Sep 7, 2010, 10:27 PM EST
For professional ballplayers, the independent leagues are a last resort, a Hail Mary attempt to keep their career alive and perhaps score a second chance with a major-league organization. More often than not, it signals the end of a career.
Joe Bisenius didn't know what to expect this spring when, out of a job after six seasons in the Phillies' system, he swallowed his pride and went home to Sioux City, Iowa, to try out with the Explorers of the independent American Association. Turns out the right-hander needed only four days of workouts to convince the Nationals to sign him to a minor-league contract.
"It ended up working out," he said.
That's an understatement. Bisenius tonight will find himself sitting in the Nationals' bullpen, ready and available to be used in a big-league game after getting a surprise September promotion. The 28-year-old had his contract purchased from Class AAA Syracuse after a brief-yet-impressive showing there.
A 12th-round draft pick of the Phillies in 2004, Bisenius is a flamethrower who made two relief appearances for Philadelphia early in 2007 but stagnated in the minors the next two years. He left theRead more »
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