How about going out on the limb with exactly one week to go before the 2007 season opens.
Jason Simontacchi (Bridgeport, Atlantic League; Springfield, Frontier League) is not going to be ready for a spot in the Washington Nationals' rotation until at least mid-April because of a groin injury, but if my reading of several rosters is correct I give at least six of the Independent Baseball products who were non-roster invitees to spring training a chance of opening the season in the major leagues.
I am not predicting six will make it, but I believe any of this group could get the call. (Independent teams, leagues in parenthesis, and some spring stats, in certain cases.)
D. J. Carrasco, Arizona (Johnstown, Frontier), 11 strikeouts, two walks in 10.0 innings, 4.50 ERA
Tim Byrdak, Detroit (Joliet and Gary, Northern League), 6.75, but in 8 games and a lefty
Nate Field, Florida (Sioux City, Northern), 3.12 in a busy eight games with eight K's and only one walk
Shortstop Rey Ordonez, Seattle, (St. Paul, Northern), in a nice comeback
Infielder Tomas DeLaRosa, San Francisco, (Nashua, Atlantic League), as a backup infielder
First baseman Tagg Bozied, St. Louis, (Sioux Falls, Northern), as a righthanded bat off the bench
Others have an opportunity, of course, but this is the group I give the best chance.
Of 40-man roster players who haven't been major league regulars, I give Ken Ray a nice chance of being on the Kansas City mound staff. He has been busy with eight appearances (6.23), and it is key for a reliever that he has only walked two. Ray has Indy experience in the Can-Am League (North Shore), Atlantic (Long Island) and Western League (Yuba-Sutter), and got some big league time at Atlanta last year.
We will find out all the answers soon. Stay tuned.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
THREE PITCHERS AND THREE POSITION PLAYERS STILL IN RUNNING
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.