Monday, January 19, 2015


More challenges lie ahead before anyone knows how successful the Can-Am League's new Sussex County Miners will be, but General Manager Dave Chase certainly has the New Jersey team off to a nice offseason start.

Chase, a real vet when it comes to minor league franchises, tells us he has been very pleased with the media reception, at one point saying he was "overwhelmed" by it. His first major hit was his ability to get two-time American Association Manager of the Year Steve Shirley to guide the Miners since it will take a seasoned leader to secure a solid roster.

Chase has a four-person sales staff out working to build the fan and sponsor base.


The American Association, already assured of strong representation in major league spring training camps, keeps getting good news, and I am not just talking about the fact Fort Worth, TX product Max Scherzer is joining Washington with his rich new contract.

Right-handers Cody Satterwhite (Sioux City, IA) and James Hoyt (Wichita, KS) have joined the major league contingent with the New York Mets and Houston, respectively. Hoyt was part of the five-player swap in which the Astros received Evan Gattis from Atlanta. Hoyt, who does not have major league experience, also pitched for two North American League teams (Yuma, AZ and Edinburg, TX) during his '11-'12 seasons in Independent Baseball.

The Mets also will have another right-hander in camp in Jon Velasquez, who pitched for Rockland (Pomona, NY) in the Can-Am League and Camden, NJ of the Atlantic League. And Atlantic Leaguer Yoslan Herrera (Lancaster, PA) will be back in camp with the Los Angeles Angels for whom he logged some time last season.


Outfielder Brian Anderson is being given a new chance (although in minor league camp) with his original organization, the Chicago White Sox. After logging 334 major league games (.227-22-80) with the Chisox (and briefly with Boston), Anderson, who turns 33 in March, tried his hand at pitching, including five relief appearances in 2012 (0-1, 1.80) with Somerset, NJ in the Atlantic League. The onetime University of Arizona star, has once again signed on for a look in the White Sox's minor league camp as an outfielder.

THE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL INSIDER will resume in March. Request a free sample column from December in order to be automatically reminded when the column starts for 2015.

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