Ramiro Mendoza, much better known for his decade (1996-2005) with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox although he did pitch for Newark, NJ in the Atlantic League in '09, would have been a key on the Panama mound. He hurled 3.2 scoreless innings in the finale, keeping Panama in the game. Mendoza only allowed two hits and, interestingly, did not have any strikeouts or walks.
Infielder Angel Chavez, who started at third base and later shifted to second for Panama while enduring an 0-for-3 night, played 90 games at Bridgeport, CT in 2011.
Panama was outhit 10-3 with the Phillies' Carlos Ruiz getting two of the safeties.
I do not believe Brazil has any players with Independent Baseball experience although that could change by March.
The 16-team WBC field still seems certain to have a number of former Independent players when the final rosters are determined although we may not have the details until February.
FRONTIER LEAGUE FINDS STILL MAKING NEWS
The extensive records we maintain for the Independent Baseball Insider and this blog show that the Frontier League has produced 24 major leaguers. The nicest part is that many of them started their career in the Frontier since it caters to younger players, many of whom have been overlooked coming out of college.
Two members of this group, left-handed pitcher Andrew Werner and outfielder Justin Christian, are in the news once again because of joining new organizations. We can only hope the new location works out well.
Werner, only 25, was part of a two-for-two trade which takes him from San Diego to Oakland. Werner got a nice test the last six weeks with San Diego, where he started eight times (2-3, 5.58). One has to believe the bargain-hunting Athletics will give him a good look next spring. He is on their 40-man roster. Werner played for both Evansville, IN and Windy City (Crestwood, IL) in the Frontier League.
If Christian lands a job with St. Louis after signing a free agent deal it will complete a round trip from within that area since he started his pro journey with River City in 2003-04. River City is in O'Fallon, MO, mere miles west of St. Louis. Christian, who also played briefly at Southern Maryland (Waldorf) in the Atlantic League, will be hoping to become a fourth or fifth outfielder, a role he had with eventual World Champion San Francisco for part of the last two seasons.
FELIX PIE JOINS PIRATES
In another free agent signing, major league veteran Felix Pie has joined Pittsburgh, where he presumably will receive a spring training invitation. The outfielder started 2012 with Camden, NJ (Atlantic League) before his contract was sold to Atlanta. He did not get any major league time with the Braves.
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