SIOUX CITY, IA - The Sioux City Explorers 2015 home opener is only 150 days away and second year X’s field manager, Steve Montgomery has started to put the pieces together for what looks to be another excellent pitching staff. Today the X’s announced they have re-signed starting pitcher John Straka , reliever Geoff Broussard, and acquired Gerardo Sanchez in a trade from the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League in exchange for RHP Kyle Allen.
Straka, the 24-year-old Chaska, Minnesota native, who played collegiately for North Dakota State University had a tremendous rookie season for the X’s in 2014. Straka matched teammate, Patrick Johnson for the most wins on the club last season with 9. On the season Straka made 21 starts and compiled a 9-5 record with a 4.14 ERA in 130.1 innings of work, while recording 90 strikeouts to just 38 walks. In 2013, Straka led the NDSU Bison with an 8-2 record, while compiling a miniscule 1.67 ERA in 108 innings of work, while recording 90 strikeouts to just 11 walks. Straka was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 32nd Round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft and pitched in 19 games with the Northwest League, Spokane Indians (A) and recorded 27 strikeouts while allowing only 6 walks in 31.1 innings pitched.
“Getting a rookie starting pitcher that can contribute the way John did last season is a huge plus and we are counting on John being a big part of our rotation again this coming season,” comments manager Steve Montgomery.
Broussard, a 23-year-old Montclair, California native, was an absolute work horse for the X’s last season as he appeared in 41 games (3 starts) and put together an 8-1 record with a 3.26 ERA in 88.1 innings and struck out 83 batters while only issuing 31 free passes. Geoff was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies out of California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. Over two seasons in the Phillies farm system (2012-2013), Geoff appeared in 55 games and recorded 97 strikeouts to just 20 walks in 106.1 innings pitched and with a 3.22 ERA.
“Broussard was a huge addition to our staff last season and was a key member of our bullpen’s success and Geoff will play a major role coming out of our bullpen once again in 2015”, stated Montgomery.
Sanchez comes to the X’s in 2015 after having an incredible season in the Frontier League in 2014 as a member of the Rockford Aviators, whom are managed by former X’s pitching coach, James Frisbee. Sanchez was named a mid-season Frontier League All-Star last season and finished the season with a miniscule 1.54 ERA in 41.0 innings of work. On the season, Sanchez struck out 55 hitters and allowed just 12 walks, while recording 18 saves as the closer of the Aviators. Sanchez hails from Las Cruces, NM and spent two seasons in the Houston Astro’s organization (2012-2013) prior to joining Rockford last season. The 2015 season will mark Sanchez’s 4th season of professional baseball and first as a member of the X’s.
“Sanchez had a phenomenal season last year were excited to have him on our staff this year as he gives us another quality arm late in games”, comments Montgomery.
The Sioux City Explorers will kick off their 23rd season in Siouxland at home on Thursday, May 21st when they host the Sioux Falls Canaries for the first 3 games of the scheduled 4 game series. Season Ticket information for the 2015 season is available at www.xsbaseball.com or reserve your tickets now by calling the Explorers office at 712-277-WINS (9467).