Sunday, May 13, 2012


It has been quite a week for former Independent players in the major leagues starting with Stu Pomeranz's call-up and two shutout appearances for Baltimore, then followed quickly by another impressive Daniel Nava start with Boston, lefty reliever Raul Valdes joining the Phillies and third baseman Mike Costanzo getting his first call to The Show with Cincinnati. (Comment: We featured Pomeranz in this week's subscriber-only Independent Baseball Insider.)

The action lifts the current total of onetime Indy players in the major to 17, including three who are disabled.

Nava, whose Independent time was for 72 games (12-59-.371) with Chico, CA of the then Golden League in 2008, will forever be remembered in Boston for the grand slam he hit on his very first time at bat in the majors (2010). It was his only round-tripper in the 60 games he played for the Red Sox that season.

The 5-foot-10 lefty-hitting outfielder appears to be a more mature player overall now at 29, hitting .316 with three homers and 17 runs batted in for his 27 games at Triple-A Pawtucket before arriving for his second stint at Fenway Park. He has played three consecutive games since joining the Red Sox, and in addition to a couple of sparkling defensive plays has been on base twice for every three times at the plate. Nava is 4-for-8 with two doubles, two runs, an RBI and four walks.

When Valdes steps on the mound for the first time the Cuban native will be appearing with his fourth major league team in three seasons, adding the Phillies to a list that already includes both New York teams and the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals for whom he made seven appearances. He was 9-4 in 21 appearances (16 starts) in the Can-Am League in 2006, mostly with the New Jersey Jackals, who also had Pomeranz for a season.

While Costanzo was a second round draft choice by Philadelphia (2005), he topped out at Class AAA with both the Phillies and Baltimore, and needed a fresh start in the Atlantic League (Camden, NJ) before Cincinnati signed him. He hit .278 in 16 games with the 2010 RiverSharks with four homers and 10 RBI. Now 28, the onetime Coastal Carolina University slugger was at 6-24-.303 in 34 games for Louisville, KY when he got his major league call as veteran third baseman Scott Rolen went on the disabled list. If he debuts Sunday it will come against Washington.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL INSIDER FOR 2012. Subscriptions to the Insider $48 from now through December, 2012.


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

No comments: