The Sioux City Explorers have signed two 2012 holdovers for the club's 21st season in Siouxland. Starter Jason Jarvis and reliever Jon Plefka will return to the mound for the X's in 2013. This season will mark their third year in Sioux City. They join X's closer, Chris Bodishbaugh, as familiar faces on the pitching staff on a squad expected to have a large turnover.
Jarvis had one of his top seasons as a starter in 2012 with the X's. The 25-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona went 9-8 in 21 starts with a 4.14 earned run average. A workhorse, Jarvis threw six complete games and two shut-outs, topping the American Association in both of those categories. In 145.2 innings pitched, the right-hander allowed 67 earned runs, while striking out 69 batters faced. Jarvis was named AA Pitcher of the Week twice throughout the 2012 season.
As a mid-season acquisition for the X's in 2011, Jarvis posted a 3-5 record, pitching 66 innings in 12 appearances, striking out 44 batters while carrying a 5.59 earned run average. The former Arizona State University product was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 23rd round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft. He spent three seasons in the Giants system, collectively posting a 3-2 record in 28 games with a 4.05 earned run average and seven saves.
Plefka will begin his seventh season of professional baseball in 2013. The 28-year-old was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 47th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft out of Texas Tech University. He spent two seasons in the Angels organization before continuing his career in independent baseball.
The 6'8" right-hander has spent the majority of his career out of the bullpen. In 2012 with the X's, Plefka posted a 1-3 record, in 47.2 innings pitched, while striking out 43 batters and allowing only 17 free passes. He led the 2012 squad with a 3.96 earned run average, allowing only 21 earned runs to cross the plate.
Before his stop in Sioux City, the former Texas Tech basketball player spent parts of the 2011 season in El Paso and Winnipeg. Collectively that year, Plefka posted a 4.50 earned run average in 50 innings pitched, while registering 42 strikeouts. He spent 2010 with North Division rival, the St. Paul Saints. In 43 relief appearances, the New Britain, CT native went 6-1 with a 2.65 earned run average, striking out 55 hitters in 57.2 innings of work.
"I am excited to have back a consistent starter in Jarvis and solid reliever in Plefka," mentioned X's Field Manager, Stan Cliburn. "Jarvis finished the 2012 season on a strong note and Plefka always performed when called upon last year. I look forward to them continuing that in 2013."
The Explorers will kick off their 21st season on Saturday, May 4th when players report for Spring Training. The 2013 Home Opener will be Thursday, May 16th versus the Sioux Falls Pheasants.
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