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Chronique: Un ancien Jackals dans le baseball majeur?

18 mars 2018

Texte écrit par Bob Wirz (via www.canamleague.com)

The support system for onetime New Jersey Jackals infielder Peter Mooney to be on the Miami Marlins' Opening Day roster now only two weeks away (March 29) is growing.

MLB.com reporter Joe Frisaro updated his projected 25-man squad for Don Mattingly's team this week, and he now inserts Mooney as one of four positional players who would be on the bench.

"Mooney would be the surprise candidate to make the squad as a utility player," he wrote.  "The 27-year-old plays all over the diamond".

That versatility is Mooney's calling card, and his ability to help out in many ways showed up once again in Wednesday's 5-1 Grapefruit League win over the New York Mets.  The diminutive Mooney, listed in various places from 5-foot-8 to two inches shorter than that, did not start, as often is the case, but he got into the game in time to start a double play and steal his first base of the spring.

Mooney leads the Marlins in games played (18) and was hitting .333 (9-for-27) with two doubles, six runs, four runs batted in and a .400 on-base percentage heading into Thursday.  While he was mainly stationed at shortstop with the Jackals three years ago when he hit .263 in 95 games while getting on base 37 per cent of the time, his flexibility showed up at Triple-A New Orleans last summer when he played 96 games at shortstop, 11 at second base and six at third base.

If he gets to make his major league debut with the Marlins, it appears he would be one of at least three Can-Am League graduates on an active roster.  Veteran Luis Garcia is expected to be back in the Philadelphia bullpen and righty Wilmer Font still seems headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen.  A few other possibilities also continue to exist.

Tracking Cardullo, Arrojo and Others

While several of the Can-Am League's premier players who have gone on to major league organizations do not seem to be destined for Opening Day slots they clearly merit watching.

Two go-getters behind much of the Rockland Boulders' success of recent years are great examples.  Stephen Cardullo is not a prime player in Colorado's camp as he was one year ago when he was on the roster that started the National League season, but he has not been completely overlooked.  Cardullo, primarily an outfielder, did not get a major league camp invitation this year, but he was brought up from the minor league side of the Scottsdale training camp this week and appeared briefly.

Rockland teammate Junior Arrojo, nearly a year younger at 29 and behind in development since his three-year term of terrorizing Can-Am opponents only ended after the 2016 season, was given a similar invite from Miami's minor league camp Thursday to be in uniform in Jupiter against the St. Louis Cardinals.  That had to be a thrill since the middle infielder had zero affiliated experience until he played everywhere from rookie ball to Triple-A last summer in his first season with the Marlins.

Southpaw Jarret Martin has been returned to Oakland's minor league camp after a month in the Athletics' big-league camp as a non-roster player.  He was at Ottawa, Sussex County and Rockland two years ago.  Martin was charged with five runs in 1.2 innings during his two appearances, and is said to likely start the season at Double-A Midland.

Tracking Can-Am greats Chris Colabello and Balbino Fuenmayor, two gifted first basemen with power bats, has not been quite as easy although Colabello was training in the free agent camp in Bradenton, FL with the likes of Tyler Clippard and Jarrod Saltalamacchia when it closed a few day ago.           

Fuenmayor signed a minor league deal with Washington during another strong winter league season, first being assigned to Triple-A, then his contract was moved to Double-A Harrisburg.  It now appears he will end up back in Mexico for a second season since he was expected to play for a new franchise, Tecolotes Dos Laredos, in an exhibition in Laredo, TX this week.  

About Bob Wirz

Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003.  He is a frequent contributor to this site, has a blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and a book about his life, "The Passion of Baseball", is available at traditional book-buying sites, or at  www.WirzandAssociates.com.