Saturday, February 8, 2014

T-Bones acquire veteran pitcher Lee, sign two rookie hurlers

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have traded the reversionary rights of Dustin Loggins to Laredo in exchange for veteran pitcher Gary Lee. Additionally, the T-Bones have signed two rookie pitchers, Justin D’Alessandro and Jared Messer.

Lee, 28, is a 6-foot-3 and 200-pound right-hander from Chesapeake, Va. He’s spent the last two-plus seasons with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League, where he was on the All-Star team in 2012.

Last season, as a player-coach, he was 5-9 with a 4.20 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 21 walks, and a complete-game shutout in 135 innings (20 starts out of 21 appearances).

He’s played in independent leagues during his entire seven-year professional career, mainly in the Frontier League and the American Association. He has a career 30-35 record with a 4.36 ERA, 364 strikeouts and 156 walks.

“Lee is a sinker ball guy who pitches to contact and competes,” said T-Bones manager John Massarelli. “He’s very consistent, so we can count on him to make every start and give us a chance to win every time out.”

Loggins was one of Kansas City’s top pitchers in 2013, so much so that the Arizona Diamondbacks purchased his contract from the T-Bones in September. He’s scheduled to report to the Diamondbacks’ minor-league spring training in March.

D’Alessandro, 24, is a 6-foot-4 and 190-pound right-hander from Pittsburgh, Pa. The Toronto Blue Jays signed D’Alessandro as a non-drafted free agent in 2012 out of Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He reached single-A with the Blue Jays last season.

In 25 career games (29 2/3 innings), D’Alessandro is 3-2 with a 5.46 ERA. According to Massarelli, D’Alessandro’s fastball topped out at 94 last week during a workout for the Diamondbacks.

Messer, 22, is a 6-foot and 180-pound right-hander from Massillon, Ohio. After the Washington Nationals picked Messer in the 38th round of the 2012 June Amateur Draft, he didn’t sign, opting to finish his collegiate career at Malone University in Canton, Ohio.

As a starter last season, Messer went 6-4 with a 2.70 ERA, four complete games, two shutouts, 66 strikeouts and 18 walks in 76 2/3 innings for Malone.

The T-Bones open the 2014 regular season at home on May 15 against Lincoln.