Jarrett Grube’s journey to the major leagues took him through 11 minor league seasons and 319 appearances, but when the former Modesto Nuts’ pitcher made his debut on Saturday, he got the full baptism.
Grube, a 32-year-old righty who went 4-2, .369 in 42 appearances for the 2006 Nuts, made his big league debut in Oakland for the Los Angeles Angels. He retired the first batter he faced – Josh Donaldson – before giving up a three-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes in what became an 11-3 A’s victory.
Chris Lampe of San Jose, the California League’s historian, is keeping close track on all the former Cal Leaguers who make their way to the majors. Grube is the 27th former Cal League player to make a major league debut this season, and first former Modesto player.
Overall, 2,478 major league players have come through the Cal League en route to the majors, and Grube is the 296th former Modesto player to reach the show. Every other current Cal League franchise had an ex-player reach the majors before Modesto this season, but Modesto still leads the league in the all-time number of alums in the major leagues.
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Grube, an Indiana native, was a 10th round pick of the Rockies in 2004 and received a $7,500 signing bonus out of the University of Memphis. He pitched for Double-A Tulsa in 2007-09, then pitched in independent ball before being signed by Seattle and reaching the Triple-A level in 2010-12.
He finished the 2012 season in Double-A with the Angels and this season was 3-2, 3.52 with Triple-A Salt Lake City before getting the call.