Roster Moves for HarbourCats Impacts BC Players

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June 13, 2014, VICTORIA, B.C. (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats have added a key piece for the bullpen, and a familiar face in right-handed pitcher Ryan Keller as part of a series of roster moves announced today, including some that affected local Victoria players.

Keller, who pitched for the HarbourCats in 2013 with an 0-1 record, four saves and a 1.63 ERA, joins the HarbourCats from Cal State-LA where he just completed his junior season. He is 6-3 and 205 pounds and hails from Castaic, California. Keller threw 58 innings, including 10 starts, for Cal State-LA this spring, and will join the team in Bend on Saturday.

Nanaimo’s Alex Rogers has been signed to a full-season contract with the HarbourCats and will be a welcome arm in the bullpen (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“He’s a premium, experienced arm and we know him, his abilities and personality, and think he’s a great fit for the HarbourCats program,” said Head Coach Bob Miller. “Ryan gives us depth and the ability to do more things with our bullpen, to match situations better and put our pitchers in positions where they can help the team be successful. With losing a couple other pitchers we were excited to have, adding Ryan is a big help.”

Pitcher Brett Helton (Utah), Bryan Conant (Riverside Community College) and Jacob Hill (Orange Coast College) will not be joining the HarbourCats, as all three have chosen to take the summer off after logging heavy innings for their schools during the spring schedule. Hill was drafted by the Washington Nationals last week, and is now deciding between pro and heading to the University of San Diego in the fall, along with his twin brother David. In addition, junior first baseman Thomas Bernal (University of Kentucky) has elected surgery to correct a left shoulder problem and will not be coming west.

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Coquitlam’s Darren Honeysett suffered an unfortunate break, both figuratively and literally, to his left hand Wednesday and after surgery, will be unable to return for the 2014 season (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

“In Hill, Helton and Conant, those are good pitchers, but we have a lot of faith that we have a great crew here and the kind of leaders you need on a staff to be an upper-echelon team in the West Coast League,” said General Manager Jim Swanson. “With Alex Garcia, Keller, Andrew Nelson, Carson Schneider and Preston Ryan arriving now, and lefty Don Sullivan still to come in on the weekend, there is a lot of depth for Bob and the coaches to work with.”

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Victoria natives Matt Bryan (left) and Nick Kearley (right) were released by the HarbourCats on Thursday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Decisions were also made on some 10-day contract players. Right-handed pitcher Alex Rogers (Nanaimo, Trinidad JC) has signed a full contract, while the team has released outfielder Matt Bryan and pitchers Nick Kearley, Eric Hegadoren and Brett Hull, who saw action in the exhibition with mixed results. Outfielder Darren Honeysett suffered an injury on Wednesday in pre-game practice, requiring surgery on a broken left hand, and will return home to Coquitlam to recover. Honeysett won’t return this season.

Aside from Sullivan and Keller, there are still other signed players who will arrive over the coming weeks – 1B Gabe Clark (Oregon State), IF Griffin Andreychuk (Seattle University), OF Devin Carter (Pepperdine), C Jake Lesinski (Cal Poly), and C Aaron Barnett (Pepperdine). The roster, including those players, sits at 35.

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While Brandon Feldman (centre) will be staying, his 2013 Victoria Eagle teammates Eric Hegadoren (left) and Brett Hull (right) were released by the club Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The HarbourCats (3-3) are in Bend for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday, before returning home to face division-rival Bellingham in games Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday at Sports Traders Diamond. Monday’s game is Cowbell Night, sponsored by The Finishing Store, and Tuesday’s game is Fisherworks Irrigation Bobblehead Night, featuring Kelly Norris-Jones. Wednesday’s game is Island Savings Night. All are 7:11pm start times.

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