Atlantic League news, transactions July 9-15
A little light on news for last week, but there will still plenty of transactions even though it was the league’s All-Star break. The league’s 2012 All-Star game was played at Camden’s Campbell’s Field. The Liberty Division held a one-run lead for most of the game before the Freedom Division exploded for six runs in the top of the ninth inning and eventually won by a final score of 9-5. (Read the full game report here). Lancaster’s Fehlandt Lentini took home the game’s MVP award.
In terms of transactions last week, a total of 10 players and four teams were involved. Four players had their contracts purchased by big league clubs. Two of the six players who signed deals with Atlantic League clubs are former major leaguers….
CAMDEN RIVERSHARKS: Colorado Rockies picked up RHP Ricky Brooks; Camden signed OF Dan Santiesteban
He was 6-1 with a 2.44 ERA while recording 23 strike outs in 51.2 innings pitched. Brooks was also named a member of the 2012 Atlantic League All-Star team where he dealt a perfect frame and recorded one strikeout. The Rockies assigned Brooks to Class AAA Colorado Springs, where he will join former Rivershark Jason Bergmann on the Sky Sox. Bergmann was picked up by the Rockies in June of this year.
Santiesteban is a former Minnesota Twins prospect who has played the last three seasons in indy ball. He comes back to the Atlantic League for the first time since 2009, when he played for the Newark Bears. Th 27-year-old batted .326 in 91 games for Newark (Can-Am League) in 2011.
LANCASTER BARNSTORMERS: Atlanta Braves picked up INF Terry Tiffee, Toronto Blue Jays picked up LHP Les Walrond; Barnstormers sign INF Bridger Hunt
Tiffee and Walrond are the fourth and fifth members of the Barnstormers to be picked up by big league clubs this season. Tiffee, 33, was batting .297 at the time of his signing. He was tied for fifth in the Atlantic League in home runs and stood alone in fifth in RBI. On May 30, he became only the second player in franchise history to belt three home runs in one game when he connected on each of his first three at-bats against Somerset. The Braves assigned him to Class AAA Gwinnett.
Walrond, 35, was 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA for the Barnstormers in 21 appearances this season. In 24 1/3 innings, the left-handed specialist allowed only 15 hits and nine earned runs while walking 11 and striking out 24. Left-handed batters were only batting .107 (3-28) against him on the season.
Hunt, 26, is a former Los Angeles Dodgers prospect who started the season the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The Crabs traded him away to the New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League) in early May for a player to be named later. It’s unclear if Hunt saw action with the Jackals, as they traded him away to Grand Prairie Airhogs (American Association) on May 14. Grand Prairie later released him on June 7 and he signed with American Association club Kansas City T-Bones the next day. Kansas City released Hunt on June 15. In all, Hunt played in 20 games between Kansas City and Grand Prairie, batting a combined .206 (13-for-63).
SOMERSET PATRIOTS: Colorado Rockies picked up RHP Mike Solbach; Patriots signed RHP Jon Kibler and UTL Jake Fox
Solbach had a 2.48 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched in 21 games for Somerset this season. He was selected to the 2012 Atlantic League All-Star Game for the Freedom Division earlier this week and pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. The Rockies assigned Solbach to Class AA Tulsa.
Fox spent parts of the 2011 season at the major league and Class AAA level with the Baltimore Orioles. He had 15 hits, four doubles, a triple, two homeruns, and six RBI in 27 games during his time with Baltimore. While at Triple-A, he batted .275, with 73 hits, 19 doubles, 12 homeruns, and 58 RBI in 68 games. He comes to Somerset after playing in 42 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates Class AAA Indianapolis ball club, where he batted .236 with two homers and 16 RBIs.
Kibler has experience in the Detroit Tigers organization, reaching Class AA in 2009 and 2010. Kibler has a career minor league record of 38-38 with a 4.05 ERA and 421 strikeouts in 626.1 innings pitched in 108 games. He began the 2012 season with the New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League), where he posted a 4-5 record and 6.54 ERA in 10 starts.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND BLUE CRABS: Signed OF Sergio Pedroza
Pedroza, 28, was drafted in the third round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005. He has bounced around with four other ballclubs since then but has never reached the big leagues. He comes to Southern Maryland after playing in 28 games for the Miami Marlins’ Class AAA New Orleans clubs, where he .106 with two homers and three RBIs.
YORK REVOLUTION: Signed OF Jeff Fiorentino
Fiorentino has played in a total of 58 games at the major league from 2005 through 2009, split between Baltimore and the Oakland Athletics. He owns a career .270 batting average in the big leagues. The 29-year-old left-handed batter comes to York and in the independent Atlantic League for the first time in his career about a month after asking the Athletics for his release from Class AAA Sacramento, where he hit just .186 in limited action (16 games).