06/30/2008 10:23 AM
30 June 2008
Commodores Buoyed by Trio of Temp Players
FALMOUTH, Mass. – The length of their visit is unknown. It could be for three days. It could be for three weeks. Or if they prove it, it could be for the whole summer.
Falmouth Commodores Chris Gloor, Gus Miller, and Darin Ruf are among the many temporary players who make that visit to the Cape Cod Baseball League at the beginning of each season in hopes of earning a spot on the July 2 final roster.
Gloor (Quinnipiac), Miller (Ohio State), and Ruf (Creighton) are three of nine Commodores who nabbed temporary contracts to play in the most prestigious collegiate summer baseball league.
“When you sign a temporary player, he is here anywhere from one day to hopefully up to July 1, which is roughly 20 days,” Commodores General Manager Dan Dunn said. “They can be released at any point. Their contract is basically just a handshake. It’s not even a contract that they sign.”
Temporary players are invited to fill in for original roster players who suddenly couldn’t make it due to an injury in the spring, summer school, ineligibility, the College World Series, Team USA or any other conflicting reason, Cape League Commissioner Paul Galop said.
“It is a huge opportunity,” Galop added. “It is almost their private audition.”
The number of players varies each year, and, while the temporary players are treated the same as the contract players, Dunn notes there is a different mentality.
“You can tell they are thinking. Not too many of them are vocal about it and say ‘Hey, am I going to make the team?’ because I have had that happen, but they know that they are here and they are different than the other players. The other players are a lot more relaxed.”
Relaxed or not, Gloor, Miller, and Ruf, all upcoming seniors, are making the most of the opportunity and contributing to the Commodores’ early success.
Through Saturday, Gloor, a native New Yorker, has surrendered only one run in 13 innings of work out of the bullpen, while striking out 10.
Ruf has appeared in all 12 Commodore games, splitting time at first with Miller, and serving as the designated hitter. Getting on base is his specialty. He has a .420 on-base percentage through Saturday and is among the category leaders in that department.
Ruf, who led Creighton in batting average (.347) and RBIs (52), as well as six other offensive categories this past spring, considers himself fortunate even if his time is only temporary.
“It has been great,” he said “We have had a lot of success so far as a team. The guys are awesome and the coaches are great. This league is different and it is a good different. It’s a player’s league and I like that about it.”
It also varies when players are contacted about serving as a temporary player, Dunn said.
Gloor knew in September. Miller found out at the end of May. Ruf thought about it last fall when a pitching coach mentioned it, but wasn’t for sure until two and a half weeks ago.
All three put their original plans of playing in other summer leagues on the back burner when the Cape came calling.
“I was going to go to the Valley League in Virginia for my third year there,” said Miller, who is the cousin of San Francisco shortstop, and former Falmouth Commodore, Brian Bocock. “But playing in the Cape is every college baseball player’s dream so it was a pretty easy choice to come here. I was happy when I heard it, but I knew I had to come up here and work hard.”
Gloor and Ruf also had contract offers from the Northwoods League. The three will likely join another summer league if they don’t make the final roster, however, the chance to remain playing in the Cape is still possible.
“If we release a player, he is available to any Cape team first,” Dunn said. “We like to see that happen. We had a player last year, Caleb Joseph from Lipscomb, who we had to release. Cotuit picked him up. He ends up signing a full contract and ends up a Cape League All-Star.”
While the length of their visit may be unknown, for Gloor, Miller, and Ruf, the mission of their visit is clear - make that final July 2 roster.
Laura Rasmussen CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen