Left-Hander Michael Gunn Returns to Railroaders
CLEBURNE, Texas (Feb. 5, 2019) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced Tuesday the signing of left-handed pitcher Michael Gunn.
Gunn operated as both a starter and a reliever for the Railroaders in 2018, making 22 total appearances including 14 starts. He finished the year 3-8 with a 5.69 ERA, working 87 innings and allowing 100 hits. The lefty struck out 61 while issuing 41 walks. Prior to his final two starts of the season, Gunn’s ERA was 4.15 with an opponent batting average of .258.
“Michael can legitimately handle any role in a pitching staff, which is such a luxury,” manager Brent Clevlen said. “We love his tempo and the way he attacks hitters, both of those qualities will serve him well whether he begins the year at the back-end of our starting rotation or in a long relief capacity.”
Gunn showed flashes of ability throughout 2018, dominating against several of the best teams in the American Association. On June 3, the 26-year old tossed five shutout innings against the St. Paul Saints, and then on July 22 he fired a complete game, two-hitter against the Wichita Wingnuts. Gunn handcuffed the league’s best offense in the Sioux City Explorers on August 1, holding them to one run on six hits over seven innings. He also showcased the versatility to work out of the bullpen, pitching four scoreless frames in relief against the Winnipeg Goldeyes in his first outing of the season.
A native of Wilson, Ark., Gunn was phenomenal in three collegiate seasons with the Arkansas Razorbacks, posting ERAs of 2.57, 1.21, and 0.74. In 60 career appearances, all out of the bullpen, Gunn was 6-3 with a 1.23 ERA and eight saves. He struck out 89 and allowed just 40 hits in 79.0 innings. As a senior in 2014, Gunn set a program record by allowing only three earned runs in 36.2 innings, finishing the year 4-2 with a 0.74 ERA.
After his junior season, Gunn was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, beginning his professional career that year with the Gulf Coast Red Sox. In 2015, Gunn shuffled between three different levels, climbing as high as High-A Salem for one appearance. He finished the season 0-4 with a 5.98 ERA, and was released by the Red Sox organization.
Gunn latched on with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League in 2016, going 3-1 with a 4.68 ERA, then moved to the Pittsburg Diamonds of the Pacific Association for the 2017 campaign. It was with the Diamonds that Gunn first took on the role of starter, going 5-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 16 appearances and 12 starts. For his professional career, Gunn is 11-17 with a 5.18 ERA in 98 outings, notching 223 strikeouts to 152 walks in 243.1 innings.
In addition to Gunn, the Railroaders also formally announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Steve Pastora. Pastora was acquired from the Gary SouthShore RailCats in exchange for left-handed pitcher Felix Carvallo on December 20. The two signings give the Railroaders a total of 14 players under contract for the 2019 season.
By Denning Gerig