FanPost

Atlantic League news, transactions May 21-June 4

The Atlantic League is an independent baseball league consisting of seven teams in the northeast part of the United States and one in Texas. It has been in existence since 1998. The league is mostly made up of players with triple-A or big league experience. Baseball fans might recall Roger Clemens pitching for an independent team down in Texas a couple of years ago. Well, that was in the Atlantic League with the Sugar Land Skeeters. Or fans might have heard former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady trying to go pro in baseball. Where is he pitching? Yep. You guessed it. With Sugar Land.

Players come to the league with all kinds of back stories: making their way up through the independent ranks just hoping to get noticed by a big league scout, returning from injury/surgery, position players converting to pitchers and vice versa, pitchers trying out new arm deliveries, etc. And all have just one goal in mind: to get picked up by a big league club and go on to reach the major leagues. The strategy has worked for some. Thirty-eight players were picked up out of the Atlantic League on minor league deals by major league organizations in 2013. There have been plenty who have gone on to reach the majors (nobody knows the exact number since the league and some of its clubs fail to keep track of this info despite the fact that info should be its calling card in attracting players, and there are only beat reporters for about half the teams, but that’s another story for another day). Off the top of my head, I can think of New York Mets’ reliever Scott Rice, Atlanta Braves left-hander Ian Thomas and Cleveland Indians’ starting pitcher Scott Kazmir as just a few of the names of former Atlantic Leaguers currently playing in the majors.

Anyway, one of the eight teams in the Atlantic League is the York (Pa.) Revolution, who I have been covering now for four seasons. I have previously run a weekly Atlantic League news/transactions posts on my blog, but I figured the majority of readers who check it out are York fans. And this post focuses on the entire league and usually includes a bunch of names baseball fans might be familiar with. So once a week or every other week I plan on running a weekly Atlantic League news/transactions post right here for all of you. Enough of me flapping my gums…..

A total of 50 players and all eight Atlantic League clubs were involved in transactions over the last two weeks. Eighteen of the players are former big leaguers. Nine players were picked up by big league clubs (all players picked up by major league organizations out of the Atlantic League are on minor league deals). Through June 4, a total of 18 players have been picked up out of the Atlantic League by big league clubs. A total of six trades were made. Before we get to the transactions, though, below is recap of some Atlantic League-related newsworthy items:

Jason Lane returns to majors:

Jason Lane played in 497 major league games from 2002 to 2007, mostly with the Houston Astros. But he did so as an outfielder. He’s spent the last two seasons in the Atlantic League with Sugar Land, trying to make a go of things as a pitcher. The experiment proved successful earlier this week when Lane returned to the majors, tossing a perfect 3.1 innings for the Padres. Click here to read a MLB.com feature story on Lane’s comeback.


New league saves mark set:

Longtime Southern Maryland closer Jim Ed Warden set the all-time saves record in the Atlantic League in the Crabs' 1-0 win over Camden on May 29. Warden entered the ninth inning with 122 career saves in the Atlantic League, tied with former Bridgeport Bluefish reliever Mike Guilfoyle. The Blue Crabs closer pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth with three straight groundouts for his sixth save of the season and 123rd of his Southern Maryland career.

Players of the Week:

Somerset Patriots pitcher Gary Moran allowed just one earned run over 16.0 innings pitched in two starts last week to be named Atlantic League Player of the Week for May 26-June 1. Long Island Ducks starting pitcher Shaun Garceau went 2-0, tossed 16 scoreless innings and struck out 12 to earn Atlantic League Player of the Week honors for May 19-26.

In the news:

- Click here to check out a feature on Somerset Patriots’ pitcher and former big leaguer Danny Herrera about his plans to make a comeback to the majors, written by mycentraljersey.com’s Somerset Patriots’ beat reporter Mike Ashmore.

- Ashmore had another feature on a Patriots’ pitcher, Gary Moran.

- Connecticut Post’s Bridgeport beat reporter Rich Elliott had this feature on former big league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira adjusting to a starting pitcher role, the first time he’s ever assumed the role in his pro career.

