I overlooked one of last year's Independent players still in a major league spring training camp in Thursday's Independent Baseball Insider column when I said three of them remained.
How could I forget lefty Juan Cedeno, who jumped all the way from Rio Grande Valley (Harlingen, TX) of the North American League to an audition as a non-roster invitee with the New York Yankees?
Cedeno continued that audition on national television Thursday night, getting a key strikeout to get the Yankees out of a jam against the rival Boston Red Sox. His numbers do not look so good (9.64 earned run average over 4.2 innings in six games), but then the Yankees only need someone who can get certain left-handed hitters out. Cedeno's ERA was not a lot better in the NAL, where he was a strikeout machine.
He may be getting extra looks because another southpaw who came into spring training with some legitimacy to his hopes, Mike O'Connor, has an identical ERA. O'Connor had some time with the New York Mets last season after coming out of the Atlantic League (Southern Maryland, at Waldorf).
Former Lancaster (PA) Barnstormer Terry Tiffee has been talked about in this space more than once this spring because of all the playing time the Atlantic Leaguer has gotten, primarily at first base, with the Miami Marlins.
This onetime Minnesota Twins prospect got his first two extra-base-hits Thursday to help the Marlins tie Atlanta 5-5. He had a solo home run and a double, and has his spring average up to .147 (5-for-34) in 13 games.
KUSSMAUL GETS A LOOK, JAKUBAUSKAS GOES DOWN
The Chicago White Sox have had at least four Indy grads who are in their minor league camp in the dugout to see what a major league exhibition looks like up close, with the latest we have seen who has gotten into a game being right-handed pitcher Ryan Kussmaul, who started his professional career in the Frontier League (Southern Illinois). Kussmaul walked two in a scoreless inning against Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Dylan Axelrod, who pitched at Windy City (Crestwood, IL) in the Frontier League, continues to bid for a spot on Chicago's opening day roster. He could win a starting job or move into the bullpen.
Arizona has decided Chris Jakubauskas will not be on its opening day roster, sending the righty to Double-A Mobile, AL. Jakubauskas has major league time with Seattle, Pittsburgh and Baltimore after Independent stops at Lincoln, NE (American Association), Orange County (Fullerton, CA) of the Golden League and both Florence, KY and the travel team called Ohio Valley, both of the Frontier League.
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