Independent Baseball Chatter – January 23
By Bob Wirz
The Minnesota Twins’ minor league director of operations, Brad Steil, had glowing praise for the Independent leagues when speaking at a hot stove luncheon for the team’s Double-A farm club, New Britain, CT, last week: “I think you’ve seen not just in our organization but in other (major league) organizations as well, when you run into injuries during the season, there aren’t a lot of guys out there on the street that you can sign and plug into Double-A,” Steil said, according to The Hartford Courant. “The Independent leagues are a good resource for that, and I think the best players in those leagues are worth signing and have a chance to make it to the big leagues.”
First baseman-outfielder Chris Colabello (Can-Am League) and lefty reliever Caleb Thielbar (pictured – St. Paul, MN, American Association) joined Albers in debuting with the Twins last season, then they picked up another lefty, Kris Johnson (Kansas City, KS, American Association), who had broken in with Pittsburgh during ’13 over the offseason, and also signed Independent Player of the Year (Baseball America) C. J. Ziegler (Wichita, KS, American Association).
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