Former TinCap, Liriano to Play in Futures Game

Former Fort Wayne TinCaps outfielder and Midwest League MVP Rymer Liriano will represent the San Diego Padres in the 2012 Futures Game that will be played on July 8th in Kansas City, Missouri. The game, played during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend, showcases some of the top prospects in the minor leagues.

Liriano, the 2011 Midwest League Prospect of the Year, was third in the league in batting average, hitting .319, adding 12 home runs and 62 runs batted in for the TinCaps in 2011. He also stole 65 bases, second most in the league. Liriano also played 50 games for the TinCaps in 2010.

The 14th annual Futures Game takes place Sunday, July 8, at 5 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV and ESPN2. The 25-man rosters for the U.S. and World teams are selected by Major League Baseball, along with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau,, Baseball America and the 30 Major League baseball clubs.

Gomes Makes MLB Debut

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Former Fort Wayne RHP Brandon Gomes made his major-league debut with the Tampa Bay Rays. He became the 97th Fort Wayne alum to reach the big leagues. Gomes, 26, opened the season with Triple-A Durham, going 0-1 with six saves and a 1.35 ERA to earn a promotion to Tampa Bay. Since joining the Rays’ bullpen, he has delivered 3.1 hitless innings.

“Brandon is just the latest of so many players who have come through Fort Wayne on their way to accomplishing their dreams of playing in the major leagues,” TinCaps president Mike Nutter said. “We take pride in showcasing the major-leaguers of the future each night at Parkview Field.”

Gomes was drafted by the Padres in the 17th round of the 2007 draft and went 5-6 with a 4.10 ERA in Fort Wayne in 2007 and 2008. He shifted to the bullpen in 2008 and shot up the minor-league chain. Gomes was part of a four-player package traded to the Rays this off-season in exchange for SS Jason Bartlett.

Cedric Hunter Scores in MLB Debut

After a hot spring, Cedric Hunter made the Padres Opening Day roster. Then, Cameron Maybin made Hunter’s debut possible. After hitting a game-tying two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth, the game went into extra innings in St. Louis. 

In the top half of the 11th, Maybin left after singling in the go-ahead run. Hunter replaced him as a pinch runner and later scored. He stayed in the game and played center as the Padres pulled out a 5-3 victory.

Hunter becomes the 94th former Fort Wayne Wizards or TinCaps player to make his Major League debut.

Hunter was selected by San Diego Padres in 3rd round (93rd overall) of 2006 draft. He played in 129 games with the Wizards in Fort Wayne during the 2007 season, hitting .282 with 7 home runs and 58 RBI.

Related Cedric Hunter Posts

BBIFW is Back, Sort of…

Well, it’s been several months since a self-imposed exile from Baseball in Fort Wayne. It’s given me much time to clear my head, focus on some other facets of life and try to move on without baseball on the brain 24/7. I’ve missed it, yes. And I have resisted returning several times. But I’ve decided that it’s time to get back on the field – well, on the blog at least.

What should you expect? Nothing to the extent of what you once did. There will not attempts to break stories or generate traffic based upon hot topics of the day. There won’t be any general posts for the sake of keeping things fresh.

Instead, from time-to-time, there will be posts that objectively cover and report on the Northeast Indiana happenings. If you send me press releases, the may be posted if they truly are noteworthy from a historical perspective. I’ll still cover MLB debuts from players linked to Fort Wayne when I can keep up. And I’ll continue to take photos at Parkview Field and any other games I attend.

So, I hope you are looking forward to another great season of baseball ahead. It’s sure to be another unique chapter in our local book of baseball lore. Stay tuned.

The Future of BBIFW

This may be the last post at BBIFW for me. When this blog began, it was meant as a way for people to get more information about the book, which was published more than three years ago. I have continued it as an extension of the book, a labor of love and a service to our community.

It’s been an honor for me to see so many people follow along and that is what makes this post so difficult for me to write. But there comes a time when you have to know when to walk away.

I could continue on and simply post links to trending news, but there are several reasons I refuse to do that. First, over the last several years, other entities have stepped up to provide more insightful resources and information. These sources did not exist even three years ago and I am continually impressed by their thoroughness and insight. Another reason I won’t allow this blog to become a news aggregator of sorts is a personal commitment that I made when I launched. I said – at the time – that if I cannot become something of substance that contributes to the Northeast Indiana Baseball community in a fashion that I would personally want to engage and follow, I would not produce it.

Today, I find myself with a very full life that includes many driving passions and interests that extend far beyond baseball. I find myself with fragmented thoughts and ambitions. In my mind, the only way a person should pursue anything they care about is to do it with a commitment to excellence – and that demands focus.

