire to the Cardinals. For Oakland, Ludwick threw in six games with five starts, going 1-4 with an 8.25 ERA.
An update on some of the Bear minor leaguers is as follows:
Jon Zuber (1989-92), who was called up by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1996 (.253, one home run, 10 RBI in 30 games), had his second straight productive season in Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Zuber batted .315 with six home runs, 64 RBI and had team highs in doubles (37) and runs (85).
Right-handed pitcher Keith Evans (1994-96) went a combined 16-7 between low Single A Cape Fear (South Atlantic League) and high Single A West Palm Beach (Florida State League) for the Montreal Expos. Evans had a 2.61 ERA at Cape Fear.
Shortstop Dan Cey (1994-96), son of former Dodger star Ron Cey, batted .274 with 34 doubles, five triples and 23 stolen bases for the Minnesota Twins' Class A affiliate Ft. Myers (Florida State League).
First baseman Troy Penix (1990-92) had a late surge this summer, finishing with eight home runs between the Oakland A's two California League teams, Modesto and Visalia. Penix, who returned this season after three years of retirement, knocked in 64 RBI for the year.