It is days like this when the benefit of working out of a home office is pretty easy to understand. With something like 14 inches of new snow stacked on top of a couple of previous snows, well, you get the idea.
But better things are coming. That is pretty clear with non-roster invitations to major league spring training camps continuing to pile up. We accounted for 10 such invitations to former Independent players in last Thursday's Independent Baseball Insider, and already can name four more with several teams not yet revealing any invitees.
The new group includes two pitchers and two catchers, all with some major league experience.
The neat thing about the two right-handed hurlers is that they threw their first professional pitches in Independent Baseball. Chris Oxspring was with Cook County (Crestwood, IL) and Josh Kinney at River City (O'Fallon, MO), both in the Frontier League. Kinney had a magical season in 2006, joining the parent St. Louis Cardinals in the second half of the year and being a key member of their World Series bullpen that same campaign. Kinney is headed to the Chicago White Sox, according to published reports, including MLB.com. Oxspring has been away from the game for a time, but has had a solid winter in Australia, and Detroit has signed him.
Minnesota invited catcher Rene Rivera, who played for Camden, NJ (Atlantic League) as recently as last season before signing with the New York Yankees for the balance of the year. The other backstop is veteran Mike Rivera, who is back in the Milwaukee organization. His greatest major league success has been with the Brewers although he was with Florida at the end of the '10 season. Mike Rivera played at Atlantic City when the Surf were part of the Atlantic League.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
TWO HURLERS WHO STARTED IN INDY LEAGUES AND PAIR OF CATCHERS EARN MAJOR LEAGUE INVITATIONS
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.