Railroaders Acquire Joyce from Milkmen
CLEBURNE, Tex. (Jan. 6, 2020) – The Cleburne Railroaders announced Monday the acquisition of right-handed pitcher Jake Joyce and future considerations from the Milwaukee Milkmen in exchange for utilityman Logan Trowbridge.
Joyce put together a strong 2019 season in his first American Association campaign, posting a 2.58 ERA over 28 relief appearances with the expansion Milkmen. In 31.1 innings of work, Joyce racked up 36 strikeouts (10.3 per 9 IP) and allowed only 16 hits. Among American Association hurlers with more than 30 innings pitched, Joyce’s 4.6 hits allowed per 9 innings was the top mark in the league. All told, opponents hit a meager .150 against the right-hander.
The 28-year old Joyce began the 2019 season with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League before being acquired by Milwaukee on June 18, 2019 to complete an earlier trade. In 16 games with Somerset, Joyce went 3-2 with a 4.96 ERA.
A native of Collinsville, VA., Joyce played his college baseball for Virginia Tech, helping the Hokies to NCAA Regional appearances in 2010 and 2013. Over 97 career appearances, all in relief, Joyce went 13-5 with a 4.67 ERA, picking up eight saves. He struck out 155 in 150.2 innings, allowing 153 hits.
Following his senior season in Blacksburg, the Washington Nationals selected Joyce in the 9th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. The Nationals assigned Joyce to short-season Auburn, a level he repeated the following season before being granted his release. In 24 games with Auburn between 2013 and 2014, Joyce finished 2-3 with a 4.54 ERA.
Joyce signed with the Schaumburg Boomers of the Frontier League for the 2015 season, kicking off a four-year stretch in which he established himself as one of the circuit’s most dominant relievers. From 2015-2018, the righty never posted an ERA higher than 2.68, including a career-best 2.03 mark in 2015. Along the way, Joyce steadily improved his strikeout rate, topping out with a 2017 season that saw him strike out 65 in 40.1 innings. Over the four seasons combined with Schaumburg, Joyce compiled a 16-11 record and a 2.41 ERA, securing 30 saves in the process.
Trowbridge played in 72 games for the Railroaders in 2019, serving primarily as the backup catcher to John Nester. He finished the season with a .259/.380/.318 slash line, raising his OPS nearly 90 points from the beginning of August until end of the season. A versatile defender, the 26-year old spent time at every defensive position with the exception of center field. He was originally acquired by the Railroaders as part of the 12-player trade with the now-defunct Wichita Wingnuts on October 5, 2018. Among the 12 players involved in the trade, only Charlie Gillies and Nick Rotola remain on the Cleburne roster.
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
By Denning Gerig, Cleburne Railroaders