Atlantic League signings, transactions April 9-13

Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Atlantic League, Bridgeport Bluefish, Camden Riversharks, Lancaster Barnstormers, Long Island Ducks, Roster, Signings, Somerset Patriots, Sugar Land Skeeters, York Revolution

Here’s the list of this week’s signings and transactions across the Atlantic League. It includes a total of 31 players across seven teams.

RHP Stephen Penney

YORK REVOLUTION: Signed LHP Ryan Feierabend, RHP Stephen Penney, 2B Andres Perez

Feierabend, 26, is a former major leaguer. He last played in the big show in 2008 with the Seattle Mariners. For his career, the left-hander has a 2-11 record and 7.22 ERA in 19 starts and six relief appearances – all with the Mariners – at the big league level. His career was derailed in 2009 when he missed the entire season due to Tommy John surgery. He has since returned and last season went 10-8 with a 5.39 ERA in 23 starts and five relief appearances at Class AAA Lehigh Valley (Phillies). He had re-signed with the Phillies in December but was released on March 18, according to the team’s transactions page.

Penney, 25, is also a former Seattle Mariners prospect. First drafted by Seattle in the 29th round in 2008, Penney is only four seasons removed from playing at the college level for UC Riverside. The 6-foot-7 right-hander topped out at Class AA Jackson (Mariners) last season, going 5-2 with a 4.25 ERA and two saves in 38 games. He struck out 33 batters in 48.2 innings pitched.

Perez, 27, has spent the majority of his five-year pro career playing in the outfield as a prospect of the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers. However, he moved to second base last year playing for the Atlantic League’s Bridgeport Bluefish, where he batted .313 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 87 games. He also had a fielding percentage of .960. In affiliated ball, Perez reached High Class A in three separate seasons.

York now has 27 players under contract. Atlantic League teams can open the season with 27 players but rosters have to be paired down to 25 by the end of May. For more information on the transactions, click here.

RHP Jonah Bayliss

BRIDGEPORT BLUEFISH: Signed LHP Paul Oseguera and RHP Jonah Bayliss

Oseguera, 28, makes his way back to Bridgeport for his third season in the Atlantic League and seventh of professional baseball. Last year, the left-hander recorded a career-high 11 victories with the Bluefish, which ranked third in the Atlantic League. A UCLA product and former prospect of the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, Oseguera started 20 games and posted a 4.53 ERA with 102 strikeouts over the course of 113.1 innings pitched in 2011.

Bayliss, 31, joins the Bluefish during his 11th year of professional baseball. Last season, the former Major Leaguer appeared in 39 games for the Lancaster Barnstormers and posted a 3.54 ERA with 18 saves and 30 strikeouts in 40.2 innings of work. The 31-year-old made his big league debut in 2005 with the Kansas City Royals. For his career, Bayliss is 5-4 with a 6.75 ERA in 61 appearances at the big league level split between the Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates from 2005 to 2007.

For more information on the signings, click here. The Bluefish now have 19 players signed for the 2012 season.

OF Felix Pie

CAMDEN RIVERSHARKS: Signed OF Felix Pie, RHP Jason Bergmann, RHP Bryan Corey, RHP Jeff Farnsworth, RHP Michael Mehlich, INF Marquez Smith, OF Steven Doetsch, OF Chris Walker and Drew Macias

While the Riversharks nor the Atlantic League made any official announcement on the signings, six of the players are listed on Camden’s roster and ‘Sharks general manager Adam Lorber tweeted on Friday that the team signed three others. That’s kind of a head-scratcher considering some of the names here. But if we consider all nine players under contract, then Camden now has 21 players signed for the 2012 campaign.

Headlining this week’s list of signees for Camden is former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Felix Pie, former long-time Washington Nationals pitcher Jason Bergmann and former big leaguer Brian Corey. Pie played 85 games for the O’s last year, but batted just .220 with seven RBIs. The numbers were definitely a step down from those he put up for Baltimore in 2010 (.274, five homers, 31 RBIs in 82 games). Pie, 27, will be making his Atlantic League debut this season.

