For those of you who follow the Cubs minor leagues, you may be interested to know that getting released isn't necessarily the End of the Baseball World as it once was.
While 1B Brian Dopirak (now at Hi-A with Toronto Blue Jays), RHP Joel Santo (at Hi-A with Houston Astros), SS Carlos Rojas (at AA with Baltimore Orioles), and RHP Bobby Brownlie (with Cleveland Indians at AA in 2007, now with Washington Nationals at AA) were able to sign with MLB minor league affiliates after getting released by the Cubs, many other ex-Cubs prospects have signed deals with independent professional baseball clubs for 2008.
Independent professional leagues are located from California to New England, from Florida to Canada, and more than two dozen ex-Cub minor leaguers and (in some cases) one-time Baseball America Top Ten prospects currently populate independent league rosters.
Playing in an independent league isn't necessarily a dead end, either. RHP Tanner Watson (curently a rotation starter at AA Tennessee) and RHP Dumas Garcia (currently the co-closer at Daytona) were signed by the Cubs last year out of independent leagues, and (for example) LHP George Sherrill (BAL), LHP Joe Thatcher (SD), and RHP Nelson Figueroa (NYM) got back to the minor leagues (and eventually got to the big leagues) after pitching in independent professional leagues.
Here are the ex-Cubs presently on the rosters of independent league teams (and I wouldn't be surprised to see recently-released INF Ryne Malone and RHP Ryan Meyers join them):
Albenis Machado, SS (El Paso)
Derek Schermerhorn, 1B (Wichita)
Brandon Sing, 1B (Pensacola)
John Webb, RHP (Pensacola)
Gary Cates, SS (Camden)
Nic Jackson, OF (Camden)
Richard Lewis, 2B (Camden)
Mike Nannini, RHP (Lancaster, PA)
John Nelson, INF (Lancaster, PA)
Chris Walker, OF (Camden)
NOTE: Cates, Jackson, Lewis, and Walker were teammates on the Cubs AA West Tenn DiamondJaxx club in 2006, and Nannini and Nelson were teammates on the Iowa Cubs last year.
Isaac Pavlik, LHP (New Jersey)
Corey Bachman, RHP (Washington, PA)
Matt Hudgins, C-1B (Kalamazoo)
Brian Leclerc, OF (Rockford)
Andrew McCormick, RHP (Chilicothe, OH)
Matt Maradeo, RHP (Washington, PA)
Billy Mottram, 3B (Florence, KY)
Michael Bartek, RHP (Orange County)
Peter Farina, C (Yuma)
Patrick Brooks, 2B (Gary)
Luke Hagerty, LHP (Schaumburg)
Scott Koerber, LHP (Fargo)
Ryan O'Malley, LHP (Schaumburg)
Robert Ransom, RHP (Winnipeg)
Alan Rick, C (Fargo)
NOTE: Koerber and Rick were teammates last year at AA Tennessee.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible
I was hearing some talk that John Mallee is trying to change Heyward's swing. Wonder if that is lending itself to the slow start.
at least it wasn't a "nobody showed up" stomping.
anytime you wanna jumpstart your season would be nice, heyward.
Now looming VERY large. Game tied.
That Braves TOOTBLAN trying to stretch a double into a triple is looming very large.
Phil, do you know if Victorino has an opt out date approaching? Thanks.
Maybe he can even fall asleep/passout at a red light. #cardinalway
hopefully he has enough time to pound 6-10 beers before the drive back home.
: / )
Yeah, there's that....
CTSteve -- have they decided to skip tomorrow's game...? (I keed)
Not a bad thing -- Bryant and Miggy are hurt, and Ross could use a day off.