RA Dickey wasn’t the only pitcher in the news on Monday.
With Twitter and baseball blogs going bonkers when manager Tony LaRussa announced that Matt Cain, and not the Mets’ knuckleballer, would start for the National League in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, it is understandable that some of the not-so-controversial news may have flown under the radar.
Amidst the countless number of RA Dickey-Matt Cain-Tony LaRussa Tweets, Overtime! uncovered some news about former NEC pitchers who currently playing in the professional ranks.
The first Tweet came to our staff’s attention as a “Retweet” by Central Connecticut’s own @DCTViper89. An avid baseball fan, who is also a sports reporter for the CCSU Recorder, @DCTViper89 retweeted some info on injured Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey (a Wagner alumnus) courtesy of ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald (ESPNJoeyMac).
McDonald, a Red Sox beat man, informed the Tweet-O-Sphere that Andrew Bailey and Dice-K were long-tossing at Fenway, a sign that Bailey is inching closer to throwing his first pitch in an MLB game since 2011.
Bailey, who graduated from Wagner in 2006, has a 2.07 ERA to go with 75 saves in 157 MLB relief appearances.
The next informative Tweet that our staff came upon was courtesy of longtime Monmouth beat writer Tony Graham of the Asbury Park Press. Using his @tonygsports Twitter handle, Graham informed his followers that New Jersey product, and 2012 all-NEC first teamer, Pat Light is set to make his professional baseball debut on Monday night in Batavia, NY.
After Light struck out 102 batters over 101.1 innings pitched for Monmouth this spring (he walked only 16!), the 6-foot-6 right-hander went onto become the highest MLB draft pick in the history of NEC baseball. Taken by the Boston Red Sox in the supplemental round that follows Round 1 and precedes Round 2, Light was the 37th player taken overall.
He was assigned to the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox’s New York-Penn League affiliate, but wasn’t immediately injected into the rotation. Reportedly, Boston brass thought it necessary to rest Light for a bit after what was a phenomenal collegiate campaign for the righty.
Fast forward to July 9, and Light will take the ball for the Spinners in what NEC fans hope is the start of a long and fruitful professional career.
Another former Monmouth hurler, Ryan Buch, was the subject of a weekend feature story in Journal Register (PA). Currently in the White Sox organization, the former all-NEC hurler is currently pitching for the Winston-Salem Dash. Read the full story – Hitch develops in plans of Yardley’s own pitching prospect Ryan Buch.
Since “former NEC pitchers in the pros” is the topic of the day, we might as well take a quick look at how the Oakland A’s Evan Scribner (Central Connecticut) and the San Diego Padres’ Brad Brach (Monmouth) are faring at the midway point of the MLB season.
Scribner did not join the big club until June, but has performed admirably since getting the call. The righty, whose younger brother (Troy) helped Sacred Heart to back-to-back NEC Tournament titles, has yet to allow a run in four appearances (5.2 IP) out of the Oakland bullpen. His most-recent outing came on July 7 at Seattle where he struck out one and allowed a hit during a scoreless inning of work.
Meanwhile, Brach has held the opponent scoreless in each of his last five relief appearances, dating back to June 23, for San Diego. A New Jersey product like Light, Brach last appeared on July 8 against Cincinnati and struck out the side in his lone frame of work.
– July 9, 2012 –