The Atlantic League should be popping buttons of pride with at least 20 of its former players wearing major league uniforms in spring training, if only for a day.
This league that caters mostly to more experienced professionals had 15 players on our original list of those due in major league camps which we covered in a recent Independent Baseball Insider column, including 11 non-roster invitees, but at least five more have gotten a pass of one day or more to join baseball's top echelon. All of Independent Baseball can claim at least 56 of its former players in big league camps, either as 40-man roster players, invitees or up from minor league camp for a day.
The latest pair of Atlantic Leaguers to appear in exhibition games are batting 1.000, too, with Corey Smith, who played third base when Newark, NJ won the '07 championship, getting a two-run double for the Los Angeles Dodgers and veteran major leaguer Jason Lane, who was at Southern Maryland (Waldorf) for a time last season, collecting a run-scoring single for Toronto.
POSITION PLAYERS AWAITING NEW OPPORTUNITIES
A couple of days ago we listed the pitchers with Independent playing time who were with major league organizations at the end of last season and are believed to be without jobs (some may have chosen to retire) at this time. Today it is the position players in similar situations:
INFIELDERS: 1B Jason Botts, Christian Colonel, Fernando Cortez, Keoni DeRenne, 1B Trent Lockwood, Wes Long, Brian Myrow, Ramon Nivar, Argenis Reyes, Gabe Suarez, 1B Ryne White, 1B Dustin Yount.
OUTFIELDERS: Cory Aldridge, Charlton Jimerson, Jacque Jones (likely retired), Kevin Mahar, Val Majewski, Andres Perez, Michael Ryan, Mike Spidale, Matt Watson, Matt Wilhite.
We welcome clarifications from this list to RWirz@aol.com.
Saturday, March 05, 2011
ATLANTIC LEAGUE COUNT IN MAJOR LEAGUE CAMPS UP TO 20 WITH 56 FOR ENTIRE INDY LINEUP
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.