- Elliott also wrote a good piece on Brigeport pitcher Brian Omogross, a former big leaguer who recently retired after beginning the year with the ‘Fish. Click here to check it out.

- And in case you missed it, here’s a long feature story on York Revolution pitcher Jorge Martinez, who defected from Cuba last July and is eligible for MLB’s upcoming first-year player draft.

Now on to the transactions….

BRIDGEPORT (CT) BLUEFISH:

Player(s) sold to MLB club(s): San Diego Padres signed 1B/3B Cody Overbeck, Chicago Cubs signed RHP Julio Rodriguez

Signed: Bridgeport signed 1B/OF Joe Mather

Retired: RHP Brian Omogrosso retired

Rodriguez and Overbeck are the second and third Bluefish players to get picked up by a big league club this season. The Padres assigned Overbeck, 27, to double-A San Antonio. He's the second Atlantic Leaguer to get picked up by the Padres this season. A former Philadelphia Phillies' prospect with 323 career games played at the triple-A level, Overbeck batted .276 in 32 games for Bridgeport, collecting seven homers, 23 RBIs, 17 runs scored and 10 doubles.

Rodriguez, 23, is a former Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles' prospect who made his Atlantic League debut this season with Bridgeport, going 2-0 with a 2.59 ERA in four games (three starts), striking out 18 and walking 10 in 17.1 innings of work. Rodriguez is the second Bluefish player picked up by a major league organization this season. The Cubs assigned him to Class AA Tennessee.

Mather, 31, is a former big leaguer who returns to the Atlantic League for the second year in a row after playing for Lancaster in 2013. He has a career .219 batting average in 229 major league games, playing there in parts in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Omogrosso appeared in a combined 29 major league games in 2012 and 2013 with the Chicago White Sox before coming to the Atlantic League for the first time in his eight-year pro career this season, going 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in seven relief appearances with Bridgeport.

Bridgeport is at the Atlantic League maximum of 25 active players, including a league-high 14 former big leaguers.

CAMDEN (NJ) RIVERSHARKS:

Signed: Camden signed LHP Shawn Teufel, 1B Jose Julio-Ruiz, C Jose Morales and C Tyler Brown

Released: Camden released OF Kalian Sams, INF Wilson Batista, INF Norberto Susini, C Joel Galarraga and OF Jorge Cortes

Teufel, 27, is a former Detroit Tigers’ and Philadelphia Phillies’ prospect who makes his Atlantic League debut with Camden. He’s reached the triple-A level twice in his career, combining to go 2-1 with a 3.37 ERA in three starts over 2011 and 2012.

Julio-Ruiz comes over to Camden shortly after being released by Southern Maryland, where he batted .280 with three homers, 10 RBIs, 12 runs and six doubles in 25 games.

Morales, 31, played in 96 major league games over four seasons from 2008 to 2011, combining to post a .289 career batting average there in 218 plate appearances. He has a career .299 batting average in 353 games at the triple-A level.

Brown, 24, makes his pro debut with Camden after playing college ball at NCAA Division I Monmouth University.

A year ago, Sams posted a .667 average in five games for Camden before getting picked up by the Texas Rangers. He didn’t have such luck this season, getting cut by the ‘Sharks after hitting just .232 in 16 games.

Camden now has 29 players under contract (25 active), including three former major leaguers.

LANCASTER (PA) BARNSTORMERS:

Player(s) sold to MLB club(s): Chicago Cubs signed RHP Joe Gardner

Player(s) sold to foreign league(s): Lancaster sold CF Blake Gailen to Tijuana (Mexican League)

Trade(s): Lancaster traded INF Austin Gallagher to Rockford (Frontier League), acquired RHP Pete Parise from Southern Maryland in exchange for IINF Tony Delmonico

Signed: Lancaster signed RHP Chris Schwinden, RHP Mark Rogers, OF Jerry Owens and INF Wilson Batista

Released: Lancaster released RHP Kyle Blair and RHP Cephas Howard

Gardner, 26, is a former Cleveland Indians and Colorado Rockies prospect who made his Atlantic League debut with Lancaster, picking up the win in his only start for the 'Stormers on May 17 when he held Southern Maryland scoreless on three hits in five innings pitched. striking out seven and walking one. He's the third player to be signed off Lancaster's roster by a big league club this season.

