The best story in baseball Monday involved a former Midwest Leaguer.
By now you’ve probably heard about Guilder Rodriguez, the longtime minor-leaguer who finally got called up to the major leagues this month. After playing in 1,095 minor-league games for 10 different teams in 13 seasons, Rodriguez made his MLB debut for the Texas Rangers on September 9. He went 0-for-3 with a walk, but his story didn’t end there.
On Monday he collected his first MLB hit, a bloop single in the 3rd inning, and drove in his first MLB run on a 7th-inning single. He did it in front of his father, Guillermo, who flew in from Venezuela to watch his son play in the United States for the first time since 2004.
None of the game stories say this, but the only U.S. team Rodriguez played for in 2004 was the Beloit Snappers, which means his father probably last saw him play stateside when he was toiling away in the Midwest League.
Rodriguez played 95 games with the Snappers, hitting .265 with 27 RBI and 14 SB. At that time he was a farmhand for the Milwaukee Brewers, the only other MLB organization he has played for.
Norris to make 1st MLB start Thursday
I mentioned in my last post that former Lansing Lugnuts pitcher Daniel Norris might make his first major-league start Thursday. Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said earlier today that will be the case.
Norris pitched in 23 games (22 starts) for the 2013 Lugnuts, going 1-7 with a 4.20 ERA, 99 strikeouts and 44 walks in 85.2 IP. Before his September call-up to the majors, Norris went a combined 12-2 with a 2.53 ERA, 163 strikeouts and 43 walks in 124.2 IP in High-A, Double-A and Triple-A this year.