Thursday, August 28, 2008


This always is an intriguing time for those of us tracking the fortunes of players who have put in time in Independent Baseball because active major league rosters can expand from 25 players (up to 40) starting September 1 (Monday).

Five Indy grads were elevated last September, and the number could go even higher this time around. We will be speculating on some of the possible call-ups in our weekly Independent Baseball Insider column later today.

The New York Mets jumped the gun Wednesday by bringing two players back onto their 25-man roster for the National League East stretch, and USA Today floated Adam Pettyjohn in Thursday's editions as a possible addition for the Cincinnati Reds.

It would be great if it was Pettyjohn who got the call for an emergency start against San Francisco Saturday although I find it unlikely to happen since the southpaw would be working on three days rest after he pitched seven innings Tuesday.

If Pettyjohn surfaces either Saturday or in September we would waive the flag of happiness for two key reasons. First, it would mark the first time a player who has worked in the four-year-old Golden League had played in a regular season major league game. On a personal level, it would climax the comeback of the 31-year-old from Fresno State who had reached the majors with Detroit in 2001 (1-6 in 16 appearances, including nine starts) before a horrible battle with ulcerative colitis threatened not only his career but his life. He pitched for Long Beach, CA in 2005 (10-2, 3.92) and briefly in '06 (1-1) on his way back up the ladder, and is 14-6 (4.63) at Louisville this season.

It looks to me like Ramon Ramirez or Matt Maloney, both better rested, are more likely to get the Saturday start.

In the meantime, the Mets brought both catcher Robinson Cancel and right-hander Nelson Figueroa back to the majors Wednesday. Figueroa, who was 2-3, 5.12 in nine earlier appearances with New York, once played briefly for Long Island, NY in the Atlantic League. Cancel has been in 17 Mets games, hitting .233 with a homer and four RBI. He has played in the Atlantic League (Somerset, NJ and the traveling Road Warriors) and the United League (Edinburg, TX) during his career.

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