Every team but Southern Maryland made roster moves this past week. A total of 19 players, including four former big leaguers, were involved in transactions. Three trades were also made. Before we get to the transactions, however, here are some newsworthy items…
Players of the Month: I can’t find any press releases on this, so thanks to Bridgeport and reporter Ryan Dunleavy on pointing this out. Bluefish starting pitcher Mike Parisi took home Pitcher of the Month honors for the month of April while Somerset’s Yunesky Sanchez was named the Atlantic League Player of the Month. Sanchez led the league with a .381 batting average, 16 hits, five home runs, and 15 RBI in 10 games during the month before signing to play for Oaxaca of the Mexican League. Parisi went 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in three starts in the month of April for Bridgeport, striking out 13 and walking five while allowing 13 hits in 15 innings of work.
College team saves child: In case you haven’t heard about this yet, members of the Millersville University baseball team helped save the life of a 1-year-old boy last week. OK, not exactly Atlantic League-related news. But if I may go seven-degrees-of-Kevin Bacon, the first player ever signed by the Lancaster Barnstormers was pitcher Matt Scheuing, who played at Penn Manor High School and Millersville, both located in Lancaster County (Scheuing, who went to school with my older brother, is now teaching social studies at Penn Manor High School). Plus, this story of the child getting saved is pretty cool. The story made national headlines as well.
Fans make the call: Again, not an Atlantic League-related news item, but here’s to hoping an Atlantic League team experiments with this in an exhibition game next year. The St. Paul Saints, of the independent American Association, allowed fans to make the call on just about everything in an exhibition game last week, from strikes to balls to outs and fair or foul calls. Here’s the full story from the New York Times.
Zambrano won’t play in Atlantic League after all: The Philadelphia Phillies officially signed pitcher Carlos Zambrano to a minor-league deal last week. The signing brought an end to speculation that Zambrano could possibly pitch in the Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks. Days before he signed with the Phillies, cbssports.com reported Zambrano had only agreed to terms with the Ducks but had not signed a contract with them. Various reports surfaced a couple weeks ago insinuating Zambrano had indeed signed with the Ducks, who never actually made any kind of announcement on Zambrano.
Vlad Guerrero’s status: Former big league slugger Vladimir Guerrero is still listed on the Long Island Ducks’ inactive roster and has yet to see any playing time this season as he’s still dealing with what the team is still calling a “family matter” in his native Dominican Republic. A tweet from clnsradio.com reporter Chris Cotillo last week stated “Source close to the situation doesn’t expect Vlad Guerrero to report to t
he @LIDucks “Doesn’t seem interested in playing”. Here’s to hoping that changes so we can see Guerrero blast some homers in the Atlantic League this season.
Now on to the transactions…
RHP Mickey Jannis
BRIDGEPORT BLUEFISH: Acquired LHP Mickey Jannis from Lake Erie (Frontier League) in exchange for a player to be named later, signed INF Sam Greenberg and INF Russ Mitchell, released INF Daniel Barbero
Jannis, 25, will make his Atlantic League debut with Bridgeport after posting a 2.53 ERA in 34 games (three starts) last season with Lake Erie. The California native is just three years removed from playing college ball at Cal State Bakersfield. He spent the first two years of his pro career in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization, reaching Class High A Charlotte in 2011.
Mitchell, 28, is a former big leaguer who will make his Atlantic League debut with ‘Fish. The Georgia native spent his first nine years as a pro in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization, reaching the majors in 2010. He played in 40 combined big league games with the Dodgers in 2010 and 2011, batting .151. He split last season between the Miami Marlins’ Class AA Jacksonville affiliate and the San Francisco Giants’ Class AA Richmond affiliate. He has a career .302 average at the Class AAA level.
Greenberg, 23, is a Southern Connecticut State University product who is making his pro debut with Bridgeport.
Barbero batted .200 with a double in 11 games (25 plate appearances) for Bridgeport.
