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Marco Estrada, Brandon McCarthy lead locals at pro level

Baseball: Ups and downs near and far colored season for local ballplayers at all levels of pro ball.

October 12, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Former Glendale Community College pitcher Marco Estrada came on strong at the end of the year for the Milwaukee Brewers.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Former Glendale Community College pitcher… (Courtesy of Scott…)

Whether it was at the major or minor league level, plenty of former area baseball players competed on professional diamonds not only across the United States, but in Canada and Mexico.

There were a number of story lines along the way, as the 2013 campaign saw former Glendale Community College and high school standouts making contributions in professional baseball.

It wasn't only on the field where stories were made, as off-the-field issues followed a handful of players throughout the year.

In Major League Baseball, starting pitchers Marco Estrada of the Milwaukee Brewers and Brandon McCarthy of the Arizona Diamondbacks spent significant time on the disabled list. When healthy, the duo enjoyed pockets of success, though the Brewers and Diamondbacks had their share of struggles and missed out on the postseason.

In the minors, Christian Bergman thrived with the Tulsa Drillers and was selected to participate in the Texas League All-Star Game and Alonzo Gonzalez helped the Vancouver Canadians win their third straight Northwest League title. Some players earned promotions in the minors, while another was taken in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft in June.

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The following wrap-up highlights the seasons that were for local products at various stages of their careers in 2013.

Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers: Ups and downs defined the 2013 season for Estrada, a former Western State Conference honoree. The right-hander was sidelined nearly two months with a hamstring injury and the Brewers finished 14 games under .500, 74-88, for fourth place in the National League’s Central Division.

Still, Estrada, 30, fared well when healthy and produced some career highlights. He finished 7-4 with a 3.87 earned-run average in 21 starts and struck out 118 in 128 innings.

His best work came after he returned from the disabled list Aug. 7. He went 3-0, picking up victories against the Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves. In his first nine appearances after returning from the disabled list, he posted a tidy 2.15 ERA.

Estrada topped Atlanta on Sept. 23, as he allowed two hits and struck out six in seven scoreless innings to help Milwaukee earn a 5-0 road victory. In six of his last eight starts, Estrada allowed one run or less and recorded at least six strikeouts in each of his last six appearances.

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