Around the American Association
Michael Osipoff August 10, 2013 11:00PM
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:51AM
As the roster turns
The RailCats, of course, are always looking for ways to upgrade their team.
If a veteran slugger or a power arm at the back of the bullpen or a top-of-the-rotation starter unexpectedly became available and fell into their laps, they obviously wouldn’t hesitate.
But they like their recent acquisitions, including Reid Fronk and left-handed relief pitcher Chuck Fontana.
“We feel like we improved our club in the last week. … I feel good where we’re at,” RailCats manager Greg Tagert said.
Tagert will continue to consider the “fit” if the RailCats pursue additional transactions. There’s a balance between trying to bolster the team for a stretch run and not wanting to harm a group that already has been successful.
“I’m always very sensitive,” Tagert said. “(Pitcher) James Adkins (who was released on Wednesday after he had been with the team since June 8) was very popular in this clubhouse. And when you make a move like that, you’re sensitive. … When you make a move, especially with a player that’s very popular, there’s no other way around it when a guy has to clean out his locker and say good-bye to his teammates, it may affect a guy mentally —hey, we just won five in a row. But we did have to make some moves to increase our depth offensively and give us a little production offensively.”
Kansas City typically has been able to put together veteran lineups, including several former major leaguers. But the T-Bones’ pitching staff might be a little younger than usual, and Tagert said it could be attributed to second-year pitching coach Andy Shipman, the former RailCats closer who won the 2009 Northern League Relief Pitcher of the Year award.
“He’s done a great job there for them,” Tagert said. “It’s nice to see Andy have success, because he loves what he’s doing.”
Nick Ammirati spent less than a month with St. Paul, before his contract was purchased by the Seattle Mariners earlier this week.
The catcher played in just five games with the Saints, getting one hit (a double) in 12 at-bats. In the spring, he helped Mississippi State reach the College World Series finals for the first time, hitting .246 with a homer and 23 RBI as a senior; he threw out 41 percent of would-be base-stealers.
Ammirati initially was assigned to the rookie-level Arizona League Mariners.
By staff writer Michael Osipoff