Gailen, 29, was the Atlantic League Player of the Year in 2012 and came back to the Atlantic League in 2013 and again put up good numbers, which finally led to him earning a minor league deal from the Toronto Blue Jays, who assigned him to triple-A Buffalo. Having competed mostly on the independent ranks since turning pro in 2007, it marked just the second minor league deal in Gailen’s career and first time playing at the triple-A level. Known as one of the nicest guys in the Atlantic League, Gailen came back to Lancaster for the third straight season this year to earn the first Mexican League deal of his now eight-year pro career after posting a .375 average with eight homers, 30 RBIs, 30 runs, one triple and 12 doubles in 36 games. Gailen is the second Barnstormer and fifth Atlantic Leaguer to get picked up by a foreign league so far this season. Click here to check out an article on Gailen’s departure from Lancaster Newspapers’ Barnstormers beat writer Burt Wilson.

Schwinden, 27, is a former big leaguer who made his Atlantic League debut this season with Lancaster, where he posted a 3-0 record and 1.95 ERA in four starts, striking out 13 and walking two before getting picked up on a minor league deal by the Texas Rangers, who assigned him to triple-A Round Rock. But Schwinden struggled at Round Rock, going 1-2 with a 11.25 ERA in just three starts before being released last week.

Rogers, 28, is a former big leaguer who makes his Atlantic League debut with Lancaster. The 6-foot-2 right-hander pitched in the majors in 2010 and 2012, combining for a 3-1 record and 3.49 ERA in 11 games (nine starts) with the Milwaukee Brewers. He comes to the 'Stormers after being released by the Seattle Mariners' triple-A Tacoma affiliate, where he went 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two games (one start) before being released May 5.

Owens, 33, is a former big leaguer who returns to Lancaster for the second-straight year. He played in 129 games with the Chicago White Sox from 2006 to 2009, batting .262. Last year with Lancaster, Owens gathered .341 average at the plate in 117 games.

Lancaster now has 27 players under contract (26 active, one above the league max), including nine with major league experience.

LONG ISLAND (NY) DUCKS:

Player(s) sold to foreign league(s): RHP Leo Rosales sold to Yucatan (Mexican League)

Trade(s): Long Island traded INF Chris McClendon to Gateway (Frontier League)

Signed: Long Island signed RHP David Kopp

Rosales, 33, is a former big leaguer who returned to Long Island for the third-straight season, holding opponents scoreless in 12 of 13 appearances while striking out 12 and walking six in 13.1 innings en route to picking up nine saves. He's the first Long Island player and third Atlantic Leaguer to leave for Mexico this season.

Kopp, 28, is a former prospect of the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers, reaching the triple-A level in 2010 and 2011. He has a career 8.18 ERA in 13 games (five starts) at the triple-A level.

The Ducks now have 27 players under contract (25 active), including seven with big league time.

SOMERSET (NJ) PATRIOTS:

Player(s) sold to MLB club(s): Los Angeles Angels signed RHP Kyler Newby, Washington Nationals signed RHP Brett Brach, Cincinnati Reds signed LHP Matt Maloney

Signed: Somerset signed LHP Daniel Herrera

Somerset now leads the Atlantic League for having the most players (five) picked up by big league clubs this season. Maloney, 30, is a former big leaguer who made his Atlantic League debut with Somerset, going 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA in five starts with 19 strikeouts and seven walks over 29 innings pitched. The Reds assigned him to Class AAA Louisville.

Newby, 29, made his Atlantic League debut with Somerset, holding opponents scoreless in 11 innings over 11 relief appearances. Before joining Somerset, Newby had experience in the minors with the D'Backs, Orioles and Athletics, including three seasons at the triple-A level. The Angels assigned him to Class AAA Salt Lake.

