Strecker Leads Group of Wild Things Returners
WASHINGTON, Pa. (Dec. 5)- The Wild Things announced today the resigning of 12 players from the 2019 roster for the upcoming season.
Headlining the group of returnees is two-time Frontier League All-Star RHP Zach Strecker. Last season he broke the franchise single season ERA record posting a 1.29. His 52 career saves is also a franchise record and Zach is approaching milestones which will place him among the best in Frontier League history.
"Having someone as reliable, available and productive as Strecker is a complete luxury. He wants the ball in every late, tight situation and he is one of the best team-first guys we have," stated General Manager Tony Buccilli. "His family has become our family and their support of Zach and our organization speaks volumes," Buccilli continued.
The pitching staff also sees returns of the rotation with LHP John Havird, RHP Michael Austin, LHP Nick Wegmann and RHP Nick Gallagher.
"Our rotation in the second half showed to be a competitive group. This is a passionate core who strive to go deep into games and put us in position to win. The best rotations feed off each others successful starts and with another year together we look for them to challenge from within," Buccilli continued.
Joining Strecker in the bullpen will be RHP Jesus Balaguer, RHP James Meeker, LHP Zach Reid. All three posted career lows in ERA in 2019; 2.33, 3.17 and 1.80 respectively. Late addition RHP Matt Marsili and previously injured rookie Elliot Forde round out the group resigning.
"Our bullpen was our strength last season and we are very excited to bring back reliable pieces. Jesus is one of the premier strikeout artists in our league. Meeker took great strides in year two and grew into a great bridge or matchup option for us. Reid was signed out of our Post Draft Workout and provided us another weapon from the left side. We look to see others grow into complimentary roles to provide us depth," Buccilli confirmed.
From the group of position players the Wild Things resign rookie INF Chase Slone and rookie OF Terrence Pinkston.
"We saw flashes from both Chase and Terrence in their small sample size. Slone has shown the ability to defend at a high level professionally, so now the focus is on being a consistent offensive piece and physically preparing for a long season. Terrence plays a smart game that leans towards his athletic strengths and we are excited to get a longer look at him," Buccilli concluded.
Beyond the 12 players who were resigned, the Wild Things also exercised the club option on 8 others before the December 5th deadline.
The Wild Things take to the field as they open the season Friday, May 15 at Rockland, with the home opener slated for Tuesday, May 19 to take on the Quebec Capitales at Wild Things Park.