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 Braves OrganizationIt would not be much of a surprise if outfielder Travis Snider found his way into an Atlanta Braves game this spring even though he is not currently listed among those in the major league camp. He inked a minor league deal, and was with current General Manager Alex Anthopoulos when both were with Toronto. Snider has spent time with the Long Island Ducks (Atlantic League) since he hit the last of his 54 major league home runs.