Monday, January 22, 2018


This Week in Independent Baseball

Foreign Money Is Intriguing

Veteran Tanner Scheppers has become the second American Association grad and at least the third former Independent Baseball hurler to leave the majors during this offseason in favor of a better opportunity overseas.  Scheppers, who recently turned 31, will make $800,000 to pitch for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan.  The Dallas Morning News first reported the news.

Scheppers, who started his professional career with four starts at St. Paul in 2009, had his best major league season in '13 when he won six of eight decisions and earned one save while posting a 1.88 earned run average in 76 appearances for the Texas Rangers, who drafted him out of Fresno State.  He has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, pitching in only 15 major league games the last two seasons.

Right-hander Tim Adleman (Lincoln and El Paso of the American Association and New Jersey of the Can-Am League) left his job with Cincinnati to pitch in Korea for the Samsung Lions and southpaw  Andrew Albers, who finished last season with Seattle, has gone to the Orix Buffaloes in Japan. 

The Latest Non-Roster Invitations

Pitchers dominate, as usual, as non-roster invitations continue to pile up for former Independent players to major league spring training camps.  Twelve of the 15 invitations we have seen are to hurlers.  This number will continue to grow as we head toward the opening of camps next month with less than half of the 30 teams making all of their announcements.  

The list so far as compiled by, with the major league team and the previous Indy affiliations:

Pitchers (12)--*Ryan Atkinson, Arizona (Evansville, Frontier League); Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Texas (Lancaster, Atlantic League, and Victoria, Golden League); Tyler Cloyd, Miami (Somerset, Atlantic);  Steve Delabar, Texas (Brockton, Can-Am League, and Florence, Frontier); Cody Hall, Tampa Bay (Lancaster); Mike Kickham, Miami (Kansas City, American Association);  Kevin Lenik, Kansas City (Windy City, Frontier); Brandon Mann, Texas (Fargo, American Association, and Lancaster); Jarret Martin, Oakland (Sussex County, Rockland and Ottawa, Can-Am League, and York, Atlantic); Vidal Nuno, Tampa Bay (Washington, Frontier); Marcus Walden, Boston (Lancaster); *Eric Yardley, San Diego (Trinidad and Taos, Pecos League).

            Infielders (2)--Steve Lombardozzi, Oakland (Southern Maryland, Atlantic); 1B Brandon Snyder, Tampa Bay (Southern Maryland).

            Outfielders (1)--Jeremy Barfield, Boston (Sugar Land and Camden, Atlantic).

            *First professional game was in an Independent league.

Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions

Thursday, January 04, 2018


This Week in Independent Baseball

Heroism in Puerto Rico--Veteran catcher Rene Rivera (Camden, Atlantic League) is a free agent this winter after splitting his ninth major league season between the Mets and Cubs, but he has been a giant figure in his homeland of Puerto Rico, where even the regular baseball season could not be salvaged after the devastating hurricane that still has many people without power.  He made good on a promise to spread goodwill by delivering $25,000 worth of toys collected in the U.S. to some 100 communities.  "It has been a week full of beautiful & humbling experiences", the 34-year-old tweeted, explaining "we were able to do 12 towns, 60 schools, 100 communities & over 25,000 kids." By the way, the Puerto Rican League is playing an abbreviated schedule this month without imports leading up to defending its Caribbean Series title the first week of February.

More Spring Training Invitations--The latest players with Indy time to receive non-roster invitations to major league camps are lefty Jarret Martin (Sussex County, Rockland and Ottawa, all in the Can-Am League, and York of the Atlantic League) with Oakland and first baseman Brandon Snyder (Southern Maryland, Atlantic) with Tampa Bay.

Byrdak Gets a Degree, Finally--Tim Byrdak pitched for five major league teams before retiring a few years ago, now the southpaw reliever has taken advantage of his educational fund to earn a degree from Robert Morris University.  "Twenty years in the making," the 44-year-old told the Daily Southtown newspaper.  "Now I have to find a job."  He has a plan:  "During the course of my career I had injuries here and there and rehab processes and that type of deal trying to survive.  I want to work with kids and teach them proper mechanics and teach them to the best of my ability to keep them off the operating table." His career was not too shabby, either.  Byrdak appeared in 479 major league games, winning 13 times and saving four other contests.

Get the independent minor league baseball trivia question of the day by clicking this link: Independent Minor League Baseball Trivia Questions