The last time Jerome Williams pitched in the big leagues it was 2007 and he went 0-5 with a 7.20 ERA in six starts for the Washington Nationals. Since then the former 1st round pick of the San Francisco Giants back in 1999 has literally gone around the globe in an effort to return to the majors. Since his stint with the Nationals, Williams has been a member of the Las Vegas 51’s, Sacramento Rivercats, Salt Lake City Bees, Inland Empire 66ers, Long Beach Armada, Lancaster Barnstormers, and even the Uni-President Lions in Taiwan. When Williams phone rang Tuesday night, he didn’t answer it. A text message later, he found out he was headed back to the big leagues for the first time in over four years. He responded with 2/3 of an inning of scoreless ball closing out Anaheim’s 4-3 loss to the Rangers on Wednesday. Williams was promoted after going 7-2 with a 3.91ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Salt Lake covering 73.2 innings in which he struck out 60 while walking just 15. In the story by Angels beat writer Bill Plunkett who is a must follow on twitter @billplunkettocr, Williams talks about his disbelief at being back in the big leagues, the long journey between now and 2007, and overcoming the label of being “lazy” during his first run in the majors with the Giants, Cubs, and Nationals.
Williams back in majors with Angels after long absence — OCRegister.com
It’s hard to believe that Chris Lubanski is still just 26 years old. The Kennedy Kenrick High School in Pennsylvania product never lived up to the hype he carried when the Kansas City Royals made him the 5th overall pick of the 2003 draft. After three promising seasons in Low-A, High-A, and Double-A as he climbed the organizational ladder, Lubanski hit a wall when he got to Triple-A batting just .208, .242, and .227 in three seasons with the Omaha Royals. By the end of the 2009 season, the Royals had given up and he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays and put up respectable numbers, hitting .293 with 24(2B), 6(3B), 17HR’s, and 57RBI’s in 100 games during an injury plagued season for the Las Vegas 51’s. He landed with the Florida Marlins organization in 2011 but was released in Spring Training and was not picked up by another club, so the former bonus baby found himself on the fringes of professional baseball as a member of the Chico Outlaws of the independent North American League. Lubanski’s prayers of a second chance at affiliated ball were answered by the Philadelphia Phillies who signed him in early August and sent him to Double-A Reading, miles from where he grew up. In the story, Lubanski talks about refusing to give up on his big league dreams, the opportunity to play at a stadium that he used to roam as a kid, and keeping the faith as he has dealt with loads of adversity. It’s a great read.
Lubanski’s road finally winds to Reading — Reading Eagle