Seven Former Stanford Players On 2009 Major League Baseball Opening Day Rosters
April 6, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - Continuing the proud tradition of Stanford baseball at the highest level, seven former Cardinal players are on Opening Day 25-man Major League Baseball rosters - infielder Eric Bruntlett (Philadelphia Phillies), outfielder Chris Carter (Boston Red Sox), outfielder Jody Gerut (San Diego Padres), pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (Baltimore Orioles), infielder Jed Lowrie (Boston Red Sox) and outfielder Carlos Quentin (Chicago White Sox).
Carter and Lowrie will experience the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day for the first time, while Guthrie will get a pitcher's top regular season honor - the Opening Day start for Baltimore.
'We are very proud of all of our former players,' said Stanford head coach Mark Marquess, who is in his 33rd year at the helm of his alma mater in 2009. 'We congratulate these seven for earning a spot on the Opening Day roster, and wish them best success in the 2009 season.'
Bruntlett, who helped lead Stanford to consecutive College World Series appearances in 1999-2000, was a key member of the Philadelphia Phillies' 2008 World Series championship club. The infielder is opening his seventh major league season (second with Philadelphia), and is already 1-for-1 on the season after delivering a pinch-double last night in the Phillies' Opening Night loss to Atlanta. A three-time postseason participant, Bruntlett homered in Game Two of the 2008 Fall Classic.
Carter played in nine games with Boston last year during a pair of call-ups in June and September, going 6-for-18 (.333) with three RBI. During his three years on The Farm from 2002-04, Carter played on two College World Series clubs (2002 and 2003) and a Cardinal regional team (2004).
After two years away from the majors, Gerut enjoyed a resurgence in 2008, batting .296 with 14 home runs and 43 RBI over 100 games with the San Diego Padres. A three-year major league veteran, Gerut hammered 22 homers as a Cleveland Indians rookie in 2003, and owns a lifetime .271 batting average in 420 major league contests. Gerut was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer during his three Stanford seasons (1996-98), and was a starting outfielder on the Cardinal's 1997 College World Series team.
When Guthrie takes the ball on Monday afternoon against the New York Yankees, he will become just the fourth Baltimore pitcher to make consecutive Opening Day starts in the last 30 years, joining Rodrigo Lopez, Rick Sutcliffe and fellow Stanford great Mike Mussina. Guthrie ranked 14th in the American League with a 3.63 ERA in 2008, while posting a 10-12 record in 30 starts. The right-hander has pitched in parts of five major league seasons - the last two with Baltimore - and has forged a career ERA of 3.89 in 78 games (57 starts). Guthrie's two-year Stanford career was capped by a 2002 season in which he was a first-team All-American and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year.
Lowrie enjoyed a solid rookie season with Boston in 2008, helping the Red Sox reach the American League Championship Series. He originally had his contract purchased on April 10 and was with Boston for much of the regular season, batting .258 with 25 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 46 RBI in 80 games. The switch-hitter then delivered a walk-off, RBI-single in Game Three to give Boston a three-game sweep of Anaheim in the ALDS. Lowrie was a two-time first-team All-American during a stellar career on The Farm from 2003-05, and earned 2004 Pac-10 Player of the Year honors.
Quentin finished fifth in American League MVP voting in 2008, his third major league season and first with the Chicago White Sox. The All-Star outfielder ranked second in the AL with 36 home runs and a .571 slugging percentage, while batting .288 with 100 RBI (tied for 11th in the league). Those numbers, which were good enough for a Silver Slugger Award, were compiled despite the fact that he missed the final month of the season with a fractured right wrist suffered on September 1. During his illustrious three years at Stanford (2001-03), Quentin was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (2001), a Freshman All-American (2001), a three-time all-conference selection (2001-03) and a 2003 first-team All-American.
The 2009 Stanford club - winners of two straight games, four of its last five contests and seven of its last nine outings - will host four home games this week at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. The Cardinal will welcome No. 25/29 San Diego for a Tuesday, April 7 contest before a three-game, Pac-10 series against UCLA from Thursday to Saturday. Tuesday's game will begin at 5 p.m., Thursday's and Friday's contests are set for 5:30, while Saturday's is scheduled for 1.