The Sioux City Explorers pitching staff gained some depth and experience, as the X's have traded outfielder Brandon Newton to Newark, a member of the Can-Am League, for two pitchers, Dan Jurik and Jimmer Kennedy. Jurik will be inserted into the Explorers starting rotation and Kennedy will be in the bullpen. The 2013 season will mark the fourth year of professional baseball for both pitchers.
A Rochester, New York native, Jurik spent the 2012 season with the Rockland Boulders of the Can-Am League. He appeared in 30 games, starting six of those, while finishing nine games, gaining one save and throwing one complete game. In 82.2 innings pitched, the 6'3" right-hander posted a 4.14 earned run average, striking out 69 batters.
Drafted out of St. John Fisher College in the 25th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves, Jurik spent two years in the Braves farm system. Over those two seasons, he appeared in 44 games in various roles from starter, starting 19 games, to closer, gaining 2 saves. Collectively in 146.2 innings pitched, Jurik posted a 6-6 record, giving up 56 earned runs for a 3.45 earned run average. He struck out 114 batters faced, while allowing only 43 free passes.
Last year with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League, Kennedy posted a 4.33 earned run average in 43.2 innings pitched. He allowed 21 earned runs in his 42 appearances, while striking out 47 batters and giving up only 11 walks.
In his three seasons of professional baseball, the Levittown, PA native has pitched a majority of his career out of the bullpen. Appearing in 81 games in relief, the 25-year-old has thrown 101.2 innings, finishing 22 games, collecting 2 saves and posting a 4-7 record. He has collectively allowed 44 earned runs, sporting a solid 3.91 ERA. An effective pitcher, Kennedy owns a strikeout – to – walk ratio of 3.5 to 1.
"In trading Newton, I feel like we got two quality arms to shore up the pitching staff," mentioned Stan Cliburn, X's Field Manager. "Pitching and defense wins games and this trade definitely made the team stronger."
In other news, Jorge Delgado and Leivi Ventura have signed with teams in Mexico. Delgado is currently playing for Vaqueros of the Northern Sonora Mexican League, while Ventura is with Rieleros of the Mexican Northern League. The X's still hold the contractual rights of the two in the United States.
The 2013 Home Opener will be Thursday, May 16th at 7:05pm versus the Sioux Falls Canaries.
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