Chicago Dogs Add Three to the Pack

Chicago Dogs Add Three to the PackAmerican Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, the expansion Chicago Dogs add three players, moving the pack to four, with Manager Butch Hobson likely having more ready to announce.

Chicago Dogs Adding to the Pack

January 10 may not seem like that long ago, but when you are building a roster getting ready for the upcoming American Association season, 55 days can seem like an eternity. At least, that is the case when you officially only have one player acquired and there are 22 roster spots left to fill.

That was the apparent predicament that the Chicago Dogs were in, as right-hander Josh Goossen-Brown was the only known player on the team’s roster, and he was acquired from the Wichita Wingnuts back on January 10. However, Manager Butch Hobson has been quietly building his team for the 2018 season, and three additions to the Dogs pack were officially added to the roster today.

A Solid Arm in the Pen

The Wichita Wingnuts have been overhauling their roster this off-season, and that made RHP Josh Goossen-Brown available. A healthy Goosen-Brown made a great comeback in 2017 after injuries sidelined him for all of the 2015 season and much of the 2016 campaign. The right-hander returned with a vengeance, posting a miniscule 1.62 ERA in 34 appearances. He allowed only 29 hits in 44.1 innings pitched, while striking out 36.

The righty has outstanding stuff and could fill a variety of roles on this staff, especially if Hobson is looking for a late inning guy.

A Quality Breed of Talent Added

On Tuesday, the American Association reported that three players were added to the Chicago Dogs roster – INFs Edwin Arroyo and Matt Telesco, and C Michael Blanke – ensuring that Goossen-Brown did not feel all alone in the team’s new stadium.

Arroyo had actually been acquired on February 8. The infielder had spent 2017 playing for the Puerto Rico Islanders in the Empire League, where he was second in batting with a .446 average. Arroyo scored 16 runs and drove in 12 in 18 games, and is a slick fielder. Tentatively he is penciled in as the team’s second baseman, but can play short as well.

Matt Telesco has been tearing up the Pecos League over the last two seasons. In 2016, the infielder hit .379 in 21 games, and followed that up in 2017 with a .344 average in 47 games. He drove in 34 runs last year, scored 35, and stole 11 bases. Telesco will likely be the starting third baseman, but he can play short and second as well. The two should give their manager a lot of versatility.

Michael Blanke was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 14th round of the 2010 draft out of the University of Tampa. The Canadian native spent five seasons with the White Sox, reaching AA-Birmingham in 2013, but injuries hampered his rise within the organization.

The catcher was released in 2015, and signed on to play with Long Island in the Atlantic League. He spent two seasons there, hitting .282 in 92 games in 2015 and .253 in 113 games the following year. He also tied a single season high with 10 homers in 2016. Last season, Blanke split time between four different clubs, playing for the Salina Stockade and Cleburne Railroaders (American Association), the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (Atlantic League), and the Vallejo Admirals (Pacific Association). Combined he hit .290 in 40 games.

Starting to Take Shape

It is quite common at this time of year for managers to have a number of players signed, or at least committed, but they have not been announced yet. This may clearly be the case with the Chicago Dogs, as Manager Butch Hobson has a great deal of experience managing an independent ball, and isn’t necessarily looking to release all of his signings at this point.

American Association Daily Notes

The Wichita Wingnuts announced that RHP Eddie Medina was traded to Sugar Land (Atlantic League) and that they signed infielder Logan Trowbridge. Medina becomes the fourth pitcher from last year starting rotation to sign or be traded elsewhere, leaving only RHP Jordan Cooper. Trowbridge had a solid season for the one year wonder Salina Stockade last year. The infielder hit .224 with 24 runs scored and 22 RBI in 71 games. He has played every position at the professional level…The Lincoln Saltdogs announced that they had signed LHP Eric Wooten. The left-hander began his career in the Baltimore Orioles organization but has played the last three years with the New York Yankees organization, reaching AAA-Scranton-Wilkes Barre last year. The left-hander has a 15-19 career record with a 3.41 ERA in five seasons.

Catch-Up with the Latest News from Sioux City Explorers Manager Steve Montgomery on Mound Talk.

By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA

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