08/15/2017 7:12 AM -
WMBL Alumni Make History
Today the Seattle Mariners became part of WMBL history. For the first-time in league history, two former members of the WMBL dressed for the same Major League team in a regular season game.
Andrew Albers (2004 Saskatoon Yellow Jackets) and Marco Gonzalez (2011 Saskatoon Yellow Jackets) will be a key part of the Seattle pitching staff as they continue their three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles.
Albers, who was recently acquired from the Atlanta Braves organization, received the call up from the
Mariners AAA Tacoma farm team to start in game 2. Gonzalez is slated to pitch in the series finale on Wednesday.
Rye Pothakos was a coach with the Yellow Jackets and had the pleasure of coaching both Albers and Gonzalez during their time in Saskatoon.
“Even though they were very young men, both players carried them themselves like professionals when they were in Saskatoon,” said Pothakos. “They both had exceptional work ethics and you could see their talents at that time.”
The Saskatchewan born Albers had been brilliant with the Braves AAA team in Gwinnett, prior to the deal that sent him to Seattle. He appeared in 26 games with a 12-3 record and a 1.15 WHIP. Over his Major League career, the lefty from North Battleford, SK has played in 17 games with Minnesota and Toronto.
Gonzalez, a top prospect coming into this season, has appeared in three games in 2017 with St. Louis and Seattle. Over his Major League career, Gonzalez has pitched in 14 games, starting nine.
Pothakos takes pride in the fact that he played a small part in helping the two former WMBL players reach their dream of playing in the Majors.
That number may increase as Adam Law, the son of former Major Leaguer Vance Law and grandson of Vern Law, the 1960 Cy Young Award winner, is playing for the Mariners AA team the Arkansas Travelers. Adam Law had a short stint with Saskatoon during the 2013 season before signing a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It was sure nice to be around players of that caliber and any small way I helped them out feels good,” said Pothakos.
Pothakos, who is now in player personnel with the Regina Red Sox, believes this type of positive exposure is good for the league and will help increase the profile of the WMBL.