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Eight UConn alumni picked to MLB 60-player pools

The former Huskies will train with their MLB teams as a part of their 60-player squads.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Eight UConn alumni have been selected to their respective MLB teams 60-player pool, an invention of the league’s attempt to restart after a long hiatus caused by COVID-19.

As the MLB tries to restart the season during the pandemic and without minor league teams operating, each MLB team will get a pool of 60 players who will train — in two separate groups — with the team in their respective cities. Three of these players will travel with their teams on road trips as emergency backups.

The UConn players named as 60-player pool participants are Scott Oberg (Pitcher, Colorado Rockies), Tim Cate (Pitcher, Washington Nationals), Max McDowell (Catcher, New York Yankees), George Springer (Outfielder, Houston Astros), Matt Barnes and John Andreoli (Pitcher and outfielder respectively, Boston Red Sox), Nick Ahmed (shortstop, Arizona Diamondbacks) and Anthony Kay (Pitcher, Toronto Blue Jays).

Oberg, Springer, Barnes and Ahmed were all a part of their teams respective MLB rosters for most of 2019 while Kay made his MLB debut in 2019 and was on the Blue Jays’ spring training roster before the season was halted. Outfielder John Andreoli garnered 61 MLB plate appearances in 2018 with the Seattle Mariners and will be one of 7 outfielders on the Red Sox 60-man roster.

McDowell is a member of the Yankees’ minor league system, but has never made an appearance in the majors since his professional debut in 2015. He’s one of six catchers on the Yankees’ 60-player roster — and some MLB teams are carrying as many as seven.

Tim Cate has spent two years in the Nationals’ minor league system, reaching high-A Potomac in 2019 as its No. 8 prospect and will be a member of their 60-player roster to kick off the 2020 season.

That list is subject to change however: most teams are leaving empty spots in their player pools and the players themselves also can opt out if they feel unsafe.