MLB Camps Open, 47 Indy League Stars Trying Out

Spring Training

Robert Coello has only been pitching for four years after starting his professional career as a respected catching prospect, but the 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander no doubt is the envy of many of the other products of the Independent Baseball leagues who have their nameplates posted on a dressing cubicle in a major league clubhouse during these early days of spring training.

Coello may not have felt like being envied a few days ago when the Boston Red Sox, for whom he made his major league debut last September, designated him for assignment.  That all changed earlier this week when the Red Sox swapped the 26-year-old to the Chicago Cubs because he moved from obviously not being in overly high regard with talent-rich Boston to the organization with the second poorest relief earned run average (4.72) among all 30 teams one year ago.

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Oakland’s Justin James makes jump from Indy to MLB


It was not such usual candidates as Michael Ryan or Scott Richmond or John Lindsey or Randy Williams, but Independent Baseball has had one interesting promotion in the first couple of days since major league teams started taking advantage of the opportunity to expand rosters in September.  This ranks right up the excitement level with some of the affiliated all-star selections which have come out of the Indy ranks.

Oakland’s elevation of right-handed pitcher Justin James is a landmark case, actually, in that the Northern League believes it is the first time in its storied 18-year life when a player has gone from the league to the major leagues in the same season.  It is the second time this has happened for an Independent player in 2010, with the first also with the Athletics because outfielder Matt Watson started the season at Lancaster, PA of the Atlantic League and was playing in McAfee Coliseum in Oakland a short time later.

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Next two years will see boom in Independent Baseball Franchises

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