Caleb Thielbar

Independent Baseball Insider By Bob Wirz Vol. 11, No. 18, June 6, 2013

Caleb Thielbar (St. Paul, MN, American Association), still with a perfect earned run average after eight major league innings spread over seven appearances for Minnesota, admitted he had a number of friends on hand when he picked up his first American League victory when the Twins rallied for a walk-off win.  What about family?  Not so much.  “I think they had things to do today,” he deadpanned to The St. Paul Pioneer Press.  It was somewhat surprising to seeDane DeLaRosa (El Paso, TX, American Association) sent back to Salt Lake City Thursday.  He had been so strong in the Los Angeles Angels’ bullpen (1-1, one save, 4.05, 27 appearances) and was not charged with an earned run in his last six outings.  … Tom Boleska, Relief Pitcher of the Year last season in the American Association (Fargo), announced his retirement after playing this season for Baltimore’s Double-A Bowie, MD team.


Can-Am and a Little Philosophy 

I did not even have to ask.  Veteran St. Paul, MN Manager George Tsamis took it upon himself to praise the Can-Am League, which is in the second season of interleague play with the American Association, which the Saints call home.

“This league is just as good as our league”, Tsamis said this week near the end of a grueling road trip to the Canadian cities of Quebec and Trois Rivieres plus Rockland, NY.  “Quebec’s pitching is as good as any in our league.”

Tsamis, who has a championship and three other narrow championship series defeats since joining the Saints 11 years ago after guiding the New Jersey Jackals to two league titles, proved he still has plenty of fire in his belly when he offered, without prompting, during our conversation, “who wants to be mediocre.”  The key to winning:  “This game is about who hits with runners on base”.  Enough said.


‘Scrappy’ Describes 14-6 Laredo 

What better authority to find out something on the American Association’s hottest team, the Laredo (TX) Lemurs, than the team’s player personnel boss (and Arizona scout) Chris Carminucci.  The Lemurs have won 14 of their first 20 games and lead the South Division by a hefty 5.5 games.

“Scrappy” was Carminucci’s basic description, “kind of like (Manager) Pete (Incaviglia) was.”  Laredo has a .292 team batting average, and Carminucci believes Brian Peterson, who has carried a load while playing in all but one game so far, “is the best catcher in Independent Baseball.”  Peterson, 34, also is hitting .296 in his 14th professional season, which has topped out at Triple-A.


(Bob Wirz also writes about Independent Baseball on  Fans may subscribe to this Independent Baseball Insider column, which will be published 40 times in 2013, at or comment to  The author has 16 years of major league baseball experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.)


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