Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: Indy standouts Towles and Bierman make the jump

08/28/2014 4:29 AM - Devo

DEVONTEEPLEINDYPERSPECTIVE.jpgWelcome to the latest edition of the Indy Ball Weekly Perspective

Towles wrangled by Rangers

Veteran catcher and Bridgeport Bluefish, J.R. Towles has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. Towles has spent the majority of his career in the Houston Astros organization, but the last two years has bounced around with the Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers' minor league squads. Never having been in a starting role, Towles has put together some very good numbers in the minors. He's a career .285 hitter with a .384 OBP. Unfortunately, that didn't translate over to the major league game. From 2007 to 2011, Towles appeared in 155 games batting .187 with 11 home runs and 50 RBI. In his only independent season Towles lit up the stat page. In 67 games with the Bluefish he went deep 11 times and drove in 37, while putting together a .930 OPS. Towles has since appeared in two games for the Rangers' Triple A, Round Rock Express and has not disappointed batting .286 with four RBI.

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Braves sign Can-Am's Bierman

Sean Bierman has had a very impressive stint with the Rockland Boulders, eventually leading to a contract offer from the Atlanta Braves. Bierman is a three-time Pitcher of the Week, July Pitcher of the Month, and member of the American Association South All-Star Team. Not too bad for his first independent season. In 2014, Bierman posted a 8-6 record and led all starters with a 2.44 ERA. In three professional seasons, in which he made it up to High A, Bierman has recorded 20 wins against 15 losses. His ERA is a very respectable 2.86. Since signing with Braves, he has been assigned to their Single A squad (Rome). In his first appearance against the Charleston RiverDogs, he went five scoreless innings striking out three. In his second appearance, this time against the Kannapolis Intimidators, Bierman again threw five scoreless innings picking up the win in the process. He struck out eight.

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Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Link-ed to Marlins, Wingnuts' ace sold to Miami

08/24/2014 8:14 AM - Devo

Jon Link.jpgWichita Wingnuts ace, Jon Link, has had his contract purchased by the Miami Marlins and will be reporting to Miami's Double A affiliate, according to a Wingnuts press release.

This isn't Link's first go-around. Link was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 26th round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft from Bluefield College. Since '05, he's appeared in over 410 minor league games and accumulated 93 saves pitching for a variety of teams including the Padres, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, and the Detroit Tigers at every minor league level. He made his Major League debut with the Dodgers in 2010 appearing in ten games.

After the Tigers granted Link free agency at the conclusion of the 2013 season, he joined the American Association's Wingnuts for the second time. To say his 2014 season has been dominant is an understatement. In one of his last starts, he struck out a franchise record 16 batters in seven innings, enroute to a 2-1 victory over the Grand Prairie AirHogs.

Link is in the top ten of every major pitching category. He's tied for the league lead in wins (11), second in strikeouts (100), and seventh in ERA (3.26). It's no surprise the scouts have come back around to take a look at him.

Despite years at the professional affiliated level, Link's career hit a snag, but like many others, he used the independent Leagues to springboard himself back in the mix. At 30 years old, Link is by no means washed-up. His 16-strikeout game proved that, as well as his dominance in one of the most talent laden leagues around.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Indy Ball Weekly Perspective: Bluefish sign Bonser

08/19/2014 5:32 AM - Devo

Boof Bonser 3.jpgFormer first-round pick Boof Bonser signed with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League, according to a press release issued yesterday.

Bonser played four seasons at the Major League level (between 2006 and 2010), and spent the majority of his career with the Minnesota Twins. His best season came in 2007. In 30 starts, Bonser went 8-12 with a 5.10 ERA in 173 innings.

Originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 1st round of the 2000 amateur draft (21st overall), he's spent over a decade in professional baseball and any team that picks him up will get a veteran presence in the locker room. Bluefish manager Willie Upsahw mirrored that sentiment.

“Boof is a welcome addition to our pitching staff,” says Bluefish manager Willie Upshaw. “He brings a veteran presence to the ballclub and we look forward to his contributions down the stretch.”
 
For the past couple of years, Bonser has spent time between Triple A (Columbus and Fresno) and in Taiwan with the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.
 
Every player wants to play in the bigs or get back to that level. It's the competitive nature in every athlete, but sometimes change is welcome. In my interview with Bonsor earlier this year, he talked about playing overseas and the chance of playing ball back in North America. Click here for the full interview.

"GMs: Over the last couple years you have spent time in the Mets, Giants and Indians organizations spending a lot of time in Triple A, last pitching in the big leagues in 2010. The Indians released you in August of 2013, eventually leading to a brand new opportunity with the President 7-Eleven Lions in Taiwan. What was that like?

BB: To be honest with you, it was great. I’ve always thought about going overseas to play, and I got my opportunity. I thought I did pretty good. I’m actually still trying to sign something to go back over there and play.

GMs: Was it difficult competing in a completely new league and environment?

BB: The first couple weeks you spend a lot of time adjusting, meeting your teammates and coaches. The language barrier takes a bit to get used to. Once everyone spends some time together, the expectation is to win. We had a fun.

GMs: Are you back with the Lions in 2014?

BB: If it’s not with the Lions, I’m hoping that one of three other teams gives me a shot.

GMs: Any possibility of coming back to North America?

BB: I would love too, but I haven’t had calls as of yet. I don’t know if I will? My options are open that’s for sure. I would never rule out anything"

After all of these years, Bonser still has the burning desire to play. He's pitched in the postseason, and has faced all the pressures and expectations. When all is said and done he knows what's expected of him.

At 32 years old, Bonser experienced more in the game of baseball than countless others. His time with the Buefish is another stepping stone to get back to Major League Baseball. If history has told us anything, Bonser will push through and perform as he always has.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 
 

 

Hello Kitty to visit MLB Fan Cave and Yankee Stadium

08/16/2014 10:04 AM - Devo

Hello Kitty Yankees 2014.jpgAs discussed in early April, Sanrio, Inc. and Hello Kitty are expanding their relationship with Major League Baseball.

In celebration of Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary, and in conjunction with her global 'Share a Hug with Hello Kitty' campaign, she will be sharing hugs with all of her fans. Even cooler is the fact that each hug shared will be tracked and added to the Global Hug Report. To view the tracking system and to witness first hand how big and popular this phenomenon is, check out this real time display feature.

The excitement begins at the MLB Fan Cave on August 23rd from 12-4pm, an event to celebrate her first appearance at Yankee Stadium for Hello Kitty Bobblehead Day.

Those who attend will be privy to a wide array of goodies. From temporary tattoos representing each of the 30 MLB clubs, and a coupon for a discount on all MLB.com MLB-themed Hello Kitty merchandise that includes team baseballs, pins, key chains, magnets and plush, cell phone covers, bags and throws.

At the MLB Fan Cave Hello Kitty will be sporting her new Yankees' attire that she will reveal to the world at Yankee Stadium on August 24th. The first 14,000 guests under the age 14, who attend the game, will receive a Hello Kitty Bobblehead.

Who would have thought that after all of these years that the global wonder known as Hello Kitty has gone mainstream. This a perfect example of how Major League Baseball is attempting to bring in new fans of all ages. The more that Major League Baseball can expand it's reach the better it is for all us. It's a great game that everyone should enjoy.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on twitter and facebook. His full bio can be seen here.