Short headed to spring training with Yankee organization
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
According to the Pecos League Web site, 115 players have moved up to bigger teams after competing in the independent league in its first two seasons. While moving up at all is a huge accomplishment, five former Pecos League players have advanced to teams affiliated with major league ball clubs.
Former Invader Charlie Short is one of those, and he is getting ready to head to Tampa, Fla., for his second season as a member of the Yankee organization.
After a stellar season as a short reliever with Roswell in 2012 — he had an ERA of 0.60 through 15 innings, with one win and 28 strike outs — it was clear Short was destined for bigger and better things. And in late July, he was picked up by the Yankees and sent to the Charlston, S.C. Riverdogs, a Low Class A team in the South Atlantic League.
For the 6-foot right hander, it was a dream come true made possible by his time with the Invaders.
“It was a huge step,” he said of his time in Roswell. “That’s how I got noticed. I played four years of college ball at a really good junior college and a really good DII school, and I didn’t really get any looks or anything serious out of it. So two years after I graduated to be able to go play and actually get a chance, get looked at and get picked up from Roswell, that’s huge. I’ll always remember my time in Roswell and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity that was afforded to me.”
Short’s stats in Charleston weren’t quite as good as those in the Pecos League, but they were good enough to earn him a return trip to affiliated ball.
“I did pretty well,” he said of this month-long stint. “I started out doing a lot better than I finished up at. I had one bad outing, but overall I did well. I came out of the gates doing really well, learning and picking up new things and trying new stuff. It was an adjustment period.”
That one bad outing left him with a 4.41 ERA in 16-1/3 innings over 11 games, but he also earned one win and struck out 23 against competition a few steps up from the Pecos League.
Short sounds pleased with the Yankee organization, and with affiliated ball overall.
“It was great,” he said. “It was nothing I’d ever experienced before, from a baseball standpoint. It was exactly what it’s meant to be as a professional organization. You’re treated as a professional. They pay you and you get treated right. The staff, everybody looks after you but there’s a lot of things expected of you. Everything you’d expect from a job. The only difference is we get to play a sport. A game. Which is the great part. But it is job-like. You do have to take it like it’s a business.”
In the off season, Short was a substitute teacher at his alma mater, South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla., and did the off-season conditioning necessary to keep him in shape for another summer of ball.
The reliever is now headed to Tampa, where he’ll begin spring training March 4 at the Yankee facility. Where he’ll end up once the season begins is still a question mark, but Short hopes he’ll keep moving up the baseball ladder.
“The idea on my part is to keep moving up, but from a realistic standpoint, I imagine I would probably be starting at the same level, just because I was only there for a month,” he said. “But obviously, I want to move up. That’s my goal in spring training. But we’ll see when we break camp.”
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