Outfielder Lou Montanez, who was in the major leagues for part of every season between 2008 and 2011 (Baltimore and the Chicago Cubs), had the first Independent stint of his 14-year professional career this season, and when he got back to the affiliated game on Thursday broke in with a 4-for-5 performance that included a home run, double, four RBI and three runs.
Montanez drove in 41 runs in 52 games for the Somerset (NJ) Patriots (Atlantic League) before the Los Angeles Angels purchased his contract and sent him to Arkansas (North Little Rock) of the Class AA Texas League.
“It was a blessing that the Angels saw something good in me in Independent ball and gave me the opportunity, the 31-year-old told MLB.com. “I’m grateful. It’s always good to start on a good foot. I can’t lie, I had a lot of nerves today, some anxiety, but good things happened and it worked out to my advantage.”
SINNERY’S ALL-STAR DEBUT
Right-handed pitcher Brandon Sinnery, whose pro career started in Independent Baseball and is in his first affiliated season in ’13, worked two-thirds of a scoreless inning (one hit) to help the East to a 6-5 Midwest League All-Star victory in Dayton, OH this week.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 170 pounds, the 23-year-old spent last season building a 9-2 record between Lincoln, NE (American Association) and London (Waterford, MI) of the Frontier League before Arizona signed him in the offseason. He is 4-2, 2.87, mostly as a starter, for South Bend, IN.
SECOND CHANCE IN SHORT PERIOD FOR STRIKEOUT KING
Mike Recchia got a short look in Baltimore’s minor league spring training camp this year after breaking the 20-year-old Frontier League record with 177 strikeouts and being named the league’s top pitcher last season for his 11-3, 2.51 campaign with Windy City (Crestwood, IL). He is getting another opportunity now after taking the lead in Frontier League strikeouts again with the ThunderBolts, this time with his contract purchased for the Chicago White Sox farm system.
Recchia was one of a trio of Frontier League players purchased by major league organizations for their farm systems this week.
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