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Marlins Sign Pitcher Willie Glen


OrlandoFish

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Gary, Ind.-Gary SouthShore RailCats all-time victories leader Willie Glen signed with the Florida Marlins today as a free agent. Glen, who led the RailCats to the 2007 Northern League title, earning N.L. "Pitcher of the Year" and Championship Series "Most Outstanding Player" honors, went 32-9 over three seasons with the RailCats and 8-0 in the post-season. In 2007, he posted a combined record of 16-1 in the regular season and post-season while establishing an all-time independent Northern League record for strikeouts in a season. Glen was also the ace of the RailCats pitching staff for the club's 2005 league title and 2006 trip to the championship series.

 

"He is the most deserving player of an opportunity like this of any player I have ever known in my 12 years as a manager," said RailCats manager Greg Tagert. "I could not be happier and more proud."

 

 

Glen credited his three years with the RailCats for making him a better pitcher and preparing him for an opportunity to win a job with the Marlins. "I was given a consistent opportunity to perform there, and that made me a more consistent pitcher," said the 29-year-old native of Plainfield, Indiana. "I learned how to pitch out of tough situations, knowing I was going to be given the chance...just being out on the field, and when I got into a tough position, it was a case of saying 'now I have to figure out a way to get out of this.' It made me better."

 

 

After going 12-1 during the 2007 regular season, Glen went 4-0 with a 0.82 earned run average in four post-season starts. He fired a three-hit complete game performance in the fifth and deciding game of the Championship Series, a 5-1 RailCats win over Calgary.

 

 

Glen was dominant over the final six weeks of the season. Over his final 13 starts including the playoffs, he went 9-0 with a 1.01 ERA. Glen struck out at least 10 batters in eight starts in 2007 and struck out at least nine in 13 starts. Perhaps his most impressive statistic was his post-season record over the 2006-'07 seasons. In six starts, he went 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA, allowing just three earned runs in 50 innings.

 

 

Tagert had received many calls about Glen, and his opinion never changed. "I told every club that ever called that this is a special person capable of special things."

 

 

Glen, a 2007 Baseball America first team All-Independent Leagues selection, will remember his time with the RailCats fondly.

 

 

"It is hard to beat two championships. I can't say any more than that."

 

 

He also gives credit to Tagert, who signed Glen in June of 2005 based on recommendations dating back to Glen's college career at the University of Evansville.

 

 

"If he doesn't make that phone call, it is hard to say how the last three years would have turned out," said Glen. "I appreciate his ability to put winning teams on the field, but also to bring in the kind of people that became good friends of mine because they were good people. That's a big thing."

 

 

Glen was chosen as the RailCats "Most Inspirational Player" in a vote by his teammates and coaches at the end of the 2007 season, a testament to Glen's tireless work ethic and positive attitude. The rumored signing of Glen prompted a Northwest Indiana newspaper reporter to wonder who would win the "Tagert Mile" in 2008. The event, annually held on the first day of spring training, is a measurement of the physical conditioning of players as they report to camp. While Tagert's RailCats have become known for their commitment to conditioning, Glen has won the race each of the last two springs.

 

 

The RailCats organization is unanimous in offering congratulations to Willie Glen while extending thanks to Willie for his huge impact on the franchise's success over the last three seasons

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And this is the opposite of the "Sky is falling" threads that have become popular this year. Different thread, but make no mistake, no less annoying.

 

It's the same thinking as belittling the signing of a washed-up, AAA over-the-hill has-been named Lee Gardner.

 

The guy may just not have the stuff to be competitive at the MLB level but damn, he's been the most dominating pitcher in his league for three straight years at what is functionally the AA level and we and other teams haven't had a problem bringing pitchers up from there.

 

The question isn't can he pitch, his record shows that he can. Yes, yes I know it's the Northern League but these numbers are Steve Nebraska(ish) - 12-1 during the 2007 regular season, 4-0 with a 0.82 earned run average in four post-season starts, a three-hit complete game performance in the fifth and deciding game of the Championship Series. Over his final 13 starts including the playoffs, he went 9-0 with a 1.01 ERA, struck out at least 10 batters in eight starts in 2007 and struck out at least nine in 13 starts. Post-season record over 2006-'07 seasons, six starts, 6-0 with a 0.54 ERA, allowing just three earned runs in 50 innings.

 

Who do we have in AA with numbers anywhere approaching his performance?

 

You guys can laugh I think this is a good get by a team that needs to think outside the box when mediocre pitchers want $10+ million a year. The cost to find out is nothing. There is no downside to signing the guy and it isn't as if the Marlins are touting the signing, I don't think (quick search) it's ever been mentioned on their website. There's very little expectation here. And he's not on the 40 man roster so no one can accuse the front office of wasting a roster spot.

 

I'll take another Lee Gardner thank you very much, or even another Justin Miller. And if he busts out NBD.

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the Northern League isn't AA minor league ball, sorry.

he could have pitched 20 complete game shutouts last year and it wouldn't have meant sh*t.

he's 29 and pitching in an independent league.

 

And you became an expert on the Northern League when exactly?

 

Chad Hermanson came from an independent league last season and had a respectable AAA year. Soria came from the mexican league last season that everyone says is like A ball when they want to put down player performances there (where btw Brandon Wood is stinking up the joint) to be a ml pitcher.

 

For this guy to have an impact on the 2008 Marlins is absolutely the longest of longshots but hey.

 

I openly admit I don't know but I also know you don't know either. And how you cannot be at least a little impressed by the guy's performance at this or any level is beyond me. Or what his age has to do with it for that matter. By your rationale Lee Gardner who is three years older should never have been given a shot either. When Gardner was 30 he was pitching A+ ball in Durham.

