In a sense, this was a good week for former Independent pitchers although one of them has a darn good reason for arguing the point.
Lefty Alberto Castillo got another call to Baltimore and righty Chris Jakubauskas joined Pittsburgh. Neither had made the cut at the end of spring training.
Jakubauskas is the one with the argument. The 31-year-old got only 12 pitches into his initial 2010 major league start at Houston Saturday night when Lance Berkman lined a pitch off the back of his head, sending Jakubauskas to the ground for several minutes and to Methodist Hospital for the night. Early indications are the pitcher is going to be okay, which also is a relief to Berkman. "That's probably the most rattling thing I've been a part of in the big leagues," Berkman told MLB.com. The Houston first baseman ran to first base on his hit, then quickly ran to the mound in a gracious effort to help.
This is Jakubauskas's second major league season. After starting his pro career in the Frontier League (Florence, KY and Ohio Valley), he progressed through Orange County (Fullerton, CA) of the Golden League and Lincoln, NE of the American Association before spending virtually all of 2009 with Seattle, where he was 6-7, 5.32. The onetime University of Oklahoma position player was 0-2, 4.50 in two starts at Indianapolis this season before he was recalled.
Castillo, who also played for four Independent teams, was with Baltimore for 28 games in 2008 and 20 more last season, winning his only decision and putting up a 3.32 earned run average. He played Indy baseball with Schaumburg, IL in the Northern League, then with three Atlantic League teams (Newark and Camden, NJ plus the traveling Road Warriors).
Sunday, April 25, 2010
JAKUBAUSKAS BEANED IN RETURN TO MAJORS; CASTILLO ALSO BACK
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.