A long winter combined with a minor league contract without an invite to major league spring training left a long period of silence between us and Chris Bootcheck. I expected that all to change on this week, as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs set their roster and prepped for their first games.
Then I looked at their roster and saw Bootcheck was on the seven-day disabled list. According to IronPigs beat writer Tom Housenick of the Morning Call, he’s got trouble with the middle finger on his pitching hand. Bootcheck himself refused to comment when reached by Twitter. Word on the street is that his middle finger is fatigued from being utilized so much in day-to-day life.
The setback has left some of the most basic facts about Bootcheck’s season in question. He’s listed on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs’ roster, but doesn’t have a number. We know he’s a pitcher, but nothing’s been revealed about how he’ll be used.
All we know, really, is that he’s on the IronPigs, which is no small feat in itself.
Lehigh Valley is a stretch of Pennsylvania towns near the New Jersey border, according to Wikipedia. The actual team is based in Allentown. The IronPigs name is a reference to the region’s proclivity to produce pig iron, which is used in manufacturing steel. But the best part of the team’s name is that it allows them occasionally wear this bacon hat: