Last updated: April 19. 2014 11:29PM - 2047 Views
By Dave Rosengrant drosengrant@civitasmedia.com

Former SWB RailRiders starter Brett Marshall won the No. 5 job in the Reds rotation during spring training, but has since been on the DL with a finger injury.
Former SWB RailRiders starter Brett Marshall won the No. 5 job in the Reds rotation during spring training, but has since been on the DL with a finger injury.
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Despite struggling, the 2013 RailRiders will always be well-known around the area for making history as being part of the first RailRiders team.

There has been a huge turnover in players for 2014, as 11 players who never donned a SWB uniform before this season were on the team’s roster prior to Friday’s game. So now seemed like as good a time as any to check in on some of the more notable former RailRiders players, who are no longer with the organization.

Brett Marshall

One of the organization’s top pitching prospects entering the 2013 season, Marshall was second on the team in wins with seven last season. He also saw some time in New York before being designated for assignment when the Yankees signed Carlos Beltran in December.

He was claimed by the Cubs and was DFA’d again before being claimed by Cincinnati. He had claimed the No. 5 starter spot for the Reds before being diagnosed with a torn pulley tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand.

“It was definitely tough to take,” he said to the Cincinnati Enquirer earlier this month. “I got told I was probably going to be the fifth starter. I was kind of amped up, and then that happened. I felt really good that day. My arm felt really good. My whole body felt good.”

David Adams

He was part of the starting infield on Opening Day last year for the RailRiders and saw plenty of time in New York as well. But he and the Yankees cut ties late last year and he signed with Cleveland.

That didn’t last long either as he was put on waivers and claimed by Baltimore, where he is now with the organization’s Triple-A club in Norfolk.

Dan Johnson

It might not be believable to some, but the 2013 RailRiders led the International League in home runs with 133. The team leader was Johnson, who smacked 21 longballs to go along with a team-leading on base percentage of .379 and RBI with 69. Late in the season he was granted his released and was picked up by the Orioles.

In the offseason, he signed with Toronto and is currently playing the Blue Jays’ Triple-A squad in Buffalo. He played in three games against his former club last week, going 4-for-9 with a pair of doubles and three walks.

Thomas Neal

He was the RailRiders leading hitter for most of 2013 with a .325 average and a .391 on-base percentage. But after getting called up to the Big Leagues, he was designated for assignment and picked up by the Cubs, where he later suffered a season-ending injury.

He signed with Cincinnati in January and is currently with Louisville. He’s played in six games for the Bats before hitting the DL.

Randy Ruiz

He was quite an addition to SWB last season during the summer months, bashing 17 homers in 74 games after being signed to a minor-league deal.

In 2013, he came over the Mexican League, and currently resides there again playing for Toros de Tijuana.

Melky Mesa

He was a favorite by just about everyone who dealt with the outfielder. A good combination of speed and power, he hit 13 homers and stole 13 bases for SWB in 84 games and also played in five games for New York. He was granted his release in September and signed with the Royals.

He’s currently with Triple-A Omaha and just got a start to his season after beginning the campaign on the DL, which is something he was prone to last year as well.

More notbables

• Left-hander David Huff is currently a member of the San Francisco Giants bullpen.

• Fellow lefty reliever Mike Zagurski is a reliever with Columbus in the International League.

• Chris Bootcheck, who led the RailRiders in wins last season with 10, is on the disabled list with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, while catcher Bobby Wilson is playing for Triple-A Reno, in the Diamondbacks’ organization.

• Along with Wilson, the Pacific Coast League is also the home for former RailRiders Brendan Harris (Albuquerque, L.A. Dodgers), Brennan Boesch (Salt Lake, L.A. Angels) and Brent Lillibridge (Round Rock, Texas).

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