Brach, 26, had joined the Patriots in late May after being released by the Cleveland Indians' triple-A Columbus affiliate. He had a great debut for Somerset, pitching five scoreless innings to pick up the win May 25. Washington assigned him to High Class A Potomac. The Pats now have a league-leading five players picked up by big league organizations this season.

Herrera, 29, is a former major leaguer who returns to the Atlantic League for the second year in a row after playing for Long Island in 2013. The 5-foot, 8-inch left-hander pitched in 131 big league games from 2008 to 2011, seeing action with the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets. He has a career 3.71 ERA in 131 big league appearances, striking out 71 and walking 36 in 102 innings.

Somerset now has 26 players under contract (25 active), including six former major leaguers.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND BLUE CRABS:

Trade(s): Southern Maryland acquired INF Tony Delmonico from Lancaster in exchange for RHP Pete Parise, traded OF Brian Barton to Sugar Land, traded INF Jared McDonald to Southern Illinois (Frontier League)

Signed: Southern Maryland signed RHP Daryl Thompson, OF Johermyn Chavez, OF Jonny Kaplan and INF Angel Sanchez

Released: Southern Maryland released C John Bowden, 1B Jose Julio-Ruiz and LHP Leyson Septimo

In his only season in the majors back in 2008, Barton saw action in 82 games for the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .268 in 153 plate appearances. Barton, 32, is in his fifth season in the Atlantic League. He hit .131 in 30 games this year with Southern Maryland. This will mark his first time playing for Sugar Land.

Thompson, 28, is an ex-big leaguer who returns to Southern Maryland for the third year in a row. Having pitched in three games for the Cincinnati Reds in 2008 and one game in 2011, Thompson has gotten picked up on a pair of minor league deals by the New York Mets off the Southern Maryland roster the previous two years.

Sanchez, 30, came to the Atlantic League for the first time last season, playing in 31 games with Somerset before getting picked up by the Chicago White Sox on a minor league deal. He went on to reach the majors later in the season, playing in one game for the Sox. He had last played on the big stage in 2011. For his career, Sanchez has seen action in 185 big league games, posting a career .254 batting average in the majors, where he has suited up for the Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and White Sox in parts from 2006 to 2013.

Septimo, 28, made his major league debut two seasons ago, making 21 relief appearances for the Chicago White Sox in 2012. After spending all of the 2013 season with the White Sox triple-A Charlotte affiliate, Septimo made his Atlantic League debut this season with Southern Maryland, accumulating a 14.85 ERA in eight relief appearances before being released by the Crabs.

The Crabs now have 32 players under contract (25 active), including six active players with major league experience.

SUGAR LAND (TX) SKEETERS:

Player(s) sold to MLB club(s): San Diego Padres signed RHP Michael Nix, Philadelphia Phillies signed RHP INF Rusty Ryal

Trade(s): Sugar Land acquired OF Brian Barton from Southern Maryland

Released: Sugar Land released INF Brandon Wood

Nix and Ryal are the second and third Sugar Land players to get picked up by major league organizations this season. Nix, 31, went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts for Sugar Land this season, collecting a team-best 23 strikeouts in his 27.0 innings pitched. His 23 strikeouts ranked tied for fourth place in the Atlantic League following his last start on May 19, while his 2.00 ERA ranked sixth among pitchers. The Padres assigned Nix to their triple-A El Paso affiliate. The 6-foot, 4-inch right-hander is the second Skeeters’ player and 12th Atlantic League to get picked up by a major league organization this season. It marks the first Atlantic League player picked up by the San Diego Padres this season.

Ryal, 31, played in 134 combined games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009 and 2010, batting .263. After playing in Japan in 2011, he spent all of 2011 and 2012 competing at the triple-A level. He then made his Atlantic League debut this season with Sugar Land, gathering a .255 average with five homers, 16 RBIs, 14 runs, three doubles and one triple in 32 games.

