Daniel Thieben, Donald Lutz: Short season ball in the minor leagues started last week. On Monday in the Arizona League it saw a rare German duel. Daniel Thieben, making his second appearance for the AZL Mariners and his first start, squared off against the rehabbing Donald Lutz who was playing for the AZL Reds. Thieben, who issued five hits, two runs and two walks in five innings on the mound, won the duel, as the Mariners beat the Reds 8-6. Lutz flied out and walked against his countryman. Lutz is expected to re-join the Bakersfield Blaze at the end of the week. He missed the High-A All-Star game due to the injury.
Kai Gronauer: German catcher Kai Gronauer has been placed on to the Disabled List with a right calf strain. He was batting .212/.280/.282 with one homerun, three doubles, six runs and six RBI in 25 games. He had just seven appearances in June, but had multi-hit games in three of them.
Max Kepler: German outfielder Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins also opened the 2012 season, playing again for the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League. In six games so far he is 5-for-25 with four walks, a triple, eight runs and four RBI.
Markus Solbach: German right-hander Markus Solbach is back with the Gulf Coast League Twins. He struggled in his first two games, allowing five hits, four runs and a walk in two innings, while striking out one. He also gave up his first professional homerun.
Loek van Mil: After his trade to the Cleveland Indians Dutch right-hander Loek van Mil is having a great season in the Eastern League. In 14 appearances for the Akron Aeros so far he has a 1-1 record with an ERA of 1.08. He has struck out 25 batters in 25 innings, walking just four.
Rick van den Hurk: Dutch right-hander Rick van den Hurk continues to have a solid season for the Indianapolis Indians. He is a perfect 6-0 with an ERA of 2.27 in eight games (six starts) at Triple-A. He struck out 36 and walked 13 in 43 2/3 innings.
Mariekson Gregorius: Dutch shortstop Mariekson Gregorius was named an all-star in the Southern League, getting rewarded for a strong first half of the season. He is batting .287/.356/.347 with four triples, eight doubles, 37 runs and 23 RBI in 68 games for the Cincinnati Reds Double-A affiliate Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Xander Bogaerts: Fellow Dutch shortstop Xander Bogaerts of the Salem Red Sox in the Carolina League also has been a mid-season all-star. He additionally was named to the Futures Game and will play in Kansas City in July. He is batting .296/.375/.498 with 11 homeruns, two triples, 15 doubles, 32 runs and 45 RBI in 71 games.
Jurickson Profar: Another Dutch shortstop with great skills is Jurickson Profar of the Frisco RoughRiders in the Texas League. Batting .289/.369/.463 with seven homeruns, six triples, 17 doubles, 48 runs and 34 RBI in 73 games he will join Bogaerts on the World Team during the Futures Game. He was named a Texas League mid-season All-Star.
Alex Liddi: The Seattle Mariners sent down Italian third baseman Alex Liddi a couple of weeks ago to give him more playing time. For the Tacoma Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League he is batting .286/.400/.476 with two homeruns, two doubles, five runs scored and five RBI in 11 games. He was .231/.289/.365 in 31 games for the Seattle Mariners in the big leagues.
Luca Martone: Italian second baseman Luca Martone is back in the Gulf Coast League for a third straight season. The Anzio native is 1-for-4 in three games for the Houston Astros affiliate this year. He batted a strong .314/.385/.386 last season.