Independent Baseball Insider – Vol. 12, No. 5, April 3, 2014
By Bob Wirz
Seeing two former players (Ian Thomas and Brandon Kintzler) in the major leagues would make any manager feel pretty good, but Winnipeg Goldeyes skipper Rick Forney is very happy for other reasons, in addition to watching his four children grow.
“I love my job,” he gushed this week. “And, I know how special Independent Baseball is.” While it will be more than a month before the American Association season opens and “there are so many variables, I like what I have (on the Winnipeg roster)” at this time.
Forney, who won 42 games himself in Independent play and another 47 in the affiliated minors but never reached the majors, also believes two more of his former players could get a call from the parent San Francisco Giants in the near future. We mentioned first baseman Mark Minicozzi several times last month in this space while he was a non-roster invitee, and Forney calls outfielder Tyler Graham (pictured) a “dynamic player” who is not only a “plus defender” but once on base “can get into scoring position pretty quickly”. Graham, 30, was called over from the minor league camp sufficient times during spring training that he got into seven Cactus League games where he went 2-for-7 and stole two bases.
Graham spent much of last season in the American Association (Fargo-Moorhead and Winnipeg) and his 31 steals in 59 games while hitting .303 for the Goldeyes before he returned for another stint in the Giants’ system are fresh in Forney’s mind.
Cody Satterwhite Has a Story to Tell
While spreading accolades to pitchers, how about the stories right-hander Cory Satterwhite can tell the rest of his life about his recent experiences within the New York Mets organization.
After a college career at Mississippi and becoming a second round draft choice by Detroit, the 27-year-old Satterwhite started last season at Sioux City, where he limited American Association batters to 14 hits while striking out 31 in 27.2 innings (0.65 ERA in 19 games). The Mets swooped in, thought enough of the 6-foot-4 hurler to send him to the Arizona Fall League, then got him into two major league spring training contests. They have to like him.
Satterwhite was charged with a run in each of his two appearances, and even took a loss the last time when the pitcher who followed him to the mound with a runner on in a scoreless game in the eighth inning surrendered a two-run homer to Melky Cabrera.
The story Satterwhite can share is that 50,229 fans were on hand in Montreal for his most recent outing. Yes, he took the loss but it likely will be the last major league game ever played at Olympic Stadium. Maybe even in the lovely French city. What a trivia question it could be.