Wednesday, August 01, 2018


How is this for a rapid climb from and Independent League to the majors?

Brandon Cumpton had not been in the major leagues since 2014 (Pittsburgh), but after spending two months with Southern Maryland of the Atlantic League (4-3, 4.11 in 11 starts) his contract was purchased by Toronto (his last day with the Blue Crabs is listed as June 28).  Thirty five days later (July 31) he was summoned from the Blue Jays' bullpen in an eventual 6-2 loss at Oakland.

The right-hander came on for the fifth and (most of) the sixth inning, and he allowed a run and three hits in 1.2 frames, striking out two and walking the same number.  Half of Cumpton's 46 pitches were strikes.

He had gone 2-1 with an unimpressive 5.63 ERA in six appearances with Triple-A Buffalo after his time in the Atlantic League when Toronto added him to its major league roster.

Cumpton had been in the Pirate organization from 2010 to 2014, including 23 appearances (15 starts) for the parent club in the last two of those seasons with a 5-5 record and a 4.05 ERA.  He did not pitch the next two seasons before returning to Pittsburgh's minor league system last year.

In earlier years, a few veterans such as Jose Lima went directly from the Atlantic League to the majors, but such rapid advancements are rare these days, especially for someone without a distinguished major league resume.

Good for Cumpton and for the Independent game.

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