May 25, 2017

Indy Domination? It Was in This Eastern League Game With Mates Getting Win, Save and All Six RBI

June 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Independent Baseball players who have had their contracts purchased by major league organizations seem to understand what a neat little fraternity they have.  They are in the minority on affiliated minor league rosters with the norm probably only a couple of hopefuls on a 25-man team.

Longtime Can-Am League first baseman Chris Colabello knew all about the past of two of his teammates on the Minnesota Twins’ Class AA roster at New Britain, CT when we were chatting about his initial season with an organization. He pointed, with what sounded like pride, to one recent Eastern League game when Andrew Albers (Quebec, Can-Am) got the victory, and another southpaw, Caleb Thielbar (St. Paul, MN, American Association), recorded a save.

Oh yes, Colabello had a fabulous game with a grand slam and double and drove in all six runs in a 6-5 road win at New Hampshire  (Manchester).  Thielbar has since been promoted to Triple-A Rochester, NY, taking a 2-0 record and 1.80 ERA with him, while another recent St. Paul pitcher, Dan Sattler, moved up to the team.  Sattler also pitched for the Kansas City T-Bones before they left the Northern League.

 What Colabello Is Learning

Colabello, an unusual case for a player moving from the Independent ranks to a major league organization in that he played near his hometown of Worcester, MA for seven seasons (with a brief sidetrack for half a year to Nashua, NH in the same league in ’07), has an interesting perspective when comparing unaffiliated and affiliated baseball.  “(Virtually) every player here (New Britain) has a track record”, which usually comes from being drafted and perhaps even getting a sizeable signing bonus.  “There are more polished players”, the 28-year-old said, and nightly the pitchers have more velocity, “particularly out of the bullpen”.  Can-Am League players run more of a gamut from those just out of college to others with affiliated experience, including a few who have been at higher levels.

Colabello is more than holding his own with a league-leading 47 runs batted in for his 61 games although his batting average is only at .227.  He has hit 10 home runs.

WANT ADDITIONAL INDEPENDENT BASEBALL COVERAGE?

Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe for 2012 at reduced rates at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

See www.IndyBaseballChatter.com and www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com

The Owner Is Pitching

It is not every day when a baseball owner is the starting pitcher.  But it happened for the Wichita (KS) Wingnuts this week, and probably is going to be the case every five days or so in the American Association. The shareholder happens to be left-hander Nate Robertson, a onetime starter for Detroit, who faced off against St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter in Game 3 of the 2006 World Series.  Now 34 and two years removed from his last major league appearance, the 57-time big-league winner was released out of Triple-A by the Chicago Cubs recently and came “home” to Wichita, where he is involved with the Wingnuts along with his brother, President/General Manager Josh Robertson.

Nate Robertson stepped in for an injured starter, going two scoreless innings in a 7-1 triumph against Amarillo, TX for Central Division-leading Wichita this week.  Making it even more of a family affair, pitching coach—as well as another brother—Luke Robertson was activated since reliever Matt Nevarez had just been sold to Boston and another pitcher, Edgar Martinez, had departed for Mexico.  Luke had pitched in the Oakland farm system, but that was eight years ago.

Wichita‘s .750 Win Percentage Ranks No. 1

Wichita clearly is doing a lot right because the Wingnuts have the best record in Independent Baseball at 24-8.    The top teams by winning percentage:

Rank

Team

League

   W-L

Pct.

     1.

Wichita,KS

American Association

  24-8

.750

     2.

Traverse City,MI

Frontier

  21-10

.677

   T3.

Quebec,CA

Can-Am

  21-11

.656

   T3.

Grand Prairie,TX

American Association

  21-11

.656

     5.

Schaumburg,IL

Frontier

  20-11

.645

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