In his only season in the majors back in 2008, Barton saw action in 82 games for the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .268 in 153 plate appearances. Barton, 32, is in his fifth season in the Atlantic League. He hit .131 in 30 games this year with Southern Maryland. This will mark his first time playing for Sugar Land.

Wood, 29, has a career .186 batting average in 272 games in the majors, playing there in parts from 2007 to 2011 for the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his Atlantic League debut with Sugar Land, but posted a team-low .098 batting average in 25 games before being released by the Skeeters.

Sugar Land now has 29 players (25 active) under contract, including 11 active players who have big league experience.

YORK (PA) REVOLUTION:

Player(s) sold to MLB club(s): Colorado Rockies signed RHP Mike McClendon

Signed: York signed OF Jason Repko, OF Justin Greene and RHP Matt Neil

Released: York released OF Tim Torres, OF Steve Bumbry and outfielder Stantrel Smith

McClendon, 29, is a former big leaguer who made his Atlantic League debut this season with York by trying out a starter role after primarily being a reliever the last six seasons. The experiment seemed ill-fated, though, in McClendon’s first start of the season back on April 29. He gave up eight runs on 12 hits in just two innings of work against Lancaster that day. Since then, however, McClendon held opponents to nine runs (seven earned) in 28 combined innings for an ERA of 2.25 over his last five games (four starts). He struck out 20 and walked seven in 32 total innings for York, going 2-2 in seven games (five starts). McClendon is the second Revs player and 15th Atlantic Leaguer to get picked up by a big league club this season. The Rockies assigned him to Class AA Tulsa.

Repko, 33, had first come to York last year 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. He actually finished the 2012 season with the Boston Red Sox and began the 2013 season with the Revs. He played in 24 games for York in 2013 before opting to retire in late May. He said in a recent interview he opted to come out of retirement at the urging of his six-year-old son.

Greene, 28, made his Atlantic League debut with York. He came to the Revs after being cut May 12 by the D’Backs double-A Mobile affiliate, where he batted a team-low .174 in 30 games to start this season. A 6-foot right-handed batter, Greene was drafted in the 20th round in 2008 by the Chicago White Sox out of NCAA Division II Francis Marion (S.C.) University, where he posted a batting average of plus-.300 each of his four collegiate seasons. The South Carolina native later reached triple-A Charlotte in 2011 and again in 2012, playing a combined 78 games there and collecting a career .244 average at the triple-A level. He’s a career .268 hitter in 328 games at the double-A level. He’s been at double-A Mobile (D’Backs) since the start of the 2013 season. He’s just a year removed from the best season of his now seven-year pro career. A year ago at Mobile, he posted a .308 batting average, one homer, 30 RBIs and 75 runs scored to go along with 31 stolen bases in 117 games.

Neil, 27, was actually set to join York at the start of the season when Mason signed him to a contract back in the second week of April. But the 6-foot, 6-inch right-hander was then picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays on a minor league deal. He went 1-2 with a 7.40 ERA in seven games (three starts) at double-A Montgomery before being released in late May. Neil was drafted in the 29th round out of Brigham Young University in 2011 by the Marlins and went to reach the Marlins’ triple-A New Orleans affiliate last season, where he 3-3 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 games (eight starts), with 48 strikeouts and 16 walks in 50 innings of work. He has primarily been a starting pitcher has entire baseball career. In 41 career games (32 starts) at the double-A level, Neil is 5-11 with a 4.50 ERA, with 134 strikeouts and 36 walks in 172 innings.

Torres batted .220 in 21 games for York this season. Smith failed to get a hit in six plate appearances over two games with York. Bumbry batted .231 in eight games with the Revs.

York now has 26 players (25 active) under contract, including eight former major leaguers.

Previous Atlantic League news,transactions posts.

In This FanPost

Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join MLB Daily Dish

You must be a member of MLB Daily Dish to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MLB Daily Dish. You should read them.

Join MLB Daily Dish

You must be a member of MLB Daily Dish to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at MLB Daily Dish. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker