The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks added a former Minnesota Twins farmhand to the bullpen, signing left-handed pitcher Tony Davis prior to Friday’s game against the St. Paul Saints at Newman Outdoor Field.
Davis, 24, pitched in the Twins organization the previous three seasons, advancing as high at Class Double-A.
“We hope his experience and nerves are good from playing at that level,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said.
Simunic said Davis gives the RedHawks a different look in relief with a sidearm release point. Davis is 7-7 with a 3.79 ERA and eight saves in 87 games for his professional career. The Twins picked Davis in the 12th round of the 2009 draft out of the University of Florida.
“He throws a little below sidearm, something they’re not seeing from us might make a different in the left-handed side of our bullpen,” Simunic said.
FARGO – The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks signed outfielder Jon Gaston prior to Tuesday’s game against the Lincoln Saltdogs at Newman Outdoor Field.
Gaston returns to the RedHawks after his recently release from the Chicago White Sox organization. The left-handed swinging Gaston played 17 games for the Birmingham Barons, the White Sox Double-A affiliate. Gaston batted .204 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs in 49 at-bats with the Barons.
“I don’t have a whole lot of at-bats between here and Birmingham,” said Gaston, who hasn’t played in about a week. “It’s nice to come back to a familiar place, familiar guys. I hope to pick up where I was at when I was here. It may take a couple days to get back into it.”
Gaston batted fifth and started in left field Tuesday for the RedHawks. The 6-foot, 225-pound Gaston started this season with F-M, playing in six games. He batted .385 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs.
The RedHawks had won eight of their last 10 games heading into Tuesday’s game.
“Hopefully, I can bring some confidence; bring something to the plate with these guys,” Gaston said. “I don’t want to rock to boat too much because they have been doing pretty well.”
The RedHawks placed left fielder Aharon Eggleston on the disabled list. Eggleston is expected to miss at least two weeks with a hamstring injury.
F-M also released right-handed pitcher Alex Rivers. Rivers was 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA in nine appearances.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks started a three-game homestand Monday night at Newman Outdoor Field against the Sioux City Explorers.
The brief home stint kicks off an important week for the RedHawks, who entered Monday on a three-game winning streak to improve to 12-17 overall.
After three games against Sioux City at Newman, the RedHawks play four games in Winnipeg against the rival Goldeyes.
Winnipeg is in first place in the American Association North Division. The RedHawks are in last place in the North Division.
“This will be a big test right here. Sioux City has a good club. They have been hitting the ball,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said prior to Monday’s game. “This can’t be a ho-hum week. If you’re having another ho-hum week, you’ll be ho-hum. You need to come out and be above .500 in this week if you can.”
Simunic said the short-term team goal is to the get back to the .500 mark.
FARGO – In an attempt to upgrade their infield defense, the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks have signed third baseman Zach Wentz to a contract.
“We need someone who can catch the ball at third base,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said. “That has to start now.”
Wentz started at third base for the RedHawks today at St. Paul and went 0-for-4 in his professional debut.
Wentz, 22, recently completed his collegiate career at North Dakota State, helping the Bison to a school-record 40 wins this past season.
Wentz batted .317 with 13 doubles, five home runs, 41 RBIs and 31 runs in 60 games. He had a .334 career batting average at NDSU.
To make room for Wentz on the roster, F-M placed right-handed pitcher Alex Rivers on the seven-day disabled list.
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks designated hitter Ryan Delgado is among the American Association leaders in home runs.
The right-handed swinging Delgado had five home runs heading into Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Newman Outdoor Field. That tied him for third in the league in that category. Sioux Falls slugger Cristian Guerrero held the league lead with seven home runs over his first 19 games.
The 24-year-old Delgado has been solid at Newman Outdoor Field. Through his first nine home games, Delgado is batting .364 with four home runs and 12 RBIs.
While Delgado has flourished at Newman, the RedHawks have struggled at home with a 3-8 record through 11 games.
“We need to put some better at-bats together early,” Delgado said. “It seems we’ve been behind and trying to catch up and put a late rally together. … I think once we get some runs on the board early it will roll over and we’ll get some wins out of it.”