RHP Jake Hale
CAMDEN RIVERSHARKS: Acquired RHP Jake Hale and LHP Corey Young from New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League) in exchange for players to be named later, released OF Stantrel Smith, INF Erik Lis and C Shea Harris
Hale, 27, comes to the Atlantic League for the first time in his fourth year as a pro. The right-hander has spent the last two seasons in the independent Can-Am League, where he posted a 2.67 ERA in 70 combined games. The Ohio State University product was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 27th round in 2009 and later reached Class High A Visalia in 2010.
Young, 26, is a New Jersey native who played college ball at Seton Hall University before being drafted in the 12th round in 2008 by the Texas Rangers. The lefty has spent the last two seasons at Class AA Frisco, where he has a career 5.93 ERA in 73 combined relief appearances over four years. He’ll make his Atlantic League debut with Camden.
Smith held a .275 batting average with a double and an RBI in 10 games (29 plate appearances) for the ‘Sharks. Harris played in just two games for Camden, going 1-for-5 (.200) at the plate with a walk and two strikeouts. Lis carried a .176 average in 14 games (34 plate appearances) with two doubles and three RBIs.
LANCASTER BARNSTORMERS: Signed OF Stephen Holdren, traded C Charlie Neil to Trois-Rivieres (Can-Am League)
Holdren, 30, is an indy league veteran who has batted above .300 in four separate seasons. Last year with Lincoln (American Association), the left-handed batter posted a .279 average with nine homers, 19 doubles a triple and 71 RBIs.
It’s unclear what the ‘Stormers are getting into return for Neil, who batted .261 with a double and two RBIs in nine games (23 plate appearances) for Lancaster.
1B Murray Watts
LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Signed 1B Murray Watts, acquired UTL P.J. Phillips from New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League) in exchange for player to be named later, released LHP Rusty Jones
Watts, 25, makes his Atlantic League debut with the Ducks after playing in 16 games earlier this season with the Kansas City Royals Class High A Wilmington affiliate, where he posted a .172 batting average with three doubles, a triple and an RBI in 16 games. An Arkansas native, Watts is just three years removed from playing college ball at Arkansas State University, where he batted .319 in three seasons before being drafted by the Royals in the 28th round in 2010.
Phillips, 26, also makes his Atlantic League debut in Long Island less than a year removed from playing at the Class AAA Louisville (Cincinnati Reds), where he had a .143 average in just four games. Originally a Los Angeles Angels’ prospect, Phillips reached Class AA Pensacola in the Reds’ organization last season. He played in 68 games for Pensacola, batting .198.
The release of Jones is somewhat surprising considering his 2.45 ERA was third-best on the team. The left-hander two earned runs on six hits in eight relief appearances, with six strikeouts and seven walks.
OF Mike Wilson
SOMERSET PATRIOTS: OF Oakland Athletics signed RHP Erik Arnesen, San Diego Padres signed Mike Wilson; Patriots signed Anderson Hernandez, traded LHP Ryan Zamorsky to Evansville (Frontier League) in exchange for a player to be named later
Arnesen, 29, spent his first seven years as a pro in the Washington Nationals’ organization before coming to Somerset. He has a career 3.76 ERA in 57 games at the Class AAA level. In five starts for the Patriots, Arnesen went 2-1 with 4.10 ERA with 27 strikeouts and one walk in 30.2 innings of work. He reported to Oakland’s Class AA Midland (Tex.) affiliate.
Wilson, 29, posted a .325 batting average, three homers, five doubles and a triple in 23 games for Somerset. The former big leaguer will play in the San Diego Padres’ organization for the first time in his 12-year pro career. A second-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 2001, Wilson made his major league debut with the Mariners in 2011. He spent all of last season at Class AAA Tacoma, where he batted just .239 with 12 homers and 37 RBIs in 71 games. He’ll report to Class AAA Tucson.
