This Week in Independent Baseball
Foreign Money Is Intriguing
Veteran Tanner Scheppers has become the second American Association grad and at least the third former Independent Baseball hurler to leave the majors during this offseason in favor of a better opportunity overseas. Scheppers, who recently turned 31, will make $800,000 to pitch for the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. The Dallas Morning News first reported the news.
Scheppers, who started his professional career with four starts at St. Paul in 2009, had his best major league season in '13 when he won six of eight decisions and earned one save while posting a 1.88 earned run average in 76 appearances for the Texas Rangers, who drafted him out of Fresno State. He has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, pitching in only 15 major league games the last two seasons.
Right-hander Tim Adleman (Lincoln and El Paso of the American Association and New Jersey of the Can-Am League) left his job with Cincinnati to pitch in Korea for the Samsung Lions and southpaw Andrew Albers, who finished last season with Seattle, has gone to the Orix Buffaloes in Japan.
The Latest Non-Roster Invitations
Pitchers dominate, as usual, as non-roster invitations continue to pile up for former Independent players to major league spring training camps. Twelve of the 15 invitations we have seen are to hurlers. This number will continue to grow as we head toward the opening of camps next month with less than half of the 30 teams making all of their announcements.
The list so far as compiled by IndyBaseballChatter.com, with the major league team and the previous Indy affiliations:
Pitchers (12)--*Ryan Atkinson, Arizona (Evansville, Frontier League); Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Texas (Lancaster, Atlantic League, and Victoria, Golden League); Tyler Cloyd, Miami (Somerset, Atlantic); Steve Delabar, Texas (Brockton, Can-Am League, and Florence, Frontier); Cody Hall, Tampa Bay (Lancaster); Mike Kickham, Miami (Kansas City, American Association); Kevin Lenik, Kansas City (Windy City, Frontier); Brandon Mann, Texas (Fargo, American Association, and Lancaster); Jarret Martin, Oakland (Sussex County, Rockland and Ottawa, Can-Am League, and York, Atlantic); Vidal Nuno, Tampa Bay (Washington, Frontier); Marcus Walden, Boston (Lancaster); *Eric Yardley, San Diego (Trinidad and Taos, Pecos League).
Infielders (2)--Steve Lombardozzi, Oakland (Southern Maryland, Atlantic); 1B Brandon Snyder, Tampa Bay (Southern Maryland).
Outfielders (1)--Jeremy Barfield, Boston (Sugar Land and Camden, Atlantic).
*First professional game was in an Independent league.
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