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July 20, 2007 July 20, 2007

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

Camden Inks Two: According to a source, the Camden Riversharks have signed INF Ryan Lehr and OF Cristian Guerrero.

Guerrero is the cousin of Vladimir Guerrero, and was in the Washington Nationals system at the time of his release. Just like new Somerset 3B Brandon Larson, I saw Guerrero play at the Double-A level earlier this season.

Hey, if you can’t sign Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero, might as well sign their relatives.

However, if you look at the success they had with Denny Abreu, who won the batting title last season, it’s hard to argue with the strategy.

Guerrero — Cristian, that is — was hitting .248 with seven home runs and 24 RBI for the Senators, but hasn’t played since June 12th.

Lehr is an indy ball veteran who can play first base. He was playing with Quebec of the Can-Am League earlier this season. He was hitting .255 with five home runs and 18 RBI before playing his final game on July 7th.

Pressley Hits BP BOMB: Not that it’s all that newsworthy, but Patriots 1B/DH Josh Pressley hit one of the longest home runs I’ve ever seen during batting practice today at Commerce Bank Ballpark. The ball missed going over the right field video scoreboard by about a foot — instead traveling through the open area that separates the top level and a sign for Commerce Bank — and one team official estimated that the scoreboard is 75 to 80 feet above ground level at its highest point. It’s 315 feet down the right field line, but the board is in right-center, so this was an absolute bomb.

York starter Chris Steinborn (Photo: Ashmore)

Steinborn Speaks: I know the nickname is taken thanks to a little show called Seinfeld, but you could make a case for calling a certain York Revolution pitcher “The Big Stein.”

I caught up with the 6′ 4″ Chris Steinborn before last night’s game in Somerset, and the Road Warriors alum and I chatted about his experience in the Atlantic League All-Star Game.

“It was my first relief appearance of the year, but it was fun,” Steinborn said.

“I didn’t throw as well as I expected, but it was just fun being around the different guys that you play against and pitch against. It was a good experience.”

For the former Tigers prospect, it was his first experience in a mid-summer classic since appearing in the 2004 Midwest League game.

“At that level, it was kind of like everybody’s first (All-Star Game), so this was a little more exciting,” he said.

“This was my first veteran one, I guess you could say.”

Steinborn made the team after several players in the South Division chose not to attend the game. But for him, the alarming amount of players who declined their All-Star invitations didn’t phase the Ohio native.

“The guys who came in and replaced them are still great ballplayers,” Steinborn said.

“I don’t hold anything against those guys. They all have families they need to see, or you never know what their reason is for not being there.”

Steinborn starts tonight in Somerset, and said he’s been throwing the ball pretty well lately.

“I had some mechanical flaws that I worked hard on,” he said.

“I’m just trying to get consistent to where I’m throwing strikes and stay away from the walks and stuff like that. Usually when I put the ball in the strike zone consistently, I get my ground balls and I get outs. So that’s my goal.”

Yup, that’s Keith Ramsey… (Photos 1+2: Somerset Patriots) (Photo 3: Ashmore)

The Man Does It All: It was Sparkee the mascot’s ninth birthday at the ballpark, and mascots from the area were all standing on the field to attend the party. But one mascot stood out above the rest.

Patriots P Keith Ramsey played the role of General Admission for the event, much to the surprise of everyone involved. That was a good indication of what a fun guy Ramsey is.

Later in the day, Ramsey served as a pinch-runner in the ninth inning. Unfortunately, that served as a reminder of the embarassing lack of depth his team has right now.

Todd Leathers, Jose Morban and Jason Romano are all injured right now, and the Somerset bench is very short.

About The Short Bench: Ryan Dunleavy of The Courier News reports that the Patriots are set to add former Cincinnati Reds 3B Brandon Larson to the team today.

Larson played for the Reds in parts of four seasons; from 2001 to 2004. In the big leagues, he hit just .179 with eight home runs and 37 RBI in 109 games, but his minor league statistics tell a different story.

Entering the season, Larson was a .285 career minor league hitter, and has four seasons of 20 home runs or more.

He struggled with Double-A Harrisburg this season, where I got to see him play and hit a two-run bomb off of Yankees prospect Jason Jones. He hit .238, but produced only eight home runs and 18 RBI in 189 at-bats.

York Updates: I spoke to INF Matt Dryer yesterday, and he told me that he’s about a week away from a return after suffering a rib injury. The news on P Dave Gil isn’t as good, with the team’s ace more than a month away from returning.

Also, if your local supermarket is lacking a certain dairy product, don’t fear…Franklin Nunez was bringing the cheese last night. Now the Revolution’s closer, Nunez throws some serious gas at hitters, and got Danny Garcia looking to end the game and give York sole possession of the division lead.

Bear Tracks: Marcus Nettles set a new franchise record for Newark last night, stealing four bases and topping the old record of three, which was held by Rickey Henderson and others.

Also, the team has signed P Harold Eckert and placed P Travis Phelps on the DL. As we reported earlier, Phelps has mono and his return date is uncertain.

Eckert, who is the first Atlantic Leaguer with the first name of Harold in recent memory, has experience in the Dodgers and Mets systems, and was in Triple-A as recently as this year.

Norderum Debuts In Can-Am: Former Lancaster P Jason Norderum debuted for the Sussex Skyhawks of the Can-Am League last night. He allowed only one hit in two and two thirds innings against the Nashua Pride (remember them?) but did walk four batters and allowed one run.

Atlantic League Expansion: The Boston Herald is reporting that an Atlantic League team may be headed to the New England area. Specifically, Charlestown, Mass.

This article details the plans of the proposed 6,000 seat ballpark, but does not say when the team would expect to start play. Having an Atlantic League team with supposed Red Sox ties, a la what York has with Baltimore, would certainly be a welcomed sight for me…

As for the proposed team in Yonkers, a GlobeSt.com article details plans for the revitalization of the waterfront area of Yonkers, plans which include a new 6,500 seat park for an Atlantic League team. – Mike Ashmore



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