Bergmann, 30, is just two seasons removed from having pitched in the majors with the Washington Nationals. Once a teammate of former York Revolution outfielder Val Majewski at Rutgers University in 2002, Bergmann has gone back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen throughout his 10-year pro career. He first made it to the majors with the Nats’ in 2005 as a reliever and had his best season, going 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in 15 relief appearances and one start. But he struggled in 2006 from the Washington bullpen (0-2, 6.68 ERA). Then in 2007 and 2008 he made a combined 43 starts and eight relief appearances before switching back to working full-time as a reliever. Last year, he went 1-7 with a 5.65 ERA in 14 starts and two relief appearances at Class AA Midland (Athletics).

Corey, 38, will make his Atlantic League debut this season after spending 2011 playing in Japan. The right-hander has 91 games of major league experience under his belt, having pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and San Diego Padres in parts from 1998 to 2008. He has a career 4-4 record and 5.13 ERA as a major league reliever. He went 4-4 with a 4.87 ERA in 14 appearances last season playing overseas.

RHP Jeff Bennett

LANCASTER BARNSTORMERS: Signed RHP Jeff Bennett, INF Eduardo Perez and INF Jaime Pedroza

Bennett, 31, was instrumental in the Barnstormers early 2011 surge that ultimately carried the squad to a first half title and berth in the playoffs. He appeared in 16 games in the season’s first six weeks, posting a 2-0 record and 0.42 ERA while also recording two saves. The right-hander was signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks and spent nearly three months with Class AAA Reno, where he went 3-0 with a 4.29 ERA in 24 appearances. He returned to Lancaster at the completion of the Pacific Coast League season, winning two more games and notching an additional save for the Barnstormers. Bennett first reached the majors in 2004 with the Milwaukee Brewers. He has accumulated a big league 8-17 record, 4.30 ERA and three saves in 179 relief appearances and six starts from 2004 to 2009 split between the Brewers, Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays.

Perez, 26, joined the Dodgers organization as a teenager in 2002. The native of Venezuela first came to the United States in 2005 and quickly made an impact, batting .352 in the Gulf Coast League. The corner infielder had strong seasons in both 2007, when he hit .311 with 14 homers for Class A Great Lakes (Dodgers) and 2009, when he batted a combined .305 with 14 homers and 69 RBI in 128 games split between High Class A Inland Empire (Dodgers) and Class AA Chattanooga (Dodgers). In 2010, he hit .271 with four homers and 58 RBI for Chattanooga. He did play in the United States last season.

Pedroza, 25, signed with the Dodgers in 2007 after being drafted out of the University of California-Riverside (where he was a teammate of York Revolution’s new right-handed reliever Stephen Penney). Last year, he split time between the Lookouts and High Class A Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) and Class AA Chattanooga, hitting a combined .258 with 10 homers and 50 RBI.

For more on Lancaster’s new additions, click here. Twenty-five players are under contract with the Barnstormers for the 2012 campaign.

RHP Mike Loree

LONG ISLAND DUCKS: Signed RHP Mike Loree, Jonathan Meloan, Connor Graham and C Shawn Williams

Loree enters his sixth season of professional baseball in 2012. The 27-year-0ld led the Atlantic League and set franchise records in the number of wins (14) and strikeouts (131). He also led the league with a 1.98 ERA, earning him the pitching Triple Crown and Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year honors. Loree was also named to Baseball America’s All-Independent team.

Loree was actually picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates in late August last season and assigned to Class AA Altoona, where he put together a 1.17 ERA in four relief appearances (7.2 innings). He joined Long Island for its playoff push into the Atlantic League Championship Series. In Game One of that series, Loree struck out 10 batters in seven scoreless innings to help the Ducks secure a 1-0 victory.  And in the Revs’ championship clinching Game Four win, York scored just one run off of Loree, who allowed seven hits and struck out four in six innings.

Meloan, 27, has 13 games of major league experience, last appearing in the big leagues with Oakland Athletics in 2009. Last season, the right-handed reliever pitched for Class AA Midland (Athletics), going 1-3 with a 4.67 ERA and five saves in 25 appearances, striking out 25 batters in 27 innings of work.

Graham, 26, is just a handful of years removed from pitching at Division I Miami (Oh) University. The Ohio native was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fifth round of the 2007 amateur draft. He has spent most of his career as a starter but in 2010 he went 3-6 with a 3.43 ERA in four starts and 39 relief appearances at Class AA Akron (Indians). It’s unclear where he played, if at all, in 2011.

