With the so-called Summer Camp about over, we should know by Friday how many of the 41 players with Independent league experience will be on the expanded 30-man active rosters of major league teams when the season begins.
Durable Rene Rivera appears to have become the first player who did not start Summer Camp on a 40-man roster to earn an Opening Day job. The well-traveled catcher was awarded a 40-man slot with the New York Mets, somewhat of an early birthday present for Rivera, who turns 37 July 31.
Rivera is in his second stint with the Mets ('16-'17), and has played for eight other major league teams during his professional career which started back in 2001. He played 22 games for Camden, NJ in the Atlantic League a decade ago (7-19-.280) before returning to a major league organization. A backup with strong defensive credentials for most of his career, Rivera has a lifetime major league average of .221 with 41 home runs in his 515 appearances.
Lefty Fernando Abad (Long Island, Atlantic League) has not been so fortunate, being released by reigning World Series champion Washington. Three other pitchers are on the Injured List, St. Louis veteran John Brebbia (Sioux Falls and Laredo, American Association), Toronto's Wilmer Font (Ottawa, Can-Am League) and the Los Angeles Angels' Parker Markel (Sioux City, American Association).
Nunn Loses Job
Southpaw Chris Nunn, who was a spring training non-roster invitee with Atlanta in February, has been released by the Braves. He had pitched for St. Paul (American Association) and Evansville (Frontier League). The 29-year-old has topped out at Triple-A so far.
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
DURABLE RENE RIVERA JOINS 40-MAN; HOW MANY OTHERS WILL FOLLOW?
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.