Consider the case of Matt Wright, a 30-year-old pitcher still trying for his first major league opportunity in his 13th professional season.
Wright, whose contract was purchased by Philadelphia for its Triple-A Lehigh Valley, PA farm club recently from the Atlantic League's Lancaster Barnstormers in the same state, has made two starts for the Iron Pigs so far. He does not not have any wins, primarily for a lack of offensive support, but the big (6-4, 270) right-hander has given up only six hits and three runs in 12.2 innings (0-1, 2.13).
Wright has earned praise from his manager, Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg, and from re-habbing Evan Longoria (partially torn hamstring), Tampa Bay's all-star third baseman.
"I thought Wright threw the ball pretty well for them tonight," Longoria told TheMorningCall.com after he had fanned against the hurler's 95-mile per hour fastball, fouled out to the catcher and skied to right as Durham handed Lehigh Valley a 3-0 loss. "He had some good stuff, and that's good for me to see some good pitching and start to feel comfortable at the plate." Wright gave up only one run and three hits in 6.2 innings.
"It was a good start for him," Sandberg told the online publication. "I think the hitters had a hard time gearing up on his fastball with the variations of his speeds--91 to 95 miles-an-hour--and he threw some change-ups and enough breaking pitches."
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