The Philadelphia Phillies purchased the contract of 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Jairo Munoz from the Newburgh Newts earlier this week. Despite the fact an East Coast Baseball League (ECBL) game hasn’t even been played yet, he is the first ECBL pitcher to have his contract purchased by a Major League Baseball organization. Munoz’s fastball was clocked at 95 mph in a workout with the Phillies. The 6’5″, 175-pound Dominican has spent the last four seasons pitching in the Kansas City Royals organization. He went 5-1 with a 4.78 ERA in 31 games (one start) in Rookie ball over those four seasons. He also struck out 42 batters while surrendering 20 walks in 49 innings of work.
The ECBL also announced earlier this week that it will be bringing a team to Old Orchard Beach (OOB), Maine this upcoming season.
The #ecoastbaseball will have a team in Old Orchard Beach, this season. The team will be managed by Scot Nathanson.
— Niagara ProBaseball (@niagaraproball) February 10, 2015
Scott “Nate” Nathanson is set to become the franchise’s first manager and Alex Markakis will serve as the club’s interim general manager. The ECBL has also had discussions with potential investors and ownership groups.
The league is currently holding a Name The Team Contest and will end the contest on Feb. 16. The Surge, Spartans, Tsunami and Shore Birds are a few names that have been submitted so far. If you would like to submit your team name you can email ECBL League Director Colin Cummins ([email protected]) or visit the Team’s Facebook page.
In other ECBL news, the league will be running a travel team called the Road City Explorers.
Sean Repay has been named the manager of the Road City Explorers.
Last summer, he was hired by the Bisbee Blue of the Pecos League as the youngest manager in professional baseball at the age of 28. He guided the club to a 33-30 record in its inaugural season and missed the playoffs by just two games. Repay helped nine of his players get promoted to higher independent baseball leagues, and also helped right-handed pitcher Michael Heller get signed by the San Francisco Giants last September. The Blue also sent five players to the Pecos League All-Star Game.
Much like the Name The Team Contest for the OOB franchise, the ECBL will be reaching out to the community to help shape the Road City Travelers. The league will be holding a contest to see which fan can design the best logo for the team. The winner will receive a free hat and jersey as well as two free ECBL game tickets to their team of choice. Here is a look at the first submission that was sent to the ECBL:
The ECBL plans to have a 48-60 game schedule for their inaugural season which is set to begin in May. Each team will carry 22 players on their roster during the regular season and players can be expected to make $500-$850 a month.
Anton Joe is an Independent League Baseball Writer for Baseball Essential. You can follow him on Twitter @AntonJoe_BBE.