The 2014 season gets underway for the Pros

Currently in Spring Training you’ll be able to find two Italian born ball players lacing them up with Big League Teams, Alex Liddi with the Chicago White Sox as an invitee, and Chris Colabello with the Minnesota Twins as a member of the organizations 40 man roster. Other ball players that have a link to the Italian National team, and are partaking in Big League Spring Training include Adam Ottavino (Colorado Rockies), Drew Butera (Los Angeles Dodgers), Jason Grilli (Pittsburgh Pirates), Chris Denorfia (San Diego Padres), Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs), Nick Punto (Oakland A'S) and Tim Crabbe (Cincinnati Reds). Also hitting the field strong over the next couple of weeks will Tiago Da Silva who looks to be headed to AAA in the Mexico. Marten Gasparini is going strong as well, currently finding himself on and off the diamond at the Big League Level (practice only), and will most likely end up in Rookie or Short Season to begin the season. On the other side of the world Alessandro Maestri is trying to break camp with the Orix Buffaloes in the Japanese Big Leagues. Currently the Italian right-handed hurler is fighting it out with four other foreigners, of which include the likes of Brandon Dixon, Esteban German, Yuniesky Betancourt, and ex Cincinnati Reds, Willy Mo Pena.

Other Italian born ball players that are currently state side getting ready for their respective minor league seasons include: Mattia Mercuri, extended spring training with the Atlanta Braves, Alberto Mineo currently in Rookie League with the Cubs, Davide Anselmi who’s in Rookie League with the Cincinnati Reds, Federico Castagnini who’s in A Ball with the Orioles, and Ainel Valera who’s headed to a Dominican league that’s organized by the Dodgers.

Others with a link to the Italian National Team headed to minor league camp include: Pat Venditte (New York Yankees), Mike Costanzo (Cincinnati Reds), Tyler Latorre (San Francisco Giants) and Matt Torra (Washington Nationals). Dan Serafini, Brian Sweeney, John Mariotti, Valentino Pascucci, Marco Grifantini and Anthony Granato, are thus far free agents heading into the 2014 season.