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Former Braves Pitcher, Matt Marksberry, Added to Roster


Sioux City, IA– The Sioux City Explorers today have announced the signing of LHP Matt Marksberry. This will be Marksberry’s eighth season in professional baseball and first with the Explorers. 

Marksberry was a 15th round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2013 out of Campbell University. While at Campbell the lefty appeared in 60 games making 12 starts with a 5.25 ERA and a 13-9 record. This included a dominant junior season where in 21 games he held down a 2.97 ERA and struck out 35 batters in 33.1 innings. 

He would go on to spend the next four seasons with the Atlanta Braves organization, pitching with the parent club for half of them. His first big jump came in 2015 when in 22 games and a 2.78 ERA for the High-A, Carolina Mudcats, he was given a promotion, skipping the Double-A level all the way to Triple-A Gwinnett. He impressed yet again for Gwinnett recording a 2.61 ERA over 11 appearances and 10.1 innings. Those numbers were enough for the Braves to bring Marksberry to the show. 

After 33 total games between the High-A and Triple-A levels Marksberry was called up to the Atlanta Braves on July 30th. Perhaps he was called up to help plug some holes on the roster after a large deal that saw 13 total players traded between the Braves, Marlins and Dodgers including Atlanta shipping off Alex Wood at the deadline. Marksberry would make his big league debut on July 31st against the Philadelphia Phillies, tossing 1.2 scoreless innings. His first career strikeout came a few days later on August fourth, punching out Giants, all-star shortstop, Brandon Crawford. Over his first five big league appearances and six innings he did not allow a single run. He appeared in a total of 31 games that season for Atlanta compiling a 5.01 ERA in 23.1 innings, striking out 21 batters. 

The following 2016 season the Cincinnati, Ohio native was on the shuttle between Gwinnett and Atlanta, he made 28 appearances for Gwinnett with a 2.65 ERA which about once a month earned him a quick promotion to the big league club. He made just four appearances for the Braves with a 5.40 ERA. However Marksberry’s big league career would be cut short. A year to the day after making his big league debut the Braves placed Marksberry on the disabled list with a left rotator cuff injury. Whilerehabbing the shoulder injury he experienced stomach pains. He went in for a colonoscopy in October of that year and later woke up from a medically induced coma after suffering a seizure and collapsed lung during the procedure. The Braves ended up releasing him in March ending his major league career and run with Atlanta. 

In his two seasons in the majors the southpaw appeared in 35 games, throwing 26.2 innings with a 5.06 ERA and striking out 23. 

Since his time with the Braves Marksberry has been pitching in independent baseball and overseas in Australia and Puerto Rico. In his two seasons in the Australian Baseball League between Melbourne and Sydney he has a 6.61 ERA over 27 games. And during the winter of 2018-19 with Mayaguez of the Puerto Rican Winter League he posted 18 scoreless innings over 15 appearances. 

His independent baseball journey began in 2017 with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am league joining them in August of the 2017 season, his first time playing professional baseball since his injury. In six games he threw 4.1 innings with a 4.15 ERA. 

The 2018 and 2019 seasons were spent with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. In Marksberry’s first season with Lancaster in 2018 he was the definition of shut down, leading his team with 45 appearances and recording a minuscule ERA of 1.82 over 39.2 innings of work that saw him strikeout 47 batters with opponents hitting only .211 off the lefty. Last season he proved that after his injury he is certainly durable appearing in a career high 54 games, striking out 64 over 55.1 innings of work. 

In this three independent league seasons Marksberry has made 105 appearances with a 4.08 ERA in 99.1 innings and 119 strikeouts, which equates to a K/9 of 10.8. 

With the addition of Matt Marksberry the Sioux City Explorers have now signed 14 players (12 Pitchers, 2 position players) to a 2020 contract. 

The Sioux City Explorers 28th season in Siouxland will begin on May 19th at the Kansas City T-Bones. The X’s open up their home schedule on May 26th against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Season tickets, flex tickets, group tickets and luxury suites are now for sale for all 50 Explorers home games for the 2020 season. Simply call (712) 277-WINS (9467) to order your ticket package today.