We had no more than mentioned in Thursday’s Independent Baseball Insider column that the veteran Raul Valdes (New Jersey Jackals and Nashua, NH, Can-Am League) was doing well at Triple-A Oklahoma City (1-0, 2.45, 4 games) when we found out the Astros were adding the 36-year-old to their major league roster. Houston is Valdes’s fifth major league team since 2010.
And, how about veteran major leaguer Scott Cousins, who was ticketed to play the outfield for the Camden (NJ) RiverSharks (Atlantic League) until he joined the Texas organization. It turns out Cousins, 29, is going to extended spring training to try converting into a southpaw pitcher. He last pitched in college at the University of San Francisco.
MINICOZZI OUT WITH SHOULDER SEPARATION
We did not realize it at the time we mentioned Mark Minicozzi, the well-traveled former Independent player, was hitting .444 but not seeing much playing time for San Francisco’s top farm club in Fresno, CA, that there is a reason for the limited action. It turns out he separated a shoulder sliding into second base, and is expected to be out for at least a month. It is very unfortunate for the versatile infielder-outfielder, who trained with the parent Giants this spring and was in position where he might get that long-awaited first major league opportunity.
Minicozzi, 31, spent a season in the American Association (Winnipeg and Kansas City, KS), two years in the Can-Am League (Worcester, MA) and appeared briefly with Camden.
He hit .309-10-66 in an all-star summer in the Eastern League (Richmond, VA) last year.
‘LIFE IS BETTER’ ON LONG ISLAND
It is difficult to find any argument with the Long Island (NY) Ducks’ new slogan “Life Is Better Here”. After all, Bethpage Ballpark is within a commute of New York City, and even more importantly the team has won the last two Atlantic League championships.
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