As people, in our effort to become proficient multi-taskers so we can “do more” we often become deficient and accomplish less. While it may be the case for some, “good enough” simply isn’t good enough for me.

The domain, the blog, and it’s current content will remain. My plans call for an update of WordPress when necessary, and may even go as far as to tweak the theme and plugins if newer versions of the software demands it, but I do not plan to create new content anytime soon.

Content that would require constant updating (such as the local ties page) will probably go away. There will come a time when it will become even more stale and inaccurate than it is now – so I see no reason for it to remain.

Now, with all that said, I welcome anyone who would like to become a contributor to BBIFW and carry it on. Just hop over to the contact page or leave a comment to this post and we can discuss.

God bless you all.


Yordany Ramirez Converting to Pitcher

Former Fort Wayne Wizard, Yordany Ramirez is no longer an outfielder. The strong-armed former prospect has spent nearly 9 years in Minor League Baseball without so much as a cup of coffee. He was recently removed from the Houston’s 40-man roster and now will attempt to convert to a middle reliever, beginning at Single-A Lexington of the Sally League. On the season, he was hitting .223 with a .259 on-base percentage in 74 games at Triple-A Round Rock.

Related BBIFW Post:

Kluber Traded to Cleveland, Greenwood to St. Louis

Former Fort Wayne Wizards right-hander Corey Kluber is going to the Cleveland Indians as part of a three-team deal that sends Jake Westbrook to the St. Louis Cardinals and Ryan Ludwick to San Diego. Current TinCaps’ pitcher Nick Greenwood is going to St. Louis.

The Cardinals got cash along with Westbrook from the Indians. St. Louis also acquired left-hander Nick Greenwood from San Diego. The 22-year-old Greenwood was 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA at Class A Fort Wayne.

Nick Greenwood as a Member of the TinCaps
Nick Greenwood as a Member of the TinCaps

Kluber played in Fort Wayne with the Wizards in 2008, the last year for the Wizards. He went 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA, and 72 strikeouts while yielding 13 walks in 56 innings pitched. On the 2010 season, he’s appeared in 22 games for Double-A San Antonio Missions. He is 6-6 with a 3.45 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 122.2 innings pitched.

Greenwood was a 14th-round pick of the Padres in 2009 and appeared in 3 games with the TinCaps that year, striking out 3 and earning a save in 3 innings pitched. On the 2010 season, Greenwood is 4-4 with a 4.15 ERA, and 65 strikeouts over 21 games (17 starts). He also has a save.

photo by Chad Gramling, taken at Parkview Field in 2010.

Former Wizard, Wynn Pelzer Traded to Baltimore

Wynn Pelzer with the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2008
Wynn Pelzer with the Fort Wayne Wizards in 2008

Former Fort Wayne Wizard , Wynn Pelzer has been traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Miguel Tejada. Reportedly, the O’s had their hearts set on other Fort Wayne alumni, such as Corey Luebke or Simon Castro, but still made out good in settling for Pelzer.

The 24 year-old Pelzer was the seventh-rated prospect in San Diego’s system according to Baseball America. The former University of South Carolina closer was taken in the ninth round of the 2007 draft.

According to Orioles Insider, the right-hander was 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA in 22 games (18 starts) for San Antonio. He’s 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds and can throw in the mid 90s, though his velocity dropped some this year.

He is mainly a starter but was switched back to relief recently. One scout that has seen him calls him raw and said he needs work on his delivery and command. But he has a strong live arm and closer’s mentality. There’s definitely an upside there.

With the Wizards in 2008, Pelzer was 9-6 with a 3.19 ERA while striking out 100 and walking 32. He appeared in 29 games, 23 of them starts.

Photo taken by Chad Gramling at Memorial Stadium. Video from WANE TV.

Travis Chick Signs Minor League Deal with Bucs

Several sources on the Internet are reporting that former Fort Wayne Wizards pitcher, Travis Chick has signed a Minor League deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates have signed 26-year old righty reliever/starter Travis Chick to a minor league deal. Chick has not pitched yet this season. He has pitched in 3 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 0-0 with a 12.60 ERA and a 3.40 WHIP. Chick has also pitched in 189 games (142 starts) in his 8 years in the minors and he is 48-45 with 1 save, a 4.26 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. It will be interesting to see if Chick can work his way to Pittsburgh before the 2010 season is over.

Related BBIFW Travis Chick Posts:

A Glimpse of Northeast Indiana Baseball History