June 22, 2018

Atlantic League Foes Have Great Season, Diabetes in Common

August 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

      When the Atlantic League playoffs roll around next month, the all-but-certain first round matchup between Southern Maryland and Bridgeport will have an interesting sub-plot pitting Blue Crabs pitching standout Dan Reichart against the Bluefish’s versatile Joe Jiannetti.

      Both players are having an outstanding season, Reichart with a league-leading and franchise-record 14 victories despite a tough loss Monday night, and Jiannetti with a .317 average and versatility that allows Willie Upshaw to depend on him almost anywhere in the infield or outfield.

      They also share the problem of being diabetic, even though this issue can be completely overlooked by the casual onlooker.

      “I have pretty much grown up with it”, says the 28-year-old Jiannetti, for whom the disease was detected when he was in his early teens.  “It was tough at first”.  Wikipedia says Reichart was diagnosed in 1998 when he was a highly-touted first-round draftee by Kansas City (seventh selection overall in 1997) and on his way to winning 21 games for the Royals between 1999 and 2002         

      “I believe it (diabetes) cost me in the draft out of high school”, says Jiannetti, who finally was taken in the 40th round by the New York Mets (2000).    

      Jiannetti, who has been playing third base regularly for much of Bridgeport’s hot second half, has Type 1 diabetes, which means he will have it for life.  A .288 career hitter when the season started, that average is going to jump if he continues his current pace, which has him tied for seventh in the league batting race. 

Pitcher of the Year Honors Possible for Reichart

      Dan Reichart could well be on his way to Pitcher of the Year honors in the Atlantic League since his 14 victories (14-8) are three more than anyone else can claim.  His 3.72 earned run average ranks second to the 3.37 of Lancaster’s Ben Fritz, with whom he shares the strikeout leadership (118). 

* * * *WANT MORE INDEPENDENT BASEBALL COVERAGE?  Check out    www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com * * * *

It Was a Very Short Stay

      Veteran minor league infielder Christian Colonel’s stay with Southern Maryland lasted only seven games (4-for-29, .138) before Atlanta signed the 28-year-old for its Double-A Mississippi (Pearl, MS) farm club after Monday’s game. 

This ‘n That

      Slugging Willis Otanez is back in the Atlantic League, this time with Long Island after winning the Mexican League batting championship with a robust .393 season with 26 doubles, 12 homers, 76 RBI and a .470 on-base percentage at age 37.  He beat out Sandy Madera by 10 points for the batting title.  Madera, is now at Newark, where he has gone 5-for-28 (.179) in his first seven games…Bridgeport rushed onetime Tampa Bay and New York Mets hurler Bartolome Fortunato into action after signing the right-hander Monday, and he got credit for the 2-1, 10-inning win over Newark.

      (These are excerpts from the Atlantic League Notebook.  Subscriptions to the full Notebook are available via www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com or www.WirzandAssociates.com.  Bob Wirz also writes a weekly column, the Independent Baseball Insider, as well as a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.) 

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