By Jerry Del Priore
As I previously noted in a past article, the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) is a great place for players who are seeking a crack at an affiliated MLB organization.
Sometimes, however, ex-major leaguers find themselves in the Atlantic League, looking to play their way back to “The Show.”
Here are four such former MLBers with decent service time at the game’s highest level.
Tyler Holt – Long Island Ducks
Holt comes to the Ducks with 156 games of Major League experience underneath his belt, spread across three seasons with the Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds (2014-16).
The outfielder amassed 15 RBI, 29 runs, 64 hits, seven doubles, three triples and seven stolen bases in the MLB ranks.
Logan Kensing – Somerset Patriots
A nine-year Major League veteran, right-handed pitcher Kensing enters his first season with the Patriots and second in the Atlantic League.
Kensing’s nine years of MLB action includes five with the then-Florida Marlins and one each with the Washington Nationals, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers.
Most recently, Kensing spent 2016 with Detroit, putting up an impressive 1.93 ERA in three contests and 4.2 innings.
Overall for his major league career, the six-foot-one reliever has won 10 games with two saves across 157 tilts, three of which were starts.
Lew Ford – Long Island Ducks
Ford had enjoyed parts of six campaigns in “The Show.” The righty-hitting outfielder combined to play in 519 contests with the Minnesota Twins (2003-07) and Baltimore Orioles (2012), totaling 35 home runs, 176 RBI, 235 runs, 83 doubles and 10 triples.
A mainstay on Long Island’s roster for nine years, the current Long Island hitting coach has also seen playoff action on four different occasions and sports a .300 career playoff batting average with three RBI and three runs scored.
Vinnie Pestano – Long Island Ducks
Pestano enters his first season with the Ducks and second in the Atlantic League. The right-handed hurler has six years of MLB service, making 223 relief appearances with the the Indians and Los Angeles Angels, from 2010 to 2015.
Pestano has posted a solid 2.98 ERA with 11 saves and 244 punch-outs over 202 and two-thirds frames in the major leagues.