The Atlantic League ... Land of Opportunity,
but not without occasional, untimely,
and certainly frustrating moments for fans.
The Atlantic League is a fine circuit, and indeed a land of opportunity in a manner of speaking.
Just ask Ducks fans about Mickey Jannis and Mark Blackmar, to name two, who've previously pitched very effectively for the Long Island Ducks, and in turn had their respective contracts purchased by an MLB organization - Blackmar last weekend by the Nationals and Jannis last season by the Mets.
Even Mike Loree parlayed his time in Long Island several years ago into a trip overseas.
The Ducks announced on Friday the contract of southpaw Jack Snodgrass, 28, was purchased by the Texas Rangers organization.
Through July 5, Jack was 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA, and a 1.430 WHiP in 14 starts for the Ducks, with 85 strikeouts in 78.1 innings pitched. His longest outing of the season came on June 20 in which he tossed 6.2 innings against York. He otherwise pitched six full innings in ten other starts. Atlantic League batters were hitting .272 against him.
Congratulations to Jack, Mark, and all who've returned to the big show via the Atlantic League.
Sometimes, however, these transactions can be a little deflating, as a fan of the team that is..
So how important was winning the first half pennant looking now?
Goes without saying ...
The onus is now on remaining starters John Brownell, Darin Downs, Bobby Blevins, and Bruce Kern, to carry an even heavier load until general manager Michael Pfaff can seek out capable mound reinforcements - yes, more than one arm is necessary, especially on the heels of clinching a first half pennant. Literally and figuratively, the Ducks have till the playoffs to rearm their staff.
- Together, Downs, Snodgrass, and Brownell formed the top three league leaders in strikeouts.
In the meantime, on Thursday, July 7, Coach Baez implemented a pitcher by committee in Long Island's series opener at Southern Maryland. Kevin Vance made his first start of the season, charged with pitching the first three innings of the game (after making 20 prior appearances as a reliever). Coach Baez then matriculated six other relievers through the box en route to a 5-3 victory.
On Friday, John Brownell led the Ducks in a 6-2 victory with seven innings pitched over the Blue Crabs. He limited Southern Maryland to just one earned run on six hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. It was Brownell's franchise record extending 41st victory as a member of the Ducks. He is now 6-3 this season with a 2.77 ERA in 13 starts.