Poor Ryne Sandberg (KEY ROOKIE: 1983 Topps), the guy has the dream of being a major league manager, he’s toiled through the minor leagues, successfully, four winning seasons in five years and Baseball America’s 2011 Minor League Manager of the Year Award, and yet the guy still can’t catch a break. Meanwhile Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny, two men with no managerial experience at any level, and lacking Sandberg’s Hall of Fame credentials are ready to embark on their careers as big league skippers, as Sandberg is set to begin his second season as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs affiliate. In the story link below, Sandberg talks about being back in the minors once again, and hirings of Ventura and Matheny. Additionally Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr shares his thoughts on Sandberg as does Cubs infielder Darwin Barney who played three seasons for Sandberg in the Cubs organization. It’s a very good read.
Hall of Famer Sandberg beating bushes hoping for return to majors — Sports Illustrated.com
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Joe Savery has one of the season’s most unlikely paths to the major leagues. A two way star both as a pitcher and as a hitter in college at Rice University, Savery was always a good hitting minor league pitcher. After a 2010 season that saw him go 1-12 on the mound for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the decision was made to give Savery a look full time at the plate to begin 2011. He opened the year batting for the High-A Clearwater Threshers hitting .307 over 54 games and earned a promotion to the Double-A Reading Phillies. It was in Reading where the decision was made to give it another shot on the mound. Savery looked like a brand new pitcher going 1-0 with a 1.00ERA six appearances out of the Reading bullpen. From there it was a promotion back up to Lehigh Valley, and after going 4-0 with a 1.80ERA in 25 innings, Savery earned a promotion to the Phillies where he made his major league debut today going a third of an inning out of the Phillies bullpen. In the story link below, Savery talks about his unusual path to the big leagues, his hitting ability, and being able to excel on the mound in 2011 after struggling so badly in 2010.
Tucked into a loss, Savery completes his long, strange journey — Trentonian.com
Ever since the Seattle Mariners drafted him with the 11th overall pick of the 2007 draft, Phillippe Aumont has had high expectations placed on him. When he was one of the key components in the the Cliff Lee to Seattle deal made with the Philadelphia Phillies, the expectations continued to climb. However up until the 2011 season, the expectations had always outweighed Aumont’s performance. After a 2010 season that saw the 6’7″ righthander struggle to a combined 3-11 record with a 5.68ERA with 80 walks in 122 innings between the High-A Clearwater Threshers and Double-A Reading, 2011 brought with it a move to the bullpen and a chance to flourish. Aumont has responded to the new role going a combined 1-5 with 7 saves and a 2.61ERA in 48.1 innings between Reading and the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He is currently holding opposing hitters to a career low .220 batting average against. In the story which is a very solid read, Aumont talks about dealing with the lofty expectations that were put on him, finding confidence for the first time in a long time, and the impact working in the off season with Phillies sports psychologist Dr. Jack Curtis.
Aumont bouncing back from brutal 2010 season — Fox43.com
For 32 games in 2005 Valentino Pascucci lived his dream of being a major leaguer hitting .177 with 1 Double, 2 Home Runs, and 6RBI’s in 62 at-bats with the Montreal Expos. Since then, the 32 year old first baseman has spent the last seven years trying to get back. In addition to a stint in Japan in 2006 with the Chiba Lotte Marines, and 14 games with the Camden Riversharks of the Atlantic League, Pascucci has been a Triple-A stalwart with a career that has included stops with the Edmonton Trappers, Albuquerque Isotopes, New Orleans Zyphers, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, Portland Beavers, and most recently the Buffalo Bisons which has been his home for the last two seasons. Since his Triple-A debut in 2003, Pascucci has blasted 168 Home Runs at the level. In the outstanding read, Pascucci talks about refusing to give up on his dream, the frustrations of not yet getting a second chance at the big leagues, raising a family during his long journey though baseball.
Bisons slugger experiences the waiting game — Buffalo News
Great read by FoxSports.com writer Reid Forgrave who visits the Ryne Sandberg led Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on Halloween Night in July. He gives an in depth look at what Sandberg goes through as a Triple-A manager, and how close but yet how far away Triple-A is from the big leagues.
Ryne Sandberg’s new life in baseball — FoxSports.com
Despite being the only reliever on the opening day roster for the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs not to be called up in 2011, Michael Schwimer is not letting that small detail bother him. The 25 year old lefty is dominating the International League going 7-1 with 10 Saves and a 1.73ERA for the Iron Pigs. He’s struck out 81 batters in 62.1 innings. In the story Schwimer talks about waiting his turn in Philadelphia, his dominant season, and playing in the Triple-A All Star Game.
Schwimer patiently waiting for major league break — MCall.com