Williams, 28, started out his pro career in 2006 playing in the independent American Association before he was soon picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays. He reached High Class A Charlotte (Rays) in 2009 but has spent the better part of the last two seasons playing indy ball. In 2011, he batted .316 with two homers, 29 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 69 games for the Brockton Rox (Can-Am League). The Ducks originally acquired the rights to Williams last week in a trade with the Quebec Capital (Can-Am League) for future considerations.

For more details on the signings, click here. The Ducks now have 25 players under contact.

RHP Josh Rupe

SOMERSET PATRIOTS: Signed RHP Derell McCall, RHP Mike MacDonald, RHP Justin Cassel, LHP Matt Crim, RHP Chase Wright, RHP Josh Rupe, and LHP David Quinowski

Well, Somerset’s trend of signing new players who are new to the Atlantic League has continued. The total is now at 19 newcomers. And who can blame the five-time Atlantic League champions after a down year in 2011 when the Patriots whent 49-74 overall? Maybe some fresh faces will change their fortunes.

Rupe, 29, is a right-handed reliever who is less than a year removed from pitching at the big league level. Last season, he posted a 5.65 ERA in nine appearances for the Baltimore Orioles. For his career, Rupe has a 5-3 record and 5.06 ERA in 90 games in the majors from 2005 to 2011, split between the Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals and Orioles. A former third-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox in 2002, Rupe will be making his Atlantic League debut this season.

McCall, 30, returns to the place where last season he finished with a 5-8 record 4.42 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 17 starts and one relief appearance (99.2 innings). The former Camden Riversharks and York Revolution pitcher will be playing in the Atlantic League for the third consecutive season.

MacDonald, 30, will be making his Atlantic League debut after spending last season with Class AAA Las Vegas (Blue Jays), where he went 6-6 with a 6.59 ERA in 17 starts and 11 relief appearances.

Cassel, 27, is also making his debut in the Atlantic League after spending his entire six-year pro career as a prospect of the Chicago White Sox. The right-handed starter reached Class AAA each of the last three seasons.

Crim, 24, will come to Somerset after spending his entire three-year pro career as an Atlanta Braves prospect. The left-hander has spent most of his career as a starter. He reached Class AA Mississippi last season. He has a career 19-23 record and 4.58 ERA in the minors.

Wright, 29, appeared in three big league games with the New York Yankees and has a 2-0 record at the Major League level. Wright split the 2011 season at Class AA Huntsville and Class AAA in Nashville within the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization. Statistically, Wright had one of his worst seasons of his 11-year pro career in 2011, going a combined 5-9 with a 9.52 ERA in 28 games (17 starts) between Huntsville and Nashville.

Quinowski, who turns 26 later this month, has spent his entire career in the San Francisco Giants’ organization, including the past two seasons at the Class AA Richmond. Quinowksi was 4-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 54.1 innings pitched in 40 games last season.

The signings now gives the Patriots 31 players under contract for the 2012 season. For more details on how the recent additions impact the Patriots, check out the Somerset Patriots Pulse blog by Ryan Dunleavy of the Courier News.

RHP Michael Nix

SUGAR LAND SKEETERS: Signed INF Jimmy Van Ostrand, RHP Michael Nix, LHP Will Startup

Since 2009, Nix has worked a total of 119 games from the bullpen in the Atlantic League while keeping a steady 3.19 ERA, walking just 50 batters and tallying 139 strikeouts with the Newark Bears and York Revolution. An instrumental piece for York in 2010 and 2011’s championship seasons, the 28-year-old Nix struck out the side in the ninth inning to clinch the ball club’s first ever league title in 2010. Last season, he posted a 0-1 record, 4.08 ERA and collected 18 saves for the Revs.

Van Ostrand, 27, comes to the Skeeters after spending six years in the Houston Astros organization, four with the Double-A affiliate, Corpus Christi Hooks. Last season, he batted .306 with 11 homers and 48 RBIs at Corpus Christi. He also played in the 2011 Pan American Games, where Canada won gold. Van Ostrand drove in both of Canada’s runs in the gold medal-clinching victory over the United States national baseball team.

Startup, 27, has spent the last two seasons in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization. In 2011, he split time between Class Delmarva, High Class A Frederick and Class AAA Norfolk, going a combined 5-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 31 relief appearances. In six years of minor league ball with the Atlanta Braves, Orioles and San Diego Padres, Startup has worked 291 innings of relief in 195 games with a 2.66 ERA.

For more on the recent additions, click here. The Skeeters have signed 26 players for the 2012 season.

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