Wasn’t Freeling It

I’ve been off for the past few days, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any news…in fact, some huge news broke yesterday.

Ryan Dunleavy of The Courier News reports that outfielder Ryan Freel has left the team on the last day of spring training for “family reasons.”  So it looks like the long-time big leaguer will not be playing in Somerset this season after all.

Additionally, pitcher Ryan Lobban and infielder Anthony Sandstrom were cut and the team has agreed to terms with former big league pitcher Tom Mastny.

As for Freel, it would be unfair to him to say that he looked disinterested this spring.  But he also didn’t look like Ryan Freel.  He blended in, and for a guy many people were expecting to stand out, that wasn’t good.  On the rare occasions he stood out, it often wasn’t for the right reasons, making a defensive gaffe or swinging at the first pitch and getting an out.

According to Brett Jodie, Freel isn’t done playing yet, and a return to Somerset isn’t out of the cards, although you’d have to think that’s somewhat unlikely at this point.

You may recall Freel expressed family concerns during my chat with him several weeks ago, pointing out the ages of his young daughters.  But while I don’t think anyone was shocked by this news, it is still somewhat surprising.

As for Lobban, he was one of a handful of pitchers on the hot seat.  Were it based off of spring performance, Jason Monti might have been the one to go having surrendered five runs in two innings of work, but he’s gone the Bo Donaldson route and made the team after a rough camp.

Sandstrom had not played professionally since 2007, and few thought he had much of a chance of making the team.

The first Indonesian-born player to reach the big leagues, Mastny played for the Indians from 2006-08 and was in camp with them as recently as this spring.  A big righty, he’s both relieved and started in his career, and may be best known for a 2007 ALCS outing in which he shut down the Boston Red Sox.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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