Good sign? Fontanez now pitching in Cape Cod
You can read it as a good or bad omen, but USF junior Randy Fontanez -- still considering a contract offer from the Cincinnati Reds -- is now pitching in the Cape Cod League, a top summer wooden-bat league for college players.
Fontanez, drafted in the 23rd round by the Reds, has joined the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and could make his season debut out of the bullpen tonight. Fontanez just spent two weeks in Peru on a church mission, so the team will ease his pitching arm back into its normal shape with shorter outings before letting him start.
Yarmouth general manager Jim Martin said Fontanez is a "temporary" player -- teams don't have to submit a final roster until July 14. Martin said Cape Cod teams typically don't sign draft picks who could still potentially sign, but said Fontanez hadn't made a decision one way or another. You could argue that a strong showing in the Cape could help Fontanez command a higher signing bonus from the Reds.
USF coach Lelo Prado got good news Thursday as his other junior ace, lefty Andrew Barbosa, said he's returning for his senior year despite being drafted in the 15th round by the Giants. If Prado can get Fontanez and Barbosa back, he'd go into 2011 with two of the Big East's top returning pitchers as the foundation for his team.