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Cautious Lightenberg wants assured deal


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Nice to see a veteran presence in the pen...

 

Marlins: Cautious Lightenberg wants assured deal

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

 

FORT LAUDERDALE ? In 1996, pitcher Kerry Ligtenberg was traded from the Minnesota Loons of the independent Prairie League to the Atlanta Braves for a modest price: six dozen baseballs and two dozen bats.

 

The culprit? Loons coach Greg Olson, a former Braves catcher.

 

"Normally, they would get some money as compensation, but it was more important for him to get some equipment than actually get money," Ligtenberg said.

 

"He said if you ever make it, this'll be a fun story. I don't think he ever expected me to make it, but it ended up working out great."

 

Ten years later, Ligtenberg hopes to resurrect his career with the Marlins. But first he must decide if he wants to stick around.

 

Ligtenberg and fellow reliever Matt Herges have clauses in their non-guaranteed contracts that allow them to request their release if they're not added to the 25-man roster by Wednesday.

 

Outfielders Mike Kinkade and Matt Cepicky have the same provisions in their minor-league deals.

 

Marlins manager Joe Girardi expects to have his 25-man roster by Thursday. It'll be up to Ligtenberg to decide if he wants to stick around by then and bank on making the team, or leave Wednesday to try to latch on with another club.

 

"Hopefully I've pitched well enough and they'll decide to keep a couple of veteran guys around to help this team," he said.

 

Ligtenberg ended up saving 30 games for Atlanta in 1998 but missed the next year recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery. He hasn't been the same pitcher since. After bouncing around between Atlanta, Baltimore, Toronto and Arizona, he believes he can help the Marlins. He hasn't allowed a run in eight appearances this spring.

 

"Hopefully I've let them know I can still pitch and get guys out," he said.

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Sour grapes for Lightenberg??? He was essentially beaten out by Herges for his spot in the pen. I think the Marlins gave him a fair shot.

 

:mischief2

 

SQUEEZED OUT

 

In addition to Harris, the Marlins also released right-hander Kerry Ligtenberg at his request. Ligtenberg's contract stipulated that the Marlins would release him by Wednesday if they didn't add him to the 25-man roster.

 

Ligtenberg, who felt this would be his fate after the Marlins acquired Todd Wellemeyer, rejected the team's request to start at Triple-A Albuquerque. Instead Ligtenberg decided he'd be better off with a more veteran club.

 

"I felt like I pitched well enough that I should have made the team," said Ligtenberg, who logged a 2.57 spring ERA. "I understand they're going to go young. I feel like they could have been a little more up front and told me I didn't have a legit chance to make it. At the same time, I came in here and kind of knew what the situation might be."

 

Wellmeyer, acquired in a trade with the Cubs on Tuesday, did not arrive in time to pitch Wednesday as manager Joe Girardi had hoped.

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Can't imagine why Beinfest & Co. brought him to spring training if they were prepared to release him after pitching well. What was the point? I guess the Wellemeyer deal made him more expendable but Kerry pitched well and Wellemeyer had an atrocious spring. 22 hits and 11 runs in 12 innings? Does this not matter to anyone?? His ERA has been in the 6s ever since he's been in the majors. And you guys like to rip on Nate Bump and his 3-4 ERA??

 

I'm not going to pretend Ligtenberg was going to be anything special, he's obviously a reclamation project.... but he came into spring training and performed well, while Wellemeyer's had a poor history and and even worse spring. Sorry, I feel for Ligtenberg. The guy did what he was asked to do.

 

If it were just down to him or Herges, fine. But he's being passed over for a guy from Single A with almost no experience against this level of talent whatsoever, and another one with a terrible track record since he's been in the majors.

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I suspect Hotcorner, that while to our eyes he pitched "well" the manager and his coaches didn't feel he could contribute enough to justify the roster spot. He's been a dismal pitcher the last couple of years and the Marlins probably didn't feel that once the season got rolling and guys were seeing the ball better that his stuff could be counted on to get MLers out.

 

I have no problem with him leaving, wish him well and all that, but his departure won't make an ounce of difference where the Marlins finish.

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Can't imagine why Beinfest & Co. brought him to spring training if they were prepared to release him after pitching well. What was the point? I guess the Wellemeyer deal made him more expendable but Kerry pitched well and Wellemeyer had an atrocious spring. 22 hits and 11 runs in 12 innings? Does this not matter to anyone?? His ERA has been in the 6s ever since he's been in the majors. And you guys like to rip on Nate Bump and his 3-4 ERA??

 

I'm not going to pretend Ligtenberg was going to be anything special, he's obviously a reclamation project.... but he came into spring training and performed well, while Wellemeyer's had a poor history and and even worse spring. Sorry, I feel for Ligtenberg. The guy did what he was asked to do.

 

If it were just down to him or Herges, fine. But he's being passed over for a guy from Single A with almost no experience against this level of talent whatsoever, and another one with a terrible track record since he's been in the majors.

 

 

Perhaps the Marlins went into Spring Training looking for only one established set-up guy for the pen? The battle in their eyes could have been Herges & Lightenberg. If Herges would have bombed...I assume Lightenberg would have made the roster. Nothing worng with that in my eyes.

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