• Rob Ducey (HC ’04) was recently elected to the Canadien Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the 2013 class along with Tim Raines, George Bell, broadcaster Tom Cheek, and Nat Bailey. Besides a 13-year big league career, Ducey was also the first Canadien-born player to suit up for both the Blue Jays and Expos.
• Ross Detwiler (’09-’10) has accepted an invitation to pitch for Team USA in next month’s World Baseball Classic. The southpaw told MASN Sports’ Dan Kolko, “Anytime you can represent your country and get your country’s name across your chest, I always jump at those opportunities.”
• The glorious and epic off-season beard of Danny Espinosa (’10) is no longer. The Nationals’ second baseman shaved it off for the MLB cameras and made stops along the way at a fu manchu and a pornstache.
• Congratulations are in order for shortstop Seth Bynum (’06-’09, ’12) as he will be one of eight inductees into Butler High School’s inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame.
• Bryce Harper (’11) once again graces the cover of Sports Illustrated three and a half years after his infamous Tom Verducci-penned “Chosen One” article.
Old Faces, New Places
Lots of international and independent league updates this week…
• Fan favorite and friend to the grounds crew, Devin Ivany (’07-’08, ’10-’12), inked a minor league deal with the Pirates and will likely provides catching depth for the organization.
• Senators’ career home run leader Val Pascucci (’01-’02) signed with the Atlantic League’s Camden Riversharks.
• Darrell Rasner (’04-’05) re-signed with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles for his fifth season with the club. In 2012, Rasner went 1-3 with a 2.79 ERA and 6 saves in 46 games for the Japan Pacific League squad.
• Although he manned third base during his time in Harrisburg, Joel Guzman (’09) was signed by the Olmecas de Tabasco of the Mexican League as a corner outfielder for the 2013 season.
• This past Friday, Luis Atilano (’08-’09, ’11) took the loss in his first start with the Guaynabo Mets of the Liga de Béisbol Superior Doble A de Puerto Rico. Over four innings, Atilano allowed five hits, two runs (one earned), and struck out five.
• After slugging 111 home runs the past four seasons for the Chunichi Dragons, Tony Blanco (’06-’07) was signed as a free agent to a 2-year deal with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan’s Central League.
• Reigning Italian Baseball League champs T&A San Marino inked Jim Magrane (’07) as the ace of their pitching 2013 staff.
• Josh Whitesell (’06-’07) earned a huge pay raise with the Chiba Lotte Marines when they re-signed him to a 1-year/$850,000 deal.
• After earning postseason Atlantic League All-Star honors with the Bridgeport Bluefish last year, Prentice Redman (’06) has agreed to return to the team for the 2013 campaign.
• Ofilio Castro (’07-’10) was re-signed by the Sugar Land Skeeters after leading the team with a .306 average last season. Castro will also be representing Nicaragua as he plays for their national team during the Central American Games in March.
• Looking to build on his club record 52 wins as a member of the York Revolution, Corey Thurman (’05) will return to the White Rose City for his sixth season.
• Edgardo Baez (’08-’10) was signed by the Bravos de Cidra of the Liga de Béisbol Superior Doble A de Puerto Rico.