Carr signs, Maresh update; ESPY nomination

Gophers lefty-pitcher Kyle Carr announced last week that he has signed a professional contract and will forego his final year with the Gophers.

However, if all goes according to plan, Carr might not be out of the Twin Cities for long.

Carr signed with the Twins organization after the team selected him with its 12th-round pick in this year’s draft – the second time the Twins drafted Carr.

The organization also drafted the pitcher three years ago in the 31st round , before Carr decided to join the Gophers team.

“It’s a dream I’ve had for a long, long time,” Carr told the Associated Press. “The Twins are a team I grew up watching, and they’re an organization I respect.”

Carr, who is currently recovering from a recent knee surgery, will fit into the roster for the Twins Rookie League affiliate in Elizabethton, Tenn.

“There was a lot to think about since the draft, but it all came down to taking advantage of the opportunity to play pro ball,” Carr said. “I’m going to miss playing with the Gophers. I’m going to miss my teammates and coaches. But I’m excited about moving on.”

Carr – and the Gophers – struggled in his third and final season.

The Linton, N.D., native was promoted to the starting rotation at the beginning of the season, but went just 2-7 with a 6.13 ERA. He had 67 strikeouts in 69 innings.

– Brian Deutsch

Maresh update

Gophers linebacker Sam Maresh , who announced recently that he would need open heart surgery to repair an aortic valve problem, had successful heart surgery this week, according to a University news release.

It was performed by cardiovascular surgeon Hartzell Schaff, M.D. at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Maresh’s official diagnosis was “aortic valve regurgitation,” which happens when the heart’s aortic valve fails to close tightly and blood being pumped to the rest of the body leaks back into the heart.

“We want to thank all of the wonderful people who have expressed their best wishes to our family,” Bill Maresh , Sam’s father, said in the release. “Our close family has grown even closer during the difficult time. In fact, because of the tremendous outpouring of support, it feels that our family has not only grown closer, but it has grown in number.”

The Maresh family has set up a blog with health updates at www.caringbridge.org/visit/sammaresh.

“I’ve said from the beginning that it was a tremendous blessing for Sam and his family that this problem was found when it was,” Gophers coach Tim Brewster added in the release . “Today, to have the problem corrected in a very successful manner is an even greater blessing for them. I’m sure this has been an amazing day for the Maresh family.”

– Trevor Born

Hoffarber up for ESPY

A week after his game-winning shot over Indiana in the Big 10 tournament garnered him a Play of the Year Award and Best Finish Award at the conference’s inaugural awards presentation, Gophers sophomore Blake Hoffarber’s shot may bring him more hardware.

The Minnesota guard is up for his second ESPY Award – handed out annually by ESPN.

Hoffarber originally made headlines in 2005 when he sank a shot while seated on the floor in the state tournament.

The Hopkins graduate became the first high school athlete to earn an ESPY.

– Brian Deutsch