The Sioux City Explorers have acquired starting pitchers Josh Rainwater and Robby Donovan. Rainwater comes to Sioux City from the Kansas City T-Bones to complete a trade that sent INF Kris Sanchez to the T-Bones last season. Donovan was acquired through a trade with the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League for a player to be named later. Rainwater has signed a 2013 contract with the X's.
Last year with the T-Bones, Rainwater started 21 of his 22 appearances, posting a 4.78 earned run average in 137.1 innings pitched. He pitched three complete games and one complete game shutout. The right-hander possessed control on the mound with a 4.28 strikeout-to-walk ratio, allowing only 18 free passes compared to 77 strikeouts. In 2011, the Deridder, LA native pitched for the Grand Prairie Airhogs, his first season of independent baseball. He led the American Association with 14 wins, in just 20 starts. He threw two complete games, struck out 91 batters and allowed only 27 walks in 134.2 innings pitched.
The 27-year-old was drafted in the 4th round of the MLB Amateur Draft out of Deridder (LA) High School in 2003. Rainwater spent eight seasons in the Tigers system, making it as high as AAA. During those eight seasons, Rainwater saw time as a starter and out of the bullpen. He pitched in 203 games, posting a 34-40 record, with a 4.11 earned run average in 628.1 innings pitched. He struck out 492 batters compared to the 241 batters he walked over those eight seasons.
The 2013 season will mark Robby Donovan's fifth season in professional baseball. In 2012, the right-hander pitched for the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League. He posted an 11-5 record over 19 starts and chalked up a 3.45 earned run average. In 122.2 innings pitched, Donovan limited his opponents to 47 earned runs and a measly .246 batting average. He led his 2012 club in wins (11), strikeouts (86) and complete games (2).
The 6'5", 230-pounder from Royal Palm Beach, FL was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 35th round of the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school. He did not sign and instead played Division 1 baseball at Stetson University. He was later drafted and signed by the Houston Astros in the 23rd round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. Donovan spent three seasons with the Astros, being promoted as high as high-A. He was used primarily as a starter, starting 56 of his 71 game appearances. In 301 innings pitched, he posted a 5.11 earned run average, striking out 214 batters.
"We are pleased to announce the signing of Rainwater and acquisition of Donovan," commented X's Field Manager, Stan Cliburn. "These two starters bring experience and success to the Explorers rotation."
The Explorers also have signed a pair of rookies, catcher Adrian Martinez and starting pitcher Andy Noga. Martinez returns to the X's for his second season in professional baseball. Last year, the 24-year-old, appeared in 55 games, hitting .266 with 25 runs batted in and three home runs – two of which were game-winning walk-off shots.
The 2013 season will mark Noga's first year of professional baseball. The right-hander finished a stellar career at East Stroudsburg University, where he set a school record in 2011 with 11.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio (58 strikeouts, 5 walks). That same year he led Division II with .62 walks per 9 innings pitched. Over his college career, he is 3rd with a 3.38 earned run average in 122.2 innings pitched, t-3rd in opponents' batting average (.264) and 7th in winning percentage (.588).
The Sioux City 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. Season tickets are on sale now – to reserve your 9 Innings of Vacation stop down to the X's Office, located at Lewis & Clark Park or call them at 277-WINS.
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