With veterans Scott Kazmir and Chaz Roe leading the way, four more pitchers have jumped the count of former Independent league players in major league spring training camps to 52. That is one more than last spring, with 44 of them being mound hopefuls.
The addition of the left-handed
Kazmir, who was at Sugar Land, TX of the Atlantic League in 2012, as a
non-roster player with San Francisco is somewhat of a surprise in that he is
now 37 and has not pitched in the majors since 2016 (Dodgers). He has dazzled with all-star talent during
his career. On his side is that Giants
president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi and Kazmir have had time together
with both Oakland the Los Angeles.
Once one of the game's most
promising talents before a variety of injuries slowed him, Kazmir has a career
record of 108-96 for nearly 300 major league starts.
Roe, 34, threw for a number of major
league organizations recently before leaving free agency for another turn with
Tampa Bay's strong bullpen. The
right-hander, whose Indy experience came in the American Association, will be
in his ninth major league campaign and his fifth in a row with the Rays, for
whom he has compiled a 3.54 ERA with 139 strikeouts in 119.1 innings spread
over 151 appearances. He was limited to
10 outings last season before elbow problems popped up, costing him of being with
the team as Tampa Bay won the American League championship.
Roe's presence with Tampa Bay gives
the Rays one more reason Independent fans will be following the team. They recently signed Rich Hill as a potential
starter, and have standout reliever Nick Anderson along with talented Trevor
Richards, former Boston Red Sox Chris Mazza and have invited southpaws Dietrich
Enns and Ian Krol to camp. The latter
pair kept their careers moving last summer when they pitched in the
quickly-organized City of Champions Cup league in Joliet, IL.
The Rays also recently purchased
righty Stetson Allie from the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association
although he is not in the big-league camp.
The Monarchs had signed him during the offseason.
Long Island's Travis Snider Joins