March 31, 2008 – Kevin Haverbusch Talks March 31, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
Interview Schedule: We’ve got Lance Burkhart for you tomorrow…based on the voting in the poll, I’m sure more than a few people will want to check this one out.
Then, on Wednesday, we have York Revolution outfielder Jason Aspito for you. Aspito is currently in York with Matt Dryer giving hitting lessons. Interested? Contact the Revolution front office
Kevin Haverbusch And The Scarlet Letter: With six years of experience covering professional sports under my belt, it’s not too often I hear a new term or phrase thrown my way. But, when talking with Long Island Ducks OF Kevin Haverbusch about what else he had to prove in the Atlantic League after four pretty solid years for the Pride and Ducks, he told me this…
“When I had my back surgery a couple of years ago, that was kind of like a scarlet letter for some teams,” Haverbusch said.
It’s really the only reasonable explanation as to why Haverbusch, who put together his fourth consecutive solid Atlantic League season, didn’t even get a sniff from an affiliated team this off-season.
“It was frustrating for the first couple of years,” said Haverbusch, who said he had some interest from teams overseas.
“But this is a good situation for me, it’s only about a half hour away from home.”
The 31-year-old Massapequa, NY native had just returned from a trip to Florida. But he wasn’t on vacation.
Instead, he and several other Atlantic Leaguers joined the Long Island Storm to play some affiliated minor league teams.
“The first couple of days are pretty rough, you get off the plane and play nine innings. The first two days, we were dead,” Haverbusch told me.
“But it certainly can’t hurt. I got 20 at-bats…that’s 20 live bullets I saw that maybe someone else didn’t.”
And the scarlet letter? Get rid of it.
“The last two off-seasons, I don’t wanna say I couldn’t workout fully, but I just couldn’t really add much with running and lifting,” he said.
“This year? No limits.”
Not that last year doesn’t still stick with Haverbusch, who has yet to win a championship ring in his 11-year professional career.
“You look at our roster last year, and yeah it was a star-studded roster and all that, but personality-wise, that was probably the best club I’d ever played on,” he said.
“It was actually a little shocking that we lost.”
This year, Haverbusch will join an outfield that features Jamal Strong and Carl Everett, two players with Major League experience.
“It’s not so much picking their brains, it’s watching them play,” said Haverbusch of learning from his big league teammates.
“Just watching the way they go about things, it’s almost like osmosis, where you’ll just kind of pick up on stuff just from watching them do it.”
Riversharks Sign Four: The Camden Riversharks officially announced the signings of OF Josh Rabe, INF Richard Lewis, P Buddy Hernandez and P Julio Guerrero.
We already told you about Rabe, the former Minnesota Twin.
With the Yankees signing a comedian, it was only fitting that the Riversharks signed Richard Lewis…wait, it’s not the comedian? I’m sure he’s never heard that one before…
Anyway, Lewis was a first rounder for Atlanta in 2001. He got a lot of looks from a few different teams in big league spring training, but never reached the show. He’s a career .258 hitter, with below average pop and some speed.
Hernandez is someone I’m familiar with. I saw him pitch last year in Richmond in relief of Jo-Jo Reyes. He actually ended up picking up the loss against Durham when I saw him…but overall, his numbers are pretty solid — A 26-12 record with a 2.50 ERA in 247 appearances.
He has four years of Triple-A experience. He got hurt (forearm) in 2005, missed all of 2006, but came back and set a career high last year with nine wins.
He nearly made the Braves out of camp in ’05, and was a Rule 5 pick of the A’s at one point as well.
Guerrero has pitched for the Road Warriors for the past few seasons. Clearly, David Keller liked what he saw. The Dominican native made 105 appearances over the past two seasons while wearing gray, and had a much better season in 2006 than he did in 2007.
Bladergroen In Lancaster: Lancaster announced today that they’ve officially signed 1B Ian Bladergroen, who they acquired in a trade with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
Does The AL Have A Steroid Perception Problem?: Jason DiAngelo, Damian Moss, Damien Myers, Steve Smyth, Tetsu Yofu (signed, but never played), Josh Pressley, Matt Padgett and Ramon Castro (twice!).
Jorge Piedra and Jamal Strong.
Armando Rios, Jose Canseco, Jim Leyritz, John Rocker and Paxton Crawford.
Marvin Benard, Ozzie Canseco, Juan Gonzalez.
Respectively, according to this website, these are the players who’ve played or are going to play in the Atlantic League who have: been suspended in the minor leagues, suspended in the big leagues, were implicated in the Mitchell Report, are admitted users, or have been otherwise implicated.
19 names out of a group of well over a thousand isn’t so bad. Perhaps I missed one or two. But still, can the Atlantic League be doing more to show they’re a clean league? Nobody’s saying that these players or any players are or were using PED’s while in the league, but the league’s performance enhancing drug policy is vague at best. Even league insiders and the players themselves give varying answers on what exactly is and isn’t tested for.
Hopefully, at some point this season, the league will make the specifics of their policy public. As the premiere independent league in the country, this is one area where they really need to step it up.
E-Mail Stuff: For reasons that defy logic or explanation, my regular e-mail account has been down for the past few days. Please use mashmore98 AT gmail.com for now…
Nettles Signs With O’s: See yesterday’s “Breaking News Alert” for more info on Jeff Nettles signing with the Baltimore Orioles organization.
Brownlie Going to Harrisburg: P Bobby Brownlie won’t be coming back to Newark this year. Instead, he’s stuck with the Washington Nationals, and has been assigned to Double-A Harrisburg.- Mike Ashmore
Hoorelbeke & Smith Stick With Halos: Half of the Arkansas Traveler’s infield will be anchored by former Atlantic Leaguers. At first will be former Bridgeport Bluefish star Jesse Hoorelbeke and at third, former Newark Bears stud Corey Smith.
I don’t know if Smith should be playing third, as his defense has not been good there. He told me earlier this off-season he was battling Hoorelbeke for a spot on the club, so it looks like the team will keep both of them and move Smith back over to his original position.
The Travelers are the Double-A affiliate of the Anaheim Angels.