Sioux Falls Canaries Chat: March Update
The Sioux Falls Canaries are ready to fly to the top of the North Division in the American Association, and they have been making some quality moves to improve this season’s roster. For the first half of the month the team was silent, but starting on the 12th of February the Canaries made several key moves.
On February 12, RHPs Byron Minnich and Ray Hanson were signed by Sioux Falls. Minnich came to Sioux Falls from Laredo in a blockbuster December deal. Sioux Falls had the rights to the right-hander, but the deal locked him into the team this season.
Hanson was with the River City Rascals of the Frontier League at the end of last season. He went 4-1 in 8 appearances, 6 starts, with a 3.53 ERA. Hanson began the season at Inland Island, the high-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. He was 4-5 in 12 starts there, with a 4.00 ERA.
On the same day, RHP Kyle Vazquez was dealt by the team to Washington of the Frontier League in exchange for RHP Shawn Blackwell. The right-hander had a great year in the Frontier League last season, making 17 starts and 4 relief appearances. He was 10-4 with a 3.70 ERA, and should be a fixture at the top of the Canaries rotation. He has great stuff, and doesn’t hurt himself with home runs (0.5 HR/9 IP).
On Friday the 13th the Canaries signed OF Jason Repko, hoping he would bring some good fortune to their lineup. Repko played for York of the Atlantic League last season, where he hit .196 in 30 games with 2 homeruns and 8 RBI. The outfielder has played parts of seven seasons at the major league level, including five games in 2012 with the Boston Red Sox. He is a career .224 hitter in the big leagues, with a season high of 8 homeruns in 2005 while playing for the Dodgers.
On February 16, Sioux Falls signed OF Harrison Kain, another key member of the December trade with Laredo. Kain hit .256 last season for the Lemurs with 18 steals and 47 runs scored in 87 games.
On the same day the team announced that infielder Ty Forney and two players to be named later were dealt to Gateway of the Frontier League for infielder Michael Wing. Wing is an outstanding infielder who has some pop in his bat. He hit .284 last season in 84 games, with 14 homeruns and 59 RBI. He also hit 23 doubles and scored 49 times. He will be a great asset at the top of their order.
Nearly a week later, the Sioux Falls Canaries acquired infielder Rolando Gomez to complete an earlier deal with Florence of the Frontier League. Like Hanson, Gomez had begun the 2014 season with Inland Empire. He struggled, hitting just .210 before being released. After being released he signed with Florence. In 24 games he hit .227, and added 4 homeruns and 13 steals. Gomez did not last long with the team, as he was dealt to Gateway on March 4 as one of the two players to be named later.
Looking to add some quality depth to the left-handed side of their pitching staff, Sioux Falls added Hector Cedano on February 26. Cedano had an outstanding career with the Campbell Camels of the Big South Conference. In his senior season he had a perfect 8-0 record and finished with a 22-5 career record at the school, including going 16-2 in his last 18 decisions. He had a 2.31 ERA last season, and allowed just 79 hits in 93.1 innings pitched. He should be a huge asset to their rotation.
The Sioux Falls Canaries did a lot to upgrade their pitching staff and add some quality depth in their infield. There is no doubt that this staff has the quality arms to keep them in games, and if they can add a couple of big hitters they could be a real threat in this division.
By Robert Pannier