08 Mar

spring flings

Making a major league club as a non-roster invitee to spring training is a tall order. Jake Mangum, the former Jackson Prep and Mississippi State star, is making a strong case in Tampa Bay’s camp. Now with his third organization in three years, Mangum is 6-for-12 with a homer, two RBIs and three steals in Grapefruit League play. The switch-hitting outfielder had a couple of hits in Thursday’s game against Philadelphia. Mangum, now 28 years old, hit .357 over four years at State and has hit .289 over four minor league campaigns. He is also an outstanding defensive player. But he hasn’t gotten the big league call. Yet. … Things have not gone as well this spring for several veteran Mississippi-connected pitchers in camp as NRIs with new clubs. Zac Houston, an MSU alum, has a 12.27 ERA in four games for Tampa Bay. The 29-year-old right-hander has been in pro ball since 2016 without an MLB look. Jonathan Holder, 30, another ex-Bulldogs star, is trying get back to The Show with Texas. He has an 11.57 in five Cactus League games. And 35-year-old Drew Pomeranz, the former Ole Miss standout who last pitched in the majors in 2021, has put up a 9.82 in four appearances with the Los Angeles Angels. … Ex-Southern Miss standout Chuckie Robinson, in the Chicago White Sox’s camp, is 1-for-9 in six games as a catcher. Petal High product Anthony Alford is 0-for-3 for Cincinnati as he attempts to get back in the big leagues after two years in Korea.

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