WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Goldeyes manager Rick Forney announced today the signing of second-year rookie pitcher Kaohi Downing and rookie left-handers Aaron Correa and Reggie Hochstedler to contracts for the 2013 season.
Downing, 26, played all of last season with the Goldeyes, but retains his rookie status for 2013. In 37 appearances out of the bullpen, the product of Honolulu, Hawaii posted a 4-2 record, 4.50 ERA and two saves. He played three seasons in the San Francisco Giants organization before coming to Winnipeg.
“He's going to pitch in the bullpen and he's going to pitch some important innings late in the ball game,” Forney said. “Last year was a bit of a learning process for him and he returned to the mound after being a position player the year before in the Giants system. It took him a little while to adjust. He has tremendous upside.”
Correa, 26, made his professional debut with the Sioux City Explorers last summer and has agreed to terms after being claimed off waivers by the Goldeyes following the season. A resident of Hilo, Hawaii, the lefty was 2-4 with an 8.61 ERA in 14 games and 38.2 innings in 2012 with Sioux City.
Hochstedler, 22, completed his collegiate career with the Indiana State Sycamores last summer. The southpaw went 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA in 26 games to help Indiana State claim the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title and qualify for a regional in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.
“I like to have rookie left-handed relievers,” Forney said. “It's generally an easy way to maximize a rookie roster spot and keep them involved on a nightly basis. With a left-handed reliever, depending on what their skill level is and what they are ready for, you can protect them a bit easier and get them involved in three, four or five games a week sometimes. If you can keep them active that way, the results will be for the better.”
The Goldeyes now have six players signed for the 2013 season, including four pitchers and two position players.