Hernandez, 30, has 240 games of big league experience but won’t play yet for Somerset since he signed with a Mexican League club less than 24 hours after reaching a deal with the Patriots, according to Courier News’ Somerset beat reporter Ryan Dunleavy. The Pats’ put Hernandez on the inactive list, so there’s always a chance Hernandez could play for Somerset later this season if things don’t go as planned in the Mexican League.
Zamorsky had two scoreless relief appearances for the Pats’, striking out one and walking none.
RHP Sean Gallagher
SUGAR LAND SKEETERS: RHP Sean Gallagher signed by Colorado Rockies; Skeeters signed INF Kevin Rios
Gallagher, 27, made four starts with Sugar Land this year, going 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA (5ER/22IP) and 10 strikeouts. His 22.0 innings pitched rank second-most on the team, while he assisted in leading the Skeeters to a 21-3 record to start 2013. The former big leaguer came to Sugar Land after spending all of last season with the Reds’ Class AAA Louisville affiliate, where he went 10-9 with a 4.92 ERA in 26 starts. Gallagher has 91 games (23 starts) of big league experience with four different teams from 2007 to 2010. He reported to the Rockies’ Class AA Tulsa (Okla.) affiliate.
I missed Rios’s signing last week. The 31-year-old California native is back for his second season in the Atlantic League after playing for Southern Maryland last season. A former New York Mets’ prospect, Rios batted just .241 in 71 games for the Crabs last year.
RHP Matt Fox
YORK REVOLUTION: RHP Matt Fox signed by New York Mets; Revolution sign LHP Edward Paredes and OF Mike Coles, place INF Andy Gonzalez on suspended list, announce retirement of OF Jason Repko
Fox made four starts for York, posting a 1-0 record and 1.58 ERA in 17 total innings. The 6-foot, 3-inch right-hander struck out 18 batters and walked three. The University of Central Florida alum reached the majors in 2010 with both Boston and Minnesota, making one big league start for the Twins, the organization that drafted him in the first round of the 2004 draft out of UCF. After going to the Red Sox, he made three appearances out of their bullpen in 2010. Fox missed much of last season battling inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He had eight combined starts for three different affiliates in the Seattle Mariners’ organization. Fox becomes the third York player to get picked up by a major league organization this season, which matches the total amount of Revs that were signed by big league teams last year. He reported to the Mets’ Class AAA Las Vegas affiliate.
He made his pro debut in 2006 and has spent his entire seven-year pro career playing indy ball in Northern League, Frontier League and American Association. He’ll make his debut in the Atlantic League with York. Coles, 30, has batted above .300 in four of those seasons. A 6-foot, right-handed batter, Coles split last year between American Association clubs Gary Southshore and Winnipeg. He had a .211 average in 27 games with Winnipeg but hit .300 in 72 games at Gary Soutshore.
Repko, 32, retires with 360 games of big league experience. A first-round draft pick out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999, Repko played in the majors for the Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Rex Sox. For his career, he has a .224 average, 16 homers and 67 RBIs in the majors. Repko started out this season batting just .159 in his first 10 games with York before going 19-for-63 (.302) at the plate in his last 12 games to bump his average up to .253. To read the full story on Repko’s retirement, including quotes from Repko on why he decided to retire, click here.
York placed Gonzalez on the suspended list while he returns to his native Puerto Rico to deal with what the team is calling personal issues. Gonzalez, a former big leaguer, held a .273 batting average with no homers, seven RBIs and eight runs scored in 21 games for York.
A prospect of the Seattle Mariners his first five years as a pro, Paredes sat out all of last season before playing winter ball in the Dominican for Estrellas, where he went 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA. Paredes’s best season came in 2010 at Class AA West Tennessee (Mariners), where he posted a 3.63 ERA in 26 relief appearances. He has a career 7.34 ERA at the Class AAA level. He has a career record of 28-30 with seven saves. The left-hander comes to York after pitching for the Cleveland Indians’ Class AA Akron affiliate, where he went scoreless in his first three relief appearances before giving up a combined six runs over his last three appearances, which led to his release on April 18.