Wednesday, September 26, 2018


The tedious nature of the National League races in the last five days of the regular season have several former Independent Baseball players on the edge of their seat whether they will be part of the postseason.

Be that as it may, two former Indy right-handers, one involved in the postseason scramble, seem to have really cemented their future for 2019 by virtue of this season's performances.

John Brebbia (Sioux Falls and Laredo in the American Association for two full seasons in 2014-15) has done so well in St. Louis's bullpen that some want him to be the Redbirds' closer in the future.  Robert Stock cannot fret over the postseason since his San Diego Padres are not involved, but this former Can-Am League hurler (New Jersey Jackals, 2016) surely is being counted on for next season.

Is he (Brebbia) even good was a question the blog Viva El Birdos asked itself?  "You better believe it. It’s been easy to miss this year, but between injuries and stints in (Triple-A) Memphis Brebbia has put up a tremendous season in the majors...Brebbia has struck out 25.9% of the batters he’s faced in his major league career (27.6% this year), comfortably above the major league average of around 22%. His 6.4% career walk rate complements the strikeouts quite well, and does a lot to account for his career 2.83 ERA.  It’s not smoke and mirrors, either. Brebbia’s arsenal consists of an excellent fastball and an excellent slider, both of which he uses roughly half the time.  He had posted a 1.72 ERA for his last 15 St. Louis outings entering play Wednesday.

Since being called up for his second major league stint July 20, Stock, The San Diego Tribune reported recently, "has thrown 28 innings over 18 appearances. He’s gone more than one inning in 10 of those appearances, including three innings twice and at least two innings five other times while consistently throwing in the high 90s. No other reliever in the majors averaging more than 96 mph on his fastball this season has thrown more than 23 innings since July 20.  Simply, no one does what Stock has done and continues to do. He loves it. 'I think it’s fun to try to be out there every single day.' He has a 2.61 ERA in his 31 total innings this season." Not bad coming from someone who was both a catcher and pitcher in college (at USC).


Outfielder-first baseman Jose Martinez at St. Louis (Rockford, Frontier League) and pitchers Junior Guerra of Milwaukee (Wichita, American Association), Rich Hill of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Long Island, Atlantic League) and Brandon Kintzler of the Chicago Cubs (St. Paul, American Association, and Winnipeg, when it was in the Northern League), appear to be locks for rosters if their teams make it to the postseason.

Four others have enjoyed the final weeks of the regular season with contenders with some chance of being on active rosters in the playoffs.  They are catcher Rene Rivera with Atlanta (Camden, Atlantic) and hurlers Jon Edwards with Cleveland (Alpine, Pecos League, and San Angelo, North American League), D. J. Johnson with Colorado (Traverse City, Frontier) and Robby Scott with Boston (Yuma, North American).

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