Baseball Bits

It's nice being able to watch former Rebel baseball players nightly. We're seeing that more and more thanks to the Ole Miss baseball program that's been built this decade.

Elder statesman David Dellucci is still giving it his best but has been designated for assigment by the Blue Jays. OK, what's that mean?

Designated for assignment is a contractual term used in Major League Baseball. When a player is designated for assignment, he is immediately removed from the club's 40-man roster. This gives the club 10 days to decide what to do with the player while freeing up a roster spot for another transaction, if needed. After designating a player for assignment, the club must make one of the following contractual moves:

Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day. period)

Trade the player.

Release the player.

Dellucci, an outfielder whose major league debut came in 1997, has now been with seven different organizations in his journeyman career which continues. We'll see what's in store for the Rebel great, who helped lead Ole Miss to an NCAA Regional in 1995, as the "designated for assignment" label is currently on.

Tuesday night as the Braves played the Marlins, Chris Coghlan strolled to the plate and beat out a ball he hit between second and first that Braves second baseman Martin Prado got to. But Coghlan made a head-first dive to the bag. Who would have expected any less hustle from the Florida native who wanted moments like that all his life.

Still only 24, Coghlan made a quick rise with the Marlins and continues to improve. We were always used to seeing him at third base, so seeing him in left field is an adjustment. But it's a credit to his athleticism and versatility. Coghlan had two homers last week.

Seth Smith, 26, continues to play left field for the Rockies. He's got eight home runs and is batting nearly .300 this season.

Matt Tolbert has been up with the Twins this season but is in AAA right now. Matt Maloney and T.J. Beam have been in the majors but are down in AAA right now. Stephen Head remains in AAA and has always been so close to stepping up to the bigs. That would be nice to see, given what he did for the Ole Miss program and how the fans connected with him during his time in Oxford.

The list goes on, and Ben Garrett has done a great job keeping Spirit folks informed of the whereabouts of past diamond Rebels with his reports all summer.

It's nice knowing there are so many Rebels out there in professional baseball now, and on any given night there are several playing in the majors. At one point earlier this year there were five ex-Rebs starting or participating in a major league game.

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Go to secsports.com. Click on men's sports on the left side of the page. Then click baseball.

Click on "open menu" under the video. Then click on SEC BASEBALL CAPE COD.

Ole Miss student Graham Doty of Oxford conducts an interview on various Cape Cod subjects and has interviews with a couple of Rebel players - Tim Ferguson and David Goforth - up there this summer. The Rebel interviews are toward the end of the video. It's definitely worth the watch.

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Nathan Baker signing with the Pirates this week wasn't a huge surprise. The talented left-hander has much of what major league teams are looking for.

It would have been nice to have him back for another season, and the Rebel pitching staff would have been that much deeper. But obviously his return was a long shot.

Drew Pomeranz continued his strong spring with a terrific summer leading Team USA. The junior left-hander should receive heavy consideration for pre-season SEC Pitcher of the Year heading into next season.

Fall ball will be as much about finding who the other dependable arms are heading into 2010 as it will be about position players. As usual, some, like Phillip Irwin last fall, will emerge and be ready to take the mound in the spring.

Will Aaron Barrett finally fulfill his potential here? Will Trent Rothlin come in from junior college, by way of Clemson, and give the Rebs the innings he needs to?

Lefty Matt Crouse, coming in as a sophomore from juco, is having a great summer in the Griffith League in the D.C. area. His numbers have been tops in that league most of the season.

Juco righty Matt Callender, incoming freshman right-hander Jordan Cooper, and LHP Jon Andy Scott, a juco newcomer, all have important falls in front of them. Brooks Oursler, a 6-foot-7 incoming frosh right-hander/first baseman, could also see the mound this fall to find out where he might fit in.


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