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the Northern League isn't AA minor league ball, sorry.

he could have pitched 20 complete game shutouts last year and it wouldn't have meant sh*t.

he's 29 and pitching in an independent league.

 

And you became an expert on the Northern League when exactly?

 

Chad Hermanson came from an independent league last season and had a respectable AAA year. Soria came from the mexican league last season that everyone says is like A ball when they want to put down player performances there (where btw Brandon Wood is stinking up the joint) to be a ml pitcher.

 

For this guy to have an impact on the 2008 Marlins is absolutely the longest of longshots but hey.

 

I openly admit I don't know but I also know you don't know either. And how you cannot be at least a little impressed by the guy's performance at this or any level is beyond me. Or what his age has to do with it for that matter. By your rationale Lee Gardner who is three years older should never have been given a shot either. When Gardner was 30 he was pitching A+ ball in Durham.

 

my original post was more like "is there a chance he could be good up here? sure, but he won't be". don't know why i changed it.

but i'll leave ya with that for now because arguing sucks. point is, i'd be real surprised if he did decent for a mlb team.

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Guest iFesta Touch

Every team signs guys like this. Every forum has threads like this. Despite having 1% of the fan base of other teams, these threads garner many more posts. I don't know what to say about that.

 

 

Yawn.

 

Blame your boys in the suits and ties for that.

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here is an interesting article I found on glen....shows a bit of his character:

 

 

 

Ex-Ace Willie Glen still keeps his cool when the heat is on

 

DAVE JOHNSON, Executive Sports Editor

Friday, August 4, 2006

 

When Willie Glen got back to the dugout after losing a no-hitter in the ninth inning, he didn't curse, throw his glove or kick over the water cooler.

 

"He just sat there and cheered on his ballclub," said Greg Tagert, Glen's manager with the Gary SouthShore RailCats.

 

 

It was the kind of reaction Tagert has come to expect from Glen, a former University of Evansville pitcher who helped the RailCats win the Northern League championship last season.

 

"This is the second year I've been around him and I still get spoiled by him," said Tagert, the former Evansville Otters manager. "Willie's one of the most professional people I've ever met."

 

 

The 28-year-old right-hander has always been a tireless worker who leads by example and puts his team first. "I think sometimes the club plays a little harder when Willie's on the mound," said Tagert.

 

That's how they played on Tuesday, when Glen left the game against the visiting Calgary Vipers with the score 0-0 in the bottom of the ninth.

 

Said Tagert: "The club tried so hard to win for him. One of our guys, who has one career home run, was trying to hit the ball out of the park."

 

He didn't succeed, though, and Calgary went on to win, 1-0 in 12 innings.

 

The loss spoiled a masterful performance by Glen, who came within three outs of pitching the first no-hitter in the RailCats' five-year history.

 

"It was as good a pitched-game as you'll see on any level," said Tagert.

 

Toiling in 95-degree weather - with a heat index that reached 119 - Glen allowed just one runner to reach second base when he took his no-hitter into the ninth.

 

Moments later, he lost it on a freak play, thanks to a defensive lapse by a teammate.

 

It happened when Manabu Kuramochi, Calgary's leadoff batter, bunted to the first-base side of the mound. Glen fielded the ball cleanly, but he had to hesitate before throwing it to first because second baseman Alex Taylor was slow covering.

 

Kuramochi beat Taylor to the bag and was credited with a hit. Glen retired the next three batters in order and left the game with a one-hitter and nine strikeouts. "When (Kuramochi) got that hit, a lot of pitchers would have fallen apart," said Tagert. "But I knew Willie wouldn't. I didn't even have anybody warming up in the bullpen."

 

Said Glen, who couldn't recall ever pitching a no-hitter: "It's just one of those things that happens. You've still got to try to win the game."

 

Glen has won his share of games for the independent-league RailCats. The Plainfield, Ind., resident went 9-3 with a 2.83 earned-run average last year and is 7-2 with a 4.12 ERA this season.

 

This is Glen's fifth professional season. A former all-Missouri Valley Conference selection at UE, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent in 2001.

 

Glen spent the next four seasons in the Toronto, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Chicago White Sox farm systems and got as high as triple-A ball before being released by the Sox last summer and signing with Gary.

 

The RailCats have an 8-10 record in the second half of the Northern League's split season after finishing the first half 24-24 and in second place in the East Division. If they expect to get back to the playoffs, they'll probably have to win the second-half title.

 

"We've been scuffling along for a couple of weeks, trying to turn the corner," Glen said. "There's only a month left, so we've got to start making a push."

 

Glen pointed out that last year was the first time he played on a minor-league team that finished with a winning record.

 

"So when we won the championship, it was more than anything I could have asked for."

 

Including a no-hitter.

 

 

LINK TO SOURCE

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Guest iFesta Touch

Looks like this guy is going to lead the league in Hustle Factor and Intangiscale. He may even break Juan Pierre's club record for Value Over Replacement Heart.

 

 

WS here we come!

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Book on this guy looks rather impressive.

 

"I'd be hard pressed to say there's a better pitcher in independent baseball," said Tagert, who has seen Glen go 32-9 with a 3.23 ERA in 67 games (66 starts) with the RailCats. Before that, he was 19-18, 4.27 in 144 games as a pro, all but 27 in relief.

 

Willie Glen by the numbers

Here are Willie Glen's stats since joining the RailCats during the 2005 season:

Year W-L ERA SO

2005 9-3 2.83 100

2006 11-5 3.75 122

2007 12-1 3.03 162

Totals 32-9 3.23 384

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