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April 11, 2008 April 11, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.

I updated the team-by-team signing’s page today to make sure everything is as complete as possible.

York Fans Rejoice: Coming next week, Mike and I will have for you interviews with several York Revolution players. Keep checking back…

Schmoll Lot Of Nothing: The other day I was talking with York Revolution director of player procurement Adam Gladstone on the phone and he was raving about a new addition to the club. That addition was Steve Schmoll. Well, he’s been subtracted.

Schmoll didn’t have to throw one pitch in the league before the Washington Nationals signed him.

Southern MD Adds Two: Thanks to the reader for posting this article from a Southern Maryland newspaper.

The Blue Crabs have signed two players. The first is Damien Jackson, an infielder with 10 years of experience in the big leagues, including… wait for it (Mike)… as a member of the 2003 Boston Red Sox.

The team also signed third baseman Patrick Osborn. He has experience in the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros organizations.

A Full Barn: The Lancaster Barnstormers added three players today, bringing their roster to 26. (Most teams only carry 24 players during the season).

Among the signings was former big-league shortstop John Nelson. The 29-year-old has a World Series ring with the St. Louis Cardinals, appearing in five games in 2006, going 0-for-5 with two runs scored.

The team also signed pitcher Nate Hoelscher and outfielder Jason Perry. Hoelscher has six-years experience in the Kansas City Royals organization, reaching Triple-A last year. Perry, meanwhile, is a former sixth-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays and has some very good power.

Perry also has experience in the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers systems.

Former Player of the Year Gets Cut: One of our loyal readers is correct, former 2007 co-Atlantic League Player of the Year Jesse Hoorelbeke was released from the Anaheim Angels’ Double-A affiliate. The former Bridgeport Bluefish was just 2-for-13 with one RBI. Not good, but is that really enough at-bats to judge his talent?

The Bluefish haven’t finished completing their roster, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him back for another year.

Also, on that same Double-A team is former Newark Bear Corey Smith, who is batting a not-so-excellent .059 (1-for-17) with 2 RBI.

Young To Play In Jersey: A few weeks ago, I wrote that one of the Atlantic League’s eight teams should sign former Baltimore Orioles prospect — and mammoth power source — Walter Young. I kept forgetting to write about this, but Young has signed to play for the Sussex Skyhawks in the Can-Am League.

I would love to see Young stand next to new Atlantic City Surf manager Cecil Fielder. That would be a sight.

I’m trying to get in touch with Young to find out if he had any offers and why he chose to play there after hitting .313 with 21 home runs and 78 RBI for Winnipeg of the independent Northern League. – Scott Stanchak

Allen Signs With Jackals: Former Somerset Patriots OF Luke Allen has signed with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League.

Bears Spring Training:

Tues. April 15th, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Workout @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront

Wed. April 16th, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Workout @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront

Thurs. April 17th, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Workout @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront

Fri. April 18th, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Workout @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront

Sat. April 19th, 12:00PM – Spring Training Game vs. Somerset Patriots @
Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium

Sun. April 20th, 12:00PM – Spring Training Game vs. Somerset Patriots @
Jack Cust Baseball Academy

Mon. April 21st, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Workout @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront

Tues. April 22nd, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Workout @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront

Wed. April 23rd, 4:30PM-5:15PM – BEARS MEDIA DAY – Open to all fans,
pre-practice meet-and-greet with fans, player autograph session, free
food and beverage, and led by a special night workout under the lights
at 6:00PM-9:00PM @ Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.

Thurs. April 24th, 10:00AM-2:00PM – Final workout @ Bears & Eagles
Riverfront Stadium

Van Hekken and Reith Back To Pats:The Three-Time Atlantic League Champion Somerset Patriots have announced the re-signings of left-handed pitcher Andy Van Hekken and right-handed pitcher Brian Reith.

Van Hekken finished the 2007 season among the Atlantic League leaders with a
9-3 record, a 3.12 ERA, and 83 strikeouts in 115.1 innings pitched in 18
games started for the Patriots last season before leaving to play in Taiwan.

