It was only last night when I finished my weekly Independent Baseball Insider column and sent it to subscribers (www.WirzandAssociates.com) that I said Andy Marte, who was still playing in the Atlantic League (York, PA) one year ago, had been on such a hot streak he could well be one of the next Indy players to get to the majors (Arizona). And, I had more praise for former NBA star Tracy McGrady although I said we still did not know when the Sugar Land (TX) Skeeters would take him off the inactive list for his Atlantic League debut.
Marte, who hit .301 with 19 homers and 74 RBI for the Revolution last season, had another big night Thursday for the D-Backs’ Triple-A Reno, NV farm club, driving in four runs with a homer and single in three at-bats and jumping his batting average 12 points to .309. He has gone 14 for his last 25 (.560) and now has three homers and 15 driven in for 29 games.
TRACY MC GRADY TO DEBUT SATURDAY
Sugar Land announced later Thursday that McGrady will make his much-anticipated professional baseball debut tomorrow (Saturday) night, starting for the Skeeters in the Houston suburb against rival Somerset, NJ.
The game starts at 7:05 EDT and will be seen on ESPN3 and the network’s digital platform.
What a showcase for the Atlantic League and all of Independent Baseball.
LUIS GARCIA REJOINS PHILLIES
It had been apparent for some time (Insider, April 24) Philadelphia had to be keeping its eye on former Can-Am League (Newark, NJ) reliever Luis Garcia, who to date has a perfect ERA plus two wins and six saves in 11 outings for their Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA) farm club.
The Phils gave Garcia his second call-up of the season Thursday. Unfortunately, the right-hander was charged with the final five runs (three earned) in a 12-6 loss to Toronto hours later. He allowed four hits and a walk in two innings (44 pitches).
UMPS, MANAGERS NEEDED
Pecos League Founder Andrew Dunn’s most important goal, he told us this week, in taking the four-year-old league that features recent college players to the next step in its development is to find 10 good managers (pay ranges from $5,000-$15,000 for the 70-game season) and 10 quality umpires.
HOW ABOUT THESE MOUND NUMBERS?
St. Paul (MN) Saints (American Association) Manager George Tsamis made it to the major leagues for part of one season as a lefty reliever for Minnesota. Now, he has a budding pitching star in his own family.
Daughter Casey, a senior at Bacon Academy in the family hometown of Colchester, CT who probably is headed to the University of Rhode Island, has struck out 35 batters and has not walked anyone so far in 29 innings this season while compiling a 5-0 record for the softball team.
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