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.
Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.
Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.
Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.
Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.
"Pitching prospects not looking so hot"
That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.
Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.
Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:
"Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
"No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"
How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.
Ian Happ is hitting.733 after 5 games at Tennessee. He went into tonight's game hitting .667 -- and went 3-for-3 to raise his average.
2-for-3, including a bomb, for LaStella at Iowa. Pierce Johnson very bad -- 2IP, 5ER. Pitching prospects not looking so hot -- Underwood has been awful.
Did Jiminez get hurt? I noticed he came out early yesterday.
Contreras keeps hitting/walking like this, and Miggy keep up the poor D and lack of offense - the kid could be the #1 catcher very soon.
it doesn't hurt that the Cardinals lose the KC and the Pirates lost too.
...still trying to process what I just saw. From both KB and Jake. Walking Billy Hamilton twice is a cry for help. I think the nudie photos are messing with Jake's head.
Hopefully Peralta's time on the Cubs roster will be shorter than R. Soriano's.
it took 9 pitches for peralta to give up his 1st cubs homer. neat.
damn...totally missed that ruben quevedo died on june 7th. he was only 37...heart attack.
he threw some really horrible games for the cubs in 2000 and followed it up by doing the same for 3 season for the brewers.
Holy Kris Bryant what?!
Hitting 3 HR, 2 doubles in a game. Never been done in mlb history per Len/Bob.