Friday, May 27, 2011

ORIOLES GIVE UP ON DRESE PLUS AN UPDATE ON A FORMER ATLANTIC LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES MVP.

Ryan Drese had not pitched in the majors since 2006, but when Baltimore signed the 35-year-old vet in February and invited him to their major league spring training camp there was some hope the Californian might have a chance to add to his 34 victories at baseball's top level.

It was not to be, at least for now. The Orioles released the right-hander Thursday. Drese had allowed 64 hits in 44 innings for Triple-A Norfolk (2-3, 6.55) and along with giving up more walks than his strikeout total the dreaded walking papers were handed out.

Drese had worked in four games for the Long Island Ducks last season (1-1, 1.59) and he had pitched for Camden in both 2008 and 2009.

WHAT IS IN THE FUTURE FOR FORMER ATLANTIC LEAGUE MVP?

It was only in yesterday's Independent Baseball Insider column when I had the opportunity to single out two-time Atlantic League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Jeff Nettles for becoming the league's all time leader in runs batted in.

Now for an update on another of the Somerset Patriots' postseason MVPs who, like Nettles, played third base.

Brandon Larson, the Cincinnati Reds' top draft choice in 1997 and their opening day third baseman in 2003, ended his playing career by winning MVP honors in Somerset's fourth of five Atlantic League championships in '08.

With Richard Oliver of The San Antonio Express-News providing the details, we learned that Larson is finishing up a degree at the University of Texas-San Antonio and coaching a couple of select high school baseball teams as he eyes a career as a college coach.

"I'm just trying to be a good coach, a good daddy and an ex-good baseball player," Larson told Oliver. It seems he is well on his way. Larson and wife Denise are raising Denise's daughter and expecting their own baby girl come September.

While injuries helped limit the San Angelo, TX native to 109 major league games, Larson finished his 12-year pro career in style in that 2008 season with a 30-home run, 95-RBI regular season with the Patriots, then capped it all off when Somerset toppled Camden in the four-game Championship Series.



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