Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz

Onetime Trois-Rivieres hurler Ryan Bollinger (2014-16) has had another memorable game in the New York Yankees farm system.  The 6-foot-5 lefty, who made his return debut from Australia and Germany with five innings of one-run pitching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, is now at Class AA Trenton where he carried a no-hitter for 5.2 innings in his initial start for the Thunder Sunday.

“I learned more about baseball (overseas),  just having a good time playing again and not being under all that pressure,” he told The Trentonian.  “I learned some different things about how to attack hitters and make things go your way.”

With a fastball that tracks between 85 and 88 miles per hour, Thunder manager Jay Bell told the newspaper “he commanded the strike zone and had a really good mound presence.”

Powers Has Big Strikeout Log

Alex Powers was with the New Jersey Jackals the entire ’15 season after two campaigns in the lower tiers of the Chicago White Sox farm system, then got another major league-affiliated opportunity in the Cincinnati organization after that 0-5, 3.29 season (40 appearances).

He is one level below Johnny Hellweg at Double-A Pensacola for the Reds today, and is showing a big arm with 16 strikeouts (only two walks) in nine games covering 11.1 innings.  He lost his only decision, but has a 3.18 ERA and perhaps more importantly, three saves, the last out coming via strikeout with the tying run at the plate on Sunday.

Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003.  He is a frequent contributor to this site, has a blog,, and a book about his life, “The Passion of Baseball”, is available at for books or Kindle readers, or for autographed copies at