Baseball: Grant gets AAA assignment

Grant Black

The Newport phone tree activated Sunday morning as news spread that Grant Black was headed to Memphis.

The hard-throwing pitcher started the season for Double-A Springfield, but now gets even closer to his hometown of Newport as he’s been assigned to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.

As a reliever, Black has one save on the season with Springfield, a 1-0 win against the Arkansas Travelers, has accumulated 23 strikeouts in 16.1 innings pitched.

In a twist, Black is expected to be the starting pitcher for the Redbirds when they face the Toledo Mud Hens at 2:05 p.m. today at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis.

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Black, who played at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has had an improbable path to the Minors as a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher and at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds Black has the size, plus a 95 mile per hour fastball to be a pro but was undrafted and unsigned out of UAM. Black played Independent League ball for two seasons and drew the Cardinals interest in 2020, right before the pandemic shut down all of baseball for the year.