Wednesday, June 03, 2020


            If the 2020 major league season ever gets off the ground virtually all of the 18 former Independent Baseball players on major league rosters seem likely to be on active rosters.  Much of the intrigue likely will turn to some others who could be added if rosters expand from 26 to 30 players and if teams are allowed to have another group--estimates have been 20 or so per team--as emergency replacements.

            The best bet among possible additions could be left-handed hurler Tyler Matzek, who was outstanding with the Atlanta Braves during spring training although officially working out of the minor league camp.  Matzek, who has major league experience, played for Texas in the American Association last season.

            Others who could be considered include pitchers Jason Creasy of Atlanta (formerly played for Southern Maryland and Long Island in the Atlantic League and St. Paul in the American Association), Trevor Richards of Tampa Bay (Gateway, Frontier League), Casey Crosby of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Chicago and Lincoln, American Association, and Lancaster, Atlantic), Parker Markel of the Los Angeles Angels (Sioux City, American Association), Kevin McCanna of Arizona (Sioux City), Tim Adleman of Detroit (Long Island, Lincoln and El Paso, American Association; New Jersey, Can Am League), Luis Garcia of Texas (Newark, Can Am) and Aaron Wilkerson of Milwaukee (Grand Prairie, American Association; Florence, Frontier; Fort Worth, United League).
            Position players in a similar situation include first baseman John Nogowski of St. Louis (Sioux City,  infielder Ryan Court of Oakland (Sioux City and Sugar Land, Atlantic) and catchers Yermin Mercedes of the Chicago White Sox (Douglas and White Sands, Pecos League, and San Angelo, United) and Rene Rivera of the New York Mets (Camden, Atlantic).

40 Former Indy Players Released

            Chris Mazza is one lucky guy even though he had been optioned to Triple-A by the Boston Red Sox prior to the stoppage of baseball in mid-March.
            The 30-year-old right-handed pitcher actually signed a new contract with the Red Sox recently while so many other players who have spent time in Independent league play in recent years have been released by their major league organization, as minor league rosters are trimmed down--way down, truthfully--since the farm clubs are not likely to play this season.

   has identified 40 former Independent players who have been released with more almost certainly to follow since eight of the major league organizations have not been accounted for as yet.

            Mazza, who finally debuted in the majors with the New York Mets last season after toiling in four other organizations, was in the Miami and Seattle organizations two years ago in addition to playing with Southern Maryland in the Atlantic League and San Rafael in the Pacific Association.  He made nine relief appearances in the majors (1-1, 5.51) last season, and was in three Red Sox exhibitions this spring, allowing seven runs in 4.2 innings of work.

            Four of the players released were non-roster invitees to major league spring training camps this spring.  That group includes pitchers Trey McNutt, Tim Melville and Nick Rumbelow and former major league outfielder Travis Snider.

            Another player who was let go was first baseman Keon Barnum, the American Association's player of the year as well as Baseball America's choice as Independent player of the year.

            The entire list of players released:

            Pitchers (25)--Ryan Atkinson, Geoff Bramblett, Adam Choplick, Jose Cuas, Alex Demchak,  Chris Dula, Kevin Folman, Logan Gillaspie, Noah Gotsis, Johnny Hellweg, Kent Hasler, Danny Hrbek, Micah Kaczor, Brandon Lawson, #Trey McNutt, #@Tim Melville, Ryan Newell, Kyle Olliges, Kyle Regnault, Dylan Rheault, Orlando Rodriguez, #Nick Rumbelow, Dylan Thompson, Michael Tonkin, Frank Valentino.        
            Catchers (2)--Lucas Herbert, Michael Hernandez.
            Infielders (8)--1B Keon Barnum, 2B Ryne Birk, 1B Skyler Ewing, Martin Figueroa, 1B Conrad Gregor, Angelo Mora, 3B Tyler Plantier, 3B T. J. Rivera.  
            Outfielders (5)--Edgar Corcino, Keith Curcio, Dondrei Hubbard, Max Murphy, #Travis Snider.

            #Was a non-roster invitee to a major league spring training camp earlier this year.

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