Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Paul Betit email@example.com
Mark Rogers of Orrs Island is in Venezuela trying to get a new lease on his baseball life.
Rogers, a right-handed pitcher who became a minor league free agent in September when he was removed from the Milwaukee Brewers’ 40-man roster, reported last week to the Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.
“A lot of teams were interested in Mark, and this was the best situation for him,” said Ivan Hand, an attorney based in Alabama who represents Rogers.
According to Hand, Rogers could make his first start in the winter league next week for the Bravos. “He will throw a couple of bullpens and then he’ll start,” he said.
Rogers, 27, was the fifth overall pick in the 2004 draft out of Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham. In 2012, he went 3-1 with a 3.92 earned run average in seven starts during a two-month stint in the majors with the Brewers.
In this past season, Rogers was expected to compete for a spot in Milwaukee’s starting rotation, but suffered from diminished velocity in spring training that the Brewers attributed to “shoulder instability.” He never made it past Double-A. In his final start for the advanced Class A Brevard County Manatees in the Florida State League on Aug. 29, Rogers’ fastball touched 93 miles per hour.
Rogers’ career has been plagued with shoulder and hand surgeries.
Following Rogers' release at the end of the minor league season, Milwaukee assistant general manager Gord Ash did not rule out re-signing him to a minor-league contract.
“(We) told him to finish his season in Brevard, go home after that and we’ll be in touch,” Ash said.
Hand said a number of major league teams have expressed an interest in Rogers.
“We’re in the process of fielding free-agent offers,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest in him based on (his) 2012 (performance) with the Brewers. He’s healthy now and ready to show what he can do.”
The Bravos play on Isla de Margarita Island, located about 100 miles east of Caracas in the Caribbean.
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