Former MLB lefty J.P. Howell has joined the independent league San Rafael Pacifics, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Those interested in an enjoyable story will certainly want to give the article a full read.
Howell’s new team is a member of the Pacific Association. While that’s not traditionally the top circuit for players looking to catch the eye of MLB scouts, it’s close to home for the veteran hurler. Howell, who has a dozen years of experience at the game’s highest level, says he’s keen to enjoy the experience but also still hopes to make it back to the big leagues.
Last year, Howell appeared in 16 games with the Blue Jays, but he struggled while dealing with shoulder problems. It wasn’t long ago, though, that he was a productive member of the Dodgers’ bullpen. Prior to that point, he reached the majors with the Royals and spent six campaigns with the Rays. All told, he has accumulated 619 2/3 innings of 3.83 ERA ball in the majors.
Howell intends to work as a starter with the Pacifics, though it’s not clear that he’s necessarily pursuing a dedicated return to the rotation as part of a strategy for a MLB re-run. The 35-year-old, who broke into the majors as a starter, simply tells Shea: “The more reps the better.”