All this high-ticket talk has taken us far outside the Beerleaguer comfort zone. Here are two minor tidbits to make you more at home.
According to Todd Zolecki, the Phillies are expected to sign Marlton's Blaine Neal to a minor-league contract. Neal, a former fourth-rounder of the Marlins, last pitched in the Majors back in 2005 with Boston and Colorado. The righthander saved 26 games for Triple-A Toledo (Detroit) last season and also represented the US in the Beijing Olympics. He would fit Lehigh Valley’s need for a closer with the departure of Matt Childers, who's heading to Japan.
Then, John Finger reports that 31-year-old lefthander John Parrish could also be looked at in a minor league deal. The Lancaster native appeared in 13 games (6 starts) with Toronto last season, going 1-1 with a 21/15 K/BB ratio in 42 1-3 innings and became part of the starting rotation late in the season. He also split the season pitching 17 games (13 starts) with Triple-A Syracuse (Toronto), going 10-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 100/39 K/BB ratio. A hard thrower, control problems and elbow trouble have set him back over his seven-year Major League career, most of it coming with Baltimore. Over 174 career appearances, most of it as a reliever, he’s 13-13 with a 4.54 ERA and 221/184 K/BB ratio. Lifetime, lefthanders have hit .256 against him.
These rumors follow the signing of local product Mike Koplove of Chestnut Hill to a minor league deal.