Delgado batted third for the RedHawks on Saturday. Entering the game, he was hitting .261 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in 17 games. He ranked second on the team in RBIs. Center fielder Nic Jackson held the team lead with 20 RBIs in 21 games.
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks manager Doug Simunic is hoping newly acquired outfielder Sergio Pedroza can add some juice to the middle of his batting order.
The RedHawks added the left-handed swinging Pedroza to the team Thursday to play right field and bat fourth in the lineup.
“He fits the ballpark,” Simunic said. “Pedroza is going to give you some pull power. He’s going to give you some slashing power. … We’re hoping he catches on to the point where he can maybe carry us a little bit at times.”
The 6-foot-1, 196-pound Pedroza has 20-plus home run potential. The RedHawks were tied for ninth in the American Association in home runs with 13 entering Friday’s game against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. The RedHawks had 13 home runs through their first 20 games.
“I want to see a little bit more offense from everybody,” Simunic said. “We’ve got to get offensively going.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
The RedHawks acquired right-handed pitcher Mike Zenko in a trade Thursday. Simunic is hoping the 6-foot-4, 230-pound reliever can add some stability to the bullpen, setting up closer Tom Boleska. “He’s a big guy so he should be able to create some plane going down and if he is able to create some plane he should be very good,” Simunic said of Zenko. … Right-handed starter Paul Burnside had a solid start for the RedHawks in Thursday’s 4-1 victory against the Kansas City T-Bones. The hard-throwing Burnside pitched six strong innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits. He also struck out seven batters. Burnside has made three starts for F-M after starting the season as a reliever. Burnside is 2-2 with a 3.63 ERA. He has 26 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings. “He’s got a power arm and we are going to utilize it in inning one through inning seven,” Simunic said.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks shuffled their roster Thursday, trading third baseman Enrique Cruz and second baseman Matt Cusick.
The RedHawks traded Cruz to the El Paso Diablos for a player to be named later. F-M sent Cusick to the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League for right-handed pitcher Mike Zenko.
The RedHawks also signed veteran outfielder Sergio Pedroza. Pedroza, 28, started this season with the New Orleans Zephyrs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins in the Pacific Coast League. Pedroza batted .106 with two doubles, two home runs and three RBIs in 28 games.
Zenko, 25, was 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five games with the Jackals this season.
“We needed to change our look,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said.
The RedHawks are 8-11 entering Thursday’s game against the Kansas City T-Bones at Newman Outdoor Field and in last place in the American Association North Division.
Cruz batted .215 with five doubles and 12 RBIs in 19 games with the RedHawks. Cusick, who F-M recently claimed off waivers, did not appear in a game for the RedHawks.
Second baseman Matt Cusick joined the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks prior to Tuesday’s game against the Kansas City T-Bones at Newman Outdoor Field.
The RedHawks claimed the left-handed swinging Cusick off waivers from the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Cusick wasn’t in the F-M starting lineup in his first game with the team as the T-Bones started a left-handed pitcher.
“He’s kind of a slashing guy,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said of Cusick’s hitting style.
Cusick batted .273 with one home run and 10 RBIs in 11 games this season with the Goldeyes.
RedHawks second baseman Carlo Cota is off to a slow start at the plate, batting .215 through the first 17 games.
“The incumbent holding the position has to get fired up,” Simunic said. “Time will tell.”
While the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks are off to a slow start (7-9 in their first 16 games) early in this American Association baseball season, the team has improved in one area from last summer.
The RedHawks are off to a solid start on the road. F-M has a 6-4 record through 10 road games. A season ago, the RedHawks had a 14-36 road mark that led to a 44-56 overall record, the first losing record in franchise history.
“Hopefully, we can keep winning on the road because last year we didn’t and that really killed us in the long run,” said RedHawks shortstop Zach Penprase.
Penprase has swung a hot bat in the six games prior to Monday night’s game against Kansas City at Newman Outdoor Field. Penprase batted .400 in that stretch with three doubles, six runs, seven walks and five stolen bases.