The Atlantic League, one of baseball's most notable independent leagues, opened play last night. Like most independent leagues, it's largely filled by released minor leaguers looking for one last shot and the occasional major league veteran trying to restart a stalled career. Seven of the Atlantic League's eight teams have a player with ties to the Brewers:
Long Island Ducks: Valerio De Los Santos
De los Santos made his major league debut as a Brewer during the 1998 season and remained with the team until being claimed off waivers by the Phillies in 2003. His best season as a Brewer was in 2002, when he posted a 3.12 ERA in 51 relief appearances.
With the exception of two games with the Rockies in 2008, De Los Santos hasn't played in the majors since 2005.
Follow the jump for the rest!
Camden Riversharks: Mike Lamb
The Brewers claimed Lamb off waivers near the end of the 2008 season: He'd been a free agent bust for the Twins, who let him go despite owing him $3 million for 2009. He appeared in eleven September games for the playoff team, pinch hitting in all of them. He lost his spot in the 2009 roster to Casey McGehee in spring training, so the Brewers released him. He resurfaced in the majors last season with the Marlins, appearing in 39 games and hitting .184/.225/.263.
York Revolution: Chris Cody, Manager Andy Etchebarren
Chris Cody is 27 years old and was the pitcher acquired by the Brewers in the deal that sent Jose Capellan to the Tigers in 2007. He spent four seasons as a starting pitcher in the organization, most recently making 26 appearances (19 starts) for Huntsville in 2010 with a 4.19 ERA.
Etchebarren was a 15 year major leaguer who played the final four games of his professional career with the Brewers in 1978.
Shortstop Andy Gonzalez would have been on this team if the Brewers hadn't signed him to a minor league deal last week.
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs: Nick Green, Eduardo Morlan
Green spent the last two seasons in the Brewer organization after being claimed off waivers from the Angels. Last year he pitched out of the bullpen for Brevard County and Huntsville, posting a 4.45 ERA in 43 appearances.
Morlan was a Brewer Rule 5 pick in 2009, but didn't make the team and was returned to the Rays. He had a second stint with the organization after the Rays released him in 2010. He posted a 2.74 ERA in 32 relief appearances for Huntsville last season.
Somerset Warriors: J.R. Hopf, Bill Pulsipher, Nic Ungs
Hopf spent the 2006-09 seasons as a backup catcher in the Brewer organization, hitting .239/.325/.351 over 280 games between four levels.
Pulsipher was a 1998-99 Brewer, posting a 5.45 ERA over 30 appearances (26 starts). He's pitched in five big league games since 2001.
Ungs made 15 starts for Huntsville and Nashville during the 2008 season before returning to the Marlins, his original organization.
Bridgeport Bluefish: Will Cunnane, Eric Munson
After being acquired from the Padres in a minor deal, Cunnane pitched in 31 games (1 start) for the 2001 Brewers, posting a 5.40 ERA in 51.2 innings. He last pitched in the majors for the 2004 Braves.
Munson appeared in 27 games for Nashville in 2008, splitting time between first base, catcher and third base.
Lancaster Barnstormers: Hitting Coach Lance Burkhart
Burkhart spent the 2000-2002 seasons in the Brewer minor league system, primarily as a catcher. He retired in 2009 following five Atlantic League seasons.