Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz

Lefty Ian Thomas will not soon forget his 2016 debut for Oklahoma City even though the former Winnipeg hurler would rather be with the parent Los Angeles Dodgers as he was part of last year instead of in Triple-A.

Oklahoma City did not allow a hit until the ninth inning against Nashville Saturday with Thomas hurling the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, allowing only one walk and strikeout three.

Thomas may get to throw to another onetime American Association catcher one of these days although for now last season’s Player of the Year Vinny DiFazio (Grand Prairie 2014, St. Paul 2014-15) in on the Oklahoma City disabled list. DiFazio’s two seasons in the American Association really proved to be of value because in four previous years in the Texas Rangers farm system he did not advance above Class A. He is now two levels higher.

DiFazio and the President

DiFazio made something of a name for himself during his first spring training in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ camp at Glendale, Ariz., even though he was at the minor league level. Known during his time in baseball for his humor, the major league media made such a deal of DiFazio’s impersonation of President Barack Obama that video landed on You Tube.

David Peralta Was Very Alert

American Association managers may want to tell this story to their players during training sessions.

Arizona cleanup hitter David Peralta (Amarillo 2013, Wichita 2012) makes his living–and a very good one–with his bat, but he used his intuition and hustle to help pull of an unusual double play in the Diamondbacks’ victory which handed the Chicago Cubs their first loss of the season.

With runners at first and third, Anthony Rizzo hit a sharp grounder to first. Dexter Fowler was caught in a rundown for one out, and when Peralta crept in from right field shortstop Nick Ahmed threw to him at first base where he tagged Rizzo to finish the twin killing.

“I was trying to get sneaky to surprise the guy and it worked for us,” Peralta told The Associated Press. “I guess it’s not normal. It doesn’t happen too often, but it worked for us. I think even the first base coach didn’t know I was there.”

Previously the chief spokesman for Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003. He is a frequent contributor to this site as well as writing his own blog,


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