Monday, July 30, 2018


While the focus in baseball right now is tomorrow's (July 31) trade deadline, our attention, as always, is on major league teams finding interest in players in the Independent leagues.

IndyBaseballChatter has tracked 51 players who have been obtained by major league organizations since the end of spring training.  (This total is from the four primary, long-standing leagues, with a few more joining farm systems out of the newer Independent leagues.)

We also can report that six players who have been in one or more Indy league have gotten the thrill of making their major league debut this season.  Trevor Richards (Miami) and Robert Stock (San Diego) still are there while Jeremy Bleich (Oakland), Ryan Bollinger (Yankees), Brandon Mann (Texas) and Marcus Walden (Boston) have returned to the minors.  Bollinger was active, but did not appear in any games.

Thirty-three Indy vets in all have been active on major league rosters this season with 21 still at that level (although several are on the disabled list).  The record for one year was last season's 45, which still could be challenged before the season ends.

When Bleich, who had pitched for the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League, was called up by the Athletics recently, he became the 245th player from the Independent ranks to be active for a major league team since the non-affiliated brand of baseball started in 1993.  That is very impressive, especially since many in the majors virtually dismissed the concept when the first leagues started playing.  (The complete list is available for fans to obtain, as stated elsewhere on this blog.)

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

Monday, July 02, 2018


Pitchers who have paid their dues in Independent leagues are continuing to get new opportunities in the major leagues.

The two most recent examples are Milwaukee's Aaron Wilkerson, who started his professional journey in the now defunct United League, and reliever Robert Stock of San Diego, who came out of the Can-Am League (New Jersey Jackals) only two years ago.

They join 17 others who currently are drawing major league paychecks, although two are on the disabled list.

Wilkerson will be monitored closely in that the Brewers are driving toward a possible postseason berth, and the 29-year-old could work into starting roles.  He debuted in the major late last season (three appearances; two starts) and went to spring training to compete for a rotation job only to injure his non-throwing (left) shoulder on a swing just before the regular season.

He has been back on the mound since mid-May, posting a nice 2.08 earned run average in eight appearances (seven starts) for Triple-A Colorado Springs.  He had a rocky first appearance of '18 for Milwaukee, allowing Cincinnati three runs and five hits in three innings Sunday. 

Wilkerson broke into the professional ranks with Fort Worth (United League), Florence, KY of the Frontier League and Grand Prairie, TX of the American Association in 2013, then returned to Grand Prairie early the next season before Boston bought his contract.

Stock, 28, had a full season with New Jersey two years ago, posting a 2.85 ERA (1-2, five saves) in 52 appearances.  He has relieved four times in a week in his first trip to the majors, striking out five in three innings with a 3.00 ERA for the Padres.

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