Van Hekken started in 13 games during the 2006 season for the Patriots
before signing with the Kansas City Royals organization. He started nine
games at the Triple-A level for the Royals and finished with a 4.36 ERA and
33 strikeouts in 53.2 innings pitched.

Van Hekken has Major League experience with the Detroit Tigers, where he had
a 3.00 ERA in five games played.

Van Hekken has six seasons of Triple-A experience in the Royals, Tigers,
Atlanta Braves, and Cincinnati Reds organizations. Van Hekken has a minor
league career record of 86-58 with a 3.94 ERA and 849 strikeouts in 234
games pitched.

Reith had a 2.70 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 40 innings in eight games for
Somerset in 2007 before leaving to play in Taiwan.

Reith has Major League experience with the Cincinnati Reds in parts of the
2001, 2003, and 2004 seasons. He pitched in 127.2 innings and recorded 85
strikeouts in 73 Major League games for the Reds.

In addition to his Major League time, Reith has five seasons of Triple-A
experience with the Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and Pittsburgh Pirates
organizations. Reith has a minor league career record of 56-55 with a 3.61
ERA, and 753 strikeouts in 928 innings pitched in 216 games.

Bluefish Sign Three: Bridgeport, CT – April 11th – The Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball have agreed to terms with three more players for the 2008 season.

The team brings back pitcher Chad Bentz and added former Atlantic Leaguers Jeff Sparks and Branden Florence.

Bentz, 27, was drafted in 2001 by the Expos in the 7th round. Bentz became the second pitcher, after Jim Abbott, to play in the Major Leagues after being born without one of his hands. He saw Major League time in 2004 and 2005 with the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins, respectively. In 2004, he pitched 27.2 innings and struck out 18 batters for the Expos before moving to the Florida Marlins minor league system. After playing for the Marlins, Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds affiliates, Bentz came to the Bluefish in 2007. He finished the season 1-1 and struck out 15 batters in 12.1 innings.

Sparks, 35, was drafted in 1995 by the Cincinnati Reds in the 24th round. In 1999 and 2000, he played throughout the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization. In 2000 he pitched 20.1 innings at the Major League level with 24 strike outs and posted a 3.54 ERA. In 2004 Sparks entered into the Atlantic League with the Nashua pride going 5-4 with a 2.70 ERA. He recorded 10 saves and struck out 69 batters in 53.1 innings.

Florence, 29, was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the San Francisco Giants in 2001. In 2004, Florence played for the Road Warriors in the Atlantic League and batted .345 in 20 games. Florence had 19 runs, 5 homeruns and 20 RBIs before moving on to the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies affiliates. – MA



1. Kevin - April 11, 2008


Blue Crabs signed two more guys: former Major League utilityman Damian Jackson and 3B Patrick Osborn. Apparently Osborn will start at third, moving Chad Ehrnsberger to second base.

It also mentions the team originally signed Chad Hermanson and Brad Boyles before losing their commitments.

2. AtlanticLeagueFans - April 11, 2008

I think Walter Young would have been a natural for York.

I would have liked to have seen him on a promotional growth-chart back-to-back with Kaz Tanaka. That would have been a collectors item. It’s a missed opportunity.

3. Dave - April 11, 2008

Pitchers Andy Van Hekken and Brian Reith have been added to the Somerset roster.

4. Anonymous - April 11, 2008

Huh? Brandon florence played for the barnstormers??I dont think so Mike! You might want to rewrite that…he played for Reading.

5. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - April 11, 2008

That’s from a PR. I didn’t write it.

6. Anonymous - April 12, 2008

Oh and according to this blog Adam Morrissey is back with the Arkansas Travs?


7. IslanderFan77 - April 12, 2008

I’m really glad that Andy Van Hekken and Brian Reith are back with Somerset! I thought it was Van Hekken who left the Pats to go and play in Taiwan.

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