FROM THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION TO THE MAJORS IN 11 MONTHS

FROM THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION TO THE MAJORS IN 11 MONTHS

Independent Baseball Insider by Bob Wirz, Vol. 12, No. 14, June 5, 2014

David Peralta (pictured) would seem to have the greatest upside since the left-handed outfielder, who was playing in the American Association (Amarillo, TX) only 11 months prior to his major league debut with Arizona, has not even reached what normally is prime time for a baseball player.  He will turn 27 in two more months.

“See, I told you I wouldn’t let you down,” the Venezuelan native chided Chris Carminucci in a text message.  Carminucci, the onetime Indy investor and manager now the Diamondbacks’ independent leagues coordinator, who has brought six non-affiliated players into the Arizona organization already this season, was headed to Grand Prairie, TX (American Association) to search for even more players to obtain when I tracked him down.

“I fill needs”, was Carminucci’s description of his job, and he had invited Peralta, a pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals system until two shoulder surgeries led to his release five years ago, to work out in St. Petersburg, FL during one of Nick Belmonte’s tryout camps.

Mike Bell (Arizona’s Director of Player Development) read my report, and he had a need,” creating the opportunity to purchase the contract of Peralta, who had already hit .392 (81 RBI) in 2011 for Rio Grande Valley (Harlingen, TX) and .332 (70 RBI) the next season for Wichita, KS (American Association).  Although the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Peralta did not have much body fat to lose, he trimmed down a little after a .346 debut with 42 RBI in 51 games for the D-Backs in the California League.

 “That guy looks like a big leaguer,” Special Assistant to the General Manager Bill Bryk commented during this past spring training, according to Carminucci, and General Manager Kevin Towers chimed in that Peralta “runs better than I remembered.”  After collecting 24 extra-base hits, hitting .297 and driving in 46 runs in 53 games for Class AA Mobile, AL (he struck out only 21 times in 202 at-bats) this springand center fielder A. J. Pollock going down with a fractured hand Peralta debuted this week, getting hits in three of his first five plate appearances and going 4-for-10 with a double and two runs scored in his first three games.

Photo courtesy of Rick Scuteri/AP Photo

New Can-Am Rule Debuts With 11 Innings Played in 3:17

For those who want to see baseball games played in less time, the International rule newly adopted by the Can-Am League would seem to deserve more study.

The first test of the rule which dictates that starting with the 11th inning each half inning begins with a runner on second base happened in Quebec this week.  Despite 16 runs scoring, including six in the decisive 11th as visiting St. Paul, MN of the American Association prevailed, 9-7, the game only lasted three hours and 17 minutes, or something akin to the first seven innings of a typical New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox pitcher’s duel.

Each team only used one pitcher in extra innings, another potentially huge benefit under the rule since both leagues play with a 22-man roster limit.

 

(Fans may subscribe to this Independent Baseball Insider column, which will be published 36 times in 2014, at www.WirzandAssociates.com.  Bob Wirz provides supplemental stories about Independent Baseball on his blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.)