30 Jun

triple-a troopers

Getting to the big leagues is hard. Staying, they say, is harder. And getting back to the big leagues after losing your roster spot might be a different level of hard. That’s the plight faced by a handful of Mississippians currently playing in Triple-A with no clear path to another MLB chance. Anthony Alford, Cody Carroll, Chris Ellis, JaCoby Jones and Jacob Waguespack are veteran pros no longer holding a 40-man MLB roster spot in their respective organizations. Alford, 26, from Petal, was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh on April 21, hitting .083 at the time. He has perked up at Indianapolis, batting .292 with six homers in 35 games. But his MLB track record (.150 in 62 games over five years) isn’t good. Former Southern Miss star Carroll, 28, pitched in 15 games for Baltimore in 2018 and got into three games last summer but was waived in September. Assigned to Norfolk this year, he has a 5.56 ERA in 13 appearances. Ellis, 28, a former Ole Miss (and Mississippi Braves) standout, has one MLB game (one inning, actually) on his resume. That was with Kansas City (as a Rule 5 draft pick) in 2019. He was DFA’d after that game and returned to St. Louis, which released him in May 2020. Tampa Bay signed Ellis in the off-season; he is 0-1 with a 6.45 ERA in eight games at Durham. Jones, 29, the former Mr. Baseball from Richton, seemingly had established himself as an outfielder with Detroit. But after struggling to start this season, he was demoted and then DFA’d on June 6. He is batting .222 in 25 games for Toledo. Waguespack, 27, an Ole Miss alum, was up with Toronto last summer (8.15 ERA) but was DFA’d in March. He is 3-2, 3.43 at Buffalo. What are the odds any of these players gets another shot in the big leagues? Well, as they say, as long as you’re wearing a uniform, you’ve got a chance. P.S. Former Mississippi State ace Ethan Small and Mississippi Braves product Drew Waters have been selected for the All-Star Futures Game in Denver on July 11. Small, recently promoted from Double-A Biloxi to Triple-A Nashville, is Milwaukee’s top-rated pitching prospect. Waters, 2019 Southern League MVP, is playing at Triple-A Gwinnett; the switch-hitting outfielder is Atlanta’s No. 2 prospect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: