A great many cuts have been made in spring training rosters, but the only casualty (unless we have missed something) among the 48 Independent players is Clay Zavada, who Arizona sent to its minor league camp.
This cannot be considered that much of a surprise since the still-promising lefty (Southern Illinois, Frontier League) is coming off Tommy John (elbow) surgery which kept him out much of last season. The good news is that Zavada has gotten back to a point where he has been throwing to hitters.
Meanwhile, three more onetime Indy players have appeared in major league spring training games, jumping that already impressive count to at least 60. The last 12 have been brought up for a game or two from minor league camps.
The three most recent additions all are position players. Shortstop Ed Rogers (Bridgeport, CT, Atlantic League), who had a very good spring with Arizone one year ago before going back to Reno (Triple-A) where he was highly regarded both on the diamond and in the clubhouse, made a one-game appearance with the Diamondbacks.
Outfielder Mike Spidale (Kansas City, KS, then Northern League, now American Association) got into a game with Philadelphia, and third baseman Mike Costanzo (Camden, NJ, Atlantic) made an appearance with Cincinnati.
PENA, ALMONTE KEEP UP BLISTERING PACE
Wily Mo Pena, the veteran first baseman-outfielder trying to get back to the majors where he prospered for a time, is making decision-makers in Arizona take notice.
The big guy, who spent the early part of last season at Bridgeport, dropped below.400when he failed to get a hit as a pinch hitter Sunday, but still is at .393 for the 13Cactus League games he has been in with 11 hits in 28 at-bats, including three homers and six runs batted in.
Erick Almonte's bid to get back to the majors for the first time since 2003 (New York Yankees) as a pinch hitter and utilityman with Milwaukee is still going strong. The onetime Long Island (NY) Ducks infielder is making the Atlantic League look good by hitting .436 (17-for-39) with the Brewers. He leads the team in both hits and at-bats, and has three homers and has driven in nine runs.
We plan a rundown on all of the key bids by former Independent players to land major league jobs in this Thursday's Independent Baseball Insider column. Subscriptions are available elsewhere on this blog.
Monday, March 14, 2011
VIRTUALLY ALL INDEPENDENT PLAYERS HAVE AVOIDED EARLY CUTS FROM MAJOR LEAGUE CAMPS
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.