Friday, January 24, 2020


Talk about a spray chart!  That is what we are doing today with so many former Independent league people in the news some three weeks before spring training starts.

--One cannot help but wonder how many Indy players may be on Tampa Bay's 26-man Opening Day roster.  There is newly-acquired outfielder Jose Martinez (Rockford, Frontier League) to be certain, and it would be an upset if this trio of pitchers were not active:   Nick Anderson (also Rockford and the Frontier Greys), Trevor Richards (Gateway, Frontier) and Chaz Roe (Laredo, American Association.  Now the Rays have added lefty D. J. Snelten (Chicago, American Association) and his power arm as a non-roster invitee.  Snelten was with Butch Hobson's team just last season.

--Other non-roster players announced so far include hurlers Phillippe Aumont, Toronto (Ottawa, Can-Am League); Ben Bracewell, Oakland (River City, Frontier); Tim Dillard, Texas (Lancaster,Atlantic League); Luis Garcia, Texas (Newark, Can-Am); Mike Kickham, Boston (Kansas City, American Association); Trey McNutt, San Francisco (Fargo-Moorhead, American Association); Chris Nunn, Atlanta (St. Paul, American Association, and Evansville, Frontier); David Carpenter, Cincinnati (Bridgeport, Atlantic); Tim Adleman, Detroit (Long Island, Atlantic; Lincoln and El Paso, American Association; New Jersey, Can-Am); Fernando Abad, Washington (Long Island); Nic Turley, Pittsburgh (Somerset, Atlantic); catcher Rene Rivera, New York-NL (Camden, Atlantic); and outfielders Dillon Thomas, Oakland (Texas, American Association) and Travis Snider, Arizona (Long Island).  These 15 plus 25 players on 40-man rosters (presuming Brandon Kintzler will sign soon) give the Indy leagues 40 players, and that number seems certain to grow when more teams unveil their non-roster guys.

--Several Indy favorites have signed new minor league contacts and while they are not (yet) listed as non-roster invitees some of them will be on the list of players brought over from minor league camps for one or more major league exhibitions:  This group includes pitchers Justin DeFratus, Los Angeles-NL (Southern Maryland, Atlantic); Alex Powers, Cincinnati (New Jersey); Hunter Cervenka, Baltimore (Sugar Land, Atlantic) and Ross Detwiler, Chicago-AL (York, Atlantic); utilityman Conrad Gregor, Tampa Bay (New Jersey and Rockland, Can-Am, and Lancaster); and infielders T. J. Rivera, Philadelphia (Long Island) and Cody Asche, Minnesota (Sugar Land).

--Several former Indy managers, coaches and players have gotten non-playing major league or affiliated minor league opportunities although they have not all been announced.  One of the more significant is Antoan Richardson, who played for Schaumburg when it was in the Northern League.  He has jumped to a major league coaching role with San Francisco.  It was Richardson who scored the winning run on new Hall of Famer Derek Jeter's last game at Yankee Stadium.  Onetime major league pitcher Dylan Axelrod (Windy City, Frontier) has joined the Los Angeles Angels as pitching coordinator.

Watch this space for the full list of Independent players expected in major league spring training camps in the days ahead.

How About This Contract?

Any time an Indy leaguer gets some type of major league opportunity it is automatic that his paycheck will have more zeroes on it.  Even so, the $22 million Tanner Roark will receive
in his two-year pact with Toronto has to get the attention of everyone in a non-affiliated league.  He started out in the Frontier League (Southern Illinois) for three appearances back in 2008.

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