Tuesday, April 01, 2008


This is a tough one to write.

While it was not unexpected, more than 40 Independent Baseball players whose contracts had been picked up by major league organizations have been released in recent days out of minor league camps. It happens every spring--and not merely to Independent players--as the minor league operations departments put together the rosters of their full-season affiliates. More cuts will have to come, but the number should not be nearly as hefty.

Some of these players will land jobs in other organizations, but the vast majority probably will be back in tryout camps, showing up on 2008 Independent rosters or will give up on everyone's goal of playing in the major leagues and find a new career path.

The recent releases include two outfielders who were non-roster invitees to major league camps, Jorge Piedra (Long Island, NY, Atlantic League) with Florida and Chad Hermansen (Sioux Falls, SD, American Association) with the Los Angeles Angels. Hermansen saw only limited major league action in the Cactus League while Piedra, a left-handed hitter who turns 29 later this month, had a solid showing, hitting .400 (4-for-10) with a home run and a .455 on-base percentage. Former major leaguer Junior Spivey, who played briefly for the World Champion Red Sox this spring, also has been released.

Other players released include John Anderson, Chadd Blasko, Steve Boggs, Tim Brown, Ken Chenard, Ian Church, Derrick Ellison, Branden Florence, Sheldon Fulse, Chris Fussell, Lino Garcia, Chris Grossman, Lee Gwaltney, Gerald Haran, Joe Hulett, Mike Just, Jared Locke, Brian Logan, Sam Marsonek, Luke Massetti, Charles Merricks, Brent Metheny, Jeff Nettles, Franklin Nunez, Dustin Pease, Eddie Pena, Brian Peterson, Josh Pressley, Scott Richmond, Chris Rivera, Jim Rushford, Luany Sanchez, Gary Schneidmiller, Dan Schwartz, Juan Senreiso, Mike Thompson, Steve Torrealba, J. J. Trujillo, Mike Vicaro, Cory Willey, James Wladyka, and Jeremy Zick.

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