It's a Dirtbag world

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It got lost a bit in all the playoff excitement the last couple of days, but I spotted an interesting story in the Long Beach Press-Telegram, which pointed out the amazing baseball pipeline at Long Beach State.

According to the story, Long Beach State had 17 players compete in the major leagues this season, more than any other school.

What is also impressive is the quality of Dirtbags — err, players — on the list, as the group includes All-Stars Jered Weaver, Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria.

Interestingly, according to Baseball-reference, Long Beach State has had only 33 players play in the big leagues overall, so the impressive run is a recent phenomenon.

The honor for most big leaguers in MLB history goes to the University of Texas with 100 (Roger Clemens, Huston Street, etc), followed by Arizona State (98, Barry Bonds, Reggie Jackson, Dustin Pedroia), and Stanford (82, Mike Mussina, Bob Boone).

But for now, it’s a Long Beach world.

It isn’t a stretch to say the parade won’t stop any time soon, either. Third baseman Adam Heether, outfielder Shane Peterson, shortstop Devon Lohman, and pitchers Jarad Hughes, Nick Vincent, Andrew Liebel, Bryan Shaw, Adam Wilk, Charlie Ruiz and Jake Thompson are all performing well enough in the minors to warrant an eventual shot at the majors.

Hail, Dirtbags!

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Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.