Barnstormers Off-Season Baseball News
There is plenty of good news to report. First of all, this latest “polar vortex” event seems to be behind us. We are also beyond the halfway point of the off-season, which occurred late last week. In addition, our 2017 Lancaster Barnstormers continue to make their marks on the baseball world while the field at Clipper Magazine Stadium currently lies dormant under a layer of snow and ice.
BACK TO MILB:
As of this writing, three members of the 2017 Barnstormers squad have been re-signed by Major League organizations. Blake Gailen follows a stellar second half at Tulsa with a return to his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers. The Barnstormers’ all-time leader in hits and home runs pieced together a .300 average with nine doubles and seven home runs in 49 games after leaving the Barnstormers in late June.
Caleb Gindl was re-signed by the San Francisco Giants in October. The lefty outfielder made an impression on San Francisco in July and August, batting .284 with 19 extra base hits in 44 games for Class AA Richmond. He returned to Lancaster for the stretch run.
Right-handed reliever Cody Hall also was signed by the San Francisco Giants during the last week of June and sent to Richmond. With the Flying Squirrels, Hall was 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA while striking out 40 batters in 29 innings. The former big leaguer recently signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays.
TURNING THE PAGE: Right-hander Brad Bergesen, a member of the Lancaster starting rotation during the entire 2017 campaign, has entered a new phase of his baseball career. Bergesen was recently hired by the Philadelphia Phillies to be the pitching coach of their Class A affiliate in Lakewood, NJ.
TOP DOG: Former Barnstormers manager Butch Hobson has been named the manager of an expansion team in the independent American Association, the Chicago Dogs. The Dogs will play at Impact Field in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, IL.
PITCHERS LEAD THE WAY IN WINTER BALL:
Three members of the 2017 pitching staff are helping to lead their winter ball teams to playoff dominance.
In the Dominican Republic, Bryan Evans and Kevin Munson are both with Licey, which owns a 7-1 post-season record. Evans has followed a solid regular winter season (2-2, 3.67) with five shutout innings in his first playoff start. Munson has appeared in six of Licey’s eight playoff games, picking up three holds along the way. He has yielded one run in five innings of work. He was 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA during the regular season.
Having the best winter of all 2017 ‘Stormers, though, is lefty Daniel Moskos, who has dominated the Mexican Pacific League. As the closer for Navojoa, Moskos saved 16 games in 29 appearances during the regular season, posting a 0.92 ERA. So far in the playoffs, Moskos has been perfect, picking up two saves, helping his club to a 4-1 mark.
Elih Villanueva was one of the top pitchers in the Dominican Republic during the regular season, posting a 3-2 record and 2.54 ERA for Escogido. He does not have a decision in two starts in the playoffs.
However, Trayvon Robinson and Rico Noel have made contributions as well. Robinson, playing for Caracas in the Venezuelan League, hit .271 with five homers during the regular campaign and is 6-for-24 with three doubles in the playoffs.
Noel is with Culiacan in the Mexican League. The speedster finished fourth in the league in steals during the regular season and is 6-for-20 with three steals in the playoffs.